A Doe in the Forest

The more I see of deer, the more I admire them as mountaineers. They make their way into the heart of the roughest solitudes with smooth reserve of strength, through dense belts of brush and forest encumbered with fallen trees and boulder piles, across canons, roaring streams, and snow-fields, ever showing forth beauty and courage.
John Muir


TruMarine Collagen

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you probably know that I’m on a quest to age as happily and gracefully as possible. This journey was moving along reasonably well until a few months ago when I had a bad bout of food poisoning. A bug called campylobacter invaded my system and totally messed with my digestive tract. It just didn’t go away on its own so, after a couple of months of trying to cure it with probiotics, I had to take uber strong antibiotics to finally kill it. Although I was happy to have it gone, the antibiotics (along with the bacteria) irritated the lining of my stomach and I ended up with bouts of nausea a few times a day. On top of this, after doing my usual yoga class, my joints felt sore and creaky. Let’s just say I wasn’t feeling too happy or like someone who was aging all that gracefully anymore.

beach yoga
I’ve had a lifetime of quickly and easily bouncing back from things so the fact that I wasn’t bouncing back from my stomach issue combined with feeling a million years old after working out, was bringing me down. Was this how I was going to feel from now on? Unhealthy, sad and tired? Is this why everyone is so afraid of aging? I felt like my body was breaking down and this made me feel vulnerable.
But, as fate would have it, I found my solution at lunch one day. Walking into one of my fave spots, Fresh Café, I saw a company called TruMarine doing a demo of their collagen product. I didn’t know a lot about collagen other than its anti-aging effect on skin but I was about to find out all that it can do. Tami, the owner of the company, filled me in on how our bodies usually have trouble keeping up collagen production starting in our late 40’s. She listed the ways collagen keeps us healthy and beautiful:
· Coats digestive tract

· Keeps joints healthy

· Keeps skin young

· Strengthens hair

· Strengthens nails

Tami also told me that people usually start seeing results in about a month. One exception was a friend of hers who is a hard core athlete. Her friend had severe joint pain and found relief for the pain within a month. Then, two months later she started noticing that her hair and skin looked healthier and more vibrant. The collagen goes to the part of the body that needs it the most first and then moves on to improve other areas. Okay, I was sold. I bought a package and drank a dose down immediately. Now, two weeks later, my nausea is completely gone, after haunting me for three months. And my joint pain is almost non-existant, letting me do my yoga thing about three times a week with no problem. I’m not sure about skin, hair and nails but I took a “before” photo a month ago and will take another at the end of next month, so we can see the results together.

When a product is this good, I have to share.

Baby, it’s Hot Outside! Summer Soup

Baby, it’s hot outside! Like Global Warming hot. In a desperate effort to keep cool, I’ve been hanging out in the shady green space of the community gardens near my home. And, on my way home from my siesta, I couldn’t help but notice that there were a lot of shiny, dark green cucumbers ripe for the picking all over the garden.

So when it’s this toasty out and harvest time too, what could be better than cooking up a healthy, garden fresh, chilled cucumber soup?

Chilled Cucumber Soup

  •  1 T. olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 T. lemon juice
  • 4 cups peeled and sliced cucumbers
  • 1 1/2 cups veggie broth
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley
  • sprinkle of mint
  • 1/2 cup yogurt

Heat oil on medium-high, add garlic and onion and sauté until onions are translucent. Add lemon, cucumber, broth and salt & pepper. Simmer until cucumbers are soft.

Transfer ingredients to a blender and add avocado, parsley (saving a little for garnish) and mint and blend well. Finish by stirring in yogurt. Chill and serve.

cucumber soup

And what is the perfect accompaniment for my favourite chilled soup? A little Therapy.

Therapy is an Okanagan vineyard that’s definitely worth checking out. The “Pink Freud” rose is both fruity and full-bodied. And the names of the wine are so cute and witty…Pink Freud, Freudian Sip, Fizzio Therapy…you’ve gotta love a vineyard with delicious wine and a sense of humor too,

therapy vineyards

  In case you like my wine recommendation a little too much..Did you know that cucumbers are a natural hangover cure? They are! To avoid a hangover, eat a few cucumber slices before going to bed. Cucumbers contain enough sugar, B vitamins and electrolytes to replenish essential nutrients destroyed by too much alcohol, reducing the intensity of both a hangover and the pounding headache that comes with it.

Pretty in Pink

Are you looking for a yummy, summer thirst-quencher that’s unbelievably good for you too? Well, look no further. I accidentally concocted this recipe when cleaning out my fridge the other day and it’s so seriously good and good for you too.

Combine 1/2 cup coconut milk, 1/2 cup coconut water, 1 cup chunked pineapple (fresh, not canned) and 1 cup chunked watermelon in a blender. Liquefy and pour.

This smoothie is a true triple threat. Not only does it taste unbelievably delicious, it’s super hydrating (coconut water is nature’s Gatorade) and both watermelon and pineapple are amazing at moisturizing sun-worshipping skin from the inside out.

So, bottom’s up and bon appetit!

watermelon smoothie 011


The Love Experiment

Several years ago a friend told me the story of a woman who was dying of cancer.

Chemotherapy was not helping, the cancer was advancing and in a last ditch attempt to save her life it dawned on her one morning that she may be losing the battle because of the hatred she felt for certain parts of her body. She had never liked, accepted or been particularly nice to these parts of her body and she decided that day to embark on a radical journey to self-love. She decided that she would pick a hated body part and stare at it in the mirror, meditate on it, dig up any old buried pain from the past surrounding it, and keep thinking about this body part until she loved and accepted it. Then she would move onto the next body part and repeat the process.

And, after months of doing this, guess what? Her cancer went into remission. Now, I’m not suggesting that this will happen for everyone suffering from cancer but the fact that it happened to this woman amazes me and is a big reminder of how powerful our thoughts are. All beings on this earth respond to energy. We all thrive when given positive energy and we all suffer if too much negative energy comes our way, so think about what us hating ourselves or even a part of ourselves will do to us over time.

After remembering this story, I decided that it is time. Time to start walking the walk as well as talking the talk. It’s easy to proclaim that you accept and love yourself and have embraced the aging process. But I personally am still horrified at certain things I see in the mirror and it’s time for me to really dig deep into the experience of deep love and acceptance of myself. A number of things I don’t like or love about myself quickly pop into my mind as I write this. My rather large hands with really prominent veins, my expanding wrinkles around my eyes, how my face is hollowing (and drooping a bit) as I age, the list goes on. I definitely have a few issues to work through to get where I want to be. And none of these issues will be resolved by changing how I look. No botox, fillers, breast implants or lipo will help. Changing my perspective about my perceived problems is the only thing that will heal what needs to be healed. love experiment So, a couple of days ago I was shopping in the neighborhood and stopped by my local Shopper’s Drug Mart to pick up some toiletries when I noticed an Oprah magazine as I was at the till. I stared at the large font on the cover, How To Love The Skin You’re In, then turned away and paid for my purchases. As I walked out the front door, I felt compelled to turn and look at the magazine again. How to love the skin you’re in. How can I not buy this mag, I thought as I walked back in and scooped up a copy.

Next on my shopping list was something for dinner from Whole Foods. My mind went over all of the healthy items I could buy and, after considering them all, I realized that I didn’t want any of them. Not a one. I feel like I’ve been so extreme with my no-gluten, no-dairy, no-sugar regime and, although I do feel better and my skin looks better, I needed to forget it all for awhile. My inner child was desperate for some fun food. She wanted to eat something extremely delicious. She wanted chocolate.

So, I went home and read this… Oprah And ate this… chocolate And then fell into a deep peaceful sleep on the sofa about half an hour later.

Well, it looks like it’s time for “The Love Experiment” to begin. I am going to start with one hated body part and focus on it until I have transformed the way I think about it. Then I’ll move onto the next one and so on and so on until there is nothing left. I’ll write upcoming posts about this whenever I have something share-worthy. I’m excited to start this next journey and if any of this resonates with you, please come with me.

cute dog 1

Mmmmm, looks good mom!

cute dog 2

So, where’s mine?

Dove’s Beauty Patch

One of my favourite bloggers, Nancy of My Year of Sweat, wrote a beautiful post today that included this video:

As I watched the video, I found my eyes starting to water. And then the watering eyes turned into a full on, good, deep cry. Why was I crying? So many reasons. This video was a big reminder of how successful our society is at setting up women to never be satisfied with how we look. The ages, weight ranges and body shapes that are deemed acceptable are very, very narrow and, for a lot of us, unattainable. How deeply, heartbreakingly sad.

And, because I’m 51, one of the most moving moments for me was when a woman asked why aging is so bad? Why can’t it be seen as a good thing? Why indeed?

Can you imagine a world where aging was seen as a positive? Where we celebrated our wisdom and our wrinkles? The billion dollar plastic surgery industry would collapse. There would be no more botox or fillers or freakish “trout pout” collagen lips. A world where women were proud of their age instead of ashamed. Can you even imagine?

I think it’s time to start a revolution ladies. Time to create a new reality where the word “beautiful” encompasses a wide variety of body types, ethnicities and ages. Because the real truth, which I hope we all know deep down, is that we are all perfectly beautiful just as we are.

Read Nancy’s post here.