A few photos and quotes from last week’s hike on Cypress Mountain in West Vancouver:
Birds are not meant to be caged. Their feathers are too bright, their songs too sweet and wild. – Stephen King
In quietness are all things answered. – A Course in Miracles
I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me, they are the role model for being alive. – Gilda Radner
Spending time in the forest has always been my yin to the yang of the corporate world. Nothing for me is more soothing and rejuvenating than spending an afternoon surrounded by sweet scented, mossy green trees.
And after working up an appetite on a hike I like to head home to whip up a tasty, sugar-free treat. This recipe is a post hike favourite. It’s vegan, naturally sweetened and uber-healthy with nut butter, dairy free milk and lots of anti-oxidant fruit.
Peanut Butter Banana Nice Cream
- 5 bananas
- 1/2 cup unsweetened almond or coconut milk
- 3 T. peanut butter (or almond butter if you prefer)
Blend together and store in freezer until frozen. Top with your favourite fruit. This one has banana, mango, strawberries and unsweetened coconut. The recipe tastes a lot like ice cream but is so very good for you.
Hope you enjoy it.
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.
I was a little outdoorsy when I arrived in BC from Ontario in the late 90’s but…only a little. Living in this beautiful province has, slowly but surely, turned me into a devoted, treehugging hiker and nature lover. And becoming these things has transformed both my physical fitness and emotional health. I cannot even imagine what my life would be like if I hadn’t moved to BC and experienced the breathtaking beauty of this province’s mountain and forest trails.
I’m also forever grateful to this stunning province for teaching me a few lessons in peace, happiness and what life is all about.
Here they are:
1. Getting outside and working up a sweat makes you healthy and happy. Hello endorphins!
2. Taking the time to question the craziness of our stressed out society. And, when you do, you’ll probably reach the conclusion that the slow pace of the natural world is where to find true contentment.
3. And, last but not least, that hugging and old growth tree in the middle of a forest makes everything better.
Loving and thanking you today British Columbia ❤