The feeling of freedom I get from doing yoga and meditating in nature keeps me balanced, happy and sometimes sane.
I practice yoga in a studio over the winter but when spring hits and I can do a few Sun Salutions gazing at the Pacific Ocean and the mountain range behind it, well nothing indoors can really compare to that. Going barefoot in the sand and letting my poor little feet, usually imprisoned in some sort of high heel, sink into the cool, grains of dark sand feels better than the most luxurious spa treatment. And if you believe in earthing, it is better than the most luxurious foot treatment.
The beautiful ocean air, the sweet sound of the waves lapping the shore and my own little yoga practice on a deserted beach is my recipe for re-balancing and relaxation.
Then I like to go home, chilled out and stress free to work on some other recipes.
This week I have a raw energy ball that’s full of nutritious ingredients and easy to pack in your bag when you’re in the run. Clean eating approved and delicious, here it is:
Almond Oatmeal Energy Balls
- One cup oatmeal
- One cup almond butter
- 2 T honey or maple syrup
- 1 T flax seeds
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips
Mix all ingredients together. Form into balls. Refrigerate.
Vancouver is blooming and I just can’t get enough of all of the beautiful blossoms and their scents.
My current favourite activity is leashing up my dog, hitting the beach and breathing in the floral wonderland around me. Nature’s aromatherapy has opened up shop in my hood. The light pink cherry blossoms that were lining our streets have loosened from their stems this week and glided down to cover the ground in sweet little pink petals. Luckily fushia Azaleas have taken their place, as well as a plethora of other blooms.
And what to snack on during a walk through the flower lined streets? Banana chia pudding. This treat is raw, healthy and chock full of omega 3’s.
Banana Chia Pudding
- One cup vanilla almond milk
- 1/2 cup chia seeds
- one banana
- sprinkle of raw cacao
- 1 T hemp seeds
- 1 T flax seeds
Blend all ingredients together and pour into mason jars for a snack on the run!
A friend and I took a break in our Sunday beach run to do a few yoga stretches today. Here is one of the pics.
When I look at this photo I see a woman being goofy, maybe dancing in the rain, but what I’m actually doing is falling out of a yoga pose. A pose that I couldn’t quite master, no matter how hard or how many times I tried. I remember thinking, after failing again and again, that I had two options, get angry with myself or laugh at the situation. Clearly I chose the latter.
Thinking back to when I started practicing yoga about 15 years ago, I approached my practice with a humourless quest for perfection ~ hyper-extending my legs and frequently checking my neighbors with a sideways glance to see if I was doing better than them. I couldn’t have been more misguided if I tried. It took years for me to realize that yoga wasn’t at all about perfection or even form sometimes. It was about showing up regularly and making a commitment to starting a journey with myself. It was about relaxing into and accepting myself ~ my body, my limitations ~ and even laughing at and learning to love myself. And when I realized this, that is when my yoga practice finally opened up and became a source of joy for me. So here’s to falling out of crooked, imperfect yoga poses and loving it because every stumble is an important part of the journey. Your journey. Namaste.
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.
With all of the political unrest south of the border dominating the news this week, I can’t think of a more soothing place to write about than Sooke Harbour House on Vancouver Island.
I was lucky enough to spend three nights there a few weeks ago and the whole experience was a blissful, back to nature retreat.
Let me start with the view. Our room faced the ocean and we saw breathtaking vistas like this every day from our balcony.
The hotel is quaint and luxurious at the same time, making a visit there feel like entering a warm haven from yesteryear. If I had to describe the visit in a metaphor, staying at Sooke Harbour House is like wrapping yourself in a fuzzy blanket with a good book beside you and a cup of delicious hot chocolate cupped in your hands. And, speaking of good books, the hallways of Harbour House are lined with shelves and shelves of books. There are also super comfy love seats nestled in the hallway, waiting for someone to sink into them and dive into one of those good books.
Leave your room for an afternoon and you’ll see that the grounds around the Inn are filled with an edible garden. Herbs, lettuces, root vegetables, fruit trees and lots of beautiful edible flowers make the garden a delight to walk through. And later at dinner, the unbelievable freshness of your meal is a foodie’s dream. This is due to so many food items being picked from their very own garden but also because they source almost all of the menu items from the Island. Sooke Harbour House is an example of the 100 Mile Diet at its best.
Then there’s room service. Here we have garden pomme frites, a chanterelle soup and garden salad topped with pretty edible flowers.
Everything tasted amazingly delicious, as did every other meal eaten in the two restaurants, The Copper Room and The Restaurant. If you’d like to make this rich and creamy soup at home, so you can cuddle up in a fuzzy blanket and forget about all of the worries of the world for a while, let me help you out…
Sooke Harbour House’s Chanterelle Walnut Soup
1/2 cup unsalted butter
2 cups wild chanterelle mushrooms, brushed and chopped
1/2 cup walnuts, shelled
1 cup onion, diced
1/2 cup carrot, diced
1/4 cup celery, diced
20 fennel seeds
10 coriander seeds
10 cumin seeds
2 Tbsp garlic, chopped
2 Tbsp ginger, peeled and minced
1/2 cup dry white wine
5 cups vegetable stock
1 cup whipping cream (or whole milk for a lighter version)
2 fresh or dried bay leaves
Place butter in large, stainless steel pot over medium heat. Once butter has melted, add mushrooms, walnuts, onion, carrot, celery, fennel, coriander, and cumin seeds, and saute until onions are translucent and carrots begin to soften (about 10 to 13 minutes). Add garlic and ginger, and saute for 5 minutes. Stir constantly to avoid burning. Add white wine and increase heat to high. Reduce wine until approximately 1/4 cup remains. Add stock, cream, and bay leaves, and bring to boil. Then, reduce heat to medium and simmer for 25 minutes. Remove from heat; remove and discard bay leaves. While soup cools, prepare garnish. Place whipping cream in medium-sized bowl and whip until stiff peaks form. Once soup has cooled for 30 minutes, puree in blender at high speed in small batches for 2 minutes each, or until very smooth. Return puree’d soup to pot. Bring to boil and serve. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish each with a dollop of whipped nasturtium cream. Serves Six.