The Peak

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There are so many reasons I love hiking on Cypress Mountain and here are the top three:

  1. It’s in my backyard. Well, not literally in my backyard. It’s actually in North Van but so very close.
  2. It has a plethora of hikes, running the gamut from a walk in the woods to scrambling straight up the side of a mountain.
  3. The viewpoints are mouthwatering.

Last Sunday a few friends and I decided to hike Mount Strachan, a quick (two hour), moderate hike on Cypress. We grabbed our gear and snacks and hit the road, destination: mountains.

cypress fall 2015 010To make a long story short, we missed the turn to Mount Strachan, wandered around the woods a bit, climbed partway up another trail and then, because one of the group was struggling with a biking injury, turned around.

Walking back I couldn’t help but describe a hike without going to the peak as making love without having an orgasm. It’s still a really good experience but you can’t help but feel that you’ve missed out on something…

That said, we did end up finding a pretty lookout point to have lunch, feed some birds, take photos and remark on the unbelievable beauty of mother nature. And after our lunch break, we trotted down the mountain happy and rejuvenated.

Maybe you don’t have to reach the peak every single time after all.

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A Juicy Grapefruit

What’s inside a juicy grapefruit?

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  • Antioxidants that lower LDL (bad) cholesterol
  • A high water and fiber content that can help maintain a healthy weight by promoting a feeling of fullness.
  • Vitamin C to help:
  1.  encourage collagen production and keep your skin smooth and glowing
  2. promote healthy gum tissue.
  3. recovery frоm a cold or flu

And that’s just some of the good stuff in a ruby red grapefruit.

 

Prego vs Oreo

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thank god its not prego

True or False

A serving of Prego tomato sauce has more sugar than an Oreo cookie?

If you guessed true, you’re right! Eating processed pasta sauce is worse, sugar-wise, than chowing down on a big ole Oreo. But there’s an easy way around that. Make your own pasta sauce. A friend gave me this delicious recipe and when I tested it in my tiny (now tomato stained) kitchen, it passed with flying colours. Below is a healthy, sugar-free alternative to Prego:

“Thank God It’s Not Prego” Bolognese Sauce

  • 2 1/2 pounds tomatoes (about 8 medium)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 8 fresh basil leaves
  • handful Italian parsley
  • 1/4 cup spinach, zucchini, broccolini or almost any other vegetable
  • 1 Portobello mushroom sliced or diced
  • 1/4 teaspoon Himalayan Pink salt
  • 1/2 lb. organic ground beef *
  • Fresh grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (optional)
  • a splash of vodka (optional)

Simmer ingredients in a saucepan, pour over your favourite pasta (I love whole wheat for extra texture and nutrients) and voila! Dinner is served, and without a boatload of hidden sugar.

*My beef comes from Pemberton Meadows near Whistler. A beautiful, old school farm where the animals are treated well and grass fed. Local, humane and organic farms are the way to go. You pay a bit more but it’s so, so worth it! The saying “you get what you pay for” is usually true and not using our purchasing dollars to support the horror of factory farming will, I hope, eventually instigate change.