Art/Film: VIFF

It’s that time of the year again….

Sandra Oh & Ann Marie Fleming
Sandra Oh & Ann Marie Fleming  – as it turned out needn’t have worried

On the heels of the Toronto International Film Festival which ended yesterday is the 35th Vancouver International Film Festival which starts on September 29th to October 14th.  I just picked up the festival guide and I can’t wait to see a ton of films of which I will report back to you my favourites.

In the meantime I want to give a SHOUT OUT to my friend Ann Marie Fleming who’s full length animated movie Window Horses (which I previously blogged about) premiered at TIFF to rave reviews.

This is a beautifully narrated and colourfully animated story of a young girl’s journey employing poetry, music and illustrations to celebrate the value of self-discovery.  After being invited to a poetry festival in Shiraz, Iran, by a mysterious figure, Rosie Ming faces challenges that ultimately lead to her self-realization. The film’s superb voice cast includes festival veterans Sandra Oh, Don McKellar and Ellen Page.

From CTV News:

“The reason why I wanted to do this film and why I moved it to Iran and why I think it’s important to do now is I wanted to make a gesture of understanding, compassion and intolerance in this world of increasingly dark images and xenophobia and fear,” says Fleming.

“This is not a political film in any way, but the gesture is political. I just wanted to make some lightness, to be able to see people for what we have in common and how poetry — poetry! — is actually the glue that’s put us all together through all these millennia.”

The Canadian Press recently spoke with Fleming about the film, which she wrote, directed and produced (in co-production with the National Film Board of Canada). It’s slated to hit theatres in spring 2017.

You can VOTE for this film for MUST-SEE BC Movies (until September 29th) and help support Canadian Art at:

http://mustseebc.viff.org/

 

 

 

 

 

Mindful & MindLess

Middle Space

yoga exercise abstract

Think about it. It’s that stage in meditation when you’re in that place…in between sleep & wakefulness.  Meditation is kind of tricky if you’re not used to it.  It sounds easy enough but it takes practice…and more practice to be able to clue out all the surrounding clatter (there’s always distractions) and be completely still without actually falling asleep while remaining conscious.  At least that’s my unprofessional opinion – a*Yin & Yang effect. 

We can learn from our feline friends. I think everything you need to know about meditation can be taught by observing cats.  They are masters at relaxing and stillness while remaining alert.

Jia Jia likes to escape & meditate in his little hideaway spot.
Jia Jia likes to escape & meditate in this little hideaway beside the courtyard.

I’ve been contemplating meditation for several years but only recently experienced it.

I have a long way to go but I’m positive that over time I’ll be able to achieve this.  The very first time I was asked by the coach (yes, there’s a coach for starters) how I felt afterwards.  My answer: “it reminded me of napping in kindergarten except for hearing the rattling of dishes, people talking in another room and general outside disturbances.  Is there any way you can let them know that we’re in a practice so they can keep quiet for the duration?”

That’s when the coach replied that the whole purpose of meditation is to be able to quiet your mind even through the little (& larger) everyday outside distractions.  The next time I was much better at it and I’ll keep getting better.  Then I saw this:

Meditation & the big “O” – The Secrets of Orgasmic Meditation

We might just be the last people to this particular pajama party, but I recently found out that there’s an entire meditation practice that revolves around orgasms. Nicole Daedone—the creator of Orgasmic Meditation (OM) and the founder of its rapidly growing organization, OneTaste—explains it in broad terms: OM is to sex, as yoga is to fitness.  The goal of the practice? Experiencing more connection, happiness, vitality, and fulfillment—all possible, according to Daedone, when you have the power of Orgasm with a capital “O.” As Daedone explains below, she distinguishes the Orgasmic state (a larger state of consciousness) from the conventional definition of orgasm as climax (fleeting physical pleasure).

Daedone has studied Zen Buddhism, mystical Judaism, and semantics, and the practice of OM combines distinctive elements of her diverse background and expertise in surprising but thoughtful ways. Her company, OneTaste, has a presence in 30 cities around the globe, with tens of thousands of participants. Daedone is also the author of Slow Sex: The Art and Craft of the Female Orgasm. Check out her SXSW talk that explains how Orgasm and the internet share a common purpose. (Yes, you read that correctly.)  Here she answers some questions:

Q:   What is the practice of Orgasmic Meditation all about?

A:  It is a practice that combines the power and attention of meditation with the deeply human, deeply felt, and connected experience of orgasm.

When I first tried OM, I had a life-changing experience. It was so profound, so, “Oh! This is what is supposed to be!” that I began to investigate the question: what would happen if we rebuilt sex from the ground up, but this time included consciousness and spirituality. The same way that we have been moving from processed to whole foods, from mere fitness to yoga, OM shifted sex out of the dark, under the covers, from the shameful and often consumptive places where it used to be, and into the light. Here we can have experiences that foster our well-being. We take the most powerful impulse, the orgasm impulse, and approach it in an entirely new way. OM offers a practice through which we can harness this impulse that is a deliberate, repeatable method for accessing the orgasm state.

And there’s an important distinction that’s worth making here. I differentiate between climax and the orgasm state. Climax is a few seconds of physical experience, whereas the state of orgasm is continuous—more akin to an optimal state of consciousness brought about from the activation of the sex impulse. It’s that feeling of being so completely absorbed in an experience that there is no psychic chatter, no being “stuck in your head”; a falling away of the ego. When this happens, our sense of limitations falls away as well. In the orgasm state, we feel totally present and connected, as if a deeper intuitive sense has awakened. The state occurs both in the practice of OM itself, and it has cumulative positive effects that carry over into everyday life.

Q:  Why do you believe so many women are conflicted about orgasm? And why do you think it’s so difficult for so many women to achieve orgasm?

A: I’ve worked with tens of thousands of women and I’ve not once seen a woman who couldn’t access the orgasm state. I’ve met women who can’t climax in the way a man does, but I’ve never seen a woman who isn’t capable of entering the state I’m talking about. And women are conflicted because the options available to them are not the options that suit their bodies! They’re based almost entirely on a confining definition of climax. For instance, reading arousal in a woman’s body is often more challenging than in a man’s. We’re conditioned to think “orgasm” can only be present when there’s a huge peak and release of energy (with all the attendant thrashing and moaning). But a women’s arousal can be so much more subtle. You can tune into it through swelling, juices, contractions of the vaginal walls, pulsing, buzzing, tingling, and so many other sensations. Many women may have these experiences, but discount them because they don’t conform to the conventional definition we have of orgasm.

Not only that, but women also contend with a much higher vigilance center—you know that part of the mind that’s always on the lookout for threat or danger. To get our minds to relax, root into our bodies and simply feel, is a much more challenging task for women than for men. We’re thinking about picking up the kids, the meeting at work tomorrow, how our bodies look, and on and on. So to have a practice that allows a woman to soften and shift her attention to how she actually feels is invaluable. It’s like she gets to have a sober blackout, to totally relax, and come back refreshed and with a whole new perspective.

Q:  How can we incorporate some of the tenets of OM into our sex lives?

A:  There are 10 key tenets of OM that we can take into all areas of life. For instance, at One Taste, we say, “let your desire lead.” As women, we are often taught that our desire is indulgent or selfish, but true desire is at the foundation of all great things—from relationships to innovation. It’s the only force powerful enough to pull us out of the everyday routine of life, or the muck and mire we sometimes get stuck in. I’ve always noticed that beneath every complaint is actually a desire, so we train women to go straight for speaking the desire. And you know what? Women are positively shocked to discover that their partners are dying to hear specific instruction. I had one couple come into an OM class who had given up after 17 years of a fairly challenging sex life. We did a simple exercise, “Just instruct him on what you desire, the pressure, the speed, the intensity.” At one point in the session, the husband began to cry. He said all along he had just wanted to know how to have her feel good. Desire, it turns out, is vital for human connection; and we often discover that what seems selfish is, in fact, anything but.

Another tenet is “feel over formula.” Bookshelves are overflowing with books on sex techniques, magazines are chock full of “How to Please Him in Bed” articles, and yet no one seems to be finding what they are looking for. The reason is that what they are looking for is not in the technique. What makes yoga invaluable is not just a series of postures, but the added dimension of awareness one develops. That “something extra” is what we are looking for in intimacy as well. So what we teach are processes that train people how to viscerally sense each other. An example is touching for your pleasure—showing people how to touch for the pleasure in their own hands, not entirely unlike the way that they would stroke velvet or their pets. Not to get an effect, but to be present in the pleasure in your own body and with each other. The small miracle is that when we are actually there with each other fully and leave behind the toys and the feather boas or the complicated lingerie, we discover that the simple connection is what we’ve actually been craving all along. And we can begin to extend this into our whole lives. We learn to take pleasure from the experience. Not living from a formula, but from how good something feels.

Q:  Your first book is called Slow Sex. What is slow sex, and why do you believe it’s better?

A:  I was super turned on to the Slow Movement when I wrote Slow Sex. The Slow philosophy is not merely about doing everything slowly, it’s about doing everything at the right speed, in their tempo giusto, or exact time. It’s about savoring experience rather than rushing through it. And, most importantly, it’s about taking the time to nourish. I often talk about the Western Woman’s Mantra: “I eat too much, I work too much, I give too much, and yet there is still this hunger that I cannot feed.” It just so happens that this hunger is only fed in the slowness of human connection—coming back to basics, reprioritizing our well-being over our “doing.”

As far as being better, I have an interesting vantage point in the world. When people ask me what I do, I say, “I teach about orgasm.” Immediately following the “wow” (it usually looks like their circuits are a bit blown), they will often respond with some variation of: “ah, thanks, but my sex life is just fine,” or, “my sex life is good.” And after 20 years of practice, and after having been one of those people myself at one point, I want to say this: fine and good is not good enough. Inside your own body, you carry the most powerful drive on the planet that can be used not just to feel good but to evolve you as a human being, to incline you towards empathy, connection, and generosity both as evidenced scientifically and experientially. My wish is that our old-guard view of sex as recreational or indulgent gets replaced with the perspective that it can be used for personal and collective evolution in the most real and practical way imaginable. To use a Buddhist expression, we can turn poison into medicine. We can shift from sex as consumptive, porn-riddled, and denigrating, to a practice that heals, connects, and empowers.

Q:  Is there really such a thing as a 15-minute orgasm?

A:  Well, I hesitated to say four hours, because I didn’t think anyone would believe me…

I remember the first time I tried OM. My partner was stroking and nothing happened. As per usual. I was thinking this whole thing was either a very strange or very stupid idea. Or both. I had a typical range of scattered thoughts: I must be doing this wrong. I shouldn’t have eaten, my stomach is poochy. He’s kinda creepy. I wonder if we’ll get married…

Then something else broke open and I was immersed into a totally different psychological dimension. Suddenly, I started crying. I felt like something that had built up inside me—something I didn’t even know was there before—was suddenly thawing. I felt a hit of genuine empathy in that moment. Keep in mind that I had experienced universal connection in sitting meditation, but now I was experiencing it while connected to another human being. And once you have that experience everything begins to rearrange itself. Everything that blocked connection fell away and what had previously been a spotty glimpse of what was possible, was now simply on.

It was my first visceral experience of the orgasm state. And the more I practiced Orgasmic Meditation, the more my capacity to know and understand intuitively what was happening with people, to feel them, and to actually have room for them, increased. Dramatically. I was cultivating the capacity to maintain stillness of mind in more and more intense situations, which in turn allowed for presence of mind in all situations. It was not additive growth, though; it was exponential. It became something I could feel everywhere.

Q:  If you could change one thing about our common perception of orgasm and sex, what would it be?

A:  To date, we have been squandering one of our most powerful resources: the sex impulse. We have been using it, haphazardly, recreationally, to blow off steam when, if channeled correctly, it could be used to light up the entire power grid of connection. Orgasm—capital “O”—is so, so much more than the brief, fleeting climax we have been taught to think of it as. When we harness our sexual energy, we change the whole of our lives and become more empathetic, connected, loving human beings.

I want people to truly understand that how you get where you are going profoundly affects what you get when you arrive. We have not been taught simple ways to access what we are looking for that contribute to our overall well-being, restore pleasure, and in the process make us better human beings. Orgasm has a big promise: union. Tibetan Buddhists use it as a metaphor for enlightenment, and yet we have not seen it deliver. Until now.

Q: You’ve said that orgasm has the ability to increase our bandwidth for connection and attention. How does this extend outside of the bedroom, and is there science behind it?

A:  OM changes the way we respond to sensation; it changes our brain. It strengthens the parasympathetic nervous system (“rest and digest”) as opposed to the sympathetic nervous system (“fight or flight”). And it affects our metabolism, heart rate, blood pressure, respiration, and brain chemistry, and brings about a state of extended deep relaxation. Similar to other mindfulness practices like meditation and yoga, these changes make it possible to develop attention and access flow states—the ability to be “in the zone.” (Recent research in Los Angeles and Philadelphia found that just three months of OM can help put you into the same alpha brain state as three years of transcendental meditative practice!)

OM also shifts our center of intelligence from the cortex system to the limbic system—which allows us to feel things like intimacy and empathy, and which has a flexible capacity—expanding our appetite for connection.

Maybe most significantly, OM bolsters the “happy hormones”—like oxytocin, dopamine, and prolactin—that are known to make us feel good (minus the less sweet side effects of medication). Oxytocin, in particular, plays an important role when it comes to how we bond with others. Symptoms of low levels of oxytocin include everything from poor social involvement to low libido, sleep disturbances, weight gain, and depression—and low oxytocin seems to be playing a big part in the breakdown of human connection. Friends who are scientists have suggested to me that female orgasm may actually exist solely for the purpose of human connection. There are two scenarios in which a woman’s body really pumps out oxytocin (which is often called the bonding hormone): childbirth and orgasm. In terms of biological evolution, it may just be that we need oxytocin in order to keep us bonded to one another, to keep our culture together.

Q:  We heard you were once going to be a nun…

A: It often surprises people that on my way to becoming a Buddhist, I discovered this practice. In actuality, both are about developing consciousness and connection. Now they just call me “the nun that gets some.”

Ommmm….this sounds more like my kind of meditation!   

Source: GooP

*Yin Yang  

the short version:

Being and non-being produce each other.
Difficult and easy complement each other.
Long and short define each other.
High and low oppose each other.
Fore and aft follow each other                                                                                            

from the Tao Te Ching

UPS – (you will see this from time to time on my posts).  It means I will be delivering an upcoming post soon on a specific topic.  I want to delve deeper into Yin & Yang because it’s an interesting ancient philosophy about contrary forces which may actually be complementary. Yin Yang is perhaps the most known and documented concept used within Taoism).  Stay tuned….

 

 

 

 

 

Feel-good Friday: perfect pairings

Food, Friends, Fun…..what would life be like without all that?  Not so merry.feelgoodfriday2

Last night I attended the 12th Annual Chef Meets BC Grape event with a good friend.  A fun fundraiser put on by the British Columbia Wine Institute and the Arts Club Theatre Company – a toast to the extraordinary chefs and winemakers who call BC home.  Along with food, British Columbia is growing into a world class destination for premium wine.  The proceeds from the event go towards funding local playwrights and emerging artists.

Here is a sampling of my favourite wine/food pairings of the evening:

Chicha restaurant presented a Tuna Causa – cilantro whipped and chilled potato topped with sesame and soy, BC local Haida Gwaii Albacore Tuna, a crisp fruit and ginger ponzu, and a Peruvian rocato chilli aioli.  Paired with Lake Breeze Spice Jar.chefmeetsgrape2

Hart House Restaurant presented a Pancetta wrapped pork terrain with sourdough crisp Hannah Brook Farm peach and apricot mostarda, Barnston Island micro arugula.  Paired with Moon Curser “Afraid of the Dark” red.

Moon Curser Wines. Love the label.
Love the label on Moon Curser Wines.
Daniel Chocolates to Finish
Daniel Chocolates to Finish

Lift Bar and Grill presented smoked sturgeon, dark soy & nori emulsion, putanesca jam and squid ink rice puff.  Paired with Desert Hills Gamay Noir.

chefmeetsgrape1

Miradoro (at Tinhorn Creek) presented chanterelle lobster mushroom and pancetta risotto with Okanagan peach, grilled corn & rosemary.  Paired with Tinhorn Creek Pinot Noir.

Provence Marinaside presented seared scallop, prosciutto crisp, Okanagan peach broth with lemon thyme salt.  Paired with Misconduct Suspect Series Chardonnay Viognier.

A nice BC Port - Fall is fast approaching
A nice BC Port – Fall is fast approaching.  Goes well with chocolate.

Honourable Mention:

The Observatory (at Grouse Mountain) presented mushroom boar belly, chanterelle mushrooms, brioche, frissee with Tantalus Vineyards Riesling.

The Westin Bayshore presented Albacore Tuna Poke, avocado, taro root with Bordertown Estate Winery white.

*Torafuku (modern Asian eatery) presented onion ash beef terrine wrapped with Portobello, local vegetables, **foie gras, potato pave, chimichurri and hunter sauce.  Paired with Gold Hill Cabernet Franc.

Pinnacle Harbourfront Hotel presented Duo of duck-spiced rubbed duck breast, duck confit goat cheese croquette, habanero jam.  Paired with Quails’ Gate Gewurztraminer.

**On a personal note I object to the way foie gras is produced.   I wish that restaurants refrained from using Foie Gras on their menus.  At the same time, *Torafuku had the longest tasting lineup.

All in all this was a most enjoyable evening and a perfect start to the weekend.

Oh don’t you know….the weekend starts on Thursday!

Photos: d. king

 

Beauty: Lipstick Shades you Need

Colours for all seasons and all reasons

Narrowed Down
Narrowed Down

It’s almost like testing out shades of paint for your home.  You want to find something that flatters and will last. Sephora wanted to test out their Rouge range of lipstick shades and finishes so they narrowed it down to four complimentary testers with great sounding names, which of course I was happy to try out by wearing one each day.  If there is one makeup product I cannot be without it would have to be lipstick.  I can do without any eye makeup (not saying it looks amazing but most often I do go without) but I feel like without wearing anything on my lips I just disappear.  Do you feel the same about any makeup product?

Surprisingly enough these shades appear to be universally flattering, long-lasting, reasonably priced and above all…chic.  I realized that these shades are all one really needs.  Certainly if I were to narrow it down to only four these would be it.  Here they are:

Belly-Dancing Rouge Cream

Belly-dancing R49
Belly-dancing R49

Nights in Rouge Satin: A hydrating lipstick that creates full lips with intense color. A revamp of the iconic Sephora Lip Attitude Chic, this new hydrating formula provides improved coverage and is rife with pigment. The creamy texture softly glazes your lips, imparting just the right amount of color and sheen. Perfection!

Love Spell Rouge Brilliance

Love Speall N14
Love Spell N14

Girl needs some Gloss – this one is a light pink semi sheer nourishing formula with a bit of gloss.  It’s pretty and perfect for a hint of colour. Especially for sunny days.

Enchanting Blush Rouge Balm

Enchanting Blush 03
Enchanting Blush 03

A beautiful everyday shade that is fresh & bright.  It has a smooth hydrating formula with SPF 20.Sephora calls the formula a balmy lipstick with a gel formula which is about right.

Rebel Chic Rouge Mat

Rebel Chic M11
Rebel Chic M11

An ultra-matte lipstick that provides long-lasting moisture and intense pigment. This one delivers bold color, intense moisture, and incredible comfort. Enriched with  shea butter and rich emollients, the formula moisturizes and soothes lips, while depositing super matte color and blurring lip imperfections. And unlike some matte lipsticks, this one never feels cakey or dry on your lips.

What else you need to know:
This product is not tested on animals.

Beauty Tip:
Create a contoured lip by selecting your shade of Lip Liner To Go and Rouge Cream Lipstick based on skintone and desired look. Use the Pro Lip brush to blend the lipstick and liner together to soften any harsh lines.

Cost: $12.50 each

Do you have any favourites?

 

 

 

Food/Nutrition: Home on the Range

LOCAL
LOCAL

Well here’s something different.  Especially after attending the opening of a pop-up pastrami place called  Mensch for brisket sandwiches & beer last week. My Yin and Yang is well balanced for sure.

First I must explain that this is a new regime for me. Yesterday right after my meditation practice (more on this later) I went to a bar.

But just not your everyday kind of bar.  A bone broth bar.

bonebroth2

I sat at the counter of a fairly small but very well stocked store/take-out called “Home on the Range Organics

It’s North America’s First and Original Broth Bar!

They sell other things too that are hard to find elsewhere
They sell other things too that are hard to find elsewhere

What a great little find!bonebroth4bonebroth3

I spoke with Jackie Ingram (she and her husband Allen own the place) and was quite impressed with all the healthy offerings they have in stock (literally speaking too, they have amazing stock).  I bought some ready made broth to take home and add stuff to (I can make my own but did not have any prepared), a super elixir of turmeric & lime and avocado mayonnaise because I want to make sandwiches without using regular high fat mayo or miracle whip which has corn syrup, soybean oil and sugar.  Basically I’m looking for better ingredients.  So you might wonder:

Why broth not coffee?

Unlike coffee, broth can help hydrate your body and nourish it. It helps to fight inflammation and significantly boosts gut health!

Here are 10 great reasons why you should drink their delicious broths:

  1. Great for post work out as its recuperative properties directly stimulate regrowth of connective body tissue.
  2. The natural way to fight colds and flus. This is how your grandmother used to fight the common cold! Studies show that having chicken broth in particular (and other broths as well) increases the number of white blood cells that fight common colds and flus.
  3. Helps reduce food allergies and intolerances.
  4. Helps reduce cellulite. Bone broths help to slow down structural changes in your skin’s tissue by strengthening elastin fibres, to make cellulite less visible. As we age our skin becomes thinner so it is easier to see blemishes below the surface whereas collagen can reverse this trend if you exercise regularly and moderate your diet through bone broth consumption.
  5. Reduces inflammation. Collagen is the body’s natural healing workhorse but after our early twenties we slow production of collagen, and providing a natural boost is essential. Broth contains plenty of the anti-inflammatory amino acids glycine and proline.
  6. Greatly improves joint health by helping with bone formation and natural repair. Broths contain magnesium, phosphorus and calcium plus a host of other nutrients. Also contains glucosamine which can promote regrowth of collagen even after your early twenties.
  7. Great for your skin, hair and nails. Brings natural shine to your hair and lustre to your nails. Your skin is given a natural moisturising through the influx of collagen, from the inside out – the healthy way.
  8. Because glycine is found in broths, it is often used to help promote healthy sleep and helps to reduce stress and anxiety.
  9. Broth helps to heal leaky gut syndrome (by protecting and healing the mucusal lining of the digestive tract through collagen)
  10. They have some great books too. Hey, I recognize the book (Dirty Diets) that Jackie is holding up.
    They have some good books. Jackie holds up Dirty Diets written by Brad King.

    bonebroth5

    It tastes fantastic and helps suppress your appetite before a meal helping you lose weight naturally.

What’s not to love?

Location: 235 East Broadway (between Main & Kingsway – parking in back if you’re lucky).

Store #: 604.876.8755

Do you have anything like this in your city?

 

Mensch Jewish Delicatessen (they do take-out) 666 E Broadway, Vancouver (Mount Pleasant)
Hey, this is not to say I’m trading in my morning cuppa for broth.  Some things are not meant to become substitutes.

Photos: d. king

 

Travel: Sedona, Arizona

Have you ever been to Sedona?
sedona2

The setting is pretty unreal.  It’s a perfect location for mountain biking (our crew covered some ground and some dirt) and of course hiking.  Or you can just….be.

If you’re looking for a quiet spiritual experience to usher in the changing of the seasons, tranquil Sedona provides the perfect setting. Many people believe that the Sedona area is sacred, and that it’s “the center of vortexes that radiate the Earth’s power.”

I’ve been there on a few occasions. I loved the red rock canyons so much that I tried to replicate the desert colours for the interior of my home.  I believe I succeeded.

What To Do: Stay at the Enchantment Resort, try Diamondback Rattlesnake cakes and Cactus Fries at The Cowboy Club, take a UFO Night Tour (for something different…c’mon where else can you find something like this?) and drink biodynamic organic wine at Chocola Tree. Depending on your interests, you can also sign up for a weekend of healing, like this one offered by Hope Yoga.

Temperatures (October): High, 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Low, 52.sedona1

 Ahhhhhh   Have you been?  

Healthier Pet Inspiration

LOVE is a four legged wordpawsforacause1

Just like us, our pets need and deserve to have a healthy diet too.

So happy to have found out about a convenient and holistic home (or office) pet food delivery service in Vancouver. Jia Jia sampled some of it at the West Vancouver Harmony Arts Festival Market recently.

The Riplee’s Ranchriplee1 premium dog/cat food is produced in a state of the art facility in British Columbia. The local and regionally sourced ingredients are all natural and contain no corn, wheat, soy or by-products.  They are naturally preserved with Rosemary and Vitamin E and C.  They offer a grain free line.  Fast & Fresh. He loves the treats too!riplee2

Visit Website at: www.citypetdelivery.com

This, along with the drops of *Rejeneril I’ve been adding to his food will keep him healthy for hopefully many more years to come.

*To find out more about rejeneril please visit: http://myultimatepet.com/

Cher & Trigger
Cher & Trigger

Yesterday we had a great time at Paws for a Cause, an annual fundraiser for the prevention of animal cruelty put on by the BC SPCA + Scotiabank. Here are some photos I took from the event.

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Everything went well except for Jia Jia stealing a hot dog from one of the food vendors.  I caught him with half a chewed up dog in his mouth.

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paws1paws4

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paws9paws10

I fell in love with this tank top
I fell in love with this tank top
An end to a great afternoon
An end to a great afternoon

Do you have a pet food delivery service in your city? 

What kind of food do you prefer to feed your dog?

 

 

Healthier Lifestyle Inspiration

FACT: YOU CAN’T LAUGH & WORRY AT THE SAME TIME!
inspire2

SO LAUGH MORE! Or at least try to.  Watch a comedy, joke around and find humour in even the worst possible situations.   I did that with a friend last week who was going through something horrible.  It was so bad that I could have made it worse by laughing but instead we ended up laughing over how pathetic the situation was. The end result was she was still in pain…but from laughter.

Right now I’m like: “throw me to the wolves and I will return leading the pack.”  That’s a great quote but really….it’s true!  Don’t even stand in my way.  But first I’ll laugh about it all.

Because as hard as we try to make things right and turn things around for the better there’s usually a few setbacks and challenges.  I know this from living in general but especially since I’ve become a support person for someone very close to me.  Someone who is fighting to overcome an illness.  And it’s really difficult to see someone who is strong both physically and mentally go through a very weak phase.  Even though it strikes in a physical sense it still wrecks havoc with your mental state especially if you cannot do the things you’re used to doing.  Gotta stay positive because hope is what keeps everything going. But it can get discouraging and depressing nonetheless – that’s life.

A friend told me about a place called Inspire Health in Vancouver.  They are a team of professionals who help provide knowledge, tools and services to support overall health during and after cancer treatment.  Their doctors value standard cancer treatments, and will work with you, your family doctor and oncologist to provide the best cancer care possible.

They offer options for better health and a better recovery.  What’s to lose right?

Because as their website says: Growing scientific evidence confirms that stress reduction, eating a healthy diet, exercise and a positive support network can substantially improve health and well-being for people living with cancer and their supports.

INSPIRE HEALTH CARE APPROACH IS DIFFERENT – Cancer vs. Person-Based

Cancer-Based: from the perspective of the cancer-based model, the patient rarely plays an active role in their treatment or recovery. Since the focus is on the cancer, little effort is expended to support patients in exploring the benefits of healthful diet, exercise, spirituality and emotional support or other methods to enhance the patient’s well-being. Focusing solely on the cancer can leave patients feeling disempowered and unsure about how to contribute to their own health and well-being.

Person-Based: Although surgery, radiation and chemotherapy can play a very important role in treating the cancer, it is the person and their health – mind, body and spirit – that is the focus of care at Inspire Health.

They have a lot of things to take advantage of that you can pick and choose from like:  Counselling,  Gentle Yoga, Practice Meditation, Tai Chi, Acupuncture, Nutritional Learning and Cooking for Health.

And for me, being so on top of things nutritionally (and otherwise) spent part of the afternoon yesterday taking a cooking class on how to make SuperSnacks.  The head nutritionist demonstrated six different recipes substituting what you would normally use for something healthier but equally tasty.  Now the fun part: you get to test everything.

I have to mention at this point that I had already made half the recipes before (I know but I had to say that anyway) but this was NO cooking class for dummies.  It was interesting, inspiring and I did learn something new.  You always do.  I registered for a bunch more.  I want to hear all they have to say about food and learn more about healthier baking, fermented foods,  their version of bone broth and mindful eating in general.  Knowledge is power.

And THAT is no laughing matter!

YOU define what is important to you by what YOU dedicate your time to.inspire1

*An Important Sidenote: Today Jia Jia (my BFF) & I are off to Paws for a Cause – by BC SPCA to help fund cruelty prevention and education programs, and the enforcement of animal cruelty laws. Cruelty to animals needs to STOP now!

Thoughts?

Fly by Night

Do something that scares you!

 You’ve heard that saying before right?flying5

Up in the Air
Up in the Air

When I saw it scribbled on a Lululemon bag I questioned why on earth is this advisable (like why would anyone want to scare themselves?) but in any case I actually did something that scares me last Sunday.

Ready for Take-Off
On a Wing & a Prayer

Considering I’m claustrophobic, don’t like small planes, have a fear of heights and am always up in the air about flying in general…I conquered my fears (temporarily perhaps) and embraced my private flight from Vancouver over to dinner in one of Vancouver Island’s best kept little secrets.  It’s not the first time I’ve been on a small plane but like anything else what you tend to fear is fear itself. It helps to have an experienced pilot who is also a friend who previously ran a chartered airline business with a bigger plane to fly movie stars around.  When he decided to downsize to a four seater he made sure the seats and headsets were very comfy.  Luckily the flight was very smooth both ways.

The flight began at 5:00 p.m., lasted about one hour on the way over (as the pilot decided to take us a different route and fly between two huge rocks we refer to as “the lions.” Four of us enjoyed spectacular scenery along the way, a great dinner and another enjoyable flight at dusk which took less flying time to get back.

Photos: d. king

Flying in between the Lions, Vancouver
Flying between the Lions, Vancouver

flying3flying

Style: bootie call

BREAKING OUT THE BOOTS

Stuart Weitzman ($728)  photo: Lauren Crew
Stuart Weitzman ($728)  photo: Lauren Crew

Oh what a change from flip-flops and open-toed strappy sandals one day to boots the next. A shock to the system after the last three months. Gotta take it sloooow starting with little ankle boots and work my way up (waaay up) from there.

Some women cannot wait to step into some stacked-heel boots (mostly because the pedicure bills were skyrocketing) but not me.  I just had my first and last pedicure of the season yesterday believe it or not.  I went the whole summer doing it on my own and actually ignoring my feet for the most part deciding to concentrate on other things (not related to body parts) but after a nice relaxing foot massage and glossy red toe polish I feel a heel of a lot better.  I’m ready to step it up now. And boots are a big part of my Fall wardrobe and something to look forward to for what’s springing up quickly season.

Not sure you can pull boots off quite yet? Try sporting a pair with your favourite sundress to make the transition on a somewhat sunny day.

Here are some easy to wear styles to consider from Talbots in a reasonable price range:
breakingouttheboots1

From top: Talbots Wren Ankle Boots ($219), Talbots Tish Pebbled Leather & Stretch Riding Boots($269), Talbots Tish Grommet-Strap Riding Boots ($279), Talbots Tish V-Gore Ankle Boots ($189)

Are you looking forward to Fall?