Mindful Eating

Do you ever take the time to think about where your food comes from?  Who had to handle it?  How long did they work that day?   Were they paid fair labour for the job?  Were they treated respectfully?

Or how about what might possibly be happening in the region that particular food item comes to you from? Could this be affecting the availability or perhaps the price?

We have all at one time or another been disappointed, cursed about it or even said we weren’t shopping at that store anymore because they never have what we need!  What about if we started to eat and look at food from a different perspective?  A mindful perspective.

So what could that look like?  One of the ways to begin is with an attitude of gratitude. Let’s be thankful that there first is food available to us.  Think for a moment about the complete process of farm to table and what that might look like.  Or the food developers and the passion, patience and perseverance it took for them to develop, manufacture and eventually retail that product.  Not to mention the expense in doing so!

Next, what if we were to be mindful of the season by eating what is growing at that time. Fresh berries, lettuces, vegetables and herbs in the summer and then preparing for the next season by enjoying the harvest of fall and then again for the long winter months by preserving, canning and resting our bodies.

Learning new skills such as preserving, baking breads and pies.  Making your own nut milks, jams and dressings.  Being mindful of waste and perhaps composting what food waste there is.  And of course proper food storage, food rotation and new recipes to make with that endless supply of squash!

The beginning of mindful eating is exactly that, thinking for a moment instead of taking it for granted. Chewing slowly to savour the flavour and appreciating the hands that prepared it.  The messages we tell ourselves as we look at food, think about food and then consume it, greatly affects how our bodies will receive and process it.

 

 

Conscious Consumerism: Environmental Effects Of Milk(s)

Have you ever considered the resources that it takes to get the type of milk you drink into the carton?

Even if you’ve made the switch from dairy to an alternative, do you know the costs of consuming it? Dairy milk is #1 on the most wanted list for contributing extremely damaging effects to the environment when it comes to milk options.

Dairy milk is skyscrapers above oat, rice, almond or soy milk in emissions, land use and water use. Dairy milk is so damaging because it takes a lot of water, food, land and other resources to keep dairy cows fed and healthy in order to produce the immense amount of milk we consume in North America. So the first thing you can do to become a more conscious consumers is cut out dairy! Even if you need to start off slowly, removing it from your diet one day a week, then two days, then three; however long it takes, in doing this one thing you will be making a difference.

The next step is choosing a milk replacement that will best suit your needs and the environment that we so deeply depend upon. Nowadays, there are dairy alternatives for pretty much everything you can think of.  Acorn Cafe’s own: Vegan Fromagerie’s cheeses will blow your mind and I bet you won’t even miss the dairy cheese! Silk Almond for coffee (coffee creamers) are to die for and you can get them at most supermarkets. Earth’s Own So Fresh oat milk is perfect for lattes and smoothies and they also come in single serve cartons that are perfect for lunches. Not to mention they also have a chocolate variety which is equally delicious.

http://strategyonline.ca/2019/04/03/earths-own-calls-for-plant-based-revolution/

Now with that in mind, we must always consider the effects on our environment if you desire to be a more conscious consumer. Despite being exponentially lower than dairy milk, some of these alternatives can be very damaging as well. Oat milk has by far the lowest resource use out of all of the options I have listed. Despite what we may think not all milk alternatives are a better alternative; it takes upwards of 80 litres of water to produce just a single glass of almond milk! Although almond milk uses less water and land and produces less emissions than dairy, it is not the most environmentally friendly in comparison to soy or oat. This is why Acorn Cafe is switching all of our smoothie recipes to oat instead of almond milk to reduce our own footprint!

Let’s keep the conversation ball rolling! Comment below if you have any tips or tricks on how to be a more conscious consumer. Or better yet, start a conversation on our Instagram or Facebook page… we’d love to hear from you!

  • Article written by Holly Simpson

Top 10 Plastic Free Options

We have been so impressed with the amount of folks coming in looking to make the small changes to live plastic free!

At Generation Green we  continue to look for innovative products that can make these consumer choices affordable and accessible.   We also want to continue to encourage people to reuse and reduce their waste by refilling, purchasing in bulk, practicing mindful consumerism and if visiting our in-store cafe, please bring back any packaging received to have composted.

Here are our top 10 plastic free alternatives  as we head into Plastic Free July!

  1. Reusable Straws – we stock Onyx Containers stainless steel straws, locally made glass  straws from Brook Drabot and silicone straws made in Canada from Colibri. To make it even easier to bring your own straw, we have some lovely, local carrying sleeves from Twinkle & Blink and Colibri wide bag fits 4 of their silicone straws easily!
  2. Produce/Bulk Bags – another fantastic local find from Practical Homestead, that we recently stocked. That plastic, good for nothing roll at the grocery store is definitely a huge focus for many to replace and has us happy dancing over here at GG!
  3. Ditch the saran wrap and try one of these options – Abeego beeswax food wraps or also from Practical Homestead washable, food safe bowl covers, sandwich and cheese wraps.  Of course Colibri has long been stocking us with reusable sandwich and snack bags that you’ll find a hundred and one uses for!
  4. Bulk!! Bring in those bottles & jars and fill them here at Generation Green with shampoo, body wash, lotions, dish soap, laundry soap & more (see our full list here).
  5. Oral Health – Bamboo toothbrushes from BAM Brush and our fabulous find (that took forever!) from Flosspot Gold is vegan corn fibre dental floss.  Also available in refill!
  6. Razors – invest in a solid brass safety razor from Well Kept that will last you forever!!  Did you know that it’s estimated that over 2 billion plastic razors are discarded in the US alone!?!
  7. Shampoo & Conditioner bars from The Unwrapped Life hit the shelves here a month ago and we’re pretty darn impressed with them!  The biggest being that they replace approx 2.5 bottles, so wastefree and economical!
  8. Carry a cup/bottle! This is an easy one! Find one you love and bring it everywhere to have filled.
  9. Cutlery – we have travel cutlery from Joseph Joseph called Go Eat that contains a magnetic fork, spoon and knife that all clip together conveniently in a silicone storage case.
  10. We love that more companies are thinking about packaging, like Glowing Orchid Organics with their new paper tube deodorant that we are now stocking (and love!)

Lastly, REFUSE – have your say to what you purchase and how you purchase it.  It’s an ongoing effort but changes are happening! Be one of the change makers!

For The Love Of Food

Generation Green is excited to be one of the organizers for a new Manitoba food and beverage event coming up on June 9th! Partnering with Shawn Brandson, the owner of Promenade Cafe & Wine, and our good bud, Kevin Burgin from CJOB’s “The Main Ingredient”  had all the makings needed for an event we are now calling the  “MB FOOD FEST”

It’s all happening at the historic Fort Gibraltar on Sunday, June 9th from 2-6pm.  NOTE: Our Presale Tickets are sold out but regular tickets are still available so don’t delay in getting yours! For our Generation Green followers, use this link to get a $5 discount.

The admission price includes samples of Winnipeg Craft Beers, Wines from Winnipeg Private Wine stores and Food samples from Local Manitoba Food Producers. Enjoy fundraising efforts for Festival Du Voyageur (throw some axes, fire a musket or try a little leg wrestling!) Your ticket also gets you entry to our “MB Black Box Cookoff” which will showcase Red River culinary students competing before a panel of judges using Manitoba ingredients.

We are really excited about the lineup of vendors we have to showcase and to see all our hard work come to be! We hope you will come out and support out local food and beverage developers and enjoy this fun filled festival! All for “The Love Of Food”

 

Clean Cosmetics – How Far Have We Come?

I don’t know if I can thoroughly express the pivotal change in my life when I began learning about conventional cosmetics and the potential health implications they can have.  It was definitely an overwhelming, and scary realization that this could possibly be true.  I then set out in search of alternatives and was so fortunate to discover a few local manufacturers that could answer my questions, and in turn I could begin to trust.

My health, as I’m sure yours, is most important to me and I’m not willing to knowingly compromise it, especially when I have a choice!  It’s been said that by the time a woman heads out the front door, she has spritzed, sudsed, and slathered herself in more than 127 different chemicals, many of them more toxic than beautifying.

After the book came out “There’s Lead In Your Lipstick” by eco-expert Gillian Deacon, many women started questioning if the health conditions, including cancer were possibly related to the unimaginable amount of toxins, parabens, hormone disrupters and synthetic chemicals they had allowed  into their bodies through the use of conventional products.  We naively trust that there are regulations and systems in place to protect us but unfortunately those systems are only about regulating the “safe amounts” of the known hazardous ingredient into a specific product. As far as my research and knowledge, there has never been a study that shows the “safety” of the possible 127 chemicals taken in at one time.

Our skin is our largest organ (yes, it’s an organ!!) and it’s absorbing all that we put on it, which ends up in our blood stream! 

EWG (The Environmenal Working Group) has compiled an electronic database (the skindeep database) of ingredient labels for body care products and cross-linked these ingredients with large databases describing chemical toxicity and then rates them on the hazards.  This is a great resource when you are starting out, or expanding your knowledge on potentially harmful chemicals.  They rate the ingredients/products on a scale of 1-2 Low Hazard, 3-6 Moderate and 7-10 High Hazard…look up fragrance and it’s an “8” score! Eliminating “fragrance” in my opinion,  is the place to start if you start anywhere!

About FRAGRANCE: The word “fragrance” or “parfum” on the product label represents an undisclosed mixture of various scent chemicals and ingredients used as fragrance dispersants such as diethyl phthalate. Fragrance mixes have been associated with allergies, dermatitis, respiratory distress and potential effects on the reproductive system.

Thankfully, we have options!  It may take some work to find them, but I see more and more companies beginning to make some changes.  It is however up to us as consumers to continue to DEMAND that our health not be compromised by the ingredients manufacturers CHOOSE to use! How? We simply don’t continue to support them!

Pure Anada Cosmetics has been my go to as a trusted source for safe cosmetics and skincare products.  They are a manufacturer in Modern, Manitoba and have been influential in setting the bar in my opinion, for transparency and proving natural cosmetics can stand up to conventional products.

Candace Grenier is the creator behind Pure Anada and has taken the company from home hobby to a leader in eco-certified organic cosmetic manufacturing in Canada!  FYI – only approximately 5% of cosmetic companies actually manufacture their own products and there appears to be some sort of trade secret protection when it comes to fragrance and flavour. Yet another reason Pure Anada became a company I chose to support and trust for the past 7 years!

Of course we’re not just talking makeup here!  The cosmetic umbrella includes shampoo, conditioner, hair styling products, toothpaste, deodorants, lotions, scrubs, face cleansers, bar soap, moisturizers, shaving cream, lip balm, nail polish, diaper cream, nipple cream, massage oils & MORE!!!

At Generation Green we know how overwhelming and confusing all the information out there can be, not to mention how “greenwashing” (FYI: those bunny ears on products only mean they didn’t test it on an animal, not that it’s safe), same goes for the words “natural” and “organic” (no regulating on those words!) BUT, WE ARE HERE TO HELP!! It’s one step at a time and one change at a time!  It started with cosmetics as my focus and grew into Generation Green over almost 7 years!  We are still learning, still growing but the more we know, the better we can make informed choices!

 

Waste Free Living – Bulk Additions/Changes

We have been answering so many questions lately about our refill products, that we felt we should probably fill you all in on some changes and additions.

First off we want to give a huge shout out to all of you that have been using the refill system in an effort to reduce waste.  We have been amazed at the amount of interest and use at this location, so much so that we want to keep adding to it!  Please be sure to let us know your requests and if there is enough interest then we would look at bringing that in.

The biggest change that many have noticed is the brand switch of our main household line.  We had been stocking and offering bulk products for the past 5 years from Sapadilla Soap Co. and have now been replacing it with a line from The Unscented Company.  The reason for the change had nothing to do with the product itself, it’s a fabulous line!  Unfortunately though Sapadilla has been sold to a US Corporation called Gorilla Glue and this is just not inline with our mission and commitment to stock Canadian.

The Unscented Company is from Montreal, it is entirely plant-based, biodegradable and yes, unscented.  However, we know many loved the scents that the previous line offered so we are encouraging customers to try their hand at scenting using essential oils that we stock in store.  We have considered offering a custom scenting add-on if there was enough interest.

In addition to the The Unscented Company we have a hair/body line available for refill from local manufacturer, Pure Anada, our always in demand Dry Patch lotion from Di Erbe and from Mama Pacha we offer refills for their popular Calendula infused diaper cream & wipe away bum spray as well as their face cream and beard oil.  Our newest addition is an unscented castille liquid soap that is locally made in Steinbach by Naturally Powerful.

The last of the Eco-life cleaning products are available for purchase & refill until they are finished.  There are also some of the bulk concentrate available for retail purchase on a clearance price.  This line is no longer being manufactured it seems after the farmer that created it passed away.  It’s a wonderful line that we have carried from day one and are sad to see it fall away.

Lastly, we have heard from many of you that are interested in making your own products that you are wanting us to bring in raw ingredients.  We are slowly doing this!  We currently have organic dried Calendula, lavender and rose petals. We plan to add a couple of carrier oils next, citric acid and some popular clays.  Again if there is something you are hoping to find here and there is enough demand we will do our best to add it to the line up!

Of course we should also mention our small bulk food section, this is the list of what we currently offer for organic bulk food:

  • Adagio Acres Naked Oats *MB
  • Tamarak Farms Quinoa *MB
  • Wildman Rice *MB
  • Pistachios
  • Spanish Almonds
  • Chia Seeds
  • Cacao Nibs
  • Non GMO Popping Corn
  • Garbonzo Beans
  • Medjool Dates
  • Aluminum Free Baking Powder
  • Baking Soda
  • Flour
  • Cocoa Powder
  • Chocolate Chips
  • Coconut Flakes
  • Lightly Dusted Ginger
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Nutritional Yeast
  • Lentils
  • Cane Sugar
  • Trail Mix
  • Pink Himalayan Salt
  • Xylitol

One last reminder, you are more than welcome to bring in your own container to fill, we will weigh it before you fill and deduct that off the product price.  Please only bring CLEAN and dry containers to be filled.

Thank for doing your part to reuse and reduce as well as support local!

 

The Flower Of Power

Spring is here! Are you ready to bloom?

The Wildflower Project and Generation Green are excited to feature Natalie Reimer Anderson, Self-Love and Sovereign Life Coach for a one day workshop to plant the seeds of purpose and possibility in your
life!

The ‘Flower of Power’ Process Workshop is a focused and fun-filled day where you will be guided step-by-step to create your passion-driven and purposeful life plan.

If you listened in on our Podcast episode with Natalie, then you already know just how special this event is going to be!

 

 

 

Natalie will help you gain clarity of your desires by:

• Identifying what areas of your life need attention
• Recognizing and releasing limiting beliefs that are blocking your abundance
• Determining your core values so you can stand firm in decision making
• Getting in touch with your soul’s desire to consciously create
• Giving yourself permission to live your dreams

You will create a personal action plan with practical steps to follow that will move you confidently and with greater clarity toward your goals.

The ‘Flower of Power’ Process makes you the gardener of your life! What you cultivate grows!

This Special Day Event Includes:

  • Workbook resource of easy exercises, yours to keep!
  • Guided meditation
  • 5 hours of instruction & support from a highly in-demand expert
  • Community connection with other like-minded conscious creators ready to bloom
  • Swag Bag of Treats provided by Generation Green
  • Healthy and delicious lunch from Acorn Cafe
  • Coffee, tea and snacks
  • A life plan created by you with easy clear steps to begin to implement immediately!

This investment in yourself is being offered from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm on Sunday, April 28th, 2019 at Generation Green in The Exchange, 433 Main Street at Bannatyne Ave.  Limited seating so don’t wait!

Earlybird Special Pricing is being offered for $250 until midnight April 1st/2019 then the regular price of $300 will be in effect.

Registration begins today!  Click here to begin your flower to power experience.

Natalie Reimer Anderson is a holistic self-love coach and speaker who combines her expertise in cellular nutrition, spiritual practices, cutting-edge health and fitness hacks, along with cognitive therapies to transform lives. She is known for her inspirational personal story of healing her autoimmune condition though the power of self-love. 

Her multi-disciplined approach in her signature coaching system- The Cell to Soul Self-Love Solution, serves to remove limiting-beliefs about our self-worth, draw clear personal boundaries to reclaim self-sovereignty, consciously design and manifest your best life, and support the body to optimal health.  

 

 

Conscious Consumerism – Fashion

If you’re looking to be a more eco-friendly consumer when it comes to your clothing, you’ve come to the right place! Fast fashion is mass produced inexpensive clothing retailers create in response to the latest trends, which leads to the over consumption of clothing by customers, ultimately creating more waste on Earth. There are more than a few problems with fast fashion. First off, have you ever thought about why you can buy that H&M top for $5? Well, huge producers like H&M, Forever 21, Zara, etc outsource their factories in developing countries, paying their workers unbelievably low wages, in poor working conditions in order to sell their clothing so cheap. Second, producing such inexpensive clothing based off trends that come and go creates a problem for our environment. Often these clothing items don’t last long due to poor quality and when the trend dies off, that cheetah print top you bought last month will most likely end up in the trash or stuffed in the back of your closet.

The fashion industry is one of many huge polluters destroying our planet, thrifting your clothing is just one more way to live a greener life. If you care to learn more about the damaging effects of the fashion industry I highly suggest the documentary “The True Cost”, which discusses the ethical and environmental dangers of fast fashion.

Holly in one of her thrift find outfits

To counter the effects of over producing clothing, thrifting is an amazing alternative way to shop. There are already so many stunning pieces out there just waiting to be found! Thrifting is about finding pieces you love, that you might not normally think to get at a big department store.

Since starting to thrift I’ve grown into my own style, discovered pieces I love to wear, that make me feel confident. Not to mention the excitement you feel when you find a pair of jeans that hug your curves just right, and you only paid $2.00 for. In addition to the great pricing, your style will become completely distinctive. Finding cool and unique pieces ensures you’ll never have an awkward ‘who wore it better’ situation at work or school.

Also, you can find high quality clothing items that will last you much longer, and survive the come and go of trendy fashion. We have some great local fashion designers right here in Winnipeg that design and manufacture statement pieces that will take you through all seasons and last forever!  Check out a couple of our personal faves; Prana Vida StyleLennard Taylor & Sarah Sue Design Plus your supporting local! Win Win! But if you really want to stick with the trends you can still find them at the thrift store, often for a way better price.

Plato’s Closet is one second hand shop that selects the clothing they sell, and they choose pieces that are more trendy and appeal to the fashionistas out there. Plato’s is a great place to start if you’re just getting into the swing of things. Value Village and Salvation Army are also really good chain thrift stores and I highly suggest giving them a shot as well! And last, but definitely not least, there are many vintage shops in Winnipeg that offer a wide variety of vintage clothes.  

All in all, thrifting is great for the environment, your wallet, and your style. What could be better! Check out the tips below on how to begin your thrifting journey, and good-luck!

Thrifting tips:

  1. Don’t expect to find everything you want the first time you go. Thrifting is a process, and it takes time and patience.
  2. Look in ALL the sections, some of my absolute favourite jackets, jeans, t-shirts, and sweaters are from the men’s section.
  3. Keep your eye out for colours and patterns that you love and go from there. Having a place to start can make the huge selection a little less intimidating.
  4. Don’t forget to look at accessories! Purses and jewelry can be very expensive to buy new and the thrift stores have a large selection for a quarter of the price.
  5. Try EVERYTHING on! You never know until you try it! If you find something your not 100% sure about, give it a shot and you might surprise yourself.

Written by: Holly Simpson

Let’s Talk Brain Health – Part 3

If you’ve been following along on our brain health posts then I think you’ll agree this is of most importance!

We need to do all we can to support our cognitive functions and we now know the foundation is a healthy diet that is loaded with colorful foods that feed our brain and give it the fuel it needs.

Now I’ve heard many people complain that they have trouble remembering names, what they were looking for or even what they had for breakfast!  I think there are things we should be doing to exercise and stimulate and challenge our brains!

Here are just a few ideas:

Harmonic Arts Lions Mane
  • Do puzzles – crossword, search word or  jigsaw
  • Learn something new!  How to crotchet, play an instrument, a new sport or even try to learn a new language
  • Try making a list and recalling it by memory and see how many you can remember
  • Play games! Nothing like a good trivia game or even match game
  • Stimulate your senses!  Try and name the flavors your tasting, be descriptive describing how something feels or what your hearing and take in all the visual beauty!

Of course rest is also important for brain health.  Getting enough sleep and taking time to quiet the constant chatter that runs through our mind all day is crucial for our moods, immunity and dealing with stress that can greatly affect our brain health.

Lastly, being social and connecting with others could help with memory loss.  Stimulating conversation and close friendships are proven to release oxytocin, the feel good hormone counter acting against the fight/flight hormone response.

If you’re looking for a well-known brain boosting adaptogens, one of our favorites is Lions Mane!  Lion’s mane mushrooms have been studied for their neuroprotective benefits and their ability to regenerate and protect brain tissue.  You can try it out in our Acorn Cafe by adding into your beverage, or purchase from our Harmonic Arts stock and add into oatmeal, soups, etc.  Great for those foggy brain moments too!

Check out one of those studies from the US National Library of medicine here.

I hope you have enjoyed our brain health series but please remember that these are all suggestions, please consult with your family doctor and do your own research.

 

 

Generation Green’s Wildflower Project

We’ve been sharing some hints about our new project, and we’re finally able to release some information about this latest venture of ours:

Generation Green’s Wildflower Project – Launching January 2019

This has really become a passion project and we are so excited to get started! That being said, there are going to be different elements to this project, and as much as we would like to do them all at once – we need to do it slowly so they turn out as amazing as we have dreamed they’ll be! Now without further delay, we’re ready to begin phase one!

First, let me start off by telling you exactly what Generation Green’s Wildflower Project is all about…

Connect · Grow · Bloom

These 3 words are the foundation to this project.

The need to connect as humans, to grow through lifelong learning, and when we do both those things, we bloom!

When I opened Generation Green 6 years ago, the intention really was to help people. Having an administrative background, I wasn’t really sure how to “sell” but I knew what I liked and what I was needing as a consumer and I genuinely care about the wellbeing of other people so naturally wanted to share what I was learning.

As the opening of Generation Green unfolded, I was meeting so many amazing people with knowledge in many different areas such as holistic wellness, herbalism, waste free living & starting movements to name a few,  and I really wanted to connect more with them in order to continue learning!  I also loved getting to know so many customers who were all at different places in their natural living journeys. These customers either had so much information themselves to share or were eager to learn more. I started thinking about ways I could help all these different, beautiful people connect, so we could all learn and grow together…and Viola! The idea for the Wildflower Project began!

The Wildflower Project begins with connecting our journeys by starting conversations. Conversations about all the different life stuff we’re dealing with at so many different levels. We are going to do this via a Wildflower Project podcast! We believe you will appreciate our honest, uncensored, and unscripted discussions that we hope you can all connect with.

For the podcast, we at times will start a conversation on a specific topic (and attempt to stay on topic), we then are going to find experts or other amazing people who we can learn from and who can enlighten us more on said topic.

Finally, we want to invite you to have a seat at our table to continue the conversation with us and others.  Our table discussions will be interactive, at times hands on, but always a place of acceptance. All this in an effort of building a community that grows together on this journey called life.

If you are in Winnipeg, where we are located, you will be welcome and able to purchase a seat at the table for any conversation/workshop being led by our featured expert that is of interest to you.

The podcast episodes and then meetup/workshop dates will be posted here on our website as well on Wildflower Project’s Instagram account here. Of course our monthly newsletter will have details as well so be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss any of them!  Stay tuned for our first episode!!

I invite you now to follow along as we continue to unfold this project and like all those wildflowers to be, let’s see where the wind blows us!

******************************************************************************************************************************

If you, or someone you know would be a great person for us to interview or do a workshop with please contact sherry@generationgreenwpg.com