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.

 

 

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.

 

 

Nourish Me Please!!!

Acorn Cafe has something new & exciting happening on Tuesday’s!

We started asking on our Instagram page what folks were wanting to see on the menu, and it was from that feedback that we did some tweaking to the menu!

First our cafe manager Lily set out to find a way to jam pack some nourishment in a lunch item & voila!… may we present you our  “Nourish Bowls”!!

These sustenance filled bowls will alternate weekly so be sure to try them all!  We’ve already started with the first two (pictured) and all I can say is wow!! So yummy, so loaded with goodness and food fuel to help you get the most of your day!

In additional to the “Nourish Bowls” on Tuesdays, we are also making pizza buns!  These are great for grab & go lunches, or an afternoon snack and can be eaten warm or cold.  We are making our pizza buns using the newly stocked vegan pizza dough from Diana Cline of Diana’s Cucina , a 5 time International Canadian Pizza Award Winner!  This Moosehead beer based dough is for sale and can be found in our freezer section.  Adding to the deliciousness is DeLuca’s pizza sauce and topping it off with Vegan Fromagerie’s mozzarella! yummmmm!

Wednesdays have also become our baking day, so expect some drool worth scents when you walk in the door as savory scones, muffins and coffee cakes (all vegan of course) are being taken out of the oven!

Be sure to check out our other daily features on our menu by clicking here and our full menu can be found here.

We’re here for you so keep those comments, suggestions and feedback coming!

Let’s Talk Brain Health – Part 2

We can’t talk about brain health without looking into our gut and recognizing the relation between the brain and everything gut related.  What happens in your gut/GI tract is essentially what happens in your brain. This has scientists calling the gut the 2nd brain! The gut and the brain are in a big time romance. They are entwined and can effect all of our bodily health, including brain function and how we feel everyday.

You’ve heard the term “having a gut feeling,” and well, it’s definitely something you can pay attention to.  Our brains have hundreds of millions of neurons connected to our nervous system which control our gastrointestinal system.

What’s even more amazing is that within the GI tract, it is estimated this is where 80-90% of the body’s serotonin is made (that happy hormone!) So the brain operates our bodily functions, but the gut can also send messages to the brain.

Not convinced?  Think about how certain foods affect how you feel, like chocolate. Chocolate releases endorphins in our gut and sends that “feeling good” message to our brain.  Of course this can work the opposite way too. High fat processed foods for instance, can make us feel tired and sluggish.  There is so much going on in brain-gut connection that I really encourage everybody to take note of how foods make them feel and maybe even keep a journal for reflection and assessment. This is obviously such a complex system, so if you are keen to research more, you might like this research manuscript I found that really delves into exactly how food controls the brain and cognitive health.  It’s a big read but very interesting!

So to aid our gut health, which would also aid brain health is to not only eat healthy “rainbow foods”  that I spoke of in the first part of this series, but also by adding fermented foods and kombucha into your diet. Both of which are perfect for assisting in balancing the gut flora. We have billions of bacteria living in our body, so we want to be sure that there is enough strong, good bacteria in there to keep viruses and fungi away. Which also helps to prevent disease. Adding 1 or 2 servings of kombucha or fermented foods daily can have a huge impact on your overall well-being, especially, of course on your brain health!

If you are interested in learning more about kombucha and even how to make your own, we have two upcoming workshops with Wolseley Kombucha. You can register here. Or you can always purchase a growler from us and fill it up at our Wolseley Kombucha tap, in-store!

 

 

Let’s Talk Brain Health – Part 1

Over the holidays and spending time with aging family members, I really became aware of how forgetful they were becoming, how they had trouble recollecting memories or were experiencing general confusion.  I started reading up on these issues and discovered that this is something we really need to be concerned about.

I first found this overwhelming statistic that stated if we live to the age of 85, half of us will more than likely develop Alzheimer’s.  According to the Alzheimer Society of Manitoba there are more than 22,500 Manitobans that have Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. This number is growing at an alarming rate and by 2038 it is expected to reach over 40,700!

There are of course risk factors listed on their website and areas that we should look at changing in our lifestyle, but there is no known cure at this time.  Now this of course is alarming because we easily take our organs for granted and our brains have a 24/7 job like the rest of them!  Unlike the other organs that perhaps have a main job, our brains are responsible for multiple!! Our brain is responsible not just for our thoughts, but our breathing, our organ functions, our movements and is basically the power source of our whole body!

So if there is no cure and we need our brains to be fully functioning, I of course then looked further into preventative information.

One of the common threads I was seeing in my research all pointed towards our gut health.  Apparently, our gut is a major contributor to http://welcomeicarea.org/assignment-board/ go site good conclusion thesis statement unsw thesis format guide viagra price reduced https://jesuswired.com/writing/someone-to-do-my-paper/12/ https://groups.csail.mit.edu/cb/paircoil2/?pdf=how-to-cite-websites-in-essay fahrenheit 451 essay prompts proofreading note crossword https://goeatgive.com/write/help-essay/10/ https://campcaroline.org/exemple-de-conclusion-de-dissertation-explicative/ pay write essay https://www.puente.org/exams/write-my-nursing-research-paper/13/ http://www.salganyc.org/4377-le-viagra-pour-qui/ fronting speech results section of na research paper cialis online pharmacy usa enter how to write a academic essay canadian rx connection source viagra viagra buy search find free research papers in mechanical engineering thesis conclusion sample pdf biology paper writing service buy viagra singley online how to write a term paper buy already written essays online yin case study research citation follow url metformin 500 mg tab zyd fake essay brain issues, cognitive decline and memory issues if we have insulin resistance (aka diabesity). Some researchers have now begun to call Alzheimer’s disease type 3 diabetes and say that our guts are actually our 2nd brain. So nutrition is the key if prevention is the focus!

The good news is that a brain diet basically consists of eating wholesome colourful foods, a rainbow of brain nourishment!  Plant pigments found in those colourful foods can feed our brains the vital nutrients they need.  Here are just some of those pigments and where you can find them.

lycopene foodsRED/PINK an antioxidant pigment that helps combat free radicals (those wayward, naturally occurring cells that cause big time stress on our bodies, which can lead to premature aging & disease) – look to tomatoes, pink grapefruit, papaya and watermelon! Lycopene’s antioxidant properties may help prevent seizures and memory loss experienced in age-related diseases, such as Alzheimer’s.

chlorophyll foods – GREEN and probably the most well known as a vital source of energy but did you know they optimize our brain function?! Yup! They say chlorophyll is the blood of plants and is comparable to our own and when we introduce them into our bodies it’s like having an energy transfusion! All green veggies contain chlorophyll however some are definitely better than others such as spinach compared to broccoli which is actually considered more white.  You want a green that goes green throughout.   Look to those leafy greens as those are the best source but also kelp, algae, spirulina and don’t forget those green tops from beets & carrots!

beta carotene foods ORANGE and long known as being beneficial for vision and skin, but carotene foods have now been thought to reduce the risk of cognitive decline in men (according to a report released in the Nov. 12 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine). Researchers found that oxidative stress, which damages brain cells, is a major contributor to the aging of the brain and associated cognitive decline.  This beautiful vibrant pigment is also found in sweet potatoes, squash, cantaloupe, peppers & apricots to name a few.  For best absorption of this fat soluble vitamin, try adding oil or nuts.

anthocyanins (a type of flavonoid)  foods – BLUE/PURPLE & RED found in the skins of glorious blueberries, blackberries, grapes, strawberries, pomegranates, kidney beans & red onions just to name a few!! They are probably the most consumed as there is such a variety of foods that offer these. Some of the many anthocyanin benefits that research has uncovered include fighting heart disease, cancer, memory loss and neurological disorders.

Besides a rainbow diet to keep our brains healthy, there are a few other suggestions such as taking time to learn something new like playing an instrument, learning to play a new sport or finding a new hobby to learn.  Keep our brains ignited through learning but be sure to also disconnect from devices!  Turn off the TV, put away the iPhone and instead start connecting with others.  Play a game of cards with a friend, enjoy a coffee together with good o’l conversation or best of all connect with ourselves out in nature.  Fresh air, exercise, laughter and some colour are the perfect prescription I think for prevention of many health issues, but certainly for brain health.

Next Up – Brain Health: Continuing the conversation – ” All Things Bubbly”

 

 

 

Connecting to Mother Earth

I have always felt the most present when in nature. I have also found that being in nature is the easiest way to find inspiration, or answers, that I may have been searching for. Ever since my childhood days of laying in the grass – watching the clouds move and form into shapes, to attempts at gardening or walks on the beach, I’ve known it is something necessary in my life.

When I heard about “earthing,” it made some sense – as essentially it is connecting our bodies with the electrical energy of the earth. Like energizer batteries for our bodies, that can keep us going, keep our charge, and basically optimize our health by making us feel better. However, as with many “natural remedies” it is often met with skepticism. Many will agree there are electrons coming from the earth, but that they are do nothing special as far as helping us with our health.

Perhaps skepticism comes because products have been made that claim to create that earthing effect, such as earthing mats, bands, or sheets – and it is meant to discredit them.

Whether those products work or not, I’m not sure! But I wouldn’t dismiss the benefits that come from eliminating barriers between us and the earth and its energy.  It’s undeniable when you think about walking barefoot in the grass and how great it feels, not only on your feet, but also how it affects your mood!  There have been studies that show a benefit to walking barefoot everyday, in eliminating some stress, anxiety, and even physical pain. Why couldn’t that be from the earth’s energy?  We are, in fact, made up of energy and therefore benefit from sourcing any that we can, directly from the earth.

We always create barriers between ourselves and the earth with everyday things. Such as rubber soled shoes, or just being cooped up indoors.  How much barrier-free time do we really spend connecting to mother earth? Being considered the “indoor generation” is not surprising.  Between work, school, being connected to technology, and sleeping, how much time are we connecting to the earth?

Winter is especially difficult for those us that know the benefits of walking barefoot or digging in the dirt. So what can be done to connect?

Some of my searches gave me the suggestion that winter is a time for planning and contemplation. So things like meditation, and visualization, or connecting to other elements such as fire or water – via a fireplace, candle flame, or warm bath with epsom salts.  There was also a suggestion to indulge in organic root vegetables to connect to the ground!  I also think maybe connecting with other people, to exchange energy can be helpful.

If all else fails, take a trip, if you are able to, somewhere warm where you can kick off your shoes and allow mother earth to care for you the way she knows best.

 

Mental Sustainability

When it comes to sustainable living, the first thing that comes to mind is probably reusable straws and planting trees. Or something along those lines. Green living goes in an out of fashion, as the human mind goes back and forth between good and bad habits.

As the school year is starting, we are all readjusting to academic life. Maybe that means going to school, going back to work, sending our kids off to school, or even just the change of seasons. The summer is over, winter is coming (overused GoT reference intended ironically) and – let’s face it – we’re all going to be watching more Netflix than we should, drinking more coffee than water, and doing our best not to have a mental breakdown.

In all seriousness, the first few weeks of September are especially stressful. Tuition and textbooks drain our bank accounts, whether it’s our own cost or for our kids. We are torn between the start of school parties and trying to start off with good study habits. Sleeping or lecture? Netflix or readings? Packing healthy lunches and snacks, and taking care of ourselves after a long day at work.

With the pressure of doing well, having a social life, taking care of a child, sleeping enough, paying for books, tuition and coffee, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. In this transition period, it’s important to develop sustainable mental habits that will get you through the entire school year.

Personally, I’m a sucker for buying nice planners, and notebooks. I set my standards ridiculously high in September. I promise myself I’ll cancel my Netflix account, and keep every assignment marked diligently in my overpriced planner from Chapters. I’ll hand things in early, be on time, never skip a class because I want to sleep in…

Sounds like a load of BS right? There’s nothing wrong with having high standards, and setting goals for yourself, but the problem with what I just told you is that these habits are not sustainable. If I were to hold myself to that for an entire year, I’d go crazy.

The trick is to find a balance between what is realistic, and pushing yourself to do your best. It’s a fine line between going easy on yourself and slacking off, between challenging yourself, and overworking yourself to exhaustion.

So this September, try to find that balance. Find habits that are sustainable for you. It will look different for everyone.

Students, maybe the girl sitting next to you in your lecture has perfect handwriting and colour coded notes, but that doesn’t mean that you need five colours of highlighter to do well.

Parents, maybe there’s that crazy overachiever mom who manages to go to every PTA meeting, coach the volleyball team and bake cookies for the entire class, but that’s not who you have to be to be a good parent.

No one can sustain this level of functioning forever.

And honestly, who knows what goes on behind the scenes?

I’ve learned that it’s best not to compare myself to anyone else, and focus on what works for me. I remember hearing once that comparison is the thief of happiness, and in my experience, I really believe that it’s true.

Maybe you need to take more breaks in your studying to keep your focus. Maybe it’s okay to wake up feeling like crap and decide to take a little extra sleep. If you’re feeling stressed, recognized that you’re feeling stressed instead of burying yourself further in work, or procrastinating to the last-minute.

It’s easy to fall to one extreme or the other. There can be a lot of pressure from your peers to pull all nighters, whether it’s to study for an exam, or for a party. But finding a balance will help you more in the long term. That’s what sustainability is about.

It’s not easy; if it was, we would all be doing it. But if we were all doing it, we would be so much better off.

May September bring you strength, balance, and sustainable practices.

Series written by Chantal Delaquis

The Dark Side of Spring – and How You Can Help

It is really easy to talk to people about the weather. When it comes to climate, we are all living under the same sky, and our feet walk the same earth. By ‘we’, I’m referring, of course, to the human race, but I’m also referring to you and your neighbours, coworkers, friends and family. Right now, our city is going through a collective sigh of relief as the winter cold melts away and leaves behind the fresh air of spring. There’s something about blue sky and sunshine that draws people out from their makeshift caves and into the community. We can finally walk around the neighbourhood, eat lunch on the patio, ride our bikes to work and tan in our backyards. We can forget the skin-stinging cold and knee-high snow of Winnipeg winter, and appreciate our months of sunshine.

As nice as it sounds, spring isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. There is a part of it that we don’t talk about. Maybe we’re ashamed of it. Maybe we have been desensitized and simply don’t care. Maybe we don’t even notice it anymore. It’s easy to forget about it in the winter because it is so well hidden. Out of sight and out of mind. But the snow evaporates into the warm spring air, and reveals an ugly truth about human nature.

Soggy drink cups and cigarette butts replace the crisp pile of snowflakes. Plastic bags roam the streets, and empty beer bottles slump against buildings. The beauty of spring is at war with our forgotten past, carelessly tossed from car windows or mindlessly dropped on the grass.

How many of us have walked outside and kicked a stray cup out of our way, or skillfully avoided spots of gum on the sidewalk? The stink of cigarettes and fumes of daily traffic hover over the city, entering our lungs without us even noticing.

Litter isn’t just litter. It’s a mentality. It seems to be socially acceptable to litter. Or maybe it’s just a bad habit. Maybe it’s disrespect for the environment, or just a thoughtless, harmless action: “The planet will be fine if I throw my cigarette butt out my car window. That’s nothing. Who cares? I wish these crazy environmentalists would relax.”

I’m sure that most people reading this know someone who thinks this way. The increasing number of climate change deniers is terrifying. We can no longer deny what is right in front of our eyes.

I don’t want to be that person, and if you’ve read this far, then I’m hoping you don’t either. If you love the freshness of spring and want to continue to experience it for the rest of your life, then something has to change. It has to. In a couple decades, our seasons could be unrecognizable. Our Winterpeg winters may pale in comparison to the climate change that is to come. We all live under the same sky and walk the same earth, and we must all deal with the consequences of actions on the environment.

One small thing you can do to help is join us on May 30, 2018  at Generation Green, at 100-433 Main Street, for a community clean up. Anyone who is passionate about the planet is welcome to meet us at the store at 6:30pm, armed with compostable garbage bags and gloves (please bring reusable gloves if you have your own – we will provide garbage bags). We will march through the Exchange, cleaning up everything in our path. If you can’t make it, don’t worry. There’s plenty of litter to go around. Start your own community clean up, and tag us on instagram or Facebook! Let’s make our city beautiful again.

Written by Chantal Delaquis

Adaptogens & Superfoods Are On The Menu!

One of the first things we were sure we wanted to incorporate into our Acorn Cafe menu were adaptogens and super foods infused beverages and food.

Adaptogens are substances from plants, herbs, and mushrooms that help our bodies adapt or balance.

That could mean adapt to stress, balance hormones, ease digestion, increase energy, or even clearing brain fog and helping memory. Adaptogens are also great at contributing to a strong immune system and have been used to fight cancer and/or manage the effects of cancer treatments.

Adaptogens are not anything new. Adaptogens have been used by healers and herbalists for thousands of years!  They are becoming more common now, as people start to look for more natural ways to deal with common issues. A very common issue being chronic stress!  We all have to deal with stress. And are all affected by it; either physically, emotionally, or psychologically. And we all try to find ways to manage it. Stress can likely be the root cause of many health issues, including weakened immune systems, digestion issues, and inflammation in our bodies.

Some of the adaptogens you will find on the Acorn Cafe menu are turmeric, ginger, milk thistle, and reishi and chaga (medicinal mushrooms.) Just to name a few!

Superfoods, of course, are plant-based foods that are loaded with nutrition! Essential for healthy diets and optimum function. There is a long list of super foods that will be found in our menu items. A couple worth mentioning are: matcha green tea and E3 Live’s Blue Majik.

Matcha is a green tea that’s processed less than regular green tea. Since they grow in shade, the natural nutrients found in the leaves are entirely preserved. The leaves are never heated.  The benefits of matcha outweigh the benefits of some of the other most popular superfoods! Matcha contains over 6x the antioxidants in goji berries, 7x the antioxidants in dark chocolate, 17x more antioxidants than blueberries, and 60x the antioxidants found in spinach. In just one teaspoon!  Try out Acorn Cafe’s matcha latte (my personal favourite,) and experience an energy burst that lasts with no crash!

E3 Live’s Blue Majik is relatively new, and has some serious health benefits! Blue Majik is the most dense superfood known, loaded with the highest concentration of proteins, vitamins, trace minerals, and essential fatty acids. One teaspoon of the fresh or frozen concentrated algae is equivalent to eating a large salad. The Blue Majik concentrate is great added into lattes and smoothies!

In addition to adaptogens and super foods, our tea menu contains beneficial herbal concoctions created by Hollow Reed, that are known to help with digestion, stress, colds, and more!

Stop by Acorn Cafe at Generation Green and let our staff create something new, just for you!

Please note that all the information found on generationgreenwpg.com is not meant to treat or diagnose health issues. We intend to provide information on our products and ingredients. We encourage everyone to do their own research and consult with a professional before diagnosing or treating a chronic condition. Also take caution if nursing or pregnant.

There are many types of adaptogens which may work differently for everyone. For alternative treatment to chronic issues, I highly recommend a consult with master herbalist, Chad Cornell at Hollow Reed Holistic.

 

 

Meditation – Don’t Overthink it!

When I first heard of meditation,  the thought of a silent mind sounded impossibly ridiculous!  Even in this very moment the amount of ideas and thoughts going through my mind make it seem impossible to say: “ok quiet time everyone, we’re going to meditate!” Like how can anyone possibly do that??

I understood the concept, even thought it would be lovely, because quite frankly my mind (and I’m sure yours) is an exhausting place to be at times!  But it was the “how” part that had me stumped!  I, of course, took to the internet in an effort to figure out the “right” way!

The problem for me is that there are so many ways to meditate! Such as a guided group, or youtube video, using your breath, gazing into a candle, chanting a mantra, or  music meditation, where the music is not understood by the conscious brain but draws someone into a dizzying state of relaxation.  Not only that, but figuring out how to sit, and how you should sit. Do I need a whole comfy pillow set up? Maybe it’s better to lie down? Once you have that figured out, you can’t be distracted by outdoor sounds, the kids, the door bell, the phone ringing, or your feet falling asleep!

One day the realization came to me… I was over thinking this whole meditation thing!  These words crossed my computer screen and changed my thought process: “If you can breathe, you can meditate.” Meditating is only being quiet with yourself and listening to your breath. I have a creative mind, so for me it really helped when I gave my breath a colour and visualized it going in and out of my body.  Yes, thoughts came to me but I did what I was suggested to, and stopped judging and shushing my thoughts. Instead I pictured them as clouds floating by, observed them for a moment, and then guided myself back to my colorful breathing.

This practice, (and it does take practice!),  basically helped me to become the observer of my thoughts, feelings, and emotions so that I am no longer controlled by them. Just try saying these words out loud: “I am going to be the observer of my thoughts, feelings and emotions. I am not going to judge them, question them, doubt them, or anything! I am only going to watch them float by and allow my body to receive cleansing breaths.”

Then something amazing happens!  You allow parts of you to come to surface that usually get drowned out by that constant chatter. You’ve now opened yourself up and made room for new ideas, new emotions, new beliefs. However it happens, trust me when I say: it’s a real thing!

In a nutshell, we live very busy lives and sometimes we are like hamsters in a wheel! That is not only exhausting but limiting! We miss out on experiences because we are so focused on running the wheel with the false belief that it’s taking us somewhere.

I encourage you to begin a practice of meditation. Start with 5 minutes and build up to make it a daily practice. It will become a moment that you not only look forward to, but also a moment you will cherish.

Lastly, there is no “right” way, there is only your way.  You can practice anywhere, anytime, anyway you like!