Tag Archives: healthy-living

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.

 

 

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 Good Planet Project

There are a lot of good people in the world, although sometimes it may be hard to believe when we are bombarded with negativity, greed, and consumerism on all sides. I remember reading once that all that is necessary for evil to prevail is for good people to do nothing.

Earlier this month, I was lucky enough to meet some of the people who are fighting the good fight. Dylan Leeder, the founder of the Good Planet Project and his travelling companion Brittney stopped in at Generation Green. It was one of many stops during their road trip across Canada.

When I first met them, they seemed like very humble and kind people. They had had trouble finding parking for their van, just like anyone else would in Downtown Winnipeg. When they arrived, we made sure to serve them some coffee from Acorn Cafe, and we just…talked.

In one short hour, I felt more inspired than I had all summer to make a change in my lifestyle, to travel, to be open minded…

And I want to share this feeling with you. This is the feeling that can spark a movement, make changes, empower people.

So let’s start at the beginning. What is the Good Planet project?

The first thing you’ll see on their website is that the Good Planet Project is a documentary exploration of the people, lifestyles, and efforts that are dedicated towards the repair and conservation of our planet. Dylan has been driving across Canada in a self-made van, decked out with solar panels, trying to find the ways in which people are facing environmental issues in their own cities. Through photography, Dylan is also showing people the natural beauty of our country and inspiring us to protect it in order to keep it that way.

They told us about their travels and their goals. When we asked how they had found us, a small business in the heart of Winnipeg, they told us that after a quick Instagram search of ‘sustainability Winnipeg,’ we were the first thing to pop up. Although I’m happy that my workplace is apparently the hub of sustainable and healthy living in Winnipeg according to Instagram, I couldn’t help but be disappointed that there weren’t more results.

As we were talking, the conversation steered toward the difficulties of trying to change a system while still being a part of it.

Allow me to this explain further.

Dylan has had his own struggles with this. For over eight years, he worked in the advertising industry. The work took its toll on him. He felt a lot of guilt about the work that he did, the unnecessary products he encouraged people to buy, and how much of those products have ended up in a landfill. He goes into more detail on his website, so be sure to check that out.

I think that a lot of us can relate to this feeling. So much of the work that we do to support ourselves and our families involves doing things that may go against our values. Maybe that means sitting at a desk all day when you really wish you could be working outside. Maybe it means working in building or planning, and knowing that you have to tear down nature to build up a house or business or road. Maybe you work with food and drink, and see how much of it goes to waste every single day.

Within capitalism, we find so many contradictions. Not to get too technical here, but the exploitation that comes with capitalism – the exploitation of the worker, the environment, the children, the poor – is not sustainable, and eventually it will fall apart. Our planet does not contain unlimited resources, and sooner  or later we are going to run out. It’s just a question of what we’re going to use up first.

But in order to do something about this, it’s pretty much impossible to both reject capitalism and fight it effectively. The most difficult issue to get around is money. It’s pretty much impossible to live in this society without money. You have to buy things to support yourself and when you do this, you are supporting the industry. Short of moving to the middle of nowhere and growing all your own food, providing all your own power and being completely self-sufficient, you can’t completely reject the unsustainable system we are all living in.

Take Dylan’s project for example. One of the things we discussed is the contradiction between driving across Canada to find ways to save the environment and live sustainably, while driving across Canada in a gas-guzzling van.

But what I learned from Dylan and Brittney is that you have to make the best of what you’re given. The optimism and inspiration that they have brought with them through this country have done a lot to counteract the emissions from their van. There is a lot to be said about just doing what you can. For example, they have outfitted their van with solar panels, as I mentioned, and they are very conscious of their potential impacts on the environment.

Being conscious, and wanting to do the best you can are integral to living sustainably, or in developing any skill. Once you are self-aware and have a desire to improve, it’s hard not to change.

I look forward to following the rest of Dylan and Brittney’ journey as they return home to Calgary and begin to debrief everything they have learned on their travels. Stay tuned to The Good Planet Project to learn more, and hopefully get inspired to be one of the good people!

Series 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!

Stress Effects & Solutions

I’ve always thought of myself as someone who deals well with stress.  I try to be aware of what triggers my stress levels, take time to practice self-care, and live in the moment. I try not worry about what tomorrow might bring.  Regardless of this awareness, it’s unrealistic to believe that I will never experience stress. It’s a natural reaction to life experiences.

I believe it’s important to reduce the stress triggers where you can, especially the repeating ones (the ones you can DO something about!) Understanding what stress does to your body helps you be able to manage the recovery of it better.

Recently I have been experiencing some stressful moments in my life, as we plan for our store relocation. I am very aware of how it is affecting my body.  Stress induced eczema, sleeping trouble, muscle tension, and headaches are a few of my bodily reactions.

When we are having a stressful experience, our brain tells our body to release hormones that trigger your body’s “fight or flight” response.  This release is supposed to assist us in processing the stress and help us react to it.  Unfortunately, when those hormones keep firing out, it can start to really have an affect on our health.  Above are some of the responses my body has had to my stress, but there can be even more serious conditions like weakened immune system, high blood pressure, digestive trouble and it could even affect the reproductive system.

So let’s talk about some simple ways to manage stress as it’s happening, so we don’t tax our bodies to the point of a serious health issue.

One of the simplest ways start calming our nervous system is by taking nice, deep cleansing breaths –  really deep (down to your belly) slow breaths!  Practice doing this throughout the day (it takes seconds and feels so good!) Close your eyes as you do, and if it helps-add in a mental image of a beautiful beach, trees blowing, or whatever helps you experience calmness.  I find listening to ocean sounds so soothing and can immediately feel those “good”/happy hormones being released.  For others, exercise really gets the serotonin flowing. Try dancing away that stress, move your body and shake it out! What about a good belly laugh? I think we can all recall a laughing fit and how amazing that felt! It makes me smile just thinking about it! All of these release endorphins (a natural pain-killer and stress eraser).

A couple other things that I have been using to get me through my stressful period are Bach Remedies, Four Sigmatic Reishi, and my very favourite-OM Shantea from Hollow Reed Holistic.

The Bach Rescue Remedies are available in spray, drops that you add to water, or candy-like pastilles. It is a mixture of 5 different Bach flower remedies created by Dr. Bach to deal with emergencies and crises. They help us get through any stressful situation. From last-minute exam or interview nerves, to the aftermath of an accident or bad news. The response this remedy creates is an emotional one, not a physical one. You just all of a sudden realize you’re not feeling that stress.

Reishi mushroom is probably the most researched of medicinal mushrooms, and is considered a longevity herb. Reishi is an adaptogen (assists the body in adapting to stressful conditions).  It basically tells your body to relax and calm down.  It is beneficial for our cardiovascular system and keeping our immunity strong.  I love that Four Sigmatic has created some amazing mushroom elixirs, including reishi, that you simply add hot water to and enjoy the benefits they offer.

Om Shantea tea is made locally in Winnipeg by Hollow Reed Holistic. It has been my personal favourite since master herbalist, Chad Cornell, first served me a cup!  A combination of skullcap, gotu kola, holy basil, and oatstraw create a blend that leaves your body and mind with an overall feeling of calm.

Life can be busy, stressful, and challenging at times so the need for self-care, self-love with a splash of fun and laughter are most important!  Find what works for you and do lots of that!

 

An Introduction to Natural Living

When I first began my journey into finding safe alternatives it was all very overwhelming and confusing!  Where to start, who to trust and where to go to find the products I needed was difficult, but as with every change we just simply must begin!

We need to start somewhere and take small steps.  We are all uniquely different and will naturally require, desire, and will begin our journey into natural living in the area that is of most importance at this  moment.  For me, it was skin care, for you it could be healthcare, nutrition, or even what to clean your home with. Regardless of where we start, it begins with one step, and then one change will naturally lead to the next.  Kind of like a snowball that keeps getting rolled into a boulder size and then you need to start rolling another ball and another until you’ve built yourself into the healthiest version of you!  I like to look at these three snowballs as what we put “IN”, “ON” and “AROUND” our bodies.

Luckily for you, my staff and I are all on our own journey’s, with different motivators, various amount of knowledge and love sharing what we have learned, worked for us and yet still where we are headed.  We also are learning from you, our customers! It’s a community of knowledge, all at different points but excited to share.  What works for me, may not work for you but the more we learn the more we know, the more we share, and the more we try.

It can be difficult to sometimes not blurt out and say this is what you need to do based on my experience, because it’s exciting when we find our solution, and only natural to want to share. I decided to start this blog series though to hopefully clear away some of the confusion, present the options in easy to understand language. I hope you will follow along and even offer up some of your own knowledge!

Our next blog post we will discuss the most important thing you need to be adding into your daily regime for optimal health.

Written by:  Sherry Sobey

mommy-and-me

Naturally Mom & Me Showcase – Info & Schedule

We are starting the countdown to our first “Naturally Mom & Me Showcase” coming up on Friday, April 24th from 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM

Everyone is getting excited to showcase their products, give us some “wow” presentations and create an enjoyable day for all who attend!

When talking about pregnancy, babies, children & families how can it not be wonderful!

Personally, it’s the highlight of my day when I get to meet a new customer who is expecting, and wanting to ensure that everything they are putting in, on & around their bodies is safe for their unborn child. It is of course a great reason to transition to a more natural way of living, but once my customers are introduced to the products we offer, it becomes a rolling snowball of excitement!  One that will have them wondering why they didn’t do this all sooner! When that same mother returns with their little bundle of bliss, I truly am thrilled for them and want to help in any way I can, with their continued personal healthy living journey now as a family. (Hence the reason for my ever expanding pregnancy & baby section!)

A showcase seemed like a great idea, as there really are so many amazing products from my manufacturers but I just don’t have the room in my little green store to showcase all of them!  I also firmly believe we learn and support each other best as a community, so bringing in some outside resources and experts is a wonderful addition to the event. Not to mention how wonderful it is being able  to put a face to the products we love,  and offer our ongoing support to these fabulous manufacturers!

Here is the presentation schedule:

[button color=”green” size=”medium” link=”http://www.fit4two.ca” target=”blank” ]Fit 4 Two Winnipeg[/button]

[box type=”info” align=”alignleft” ]10:30 AM Presentation: “Prenatal & Postnatal Q & A” with Fit 4 Two Winnipeg Get all your questions on prenatal and postnatal fitness answered by Natalie Kulzycki, certified pre/postnatal fitness specialist, Fit 4 Two instructor and mom of 2. Fit 4 Two Winnipeg is a pre/postnatal fitness company offering 10 class types and more than 15 locations in Winnipeg. All instructors are certified specialists and make each class mom and baby friendly. [/box]

 

[button color=”green” size=”medium” link=”https://www.facebook.com/pages/Tressa-Main-Health-Life-Coach/418149595012908″ target=”blank” ]Tressa Main Health & Life Coach[/button] [button color=”green” size=”medium” link=”http://manitobaharvest.com” target=”blank” ]Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods[/button]

[box type=”info” align=”alignleft” ]12:30 PM Presentation: Tressa Main Health & Life Coach & Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods: Talking about Nutrition during childbearing years, while nursing & for busy mom’s on the go! Tressa will show you easy ways to load up on the nutrients you need for optimal health & energy![/box]

[button color=”green” size=”medium” target=”blank” ]Birth Roots Doula Collective Inc.[/button]

[box type=”info” align=”alignleft” ]2:00 PM Presentation: Birth Roots Doula Collective Inc. Birth Roots offers a comprehensive range of services for the childbearing year. Providing education, information and support to families in Winnipeg and the surrounding communities. These services include: Birth Doulas, Postpartum Doulas, Group and Private Prenatal Class options, Newborn classes, Hypno-Birthing classes, Prenatal Yoga, Postnatal Yoga, Birth Pool Rentals and more. Visit our website to see our full range of options.[/box]

 

[button color=”green” size=”medium” link=”https://www.facebook.com/winnipegbabywearers” target=”blank” ]Winnipeg Baby Wearers[/button]

[box type=”info” align=”alignleft” ]3:30 PM Presentation: Winnipeg Babywearers Learn the basics of babywearing! We will present an overview of several different styles of carriers available, where you can find them and how to make wearing your baby work on any budget. Also, find out more about what Winnipeg Babywearers group is all about![/box]

 

Manitoba manufacture’s that will be set up at the event are: (Click on name to be taken direct to their website)

Generation Green will also be showcasing some other great products such as:

***There will be lot’s of opportunities to win raffle tickets for our prize giveaways, earn first entry by clicking attending on our event page & then be sure to pick up a passport when you arrive for bonus tickets! You will also earn 5 Tickets for ever $20 you spend at the event! The prize packs are amazing!!! (Check out our facebook event page to see some of them!)

***We will have a lounge area for mom’s that need to feed babies (Furniture/Carpet donated by EQ3), as well as a coloring area for little ones where they will all have a chance to enter the coloring page for a prize draw!