Sunday Rituals: An Urban Day Retreat

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Who: People needing a day for themselves.

What: A curated series of hedonistic workshops, classes, and meals (details below).

Where: Gastown, Vancouver

When: Sunday, October 29, 2017, 9:00am-4:00pm

Why: I don't know about you, but I am craving a day in the city to connect with myself and like-minded people, learn some cool new things, move my body, eat great food, and chill out. I also don't have the time or money to go on a full weekend retreat away. Urban day retreat = problem solved and desires answered. 

Cost: $235 + GST

Save your seat here. All sales are final.


Morning meditation at Moment

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We are modern meditation. While enlightenment is great, your inbox is full. We get you and our meditations do too. We believe meditation is essential for mental wellbeing and so, in each session, you will learn tools to support your mental health. The session begins with a mindful activity, an opportunity to debrief, and two meditations- curated and designed to help you find calm amidst the chaos. 
 


Work out at All City Athletics 

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Work hard. Stay Humble. 

We are an underground boxing studio located in Gastown Vancouver. Our fitness and personal training classes are authentic and true to boxing technique. All of our trainers are experienced boxers & fitness instructors who guarantee a great workout while developing your skills.


Group Acupuncture with Vivien Hsiung, RAc

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How does stress manifest physically in your body? 

Have you ever wondered why you have chronic back pain when you have not been in an accident? Or why your digestion is affected when you travel or are under a lot of work stress? 

Chinese Medicine looks at these physical manifestations in the body and treat the emotion that can be associated with these triggers. In your group acupuncture workshop Vivien will highlight how different emotions will effect the body and how the use of acupuncture and mindfulness techniques will allow for you to have a better grasp at what your body is trying to communicate with you.


Skin Care with Glow Dermal Therapy 

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Mara & Erin from Glow Dermal Therapy will guide you through a hands on ritualistic facial while educating you on what it takes to achieve and maintain healthy glowing skin. You will be expertly guided through firming/toning massage techniques and educated on the science behind skincare ingredients that actually work to create changes on a cellular level. This workshop will be interactive, please bring all your burning skin questions! You will leave feeling empowered.. and with samples to take matters into your own hands at home!


Lunch + Learn with My Edible Advice 

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The nutritionist's of My Edible Advice will prepare a plant based feast to fuel your body and mind. We will talk about the gut-brain connection and why it is so important to make sure both are working well together so that you can feel and be your best. 

Menu: TBD by what is available at the market. Picture a hearty, warm, autumn inspired family style lunch with something for everyone. All food intolerances and preferences will be respected.


Tea and Tarot 

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We'll wrap up the day with a herbal tea blend made especially for us by herbalist extraordinaire, Dr Marisa Marciano, ND and read our tarot cards to end on a high. 

Recipe: Pumpkin Spice Almond Milk

Fall has arrived! And with it an influx of cozy sweaters, candlelight, good books, and pumpkin spice everything. This recipe for Pumpkin Spice Almond Milk is a great base to help you add that oh-so-addicting pumpkin spice flavour to baking, smoothies, overnight oats, and of course you can use it for healthy pumpkin spice lattes at home. 

Pumpkin Spice Almond Milk Ingredients

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup almonds (*I got mine from NutHut)
  • 4 1/2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 2 tsp. vanilla 
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves

Directions:

  • Soak almonds for 8 to 12 hours (it's easiest to soak them overnight) 
  • Thoroughly rinse almonds after soaking
  • Add all ingredients to a blender and blend on high for 3 to 5 minutes
  • Strain mixture through a nut milk bag
  • Makes 1 litre which will last up to 5 days in the fridge

Pumpkin spice latte:
Simmer the pumpkin spice almond milk on the stove top until heated through. Stir frequently to avoid burning the milk. It's delicious on its own or you could froth the heated milk in a blender and add to coffee. 

Bottles recycled from NutMeg Mylk. She's my secret weapon when I don't have the time or energy to make almond milk at home. 

Bottles recycled from NutMeg Mylk. She's my secret weapon when I don't have the time or energy to make almond milk at home. 

How To Meal Plan Like a Pro

Set yourself up for success and healthy eating by mastering meal planning.  The post will give you a few tips to get started.

Benefits of meal planning:

  • Save money: it’s easier to stick to a budget when grocery shopping vs. eating out at restaurants.
  • Eat healthier: you know all the ingredients in each meal.
  • It’s an opportunity to get creative in the kitchen and build up your cooking confidence!
  • It saves you time throughout the week.
Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

How to meal plan like a pro:

  1. Define what success looks like for you. Is it cooking two meals at home per week, saving $100 a month, eating more plant-based foods? It could be anything but take the time to define your version of success. It’s important to know your wins so you can celebrate once you achieve them.

  2. Create a meal plan. Download this handy template. This is how I get started:

    • Start with your schedule. For example, slot in the family dinner on Tuesday, your friends birthday celebration on Saturday, and the catered work lunch on Friday.

    • Know your limits. In my home, we don’t often cook after 8pm. On Tuesday my husband and I attend yoga from 7-8pm so I know on Tuesday’s we’re likely grabbing sushi on the way home. Define your limits and fill these in on your meal plan.

    • Leave a day or two open. Life happens and it’s nice to have a flexible meal plan to accommodate this rather than waste food. For example, I leave most Friday’s open as typically a social dinner comes up last minute. If it stays open then this is an opportunity for a date night or a chance to try a new recipe.

    • Use multi-meal foods. I will almost always cook a larger dinner so that I have leftovers for lunch the next day. Wednesday’s dinner becomes Thursday’s lunch and so on.  

    • Fill in the remaining blank spots with what you love to eat and/or recipes you want to try. Stuck? Grab a cookbook!

  3. Create a shopping list. This part’s super easy. Just work backward from your meal plan. Tip: start small. There’s nothing worse than being gung-ho on meal planning and then composting a bunch of food at the end of the week because it didn’t go as planned. You can always buy more.

  4. Schedule prep time. This is the #1 most important thing to set yourself up for success in meal planning! The best part… it doesn’t have to take all day. First off decide what’s most important to you. Are you rushed in the morning and need breakfast and lunch ready to grab quickly? Or are you exhausted after work and need easy to prepare dinners? Once you determine what’s most important to you, prioritize your preparation around it. Want easier mornings? Focus on preparing quick breakfasts like smoothie bags, chia pudding, and muffins. Need quick lunches? Chop veggies and make a quinoa base for easy to assemble buddha bowls. Exhausted after work? Prep whole meals in advance or pre-chop ingredients for quick dinners. 

Interested in learning more? Follow us on Instagram for recipe inspiration or book in for a nutrition consultation for one on one coaching.

Recipe: Chocolate Maca Milkshake

Hello Summer! 

Our days fill with bikes rides in the sunshine, time spent lounging at the beach, trips to the farmer's market to load up on fresh fruits and vegetables, and of course a few trips to our favourite ice cream parlours! I am loving all of the dairy-free options Vancouver has to offer but sometimes that ice cream craving hits and you don't want to leave your lovely air conditioned home. This recipe is perfect for those times. Hello, Chocolate Maca Milkshake. It's...

Dairy-free
Loaded with antioxidants and superfoods
Free of refined sugars

Recipe: Chocolate Maca Milkshake

Ingredients:

  • 2 frozen bananas
  • 1 cup of almond milk
  • 1 tbsp. almond butter 
  • 2 tsp. cacao powder
  • 2 tsp. maca powder
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. cacao nibs (optional for topping) 

Directions:

  • Blend all ingredients together until desired consistency reached. Add ice or additional frozen banana to thicken, or additional almond milk to thin.
  • Top with cacao nibs. 

Cacao and Maca are the superfoods in this recipe. Cacao contains over 300 phytochemicals and is full of antioxidants which are great for fighting against free-radical damage in our bodies. Maca is a superfood which is said to boost libido and helps to stabilize hormone inbalances.

Enjoy! 

Chocolate Maca Milkshake

Camp Camp, May Long 2017

Camp Camp is Vancouver's own grown up summer camp. It's your favourite local Vancouver workshops, mixed with the best summer camp to-dos wrapped into an all-inclusive long weekend getaway. 

Camp Camp is Vancouver's own grown up summer camp. It's your favourite local Vancouver workshops, mixed with the best summer camp to-dos wrapped into an all-inclusive long weekend getaway. 

Seven Minutes in Questions with the founders of Camp Camp, Ashley and Nader:

q1: How did Camp Camp come to be?

Ash - We've both been camp lovers all our life - from camper to counsellor. When I moved to Vancouver from Toronto 3 years ago I fell in love with this city not just for it's obvious beauty, but for it's energy. There's such cool momentum and support around entrepreneurship and a general willingness to participate in growing Vancouver and learning as individuals. So with camp, we're stepping into those two things. Plus I have n itch for throwing events both professionally and for fun - it

Nader - We had been talking about doing Camp Camp for a couple years now. Then, the tipping point was as we were coming off of the high from our destination wedding in Tulum, where we hung out with all our friends and family for a whole week, we felt inspired to keep the momentum going by organizing another gathering of people and letting the good times roll. 

 q2: Who named named it?

Ash -  We did over a bottle of wine and lots of laughs. "Camp camp" came out as a joke and then it just stuck because who doesn't love a good "camp camp camp fire" or a "camp camp camp activity"? I couldn't say it without LOL'ing so I thought that was a pretty good reaction we'd like to carry into the weekend.

Nader - When Ash first mentioned the name, it just had a ring to it, stuck out in my head. I had to say it out loud a few times trying to convince myself to not like the name. Who was I kidding, it was an awesome name and it was a keeper.

q3: You two are married, how is it doing business together?

Ash - side hustles are the best and who better to do it with than your bestie? (sorry for the sap fest) 

Nader - Any successful partnership, be it business or marriage, needs open communication. We can talk about ideas we like and don't like, and make decisions together. Also, as far as Camp Camp is concerned, we know who's the boss (spoiler alert: she is).

q4: What was your favourite childhood camp memory?

Ash - as a camper it was crawling through the mudpit during colour war at Camp Medley back in New Brunswick. I distinctly remember picking and packing a mudpit outfit that was pre-approved by my parents, fully knowing those clothes weren't going to see another day.

As a counsellor - I spent the summer in upstate NY (with none other than Jennifer Brott) as the music counsellor for an all summer long sleep away camp called Timberlake. So, it was seeing my campers conquer fears and step on stage to perform the musicals.

Nader - as a camper, my fav memory was playing Predators and Prey in the fields at North Vancouver Outdoor School. I also remember the night walks in the forest, where we would turn off our flash lights and be in the total dark listening to the sounds of the forest and trying to scare our friends. 

As a counsellor, I loved teaching archery. Robin Hood was my fav Disney cartoon (before Lion King was released) so I always had a respect for bow and arrows and now I was owning the moment and showcasing my skill to an audience of young campers as they cheered me on.

q5: How did you find the venue?

Ash - Nader.

Nader - Growing up in North Vancouver, I went to Outdoor School many times as part of our school curriculum. I had also gone back as a counsellor so I had many fond memories of this venue. The venue's name has changed from Outdoor School to Cheakamus Centre, and they've built an amazing building which serves as the learning centre and cafeteria, and this didn't exist back in the day. Everything else though is pretty much the same. 

q6: What about the weekend are you most looking forward to?

Ash - the vibes. There is no energy like the energy you get at camp - meeting new pals, trying new activities, being outside and just all around good times. Plus we have some pretty rad camp counsellors coming up to help pull it all together.

Nader - I'm looking forward to the nostalgia. Kind of a paradox I guess. Just to feel carefree like we did back in the day and focus on the moments we'll be sharing with new (and old) friends.

q7: If you had to choose one camp activity to do on repeat, what would it be?

Ash - colour war. colour war. colour war! 

Nader - Camp fire. Just watching the flames dancing and hearing the popping sounds, staying warm, telling scary stories, singing songs and sharing tons of laughs. 

Bonus question round:

What did you spend your tuck money on as a kid?

Ash - sour keys and popsicles all day long

Nader - I didn't get tuck money. I did sneak up some candy though, my camp go-tos were Nerds and Pop Rocks.

What: At Camp Camp your weekend will come complete with eats, bunks, Postmark craft beers and of course the campiest of CAMP CAMP activities including My Edible Advice's DIYs, Feelosophy Yoga, RSVP33's Beyonce Dance Class, Ally Pintucci's hike and how to snap the best iphone photos, Marlon Thompson's bootcamp, Sidebar soap DIYs, Postmark's craft beer and sommelier 101, colour war, bon fires, and so much more.

When: May 19-22 (May long weekend)

Where: Cheakamus Center in Squamish (we'll pick you up from downtown Vancouver and bus you up)

How Much: $525+ tax for an individual camper with My Edible Advice's Friend Link  https://www.campcamp.ca/register-friends-individual

all transport, food, bunk, craft beer and workshops included

To learn more about Camp Camp and to save you bunk, head over here. Countdown to the ultimate May Long is on!

Naturally Nourished: A cookbook celebration

A collective of Vancouver’s artisans and makers were honoured to share in a special evening with Sarah Britton of My New Roots to celebrate her latest cookbook, Naturally Nourished. Hosted at our HQ, this intimate meet and mingle with Sarah featured a short interview, recipe tastings, and a beautiful spread of food, drink & wares from Vancouver’s local favourites. Sarah had a blast!

Special thanks to the following gems for participating in the event:

Annabelle Choi Studio

Becca Koole Design

Be Fresh Local Market

East Van Jam

Flour Water Salt

Four Winds Brewing Co

GRAIN

Juice Truck

Livia Sweets

Red Rooster Winery

Rogue Florist

Spread ‘Em

SPUD

Vitruvi

Woodlot

Gorgeous Photos by the forever talented Alexa Mazzarello  

All of my personal love and gratitude to my crew for making this happen: Jennifer Northrup, Kerri + hub, Kris, Jenessa, Melissa, and Gabi. 

#MEAcookbookclub Review: Minimalist Baker's Everyday Cooking

#MEAcookbookclub 8.0 featured Minimalist Baker's Everyday Cooking. Dana's blog is a favourite of many and this cookbook club sold out so fast I added a second night and it also filled in no time. She's known for her simple approach to vegan and mostly gluten free cooking with each of her recipes fitting into one or more of the following categories: one bowl, 10 ingredients or less, or 30 minutes or less. That is right up our alley! 

We agreed that Minimalist Baker's Everyday Cooking did live up to it's name- it was fast and easy to execute. Together we tested 31 of the recipes from the book. Our favourites were the 5-Ingredient Peppermint Patties, the Roasted Chickpea Tabbouleh Salad, the Artichoke Spinach Dip, and the Thai Curry Soup. We were pleasantly surprised at how much we enjoyed the savoury dishes considering the name of the book. 

We wouldn't recommend the Butternut Squash Mac 'N Cheese ... or at least we'd rename it 'Pasta with Pureed Squash and a whole lot of garlic'.  It's resemblance to mac and cheese was a streeeeeeetch for us. The Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes were a bit of a let down, as we had high expectations for the perfect birthday treat, but instead felt like we were eating an oatmeal muffin with really delicious and sweet frosting.

Here are our thoughts on all the recipes we tried. The number indicates it's score out of five and we included some comments as well.

Better-Than-Restaurant Vegan Nachos | 4

Plate just before serving to prevent the chips from getting soggy. 

We felt it could use a little bit more spice

Pizza-Stuffed Mushrooms | 3

We think this recipe could be more simplified and still taste jut as good. 

We didn’t like the vegan cream cheese flavour

Real cream cheese or spread em dip would have been better

Spicy Braised Tofu Tostadas | 3.25

Simmer for hours. Makes this dish super flavourful. 

Would be a great nacho topping!

We left the adobo out because it was an optional ingredient. But it is definitely need to add more flavour and heat.

Thai Quinoa Meatballs | 3

Would be nice served onto a salad.

Too sweet. We would add way less sugar next time.

5-Ingredient Peppermint Patties | 5!

Super easy and simple recipe! 

None. We loved them just as they are!

Spinach + Artichoke Dip | 4.5

The brand Tofutti was a good vegan cream cheese to use.

Makes a lot! 

Was really good served on toasted bread. 

Coconut Red Curry Vegetable Soup | 5

Mince the ginger so you don't forget to remove the whole thing before serving.

A well balanced soup that any dinner guest would appreciate

Super Thick Three- Bean Chili | 3

There was a lot of chopping involved. 

Turned out super spicy, may have been the brand of child powder used. Just be aware of that.

Raspberry Spinach Ribbon Salad | 4.25

Pickle onions longer.

Cutting the spinach into strips was me consuming and not 100% necessary, although it made it more dainty to eat.

Made a lot of dressing for the amount of salad but good for left over for another batch. 

Vegan Kale Caesar Salad | 4

Took an hour

Flavours were really nice. She did a good job making this caesar dressing. 

Chickpea Fesenjan | 3.5

Read recipe first. There is a lot going on at once. 

Only use 1 tbsp of maple syrup to tone down the sweetness

The Best Vegan Enchiladas | 3

Really easy after the indigents are peeped. 

These enchiladas were pretty basic, could have used more flavour. “The Best” wasn't the greatest name for this dish. 

Thai Peanut Burgers | 3

Took 40min to prep the ingredients. After that the rest was simple

They were on the dry side.

Almost same recipe as the meatballs. 

Spicy BBQ Jackfruit Sandwich | 4

Most time consuming part was pulling apart the jackfruit. 

Were a bit sweet. Could have used a bit more spice to be called spicy. 

1 Bowl Vegan Tiramisu Cake | 3

The one bowl idea was kind of messy and would have been easier just using a second bowl.

This cake was good, but did not taste like tiramisu. Not enough coffee flavour even after trying the recipe with espresso. 

Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes | 2

This recipe was disappointing It was more of a muffin not a cupcake.

Peanut Butter Cup Puffed Rice Bars | 3

This recipe didn’t bind well. Was very crumbly and wouldn't hold together. 

The taste was nice, but something was missing as a binding agent. 

Creamy Vegan Eggnog | 3 .... but if you double the spices- 4.5! 

This recipe was easy. Make sure to soak nuts overnight instead of the quick soak for a more creamy consistently before making the milk. 

A lot more flavour was needed. Instead of it being egg nog is was more of a really good spiced nut milk.  If trying out this recipe we suggest to really increase spice.

Southwest Sweet Potato Black Bean Dip | 4.25

Increase the time and the heat for cooking the sweet potatoes. 

Creamy Broccoli + “Cheddar” Soup | 4

More broccoli for added chunkiness of the soup. 

No thickener needed. 

We used 1/4 tsp of red pepper flakes. 

Really good! We all agreed we'd make it again.

White Bean Posole Verde | 4.5

Serve in smaller potions as a side dish. 

Very easy dish to make.

Only use one jalapeno.

Hominy was hard to find so we used yellow corn

Roasted Chickpea Tabbouleh Salad | 4.5

Make sure chickpeas are dried and oven is heated to atlas 400 to prevent soggy chickpeas. 

Used water and tahini in the dressing. We used 2 full bunches of parsley. Use a little less maple syrup.

Beet, Orange Walnut Salad | 4

The way she calls for the beets to be peeped was time consuming. May be easier to prep a different way. 

Simple and good recipe.

Garlic Pineapple Stir-Fried Quinoa | 4

If Quinoa is dry once in the pan, You can add some pineapple juice to moisten is up.

This meal would make great leftovers for packing lunches. 

Too Sweet. Sweetener needs to be at least cut in half. Not enough sauce so would double next time. 

Butternut Squash Garlic Mac ’n’ Cheese | 2.75

Needs to be served immediately. 

Bad name for the dish because it does not taste like mac and cheese. Quite a lot of garlic. 

Peanut Butter Pad Thai | 4

We enjoyed both with and without the peanut sauce on top. 

Smoky BBQ Veggie Burgers | 3.75

Nice served on lettuce wraps. 

Burgers quite spicy. If your not a fan of heat then maybe tone down the spice. 

Pumpkin Apple Upside- Down Cake | 4

This cake was very moist. Could cook a bit longer. 

Add more ginger.

Blackberry Custard Pie | 3.25

Easy for a non baker. The crust was great!

Not the texture of a custard. More like a cheese cake. 

Sweet Potato Pie | 4.5

Easy crust. 

The mixture was thick and that's okay just keep blending and it will work itself out.

Was better with the sweet potato than the canned pumpkin. 

Carrot Walnut Bread | 4.25

Mix dry first, don't use the one bowl method. 

Fast to make !

Use less sugar.

 

OVERALL SCORE: 3.25

We all agreed that we LOVE the website as a plant based recipe resource. This book is great for someone looking for quick and easy ideas with a bit of sweet tooth.