Archives for posts with tag: British Columbia

After this past week, my soul has been aching to go back to BC for the holidays. To me, British Columbia symbolizes the nourishing of my soul, the place where I can be one with nature and calm myself. It is my retreat. I feel as if my life is split into two pieces; on one side I want to build a treehouse at the edge of a forest with the ocean expanding wide out of my window. I want to live in harmony with the world around me and find inner bliss (which has always been my goal). On the other hand there is a strong part of me that wants to be active and live in a bustling city with lights and sounds and a concrete, gritty jungle to explore.  I suppose the logical conclusion would be to merge the two pieces together to create a life that I feel authentically represents me. Does anyone else ever feel this way?

Anyway, since I’m talking about BC, I thought I’d share my list of plans for the month of December:

  • Go on as many outdoor bikerides, hikes and walks as I can. I miss being among the trees.
  • Learn three new recipes that are easy and nutritious to make.
  • Read at least 2/3 books of my choosing.
  • Learn a little bit of HTML/CSS so I can work on my blog layout.
  • Start working on my Wardrobe re-haul and find good quality/classic clothing.
  • Complete my own special ‘giving back’ project.

My friend Katie sent me a list of song suggestions after hearing ‘A Song for Sienna’ that I posted a little while ago. Actually, I should just mention that my friends Adam and Katie have started a business called: Lunar Harvest Medicinals. They grow and make natural healing substances.

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Chai Tea

1 1/2 quart water

4 black tea bags (Bengali tea with the tiger on the front)

10 whole cardamon seeds

2 cinnamon sticks, broken in half

1 tsp black peppercorns

3 tbsp sugar

Bring water to boil, add in rest of ingredients except sugar, return to boil, add in sugar and let stand for 5 minutes.

My boyfriend has been making this tea lately after he wandered into a little Indian shop in the North End of Halifax. He bought the ingredients which he says was worth the extra money because you can make tea everyday for a month or more if you wanted to. This morning after a brisk walk in the early morning chill, Gordon made me some chai tea (without the sugar) and it was soothing and warm. I also had oatmeal mixed with bran, bananas and milk. mmm food.

This month I’ve decided to refrain from processed sugar. This means no-more sugary cereal, candy and chocolate. I’ve also been eating wholesome and home-cooked foods. Last night Gordon made us a bunch of curry carrot soup and it was delicious and packed with nutrients. My best friend is currently on a better path of health and he has been inspiring me to look after my own health (which was already something I did but it’s nice to have outside support). In 2009 I was about 35 pounds heavier than I am now but after years of changing my lifestyle habits, moving to British Columbia and working at an organic sprout farm I slowly shed the unwanted pounds. Talking about weight and food is something that has always been a sensative issue for me. Body image and the way I value myself is also something that has impacted my life and I know that it impacts other people as well. I work at a women’s centre and about two weeks ago I hosted a ‘Lazy Feminist Book Club” wherein we talked about body image and ‘fat talk’– it is always so interesting to talk about these things with other women because then you don’t feel so alone and burdened with societal pressures. In March, my women’s centre will be hosting The Body Monologues so we can faciliate open discussion about these types of issues.

I have no idea how Chai tea turned to body image but it just happened. haha

Hope you are all having a fabulous Halloween weekend! I feel like my Halloween spirit has passed and therefore this weekend I plan on hunkering down in my apartment to write some literary papers for school! Decidedly not as fun, but still valuable right? I am a nerd. It’s fine, moving on.

Cheers!

For those of you who have never eaten or seen kimchi, this is it. It’s not pretty but it tastes delicious. Recently my lover and I made kimchi which is a traditional Korean dish. Back in British Columbia (where I lived for the past two years prior to moving to the East Coast), there is a fantastic Korean restauarant  off of fifth street in downtown Courtenay called “Hana Korean Restaurant.” They don’t have their own website but I can guarentee it is the best Korean food you can get on Vancouver Island. It was at that tiny restaurant that I discovered kimchi. My lover has lived in Japan and has traveled all through-out Asia so he was already familiar with kimchi and it’s deliciousness (not to mention the health benefits and nutrients). Over the weekend we gathered everything we needed to make a big pot of kimchi to have over the course of the week. It takes about 3-4 days to ferment but once that process is over you can dig in and enjoy kimchi every day for at least a week! The ingredients in kimchi are known for their health properties–this includes garlic which has a high concentration of anti-oxidants and Chili peppers which is loaded with vitamin C. The fermentation process is important because it releases friendly bacteria called bifidobacteria (similar to yogurt) which aids in intestinal health and produces B vitamins including B-12 (which is very beneficial for vegetarians). So without further adieu:

1 head of napa cabbage (Bok Choy is nice too)

1/4 cup sea salt

1 cup cold water

Cut the cabbage into bite size pieces and place in large bowl, sprinkle salt all throughout the leaves and pour in the water. Let stand for 1 hour (stir every 20 minutes) and then drain it really well.

Whilst you’re waiting for that hour, cut up the vegetables:

3 cups cucumber

1/2 cup thinly sliced onion (white onion)

1/3 cup grated carrot

1 cup of radish (if you want) Or any type of soft-ish vegetable you want to add.

2 tbsp Korean coarse red pepper powder (bought at an Asian grocery store)

2 tbsp granulated sugar

2 tsp sea salt

Add all of these ingredients to your cabbage bowl.

In the food processor (or blender), process together:

2 long red hot peppers, chopped

1 thai chili pepper, chopped

3 tbsp chopped garlic

2 tsp chopped ginger

Stir in 4 tsp of white vinegar and 1 tbsp of fish sauce

Chop up four green onions and sprinkle over the whole mixture and then toast some sesame seeds for on top.

Cover and refridgerate (although we let ours sit covered on the counter) for at least 3 hours or for up to 5 days. 3 days is a good amount of time to wait until it’s fermented well!

Serve with steeped Jasmine tea and top it over sticky rice (or use it in a stir fry) and voila!