Wednesday, August 29, 2012

An alternate blog

Just FYI...although I do like writing about jazz I decided to expand my blogging to other areas such as daily life, musings - on the path to new adventure or a new chapter as it were on turning fifty. So, feel free to check it out..there might be restaurant recommendations, books I'm reading, products I like and general philosophizing....see you there.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Belmonte Raw class

Organic Raw Cleanses - Belmonte RawI love this place on Queen E at Carlaw and a couple of weeks ago got to take a class on raw food prep with Carol Belmonte herself - she is a wonderful person, an inspiration and great teacher. About a dozen of us including a mom and her teenage daughter prepared Gazpacho (moi), a  Mediterranean Couscous Salad - with cauliflower standing in for the grain, a zucchini noodles dish with creamy pesto and walnut "meat", vegetable crackers, and dessert - Chia Pudding with Chocolate Sauce...yum.

It inspired me to do more raw...the Gazpacho was especially delicious - prepared with some great heirloom tomatoes and ah ahem, by me. Still, the recipe and ingredients are what made it so great - I also got to use a Blendtec which is a fun departure from my Vitamix.

Carol is a lovely warm person and it was great to prepare and share with other ladies interested in raw.

Carol is off to Thailand for a few weeks so you will have to visit the place in September. I highly recommend it!

I also just finished reading "The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry" and if you're getting to a certain age this certainly resonates. Retired from his job as sales rep for a brewery and just going through the motions in life and in his strained relationship with his wife Maureen, Harold is given a mission when he receives a letter from a former co-worker who is dying of cancer in Berwick on Trent in Scotland. Feeling some remorse and new purpose he vows to make the journey by foot (in his "yacht shoes" to "keep her alive" and in the process meets many new friends with the side benefit of getting to know himself, enduring some hardships, soul searching and new appreciation for life along the way.

It's exasperating, joyful and poignant  and made me think about my own life. I am feeling lately I need some kind of "mission" or kick in the butt as I have reached this ripe age of 50 and lately have been feeling left behind, kind of an underachiever, filling my days with reading, exercise - yoga and Pilates, cooking but feel I could give so much more..I think there's so much more out there and I need to conquer my ennui and fear and take on new projects - such as singing, more writing, a career - which can take me past the usual retirement at 65, and gulp perhaps even learning to drive a car.

When I was young I had so many dreams and they seem to have fallen by the wayside - perhaps I need a life coach? I am also thinking of the years ahead and sometimes wonder what will happen - worrying about health and the passing years and days that need more substance in them. I will petition my angels and look to my meditations to help me gain some insight into my path.

Pretty amazing a novel can have that kind of affect on the meantime I am looking forward to planning our trip to Britain and 3 days in Paris. Fantastique!

Two interesting things happened today - I finally saw the Albino squirrel in Trinity Bellwoods!!! A woman and her daughter on bicycles pointed it out - the young lady said she had seen it 3 times! Wow. It was accompanied by a grey and a black squirrel.

I also got stung again...I don't know why I am so appealing to wasps all of a sudden having gone some 4 decades without any interest whatsoever. Well, it will be Autumn soon so, bye bye evil wasps.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Dr. Greger in action

Many thanks to Jinjee's blog post and my "Daily Raw Inspiration" posts  for alerting me to this video. I have had the pleasure of seeing Dr. Greger in person - he is hilarious, informative and a little scary...makes you definitely want to go vegan! You might want to check out their Garden Diet program too...and check out photos of Storm - 60 something and he is in incredible shape on a raw diet.

Can you believe a vegan's blood is like a superhero - attacking things like bad cancer

P.S. You can get to see him live at the Toronto Vegetarian Food Festival in

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Maple Ki Forest Lodge

Just got back from a lovely excursion to Maple Ki Forest Spirit Waters - a wonderful retreat on Cade Lake near Tamworth - some 2 1/2 hours east of Toronto. We were welcomed by our lovely host Julianna Norrie and her mother Mary and a great feeling of tranquility and ease.

The lake is quiet - only one other resident (aside from the beavers, frogs and birds) and NO motors! It's some 60 feet deep so provides wonderful clean drinking water as well as great fish habitat and great opportunity to swim, canoe, kayak and paddle boat - I did three of those activities.

IHow lovely an opportunity to practise yoga with Julianna at 8 a.m. -  outdoors looking over the lake. She is certainly a testament to living there - positively glowing. This is her eleventh year at this location - she was near Wiarton in a previous incarnation.

Fraser sporting the de rigeur bug hat to keep out nasty deer flies...

One of the meals....

At the table in good company..

Of course we enjoyed some delicious meals - vegan for us and veg for the other two couples - most often featuring a grain like quinoa, millet  or rice and beans or lentils - in our cases spicy black beans and curry lentils and steamed greens and veggies plus a salad. Breakfast one morning was leftover porridge sauteed in coconut oil - a kind of pancake if you will - there is always lots of fresh fruit and topping and breads for toasting. One night we even had some yummy tapioca - that was a special treat as Julianna was trying to avoid sugar and desserts. .

I indulged in a shiatsu massage which was wonderful  and other treatments such as aromatherapy and reflexology are available - highly recommended.

Conversations were great and lively plus there is a lot of opportunity to just relax and read a good book.

So if you would like a healthy, rejuvenating and relaxing get away - I suggest you check it out...