Flowing with Flow

August 29, 2011 § Leave a comment

Among the 1000s of Ways to be Happy, here are a few – from my vacation, so far:

1. Dipping my newly pedi’d toes in mom & dad’s backyard fountain. Ahh, how cool water cleanses …

2. Photographing water bubbles, autumn leaves, swimming algae, rocks … and more rocks … on Lake Ontari-ari-o;

3. Hangin’ with a bunch of awesome ladies at The Canadian Cancer Society’s women’s cancers fund-raiser, Hope and the City, at Zu Bar in Burlington, ON;

4. Visiting my friends Bry & Carrie and their little sweet pea, Airlie Leah Jones:

5. Yoga on the rocks on the shores of downtown Oakville;

6. Afternoon patio lunch meeting with my friend and client, Rob Price, working on edits and ideas for his irreverent blog, Bob’s Etiquettes … to be published in book form in Summer of 2012! Seriously cool;

7. Downtown Oakville squirrels, shamelessly dining on Garbage Day detritus … ergo delights;

8. Blueberry Cheesecake French Toast Casserole. Found the sin-less little recipe in Clean Eating Magazine. It was love at first bite:

9. Family time with Rod, Dad, Suz, Mom – and Misha;

10. This beautiful day – may I flow with it, and be free from attachments, longing, and – always – loving. Grace first. No matter.

Epi-blog: Yoga Deck Play

11. Holy-sh%*-I-can-do-it!-asana … but how did my arms get sooooo much more tanned than my legs?!

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To market, to market …

August 7, 2011 § 6 Comments

No fresh pig.

But tables upon booths full of yummy, nutritious, local, organic, colourful, scented, pretty … stuff.

So, basically, everything I love.

I met up with some of my girl gang this fine morning – Patrycia, Corrine and Noreen – for a java-to-go from Transcend, followed by a stroll through the Downtown City Market, then lunch, wine and a hearty gab session at Blue Plate Diner.

The perfect Saturday.

Noreen shared her farm-fresh carrots with us – the kind girl that she is:

Corrine stocked up on a few eclectic ingredients to experiment with in her kitchen tonight – including multi-coloured Swiss chard and some weird veggie called a Kohlrabi, that supposedly tastes like broccoli stems.

And here’s an Edmonton Examiner-style close-up shot of said-Kohlrabi – what can you expect when you get three former reporters and a photographer together, throw in a camera and oodles of great photo opps?! Love the chin dimple, Sweet P.

Confession: I know I’m not supposed to be buying any more clothes right now … but ya see, there was this “Get-the-second-dress-for-50%-off” deal at the cinder + smoke kiosk, and, in short, Patrycia made me.

(Sorry, Ma. I will pay penance by purging my closet of not one, not two, but three items … but I may need a glass of red to loosen me up first;)

Trish: FYI, we have to go somewhere in our new dresses soon. Like tomorrow, girlfriend.

… or maybe I’ll just get me a part-time waitress job at Mel’s Diner … Ha!

“What’ll it be, boys?” … “Do you want soup or fries with that?” … “Ya’ll come back now, ya hear?” (insert vociferous gum smacking, hip throw and saucy wink.)

Noreen and Trish got friendship necklaces. I guess Trish and I got friendship dresses … and Corinne just wanted some quality time with us, girls. Smart cookie.

I was lovin’ the East Indian dancers who were performing on a stage in the middle of the market and bustin’ out some pretty cool moves:

And finally, I learned a new word: Guasacaca – a very popular condiment in Venezuela similar to Mexican guacamole. Add a bit of spice, and you have:

This is just one of the many delicious, healthy, unique edibles I will be offering in six weeks time at the 3rd Annual Fall Soul Yoga Retreat.

Hey friend, if you want to treat yourself to an unforgettable getaway weekend full of yoga, good eats, beautiful surroundings, rest, relaxation, organic wine-tasting, awesome peeps, spa pamper sessions and more, this event could be for you. (Visit my website www.jenniferparks.ca for more details.)

Hope to yog with you soon.

xo Jenn

Magic moments

May 30, 2011 § Leave a comment

This Hail to Kale Salad is so good … I could cry.

Nothing like replenishing your Vitta-mins and crawling back on the health & balance bandwagon, especially after a few too many Hail Caesars the night before.

Nothing like a good garage sale – or three – on a bummed-out Friday afternoon, beating the after-work rummage crowds to the best, used loot.

Ha-ha. Ha-ha-ha.

I found a big $1 old-school chalkboard at a garage sale that had the words “I love my family,” etched by a child’s hand into its wooden frame. Got a little misty.

Also bought two old, beaten wood vintage crates for five bucks a piece that I plan to fix up and stain, then use for flowers or magazines.

Projects. Holy Mother of Martha Stewart … I love projects. And projects love me; I know, because I feel the love – and lose myself in gluing, sanding, painting, planting; emptying, the love floods in and bathes and licks my wounds like a sweet, loyal puppy.

Love the love. And love those little laughs, light moments, random joys that pop up unexpectedly in your dark day – like the one I had at my expense this morning at the gas station:

~

Domo Attendant: Good morning. What will it be?

Jenn: (Sleepily) Can you fill it up halfway? (Yup. Halfway)

Domo attendant: I’m sorry, I can’t do that. (Bemused smile).

Jenn: (Looking a little stunned, as the blinds go up.) Right. Okay.  (To self: It’s not like you can see inside my tank … and know how much is in there!) … so… could you put in … uh … about $20?

Domo attendant: (Smiling, and starting to double over laughing): That, I can do! (Running with the joke, while gassing up) … Yeah, it’s not like I’ve got x-ray vision or something … like I know how much gas is already there ….

Jenn: oh-my-God … that’s so funny … total blonde moment … bet you’ll enjoy telling that one to people today;)

~

To me, it was priceless. Laughed until … I cried. Magic moments like this make everything okay  …  if for a moment or two.

Today, wrote on my new, old chalkboard this William Blake quote: “He who kisses the joy as it flies lives in eternity’s sunrise.”

Disembodied voice: “And a moment or two are no small thing, Chicken Wing.” (In case you’re wondering, that’s my “Highest Self” talking; she likes to call me “Chicken Wing.” Don’t ask.)

As I drove away, with a full tank, I took a sip of my giant two-litre Gatorade and, as I glanced in the rear-view mirror, I caught  a glimpse of a sparkly, wet glimmer in Domo Girl’s eyes too.

Happiness in a little green bean

February 26, 2010 § Leave a comment

Did you know there is actually a Facebook Group for fans of Edamame beans?

In a heartbeat, I joined.

These smooth, fleshy, yummy, wholesome soybeans make the idea of going vegetarian entirely more plausible for me.

I first fell in love with edamame while looking for a protein fix at Planet Organic in their prepared food section. I go there to teach my old, stubborn brain new tricks: fast food doesn’t have to be New York Fries and McChickens – which taste sooooo good – but leave me feeling sluggish and crampy. Just one serving each of “Vegan Arame & Edamame Salad” and P.O.’s infamous “Hail to Kale Salad,” and I get a rush of energy and am ready for the afternoon.

Tonight I quite successfully made my own Arame & Edamame salad, which I plan to serve as one of the side dishes at the upcoming Spring Yoga Retreat I’m hosting in Stony Plain, Alberta, this May.

After reading on the Internet that arame is dried seaweed that’s soaked until it softens and becomes meaty, I took my grocery list to T&T Supermarket. Not a sweet soul working there had ever heard of “arame,” so I brought home three kinds of pre-packaged dried seaweed and figured I’d just experiment. A Google search informed me that arame is a species of kelp best known for its use in Japanese cuisine. It’s high in calcium, iron, magnesium, vitamin A, other minerals and good stuff.

One of the packages I brought home enigmatically states

“It is the organic food of green ocean. Demonstrated by Japanese expert that one of the macrobiotics secret of Japanese is to eat kelp frequently.”

So, legend  – and science? – have it that arame is good for you. And my belly agrees.

You’re probably wondering, what does happiness have to do with soybeans and seaweed? Well, to use a cliché, you are what you eat – literally. Our bodies’ compositions are constantly shifting. As we take in food and water, our bodies absorb their chemical nutrients as part of its whole.

So why not load up on foods that are healthy, tasty, nourishing, non-harming and packed with good karma?

Those little green kidney-shaped beans and my new culinary acquaintance, arame, definitely have one up on the classic fare of American fast-food chains which are conveniently located on virtually every street corner.

Besides, saying “edamame,” just makes me smile.

Arame & Edamame Salad

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