Getting Ready For a New Year, Part 4 Do a Look-Toward

Getting Ready For a New Year, Part 4                 Do a Look-Toward

Make a decision about the direction you want to take your life in this year. Look toward that. If the choices that worked in the past are supporting you in creating your kick-ass life, keep making them. Tweak as you go along. If not, make new choices instead of attempting to fix...

A-Z HEALTH

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H-H-HAZELNUTS

hazelnuts

In the nut family, hazelnuts contain the highest of vitamin E content, are 65% unsaturated fat, and are a good source of protein. They are high in most minerals; calcium, magnesium, manganese, iron, copper and potassium, zinc and selenium, and have a good B vitamin content.

So how are hazelnuts good for you? Lets start with fiber. You know, the gut loving, quality-life giving element of food we have all come to love, accept and understand. Fibre, in review, helps with our bowel transit times, helps keep the intestinal tract clean and clear, and improves overall digestion.  When digestion is functioning at full capacity, so can all other body systems be.

Vitamin E is a skin loving vitamin. Not just the skin on your face. Yes, it's great for the complexion. It's also good for tissue in the body such as cardiac muscle. Yes, hazelnuts are heart healthy! Vitamin E is also a powerful antioxidant helping our bodies combat free radicals. Our cells in our blood stream and walls of our blood vessels need protection from free radicals. Vitamin E, found in hazelnuts can help with this task, thus contributing to overall health.

The calcium found in these nuts are supportive to bone health, and strong teeth. Other minerals, such as zinc and selenium are supportive to thyroid health. Magnesium, can help relax muscle tension and aid sleep. The iron source is great for men and women, and should be loved by vegetarians as an alternative to meat.

Hazelnuts have a good source of B vitamins for those looking for new sources. B vitamins are the "anti stress" relief many of us are looking for.

Protein, healthy fat and fibre, all contribute to healthy growth and maintenance of tissues during all stages of life. So the next time you are thinking about fueling up on nuts, throw some hazels in the mix!

 

Calgary and why we love it

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What is it about Calgary that draws people from across the country and makes people from around the world choose to call it home?  Is it because Calgary has been ranked the 5th most liveable city on earth for 6 years in a row by the Economist based on 30 metrics? For those of us that were born and bred here, it’s easy to overlook the many reasons. We’ve heard people lamenting its shortcomings, we may have even done so ourselves. When we ask people why they love this city the results can be illuminating. My 11 year old daughter often tells me she loves this city because its busy, but not too busy. I know exactly what she means. As a born and raised Calgarian, it is unusual to meet someone who exhibits the same enthusiasm for the city as I do and I was eager to talk with Cody about his love for Calgary and about his online boosterism @calgaryism.

The instant I met Cody I quickly discovered his energy for Calgary cannot be contained and he easily lists the reasons why we need to stop criticizing Calgary. It was more than refreshing to hear about this city from another proud and loyal Calgarian. When asked what was best about Calgary Cody quickly replied with:

The opportunities!

We all remember the days of 100$ oil and the perception that Calgary was a gold mine, but even in a cooler environment there are opportunities for all those ready to try It is the opportunities mixed with the optimism and energy that elevate Calgary to much more than a temporary boomtown. We all love to criticize however lets run through the top three ways Cody shows off this amazing city to friends and family that visit.

The excuse that downtown Calgary is boring is bunk.

1) Tour of downtown. Calgary gets a hard time for our perceived lack of downtown culture. We’ve all heard the cliché that downtown is “dead” after 5pm. Nobody is going to confuse Calgary with Paris but when we take a deeper look at the claim that Calgary is a cultural wasteland, we realize that that’s nonsense! We have festivals galore, the Riverwalk, the Peace Bridge, the third largest Chinatown in Canada, the burgeoning East Village, the Core shopping, rafting on the Bow! The list could fill volumes.

Our vistas are one of the best in the world.

2) Have you seen the mountains? The Rockies are truly a treasure and Calgarians are fortunate to be able to see them every day. As Cody points out, there are so many vantage points in the city to see the mountains. Understandably the Rockies get all the attention, but as a southern Albertan the sight of the prairie is breathtaking too. They say that Montana is “Big sky country” but gazing upon any landscape in Calgary will make you appreciate the beauty of this place.

Pathways!...Have we talked about pathways?

3) Calgary has more park space and pathways than most cities in North America and has consistently been named one of the worlds cleanest cities. That fact might not seem very impressive but we want you to sit and think about it. From the wild parks like Fish Creek or Nose Hill to the manicured lawns of Central Memorial Park, there’s something for any and every taste. Do you want musical festivals? Prince’s Island Park has you covered; Do you want to watch a cricket match? Riley Park is the place for you; Want to learn about Calgary’s past? Heritage Park!; what about Opera? Enmax Park plays host! On and on it goes. Calgary’s parks are an under appreciated gem.

Having heard so much positive from a Calgary cheerleader I was made to wonder why people don’t seem to appreciate it all. So I had to ask the tough question: What is the biggest struggle Calgary has? Cody was unhesitating in his reply, "The excuse mentality!"

This made me pause because I’ve heard it frequently from my generation. People my age have been incredibly lucky to travel the world and we instinctively compare Calgary to those places. Often these comparisons are unfair. Cody continued "Calgary is one of the best places you can live. The more you travel the more you realize how great our parks are. How great our food scene is. How Calgary is one of the greatest places you can live.”

Sitting down with Cody made me proud to be Calgarian again. It’s easy living in this city to take it all for granted, but when we slow down and take a moment to think about it we see things big and small which make Calgary a great city. "I love Calgary, I love life, and I truly believe we are all blessed to be Canadian.

Jessica Barkwell

A-Z HEALTH

“For the love of”-GARLIC!

Garlic. It’s a staple in cooking world-wide. It’s one of the most common, easily accessible, delicious, nutritious and potent herbs on earth.

Garlic is capable of many things. As an immune boosting herb, it has the ability to affect our organs involved in immunity in such a way, that our bodies can produce more immune boosting cells, increase the activity level of existing cells, or both. Hence, why our elders would say “eat more garlic” when we suffer with cold/flu symptoms.

Not only will immune boosting garlic reduce cold/flu symptoms and potentially help us avoid them in the first place, but garlic can help rid our bodies of parasites, lower blood pressure, and aid in reducing risk of cardiovascular type dis-ease. The list goes on…purifying the blood, detoxifying through lymph and the rest of the body, lower the blood clotting factor.

Let’s talk antioxidants. What do they do? Combat free radicals, that’s what. Why is that awesome? Because a free radical is an unstable molecule that can cause irritation and breakdown of our tissues unless they are neutralized by antioxidants in the body. Garlic is just one of those antioxidants.

Garlic gives us anti-viral, anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial properties. It’s been used as a supplemental herb for more than boosting immunity. There’s more garlic has been used for; anti-ageing, antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, circulatory aid, energy boosting, immune support, and on a spiritual level, century old tales tell us that, in theory, garlic keeps away evil spirits (or any spirits for that matter). Hollywood has certainly brought these stories to life!

So eat your garlic! Cook with it, use it raw, source organic, local, good quality stuff. Keep some on hand to ward away those spirits, and most importantly, live long and strong!

ESMÉ, YOU'RE 2!!

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ESTEEMD LOVED,...

{TRIBUTE}

Here’s to looking forward, and reflecting back. From the inside out, Esme is a place of self-care. With holistic nutrition focusing on one’s transformation into health, aesthetics being the icing on the cake-allowing their guests to feel ah-mazing, and flowers to brighten ones spirit-there are no gaps to fill between inner and outer beauty. Supporting local, and small businesses, Esme boasts a wide range of products, including some of their own. Over the past 2 years, this part of the business has grown enough to create an online store, available for product ordering-thanks to the support of loyal guests who believe in the same thing Esme does-organic, whole, natural alternatives, and products that provide outstanding results. It doesn’t end there. From its conception, Esme has been on point with service. From the beautiful teas and coffees, crazy delicious popcorn, chocolates or macarons, there is always something to engage your taste buds during this experience. Private parties, a wide range of aesthetics, floral classes, holistic nutrition seminars, weddings, really any occasion is a reason to be touched by Esme-it’s a special thing. And it shows no signs of stopping. Esme. Where the end goal is that guests feel esteemed and loved. Where you get more than just health, beauty and floral. Where the vision is clear and the visionary becomes a true part of revolutionizing what the standard of beauty is.

{SHE} She creates her own path, gathering like-minded individuals to walk with her. She treats guests and Esme staff with much consideration, respect and honour. Serving them the best bites, and creating a welcoming, comfortable setting. She is tolerant of those who are lost on their path. She forgives those who make mistakes. When something doesn’t work, she works to fix it. She doesn’t give up when it gets hard, and is pulled in 10 different directions at once, and that’s inspiring. She practices optimism, and strives to create only an optimistic environment. She loves her staff like family, constantly building a strong foundation. Her staff is amazing, diverse, caring, hard-working, and talented. She’s always looking to maintain balance-in life and business. She is true to herself first, never straying from her dream. This, is why she is able to nurture and help them to reach theirs. She shares good fortune with others. She gives….and gives, and then gives some more. She inspires us to become our best version of ourselves. She is strong enough to stand alone, She’s herself enough to stand apart, And wise enough to stand together.

Team Esme-may you continue to grow, prosper, inspire, help others feel esteemed and loved. You are legendary at year 2!

Team ESME…. Angela, Meg, Andee, Robyn, Katie, Sarah, Jess, Jojo, Becca, Sara, Sora, Jill.

Written by:

Lise Johnson

A-Z HEALTH

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F-is for...FIG!

Sweet, mildly fragrant, soft, and rich in colour, figs are a powerful and useful fruit. They pack an amazing amount of nutrients; high amounts of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, iron, fiber, sulphur, many B vitamins, copper, zinc, manganese, vitamin C, vitamin E and even small amounts of lipids (fats) and amino acids (protein). Because of the high calcium content of figs, they are known to help maintain strong bones. Figs also have a reputation for being able to kill bacteria and roundworms in the body, and they are useful for things like aiding digestion, hemorrhoids, constipation and lowering blood cholesterol. These gems boost immunity and help ease coughs, hoarseness, as well as ease symptoms of respiratory and lung disorders. Did you digest all of that? Yeah-it’s a lot for one fruit!

{RECIPE}

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THE INGREDIENTS 6 beautiful, ripe figs 2 oz cheese, like brie, goat or other (approx.) balsamic reduction or honey (to drizzle) small handful of pistachios

THE HOW TO

To start, place the oven rack in the middle position and turn your oven to broil. Cut the cheese into small pieces. Wash the figs and cut off the very tips. Cut a cross about one-third of the way down the fig. Open it up slightly and place a piece of cheese inside. Ripe figs are quite delicate, so make sure to be gentle with them. Place each fig onto a parchment-lined baking tray and into the oven. Broil for about 2-3 minutes or until the cheese fully melts. To serve, place onto a platter and drizzle with a balsamic reduction (or a quality, aged balsamic vinegar), or honey. Top with pistachios. These delicious figs are amazing served with lightly toasted crostini. Enjoy with gratitude!

-Lise Johnson

Soul Q's

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SELF-LOVE{an inventory of the soul}

There is a deep, true connection between our spiritual being and our physical body. The importance of feeding our bodies with the right foods is a piece of the big picture, for sure. But today, I ask you to take a look inside. Nourish your spirit. Get a pen and paper. Create positive pathways in your brain by repeatedly focusing on a life of fulfillment, and what that means to you. Write it down, make it real. Create your destiny.

Fulfillment; To witness the fulfillment of a dream; to achieve fulfillment of ones hopes.

Do you live a life of fulfillment? Are you living a life for you? Do you live to serve others? Do you live to serve one? Is your soul satisfied with how and to whom you are serving?

Do you grant yourself time for self-love? How do you practice this ritual? What does your heart desire today? What is sacred to you? What do you want to change in your life? What is a quote that resonates within you? What is the best advice you have received recently? What advise would you give yourself today? What are you grateful for? What will you do to feel you are leading a life of fulfillment?

create yourself

-Lise Johnson

A-Z HEALTH

‘E’ is for ESSENTIAL

{BUILDING BLOCKS} We hear a lot about EFA’s (essential fatty acids). The reality is, there are many things that are essential for our physical bodies to thrive. Today, I’m talking about Essential Amino Acids. These amino acid’s are the building blocks of protein. All proteins are combinations of 23 amino acids. Our bodies make most of them on it's own, but eight of those amino's are essential, meaning our bodies cannot make them. When all of these essential amino’s are present in the body, it’s able to produce other amino acids. When some, or even just one amino acid is low or not present, the body is unable to synthesize other proteins it needs-even if we have a high protein intake. Protein, the wonderful macronutrient that it is, is responsible for amazing things like building and maintenance of tissue, for the formation of hormones, blood clotting, formation of milk during lactation, and regulating the acid-alkaline balance of tissues and blood. Amino acids also improve cognitive function. Chemical messengers called neurotransmitters that communicate from cell to cell are dependant on amino acids for that communication to happen. These messengers (there are hundreds of different kinds in the brain and body), affect mood, emotions, sleep patterns, our ability to cope with-and calm down after stress. The’ll keep you sharp, happy, and relaxed-when amino acids are in balance. Serotonin (which is made from the amino acid tryptophan), is an example of a key neurotransmitter. It keeps you happy, improving your mood and banishes the blues. Serotonin is a pre-cursor to melatonin, which is what give us our day/night patterns and helps us sleep.

{PROTEIN POWER} Generally speaking, the better the quality of protein you eat, the less you actually need to be well nourished. The quality of a protein is determined by it’s balance of amino acids. How much protein is enough? Well, that depends on the person and his/her needs. Are they an athlete looking to achieve certain goals? Or a middle aged woman who requires protein maintenance? Some great sources of good quality protein with the right balance of amino acids (aside from protein powders and supplements), are; Quinoa, brown rice, tuna, cod, salmon, sardines, chicken, eggs, organic yogurt, lentils/rice combined, and beans/rice combined.

{GENERAL GUIDELINES} To help ensure optimal intake of amino acids, make sure you are getting 3 protein-rich foods per day. Choose good quality, vegetable and meat sources and include a wide variety. Variety is key. When eating animal proteins, choose organic and grass fed whenever possible. Remember, the 3 macro’s-carbs, proteins, and fats should be consumed at each meal! If you have further questions regarding your protein intake and your lifestyle, or any other dietary needs, contact your personal heath care coach-that may be a holistic nutritionist, personal trainer, or your doctor. Now get building your blocks!

-Lise Larochelle

C.H.N. Certified Holistic Nutritionist

Vélo Café

 

Introducing Vélo Café

They are at it again! The founders of Cassis Bistro have another delightful offering for Calgary to enjoy - Vélo Café, which opened November 25th.

 

 

It all started when Gille Brassart (co-owner of Cassis Bistro and Suzette Bistro) created a Facebook group for cyclists in the city. After weekly rides, the group would end up back at Cassis and Gilles saw the need for a space dedicated to their lifestyle and sense of community.

Brassart teamed up with Joel Goralski (owner of Market 17) and voilà… Vélo (rhymes with hello) Café was created. Goralski brings his passion for cycling (he runs a cycling tour company in Buccerious, Mexico), as well as for good food and coffee.

Vélo Café is in the re-vamped Market 17 in the Casel Marché building, located on the corner of 17th Avenue and 24th Street SW and next door to Cassis Bistro. The cozy space seats 25, with barn doors on either end. From 7 am to 6 pm the door opens for Vélo Café and from 6 pm till close the door opens for a private dining room for Cassis Bistro.

Vélo Café is serving patisserie style french delicacies, including croissant and pan de chocolat, plus a breakfast menu lovingly prepared by Chef Stephanie Bayer (Head Chef at Cassis Bistro) and Chef Kazumi Sato (Pastry Chef, Cassis Bistro). There is a large screen on the wall so enthusiasts can watch live cycling events.

Market 17 is stocking a new Cassis-to-Go line which includes menu favourites such as Quiche, Croque-Monsieur, delicious salads and daily soup and has fine-tuned it’s focus to as local and fresh as it can be.

There is now a dedicated space for hand-picked local creators and their product, including body care and flowers from esmebeautiful.com, chocolates from Master Chocolat by Bernard & Sons and gift cards by redpaperboutique.ca. They will also be selling the cycling themed pottery used in the café. Check out the pre-assembled gift bags as will as a do-it-yourself option.

Vélo Café welcomes non-cyclists as well!!!

 

~Jill Forsyth~

A-Z HEALTH

D IS FOR SUNSHINE

Vitamin D. Are you getting enough? It's something that most people are deficient in. It is the vitamin that requires such a great deal of whole-body participation for it to be converted into what's known as vitamin D3, the most active form and best utilized by the body. The skin, bloodstream , liver, and kidneys all contribute to the transformation of the fully active form, D3.

It all starts with our skin, and the sun. Vitamin D is actually manufactured in our skin when it comes into contact with the u.v. light in the sun's rays. Hence, the name "sunshine vitamin" (in case you've not heard the reference before). From the skin, it's then sent to the liver for conversion, and then furthermore, to the kidneys. So, really, vitamin D is more like a hormone than a vitamin. This is because it's produced by one part of the body (skin) and released into the blood to affect other tissues (the bones).

Wintertime, dark skies, smog and darkly pigmented skin can reduce our bodies production of this vitamin.

Vitamin D helps a number of bodily functions. It helps regulate calcium metabolism and normal calcification of the bones.  Ladies, this is especially important for us, as we get older, since the most we can do after a certain age is maintain our bone integrity.  Vitamin D helps increase the absorption of calcium from the gut, decrease excretion from the kidneys (thats right, we loose it through excretion), can stimulate re-absorption of calcium and phosphorus from bone, and support minerals in teeth. On the other hand, if D is low, blood levels of calcium and phosphorous decrease, our body will pull those minerals from the bones, creating weak, demineralized bones.  Blood calcium is very important in connection with the parathyroid glands. If you have further questions regarding this, it's best to see your holistic nutritional consultant for advise.

If you are currently taking a calcium vitamin without vitamin D3, it's probably not doing you much good unless you get a lot of sun which can also have it's cons. So what's the ideal bone support? Calcium and magnesium, which should be taken in a 2:1 ratio, with vitamin D together, is probably the best. Typically you can buy a cal/mag supplement and it will come in the right ratio. Often, it will include vitamin D, making it an easy supplement to add to your regime.

A-to-the-D. One final point. This is a topic on it's own, but you can pick up an amazing Weston. A. Price book for an in depth explanation as to why. Just to put it simply though, Vitamin D is best utilized by the body with vitamin A.  They are both fat-soluble vitamins that work synergistically together. They long for each other. Vitamin A food sources include, but are not limited to; high quality fish oils, good quality dairy products if tolerated (if not tolerated, perhaps fermented versions of dairy). Green and yellow fruit and veggies are the best sources of beta carotene (the water soluble co-factor). If your liver is healthy, it will have the ability to convert beta carotene into the active form of vitamin A (retinol).

Do the D. Get ample, safe exposure to sun, and supplement if necessary. Always consult your health practitioner before doing so. Love your liver, so that it can love you back, and have a bright, bright sunshiny day!

Recommended Read:

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{The Biology Of Belief}

As I read this book again for the second time, I find more inspiration! It's one I just have to share. Whether you already understand how a healthy mind equates to a healthy body, or you're a bit skeptical about how the power of thought can heal our bodies, this book is a good read.

Bruce H. Lipton, author of The Biology Of Belief, gives such detail in his writing. He bridges the gap between science and spirit so perfectly, that in my opinion, he can persuade even the skeptics, who don't believe that our cells can respond to our thoughts and have an impact on our health, that in fact they can. He explains how, scientifically, we are not victims of our genes.

Bruce Lipton prefers to call his book a "self-empowerment" book, rather than a "self-help" book, and that seems perfectly fitting to me.

Throughout the chapters, Lipton discusses "smart" cells and how they control our bodies, how genes do not control our biology, how the cell membrane is the true brain of cellular operations, quantum physics, how our positive or negative thoughts and emotions can control our physical biology and how to change certain pathways in the brain, and conscious parenting-so we can better influence our children and lead them on a path towards their own self-empowerment!

"It is my sincerest hope the you will recognize that many of the beliefs propelling your life are false and self-limiting and you will be inspired to change those beliefs. Understanding on a scientific level how cells respond to your thoughts and perceptions illuminates the path to personal empowerment."

-Bruce.H. Lipton

einstein

Get it, and a cuppa-something hot, and enrich your life!

Author: Lise Johnson

A-Z HEALTH

B IS FOR BEET

{THE MIGHTY BEET}

This beautiful, starchy root, who's greens are delicious and nutritious, is earthy, versatile and stunning just to look at. Beet greens are particularly high in vitamin A, iron and calcium. They can be eaten in salads, juiced, cooked with or used as wraps. Because they are rich in carotenes, they are supportive to healthy glowing skin. They increase the body's alkalinity and improve liver function as well as help correct problems related to bile flow. (Bile is needed to help emulsify fats.) The beet root itself, is richest in iron, potassium, niacin, copper and vitamin C, with other nutrients present in smaller amounts. Beets have a cleansing effect on the liver and is supportive to the stomach and intestines. They aid digestion and the lymphatic system to flush out toxins. The provide clean burning energy and help build red blood cells! From borsht to juice, salads to beet kvass or purreed beet hummus, the possibilities with beets are endless! Love those beets, and they'l love you back. Your liver, immune system, digestion, skin and more will thank you. I promise!

-Lise Johnson

A-Z HEALTH

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"A" is for apple.

The apple. A common household staple, and a notable whole food. Apples can be somewhat underestimated in their nutritional value, and are sometimes slandered because they are on the list of produce with heavy pesticide residues. Just another reason to support local farmers and markets, and get to know what is on your food, right?  If your apples are waxed, better to remove the skin. Otherwise, find organic and chemical free whenever possible.

An apple a day, eaten with the skin has nearly 17 percent of the daily recommended amount of dietary fiber! They reduce inflammation and promote overall healthy in the intestinal tract.

They phytochemical found in apples called quercetin has strong immune and anti-inflammatory properties. Apples can help detoxify metals in the body, clean the bladder, lower blood cholesterol, blood pressure and stabilize blood sugar. They also support healthy glowing skin!

Apples contain vitamin C, some B vitamins, calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, zinc, and more.

Right now, some folks may be finished the last of their apples from the early fall harvest. Others may have an abundance of them. Don't let them go to waste. Eat them whole, juice them, bake with them, ferment them with your kraut! Make apple buttuh. Get creative!

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How' you like them apples?

{Check out the clean fifteen and the dirty dozen for an up to date list of produce that will indicate which fruits/veggies are best bought organic, or safe to eat even when they are not.}

Recipe: Coconut Curry Refrigerator Soup

COCONUT CURRY "REFRIGERATOR" SOUP This is a great end-of-the-week-use-up-what-you-have-in-your-fridge soup. Hence, the name "refrigerator soup". I find soups and salads the easiest way to use up leftovers, and this time of year, it's so nice to cozy up with a mug of warm, creamy, whole body supporting soup!

THE HEALTH HI-LIGHTS Why is it whole body supporting? Well, to begin, it's supportive to the digestive system. When our digestive system is working at full capacity, it will utilize the foods we put in our mouths, and transport those nutrients to all of our other body systems for nourishment. Healthy gut, healthy everything else!

Bone broth is supportive not only to digestion, but also bones, connective tissue, skin, hair nails and more.

This soup will support your immune system going into the cold/flu season, so keep incorporating a variety of vegetables, fruits, garlic, and lots of greens on hand!

Healthy fats, such as coconut oil, as called for in this recipe, are essential to our heath. Consider the fact that our cell membranes are actually made out of fat! The cell membrane is vitally important because it separates the cells in the body from their outside world (the rest of our body). Fats (lipids) also allow for the exchange of nutrients. Our cell membranes cannot be working in top condition without healthy fat from the diet. Our brain is also almost entirely fat, so you can see the connection between a healthy cell membrane and cognitive function! The topic of healthy fat is vast, and this is just a tidbit of info in connection with the ingredients in this soup recipe.

THE RECIPE

1 tsp coconut oil 1 onion, diced 3 cloves garlic, minced 1 tsp grated ginger 2 cups bone/vegetable broth (or any other broth) 1 can organic coconut milk any leftover veggies/meat, chopped 1 tsp curry powder or paste (or as much as you like, to taste) pinch of salt and more to taste Splash of passion

In soup pot, melt coconut oil. Add onion at med-low, add a pinch of salt, and cook gently until unions are soft-about 10 minutes. Add chopped veggies for about 5 minutes, then add garlic and ginger. Once garlic and ginger are fragrant, (about 30 seconds), add the curry powder or paste, and stir in for another 30 seconds or so. (if it's a bit dry, add a couple of teaspoons of your broth). Salt to taste. Turn up heat to medium, and add broth and coconut milk. Simmer on med to low until veggies are the desired tenderness, and the taste is to liking. If you want to take the extra step to blend your soup until it's creamy, no one is stopping you. Enjoy the love you just provided to our body and soul!

XO

-Lise-Marie Johnson

ESME CULTURE

Esme Culture

{A reminder-or in case you didn't know and were wondering….}

Why Esme? Because of the vision. Because of a dream. Because it offers something unique. Because of diversity and strength among women, community, health, and to feel esteemed and loved.

There is something for everyone at Esme. But the end goal is that our guests feel esteemed and loved, as the term "esme" goes.

Whether you are a garden fairy who believes in an all natural, from the earth regime, to the result driven, make me look 20 years younger beauty, we believe that you are unique and beautiful just the way you are.

{Foundation}

Our first effort goes to offering a unique, all natural approach to esthetics. Esthetics is generally a world of chemicals and toxins, not only potentially harmful to the client, but also the esthetician. Esme thrives to promote and use products less harmful to the environment, staff and guests. That's why we make our own lotions, scrubs, cuticle oils, and some facial products here in house.

Whenever possible, you will see us use products we make, or that we have sourced from local creators who also believe in the importance of natural products.

{Love}

We're serving up love here, folks. We serve love in our teas, coffees and snacks-taste them and you'll know! We'll love you the minute you walk through the door. We'll build relationships, and keep them strong. Come see us for a healthy dose of it-you deserve it!

Day 30-Reflection

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{REFLECTION}

30 Days of Ink.

My last entry. (Last journal that will post to Esme, anyways).All I can think about is reflection. A look back over the past 30 journals. What does reflection mean to me? Of course, it's looking back, and remembering what I've been through. But on a deeper level, it means I'm ready to see if i've held myself accountable. Have I followed through with my goals, and challenges? I'd say for the most part, yes.

I've been finishing books, eating clean, exercising, meditating, taking more time for myself. I have not done as much yoga as I would have liked to, and have not journaled as regularly as I would have liked to either. But that's ok.

I feel more filled with gratitude than ever before. The generosity, love and acceptance I feel daily from family and friends is beyond any thank you's. The beauty of this province is divine. The way that the stars have begun to align make my heart feel warm.

I feel so deeply, the body-mind-spirit connection. Healthy mind, healthy body is a for real thing, and it's always in the forefront of my mind. I'm going to continue to feed my healthy state of mind through good clean whole foods, people, places, and life choices.

Meditation and consciousness in connection with staying grounded is an action that has made the big move to B.C. so smooth. Without a sense of feeling grounded to the earth, my soul would feel utterly lost. I'm grateful for the ability to connect and ground. To find solitude among chaos. Quiet amidst the noise. Mother earth keeps me on solid ground-I guess not just figuratively, but literally also. I've been spending lots of time as I promised myself, outdoors, barefoot when I can, breathing in fresh air. I continue to find alone time-even for 5 minutes here or there. It's where I'm the most comfortable. It's just me, in my skin, with my thoughts and heart. Sweet escapes!

While I know I will be forever on the "who am I really" journey, I'm enjoying being able to better "define me". Nothing grows confidence like knowing yourself. Spending time with family, and building clan is helping me feel connected and a part of something special on this earth. I'm not any closer to any information about my birth family, but with little critters of my own, I find beauty in knowing that what I have is enough. My heart is full.

Balance. Life is all about balance. When I reflect on some of the challenges I had facing balancing career, family, and self love, I recognize how far I've come. I have given myself permission to say no to things. I allow myself "me" time. I try to just focus on the moment at hand. Being present. I've been able to relax into the beautiful moments of life, and let things go. It's so much easier to maintain balance that way.

Forward momentum. I have written a few times about feeling a strong momentum that is propelling me forward. I have sowed seeds. Little tiny soul seeds that I'm nurturing and will harvest when the time is just right. Creativity has been flowing for upcoming projects that frighten and excite me at the same time! I continue to try to nurture my creative expression, and balance my throat chakra. It's all about confidence, will power, truth, communication and the power of the spoken word-all strengths I will require in moving forward with what I'm really passionate about doing with my career.

Love. I love reflecting on love. I'm blessed to have more time to spend with my husband Stacy. Thanks to family and friends again, who graciously watch our kids, we are able to get a little bit more back to "us". We value our time together. We are lovers first, friends second, parents, aunt/uncles, etc…but always lovers first. Roots. Always remembering roots in a loving relationship. Where we fell in love, our favourite places new discoveries, laughter, and growth-together, and as individuals.

I still need to work on getting more sleep-as I stay up late to write this journal. This is an ongoing work in progress, and usually is a bit of a yo-yo looking pattern. Sometimes I'm getting ample rest, and other times I am so busy I wish sleep was a choice rather than a necessity. As I settle in better here in B.C, I foresee more of a routine, early-to-bed sleep schedule.

Whew. That was a lot to take in. Good run!

{Going forward}

In moving forward, this quote seems to sum things up nicely..

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/9710955421142642/

When life gets put on hold...

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This is where I am at today in my life. The 30 days of Esme Ink has been on a hold for far too long, and it was never intended to be a long drawn out project. It was intended to be 30 journals, within 30 or more days, keeping me in check and being vulnerable-inspiring people to do the same, or to just follow along.Life has changed, and things were put on hold until today.

My family and I have relocated to beautiful British Columbia. Over the past 6 months, whether we were moving B.C., or staying in Calgary, was an on again/off again possibility that so quickly turned into a monumental, provincial move. With a closing date of 2 weeks, It all still seems like a dream. It some times hits me-"Wow. We are really here!" But for the most part, We all still feel a bit overwhelmed, displaced (while we search for a home that we can call our own), and a bit scared.

What do I miss the most? Being a part of something special. Esme is special. And I realize it now even more being away. The concept. The people. The surroundings. Angela's passion to create something unique. But I bring a piece of all of that with me, in my heart and it inspires me as I move forward.

This is the life journey I've needed. A shake up. A wake up. A breath of fresh air-literally, this mountain air I have missed! So, needless to say, life has sort of been on hold for a few months now until we knew exactly what was happening. Now, to move forward for REAL. These next weeks are going to be a time of spiritual growth, a test of personal strength and patience. It's going to require a lot of effort, positivity, and passion. It's an opportunity to push my career to the next level. I'm going to "Mount my mission!" Take control, and grow.

How am I going to keep my self in check? Physical self care through exercise. Hiking, running, yoga, work outs. Adaptogens-yes please Surrounding myself with only positive humans Ample sleep Meditation Good quality whole foods

My mantra today is a very simple one, and I will apply this to everything I do. There is so much to be done, and in order to stay stress free, and calm, this mantra will help simply my life in the upcoming week(s).

I will, Start Where I am. Use What I have. Do What I can"

[Cleanse + Detox ] : Post-Stampede

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Well Calgarians, the long, wet week of stampeding has come to a close.

Many of us are now feeling the need for a cleanse. Not just of the body, but the body-mind-spirit.

When you hear the word cleanse-what does it mean to you? For some, it's a liquid diet. For some, it's fasting. For some, it's eating only clean foods or avoiding sugar.  For others it's just getting back to basics.

"Cleanse" is really a vague term.  What works for one person does not always work for the next. We are all biochemically unique, and have different dietary and lifestyle requirements.

Depending on your current situation, the extremeness of the cleanse you choose, is a very important consideration. Often, a person can become sick and experience many symptoms during a cleanse; headache, withdrawal, nausea, exhaustion, and more. This is a good indication that your body is not quite ready for the cleanse of choice. On the other hand, depending on toxicity level, these symptoms may be experienced for short periods of time.

Typically, when detoxing, our bodies are going to want to eliminate toxins. Hence, some symptoms. However, it doesn't necessarily have to be so painful. Slow steps in the right direction, and ensuring your body is prepared for such a detox is key!

{Post Stampede Cleanse}

Esme invites you to take a journey with our holistic nutritionist, Lise, as she guides you onto a path that is your own. One of self-love, ownership, freedom and vitality. With a full nutritional assessment, she'll be able to help you determine where your body is at-perhaps cleanse-ready, or maybe with a few adjustments first to prepare the body. These adjustments may be necessary to set yourself up for better success to cleanse. (All nutritional concerns will be addressed as well.)

Also looked at in detail during this cleanse, is the spiritual connection to health. Dealing with any blockages will allow cleansing and clearing to take place. The spiritual connection to our physical health is real!

Psst…(Some healthy snacks and organic cold pressed juices will be sent home with you to help set you up for success.)

For more details, contact Esme

403 264 5355

info@esmebeautiful.com