A new beginning.

You did it – congratulations on finishing the cleanse!

Thank you for your commitment and hard work!

I hope each of you found this to be a beneficial experience that helped you to better understand yourself and cultivate a deeper appreciation for you and for what nourishes you.

Remember that there are no bad/good foods, just foods with different properties. You have laid the foundation of understanding how foods affect you; so now, how you apply that knowledge is up to you. In the end, the most important thing is to savour and cultivate gratitude for what you eat.

May the daily sadhana you dedicated yourself to during this time continue to be practices that you can lean on as you continue your journey towards self-awareness, healing, and gratitude. Trust in your practice, and trust in yourself. If you have any further questions, consider booking a private consultation with me. One-on-one time is the best way to see how Ayurvedic wisdom can be applied to suit your particular needs. Send me an email or chat with me for more info.

Also have a look at the Resources page for a list of reading materials for developing more knowledge on Ayurveda, yoga, and other food/life-related matters. If you haven’t already, please subscribe to my newsletter for updates on upcoming workshops and retreats.

Thank you for joining me.

Take good care,

our interconnectedness.

Ayurveda is the study of relationships – opposites balance eachother out; like increases like.  As we continue to explore the relationship between us and our food, let’s start seeing ourselves as a part of the ecosystem, not above it.  Good food cannot be reduced to single ingredients; it requires a web of relationships to support it.

So how do we eat?  Before that, how do we purchase food?

Whether we do it consciously or not, the purchases we make send a message to companies and the government about what we want to see more of in the world.  That means that we vote with our dollar.  So buy the things that you want to see more of: free-range eggs, antibiotic-free meat, local/organic grains and vegetables, raw honey…whatever it is that makes sense to you! Let’s start eating in a way that is based on what the landscape and oceans can provide.

Discovering new foods and food producers is so much fun – here is a short list to get you started!

Sourcing Local/Seasonal Food in Winnipeg – A Short List

Bee Project Apiaries
Many of the foods and crops we eat rely on bees to pollinate these plants.  With the global honeybee population on the decline, it is all the more imperative that we look at the relationships in our ecosystem and see what roles we can play in supporting them.  Bee Project Apiaries are the founders of the Urban Pollination Project, which maintains hives within the city of Winnipeg.  Operating like a CSA*, you can host a hive and share in the honey that is harvested!  Another way to do your part is to grow native wildflowers that attract honeybees, avoid the use of pesticides and fertilizers in your garden, and of course, eat honey!  You can find Bee Project Apiaries honey at Little Sister Coffee Maker, Parlour Coffee, and farmer’s markets.

Hearts and Roots
Hearts and Roots is a small-scale, spray-free vegetable farm located 3 km south of Elie, Manitoba, right on the La Salle River. They grow over 100 varieties of fruits and vegetables without the use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides. All of their seed is either organic or untreated and none of the species are GMO. The farm is committed to responsible agriculture and the role it plays in an inspired community. Visit their website to learn more about their CSA program.

Small Farms Manitoba
A directory of small farms, CSA shares, U-pick farms, and farmer’s markets in friendly Manitoba. A great place to get an overview of what’s available in terms of delicious, well-made local food.

Tamarack Farms
Ryan Pengelly and his family grow delicious Manitoban quinoa on their farm close to Erickson, Manitoba. They also raise pastured pigs (Berkshire and Duroc-Large White cross) and chickens, which allows the farm to work towards a sustainable and self-sufficient system of operation. Find awesome quinoa recipes on their website; their quinoa can be bought online and around the city (try Bouchée Boucher). They are also a few short years away from completing their organic certification.

*CSA stands for community supported agriculture. Members sign up for weekly farm shares prior to the growing season. This allows farmers to purchase seed and equipment before planting begins. Members receive boxes of produce for weekly pickup, and in turn, take on some of the risk (and reward!) of farming.

Happy food discovering!

bonus recipe: yogi tea.

A tea fit for a yogi – and all Doshas!  You can make a large batch mix of the spices (except the fresh ginger) and store it in a jar for use later.  I’ve also used dried ginger instead of fresh, and it’s lovely that way too.

Here is a breakdown of the benefits of each spice included in this tea mix.  The culminating effect of all of these spices is warming, and Sattvic, improving Agni and burning away Ama.

Black pepper is one of the most powerful digestive stimulates; it burns up Ama and helps to cleanse the digestive system.

Cardamom stimulates digestion, has a Sattvic quality, and imparts a soothing and opening quality on the heart.

Cinnamon strengthens and harmonizes the flow of circulation, has a Sattvic quality, and is a pain reliever for muscle tension.  It combines especially well with cardamom and bay leaves to promote digestion and improve overall health.

Cloves have a heating and energizing quality that stimulates the lungs and stomach.

Fennel seeds are one of the best herbs for digestion, strengthening Agni without upsetting Pitta.  Fennel promotes mental alertnesss and calms the nerves.

Fenugreek is a restorative food that promotes respiratory, nerve and reproductive health.

Ginger, like cinnamon, is a universal medicine.  It is the most Sattvic of spices.

yogi tea spice mix

Yogi Tea

makes ~1/2 cup of blend

2-4″ pieces of cinnamon bark
1 tsp whole fenugreek seeds
1 tsp whole black peppercorns
1 tsp cardamom pods
1 tsp cloves
2 tsp fennel seeds

2-3 slices of fresh ginger (or 1 tsp dried ginger added to mix above)

In a mortar and pestle, lightly crush the spices.  Store in a jar.  Use 1-2 tsp for one pot of hot water, and steep to taste along with the fresh ginger.

This is a lovely tea blend to have on hand as you ease back into a balanced and varied diet.

Day 5: evening journaling.

We are all interconnected.

Pick one of your favourite foods. Visualize or write down the process/path required for it to reach you.

For example, consider a mango: a farmer plants a seed (but first, a seed breeder cultivates the seed!). The earth’s ecosystem provides water to water seed, and the sun helps the seed grow. Microorganisms in the soil provide healthy humus. A plant sprouts from the ground and takes several years to grow into a mature tree that can produce fruit. The farmer and workers prune the tree. Finally fruit is produced. Maybe the tree has to be sprayed to deal with pests. Consider the scientists and engineers that designed this pesticide. Fruit is finally picked. Sometimes fruit is picked by human hands, or by a machine. Consider the engineers that designed the machines. Fruit is transported to a cleaning and sorting facility. Mangoes that are deemed not good enough are removed and sent to landfill/compost. Mangoes that are deemed good enough are sorted and packaged and sent to distribution centres. Humans drive the trucks. From the distribution centre, fruit is sent to the grocery store. Employees at the store fill the shelves with stock. You go and buy it. Eat it. The waste parts (seed, skin) are put in garbage. Someone picks up the garbage, which is sent to landfill. Microorganisms, moisture and sun conditions slowly break down back into soil. The cycle continues.

Let this exercise create a deeper appreciation of all the work, relationships and interconnectedness of our world and all of the energy and time it takes to produce food that nourishes us.

Check in tomorrow for another post about how food can connect us, and some final words to close this chapter of the journey!