Well it is finally here…springtime at last!
Hmmm….time seems to whiz by as we go about our daily routines here at The Last Resort….except of course when you are desperately waiting for the peas to show their little heads, which they finally did today, or the lettuce to get big enough for at least a little salad (not yet!). Thanks to the sprouting jar we do get something extra fresh for the salads….and we are still eating last summer’s red sauerkraut, which has surprised me with its crunchiness. And the kale in the garden continues to grow and be munched on by this veggie lover.
The weather has proven to be a little better than the predictions in that it hasn’t rained every day, all day and most days the sun has peeked out for at least a few hours.
The swallows have been in and out of the house, the finches appear sporadically at the feeder and there is one hummingbird that loves the new location of the clothesline where he perches quite happily for minutes on end.
We have been corresponding regularly with our dear Dutch friends, Jaap and Simone, who are so kindly looking at bicycles for us over in Netherlands. Another exciting step towards our upcoming trip!
My order for the Great Lakes Collagen and gelatin finally arrived and we are now having a super bulletproof coffee every morning using our very own Powell River roasted beans, grass fed butter, organic coconut oil and now a tablespoon of Collagen…quite tasty! Haven’t figured out how I am going to get through 3 months in Europe without this morning infusion of energy? More food for thought!
Oh, and I tried to make my favourite Indian dish, Mattar Paneer(curried peas and fresh cheese) last week. I went out to the Wildwood Farm and bought some fresh cow milk to make the paneer…however, I didnt let it drain long enough…so it kind of went to mush when I tried to fry it!!!! Anyway, it all tasted good…so I will try it again and learn from first mistakes. The cheese was actually quite good spread on one of my homemade seedy cumin crackers!
Downsized at 50 from my job as a government social worker! My body and mind were a mess….from too much stress, too much sugar (the office culture was big on sweet treats in the coffee room!), too much sitting in front of a computer!
Migraine headaches, back and hip problems (often the only thing keeping me going were my monthly massages and physical therapy sessions), menopausal issues, my weight creeping up in spite of my exercise regime…weekly aerobics classes, swimming laps, cycling.
Now was the perfect time to take control of my health! I signed up for a course to become a fitness instructor….and discovered I was performing some exercises incorrectly! Disappointed in the ‘Nutrition’ information module…not enough and very sketchy, but enough to get me started on my new passion…research into alternative healthy nutrition and active lifestyles.
That was more than a decade ago and, wow, have things changed since then….
The first thing to go from my life was SUGAR, although I still used honey occasionally and ate fruit, drank some fruit juice. Then, I eliminated wheat, but still ate a lot of grains…rye, oats, rice. Although my husband and I started to feel way less bloated and stopped gaining weight, I still had physical issues with my pelvis/hips/back. We led a very active lifestyle…cross country and downhill skiing daily for 4 months every winter….cycling, hiking, gardening, swimming all summer and fall, including a daily stretching regimen.
I was in my doctor’s office for an appointment to deal with a serious neck problem that had been plaguing me throughout a 2 month holiday in Mexico, when I discovered Dr. Perlmutter’s Grain Brain…I quit all grains immediately after reading this enlightening book! Then it was a visit to my massage therapist who turned me onto Mark’s Daily Apple…that was 3 years ago, and I haven’t looked back since!
I should also mention that throughout this ‘journey’, we lost my husband’s father to a very long slow decline…bedridden for 5 years… complications from diabetes. I believe that watching him (and others, e.g. friends who have died from cancer) die a slow lingering death has had a very profound effect on me. My mother passed away also from complications of heart disease and diabetes. (My father died 20 years ago at age 62 from pancreatic cancer.) So my husband and I were both concerned we were at risk for diabetes, heart disease and a host of other diseases!
I continued reading and researching and everything kept leading me to the Paleo/ Low Carb-High Fat/Ketogenic diet and lifestyle. I even took an online course offered by EdX Harvard, which helped me to understand the function and importance of our mitochondria and helped hugely in my understanding of how we burn fat more efficiently than glucose!
It has been 2 years now since we have adopted a Primal Lifestyle (leaning towards Keto and practicing limited intermittent fasting), and both of us feel better than we did in our 40s and 50s. My hip and back problems are under control, especially since I have adopted many of Katy Bowman’s (Nutritious Movement) practices…barefooting or wearing minimal footwear (I love my Vibram Five Fingers!), sitting on the floor, opening my hips, stabilizing my pelvic floor, hanging and generally getting my body into alignment. I have recently added yoga practice to my daily routine. Oh yes, and did I mention that I had suffered for 40 years with eczema? Now GONE! Despite the fact that my physician told me years ago that it would never go away!
My biggest issue now is holding my tongue! The social worker in me wants to help all my friends/family with their numerous health issues. Thanks, Mark, for the article about “leading by example.” I try very hard to not talk about diet/nutrition in social situations…sometimes difficult when people ask pointed questions about why I won’t eat….wheat, sugar, etc.
All of these things have contributed to more enjoyment in our daily lives of all of our outdoor passions…gardening, skiing, cycling, canoeing, tree climbing, hiking and traveling the world. I feel we are very fortunate that we have the means to live this wonderful lifestyle and look forward to many more years of health and happiness AND planning for another bicycle trip from Amsterdam to the south of France! (Whoops, I might sneak in a warm flaky French croissant!)
Gypsyrozbud (aka Rosemary)
Such a busy winter in Rossland…yes, there was lots of skiing and socializing, but beyond all that were opportunities to advance my level of awareness of my personal journey to health and the world around me….and to discover a vibrant community of young people helping others to attain that awareness!
I had met Danielle a few years ago, a neighbour of some friends whose house we were temporarily staying in….and we had enjoyed a cup of her homemade herbal tea together. So it was with interest that I visited her new storefront co-op…Madhu Collective…after seeing a poster at the ski hill advertising a ‘Pelvic Workshop’. The pelvis being at the core of our structure, it had always intrigued and somewhat eluded me in terms of keeping it balanced, ie., I am prone to getting it all twisted and requiring a physio therapist to straighten me out…which is not that convenient. I had recently read all of Katy Bowman’s books on alignment and was learning and practising her exercises and routines, including giving up sitting in chairs…I mostly sit on the floor and squat or kneel. In my earlier posts, I mention my barefoot/minimal footwear lifestyle…well that’s all part and parcel of Katy’s teachings! I had also borrowed my friend, Lyndsay’s, yoga textbooks which were very good with lots of anatomy in pictures and drawings and was practising some poses every day. However, I really felt I needed some ‘hands on’ and person to person training. The Pelvis is the perfect place to start. The 4 -2 hr per session course was offering a multi-disciplinary approach by 5 professionals…an Occupational Therapist, 2 Registered Massage Therapists, a Yoga Instructor, and a Nutritionist. With only 15 participants, this was going to be a great opportunity to learn more!
By the end of the last session, I was super impressed with the amount of knowledge I had gained from these lovely women! And all of it was very practical and concrete…stuff you could practice every day! I know where my psoas muscles are and I can find and strengthen my Pelvic Floor!! Hooray! I feel an extra level of awareness of my breathing and alignment and can quickly come into the present moment to focus on that.
Well, once again I am actually in my space that I dearly love….a quiet retreat amongst my friends, the trees, the flowers, the birds and my sweet aged cat, Kitty Belle! The trip home from the Kootenays was a little stressful…had a 2 day layover in Hope, where we needed lots of hope that our truck could be repaired so we could make it home with all our stuff! Yikes, it was a lucky break that we actually made it over all the mountain passes with the rusty old wheel bearings sounding like a creaking frog!
The first thing I did when I got home was to rip off my shoes and socks and run barefoot to the greenhouse to find Kitty Belle then on to the garden to discover that, yes, the kale had made it through the cold, snowy winter and tasted sooo sweet and tender!
It took a while to warm up and dry out the house, but the wood stove was cranked (and the de-humidifier, too)!!
Since arriving home I have been super busy planting seeds…lots of sprouting seeds for salads as well as veggie seeds in the greenhouse, some of which I have brought inside and placed in a sunny south facing window.
I put out the hummingbird feeder with a potent brew (water: sugar, 2:1) and filled the bird feeder with the usual black sunnies….the finches are here and the hummers have been full on….sometimes 4 at time at the feeding station! Marco P hung the swallow house on the greenhouse wall as soon as we saw them sweeping about. Yesterday we saw a huge V formation of Geese heading north!
The flowering wild wild currant is a favourite of the hummers…and the bleeding heart plant is almost ready to pop!
Our little aquarium fish survived the winter and are seeming to enjoy the clean tank, although it was mostly just overgrown with plant life. The brook trout in the pond have been showing some jumping action, especially at dusk when we are having dinner. The pond is still a little cool for swimming…we need a few hot sunny days, which seem to be few and far between!
Today has turned into a glorious sunny day…time to get out and enjoy!
Maps and Apps and Guidebooks are spread on the dining table as we hover above them and ponder where our route will take us this time around.
Hiking in Ireland sounds great as long as you are willing to “embrace the rain”…we figure if we managed last October/November on the liquid Sunshine Coast, we can handle anything the Emerald Isle can throw at us!
We are really looking forward to visiting our friends, Jaap and Simone in Hilversum(near Amsterdam) and to explore more of the Netherlands by our favorite mode of transport…bicycles! We have been hearing and seeing photos of their cycling adventures from them this winter as they are staying and skiing here in Rossland. Last fall they rode from Hilversum to Rome in 5 weeks! A true inspiration to those of us who have ‘hill-phobia’! They are a fabulous resource with all their knowledge of maps and apps (thank you Simone for Pocket Earth!!!) as well as their experiences ‘on the trails’.
So from Netherlands to Germany and the Vennbahn ( yes, again!) back and forth along the Belgian border to Luxembourg, land of the €2 train ride ( yes, that includes the bike), the Sùr (Sauer) River to the Mosel(Moselle) and…..well here is where we need to study our options…one could carry on heading west and south along the Moselle or go east to Konz where we could head south along the Saar River into France. The flaky French Croissants and Café Allongée are awaiting, along with the olives, the cheeses, the …. yummm!
What about our bicycles? Should we take them with us? How to pack a bike for the airplane ride? Panniers, handlebar bags with see thru iPad pouch? What to do with our bikes when the riding is over ( which could happen rather suddenly as in our last trip!) Bicycles on High Speed Trains in France? More research needs to be done!
Then there is the dreary month of November…after last fall, we feel there is no need to hurry home to the Wet Coast! We have been pouring over the weather stats for Europe…Southern France, Majorca, Corsica, Canary Islands, Madeira, Greek Islands, Southern Spain, Portugal??? Another ‘hmmmm’!
Food for thought and lots of it…time to get back to the The most amazingly helpful planning tool of the Century….the World Wide Web! Stay tuned for updates….
Despite the COLD temperatures, we venture out to the Paulson trails today at -18C. It is a glorious sunny day…the white tipped mountains are dramatic against the clear blue skies! There are a few others heading up the Glenmerry trail but we veer off and we follow a cat track all the way up the Rossland-Paulson to the Norwegian intersection. Gorgeous views of Old Glory! We are passed by Natalie and Anne…that’s ok, hopefully they will have the fire stoked by the time we get to the cabin! And, yes, the fire is blazing and we can cook our paleo grillies and warm up before heading back down the Glenmerry road to enjoy the Alpenglow sky.
We make it home in time to watch the young Canadians beat the Czechs in the IIHF junior hockey tourney!
Another day in winter wonderland!