I love potato chips. They may not be the very best thing for me health-wise, but I think it’s really important to treat myself now and then, and chips are definitely my favourite indulgence. There are also options that are better than others: in Canada I buy chips that are fried in avocado or olive oil-both much better options than most vegetable oils. In Bali, I was delighted to find these organic chips made by Big Tree Farms out of melinjo seeds. They were crunchy, just salty enough and quite filling. Melinjo seeds are native to southeast Asia, and contain high levels of protein and antioxidants, making them a great snack.
This is my fourth time visiting Costa Rica. I can’t seem to stay away from this place that holds such a clear space in and for my spirit. I’ve always believed we can learn so much from place: the different physical, geographical, cultural, social tones and our perception of how we fit in to them. Each time I am here, I experience something new.
This space that is created continues to grow as I see paths that never existed in my life or mind before. I am continuously pushed me out of my comfort zone in so many ways as it feels like this place is supporting self-reflection over and over and over again.
I’ve been wanting to get out of the city for a while now (a while being the last month and half since I got back from Costa Rica) and have also been itching to get some clean water ever since I discovered last sumer that there are numerous freshwater springs around Ottawa. With warmer weather and spring finally on our doorstep, I thought the timing was right. I used Find A Spring, a great resource that maps out the location of springs around the world, to get directions to the Wakefield Spring, and recruited another health-conscious friend and her daughter for the fun afternoon. And for the car, to transport the many litres of water. It ended up being a beautiful day for the little road trip.
I haven’t written in a really, really long time. I can’t even think clearly at this point about everything that’s happened in the first five months of 2014.
Most recently, my best friend passed away very suddenly in Thailand, where he has lived for a few years and where I spent two weeks with him in late March. So many things about that sentence seem awkward, horrifying, and just plain wrong…. even calling him my best friend doesn’t seem to begin to describe the rich and authentic relationship we shared. He was my family, the closest person in the world to me. We always knew that we’d see each other as soon as we possibly could, even when we were both travelling around the world.
Trend and health-conscious Melbournians have jumped on board the clean eating craze, and the number of organic, vegan-friendly and raw food options out there is growing with fervour. The healthy options are found in every corner of the city. If you have the time and inclination, it would be easy to spend a lot of time visiting different parts of the city on a healthy-eating tour.
I was lucky to end up living in an optimal spot: Fitzroy and Collingwood seemed to me to be right in the epicentre of the vegan action. On Brunswick Street there are at least five vegetarian/vegan/raw/organic friendly spots, and just a couple of blocks over on Smith Street there are even more options. I certainly didn’t get a chance to try all of them (and I loved some of them so much that I went there a few times), but here’s a rundown of the ones I did try out.
Soulfood Café on Smith Street is a little organic breakfast spot right beside the Whole Foods organic grocer. It’s nothing particularly special, but if you want to go out for breakfast or lunch and stick to organics, it’s a great choice. They are able to modify dishes to your liking or dietary restrictions as well. There are different specials on each night as well, for very reasonable prices.
If you’ve been to Australia you probably noticed that they love their takeaway shops. There’s a mom-and-pop place on almost every corner, even in residential neighbourhoods. Though I really like to support local businesses, and would have loved to have a quick meal option near home, they often sold food that I would be reluctant to eat even if I wasn’t eating a plant-based diet. The standard Australian favourites like pies (chicken pot pies, beef pies, sometimes a vegetarian option thrown in the mix) were available, as well as the usual standby: chips and gravy. Definitely not the most healthy, nor were they very appetizing looking. In Melbourne they still had their fair share of these types of shops, but thankfully there were quite a few other options for food on the go. These three healthy takeaway shops are noteworthy in their quality offerings for vegetarians, vegans and people with food sensitivities or following specialty diets. As far as taste goes, read on to see which were my favourites.