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Get to Know a Healthy Hipster (Couples Edition): Alexis & Zane

You are so lucky to get this extra special edition of G2KaHH highlighting some lovely friends of mine from back in my days living in Eastern Canada. Alexis is a fellow blogger over at Domestic Bliss and trust me when I say homegirl knows how to homemake. As for Zane he recently turned his passion for coffee-slinging into his livelihood when he opened his cafe Two if By Sea!
Photo by Ted Power
Names: Alexis & Zane
Location: Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
How would you describe your style of eating?
We try to eat as much WHOLE local foods possible. Nothing gets us more excited than eating seasonally, and thankfully Nova Scotian farmers produce some incredible fruits, vegetables, dairy and meat. The local food movement is pretty strong here so it’s quite easy to do most of my grocery shopping at our farmers markets. We also love gardening and try to grow as much of our own produce as possible.

What are some of the must haves in your fridge/pantry?
Brown rice, quinoa, lots of seeds and nuts, goat cheese, my favourite local cheese “Old Growler” by That Dutchman, leafy greens, lemons, an assortment of oils and vinegars, and homemade preserves.
Alexis’ Homemade Oatcakes

Favourite local bar?
Alexis: Well I’m currently about 7 months pregnant so a club soda mixed with bitters or rhubarb syrup is as wild as I get right now, but usually I would indulge in some of Jeff Van Horne’s cocktails at the Bicycle Thief or tuesday nights at Untitled Eats. Obladee is another favourite which I still enjoy because of their fantastic cheese and charcuterie selection.

You’re on death row, whats your last supper?
Alexis: Can we assume Zane is cooking? If so, maybe some pork chops, risotto and seasonal vegetables. Or maybe his famous baked ziti.
Most played song on your ipod?
Probably something Motown.

Life goals and aspirations for this soon-to-be family of three?

Two if by Sea Cafe is currently being considered for an entrepreneurship award that would allow them to expand and open an ethical roastery right in Nova Scotia! Check out this video to hear all about their plans and then click here to vote for the project!

Hipsters with ambition? They may be a rare breed but they’re out there so show your support!

inspiration, profile

Get to Know a Healthy Hipster: Sass

First of all, I need to preface this by saying that when Sass Jordan agreed to be interviewed for this series I dropped my phone and squealed like an 11 year old year old at a Justin Bieber concert. Because back when I was a pre-pubescent Canadian tween searching for identity and acceptance, I looked up to Sass (along with other female CanRock icons like Alanis Morisette and Jann Arden) with equal admiration and abandon. There was something in those songs, a depth of emotion I had never known yet somehow knew to anticipate, that I found utterly captivating.

And now all these years later Sass continues to inspire me with her balanced approach to health and wellness…which is obviously paying off cause girl looks GOOD after years in a profession that tends to age people pretty quickly. I really hope you enjoy reading this as it was a real treat for me…and make sure to scroll to the bottom of this post for a video of some AMAZING vintage Sass power ballad action – SWOON!

Name: Sass
Occupation: Singer/Songwriter
Location: Planet Love, Canada

How would you describe your style of eating (eg. vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, flexitarian, omnivore, bacon-enthusiast)?

Well, I sure ain’t an omnivore – and I am lucky I have the choice not to be, thanks to where I live in the world at this time .. I would say I am vegetarian leaning toward vegan, although occasionally I might eat something that was made with eggs in it, like a pancake or pasta.

What are some of the must haves in your fridge/pantry?

Must have quinoa, brown basmati rice, lentils and rice pasta .. organic spinach, kale, apples, celery and chia seeds.

Favourite local bar/venue/party to blow off steam?

Hmmm .. my friend, Julia Hanna has a restaurant in Oakville called Ritorno that I like a lot.

Best place to caffeinate/hydrate?

There’s a place in Vancouver that I really like for coffee called Caffe Artigiano, but in Toronto it’s definitely Dark Horse Cafe on Spadina north of Queen Street.

Vintage Sass (Babe, much?)

Greatest hero of fiction? 

I can’t really pick one .. but today I’ll say Sir Francis Crawford of Lymond, from Dorothy Dunnett’s brilliant The Lymond Chronicles.

Style icon?

I guess it would be Noel Fielding from the Mighty Boosh and sometimes Steven Tyler

Favourite ways to get active?

Walking and rebounding .. I’m also into the Five Tibetan Rites.

Who were you in high school? 

A drop out. Definitely not a cool kid, although we thought we were. We smoked cigarettes and other things, and listened to music all day long, and plotted our future as rock stars.**uhhhmmmazing. 

You’re on death row, whats your last supper?

I wouldn’t be hungry.

Most played song on your ipod?

Changes constantly .. right now it’s Razed, by my band S.U.N.

(And just for Sass) Any sage words on how to strike a balance between healthy living and the ultimate hipster lifestyle: rockstardom? 

Well, rockstardom is not AT ALL a hipster lifestyle! It’s incredibly hard work, non-stop and utterly relentless. You have to put yourself and your health first, as much as possible. So, trying to get in some walking, trying to find vegetarian, organic places to eat .. it’s so unpredictable that it’s very difficult. Keep an optimistic attitude and drink a lot of water!

Thanks SO MUCH to Sass Jordan for participating in this series. As promised here’s a vintage Sass video I’m loving right now. And I definitely encourage everyone to check out her new band S.U.N as well as they head out on tour this summer!


Get To Know a Healthy Hipster: Spencer

Name: Spencer
Occupation: Musician (The Fabulous Yawn), Barista (Cherry Bomb)
Location: The Junction, Toronto.

How would you describe your style of eating (veggie, flexitarian, omnivore, bacon-enthusiast)?

Certainly bacon-enthusiast, of those choices. And to quote Scott Pilgrim, “Bagels make you fat?” I eat a lot of pasta and risotto, and home made sweet potato fries. Those things are crack to me. Also I love making smoothies and juices at home.

What are some of the must haves in your fridge/pantry?

Lots of risotto, pesto, bacon and OJ. I really like pesto. Oh and goat-cheese.

Mix up your standard spaghetti & parmesan with some chevre and pesto. It’s guaranteed to make you feel like a grown-up without dirtying more than a single pot! (Photo Credit: 101 Cookbooks)

Favourite local bar/venue/party to blow off steam?

My local bar Margret is pretty rad for just shooting the shit. I also work the door at my buddy’s night, Humblemania, which is held at the Ossington. The bartender, one in particular named Johnny, is so fucking rad. So those two bars are my jam. As far as venues go, I really like Czehoski and the Piston. The old haunts are great too though… I never have a better beer than one served by Teddy at the Horseshoe.

Best place to caffeinate/hydrate?

I’m not going to name my old employers, because they fired me. They had really great espresso though. The Good Neighbour is pretty good but I guess I’d have to go with Dark Horse… and Cherry Bomb of course!

The Good Neighbour. The Junction, Toronto.

Greatest hero of fiction?

The guy from High Fidelity. Or the protagonist in most of my short stories.

Style icon?

Hands down, David Byrne. The hair, the beady-eyes (which I wish I could use on women). Also, all my friends rag on me for my trademark top-button-done-up-on-shirt look. I got that from him. I should really get on-top of a big suit…

Favourite ways to get active?

Take stairs two at a time, don’t be afraid to walk places… smoke cigarettes? Err…

Who were you in high school?

I was your boyfriend for about four and a half years (**ahem…personal details, what!?!). I was also known to ride with the drama crowd.

You’re on death row, whats your last supper?

Oh jeez. Maybe I’d ask you to make me something. I guess my mum’s quinoa, some sort of goat-cheese infused salad with spinach and baby greens and walnuts, bacon and a six-pack.

Most played song on your ipod?

What To Say by Born Ruffians, Don’t Worry About the Government by Talking Heads, and Quay Cur by the Fiery Furnaces. I’m really into Matthew Friedberger’s record called Death-In-Life. The sexiest church organ record you’ll ever hear in your life.

inspiration, profile

Get to Know a Healthy Hipster: Ryan

I am so excited to be sharing another profile today for my “Get to Know a Healthy Hipster” series and trust me this is a great one! I met Ryan when I was 5 years old and we were the only kids living on an organic farm/”intentional community”/hippie commune in rural Ontario. Since then he has become one of the most consistently inspiring people in my life, not to mention my dearest friend. As you will see from his responses, he is equal parts open-hearted, quixotic & depraved, which (if you’ve never witnessed it) is a truly captivating combination…

To read more about this series check out this post.

Name: Ryan
Occupation: Author of On Growin’ Up, Twitter-Enthusiast, Video-Editor & Public Speaker
Location: Cabbagetown, Toronto

How would you describe your style of eating?

Certified Yum-Yum Specialist. I had an eating disorder (way back) in high school, so I think that any rules of what I can and cannot eat are unhelpful. For me. If i want it, I eat it. Yum yum.

What are some of the must haves in your fridge/pantry?

Grainy mustard, balsamic vinegar, sea-salt, coffee, pepper, coloured sugar *in paint tins*, garlic, fresh limes.

Favourite local bar/venue/party to blow off steam?

I enjoy the Beaver and Buddies in Bad Times when heading out, although truth be told, it’s all about the people I’m with. I’ve also had fun singing the only English karaoke song at a Midsummer barn party near Heinola, Finland…

Me and Ryan at the Yves Saint Laurent Luminato opening gala event last year. Best. Date. Ever.

Best place to caffeinate/hydrate?

I caffeinate (much to the baristas’ dismay) at either Mylk Uncookies or Jet Fuel Coffee. Although, I also venture to F’Coffee near Queen and Broadview when I want a fantastic grilled cheese sandwich, wonderful banter with the owner Rob, and the best chocolate f’cookie there is.

Ryan takes his overpriced coffee beverages as seriously as I do.

Greatest hero of fiction?

Who reads (fiction) anymore? ducks under rocks and behind the place where people borrow things for several weeks and return them, even more used…oh yeah a libary. I’ve always thought that Karana from Scott O’Dell’s Island of the Blue Dolphins was pretty neat. She had lots of courage and was more resourceful than MacGyvor. Oh, and MacGyvor second.
**Can I just say right now this is one of my all time favourite books and Ryan BLEW ME AWAY with this response. Seriously amazingtown.


Favourite ways to get active?

I like the idea of boxing. So I joined a gym and had the crap boxed out of me. Thank God for yoga to ease those emotional and physical bruises. Although, I am gonna run a marathon at some point and maybe go back to boxing. I felt pretty tough, for about 7 min.

Who were you in high school?

I was a bit of an emo child who was certain no one liked him. And then, when my yearbook was full of signatures (do people still do that?) I decided that everyone in the school was conspiring against me to make me think I was popular, when in fact I wasn’t. What a great way to feel! Luckily, I left high school and joined the workforce, where these pathetic insecurities could rage onwards endlessly. Just kidding, I work for myself. 😉

You’re on death row, whats your last supper?

I have been going crazy with salads lately. I put a huge handful of lettuce-or-equivalent into a bowl and then make a maple-balsamic-grainy mustard-sesame oil dressing *add those to my pantry must-haves* and then load on whatever I want. Usually avocado. Today: wild rice, soft boiled egg, and some pepitas. One thing’s for certain, whether I’m over my Salad Phase or not by the time I’m on death row, I won’t want to die with Chicken Parmesan and some garlicy linguine breath. No one will want my organs after that.

Most played song on your ipod?

Robyn’s Show Me Love, performed live in Stockholm. 2nd most played: B4-4’s Get Down.

**I must add here that there was once a day when me and Ryan shared ipod headphones and sang Robyn songs at full volume whilst skipping down College St. arm in arm for the better part of an hour. #SoulMates.

And in case you’re not feeling inspired enough…check out this video Ryan made a few years back in response to the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty…If this doesn’t make your Sunday, I don’t know what will.

inspiration, profile

Get to Know a Healthy Hipster: Joy

This post is a part of my new “Get to Know a Healthy Hipster” Profile Series. To read more about this series check out this post.

Name: Joy
Occupation: Holistic Nutritionist
Location: Toronto

How would you describe your style of eating ?

I’m a Flexitarian! That being said, a large portion of what I eat (at least 80%) is plant-based — I love my kale, avocados, quinoa and almond milk lattes! But I certainly enjoy a piece of wild salmon or certified organic steak once in a while.

What are some of the must haves in your fridge/pantry?

Pantry foods I always keep stocked are quinoa, dark organic chocolate, extra-virgin olive oil, organic coconut oil, chia seeds, brown rice, dried beans, raw cacao (LOVE my chocolate, notice it’s in here twice), Sunwarrior (fave vegan protein powder), various kinds of pasta including brown rice, spelt and kamut. Foods I stock in my fridge and buy often include leafy greens (kale/arugula/spinach), lemons, various kinds of nuts & seeds (yes they should be stored in the fridge!), apples, organic eggs, sweet potatoes, garlic, greek yogurt, goat or sheep milk cheese, frozen berries… I could go on and on. I eat a wide variety of foods depending on the time of year.

Joy's Delicious Detox Salad with Dijon Maple Dressing

Favourite local bar/venue/party to blow off steam?

I love the city of Toronto so much, it’s so hard to choose. But I absolutely love eating out with my friends. My faves are Pizza Libretto, Origin Restaurant, Comrade (for drinks) and if I really wanna blow off steam you will find me somewhere in the West end of Toronto listening to live music dancing my buns off!

Best place to caffeinate/hydrate?

I LOVE independent cafes. My top 3 that I visit every single week are Mylk Uncookies, Merchants of a Green Coffee and Te Aro – yes, I’m an East ender. I don’t drink coffee, but I love a good almond milk latte.

Mylk Uncookies in Toronto's east end is one of my favourites too! Make sure to try their homemade raw desserts and fresh almond mylk!

Photo Source: BlogTO

Style icon?

Zoey Deschanel. If I could raid her closet, I would be in heaven. I love wearing dresses and skirts – Spring, Summer, Winter or Fall. I love pretty things, vintage pieces and then spending good cash on a piece that’s going to last me for years, like a fabulous coat. But to be honest, I spend most of my money on good food.

Zooey Deschanel: The Vegan, Vintage Frock Wearing Vixen Hipster Chicks Hate + Love in Equal Measure

Photo Source: The Clothing Menu

Favourite ways to get active?

Shopping around a farmers market – yes this is exercise when you are carrying 4 grocery bags! Lifting weights, yoga, walking, running and of course, having sex.

Who were you in high school?

I was torn between wanting to spend all my days in art class (I skipped many classes to hang out in the art studio) and hanging out with “90210” crowd as we called them back then! But to be honest, I always felt out of place. Back then, I wasn’t comfortable in my own skin. It wasn’t until my mid 20’s (yes, I’m 34) that I felt totally joyous in my own skin.
FYI I gasped aloud when I read that last part! Srsly whatever Joy puts in her naturally sourced BPA-free lemon water, I want some!

You’re on death row, whats your last supper?

At least 3 glasses of Pinot noir, arugula salad with some pecorino cheese, proscuitto pizza from Libretto of course and tiramisu — and this dinner must be had with my sweet man!

If you live in the Toronto area make sure to check out some of Joy’s fun and inspiring workshops! I wrote about my own experience at one of her seminars here.

Winter Eat Well Feel Well 6-wk nutrition + yoga class
Superfoods for Natural Beauty: Feb 11
Gluten-free Deliciously: Mar 10

Are you a Healthy Hipster? Or do you know someone who is?
Send your story to and I might just feature you in a future post!

cities, inspiration, profile

Get to Know a Healthy Hipster: Shawna

Today I’ll be starting a new profile series here on the blog. In it, you’ll have the opportunity to meet Healthy Hipsters from different cities and all walks of life. I’m really excited to get rolling but first a brief word of explanation…

I started The Healthy Hipster because I felt really happy and positive about the changes I’d made in my life but I also felt a little…alone. I still considered myself to be an artist, an activist, an academic and even a bit of a scene queen, but I no longer identified with the lifestyle of the Pabst-swilling trustafarians rolling their eyes through indie rockshows and ironic bingo games every night of the week. That said, I certainly didn’t feel at home with the manicured/pedicured yoga moms at my Sunday morning bikram class either. So I branched out. I started writing. And what I found was a community of inspiring, supportive, likeminded people who couldn’t wait to share their lives with me! Sometimes I found that these people were right in front of me all along…

So while you get a chance to see the elements that comprise my definition of a healthy lifestyle every day, I thought it was about time I put the folks who inspire me in the spotlight too.

And who better to start with than a gal who has literally inspired me since the day I was born? That’s right, the gorgeous woman you’re about to meet also happens to be my big sister.

Name: Shawna
Occupation: PhD Student
Location: Portland, Oregon

How would you describe your style of eating?
What are some of the must haves in your fridge/pantry?
Oatmeal, almond milk, almond butter, apples, chia seeds, avocados, bananas, quinoa, beans, tofu, hummus, tahini, Ezekiel bread, Mary’s crackers, kale, garlic, lemons, limes, buckwheat soba noodles, apple cider vinegar, bragg’s, sriracha.
Best local bar/venue/party to go to on a night off?
Central, Holocene, The Sweet Hereafter

Ratatat @ Holocene in Portland, OR

Favourite ways to get active?

  • Core Power Yoga
  • Eliptical Machine
  • Lifting Weights
  • Going for Walks
Who were you in high school? (Cool kid? Art freak? Raver? D & D Master?)
A bit like the Breakfast Club all mixed together…Priss + Freak+ Nerd (Minus the Jock)
Best place to caffeinate/hydrate?
Greatest hero of fiction?
Hamlet (**Did I mention my sister’s doing a PhD in English Lit? 😉 )
Style Icons:
Kate Lanphear, Isabella Blow, Little Edie, Louise Brooks

Little Edie’s derelict debutante style in Grey Gardens

source: Who What Wear

You’re on death row, what’s your last supper?
Coconut Bliss Malted Milkshake, Flourless Chocolate Cake, Raspberry Cheesecake and a Pumpkin Pie.
Most played song on your ipod?
Kate Bush – Hounds of Love
Are you a Healthy Hipster? Or do you know someone who is?
Send your story to and I might just feature you in a future post!