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Self Care < Self Aware

Via @makerswomen

I’m a millennial and I work in social services so I understand and appreciate the need for self-care. I regularly ask my friends and coworkers how they plan to practice self-care after a hard week. But deep down I’ve also been grappling with the concept. First because I’ve seen folks use self-care as #justification for bad behaviour. And second because as a cisgendered white lady with a loving partner, a safe home and limitless access to kombucha, I wonder…is my life is really so exhausting? 

I am the type of person who could spend my entire life focusing on others. My mental space is crammed with family dynamics, work politics, friend drama, relationship drama, my friend’s family dynamics, work politics, relationship drama, etc. During the sparse hours of the day where I am off-work and not engaging with friends or family, I spend those hours watching Netflix (fictional friend drama) or scrolling through instagram (pseudo-friend drama). So basically – I’m never alone.

So what is “self-care,” then? And why do I need it so desperately? If you ask me, it’s all about self-awareness.

Self-awareness is the ability to look inwards, and to separate oneself from your environment and other individuals. I would venture that for many of us this is a skill we practice less and less. I am desperate for moments in my day where I can stop and pay attention to myself. To remember that I have a self to begin with. To stop rushing and check-in on my body. What horrible shape have I been contorting myself into at my desk all day? To check in on my mind. If I’m obsessing about others, what fear, anger or anxiety am I distracting myself from? To check in on my environment. What is happening in the real and natural world around me vs. the world on my screen?

So the next time you reach for that facemask, I’d encourage you to ask yourself: Am I doing this because I had a such a hard day? Is that (cough *victim*) narrative really accurate? Is it helpful? Or would it be more accurate to reframe these everyday acts of “self-care” as acts of self-awareness. For myself at least, this little cognitive shift has helped me a lot, particularly when it comes to avoiding the following things:

  • Splurging on $200 bucks of makeup at Sephora and calling it self-care
  • Bailing on my friends and calling it self-care
  • Binge watching 3 seasons of dawson’s creek and calling it self-care

You get the idea. 😉

There are many lists online that provide pages upon pages of self-care suggestions. So I won’t duplicate that here. Instead I’ll provide a few of my favourite SELF-AWARENESS practices.



  • ESSENTIAL OILS: Whether it’s a few drops on my wrists in the morning, or slathering myself in scented body oil at night I love how calm and grounded essential oils make me feel. I’ve been savouring a bottle of this body oil by Sunday’s Company Apothecary.   for the past few months.
  • STRETCHING: Just a few light neck stretches before bed or a sun salutation in the morning can be all it takes to remind me not to take my precious limbs for granted. This site has some great free videos if you wanna go deep with your stretches. This shoulder stretching sequence was lifechanging for me.


  • MEDITATION podcasts. I still spend many nights binging on too many episodes of dawson’s creek and passing out with my clothes on, but when I have my wits about me I take a few minutes before bed to calm my brain and it works really well for me. I should be meditating and Meditation Oasis are two personal favourites.


  • NATURE: Literally all it takes for me to reconnect with whatever lilith-fair-meets-sartre-meets-dr-quinn-medicine-woman version of spirituality I subscribe to, is to get myself to the closest piece of nature I can find.


  • ART: I wrote a whole post about how I channel art as a form of emotional expression. I’m no better than I was when I started and it still doesn’t matter one bit.
  • MUSIC: I’ve only recently realized what a tremendous impact music can have on my mood and how much I rely on it as a form of expression and release. Everyone’s got their thing but I’m just gonna leave this Selena Gomez song right here because it has been my song lately.



Confessions of a “healthy living” blogger

© Petra Collins

It’s been 7 years since I started this blog and as with all relationships there comes a time when you need to “check-in,” assess where you’re at, set some new boundaries, maybe even make some apologies. Since I haven’t updated in over 2 years I think we’re long overdue.

When I started The Healthy Hipster  it was 2010 and I was a textbook millennial. Overeducated, underemployed, single, living in a rented flat above a Portuguese family of 8 and trying to come to terms with a version of adulthood that looked nothing like what I’d anticipated. As an overachiever throughout high school, college, grad school and more grad school, I was starving for my next A+. Unfortunately I found that those didn’t exist in the “real world.” There were too many of us out there but the opportunities were limited and reserved for those with the right connections.

With too much time on my hands I found myself on the internet a lot  and much of that time was spent reading “healthy living” blogs. I was obsessed with them. All of them. Because they were all the same. Large, high resolution photos of bright green salad bowls exploding with spiralized carrots as orange as Kraft Dinner, chia seed puddings exploding out of vintage mason jars and avocado slices thinly layered atop a seed-covered slice of gluten-free toast fill your screen. On the right side panel you see a photo of a beautiful, smiling woman framed in friendly turquoise box. She is in her mid-to-late twenties, with flawless skin, and she is holding a cornucopia of vegetables in one arm and a yoga mat in the other.

The tabs at the top of the screen told the whole story. They included things like: WORKOUTS; MY FITNESS JOURNEY; RECIPES; MY WEDDING; MY FAMILY; ABOUT ME. The stories started with an inviting, “Hi there! Thanks for visiting Sassy Moves or That Almond Butter Life.” Then they got straight to the transformation story. A sad, lonely girl who lost her unseemly college weight and found meaning in her life through a passion for kale and marathon running. Cut to the husband. Cut to the wedding pics. Cut to the impossibly large and immaculately designed suburban house. The baby. The post-baby weight loss. It was all so simple. A hot body and a new life purpose all for the price of a bag of baby carrots. 

So I started The Healthy Hipster which was “a chronicle of my version of ‘having-it-all.'” For me, that included eating lots of vegetables and taking care of my body through running, yoga and fitness but also having a social life, pursuing a career and saving money wherever I could. My goal was to tell a different kind of story. Of course, what happened, was that I told the same story.

This blog talks about fitness and food as synonymous with “health” which I now know to be wrong and misleading. It mislead even me. I focused the anxiety, fear and grief I was feeling over my life throughout twenties on the only things I thought I could control – my body, my self. And that, dear readers, is not very healthy at all.

Looking back I think I started a blog because it gave me the power to define my life, to write my own narrative. I started a blog about health because I wasn’t healthy. About happiness because I wasn’t happy. So that’s what it became. A strange combination of the best and worst parts of myself, of the truth and the lies that I told myself and others.

I feel a lot of empathy for the person I was when I started this blog and I’m proud of what it became over time. I learned, as I wrote, much more about mental health and came to define a “healthy lifestyle” very differently. These days I know I’m doing well when I’m spending outdoors, with family, building positive relationships, practicing self-care, pursuing creative projects and being a positive role model for younger women and those facing difficult life transitions like I did.

I may try to write here again sometime, about those things or new things or even a pancake recipe. Maybe not. But I’m grateful for everyone who listened. Who is listening. And I hope that maybe reading this makes you think back on all you’ve learned these past 7 years. The skills you’ve developed, the ways in which you’ve grown. I hope you look back with empathy towards your 23 year old self and you’re proud of how far you’ve come. 🙂


mental health, reflections


I can’t pinpoint exactly when feelings went viral, but it happened. 


me, as a munchkin, feeling all the things

And now we’re surrounded by posts, memes, snaps, grams and vines that talk all about feels: catching feelings, having feelings, knowing feelings, getting hit in the feelings. You get the idea. Most of this feelings-based content hinges on the fact that it’s detached and irreverent. Feelings are the punchline.

But lately I’ve been wondering, since psychoanalysis taught us that humour is often a window to our unconscious, what are we really talking about when we talk about feelings online? Based on some very unscientific twitter, tumblr and instagram trolling I have learned that, most of the time, we are talking about 1 of 3 things:

  1. DRAKE.
    The king of pop-feelings. From his first mixtape, Drake was publicly mocked for talking about his feelings too much. However it was exactly this vulnerability (and his IDGAF attitude about it) that made him famous. Fans like to vicariously experience difficult emotions –  things like regret, nostalgia, loneliness, isolation – major themes in Drake’s music. It’s the same reason Kurt Cobain resonated with Gen X’ers. Or why I can’t stop playing that new Adele song even though I don’t like it. We struggle to express ourselves, to identify our emotions, and music helps us put words to what we don’t understand.
    The majority of #feelings on the internet are unsuprisingly related to crushes, breakups and relationships. “Catching feelings” is an especially common turn of phrase. And sure it’s pretty cute. I like the idea that emotions are something that overtake you – unexpected and often unwanted. The thing I don’t love is the negative connotation of “catching feelings.” If we think of feelings as a contagion, it perpetuates the idea that our natural state is somehow “neutral” or without emotions. Which is not true and sets people up for unrealistic expectations of both love and life. The reality is, emotional stability is something you will always have to contend with.
    Obviously teenagers rule the internet in a myriad of ways because they are so much better at it than the rest of us, but nowhere is their reign more supreme than the public expression of irrational emotion. Twitter – the epicentre of anonymous feelings – is full of teens who unabashedly post about their latest dramas. It’s so embarassingly, beautifully earnest. No thirty-something is going to post 80 updates in a day about the guy who won’t text them back, but a teenager will! They are saying what everyone else wants to say, but won’t because we are adults with self-respect and boundaries. Do yourself a favour and search #teenfeelings. It’s like a livetweeted bildungsroman.

Okay…then what aren’t we talking about?

I’m not breaking ground when I say that social media places a high value on positive emotions and experiences. An instagram post with you looking happy and full of joie de vivre will get you likes. But what happens when you’re not feeling so hot? The trouble is that with so much value placed on appearing positive, fun, outgoing and excited online we devalue and deny our negative emotions. And moreso, in our desire to connect and “be social,” we forget be alone with ourselves which gives us less time to identify and express those difficult emotions.

I think ultimately our fascination with feels and feelings is our attempt to experience and contend with emotions we’re uncomfortable with. Experiencing the intimacy of male friendship? Post a pic of you and your bro #feels. Struggling with the relationship between you and your mother? Post a review of the new Meryl Streep movie #feels. It’s our attempt to go there without really going there. 

And yet, safely expressing difficult emotions allows us to identify what’s causing them and to address those causes. This is an important – essential – coping skill that contributes to our overall mental health and well-being.

So, to wrap up this touchy feely post about feels, here are a few ways to express negative emotions…positively:

  1. Write them in a journal.
  2. Talk to a professional.
  3. Talk to a trusted friend.
  4. Draw or paint them

And once you’ve done those things? Learn from them. Make positive changes. And release them. Through exercise, dance, cooking, writing, painting, or (if you prefer) as hit records….like Drake 🙂




Every season has two opposing sides for me, feelings-wise.

In the wintertime I waver between self-acceptance and depression. Spring is an insufferable combination of optimism and restlessness. Summer is liberation and crippling FOMO. And fall…well fall is the season of wistful introspection and harsh self-criticism.

Questions I’m plagued with between September and November:

  • Am I living up to my potential?
  • Is this where I wanted to be by [insert whatever young age I am that I’m convinced is ANCIENT]?
  • Should I go back to school?
  • If I’m in a relationship, is it the right one?
  • If I’m not in a relationship, what am I doing wrong?
  • Are the dysfunctional dynamics of my family ever going to change or improve?
  • Will mom make me gluten-free stuffing at Thanksgiving this year?

In an effort to help those of you who may be struggling with these and other soul-crushing questions, I thought I would share a few of the strategies I’ve developed to help survive my pumpkin-spiced feelings:

  1. LEAN IN. 
    One of my favorite ways to manage fall feelings is to completely indulge them. Get wistful af. Watch reflective seasonal movies like Hannah and her Sisters, Harold and Maude, Home for the Holidays, Stepmom (whatever I love that movie). Call an old flame. Facebook stalk your college self. It might prompt you to remember things like: being a student kind of sucked, your old friends were alcoholics, being young is fun but being old and smart is SO MUCH better, and so on.  Sometimes a trip down memory lane is exactly what you need to feel confident and comfortable with where you’re at right now.
  2. TRAVEL.
    I rarely recommend travel as an emotional solution because – like drinking, binge-watching Nashville or obsessing over a new crush – your problems will still be there when you come back to reality. But sometimes hopping a plane, train or automobile is just what you need to gain perspective and self-respect during times when you are being harshly critical of yourself and your life decisions. Traveling alone often helps me remember how free and self-determining I truly am.
    Often fall feelings are prompted by the fact that everyone around you seems to be bettering themselves by going back to school. Whether it’s fresh-faced college kids or that girl at your work who just picked up and went to med school (!), it’s hard not to feel left behind by it all. One thing that can often make me feel better during these periods is to make a concerted effort to reengage my brain. Join a book club, listen to a science podcast, add the new yorker to your morning blog rotation. Something that leaves you feel engaged, energized and less like a strung-out netflix drone.
    I probably suggest this too much but trying something new is also a great way to shake off the autumn blahs. Cooking. Crafting. Painting. Climbing. Yoga-ing. Rowing. Running. Activities in general are, in my opinion, the healthiest form of emotional diversion.
    This is key, particularly as you move from autumn into the holiday season. When people ask what you are up to these days it can often trigger negative, self-deprecating responses unless you have something tangible like a new job, partner or house to talk about. So I encourage you to write down a list of all the things you do that actually make you happy right now and when people ask you what you’ve been up to, be honest. Some examples I’ve used in the past: “I started painting,” “I’ve been hanging out with my awesome niece and she’s the best,” “I’ve been really good at balancing work and friendships lately,” “I just wrote a really elaborate grant proposal,” etc.  I know it’s dorky, but when you take the time to tell your story in an authentic way, you take control over a conversation that might have otherwise left you feeling bad about yourself.
mental health, reflections


IMG_2105.JPGI am chronically indecisive. Otherwise known as a libra.

I had my first panic attack at a Japanese restaurant when I was 12, deciding between the spicy tuna and the unagi. At 21, after hearing the news that I’d been accepted to a prestigious Masters program overseas, I was so paralyzed by the decision I contracted a stress-related viral infection usually reserved for octogenarians. Decisions – big and small – have the ability to bring even confident, self-assured people to their knees. There are many reasons for this but here are a few of the ones I tend to get stuck on:

  1. Decisions require us to commit to a path while it is still uncertain. We have to take a chance. Take the classic airplane conundrum: “Chicken or beef?” You can watch as each passenger on the plane goes through a mini-existential crisis over the question. But it’s because we’re forced to make the decision before we really know which is the better option. And, in that case, there is always a better option.
  2. Decisions mean choosing one thing over another (potentially) better thing. If you’re the anxious type, the ambitious type or the curious type, this is simply unacceptable. When you give something up you might never have the opportunity to get it again. What if this is the best unagi in the world and I missed my chance to eat it? Like FOMO, but for commitment.
  3. Decisions require us to take responsibility for ourselves. When you make a decision, the result – good or bad – falls on you. Suggest a dinner spot to a group of friends? If they love it, great. But if they think it’s too expensive or loud or there aren’t enough gluten-free menu options, all eyes side-glance to Mr. Know-it-all.  When you avoid committing to a decision you can say “it wasn’t really up to me” or “I never wanted to do this in the first place.” Those are much easier to say than, “I was wrong.”

With all of that said, the benefits of committing to a decision are limitless. Your Saturday night is more fun when don’t you troll facebook obsessing over which event will be the most fun, you just pick something and go for it. Your career flourishes when you put your all into it and don’t criticize yourself for “selling out” or doing the wrong thing. Your relationship will be more rewarding when you’re all-in and not constantly considering who else might be out there. The best way to counteract decision paralysis is to do the hard work of finding out what you honestly want. Once you know that, it’s so much easier to go after.

So…how do you figure out what you want? There’s no easy way to do this. Self-awareness is a process that takes time. But there are a few questions I have started to ask myself when I feel deep-leveindecision that have helped me figure out what my real desires are.

The first question is HOW DOES THIS MAKE ME FEEL? Think short-term and long-term here. Does it feel good today? Will it keep feeling good in a week? A month?  Which brings up the next question CAN I ENVISION THIS IN MY FUTURE? If you can’t seem to picture it, you probably don’t want it. Even if you want to want it. The last question, and the one that has helped most is DOES THIS MAKE ME PROUD? In my experience, if you don’t want to shout it from the rooftops or brag about it to the people you care about you probably don’t really want it.

Figuring out what you want takes time, patience and practice. But saving yourself the struggle of indecision or (worse) decisions made for the wrong reasons makes it a worthy effort.

fitness, inspiration, reflections

How to Make Health(ier) Choices


There is a lot more to life than salad and spin class.

There is art that alters your perspective on the world. Travel that alters your perspective on yourself.  Music that makes you feel things (drake). Work that if you’re lucky fulfills you. Friends who enrich your life. Loves who make you feel timeless. Families who support you and give life meaning.  I am of the opinion that a “healthy lifestyle” can and should include all these elements. But not to the detriment of self-care.

Eating well and moving your body deserve to be prioritized as well. Different but equal. The older you get the more you’re forced to accept that. So if you’re the type of person who tends to prioritize work, friends and relationships over self-care (me! me! me!) here are a few tips that have helped me over the years to strike that tenuous balance.

  1. Drink a little less
    I’m SUCH a deb, I know. Drinking = friends = fun, right? I don’t entirely disagree. I think drinking is a great thing to do sometimes, but moderation is key. Drinking multiple times a week means you’re home less which leads to a messy apartment and no groceries. It means you blow money on overpriced drinks at the bar instead of saving that money or spending it on other more meaningful aspects of your life. It means you spend less time hanging out with close pals, more time with acquaintence-type psuedo-pals (boo!). Cutting back on drinking (even just 1-2 nights less than usual) is one easy way to free up time, money and energy so you can foster other interests.
  2. Wake up a little earlier
    Now that you find yourself drinking less, you may notice that you’re waking up earlier (even on weekends!). And what are you going to do with this extra time? Productive stuff that’s what! No one cool is up early in the morning so there’s no one to hang out with. Mornings are the time to do things like catch up on your credit card payments, skype your mom, do your laundry, cook a batch of healthy food to eat all week long, tidy your apartment, make something, go for a walk, etc. Who knows? You might actually start to meet other “morning” people who have cool morning-person interests that you might be into as well.

  3. Eat a lil something for breakfast
    I know I’m not breaking ground by suggesting that a healthy breakfast is essential for a healthy lifestyle, but I do think it’s important and it definitely changed my own approach to eating. A little something in the morning boosts your energy and keeps your hunger in check for the rest of the day. I always notice I’m a lot more “snacky” in the evenings on days when I postpone breakfast. Some simple favourites of mine include overnight oats, oatmeal, green smoothies, poached eggs on whole grain toast or my healthy banana oat pancakes.IMG_2220.JPG
  4. Eat a few more vegetables

    I’ve said this before, but I am of the opinion that it’s better to focus on adding things to your diet rather than eliminating them. And the easiest and most obvious addition to your diet should always be to just EAT MORE FREAKIN VEGETABLES. Like double what you’re eating now. For me this looks like serving my lunch on a big bed of arugula, adding vegetables to my snacks or doubling up on side dishes at dinner time (salad AND green beans). Your body will thank you for all the extra nutrients and the fibre.

  5. Move a little more
    Doesn’t matter what you do. Aim for 30 minutes a day. Walking, biking, yoga, weights, skipping, crossfit, whatever. I’m not going to tell you why because you know why. It feels good. Short-term bad, long-term good. Make the time.
    You betta wrrrrrk

The Art of Flexibility

IMG_2171.JPGIt took me a long time to realize that I was a control freak. Because I have always been really good at it.

Even as a kid I could make situations go my way without those around me really knowing it. I like to think of this as tilting the pinball machine but in the business world I think it’s called “framing.” I don’t think this makes me a sociopath because I didn’t derive any pleasure from manipulation. I derived my self-worth not from manifesting my ideal scenarios, but having them go seamlesslyI was obsessed with being right. And I thought that everyone – myself, my friends, my family – would the better for it if I got my way.

As it turns out, I was definitely not better for it. I was a powder keg of stress and anxiety. I felt enormous self-imposed pressure for everything to go well all of the time. I had no resiliency or ability to handle things when they went wrong. It was only after my quarter-life-nervous-breakdown that I understood the negative impact micro-managing had on my life. How it bred resentment in my relationships. Made me feel isolated. Sucked the fun and surprise out of everything.

Nowadays, I find liberation in relinquishing control. I do this by asking for help. By admitting when I’m wrong. By facing my fear and anxiety head-on. When I go into a situation that is scary or unknown my inclination is to plan ahead for every possible outcome. However, I have “reframed” this for myself in recent years. I see planning as something that prepares me for the unknown but does not stave it off.

Organization and preparation are just tools that trick your mind into feeling confident. It’s that confidence that has enabled me to embrace flexibility…most of the time.




Have you ever dropped something off a dock and had it fall to the bottom of the lake? Like your fancy new sunglasses or a piece of jewelry or your phone?

One second you’re staring out at an expanse of water and sky, reflecting on the vastness of it all. The next second you’re staring down into dark, dingy water resolving yourself to the fact that you – smart, capable, “special flower” you – can’t think your way out of this situation. You can’t delegate it. The only thing you can do is climb down into all that weedy muck and fish out what’s yours.

That’s my metaphor for adulthood.

No matter who you are or where you come from there will always be a disconnect between the vision you have for life and what it actually becomes. In my experience, coming to terms with that discrepancy is the major emotional milestone of your twenties.


I’ve seen a lot of people traverse these years successfully, but I’ve also seen a lot of people stumble and backslide (myself included). Based on these observations, I’ve put together a few basic tips that may just help you keep your shit together when you realize that concepts like “success” and “stability” are about as real as Bing Bong, the pink nougat-filled elephant-cat hybrid from Pixar’s Inside Out. Here goes…

    I know. They were emotionally unavailable. Or unstable. They were narcissists. Or acted like victims. They coddled you. Or they criticized you. If you can’t afford therapy, this is me telling you right now that all your accusations are real. Validation granted. Your parents made countless mistakes and they’re going to keep making them for the rest of your life. However, having a good relationship with them as an adult is one of the most rewarding things you can do. Old people are wise and your parents know you better than anyone else. Their advice will get you through the hardest times. Love and accept them like they love and accept you.
    Once you forgive your parents you’ll notice that is less satisfying to blame them for all the stupid things you do. You’re not rebelling, you’re regressing. The only person suffering the consequences of your credit card debt, heavy drinking, questionable romantic partners, lack of gainful employment, et al. is you. So it’s time to start facing those life choices head-on. The upside is that once you start taking care of yourself rather than ignoring your problems or passing the buck, you’ll realize that it actually feels pretty good.
    I was chatting with a friend over cocktails last week (2 drinks each at a cool 8pm) and we both agreed that one of the best parts of growing up is learning how to say, “no.” It’s absolutely liberating when you figure this out. You don’t have to do things just because your friends do. You don’t need to show up places just because it’s a “scene” you want to be a part of. You don’t have to go out on a limb for everyone who asks you to – only for the people who matter. Learning how to set boundaries forces you to think about you actually want and then communicate it clearly to those around you. The struggle is real but these skills will take you far.
    When you’re in college or even your early twenties, you can usually get by with whatever ragtag group of coping skills you pieced together as a child. Binge watch 8 seasons of Buffy! Buy a new outfit! Go on a juice cleanse! Party with pals! All of the boyfriends! It’s pretty PG. But like any repetitive action, over time these distractions become your coping strategies and once they’re ingrained it ain’t pretty. Addiction, credit card debt & disordered eating are the trifecta of cant-handle-my-adult-life distractions. But that’s all they are – distractions. The only way you will actually get through these years is to confront your feelings of anger, frustration, disappointment, sadness and failure head-on. In time, your ability to face these hard truths (and persevere in spite of them) will help you come to the realization that you that you are in fact the resilient badass/bad bitch you were born to be. 


reflections, travel

You, elsewhere

As an adult, I am very into being rooted. I love my city. My neighborhood. My coffee shop. My people.

However, looking back I notice that my greatest leaps of personal development in life have always taken place far away from the “community” I hold so dear. It has only been in leaving home that I have learned (and re-learned) my most essential life lesson, which is that I am actually the architect of my community.  I source, connect and build the creative-generous-feminist-coffee-slinging-kale-eating-dance-party-having-drake-obsessed community of my dreams wherever I go. It’s in me.

That is a hard lesson for people – for me – to remember because unless you’re evolved as fuck, you get attached to things. And people. You get reliant. You forget that you were the one who found those people, those places, all that stuff in the first place.

Back in February I was going through some tough times, lacking inspiration and suffering through the thick of winter in Canada. So I planned a trip West Texas and started counting down the days.

IMG_1475.JPGI have no illusions about what travelling can offer me. I know it’s not a solution to my problems. I know my fears, anxieties and insecurities will always be my oversized carry-ons.

IMG_1496.JPGBut travel is about so much more than escapism. It’s about challenging yourself to be uncomfortable for a little while. To live without your stuff, your people, your places. To see the same world, through the same eyes, but a new perspective.

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On this particular trip I learned that even though I didn’t know it, I was desperately in need of a hammock, a dear friend, 16 hours in a hot car, a plate of barbeque, a Steve Earle concert and bright orange trailer lovingly referred to as “Sparton Manor.”

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

recipes, reflections

Spring vibes


Late spring is full of momentum.

Lazy, plodding streetcars are overtaken by high-speed bicycles. Rain, when it comes, falls quick and hard. People are so eager for summer to start they plan away all their weekends and fill them up with music festivals, weekend getaways, parties, weddings and cottage trips. With so much energy focused on moving ahead, it’s common to hear people say that they feel like summer is already over…before it’s even begun.

With this in mind, my goal for the next few weeks is to exercise a little patience and feel grateful for what I have today. Pasty white legs, rainy weather, flowers in my garden…and fresh, spring vegetables in my bowl.


Seasonal Spring Chickpea Salad


  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • olive oil
  • 2 medium zuchinis, coursely chopped
  • 1 bunch of asparagus, chopped
  • 2 cups chickpeas
  • salt and pepper
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • flax seed oil (or more olive oil)
  • handful of fresh dill, coursely chopped
  • a few handfuls of arugula
  • 1 cup blackberries


  1. Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat (not too high), add in garlic and sautee until fragrant.
  2. Add chopped zucchini and cook until softened and lightly browned.
  3. Add asparagus and sautee for just a few extra minutes – careful not to overcook.
  4. Transfer vegetables from your pan to a large mixing bowl. Add chickpeas, salt and pepper, dill, lemon juice and a hearty drizzle of flax seed or olive oil. Stir well to combine.
  5. Serve chickpea salad warm or cold over arugula. Top with berries and an extra drizzle of flax seed oil.