Welcome to Spring!
With winter officially leaving us behind, I have to say that I am looking forward to some warmer weather ahead. Not sure about the rest of the world, but it was a colder winter than normal here that coined some new phrases such as arctic air mass, deep freeze, bitter cold wind chill, winter blast… the list goes on. Don't get me wrong, I actually really enjoy the crisp cold and bright sunny winter days here in Southern Ontario, but enough is enough now!
This winter Kent and I moved pretty far from raw foods for the first time in three years. Our bodies were strongly craving warmer soups and stews, lentils, and the smell of cooking brown basmati rice on the stove. This shift put a few things into perspective for us, mostly the importance of listening to our bodies and eating for the environment you are living in. It also made us move beyond the category of "RAW" and helped us find a more balanced way to living and eating in Canada.
We have also been thinking more about creating some different kinds of social events. It can be difficult to get together socially sometimes and not break out the bottle of wine or grab a cold beer. Since a young age watching our parents entertain, followed by the college years that involve drinking around every corner, it seems like socializing and drinking come hand in hand. Please don't get me wrong, I am not judging or putting anybody down who enjoys a nice glass of vino! I am just saying, that going to that altered place in your mind during events or get togethers is a hard habit to break.
In the past few years I have been cutting down on my drinking and noticed a few things. First of all, I noticed just how difficult it is to drink tea or water when everybody around you isn't on the same page. Secondly, I am finding that I don't enjoy the company of people drinking when I am not also drinking - even when I drink I don't enjoy my company! Lastly, when I do drink I find my body rejecting the alcohol much more. Just a glass or two of wine will have almost a poisoning effect on my body, and if I have a few beer it will take me at least a couple days to get rid of the bloating feeling in my gut.
The question I have is this… why do we drink? Are our lives that bad that we need to get to an altered state to feel better? Have we really fooled ourselves with the "but I drink in moderation" rule? I mean, do people really LOVE the taste of wine? If vodka and gin tastes that great why do we add sweet syrup to them and fruit juice to get it down. Do people love the taste of beer so much that they have to drink 10 of them in a row, or do they love the buzz and lift they get from it? I think the answer is (and I am not speaking about everybody out there, this is just a general observation) that most of us who drink are self medicating. We are using it as an acceptable tool to help us cope with stress, depression, anxiety and fear. I know that I did, and still do from time to time! Drinking isn't the only thing… we all know that there are many other ways to help us feel better out there.
All this talk about endorphins. We all want more of them right? Anti-depressants, alcohol, drugs, we have found all these ways to trick our brain into getting more of them, but here is my question, are we also smothering our ability to make them naturally? Did you know that 1 out of every 10 people are currently on anti-depressants? One of the first things the doctor tells you when he writes the prescription for anti-depressants is that you have to be ready to go on them for long term and most probably for the rest of your life. When did that become acceptable? Look, I know in many cases of depression it can get pretty serious and in these cases the drugs seem to be helping, so please don't misunderstand me, I do see them as a necessity for certain people. I just think that as a culture, we are not doing a very good job with this whole mental illness thing as the numbers are going up, not down.
How come we can look at a liver with liver disease and say, oh look at this organ, it is damaged and suffering and that is why it isn't functioning right, however, we can't seem to do that with the brain. Almost like our brains are not connected to the health of the rest of the body. A separate entity. I mean, is it that crazy to believe that our brain can also suffer from nutritional deficiency? According to Dr. Mercola a deficiency in B12 can lead to memory loss and mental fog (read more). I am just using this as an example, however if that is the beginning stages of a B12 deficiency, what would the next stage be if that wasn't corrected? If you have a degenerated disk in your spine and you don't correct the problem, it is just going to continue to degenerate right?
All to say that as I mature in age I also want to continue to take strides towards better health. With this in mind we have been thinking of creating a monthly series of get togethers focused on what I call BARE connections. No, not a nudist group… but a community of people interested and dedicated to socializing on a bare level without the use of drugs or alcohol. Over the past holidays, Kent and I hosted a chocolate party at our home. It was a bit of a test to see how our friends would enjoy an alcohol/drug free party - and I have to say, that we had a BLAST! The party went on until 4:00am (well all the chocolate could have had something to do with it…) and the vibe in the room was just beautiful.
We will be sure to let our local customers and friends know more details about this once we have the details figured out. In the meantime feel free to email us with suggestions! i.e. where we could meet and what evenings would work best.
What is new with us these days?
Kent and I are excited to still be focusing our energy on things that energize and inspire us! Follow the passion! What are we passionate about? Well, here are a few things we are passionate about.
We continue to research, purchase and provide our customers with high vibrational healing foods. Over the past few years, I have seen and talked to SO MANY amazing inspiring people who have turned their lives around with diet and nutrition, it just blows me away. I seriously could write a book about it. Cancer, diabetes, skin problems, insomniacs, inflammation - all of it. Just amazing really. Sometimes my passion for sharing this information with others comes across as a bit intense - I am working on that… haha, never said I was perfect! For those of you who have been to our store, I am sure your can relate to being a victim of one of my rants! I just can't help it. I get frustrated with the medical industry and even now the Health Food industry and do what I can to share and educate information I come across with others. Maybe this is my life mission, to get people off highly processed, nutrient deficient foods.
Connecting With Great People
Kent and I have joined some really great local initiatives to support the growth of new small business in our community. While the rest of the world around here seems to be building big box stores and ice rinks, I came across a great group of local entrepreneurs who'se actions show that they really care about the success of this area. Co-Working Niagara and Start-Up Niagara, oh and I can't forget Niagara Niagara that my friend Steven started just because, well, there has to be one right? Connecting with these groups of people has been very inspiring for me. Not just because some of them are extremely intelligent and talented computer tech guys who help me with really complicated things on my website from time to time… but because it is just really cool to be part of a community of entrepreneurs who help each other. I think many of the people there are the future of this city and we need to nourish them in any way that we can.
Speaking of the future of this area, we are also incredibly excited about supporting our amazing local organic farmers! Working with Victory and Foreworld farms to provide our customers with weekly organic Bounty Boxes has been really great. You can read more and sign up here. As far as I am concerned, our local organic farmers are the JEWELS of the area and need to be cherished, supported and appreciated. I am not sure if people understand how important this kind of work is. In case you missed the memo - these guys are growing fruits and vegetables without spraying poison on them! This is so important for the future health of our children and our land. I don't even want to think of what the future would look like with only genetically modified fungicide insecticide and pesticide soaked foods.
What is new with the business?
Hummm, well for starters, Kent and I are still completely totally and utterly devoted to our business. We wake up every morning and head into the office filled with love and complete gratitude for what we do. Having recently added a new member to our team, we look forward to our usual slow and steady growth and can't wait to see what treasures 2014 will bring!
This isn't huge news, but we are moving into the direction of larger volume bags. No more 150g bags of cinnamon folks. Listen, you have all been buying from us long enough to know that you eat enough darn cinnamon to get the 1lb bag okay! haha. This is just our way of still being able to offer our brand to our customers online in a more efficient way for us. We carefully source and package every product with the Truly Organic Foods label on it and want to be able to continue to do this. We love having our packaging area located in our warehouse, and take pride in the products we are able to package for our customers.
We are working on increasing our spices and adding in a few more herbs. Of course, always looking for the perfect snack to sell that doesn't have preservatives or any thing else in it. We love getting suggestions from our customers and also learning about new great companies. We always research all of our products to make sure that the ingredients are up to our standards.
Our Next Event!
March 28-30 is the Toronto Yoga Conference! If you are attending, please come by to say hi. We are booth #521. If not just to see the cool new T-Shirts I designed for our TOF girls! Oh and a boy too but you have to come on Friday to see him. This is our first time at the Yoga Conference and we are super excited!
Our Spring Sale!
Check out our spring sale blog to see how you can save some money in April! We also have another fun giveaway happening in May so stay tuned for that…
Sending out lots of love and peace to everybody out there reading this! We hope that you are in good health and full of happiness and joy.
Lee (and Kent)