Well in one word, tomatoes. As I mentioned in my last newsletter, I started a new vegetable garden box this year. I have been really enjoying learning about different vegetables and how they grow. I am especially amazed at how big cucumber plants get and that they can climb trees. I also learned that earwigs love kale and cabbage, and they can consume entire plants, which then look as if they have been eaten by a large animal. And finally, I am amazed at how many cherry tomatoes I have! Granted, I may have overplanted, but it still blows my mind that I am picking tomatoes in October. And they taste delicious. As I continue to harvest my tomatoes, I am reflecting on my successes and failures with the garden. As my husband suggested, I am taking notes. The one thing I did love most about the garden was the connection made between myself, the earth, and my food. I relished picking the bounty from the garden during quiet times, and it became my daily mindfulness break. So I will try again next year, and hope my thumb gets even greener. (Any advice is always welcome!)
Immune Support for Cold & Flu Season
If you are looking for natural ways to support your body’s immune system this season, book yourself in for a cold & flu prevention program. Simple adjustments in your diet and lifestyle practices can make a big impact on your health. Many herbs and nutrients can also help fight off those pesky viruses while building up your overall defenses.
New Indigenous Medicine Trail at the RBG – The Journey to Anishinaabe Knowledge
Native plants provided indigenous peoples with almost all of life’s essentials. Starting in the Arboretum near the Nature Interpretive Centre, this new trail explores plants used by the Anishinaabe peoples, and their connections to culture, language, ecology and history. Learn more here.
7th Wave Yoga on Brant – 468 Brant St., Second Floor
I love this new yoga studio recently opened by my friend Melinda Walker in downtown Burlington. The space is gorgeous, and she has classes for all levels and styles. Check it out soon!
Gratitude, Connection, and Mindfulness
Lately these are the words that are constantly swirling around in my brain, and so I am consciously trying to put them into practice each day. The fields of happiness research and positive psychology seem to be booming, and new clues into how to be happy are coming to light all the time. From what I have experienced and seen, gratitude, connection and mindfulness are major players in our quest to achieve and maintain happiness and ultimately optimal health. Simple daily habits can go a long way to building up our positive sense of well-being. And, when we feel good mentally and emotionally, that transfers into better physical health, as well.
Here are a few tips from my “Happiness Prescription” handout to try or to inspire you to find your own ways to boost the sunshine in your day. Think of your happiness as a muscle that needs to be exercised each day. The more you work it, the stronger it becomes.
An Attitude of Gratitude – The Thanksgiving season is a perfect time to start actively expressing what you are truly grateful for. Keep it simple to start. Try to think of one new thing each day that you are thankful for. A gratitude journal can be super helpful and fun to keep. You can open to a blank page and write “Today I am thankful for _____”. Fill in the blanks, and see where the practice takes you. Or, just blurt it out whenever you are inspired to. And best of all, share your gratitude with others as often as possible.
Stay connected– Maintaining deep, personal relationships is vital for our level of happiness and our health. This was highlighted in this great Ted Talk about the longest-running study on happiness. People who are more socially connected to family, friends and communities and prioritize these relationships have improved quality of life overall. So nurture those relationships, engage in deep conversations, and reach out to others in times of need.
Be Present – Many times when anxiousness shows up in our bodies, it is likely we are spending too much time thinking about the future. I know this is true for me. So when this happens, bring yourself back to the moment and focus on the single thing you are doing right at that time. Practice doing one thing at a time, and when you feel your focus switching to another item on your to-do list, bring your attention back to your current task until it is finished. I know you can multitask, but see how it feels not to. You may notice yourself getting more done and feeling good in that sense of accomplishment.
Wonder by R.J. Palacio
The Little Book of Hygge and The Little Book of Lykke by Meik Wiking
The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
If you like what you are reading let me know! You can connect with me through my website or on Facebook or Twitter. I welcome any suggestions for future editions!
Yours in Health,