Abundance GTA

When I first started Whole Self Fitness, 12 years ago, I used my passion for nutrition and healthy eating to market my services.  I taught healthy cooking classes, gave healthy eating workshops and volunteered and worked at the farmers markets.

It’s been almost three years since I stopped teaching cooking classes and working at the farmers’ market. It’s not that I ever lost interest, I’ve become somewhat torn on how my passion for good food can help my clients. My version of what’s healthy is very different than my fit clients in their eighties who eat Oreo cookies for breakfast. You can’t exactly preach eating for longevity to them!

My good friend Mariko told me about her visit to the Pickering Lands and the upcoming event Abundance GTA organized with Land over Landings.  I was inspired and told her I’d help out.

Today I got to be part of an event that was beautiful and moving.  It reignited my passion for food advocacy.  If you are interested in learning more, please keep in touch with Abundance GTA.

I hope these cell phone photos give some idea of how stunning and special this place is.

Cindy White led us through a ceremony before lunch when we first arrived on Pickering Lands.It was a moving ceremony. Cindy shared her wisdom of Indigenous culture and she honoured the interconnectedness of all relationships within the web of life.

Cindy White led us through a ceremony before lunch when we first arrived on Pickering Lands.It was a moving ceremony. Cindy shared her wisdom of Indigenous culture and she honoured the interconnectedness of all relationships within the web of life.

After lunch the bus took us to Bob Hunter Memorial Park (not officially open). More dancing, poetry and walking to connect us to this land. I will definitely come back to walk more of these trails.

After lunch the bus took us to Bob Hunter Memorial Park (not officially open). More dancing, poetry and walking to connect us to this land. I will definitely come back to walk more of these trails.

More of Bob Hunter Memorial Park

More of Bob Hunter Memorial Park

 

This place is too beautiful to be turned into an airport.

This place is too beautiful to be turned into an airport.

 

Kaeja d'Dance leading us through our first of many participatory dance performances: http://kaeja.org/

Kaeja d’Dance leading us through our first of many participatory dance performances: http://kaeja.org/

WSF Fall News

It’s been a while since I’ve updated my health enthusiasts friends.  I’m still here, training clients and teaching classes.  I’ve also been busy achieving my own fitness goals, professional development and artistic pursuits. Whole Self Fitness is still running, mostly in the St.Clair West/Annex area. Need a fitness facelift?  Leehe@Wholeself.ca/416-924-3145

Long Distance Walking

Over the Spring and Summer I trained to walk 43 kms on my 43rd birthday (September 7th).  It was a joyous experience with many lessons learned that I want to share with people.(Read about it here).  I’ve discovered I love the 21km distance and am still training to get better at it.  Want to join in on my training? Visit the events page.  Each week I’ll post where my walk is starting.

Soba Tofu Noodles Recipe

It was a hot summer.  I have grown fond of cold buckwheat noodle salad.  It was always a hit at picnics.  Even as the weather cools down I still enjoy this for a take-away lunch. http://wholeself.ca/cold-buckwheat-noodle-salad/

Fall Public Fitness Classes

Do you know any youth who may be interested in learning how to use the equipment in the weight room and create their own workout plans? Sign up by Wednesday September 29th, for this class the youth fitness starting Monday October 3rd. I’ve also got one new Pilates class open to the public starting next week: Tuesdays starting Oct. 4th from 9:30-10:30am at Trinity Bellwoods Community Centre.

Interested in small group classes email: Leehe@WholeSelf.ca

Senior’s Housing

I’m now at the stage where I’m looking for houses for rent in Toronto.  Please spread the word out to any seniors you know living alone and looking for a new living arrangement in their own home.  In case you didn’t get my email, here it is again, leehe@wholeself.ca

Enjoy the fresh fall air,

Leehe

 

Cold Buckwheat Noodle Salad

soba2This salad is a hit at outdoor summer/ fall picnics, or as a bring-to-work lunch. This makes 4-6 servings

Ingredients

4 bundles of Buckwheat noodles (I prefer the 100% buckwheat you can buy at health food stores )
2 tbsp of soy sauce (.5 tbsp for tofu/protein marinate
1 tbsp of rice vinegar
1 tbsp of sesame oil (.5 for tofu marinade)
2 tsp of sunflower oil
shredded nori (or cut up roasted nori into flakes
2 stalks of green onion chopped.
One firm tofu (or protein of choice)
5-6 Dried shiitake mushrooms

Start by preparing your protein.  I like to use tofu, cut into bit size pieces, marinate it with some soy sauce or black bean sauce and bake for 20 minutes at 350.  Turning on other side half way.
To prepare the dried mushrooms, boil 1.5 cups of water and pour into bowl with dried shiitake mushrooms. Let them soak for twenty minutes until they’re plumped and softened.  Squeeze access water and chop thin strips.
Boil buckwheat noodles according to directions. Pour 1tsp of  sunflower oil into water.  Drain in cold water and put the rest of sunflower oil to avoid sticking.  Pour rice vinegar, sesame oil and soy sauce on noodles. Add green onion, nori, mushroom and tofu and mix.  If you’re bringing to a picnic, add green onion before serving.

Post Marathon Thoughts on Walking

A few days have now passed since I completed my goal of walking 43km on my 43rd birthday.  My legs are recovered, there’s one last blister on my foot that’s just about healed.  I’ve been in positive spirits, and I’m already making new goals.

What started as a goal for my birthday, (read about that here) turned into a life changing experience. Here’s what I learned.

1. You can solve a problem if you give it time.  I went for long training walks (4-6 hours) where I had a lot of time to think.  If I was upset about something, I had it figured out by the end of my walk.

2. Toronto is 13% parks.  Being able to walk through quiet, safe green space to get from one end of the city to the other, brought me so much joy.

3. When I look at the calories I burned to walk for 4-5 hours, it makes me rethink eating that entire bag of potato chips.

4.  Not enough people get out and walk.  I’m not expecting people to walk marathons but a thirty minute walk is not on many people’s list of things to do. Between the people that thought I was crazy to the people who were in awe of what I was doing, most people didn’t choose to join me.

5. Walking long distances has trained me to get places with my two legs.  My bicycle may have a flat, public transit could be down and I don’t own a car.  When I have the time, walking can get me pretty far.

Now that I’ve completed my goal of walking 43km on my 43rd birthday, people want to know if I’ll be doing 44km on my next birthday.  Probably not.  I will, however, perfect my 21km distance.  That’s a distance I’ve enjoyed the most.  It’s long enough to get somewhere far and a good enough time to decompress mentally, without taking the entire day!

Interested in joining in on my weekly walks? Tune in each week at here to find out where I’ll be doing weekly walk.

 

Sunrise and solitude. Mt Pleasant cemetary.

Sunrise and solitude. Mt Pleasant cemetary.

Southern end of the Humber trail. My favourite train in Toronto.

Southern end of the Humber trail. My new favourite trail in Toronto.

Great Egret on Humber Trail.

Great Egret on Humber Trail.

Cormorant in the Don River.

Cormorants in the Don River.

Avenue Road and Heath Street at dawn. No cars.

Avenue Road and Heath Street at dawn. No cars.

Batman at Yonge and Eglinton.

Batman at Yonge and Eglinton.

Long and difficult walk at Gros Morne National Park, Newfoundland.

Long and difficult walk at Gros Morne National Park, Newfoundland.

Three of my training walks happened outside of Toronto. 25km on Wolfe Island.

25km on Wolfe Island.

 

Marathons on a Hot Weekend in Ottawa

As some of you may know, I’ve been training to walk a marathon (42ish km) in September.  It was a goal somewhat inspired by my partner, Chris’s training for the spring Toronto marathon.  I’m mostly, following a running marathon training schedule, doing one long walk a week, (usually on a Saturday or Sunday).

Last weekend I did 23kms in just over 4 hours in the Kawarthas passing many beautiful wild flowers and grazing farm animals.  My goal now, is to focus on physical and mental endurance.  Speed is less important to me than it is to Chris, though I’m not exactly walking at a leisurely pace. Read More

Sugar-Free: 6 week Update

After a dentist cleaning. All smiles, no cavities!

After a dentist cleaning. All smiles, no cavities!

I meant to keep a weekly diary of what my experience has been like since I quit sugar on December 1st/2015, but I didn’t.  There are three kinds of people I’ve encountered when I tell them I’m off sugar.

1. The person who probably eats too much sugar, that thinks I’m nuts, and says, they could never give it up.

2.  The person who eats too much sugar and knows they should cut down, asks me lots of questions and then contemplates.

3.  The person who doesn’t eat a lot of sugar, thinks I’m nuts and says, why don’t you just eat it once in a while. Read More