Good VS Evil VS Humankind – an experiment.


February is here, love is in the air….or is it?

Hallmark holidays are upon us nearly every month. January is a slow month with only the Chinese New Year as a relatively legit holiday. Then we have Valentines day, Fat Tuesday, Ash Wednesday AND the almighty Superbowl followed by March; Spring Break, Daylight Savings, St. Paddys day. Then comes April hopping along with Easter & Earth day, May hosts Cinco de Mayo, Mothers day…you’re picking up what I’m putting down, right?

The point is, during every month we have at least ONE opportunity to consider why we are thankful for something or someone without having to put much effort into mindfulness ourselves. I for one am grateful for that – I merely put up a calendar and look at it once in a while, bingo bango I’m in no fear of losing my social relevance! But on the other hand……

February however, I have a bone to pick with. Not everyone has that conventional relationship to pass on chocolates and whisper sweet nothings on February 14th. Heck, even if we are partnered up we’re usually too consumed by ourselves to remember to do something truly thoughtful at all during the year, leaving it all up to February’s Valentines Day to make up for. I for one, hate that. If this Valentines Day didn’t exist, would we forget about loving kindness all together? Is Valentines Day all that is holding us back from being the emotional equivalent to pond scum? Excuse me while I go scrub off the goose bumps that have encompassed my body entirely.

Life and love and being human are all about being light and dark, happy and sad, thankful and ignorant. We learn from being all of these things, we inspire ourselves and others, and we grow! Without our pre-packaged, consumer-based reminders, would we stay in the dark depths of narcissism most of the time, or would we still feel the need to execute acts of remembrance and loving kindness? Here’s hoping.

I have a challenge for you all, for 1 month, 6 months, 1 year or beyond: live outside the borders of what convention is reminding you of on your calendars. Keep a log, journal, diary, or tattoo all of your good AND bad intentions, all of your triumphs and failures and all of the lessons you learn by them. Commit to completing one selfless act of kindness every day to those around you -skip the Care Bare Valentines, the Green McDonalds death Shake for St. Paddy’s – make it real loving kindness that comes from your heart truthfully, and without coaxing from the greeting card industry.

Hey, it’s Tuesday – and I love you.

Happy Valentines Day, everyday.

Sasha

Slouch Socks & Fanning Old Flames


Some mornings you wake up ready to take on the world. Other mornings you begrudgingly hit the snooze a few times, drag your ass out of bed and begin your dull and painstakingly monotonous morning rituals.

This morning, this snowy, mucky chilled and grey morning I found myself in a place of regression to hilarious proportions. At first attempt in pasting together a blog on this I feared telling the full truth of the matter. But THAT my friends, would not be human or setting any kind of example. I’ll always stand firm in my belief that all we have is the truth, our honesty. So here she blows.
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Bundled up in my mis-matched version of a (stained) grey 80’s track suit, I slip on my husbands dingy and well worn white tube socks OVER the bottom of my sweats and march down our narrow wooden stairs to release the hounds. This morning started off with a broken promise from my car dealership – irk #1. So after giving up the only sleep-in morning this woman takes per week, I make the very responsible decision to walk the dogs in the falling snow to let off some steam and wait for a tow truck.

I have two dogs. One of which is food obsessed and maniacal about it at best. Save for dog fur, there is NO need to sweep, swifter, mop or dust the floors in my house. I wouldn’t recommend you eat off of them, but his sniffer catches even the tiniest speck of food imaginable. Wasted talent.

Our walks usually begin with me reminding myself that the “black one” will pick up something disgusting and eat it on our walk and that will be just fine. I resolve NOT to recussitate if he eats poison, or street drugs. For THAT will be his punishment for sloth and gluttony. Letting him get swiped by an angry cat through a neighbouring fence the other day was also some perverted lesson in “minding your own”…..which once again he did not learn from.

Anyway, galoshes on, toque, ridiculous white 15 foot woollen scarf gifted to me from an ex-friend (a constant reminder of the past that should go in the Sally Ann box STAT) tied around my neck we trundle out into the muck to clear our collective minds.

Breathing deeply we cross the empty streets, not one tire whirring through the wet slush, just the steady clomp clomp and click click of my boots and their claws on the sidewalk. Peace, wonder, zen, ohm….good idea Sasha, really, this walk is a great idea. I dream ahead to the day of meeting new people at this hula hooping workshop I’m headed to (heckle if you must, I’m preparing for Burning Man people, character study…gah!) and how it will at least be an amazing work out and a people watching experience, networking…tout c’est possible.

Turn the corner past the old bottle returning depot on Victoria Drive, we’re walking and peeing and clicking and tension is being released. My mind wanders, I’m pondering the sock to sweatpants combination I’m currently rocking underneath my wellingtons and I instantly return to the land of the slouch sock. 3 pairs stacked could make for a sweet rainbow ankle effect, or a simple single slouch could accompany any “Get in Shape Girl” outfit magically. I find myself believing it may be a great idea to bring these back, wool knee socks have been a great winter accoutrement after all, what about their lazy cousin the charismatic slouch?

YOINK

I’m pulled from the middle of my 80’s day dream to find “the black one” feverishly digging under a pile of browned oak leaves nestled up to a condemned building. In a flash he fishes out some foodstuffs, can’t say what it is, but it looks to be bread-like and partially eaten, protected from the elements by it’s leafy mulch. At once I hit the red zone! A place I haven’t visited in many many months since leaving my conventional life behind.

FURIOUS!!!! I whirl the dog around the leash, scream for him to “drop it” – with which he complies – and pick up my pace to make for home, closing a very small loop on the already shortest ever dog walk. I trip over the potholes littering the alley behind my house, cursing out the dog in my mind, gritting my teeth and splashing muddy oily water up and over the edges of my boots, to the pseudo-slouch below.

Entering the final stretch home I have this overwhelming urge to have a coffee. A coffee???? I left that stuff in the dust ages ago. Gives me anxiety worse than any conventional drug out there (that I know of) and though its flavour and aroma are still intoxicating – as much as the smell of bacon (yes abolitionist vegan nightmares I said it. I don’t EAT it, I just have to give the smell a high 5), but the smell alone is not enough to make me trade in the feeling of dying a slow death – or is it?

I push through my back gate, let the dogs off their leashes and find myself rattling around in my kitchen cupboards for my grinder, my percolator and some ethical beans. Coffee bubbling to perfection on the stove I reach into the fridge for a slice of homemade Strawberry Rhubarb pie (vegan thank you very much) and wolf this down before the coffee has brewed.

As I sit here. Belly full of dessert, coffee in hand, a hint of clove from my medicine making of yesterday, I realize I have had an impromptu visit from some of my old flames. Nearly all at once, kind of like at that uncomfortable party I was at once in the early 2000’s – ugly, ugly night.

Today I basked in the slouchnitude, I devoured the sins of the pie and I revelled in the power of a morning coffee – all before 9:30am. Guilt? Not anywhere to be found. The anxiety from a coffee – I’ll have to fill you all in.

My revelation today came for me to share with the world, because you too have left behind a bunch of old flames. Some (like cigarette smoking) you can look back on with shear wonderment and disgust. Others, like a strong black coffee and a piece of pie you can shake hands with, catch up on the street and let go until next time. It’s all human, it’s all healthy and it’s all good – when the timing is right.

Yours in health, and playful life intoxication,

Sasha

Happy New Year – no really, happy new year.


As we all know, the New Year is a time where a great number of people hope to stick to health and wellness resolutions. Whether the change is permanent or temporary is up to the individual however, ensuring that we optimize any type of personal goals, is definitely key.

When it comes to balancing mind and body food is at the core of the solution. Whats more, making the connection between your feelings and your food is paramount. “Happy Food” is that which is bursting with life. A fantastic way of getting this life into the body is by choosing to adopt some raw foods into a standard or conventional diet.

Raw foods are exciting, refreshing and undeniably more pure in taste than their cooked counterparts. They add intoxicating aromas that inspire and uplift, and their colours brighten up any plate.

Once raw food is incorporated into a daily diet by 50% or more, the positive effects are staggering. Weight loss, clear skin, increased energy and vitality, a clear mind and a more peaceful and nurturing connection to the body.

Starting out the new year this way gives an overabundance of energy for those who are seeking out new and healthy physical activity regimes. Combine the gut restorative powers of raw fermented foods and you’ve got a winning combination for optimized whole body detoxification.

If the new year is a time where positive and lasting change is sought after, the power of living foods sustains this desire for the long term. Increasing your intake of enzyme-rich foods naturally curbs the body’s desire for less than healthy packaged food and drink. Food addiction cycles can be broken naturally by introducing the body to what it naturally requires to thrive.

It can be as simple as picking up a package of dates and drawing on them as a sweet treat, rather than traditional chocolate cake or cookies. These mindful choices stimulate the mind-body connection and start a chain reaction of good and healthful choices for years to come.

The possibilities that are associated with a new beginning can be overwhelming, but positive food and activity choices don’t have to be. If a radiant new outlook is your overall goal for 2012, the best way to start is with your food.

Use all of your senses to walk the produce aisles of your local grocer or market. If the vibrant colour and variety of local and in season kale call to you, add it to your basket. Apples, pears, bananas and avocado with their variety of skins, textures and scents will no doubt call to your eyes and nose.

An impressive choice of recipes and instructional videos on simple raw food preparation online will put any question of culinary skill at ease. The best part of raw food prep is – there are virtually no mistakes. Take that baking!

If you’re looking at taking a seriously effective and fun health plunge, look no further. Raw foods will have you stepping out of an unhealthy shell in weeks, even days. If it’s mentorship or coaching you’re looking for, it seems you have already made it to the right place!

To your health,

Sasha Liang
Director, Humble Roots Wellness

Love in many places

There are a lot of times when you can doubt yourself. Doubt your choices and even doubt your friends. Not everything has a deep dark and hidden agenda, but some of us choose to go to that place with life. Some people cannot be trusted and don’t have your best interests at heart, but we may be cosmically connected to them anyway.

Life is a tough nut, and going at it alone may be one of the hardest things to do.

Being a very independent person myself, I rarely put a hand out for help, advice or comfort. When I do, it’s usually in a critical time of need. I’ve learned through the years that going to certain people to hear certain messages is futile at best. Do we stop going there? Probably not. Why? Well, lately I’ve discussed this at length with friends and it seems to be because we are ever hopeful that perceptions change, lights go on, attitudes shift, veils lift. Do they for everyone? Not a chance buster – but that’s ok too.

I’ve had the pleasure of making a lot of friends in my life, they represent vastly different pieces and parts of me. I am made up of so many people based on my experiences, at times I have tried to reject rather than embrace the octopus of my being – out of fear of not be accepted I am sure.

Hitting 33 pushed me into a different dimension, one where I wasn’t willing to make excuses, take less than I deserved, accept being treated like everyone else, tolerate being made to feel like less of a person, agree to shut up and be part of the machine. I woke up, I took that pill and I decided that from that day on there was no going back.

I’m causing rifts, shaking the ground I stand on and in some ways, lighting fire to my old “do what the man says or else” self. My future is bright, my outlook is positive and I’m at the most vulnerable place I’ve ever been in life.

At the end of a day where I manage go back and forth on the opinion I hold over my own choices, it’s nice to know that there are people out there thinking about me. People who find real depth in my character where I myself have only noticed a shallow, muddy and uninviting pool of person.

Today, I thank and honour one of my friends, who sent me this beautiful email out of nowhere, right when I needed it. I value every day you are here my friend, thank you for seeing what my spirit needed – without me having to ask!

Via an email entitled: WTF is in Sasha’s Future?

Dear Sasha, I have been thinking about your situation and have come up with the following silly thoughts.

1/ not sure if you realize how lucky you are. To be in your shoes right now. Think about the fact that you are one of the rare few who actually has ” Choice” . Seldom does it happen that one has a choice , at your age of 30 , about which direction you take in your career. Treasure this as there will not be many more opportunities like this.

2/ Whatever happens, happens. It does not matter what you decide because no one is going to die or starve or be homeless as a result of your decision. One gem I picked up year ago…..
” It’s not so much that you make the right decision, it’s making the decision be the right one”
Meaning, if you go out on your own new path, it will be up to you to make that the right decision, something I truly believe you can do. Again, you are so lucky to be surrounded by safety nets.

3/ review the negatives. Look at the list you sent to your head hunter. If, and it’s a big IF, they come up with solutions to every one for you, would you still want that ” job “??………maybe it’s time to do a Positive/Negative scenario that applies to a new career, a career of Raw Food/ Workshops/ Massage/Rocket Science / yoga……do that list and send to me. ( ok, you might substitute pole dancing for the rocket science one )

4/ I think you are a kind , intelligent , level headed ( when you try ) person. You have a huge heart hidden inside. I have seen you happy….mad…..sad…frustrated…..and frankly, my vote is for the happy Sasha.

5/ Values. What are your core values? Honesty….Integrity….Family…..Relationships…..Think of all of the things you hold dear, things that you can’t live without and which career path serves those values the best.

I remember the day after you quit your job, your face said it all, the glow in your eyes and smile on your face, something I hadn’t seen for a long time. The hug you gave me was full of purpose. That day, in meghan’s class, you were on fire, you had the energy back that your job had sucked out of you. And I thought to myself, my god, even I had not noticed what your job had done to you.

Trust in your instincts, success will follow.

Not sure if any of this drivel was of much help, happy to discuss more in future.

I wish you the best of luck in whatever you do, Your friend, Paul

Sauerkraut the Great


Hello again everyone!

It’s been a long time since I’ve blogged – for many reasons:

1) I was away on a kick ass trip to Europe and Africa
2) I have been teaching the HECK out of East Van
3) I have been creating new partnerships in the food movement that will benefit you all!
4) I’m working on a new RETREAT series with Whispering Falls Pilates.

So after this apology is taken in, get ready to take in another wonder of the fermentation universe: Sauerkraut.

I love this stuff, and it’s so simple to make! Green, purple, Savoy…..add carrots, garlic, onion, apple, celery seed…whatever – it’s a snap and it’s just as good for your gut as Kombucha or any type of dairy probiotic you may have been using to date!

Now, I teach classes on how to make this lovely stuff, so if you want some more hands on training – contact me.

Recipe:

Head of cabbage
1 Carrot
2 tbsp salt
Water handy if needed
Celery seed

Supplies:

Large crock or food-grade plastic container
Grater & sharp knife
Cutting board
Large mixing bowl
Plate that will fit into crock/container
Large jar full of water/large boiled rock to weigh down plate

Method:

Slice up or grate all ingredients into mixing bowl. Work/crush/squeez and add salt intermittently to draw water out of cabbage 5 – 10 mins.

Pack into crock or plastic container

Place plate over mixture, use weight to submerge until water level is OVER Kraut. MUST BE OVER THE KRAUT – if not, add a little filtered or spring water.

Will ferment in 5-8 days. Keeping at room temp. Check daily to find your desired taste. ENJOY THE BENEFITS OF A HEALTHY GUT.

For tips or questions email me at: humblerootswellness@gmail.com check out our website: http://www.humblerootswellness.com, @humblerootswell on twitter “Humble Roots Wellness” on Facebook.