It’s officially spring time around PinkMafia and we’ve decided that means spring cleaning. For the next 4 weeks, our holistic go-to Jocelyn Black from A Holistic Affair is going to help us get healthy inside and out.
After a long winter of sub zero temps and what felt like a snowstorm almost every day, being cooped up at home, only really working out in my living room and curling up on the couch with comfort food, and sometimes wine, it’s time to shed the winter weight and toxins. I’m not one to eat ‘bad’ food, but I did indulge in more hot and heavy foods than my body wanted, like rice or rice noodles, which my body can’t tolerate without gaining pounds immediately.
If you haven’t noticed, Queen West has turned into quite the looker these days.
But the development period that the University/Spadina corridor has undergone over the last decade has come with many losses of equal significance. Lavish & Squalor aside, independent shops like Vice and Buckler have completely disappeared. Gorilla Monsoon (not that anyone I know ever hungout there) is now a wasteland for corporate hamburger juice, and in general, nothing all that hip has happened around that space since the Bombshelter changed its name.
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone in Canada. If you celebrated last night, then you are probably sleeping off a turkey hangover as I write this. If tonight’s your night, try this super simple recipe for vegan/gluten free pumpkin pie.
First, you gotta make the crust, you’ll need.
1 1/2 cups granola (buy gluten free at a health food store)
1/3 cup vegan margarine, melted (earth balance, also at a health food store)
1 tsp sugar
water as needed
I tried this recipe to the letter and found that it wasn’t enough granola to make an adequate crust. For a 9 inch pie pan (aluminum one from the dollar store), so I just brought the granola up to 2 cups.
All you have to do is put the granola in a blender with the warmed up vegan margarine and sugar and blend till smooth, might need a bit of water, just be careful adding so it’s not too much.
Preheat over to 350 and throw it in for 6-8 minutes to harden it up.
You will need:
3/4 pound silken (soft) tofu (I used a half pound instead)
1 16 ounce can pumpkin puree (I used 20 oz instead)
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup oil
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tbsp molasses (you can sub honey here)
1 pre-made pie crust (which you just made)
The hardest ingredients here are the tofu and the pumpkin, the rest is pretty standard pantry stuff. Make sure you get pureed pumpkin, not pumpkin filler. Any silky tofu will do.
This is not a restaurant review, it’s a call to action. For years and years, I knew of Sadie’s only after discovering it to be that place with great and reasonably priced coffee on that street in the fashion district I’ve never seen in daylight. Until one day not too long ago when I was advised to try the vegetarian hole in the wall EVERYONE in the neighbourhood knows and loves.
Soon thereafter, I realized, “this is THE place” and it will now forever be that wildcard spot in my deck, the obscure recommendation I dish out to special out-of-towners, and the best I sometimes forget even exists.
Recently opening a juice bar in Kensington, (I know, right?) Sadie’s is the freshest little diner you’ll ever try. Just blocks from the Thompson Hotel, it offers patrons the works in vegetarian and vegan cuisine. Their menu is available on their myspace page (yes they have a myspace page), and you’re always welcome place orders for pick-up. The service is great, the people are weird, and the food is delicious. What else could you possibly want?
If you’re looking for all day breakfast, or vegan bacon, or tofu club sandwiches, or the perfect quesadilla, or half and half sides, or paying with debit, Sadie’s is probably the right fit for you. If you haven’t already, go and try it! Nothing beats Freshening up your diet just in time for fall. And who knows, you might head back to the office Monday afternoon without feeling like a sack of shit for once in your life.
Remember Groupon? ethicalDeal, with both Toronto and Vancouver branches is WAY is better than that. And then remember every other startup spinoff that followed the online shopping guru that have completely taken over everyone’s inboxes? Well worry not, because there is now a website following those EXACT parameters and features ethical, eco-friendly, sustainable, vegan, animal-friendly, and cruelty-free products from as close to you as your next door, or neighbouring ttc stop.
I know I get sick of the dozens of emails that pour in starting at about 3am every morning, but this site is the only subscription you actually really need. Like Groupon and LivingDeal, each ‘deal’ is dependent upon the number of people who buy in, but what I like about this site as opposed to all of the others is the community feel to buying LOCAL. Every business that is featured is not only providing a product or service that meets the companies ethical requirements, but the products you’re buying are coming from organizations within your very own community.
After watching a lot of True Blood and working for an eco-friendly e-commerce company, a new lifestyle value I’ve discovered is carbon footprinting. Not that anyone has developed a metrics system to provide an accurate numerical value (although that might be some kind of hilarious undergraduate statistics project one of you should look into), carbon footprinting is the impact a person’s behavior has on the environment. Imagine for instance, that you take your boyfriend out for dinner and he orders a Belvedere vodka and Redbull. Not to mention that your boyfriend is probably an asshole, but the distance distance the products he’s consuming have traveled, and the labour that went into creating all parts of the cocktail have an impact on the world we live in.
Decreasing your carbon footprint is actually quite easy, an buying local is the best first step. No one is asking you to give up brunch or throw away every piece of sporting equipment you own, but there are ways to cut corners without cutting the universe. If you’re a beer drinker in Toronto, stick with Steamwhistle, Mill Street, or Amsterdam, or if you’re from a small town – buy your own cow. The important part is thinking beyond what you’re consuming and existing in a conscious world.
I hope you’ll check out the site and peruse the aisles of their eco-friendly community . You’d be surprised the quality of what you’re getting and the social benefits to living more ethically. And hopping on that bike of yours once in a while actually might a little too!
If you haven’t heard of Ethical Ocean, you’re missing out. These guys were granted money on Dragon’s Den and turned that investment into an amazing opportunity for us to shop in the comfort of our homes for some AMAZING items.
The company was started to focus on providing items for people that were not only stylish, but also had a positive impact on our world. The site is so well organized you can search by “ethic” (fair trade, organic, and social change are some of the options) or by category (women’s fashion, home and garden, electronics…).
This group of young, conscious people are leading the change (check out their facebook here). This ain’t your neighbor’s crunchy granola consciousness – we’re talking badass silver rings and retro cherry bathing suits. We were lucky enough to have had them supply clothes for a recent shoot (check out the site for all of them). See the images below!
As well, we just had a chance to try out Thursday Plantation a rad skin care line from Down Under. Check out our review HERE.
Photos by: Courtney Lee Yip
Despite what people may tell you, you’re not touched, you’re not an idiot, and you’re definitely not an imbecile. The problem is that recycling is a pretty tough sport and your cojones have been sitting on the bench since Earth Day. So, get up, get out, and change something…
Plastic is probably the most disgusting material a human has ever made. And what started as some kind of revolutionary convenience receptacle formula, will now forever continue to destroy animal habitats around the world, poison all earthbound organisms, and accumulate faster than the resin on a college dorm room bong. The only thing more disgusting than the impact of the plastic industry is probably the impact of industrial construction. Think residential ecosystems. Rat displacement. And children playing in the backyard. Yuck.
Recycling plastic seems really annoying and stupid and simple, but it’s actually one of the most functional and intricate systems to navigate through so long you’re well informed. That’s where Urban Green comes in. With a few simple tips, repugnant images of animal mishaps, a cool
bug dude in your ear for the rest of eternity, and you’re good to go for the future!
There are 5 species of recyclable plastic, and like zoo animals, they’re only safe if they’re separated; keep the rhinos with the rhinos, and the frogs with the frogs. For instance, if you were to recycle a polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottle, that was manufactured with high-density polyethylene (PE-HD) cap, the men at the recycling plant will just throw it away and there will be no more babies in the future.
Also, some plastics aren’t even recyclable. So recognizing and avoid those is best practice. Learn to check your labels (fair trade is also a great one to look out for too) (Happy World Fair Trade Day Everyone), and try to make sure the plastics that you do need are of the recyclable persuasion. For your health.
See photos below, go watch Addicted to Plastic, then let us know what you think.
The world produces 150 billion tons of plastic a year (almost half the mass of the entire planet), and only 5% of that plastic ever gets recycled. Truth be told, we’ve been stupid.
Words: Kate Snack
I’ve been working in the kitchen as a volunteer for Sistering for eight months now. All that cooking, and making due with what’s around; learning about organics and nutrition has gotten me into food. Not just cooking food, but the sense of community that comes from making food. There hasn’t been a day in the last eight months that I haven’t bounded out of bed, ready to peel potatoes, learn new ways to cook tofu and dance to 80s music in the Sistering kitchen alongside various chef’s, volunteers and paid staff.
Now that spring is here, I’ve been considering a garden. Between all the info I’ve researched on the state of our commercial food system (i.e. the evil that is Monsanto) and a want for more of a (pardon the pun) organic community experience, I have been drawn to this idea of growing, then cooking, then eating my own food. It’s the ultimate ownership, and it just feels right.
It’s harder than you think to pull off this community garden thing. I started with the Community Garden Network which is a great resource that lists all the community gardens in Toronto-there’s job and volunteer opportunities, but not a lot of “learn to garden” pages. In fact, there’s a statement from the city of Toronto saying that they are still building the database and don’t really even know all the community gardens. The best way, it seems, is to start one yourself.
I did find a pretty neat program called “Yes In My Back Yard” which is run through The Stop. Essentially, they find gardeners who are willing to take over people’s decks, rooftops, balcony’s and backyards as their garden spaces for the summer. You can also donate your space if you’d like to have someone come in and turn your front or back yard into a lovely organic garden this summer-sparing you the upkeep, but providing you with the beauty.
This seems to be the route I’m going for this year, as a friend of mine (a bachelor) has a large deck in need of some farming TLC. I’ve even reached out to the students at Upper Canada College who are building planters for yards and balconies as donations this year. The deal is, I have to put lovely flowers in as well as seeds and I can have the space.
Why does it matter where your food comes from?
Here’s a quick video where an 11 year old breaks it down for ya. Essentially everything you eat comes from Franken-seeds manufactured by Monsanto. These seeds are genetically modified to grow in soil that is so polluted, it kills all other plant life. The seeds cause cancer. Period. And ALL your food comes from farms using these seeds. All of it.
There are a LOT of farmer’s markets in Toronto. They’re local farmers growing organic, can’t beat that. And it’s every day of the week from May-October and there are several that run through the winter. We are extremely blessed to have this much variety and access at our finger tips, a good first step is using it. For a complete list click THIS.
And if you’re super keen, there’s the Green Living Show this weekend. More deets here.