20130621-073902.jpg Have you checked out Westend Coop's Farmer's Market in Sorauren Park? It's a mini utopia with live music, wee ones frolicking in the grass and all kinds of people lounging about enjoying conscious, delicious treats from the vendors. The market is year round as they have access to the club house in the winter, but it's now in full swing under big blue skies, with produce and plant stands, bakeries, prepared raw food, local dairies and even some amazing beauty options. Check it out this afternoon from 3 to 7, maybe I'll see you there!

photo cred Cat Last weekend, we had a total last minute and random idea.  Let's take the kids to the Sugarbush Maple festival at Bruce's Mill Conservation area.  Yup, we did it and what a fabulous time it was.  Albeit sooo cold, with that pesky windchill but whatcha gonna do?  It totally took me back in time as really nothing has changed - except the technology for tapping the trees is more advanced now.  There were rides to be had on Shetland ponies, a petting zoo, a guided tour on foot, a fire pit (which my eldest stated "Muma, I could stay here all day" - bless her), wildlife and wagon rides (which regrettably we didn't do). Real maple syrup is so punk rock.  Remember if you need to sweeten something up a bit, don't use boring white, processed sugar - use maple syrup instead, the 100% pure kind. We're Canadian after all, 75% of all maple syrup production occurs here so let's support them.  Carve out some time next weekend, drive North and get your maple on.

Organics are not always cheap but they are important. If you're taking the time to eat better, buying organic produce is the first place to start. If they spray the plants with pesticides it's in the air, soil and water which means it's in the plant and in you. No scrubbing will get that stuff out. Sticking to the dirty dozen is a great place to start. Click here for current list. I do almost all my shopping at two stores on Roncesvalles, Qi Naturals carry all my oils, powders, nuts, seeds and anything else I need. I haven't found better prices then at Qi and their service is great. I then walk North about four store fronts to Maple Produce. They're a little grocer with zero frills and THE best prices. They don't always have local in the summer but in the winter they've got organics covered. Personally I feel much better about spending my dollar at family owned, locally run business like these especially when I'm getting my money's worth. Yes Miss Mellors this one is for you... sorry it's on the other end of the city!

I took a trip down to Sedona this weekend, what a place! By far one of the most beautiful locations I've been. Elaina Love, our wonderful tour guide, started at Chapel of the Holy Cross which is a surreal church built into the Sedona mountain side, she then lead us on a hike up Cathedral Rock, followed by a high vibrational lunch at The Chocolate Tree which included the most amazing raw chocolate made by Jeffery Botticelli with 100 year old tea leaves ... we were wired afterward as they were unlike any chocolate I've had before. We stopped at a gem shop then off for a quick walk to check out a vortex and finally made our way to Harding Spring to bottle our own water, it was clean, crystal clear and delicious. What was most amazing (other than all that awesome stuff mentioned above) was how the surroundings totally changed over a two hour ride from Scottsdale. From scorching heat and cactus to giant red rock buttes with lush green forest to white mountains, pine trees and chilly temperatures by the spring. It really was fantastic. By the time I got back to the house I was on sensory overload and needed a long walk under the full harvest moon to relax. I highly recommend spending time in Sedona if you have the chance, it's very special. I've included lots of links above, click on all the purple words for more pictures and info!

Photo Cred Lisa I was fortunate to have the opportunity to visit the Tree of Life in Patagonia, AZ this weekend. When you enter the world of raw food, the Tree is spoken of as a bit of a mystical place. The group of ladies from Pure Joy Academy took the three hour drive from Scottsdale to indulge in an incredible buffet of THE best raw, vegan, living foods. Most of which is grown on the Tree of Life property and all prepared on site. We were then treated to a lovely lesson on sprouting and juicing our own wheatgrass. And finally we were lead up to the labyrinth for a meditative walk about... which requires another post all to itself. The surrounding area is stunning! Just a short distance from the Mexican border, the hills are lush and green, scattered with agave plants and mesquite trees. Not at all what I was expecting of Arizona. Butterfies flutter about the clinic and the gardens are gorgeous and fragrant. The area is so green it actually casts a green hue on everything... which feels very appropriate. I must admit, while I knew I'd never been anywhere like this I quickly realized just how true that was, so much peace and beauty. The staff and guests were gracious and dedicated to holistic living and to know so many people have been healed in all aspects by Dr. Gabriel Cousens just furthers my belief that change is underway. If you're into films here is the trailer for Simply Raw, it all takes place at the Tree and is worth watching.