Living Seasonally & Locally
How To Step Into Spring & Break The Stress Cycle by Francesca Durham
Date Added: May 18, 2016 | Comments (0) | Filed under: Living Seasonally & Locally,Living with Yoga,Shanti's Retreat Offerings,Uncategorized,Whole Foods Living
When your stress levels reach an all time high, listen to your body because it knows when to feed your soul. Quiet time to decompress, gain clarity and perspective is necessary for healthy conscious living.
Staying calm and peaceful for most people is not an issue. However, staying focused day after day, meetings, deadlines, multi tasking, flexing between projects, emails, relationships and constant technology interruptions will eventually take their toll. There comes a time when you need to disconnect from it all, break the stress cycle, and return to a place of inner peace.
When’s the last time you invested in yourself? Well, there’s no time like the present to do just that. My recent discovery of Shanti Retreat located on Wolfe Island, a Ferry’s ride across the water from Kingston, certainly left an impression. More important, it reminded me how necessary it is to take care of oneself. The best way to break the stress cycle so you really can step into Spring starts with listening to the call for R&R. Shanti retreat makes a perfect weekend or mid-week getaway.
Run by co-creators Wendy and Darin, Shanti is a hidden gem on the island. I learned this tranquil retreat is frequented by many clients who return year after year. And, the staff are some of the kindest most warm hearted people you’ll ever meet.
I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves. Just remember, it’s never to late to step into Spring. What matters most is believing wholeheartedly you’re worth it.
by Francesca Durham
Brussels in the Belly! Fall Quinoa Salad with Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Cranberries
Date Added: October 17, 2015 | Comments (0) | Filed under: Living Seasonally & Locally,Uncategorized,Whole Foods Living
Get harvesting! You know your bellies are calling for some Brussels. Though commonly unpopular among kids, you and yours will absolutely love them in this perfect and wholesome autumnal dish.
Yield: Serves 4 – 6 Prep Time: 15 mins Cook Time: 20 mins
12 Ounces Brussels Sprouts, Trimmed and Quartered
1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Freshly Ground Salt and Pepper
2 Cups Water
1 Cup Dry Quinoa
½ Cup Chopped Pecans, Toasted
½ Cup Dried Cranberries, Chopped
1-1/2 Tablespoons Maple Syrup
2 Cloves Garlic, Minced Finely
1 Tablespoon Grainy Dijon Mustard
1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
Salt and Pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Line a baking sheet with foil and spread the Brussels sprouts on it.
Drizzle with the olive oil and salt and pepper and toss to gently coat.
Roast in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, until browned and tender.
Toss once during the roasting time.
While the brussels sprouts are roasting, bring the water to a boil in a medium saucepan.
Add the quinoa, reduce the heat to simmer, and cover.
Cook the quinoa for about 15 minutes and remove from the heat.
Let the quinoa sit for a few minutes then fluff with a fork.
In a small container with a lid or a canning jar (my favorite for mixing dressings), add all dressing ingredients.
Tighten lid on and shake well.
In a large bowl place the quinoa, Brussels sprouts, cranberries and pecans in.
Give the dressing one quick shake again and add while gently tossing to coat well.
Serve warm or at room temperature.
If your children grew up on raisins, substitute the cranberries for a couple handfuls of raisins. This is an incredible and complete dish for all to enjoy. For an additional oompf, toast up the pecans (or walnuts, for added creaminess) on the stove, perhaps with a dash of sea salt or brown sugar if you’re feelin’ it! This dressing is to die for, too. You could go all out and even try it with some real Canadian maple syrup tapped right from your parents’ trees or from your nearest sugar shack. Spend a day at the shack all bundled up and come home to unwind warmly to this beautiful dinner for the family. If you don’t already, you will soon love the Brussels.
An Autumnal Embrace; Sensing the Seasons Change at Shanti
Date Added: October 10, 2015 | Comments (0) | Filed under: Living Seasonally & Locally,Uncategorized,Whole Foods Living
Autumn has come. Let’s embrace these moments of transition, shall we? During this time, our natural surroundings invite us to come back inside, to go deep within the center of our being. Slowly, slowly, the air is becoming a little bit more crisp, the sun is rising and setting just a little bit later each day, and the geese are preparing for their winter stay in the southern states. I invite you to take a moment now to look outside, to be still, and to sense into the slow changes unfolding all around you, both in nature and in your life. Breathe with these beautiful times. We are blessed to experience such changes.
A good friend of mine really taught me to embrace this season the last time autumn arrived at our doorsteps. Her childhood took place primarily outdoors, and so her love of feeling the cold come across the land eventually rubbed off on me, and for this I am so grateful. It happens – summers end and winters come, but right in the middle we are given this great gift. For her, the fall is always a time to reflect on the summer’s seeds that had blossomed, and to weed out and let go of anything that no longer serves, making space for the inner journeying that winter calls for. It’s also a time for a lot of apple picking!
Here on Wolfe Island, the changes in season are truly stunning! We are fortunate enough to have our own permaculture garden that produces right up until the end of our Shanti season at the end of November. We’ve got our kale still with us, some squash coming through, and Brussels sprouts searching for our bellies. We like to do autumn right! Good home cooked meals eaten fireside with our Shanti team, hot chocolates, walks in the wind, and big, cozy socks for it all. You too can embrace this season – just dress warmly, brew so many pots of tea and be sure to gather loved ones to cook hearty harvest fall meals with. Don’t forget to breathe in these beautiful temperatures and colours, remembering to smell the scent of every falling leaf, freshly reddened.
By Andrew Burrows
Eat the Rainbow..and feel the prana! July’s Conscious Cooking Retreat with Darin, Wendy and RHN Lacey Budge
Date Added: July 27, 2015 | Comments (0) | Filed under: Living Seasonally & Locally,Shanti's Retreat Offerings
On July 17th, Wendy and Darin hosted a summer retreat, alongside Shanti’s manager and Registered Holistic Nutritionist Miss Lacey Budge, who shared a series of workshops on Conscious Cooking. Guests were invited to reflect on the effects of food choices on the physical body, as well as the energetic, mental and spiritual bodies, as well as the planet.
With such a rich and colourful harvest from both our organic garden and the garden over at Okee’s Farm on the island, guests practiced eating locally, seasonally, and… intuitively eating the rainbow: red peppers, orange carrots, yellow beans, green herbs, blue-berries, purple cabbage, white radishes – a chakra salad indeed!
This weekend we also had our largest group out for the Sunday morning walking meditation with Darin! About 20 guests awoke early to feel the peace around the big and beautiful tree just out front with the swing. Inhale… Exhale… Left foot… Right foot… Nowhere to be but here. Each step, cultivating stillness, awareness, and loving kindness with Mother Earth. It is a beautiful time of year to be outside, to Simply Be.
With our labyrinth almost complete, guests also had the opportunity to continue this walking meditation through the labyrinth, beginning at the beginning and making their way all the way through to the center in meditation.
By Andrew Burrows
How to Grow Your Own Micro Greens
Date Added: May 19, 2015 | Comments (0) | Filed under: Green Living,Living Seasonally & Locally,Whole Foods Living
What you’ll need:
- Flat, draining, seedling tray
- organic potting soil and sheep manure
- organic micro green seeds
1. Mix 1 part sheep manure to 3 parts potting soil in a clean pail
2.Spread your mix approximately 2-3 inches deep in the seed tray; making sure it is fairly level.
3. Spread an even coat of seeds onto mix of approximately 4 – 6 seeds per square inch.
4. Soak the seeds with a light mist (small watering can works well)
5. Sprinkle a light coating of mix on top to barely cover seeds. Add another light sprinkle of water to moisten the top mix.
6. Keep out of sun at room temperature for 3 to 4 days until you see them start to germinate.
7. Put indoors in full sun, and water as needed (usually morning and afternoon).
8. In 3 to 4 weeks, the true leaves appear (which will be the second set of leaves). Cut micro greens at base of stem with scissors
About the Author
Mike is in charge of everything outdoors at Shanti, especially the garden. He enjoys planting and harvesting from Shanti’s permaculture garden, and sharing the bounty with the guests. His interests include off grid living, tiny homes, construction and relaxing vacations!
Shanti Fall Favorites…delicious seasonal recipes
Date Added: October 6, 2014 | Comments (0) | Filed under: Living Seasonally & Locally,Whole Foods Living
Fall has been a wonderful time for Shanti’s kitchen team. Thanks to the continuous abundance of the garden, we have been preparing many delicious seasonal dishes. We are always looking for new recipes for inspiration and then making it our own (adding love and awareness to each recipe).
This time of year we are harvesting pumpkins, butternut squash, tomatoes, red peppers and some fresh herbs. We are also using garlic from our garden as well as mixed greens, spinach, Swiss chard, leeks and onions from the local organic farmer at Okee’s Farms, Wolfe Island.
Below we have included the links to some of the recipes we have tried and served so far this Fall. We will continue to update and let you know how they turn out.
Chickpea & Butternut Squash Coconut Curry
This recipe was delicious and we served it with brown Basmati rice, salad, cucumber-mint raita and the avocado chutney recipe found in our cookbook, Shanti at Home. Order a copy!
Butternut squash with whole wheat, wild rice and onion stuffing
As a special treat for our Thanksgiving menu, we will be preparing this festive butternut squash dish from vegkitchen.com
Organic Abundance & Seasonal Delicacies
Date Added: July 19, 2014 | Comments (0) | Filed under: Living Seasonally & Locally
The Shanti garden is in full bloom …especially those zucchini and cucumbers crawlers (They sure know how to make themselves at home!) Just this week we harvested rainbow Swiss chard, zucchini and garlic scapes from the mandala garden. From the HugelKulture, we harvested peas, beet greens, green and purple beans, a few cherry tomatoes (a gift from the God’s), cucumbers, and a few different kale varieties.
The Shanti kitchen is getting creative with all of this fresh, organic and seasonal produce. We made our favorite beet dip (recipe is in Shanti at Home cookbook) with fresh herbs from the garden. The vibrant color of this dip is almost as hard to believe as the amazing taste.
We also experimented with a new phyllo recipe (inspired by closet cooking) instead of our usual Zucchini and Feta Pie with spelt crust. It’s full of fresh herbs and a combo of Shanti zucchini and local Wolfe Island ones from Okee’s farm.
Okee’s Farm has also been providing us with salad greens (since May 1st!), snap peas, beets, cherry tomatoes, green onions, cilantro, and more!
We have even been sprouting mung beans here in the Shanti Kitchen and making basil-garlic scape pesto at least once a day:) Why would we do that, you may wonder? Because we can…and we LOVE it!!!
Get inspired (And meditate) outdoors! By Lacey Budge
Date Added: April 20, 2014 | Comments (0) | Filed under: Living Seasonally & Locally
First bike ride of the year…and wow, did it feel amazing. As the snow melts and the days get longer, it’s so hard to stay inside. I think it’s natural for us to want to get outside and explore after being indoors all winter. It’s so important for our body and mind, to spend as much time as we can getting fresh air and sunshine (Hello Vitamin D…although I was biking as the sun was setting, I was taking in every ray I could!).
Get outside! Go for a walk, a bike ride, spend time in your garden or just sit outside…you will feel refreshed and more present. Do yourself a favor and keep the music and headphones at home. Use this time outdoors as a meditation. You don’t need to be sitting cross-legged in order to meditate. Just become more aware, present and still. You can do this by counting your breath and becoming fully aware of the sensations that you feel with each inhale and exhale as you walk or pedal.
You could also become aware of all the sounds around, really listen to the sound of the birds or the trees cracking…feel the the wind on your face and hands, and take it all in. Smell the scents that come with Spring, this time of transformation and revitalization.
In this case….you may not want to take in ALL the smells..or actually … maybe you do, become present with everything as it is, without trying to change the situation (I mean, nature is perfect).
Without getting too distracted, take in the scenery and stay present…you will never know what you may see… Look an owl!
Ok you got me, it’s not real, but at least I was mindful enough to notice it..right?
With Spring officially here (going by the weather, not the calendar), there is so much to see, smell and feel when we are spending time in nature. Being outside automatically lifts the spirit and this bike ride sure did inspire me. I never went out with the intention of taking a bike ride so I could blog about it, but it just felt so amazing and rejuvenating that I wanted to share and inspire people to get outside and get moving…that’s why we were given this physical body! Try to create a mind-body experience by bringing your meditation outdoors and truly feeling the connection, the oneness,
About the Author
Lacey is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, Yoga instructor and manager at Shanti Retreat, located on beautiful Wolfe Island. She loves being outdoors, spending time in nature, exploring the island by bike… and taking in the rays of the sun! Being outside inspires her and allows her to feel more connected with the Universal Energy that surrounds us all.
Win a 4 day getaway to Shanti Retreat
Date Added: April 1, 2014 | Comments (0) | Filed under: Green Living,Living Seasonally & Locally,Living with Yoga,Whole Foods Living
We are excited to announce that in partnership with Alive Magazine Canada, we will be offering one free ticket (4 day all inclusive package) to the 1st annual Wolfe Island Yoga & Bhakti Festival to be held this Victoria Day Long Weekend (May 16-19, 2014).
Escape to Shanti Retreat, located on beautiful scenic Wolfe Island, for a 4 day weekend of yoga, performances and workshops by Canadian and International kirtan artists including David Newman (Durga Das), Brenda McMorrow, Adam Bauer, Lea Longo, Lana Sugarman, John de Kadt and more, delicious vegetarian cuisine, bhakti dance party and the opportunity to tent in nature or sleep in a yurt!
This truly is a one time offer!
The contest is open until April 30, 2014.
Connecting with Nature and Spirit..even when it gets cold!
Date Added: November 15, 2013 | Comments (0) | Filed under: Living Seasonally & Locally
When the cold breeze starts to rush off the St-Lawrence river, its easy to spend an entire day sitting fireside in the lounge.
Thankfully, wanting to be outside in the fresh air, to spend time in nature and to reflect in stillness is an innate part of our Being.
Because of the mild weather today, I feel more inspired (and maybe even called) to spend some time outdoors…and I know exactly where to head…One of Wolfe Island’s hidden gems: Big Sandy Bay Beach.
From the first steps, I really begin to appreciate the uniqueness of each season. The natural surroundings look completely different from how I remember it on a hot day this summer.
Although all the leaves are fallen, the trees are barren (and making loud and scary cracking sounds) and the sun is hiding behind the clouds, there is still so much beauty to take in.
Nature seems to bring out our wisdom and creativity which is lies within us – I feel a sense of stillness, yet at the same time, my thoughts are filled with a bouquet of inspirational quotes.
“Understand that the right to choose your own path is a sacred privilege. Use it. Dwell in possibility.” – Oprah Winfrey
Mother Nature has such subtle yet grand ways of reminding us of her magnificence. Without saying anything, this amazing tree really knows how to put things into perspective as it stands here so majestically.
This lovely walk is not only calming and inspiring but let’s not forget to mention educational. Lucky me gets to sharpen my tree distinguishing skills… from ironwood, to birch, oak and white ash.
A little further down the path, I am greeted by the beauty of this amazing red bush..What a contrast! Like they say, there is a pearl in every oyster. This bush is a red osier dogwood (Thank you educational signage!)
I can tell I am getting closer to the beach as I begin to hear the roaring of the waves in the background. I have done this walk before so I know that the only thing standing between me and the water is this last little hill. I have no problem with any hill covered in white beach sand.
WOW….lost for words. I always love walking to Big Sandy Bay, but this time was like no other. The immensity of the wind and waves completely blew away any last thoughts I had left in my mind and brought me to complete stillness and peace. Nature is amazing, water is amazing!
I gaze up to the sky and see a few seagulls and of course I ask myself “how amazing it would be to fly?” They say anything is possible, right? Although, maybe it is not so much my dream today since the wind is so strong… they seem to do this effortlessly.
“Nature’s intelligence functions with effortless ease . . . with carefreeness, harmony, and love. And when we harness the forces of harmony, joy, and love, we create success and good fortune with effortless ease.” – Deepak Chopra
I spend a few minutes just gazing into the horizon, nothing but blue sea ahead (it really does look like the ocean today!) and feel completely re-connected and grounded with nature, and also within. Its so interesting that even a walk in nature can turn into a spiritual experience. Like Saul David Raye reminds us, spirituality can be anything we put our spirit, or our intention into…well, my spirit is definitely here!
It is time to turn back and find my way down the trail again. I continue to be an observer of my surroundings and notice many new things on the way back. With the sun out from behind the clouds, shining her rays down around me, it makes my return voyage a completely new experience.
“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but seeing with new eyes.” Marcel Proust
I’m feeling pretty good today, but its comforting to know that if I needed to take a break, I would be supported by this lovely rock couch…part of me wants to sit on it anyway (don’t get to do that everyday…nor would I want to..I dont think??)
I am usually in a mentality of “needing to go for a walk” to get my exercise, or vitamin D or fresh air, but today was such an amazing reminder that taking a walk in nature is so important for not only the physical body, but our mind and spirit.
So this fall (and winter), make a promise to yourself to spend time in nature, and to nurture all of your layers.
“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.” -Pierre Teilhard de Chardin