Kick your kitchen fatigue – Writer’s Bloc

Contributed – | Story: 335896

By Zahra Tromsness

During the past year, you’ve probably spent more time in your kitchen than ever before, and let’s be honest, it’s exhausting.

While you may have dabbled in some of the latest food trends — sourdough starter or TikTok feta pasta, anyone? – answering the age-old question of “what’s for dinner?” every day has started to wear us down.

As we continue to attempt to maintain some form of routine and manage the changes in our day-to-day lives — juggling working from home along with the end of the school year — I’m sharing a few tips that I’ve found helpful, to kick your kitchen fatigue and inspire you to keep cooking.

Grow your own food

Gardening is a great way to breathe some excitement back into the kitchen, while also reducing stress and giving you a reason to spend more time outside.

As you begin to plan your garden, a planter full of herbs or veggie patch, think about the basics such as lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumbers, as well as herbs such as basil, rosemary, chives, and cilantro to kick start a delicious summer of fresh salads and herbs to be added to marinades, dips or even infused into your water or cocktails.

Take dinner outdoors

Barbecue season is in full swing so let’s take mealtime outside. Bring meatless Monday to the grill with grilled halloumi and veggie skewers or try marinating chicken in a mixture of lemon juice, olive oil, fresh rosemary, and garlic and serve on a bed of grilled zucchini, eggplant, and peppers.

If you can’t cook outdoors try having a picnic in a local park with an assortment of snack-able treats if your local health guidelines allow it.

Meal planning is your friend

Taking 30 minutes once a week to plan your lunches and dinners for the week can help relieve much of the daily mealtime stress.

Start by looking at what’s already in your fridge and pantry and what’s on sale at your local grocery store for cost-saving inspiration.

If you’re stuck on what to do with those ingredients, follow me on Facebook or Instagram where I often share new recipe ideas and inspiration.

Meal plans also don’t have to be concrete — be flexible and shift meals around if you need to.

If you end up ordering in now and again, don’t sweat it.

It’s OK to take a shortcut

Taking the easy way out can sometimes be seen as a negative, but with all the convenient options available at your local grocery store,

it’s OK to lean into what works best for you.

Pick up a ready-to-go rotisserie chicken to serve with a fresh summer salad or a meal kit to make weeknight dinners a breeze.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help

Getting started can feel overwhelming. You’re not alone! As your local Kelowna registered dietitian, I am here to help with tips and recipe ideas. Book a free 15-minute virtual consultation with me at yourindependentgrocer.ca/dietitians

Zahra Tromsness is a registered dietitian at Peter’s Your Independent Grocer, Kelowna.

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Contributed – May 25, 2021 / 11:00 am | Story: 334801

By Peter Comrie

Humour me for a moment and imagine your entire life as if it were a full bucket.

What percentage of everything in that bucket of life experiences represents guilt and/or regrets?

We know — from personal experience and decades of research — that experiences can, and do, affect our reality. It’s quite likely that feeling bad about choices you’ve made might be creating problems for you.

Talking about guilt and regrets is important at any time, but it’s especially crucial now in a second year of pandemic living.

Then (you know what’s coming next), we must take action to deal with our past, so it doesn’t continue to mess with life now.

Here’s how:

“Hello, my name’s Peter and I make mistakes”

We all do it. We all make mistakes. We’ve all done things we shouldn’t — or wish we hadn’t. Welcome to the human race, a race that makes small and large mistakes.

I often see a sense of relief in people when they finally accept their humanity and give themselves permission to make mistakes and admit those mistakes. It’s really freeing to stop expecting perfection from ourselves.

There are no time machines

Whatever did or did not happen in the past is done. Permanent. Unchangeable. Sure, you can spend time every day going over all that happened, all that was wrong, all that could have been.

At the end of the day, you will still have the same things in your past that you had at the start of the day.

There are some appropriate times and places to work through things in the past. But at a point, it’s time to stop, leave the past in the past, and choose to look forward.

Remember, absolutely nothing will change the past.

Change your thought loop

Many of us have had a lot of time in the past year to get lost in thought. And for those dealing with guilt and regret, those thoughts can be very negative.

Our brain gets stuck in thought loops easily — especially negative ones. It’s possible you weren’t even aware of your repetitive negative self-talk — until now.

Pay attention to the thoughts you have over and over. Perhaps write them down (journal) as you become aware of them. If they’re not positive and forward focused, they are certainly bringing negativity to your entire self.

Write down a new set of truths that have nothing to do with the past, and repeat them until they overwrite the old loop. While it’s harder to create a new thought loop, once it’s firmly in place, you will notice a positive change (and your brain will begin to default to the good stuff all on its own).

Forgive yourself

This is a biggie. Whatever you did in the past, please forgive yourself:

State what you did/said/didn’t do List the feelings attached to this event

Say “I forgive myself for…” (Yes, absolutely this must be said out loud.)

Don’t worry if there isn’t a rush of positive feelings. It can take time for you to feel the release from the resentment/guilt you’ve held onto.

The next time you’re tempted to slip back into the old thought loop, remind yourself (again, out loud is best) that you’ve forgiven yourself

Drag the learning out of mistakes

How many times has a mistake led to new learning, new revelations, even entirely new ways of doing things? As I already mentioned, mistakes are part of the human experience. But so is learning from our mistakes.

Whatever mistakes you’ve made, forgive yourself for them, and then grab all the good learning you can from them — insist on gaining growth out of the deal!

What do you think? Are these suggestions real and doable? Can you use them? Will you use them? As always, we’re in this together, so let’s work through things by sharing our insight.

Let me know the tools you use that work for you.

Peter Comrie is a leadership and executive coach with Full Spectrum Leadership. You can find him at https://www.fullspectrumleadership.com

Contributed – May 21, 2021 / 11:00 am | Story: 334558

By Ben Goerner

One in three Canadians has diabetes or pre-diabetes.

I am one of those people. Part of the treatment for pre-diabetes is diet management, particularly the intake of sugar.

Let’s imagine our society decided because sugar is linked so heavily to diabetes that it should be made illegal in an effort to stop the supply and get people to stop using sugar.

The rationale would be that diabetes and behaviours related to consuming and possessing sugar will decrease if sugar is outlawed.

So people, not just diabetics, who use sugar, are now criminals, as are those who sell sugar.

Imagine mandatory minimum sentencing for possession of sugar. Then, imagine the same for those who found out there was a black market for sugar because people just didn’t stop using it.

People would sell each other various kinds of sugar risking their legal freedom.

Imagine those who need it badly because their blood sugars are so low they could die if they don’t get the proper amount.

What would they do to get what they need?

Now, imagine that sugar is in such demand that there is not enough due to the criminalization of it, so it gets diluted with other random products, some of which prove deadly.

Then imagine there is a way to concentrate sugar so more profit could be made, and more people become dependent.

Supply and demand actually increases instead of decreases, because of prohibition.

Imagine being a diabetic and having a criminal record because of your craving for sugar or one donut or chocolate bar (my weakness).

Now you are forced to leave your job, do time in prison or at best go to community court and have to attend a residential treatment program because you broke the law.

  • Imagine trying to explain this to your family, your spouse, your children. Imagine how they would feel that you’re now a criminal with an illegal disease.
  • Imagine how you feel about yourself now that you’ve been labelled a criminal.
  • Imagine trying to protect your children from the evil of being a diabetic and educating them on the evils of sugar.
  • Imagine that making it illegal had the opposite effect of what it was intended to do.
  • Imagine the outcome over the next 10 years.

Many diabetics like myself already know how tough it is not to cheat once in a while. How tough it is to monitor a diet, to be mindful of what we eat.

I’m not perfect at it and many others aren’t either. But we’re not criminals facing the stigma, bigotry and oppression that would be the case if, say, sugar were criminalized.

More problems would occur for people if they were criminalized for making unhealthy decisions about sugar once in a while. And let’s face it, how addicting is sugar?

Try going without for two months, two weeks or two days. We laugh at ourselves when we try to tell ourselves “next time” while we dive into that hamburger with the sweet barbecue sauce, and the ice cream bucket.

Criminalization, a.k.a. prohibition, actually causes more damage to a person’s life than the sugar.

It isn’t just about the sugar; it isn’t just about the drugs.

Decriminalize all drug use and end this facade of hypocritical, moral piousness and provide a safe supply so we end this devastation of the poisoning of our drug supply.

People who use drugs are not all addicted, just as not all people who eat sugar have diabetes. And no one I know started out using drugs as a criminal. Prohibition did that.

For more information, check:

Ben Goerner is a retired mental health and substance use clinician. He advocates for the end of prohibition of all drugs and the provision of a regulated safe supply of current illicit drugs to end the devastation of the opioid aka drug policy crisis. He can be reached at [email protected]

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Contributed – May 7, 2021 / 11:03 am | Story: 333169

By Adam Wilson

Kelowna’s new Official Community Plan drives home the point of increasing the supply of townhomes and condos, which for the most part don’t have backyards.

Coupled with the pushes from public health that we need to spend time with friends and families outside, it’s time Kelowna took a serious look at our parks.

The City has been aggressively buying lakefront properties to increase the availability of waterfront parks such as the new Pandosy Waterfront Park.

These endeavours are costly for the City, but with the lack of waterfront access and overcrowding on our beaches, they are much needed.

Waterfront parks provide people with countless possibilities to enjoy the space, from swimming to paddle boarding to building sand castles to tanning and more.

However, during Kelowna’s typical tourist-heavy summers, if you’re like me, the overcrowded waterfront parks aren’t exactly where you want to spend all your time.

Kelowna also has plenty of city-owned green space off the lakeshore area, but these parks effectively come in two different shapes.

There are parks dominated by some sort of sports field – typically a soccer field, baseball diamond or tennis court — while the other kind features open grassed area and a playground. Both are important in any vibrant community, but they don’t exactly serve as an outdoor destination in the same way that a beach park does.

If you walk by our downtown waterfront parks any warm weekend, you’ll see them crowded with people doing all sorts of activities. Our neighbourhood parks on the other hand are not as busy with some people playing soccer, picnicking or just spending time together.

Sometimes they’re just empty.

It’s easy to understand why a waterfront park with a view of the lake in downtown Kelowna is popular, but it’s possible to make neighbourhood parks just as desirable for the local neighbourhood.

Trinity Bellwoods in Toronto, Gorky Park in Moscow and Hyde Park in London are three examples of extremely popular parks that are not located along the waterfront of their respective cities.

With Stuart Park, the City tried something new with a park and it was successful, albeit better in the winter than in the summer, with the outdoor skating rink providing an urban getaway Kelowna is not used to.

But what if we could apply the same principles to our parks beyond the waterfront, and make them a destination within their own neighbourhoods, so people nearby can walk to a unique park, rather than drive downtown.

Toronto’s newest park that caught wide-ranging attention is Love Park, which features a heart-shaped water feature, small rolling hills, space for pop-up markets, an off-leash dog park, tree-lined sidewalks and ample seating – all within two acres.

Not every park needs to be as over-the-top as Love Park, but with the growth of condos in Kelowna, we will see a demand for these spaces.

Even if we don’t consider the growth of condos, it would be nice to live in Glenmore or Rutland and have access to a park that gives you something more than a field without needing to hop in your car and drive downtown.

We need our waterfront parks, sports fields, and playgrounds, but what if we added bocce courts, performance spaces, splash pads, seating areas or space for markets in our neighbourhood parks?

Adam Wilson is the former director of communications and issues manager to Ontario’s Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. He has a Master of Urban Planning, and is from and currently resides in Kelowna.

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