Friday, March 25, 2011

An incident with chocolate syrup and peanut butter...

As I sit here and write this blog post this afternoon and eat my cabbage and black bean salad, I find my mind drifts away to a moment last night when I lost complete and total self control.

I like to consider myself a body-conscious and healthy individual. My breakfast, which I never skip, almost always consists of egg whites, black beans, spinach, mushrooms, onions, topped with salsa and avocado. Or at least for this week it has.

My lunches are a bit less colorful as I tend to "graze" throughout the day snacking on berries and almonds, all types of veggies, and spinach salads topped with baked chicken breast.

As you read this, you're probably asking, "Where are the whole grains and carbs?"

Well you see, this week I have steered clear of all foods that rank high in the glycemic index as I am attempting to crush a fitness plateau which I fear I have encountered.

I attend the gym about four to five times per week, and have for the last year. While I love the way I feel as I leave the doors and drive home in a serotonin bliss, I know my body composition has a little room for improvement.

Thus the slow carb consumption which I have been living by all week.

This is all fine and dandy, until you reach a moment where your will power is challenged and your thought process is vetoed by the saliva which begins to encompass the taste buds on your very tongue.

This moment was last night. I was standing in the kitchen, peering into the cabinet of wonder as my eyes met the brown bottle of Nestle chocolate syrup, (coincidentally positioned next to the peanut butter) I couldn't look away. I was hypnotized, mesmerized, captivated and enthralled by the very possibility of “cheating”. It had all started very innocently as I coyly pulled a small teaspoon out of the kitchen drawer, saying to myself, "I'll just have a taste." This was the plan.

But it was too good. It's like something came over me. Suddenly the calories, carbs and sugar didn't matter. I was even adding my "healthy" roasted almonds, I recently purchased, to the chocolate syrup and peanut butter mixture for an extra crunch factor. The home of this sinful mixture had now upgraded to a small red plastic cup.

It was only after I washed the mixture down for the third time with my health conscious almond milk, that my craving had subsided and I was left holding the red cup in my hand, saying to myself, "Well Jennifer, was it worth it?"

The answer was YES! It was amazing, everything about it! It was just what I needed and even though as I debated with myself for a moment about placing some guilt upon myself for the complete loss of self-control, I then thought, "There are some things in life, that you just can't measure or feel bad about.."

Last night this was chocolate syrup, and peanut butter. With a few almonds for that added crunch factor... ; )

Friday, March 18, 2011

Feng Shui shall we?

An ancient concept brought into the recent light of new media: feng shui. Translated as “wind-water,” feng shui has been notarized as the art of placement. Placement refers that of objects and colours enabled to nurture the flow of positive energy through a given space. Some follow this practice and believe it is linked to the improvement and well being of life.

Whether the space be small or spacious, the practice of feng shui can be applied anywhere. Even in a bathroom!

According to one of North America’s premier feng shui consultants, Angi Ma Wong, says its simple and the guidelines are all the same no matter which school of feng shui you choose to practice. Wong says to put the right objects in the right locations in order to achieve harmony with the universe, nature and yourself. She also says that certain areas can be activated to affect the areas of your life that you wish to improve, such as health, career, or love.

Here are a few of Wongs suggestions that she lists in her book, Feng Shui- Do’s and Taboos, that can be applied in your space:

Purify antiques with wind, water, fire, sound, salt, or other techniques outside of your home before bringing them inside.

If you have an aquarium, keep fish in multiples of nine, a symbol of a long life, or in odd numbers. Eight fish should be gold and one should be black. Don’t worry if a fish dies, for it means that the deceased has absorbed something negative that would have happened to you.

Hang a wind chime that is made of earth material, such as terra cotta or porcelain, or that has five solid clay rods if your bathroom is in the north. This will keep your business and career success from going “down the drain.”

Don’t use lots of yang colors, such as gold or red in a bedroom. These colors stimulate your energy, resulting in poor sleep.

Do keep your bedroom free of clutter and minimize the amount of furniture so that chi, or life energy, can flow easily through the room.

Clean your room on a new moon at the solstices, or when the atmosphere feels heavy.

Don’t keep too many plants or many plants with sharp foliage, such as cactus in your bedroom, as plants emit yang energy and can disturb a high-quality rest.

Do ring a bell in the corners of a room to clear stale or stagnant energy. Use a bell with a pleasant tinkling sound to activate yang energy in your home.

Do use the color orange in south west areas to promote motherhood, romance, love, relationships and marriage.

Skate, pass, shoot and score.

The Manitoba Moose didn’t exactly tip toe around the latest controversy that lit sports media on fire last week. Fans could watch the players pushing, shoving and checking each other into the boards while trying to complete the objective of any hockey game, that of scoring a goal.

The Manitoba Moose took on the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins at the MTS Centre Tuesday night.

As the fans cheered to the sound of bodies crashing against the boards, it seems forgotten that just last Tuesday, Montreal Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty, slammed headfirst into a metal stanchion after a high check from Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara. Pacioretty suffered a severe concussion, broken vertebra, a loss of his career, while Chara, a penalty.

These common hockey injuries forced officials in the NHL to put misconduct in hockey under a microscope.

Here at home, roughing and fighting in the game of hockey is something that Moose fan, Ron Pluchinski, isn’t a stranger to. “I grew up with the game, played since I was eight years old, took and gave hits, but that hit, that hit on Pacioretty was vicious,” says Pluchinski who says he noticed Pacioretty and Chara “tangling” earlier in the game.

While the Moose took the ice tonight, the whispers of the NHL general manager’s plan on fighting concussions lingered. The meeting was held Monday in Florida and no doubt stems from the recent occurrence of unfortunate events.

Pluchinski says that he has a three-year-old son at home and is thinking twice about enrolling him in the all-Canadian sport. “I mean, my buddies have their kids in hockey camps and are excited about their kids first fight, that won’t be me,” he says.

The ominous outpour of booing filled the MTS Centre as the Moose’s goaltender Eddie Lack let the first goal in with three minutes left in the first period.  The shot made by Penguins right-wing Geoff Walker tallied his count to the eighth of this season.

“Over the years, sure, I’ve definitely seen an increase in fighting, but that’s just hockey,” says Moose season ticket holder Ted Rahal.

“Getting hurt is the risk you run when you sign up to play the game,” says Rahal. “But what happened with Pacioretty, well that was appalling how they kept replaying that hit over and over. The media totally de-sensitized it,” says Rahal.

If the Moose had focused more on skating, passing, shooting and scoring rather than checking, hitting, shoving, and hooking they may not have just penciled in their sixth shut-out of the season. The Penguins just claimed their spot as the top-ranked team in the AHL, while the Moose is fourth in the Western conference.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

"Velkomin" to Gimli...

About 80 kilometers north of Winnipeg’s city limits, on Highway #9, the frozen shoreline of Lake Winnipeg meet the beaches of Gimli’s snow covered harbor front. For a Friday in early March, it is noteworthy to say the streets of this beach town are lined with parked cars.

As you approach the end of
Centre Street
, your eyes immediately explore the baby blue exterior and the white trimmed balconies of the Lakeview Resort and Conference Centre. With 99 guestrooms, the attraction that has called Gimli home since 1991 will have a full house this evening.

Maintaining active participation in Gimli’s tourism industry is something the hotel prides itself on. “I would like to think that our hotel is a big part of the reason why people come to Gimli,” says general manager Michael Lazer.

“We have an obligation to the community to remain in active participation, ensuring that people will want to come here,” says Lazer.

The hotel affiliates itself with events that bring massive crowds consisting of Gimli locals, Manitoba travelers, and out of province tourists every year.

The Gimli Film Festival, attracting almost 3000 people in 2010, is happening July 20-24 this year, and is just one event that the hotel is proud to sponsor. With opening and closing parties being thrown, both by the hotel; you can expect filmmakers, actors, producers, and the media to compose a portion of the attendees. “Can sitting on a beach, at night, while watching a first-rate film get any better? I don’t think so.” says Lazer.

It is a familiar sight to see the streets of Gimli swelled with lively beach-goers in the summer. However, this winter, in comparison to other years, the well-known beach town has seen more activity on the streets, in the shops, and in the hotel than other snow enveloped seasons.

As smiling 37-year old food and beverage supervisor Jennifer Botham tops a slice of apple-pie with whipped cream, she says, “People have said this has been one of the busiest winter seasons in a few years.”

The Interlake Tourism Association is linked with that features a virtual tour of the Lakeview Resort and Conference Centre. “I think our advertising on 360Winnipeg has attributed to business levels,” says Lazer.

With facilities such as a restaurant, lounge, business centre, indoor swimming pool, hot tub and fitness centre, the Lakeview Resort offers the amenities of a city hotel property. “Where else can you drive 45-60 minutes and feel like you’re nowhere near the city of Winnipeg?” says Lazer.

The room rates in the winter months have started as low as $50 per night. They also offer all-inclusive like specials. These ‘Suite Deals’ consist of a stay in one of the hotel suites with meals included at Seagulls Restaurant, and with prices starting at $119 per night. Guests can get more information at

Botham says she loves her job Lakeview Resort, “People are just so relaxed out here, but why wouldn’t we be? Look where we are.”