Archives for posts with tag: winter

energy

stocking up

big sky in the city

Parc Lafontaine, Montreal.

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experimenting with some simple natural pigments, pouring and spraying

Lately, our neighbourhood has been decorated with something like Earth Art crossed with graffiti crossed with scenes from an herbalist’s laboratory. We have been practicing and experimenting with “Snow Painting”: using herbs and vegetables as dyes to apply to snow and ice.

practice pouring, seeing what the colours will do

 As part of an artistic process (similar to dyeing fibres, mixing paints from scratch, or crafting makeup) non-toxic Snow Painting is fun, always has an element of unpredictability, and maintains many factors that can affect the final effect.

Join us in these curious experiments at Nuit Blanche, this Saturday 26th from 3pm to about 9pm, in the Griffintown Cultural Corridor (956 Ottawa, and 141 Ann) in Montreal.

red cabbage is like magic... see us to believe it

Having practiced and experimented with our new craft, we are confident that our collaborative effort will yield a beautiful “painting” in the snow for all to enjoy. We will also have a community-participatory location, in which people can try some Snow Painting for themselves.

We are on the free shuttle bus, (Wellington and Ann) so add us to your list of fun things to see that eve!

in addition to exercise, rainbow cat adds joy to my winter

A few years ago, I decided to kick up my workouts during the winter so that I would feel great during that dark season.  And guess what? It worked! My moods were great with the addition of a magic ingredient called exercise.  For about an hour each day, I worked out in classes that I enjoyed. It helped me lower my stress levels during the day and I slept better at night.  Suddenly my digestion began to improve.  Among other things, I also got into shape for the summer.

I think my experience is somewhat universal; at least this is the case where I workout.  Something I noticed happening in most classes is that people walk in looking like zombies.  Okay, no, maybe they are zombies: slow moving, often frowning, grunting and a little out of it.  By the end of the class, everyone has livened up.  People are laughing and chatting. You can tell they just received an energy boost.

It can be difficult to place workouts into my schedule; but experience has taught me that when you make the time for exercise, you get the reward of more energy and efficiency.  This has a positive impact on everything in the rest of life.

If I  feel really run down, then I can choose a more restorative workout such as yoga or meditation. If I am sick, I respect others’ health and choose to do this at home. If I am just a little tired, then I go to class, take it easy and listen to my body.

Other things that help me feel great in the winter are fish oils high in Omega 3 fatty acids.  Low blood levels of Omega 3 fatty acids can contribute to depression, so I make sure to get enough of this. I prefer to get this through the food I choose to eat. In a pinch, I can resort to supplements. In terms of supplements, I take vitamin D3, around 2000IU per day because studies show that it can help.

Eating right can go a long way to improving moods.  For me, I feel best if I eat lower carbohydrate foods. I take particular care to avoid sugar, gluten and dairy. I also minimize alcohol consumption. I do focus on eating plenty of good quality protein along with green and brightly-coloured vegetables.

Working out in the great outdoors and getting enough light throughout the winter are tried and true methods of improving moods as well.

There are many ways of approaching any one problem.  Don’t feel that you have to tough it out.  Seek out experts, be savvy and find ways to make it better.

Tammy Schmidt, Montreal

An evening shot in the cold... pigeons keeping a little warmer at the Chalet in Parc Lafontaine.

-Natasha Henderson, Montreal

Winter's Night

copyright Natasha Henderson

Thanks to Guest Contributor Greg Howes for these stunning photographs of the recent snowfall in Wales. Greg has a fascinating story that will be featured here, soon! Keep looking…

A beautiful, snowy lake in Wales. December 2010.

 

Snow on the train-tracks in Wales.

 

Welsh countryside, covered in snow. December 2010.

All photographs copyright Greg Howes, 2010.

A night at Jean Talon Market, Montreal. Photo by Natasha Henderson.

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