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Golden Halo Over the Golden Arches

Golden Halo Over the Golden Arches

McDonald’s Canada’s latest advertising campaign is called: “Our Food, Your Questions.”

You may have seen the television commercials or floor-to-ceiling advertisements in SkyTrain stations. The company is basically claiming to be 100 per cent honest, transparent and willing to publicly answer any question posed by the public.

Many questions are answered on a new website: 

http://yourquestions.mcdonalds.ca.

Some examples of answers: McDonald’s food has no MSG, the company uses 100% Canadian Beef, their food does in fact rot, additives used in their food are deemed safe by the World Health Organization, etc.

McDonald's

McDonald’s Canada has a new campaign called “Your Questions,” offering to answer any questions from the public about their food.

So if McDonald’s food is indeed so virtuous, is there still a reason the health-conscious should not eat there?

I posed the question to Pura Vida Nutrition’s Registered Holistic Nutritionist, Gabrielle Eagles.

“It’s great they are making an effort with this campaign,” Eagles says, but she points out that most of the questions actually haven’t been answered. The website seems to answer the same kinds of questions, like “What is the beef made from?” several times, but many other questions are unanswered.

“ I have a hard time trusting what they say, as it took a significant amount of public outcry for them to make these small changes,” Eagles says. “They are a company that tries to ‘get away’ with things and only makes changes when they are caught, so why would I trust them now?”

So why would one still consider not eating at the massive fast-food chain? Eagles explains:

  • The actual food quality. Even if the quality of the food increases, it’s still up to the consumer to make informed choices for their own health. For instance, even if McDonald’s had a truly healthy burger, if the consumer ate one per day, the quantity of red meat in their diet could be detrimental.
  • Not organic. There is substantial research regarding the damages of pesticides and herbicides.
  • Added sugar, which can lead to:
  • Inflammation;
  • damaged arteries, which can leave a person more prone to atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries),  heart attack or stroke;
  • increase in insulin, eventual insulin resistance, more prone to diabetes, and;
  • energy/mood fluctuations throughout the day. As a person’s blood sugar escalates and then crashes, there is the potential for a poor mood, less exercise, and decreased productivity.
  • White buns have very few nutrients, so they mostly turn to sucrose. “The whole point of eating is to get quality protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals,” Eagles explains. “With processed food, the vitamins and minerals are significantly diminished, and the quality of those macronutrients is very low.” Plus the buns are simply higher in carbohydrate than required by the body.
    • Fats: “I don’t see any high-quality fats, which should make up 30 per cent of calories consumed,” Eagles says. “Good fats come from foods like avocado, nuts, seeds, cold water fish, and olive oil.”
    • Vegetables. “It’s great they have salad now, but it needs to contain rich greens,” Eagles says.

“Ultimately, it’s the consumer’s choice to not eat at a poor-quality food place like McD’s,” Eagles concludes. “No matter how much they try to clean up, they still aren’t serving primarily vegetables from gardens full of vitamins and minerals, which is what people really need.”

Upcoming Events Hosted by Yoga Outreach

Upcoming Events Hosted by Yoga Outreach

Last week, I was invited to attend a workshop with Yoga Outreach, a Vancouver-based registered charity whose mission is to “identify, develop, and deliver healing and life-affirming yoga programs to people who can not directly access these resources.”

The Trauma Sensitive Yoga workshop that I attended was informative in all the right ways. The session leaders, Yoga Outreach Coordinator Sarah Holmes de Castro and Curriculum Developer, Nicole Marcia, were knowledgeable, insightful and supportive teachers. They truly espouse the values Yoga Outreach is offering to its teachers and students.

Yoga Outreach is putting on a few events in the coming months. If these events are anything like the one I just attended, you will find them inspiring, insightful and well worth signing up for!

All proceeds support Yoga Outreach and its programs, so come for the yoga, learn more about yourself and others while supporting this amazing organisation!

Visit Yoga Outreach’s events page to read event descriptions and to register your spot.

Mark your calendars:

Revitalize & Restore: A Chakra Yoga Workshop with Shivani Wells

March 4th ~ 4 – 6pm

Part lecture, part practice, you will come away from this workshop with a greater understanding of the psychology of the chakras, insight into your own excessive or deficient energetic patterns, and practices to awaken and balance the seven chakras that you can use for a lifetime. Cost: $35 ~ Pre-registration is required. All proceeds support the work of Yoga Outreach in Correctional settings. Fee includes 1 Detoxifying Juice from The Juice Truck.

Making Yoga Relevant for Youth with Ella Cooper

March 15th ~ 5 -9pm

A 4 hour workshop for yoga teachers interested in learning tools for making yoga relevant and empowering for youth. Cost: $75 ~ Pre-registration is required.

 

Clear Boundaries, No Limits: Energy in action and the phenomenon of form. A Yoga Workshop with Christine Price Clark

March 25th ~ 10:30 – 12:30pm

Join us for this very special opportunity to practice yoga amongst inspiring artworks! This workshop is offered in partnership with the Contemporary Art Gallery. During this playful practice, we will unearth the generative capacity of your human form- literally your energy body’s potential to manifest unlimited, creative expression. Cost: $35 ~ Pre-registration is required.

Also…  the bi-annual Yoga Outreach Core Training (April 13-15) is upcoming. See website for full details! Tuition: $288. Limited work-study scholarships are available. To register: Visit www.yogaoutreach.com/training. For more information: please contact Sarah at  [email protected]

 

 

The (Me)ntal (Heal)th of Yoga

The (Me)ntal (Heal)th of Yoga

Most of us recognize that when we breath and move, we feel better.  Slowing down and taking time to de stress, relaxes our body and mind, isn’t just a “buzz phrase.” There are physiological, as well as psychological proven benefits that extend well beyond the mat when you practice yoga and deeply affects your mental health.

Thursday night I held a salon conversation connecting youth with the positive platform of mental health and at risk youth. Yoga came up frequently,  from all the speakers, as one of the best forms of exercise that can be implemented into schools to help promote self confidence, discipline, and balance.

Lets dig deeper and answer these questions…

Can yoga help them do more than just feel a little bit better?

Can it heal their mental illness?

Yoga has long been seen as a tool for improving mental health, although concepts of what that entails have shifted over time and are distinct in different cultures. Not to mention mental health statistics vary globally.

Mental illness affects 1 in every 3 Canadians, and what most of us do not realize is that suicide is the second largest killer of young adults between the ages of 15-24. The annual National Survey on Drug Use and Health, states about 20 percent of adults suffer some sort of mental illness each year, and about 5 percent experience a serious disorder that disrupts work, family or social life. In Canada, one 1 out of every 6 children or youth has access to mental health resources. These are staggering numbers.

There are several schools of yoga that focus specifically on the intersections between asana practice and emotional health, and a growing body of studies indicates that yoga is often an excellent tool to treat the troubled mind.

My personal opinion on style is through experience with populations who have or are at risk for mental illness, and what I have found works for clients with mood disorders and especially my work with vets in the Canadian Armed Forces, injured in combat, a Yin style or light Vinyasa seem to have the largest affect. Both involve breath work and slow, controlled movement.

To date, the most persuasive evidence of the benefits of hatha yoga, and in particular pranayama, stems from research conducted by the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuroscience  in India. New studies have shown a high success rate—up to 73 percent—for treating depression with breathing. .” It involves breathing naturally through the nose, mouth closed, in three distinct rhythms.

Yoga has been integrated into many high stress service careers; such as police departments and the Canadian Armed Forces. People who suffer from operational stress injuries or jobs that are high stress physically, as well as mentally are at greater risk, and Yoga can help combat high stress levels. Stress is one of the key factors in the onset of depression and anxiety.

Other benefits of yoga on our mental can include; improved ability to sleep, better moods, increased feelings of self-control, and better concentration and focus.

 

 

Sources:

Check out the full report in The Washington Post : http://wapo.st/wzYeST

Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA): http://vancouver-burnaby.cmha.bc.ca/

 

Bhakti Dub and Jungle Love – Yoga, Bliss and Reggae with Sean O’Leary

Bhakti Dub and Jungle Love – Yoga, Bliss and Reggae with Sean O’Leary

Source: http://www.kushalayoga.com/about/our-instructors/sean-oleary/

This Friday and next Saturday, make plans to spend a heart-felt, spiritually-uniting, jamming practice with Sean O’Leary!

Sean will be sharing two joyous yoga sessions in the upcoming weeks: Jungle Love at Hari Om Yoga in Langley on Friday (Jan 20) and Bhakti Dub next Saturday (Jan 28) ay Kushala Yoga in Suter Brook, Port Moody.

 If you haven’t taken a class with Sean before, you’ll love him. His warmth and enthusiasm will brighten even the snowiest day, and the practice he leads always leaves you feeling buoyant and sweet. And yes, he is always that happy. Don’t miss out on these unique classes!

From Kushala Yoga:

My brother from another mother, my sister from a different mister, let us unite! Come for an afternoon of bliss (ananda), with me (Sean), and embrace the art of Bhakti. This all levels asana class will focus on building community, friendship, and unconditional love for your neighbor. The twist will be the funky rhythms of reggae and dub filling the room with good vibrations.

Visionaries like Bob Marley and Peter Tosh had a heartfelt belief that all hate, inequality, and racism in the world could be cured through music. This one love mentality will be magnified through a series of group asana (poses) and partner assists. Everyone has an inborn natural desire to love, embrace and radiate happiness. So come groove, laugh, connect, share, and amplify your love for all people in the universe.

Join Sean for the sweetness of a loving practice to warm the soul:

Jungle Love at Hari Om Yoga in Langley

Friday, Jan 20, 8pm-9:30pm, $10+hst drop-in

Bhakti Dub at Kushala Yoga at Suter Brook, Port Moody

Saturday, Jan 28, 3pm – 4:30pm
By donation to Hungry For Life International

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