Susan's Super Citizen Showcase

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Volunteer Jessie Martin savours slow food

Slow food is the opposite of what you get at a fast food drive-through.

Why does Jessie advocate for slow food?

"It's healthier and we are more in touch with where our food is coming from," says Jessie, who cooked at The Reef on Main St for four years. Now she has left behind the hectic life of professional food preparation and is studying to become a veterinary assistant, but she still enjoys cooking on her own time - no doubt more slowly and peacefully than at work!

Jessie signed up participants at Britannia Community Centre today for the 2nd Annual Bike the Blossoms cycle tour organized by Slow Food Vancouver, the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival, and the Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition.

"This self-guided tour is fun for the whole family!" reads the Slow Food Vancouver website. "Enjoy a leisurely ride along boulevards of spring cherry blossoms, traveling through a diversity of neighbourhoods from the eastside to the westside, stopping at local community centres to meet local farmers, to sample local foods and refuel at slow food designated eateries, restaurants and cafes along the way."

Slow Food Vancouver is part of the International Slow Food Movement that has more than 80,000 members in 100 countries. Members get together (often at potluck dinners) to share their love of local flavours, traditions, and foods grown and created by local farmers and artisans.

The Commercial Drive Business Society partnered with Slow Food Vancouver to offer Slow Taste of the Drive to increase the level of engagement between local farmers and city folk. Selected eateries and restaurants on Commercial Drive offered a Slow Taste of their foods that fit the slow food criteria: good, clean, and fair.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Jolene shares the power of yoga at Exhale

“I love the joy of yoga and I want to share that with people. It’s a service,” says Jolene Bayda, 31. “For those few hours in the day I teach, it’s not about me. I just want people to feel that power of yoga.”

Jolene has been a yoga teacher for four years and she says (half-jokingly) that she started yoga on the day she was born, when she took her first breath. Here are the classes she teaches at Exhale in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Canada:

Candle Light Yoga class on Tuesday at 8:30pm
Hatha Yoga Classes on Thursdays at 10am, Fridays at 5:30pm and Sundays at 10:30am
Candle Light Yin Yoga class on Sundays at 8pm

Exhale offers a great deal for beginners, which I took full advantage of: $24 for one week of unlimited classes. Jolene was my teacher for two of the classes and I also did classes on Monday and Wednesday night with Dan.

In the past, my version of exercise was jogging and lifting weights at the gym - but in recent years, I've been really put off by the gym atmosphere. The smell of sweat, weights clanging, tough guys grunting... Now, as a contrast, the yoga class seems so peaceful and gentle, and it also offers a great workout. I've tried yoga a few times, with some very devoted teachers, but I've never really enjoyed it this much. In fact, I'm kind of surprised by my own enjoyment of it. Am I being whimsical and enjoying the novelty of something new? Or is this the start of something I will cherish for years to come? Time will tell...

In the meantime, thanks to Jolene, Dan, and Exhale. My experiences in the studio have helped me through a stressful week - and I am eternally grateful.