Summer Personal Update + Contest

Important: Please read to the end of this post for a special summer wrap up contest! It’s super easy to enter, so read on!

It’s been awhile since I wrote a personal update about what’s going on in my life. A lot has changed in these past few months, and I wanted to give you a little glimpse into my summer.

I Traveled, and I Met Mother Nature

miami-trees

In June I went to Miami with Robin, where we went scuba diving for the first time. It was one of the most incredible experiences of my life! It shifted both our opinions on fish and sea creatures.

Even though I’ve always had a fear of sharks from watching Jaws too many times as a kid… I remained calm when we met a shark underwater. It was kind of peaceful, go figure!

Canoeing

In August we went camping in the Algonquin park of Northern Ontario. We didn’t see any bears, but we did hear the loons. Let me tell you that it’s really beautiful to hear with your own ears, as opposed to watching it on TV.

night-sky

I Got Media Attention

The publishing world moves a little slower than the online world I’m used to. Even though I’ve known for awhile that I was going to be published in magazines like Viva, Tonic, and The Edge, the issues are just coming out now.

nathalie-press-to

I’ve become a regular contributor for Tonic, and I run the Inspired Living column in Viva magazine. I’m also featured as one of 25 passionate women entrepreneurs in the book “The T-shirt to Prove It”.

edge-tshirt

Oh, and I recently got nominated in the Best of Canada Natural Health Awards. Life is good.

(That’s what I call bragging, thanks for indulging me!)

I Adopted a Dog

cutie-millie

Millie is our little bundle of rescue-dog joy. She’s adapted really well to our apartment and the nearby parks. She loves to chase the geese, even though they’re bigger than she is.

give-millie-bath

I also got a taste of what having a kid is like between bath time, feeding, and bathroom breaks. Millie isn’t too keen on getting bathed, just look at that pouty face!

new-apartment-floors

With the new dog we also took the opportunity to re-arrange the apartment. It feels a lot more FengShui now. Even though Robin isn’t into that kind of thing, he likes the new arrangements too. ;)

I Programmed My Witchy Butt Off

2006 Programming

Even though I thought programming was behind me, I put on my software engineer hat and programmed my butt off. This is me in 2006 during my undergraduate degree in software engineering.

This summer I programmed something that’s really near and dear to my heart. It’s designed to make eating healthy super easy, and although it’s currently in beta I can’t wait to wave my programmer flag and show the world.

I MCed, and Hung Out with Raw Superstars

Bif Naked Raw Food

In June, I helped out at the Simply Raw Festival in Ottawa, where I MCed on the main stage. I had to improvise for an hour because one of the speakers was stuck in traffic. Luckily, I also took Improv classes this summer… so I was able to keep the crowd entertained.

I met one of my childhood music heroines, Bif Naked. She spoke at the festival about her journey with raw food, and we laughed about her dog’s bowel movements together.

david-wolfe-mushrooms

In August, Robin and I learned from the superfood champion himself, David Wolfe. He showed us how to identify different edible mushrooms, as well as mushrooms used in Traditional Chinese Medicine.

David walked barefoot in the woods, and we wore our Vibram FiveFingers. I swam in the nearby lake and munched on superfood chocolate. Yum yum.

Something Big is Brewing…

So while I was out there living my life, I realized that something had changed. All of these life experiences have led me to a realization. This is something that really revolutionizes the way that people will think about diet, raw food, and health.

It has nothing to do with juicing, fasting, supplements, superfoods, or will power (gimme a break!).

I’ll explain my big epiphany in the next post, so stay tuned!

Summer Wrap Up Contest!

Raw Food Made Easy
Ani's Raw Food Kitchen

Now that I’ve told you what I’ve been up to this summer… it’s time for you to let me know what you’ve been up to!

To sweeten up the pot a little, I’m giving away a raw food book to one lucky winner! And since I’m feeling extra generous, if we get over 75 comments, I’ll give away two.

So to increase your chances of winning a raw food book with super fun recipes, tell your friends and family about this site. Tweet it out on twitter. Post about it on Facebook.

The contest is over and the winners have been announced! Click here to see who they are!

Love, Nathalie

How to Pick a Good Watermelon

Summer is here, and that means hot days and refreshing watermelon slices.

How to Pick a Good Watermelon
Photo by Luke Robinson

Unfortunately, one of the reasons people don’t enjoy fruit as much as they could is they haven’t learned how to pick the freshest, ripest fruit.

With most fruit you can smell it, touch it and check for firmness… but with watermelon there’s another trick – tapping it like a drum. Basically what you’re doing is checking to see the water content of the melon: the higher the better.

So if the sound you get from lightly tapping a watermelon is deep, then you know it’s a good one. If you don’t hear much then move on to the next one.

Another good thing to check is how heavy the watermelon is. A heavier melon will have more water and that’s what you’re looking for!

My Watermelon Gum Story

A few months after I went raw, I remember having a conversation with a colleague about watermelon.

His stance was that watermelon had “no substance” and that you could just as easily chew a piece of watermelon gum and drink a glass of water, and get the same benefits as eating watermelon.

I didn’t say anything because it wasn’t the time or place, but my mind was screaming at the fallacy of this proposition.

There’s no way that chewing gum and drinking a glass of water has the same affect as eating watermelon.

I just know that intuitively, but let’s look at some hard data.

eating-watermelon
Photo by Sydney Marie

Watermelon has fiber and tons of nutrients that we just don’t appreciate at first glance.

Watermelon Nutritional Information

Here are just a few of the things that watermelon has going for it…

  • Good source of Vitamins C and A
  • Helps reduce inflammation
  • High in antioxidants that fight free radicals
  • Contains more lycopene than most fruits and veggies, including tomatoes
  • Provides the body with potassium and magnesium
  • Very cleansing, alkalinizing, and mineralizing food

Many fruits have a lot of nutrition in the skin or rind, and it’s no different for watermelon… so don’t feel weird eating the white stuff, or juicing the rinds in your morning juice.

Enjoy the seasonal fruit!

Here’s to fresh, tasty, and juicy watermelon! Enjoy the seasonal fruit when it’s here, yum yum!

Love, Nathalie