Resolving My Food Cravings – A Personal Reflection

I used to suffer food cravings, too. After a day full of serving patients and my family, I used to finally sit down (well after the sun had gone down) and enjoy a morsel of dark chocolate. Often times, it was well beyond a morsel!

It was like a negative spiral as then I’d have trouble sleeping or be up a time or two to urinate in the night which did not help my feeling of being rested the next day. I was stuck in a loop of need without emotional fulfillment.

The bottom line was that the more I needed the chocolate, the less I felt rested. I was living to eat, not eating to live.

The Cancer state of mind actually craves chocolate. In fact, stay out of their way when they’re en route to their fix, as they’ll slay dragons bare handed to get it. Sound familiar?

The Cancer state of mind is one where you rescue others to the exclusion of self, are living the unlived life, and are feeling resigned that this is your fate from here on in. That was my story too. The chocolate gave me a tiny illusion, just for the moment that this wasn’t true.

It seemed like much more energy to resolve my plight outright than I had. I knew more fats would help, I also knew more tender acts of self-love and fulfillment were also key. But where to start?

That is when I took a dose of Carcinosin and Chocolatum and made a list of what I needed more of in my life. I went after “the feeling.”  If I was going to do this thing called life, long-term, how would I imagine a better state of grace for myself?  

Well the answer to this has spanned many blogs, a couple of books, and a  decade. Give us a call as we’re happy to share the answers we found with you, verbally, based on your own struggles. It’s what we do for our patients, but not to the exclusion of having solved it for ourselves first. Are you ready?

Related Resources:

https://hpathy.com/materia-medica/soul-remedies-chocolate/

https://arcanum.ca/2019/05/14/vignette-on-cancer-oh-they-were-so-nice-everybody-loved-them/

https://arcanum.ca/2016/04/20/my-passionflower-in-the-present-looks-back-at-the-cancerous-daffodil-of-my-past/

https://arcanum.ca/2014/02/19/in-pursuit-of-sweetness-how-to-diagnose-the-the-true-meaning-of-diabetes/

https://arcanum.ca/2017/05/11/cancer-and-the-un-lived-life/

 

How To Honour the Momma Who’s About To Give Birth

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My friend, Kate Varsava, Halifax Birthworker, Wombyn’s Summit Leader and Musician prepares for her own birth in the company of her beloved friends, yogis and fellow birthworkers.  I was so inspired by her tale of being honoured with care, love and beauty that I asked to share her Instagram post with you.

 

 

“Yesterday my house filled up. Yesterday I was filled up.

From my bath, filled with warm water, rose petals, and lavender oil, where I was receiving a massage from the loving maiden hands of my sweet friend‘s daughter, I could hear the joyful chatter of wimyn gathering and organizing themselves. I was adorned with a gorgeous fresh flower crown made by my sister, had my hair fixed up, put on my precious jewels…when I emerged from my room, drawn by singing voices, I found my kitchen full of food, my living room full of flowers and ladies (and baby daddy), and my whole house full of beautiful, buzzing, nurturing energy, beaming faces, radiant beings.

I was passed a cup of Guatemalan cacao, sat on a thrown, and treated like a queen. Tender recollections of how we each met, supportive expressions of a belief in me to enter the role of mother, a showering of love to wash me in confidence and fill my heart beyond measure. A feast of the most nourishing foods, a dance party, gifts of herbs and plants and salves, potions, candles, and sacred objects…it was the most dreamy day I could have imagined.

I feel like the luckiest womyn in the world to have community to hold me so, to have a coven sister to organize everyone (I love you so much marapanacci), to now have a freezer full of meals for my postpartum, fresh flowers in every room, art to decorate my birth room, and a heart so full full full ?? Thank you, thank you, thank you to all you gorgeous wimyn and all you ladies sans IG ??

I truly believe that if all wimyn were treated this way by loving community: held up, made to feel strong, cared for, and trusted through their pregnancies and motherhood (our whole lives actually), the world would change, humanity would change, we would all be better off, healthier, and happier.”

 

Babies and Birth Control : January 2018 Newsletter

January 2018 Newsletter

This month we’re talking about babies and birth control.  Did you know that a large percentage of the population is born in September.  The most popular date is Sept. 19th with over 12,000 births alone on that day.  Source:  https://www.rd.com/culture/september-popular-birth-month/

The reason being surmised is that the frosty weather, time off over the holidays and the urge to merge just seems to take us when we’re not working so hard at our day jobs.  Perhaps we get a little free babysitting thrown into the mix, with extended family, and the next thing we know, we’re due in late August or September.

Our blogs are focused this month on “The Pill” and also “Where Do Babies Come From.”  You may be surprised that there’s a new thing or two to learn since grade 10 health class.  We aim to bring you the latest truths that often exploit the party line on health and sexuality.

Jeff and I are getting ready to head over to Cancun early February to spend some time seaside with our son Jordan.  He’s flying down to meet us from Ottawa and we’re excited to take him snorkeling in Puerto Morelos, the second largest barrier reef in the world.  We also want to show him the spawning centre for sea turtles on Isla Mujeres.  

Cozumel has a handmade chocolate factory that we love and the hot chili chocolate is mindblowing.  We will rent a ragtop beetle from another era … okay from when I was a kid and tour the island.  There’s a restaurant with mind-blowing ceviche and you can wiggle your toes in the sand while eating and watching the waves crash on the shore.  I love to swim there after a late lunch.

Our hope is that you’re all keeping warm, or perhaps escaping to a hotter spot, too, this Winter.  Either way, if you’re due in September, we’ll know that you created your own heat wherever you are.

 

Life Is So Good!

August 2017 Newsletter

My hope is that this missive finds you well and enjoying the last weeks of summer. 

Early morning fog burning off the Kennebecasis River

It finally warmed up and stopped raining here in Maritime Canada and we made it into the brackish waters of the Kennebecasis River for many swims. Building our Tiny House and clearing our land of many fallen trees and brush has been a big job. You should see us working together with the chainsaw and axe to get our Fall/Spring supply of wood to cut and dried before the season. We’re both much fitter and leaner from all the physical work!

Casa Pequeña both inside and out

We’re expecting six loads of clean fill in the next few weeks in order to start working on leveling the hill that we’re on for our food forest. We’ve already got some raspberry bushes, lavender, mint and wild roses planted. I’m (Ally) in seventh heaven with being able to craft my own land into a rejuvenating ecosystem. The plan is to have enough flowering plants and fruit trees in order to sustain a number of hives of bees. It’s a work in progress and we’re learning much about permaculture principles.

This week, the solar array is being installed. We’ve been doing most of the work ourselves with the help of our friends, however, we’ve found an electrician who works with her carpenter husband to get the solar panels mounted on the roof and the battery, charger and inverter installed.

The view looking up from the Kennebecasis towards our densely treed property

We’ll be putting in the 120 amp wiring ourselves as our friend, Marla, worked for Bell Canada in Toronto and wired houses and offices with fibre-op for decades. Thankfully Diane is keeping the front lines at Arcanum in toe as we’ve literally been jumping in our clinic seats after a quick hosing off in the shower!

We’re pretty excited as later this month, our children are coming for a visit with their partners. It’s been 3 years since were all together and we can not wait to spend the week together. There will be a good ol’ lobster boil, bonfires and sausage roasts for sure!

We’re heading up to the Tiny House for the evening. Jeff has promised to play his classical guitar for me as the sun goes down. Life is so good!

Too Many Cooks In The Kitchen; How to Stop Spoiling the Broth

June 2017 Newsletter

We’re all trying to balance so much! Often times, it’s not just the business, home life and kids to keep organized, and on a schedule, often times we’re having to be responsible for the collective consciousness for the entire household. Consider how often you’re asked, “Ok, so what’s next?”. Or “You should have just asked me to do that and I would have gladly helped you out.”

So many women I serve, and some men too, will cite extreme exhaustion. Not only for the actual tasks they perform at the office or at home, but  because they also feel like the CEO of operations. This unexpected job description often surprises us out of nowhere. Who put me in charge anyway? Where was that written? How do I exit this role without the whole damn ship sinking?

How did the job of  knowing what’s next fall on me? I’d never asked my husband, “What’s next?” in over a dozen years of marriage. How is it that as a reasonably intelligent woman I always felt my corpus callosum log-jammed every time? Perhaps my lesson was to learn how to engage with my own instincts and activities, leaving intellectual management to other individuals. That, actually would make sense.

In those moments, I definitely know I could use help. The first thing would be to take the task-manager role off my shoulders. When was this bestowed on me? Please supply a two page answer single spaced while I dress this roast of bison and finish prepping the potatoes. Perhaps you’ve lived this too.

While the offer to help is, in itself, an act of generosity, it can annoy the living daylights out of a Mom in a Sepia state. How many CEO’s of multinational companies can think on the spot of the detailed activities to be executed by a worker who barges into his office while he’s on the phone and also in the midst of forecasting the budget for the next annum? You see it, right? It doesn’t happen. At the very least, you make an appointment or see a more junior manager. Perhaps your spouse might ask one of the kids. Ah, not a bad idea, a kid will always tell you precisely what to do to serve them.

I recall feeling totally burnt out in the early stages of my marriage. In fact, I had the feeling that if one more person asked me what they could do, I might run my laser eyes clear through their guts while launching enough swear words at them to burn off their eyebrows. They’d grow back, right?!

I once recall trying to prepare supper while nursing an infant on the breast, with a toddler pulling all the pots and pans out on the floor, stirring a pot of rice pasta with the phone in one ear speaking to the guy rescheduling to come service the dishwasher who I had stayed home all day waiting for. It was a Friday.

At that moment, my husband walks into the kitchen having just arrived home from the office, and wants to know what he can do. The first answer that popped up to the fore is, “no clue” and then, “isn’t it obvious?” or to silently turn back and offer a tear of frustration into the pasta. This gesture alone can create a ton of animosity and then spouses wonder why dinner conversation is a little stunted and the weekly sex is dwindling.

I spent years stuffing my feelings down and taking Sepia regularly until my breast finally swelled with a 1.5 inch tumour. Among this, and other dynamics, I’d say this phenomenon cost us the marriage. It wasn’t until these very same issues started to crop up in my second marriage that I began to “get it”. The whole family plumbed solutions to help relieve me of the burden of doer and decision-maker. At the time, I was running a household, half a business, part of the farm, a kids’ camp (in the summer), writing a book and doing postgraduate research. Brutal, I know!

The summation of this post is that we finally did solve it with some creative problem solving. It took a team effort, but you can read that article here.

Dichotomies and Skewed Morality

When children who have HIV, Hep B, or Tuberculosis can attend school without disclosing their diseases because they are protected by the constitution, but healthy, vaccine-free children cannot attend school with no disease because they aren’t vaccinated.
When kids in school taking cabinets full of pharmaceuticals is normal, but healthy, vaccine free/disease free/medication free children cannot come to school.
When it’s ok for a child to take Prozac but not drink a Kombucha with his lunch.
When all the vaccinated kids have chicken pox, but none of the non-vaccinated children are sick, but they get sent home.
When they keep mandating more and more vaccines and outbreaks increase, and yet it’s still the non vaccinateds’ fault.
When you hear people argue for women’s rights, unless those rights include choosing proper Health care for her children.
When it’s cool to March against Monsanto because glyphosate is a carcinogen, but it’s perfectly ok that it is in vaccines.
When vegans won’t eat meat cause it’s cruel, but it’s all good that vaccines contain animal DNA.
When Christianity won’t support abortion, but justify aborted fetal cells in vaccines.
When it’s considered poison anywhere else on the planet unless it’s in a vaccine.
When people actually believe their vaccine won’t work unless 98% of other people also get their vaccine.
When nothing makes sense at all, you know you are living in a completely brainwashed, corporate run society.
~ By Landee Crier

Rockin’ The Cornerstones of Health; How I Let Go of New Year’s Resolutions

January 2017 Newsletter

I’m not really one for New Year’s resolutions. I don’t even start new protocols on a Monday after I realized years ago that I was setting myself up for failure if starting something new with a bang. My resonance organs dictate a mindfulness in motion that begs me to be accountable to myself each and every day; self-love is a continually evolving gesture of self-honour and self-care.

After sitting for three days a week in clinic I typically feel compelled to go on a mini-pilgrimage, usually this takes form as a good 10-12 km romp into the town or hills where I live… and my step counter will show about 17,000 steps by the end of the day. Jeff and I generally enjoy the same jaunt together on the weekend. During the week, I tend to engage in an hour of something each day; I love swimming, hiking the cobbled streets where we live, taking photographs, and enjoying an hour of yoga twice a week to ensure I’m maintaining upper body strength.

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I do not love plank poses, although I do love the way they make me feel when I’m regularly engaged with my practice. A thirty minute daily meditation also is part of my regular regimen. You may ask how I find the time… well, it has taken me twenty years to unhook from a life of obligation and now my health soars, with few supplements, by allowing my spirit to be free of living totally out of obligation. A decade ago, my goal was to craft a life that I no longer felt I needed a vacation from, and this goal has most definitely been achieved!

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I will take Vitamin D3 in the winter months only if I’m getting insufficient sunlight, although for the last two years we’ve lived in Mexico in winter, so I don’t bother much with this anymore. If I notice any thyroid challenges, I’ll take kelp and nascent iodine to help on those occasions. I also take zinc periodically, as well as some greens powder (spirulina/chlorella). I drink 2-3 litres of spring water a day which helps to keep me feeling clear, calm, and restored. I’ve always been a very thirsty constitutional type and so drinking a lot, especially in the mornings, really helps to set me right for the remainder of the day.

Mostly I eat quite scantily, fasting a couple days a week for most of the day; as I get into my more “senior” years I find that this approach helps keep my mind and body running optimally. At this high altitude of seven thousand feet above sea level, I sleep hard and soundly given the lower oxygen levels, and seven to eight hours a night without waking is beyond restorative to me. The less I eat, the better I sleep!

Being happy and in love with my partner and my life help a lot. We enjoy great recreation such as attending the orchestra, travelling with friends to a spa or organic farm in the country, or just lying around and reading. Having tea and discussing art, photography, principles or the concepts of Heilkunst enthuse me no end and it’s great that I get to do this with Jeff. I’m also adored, nurtured and well loved on, and kissed thoroughly with intent every day. I wish every human being benefitted from this much loving and fulfillment.

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Lastly, I’m rocking what I’m ordained to be. I used to wake with whole poems in my head as a child. I’ve always loved to write and it is a big part of who I am and the vehicle I use to serve others by crafting books in natural medicine and Heilkunst. I’ve also always been profoundly intuitive and so I use these skills to diagnose my patient’s deeper issues, and then use my knowledge and compassion to help them get to where they’d like to go with regard to the resolution of their chronic ills.  

Jeff and I both love hearing your monthly impressions as you work through the tangle of your challenges and wins each month. It is a living model of rejuvenation similar to a fever event, when your child speaks for the first time as they shed the Autism diagnosis.  You might now be able to imagine what it means when a patient tells us that she has found the love of her life as a result of going through this system of medicine, and that she no longer suffers chronic fatigue because she also let go of that gnarly day job where her creativity was suppressed.  

It is our resolution to be healthy enough to continue to support you in the ways that you expect, exacting the healing and curing principles of Heilkunst Medicine to the very best of our abilities.  We love serving you and it means so much to us that you keep coming back monthly and also refer your friends and family.  Our hearts are filled with purpose and meaning because of you.

Honing Our Organs of Self Knowledge As Digital Nomads

Well, we’ve put 19,000 kms in total on our car since June travelling across Canada and down the west coast of the United States and into Mexico. We’re finally settled in the most remarkable city that we’ve ever been to in both Europe or North America. Think ancient Italian port town nestled on a rocky bowl with mind-blowing food and culture for less than a few pesos.

Guanajuato, Mexico is built in a steep teacup that is an ancient caldera of a volcano. It was the seat for the Spanish invasion, and subsequent revolution, due to the wealth of the gold and silver mines documented in the art of Diego Rivera (Frida Kahlo’s husband).

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In the week that we’ve been here, we’ve already been to several concerts, with a world class symphony, with performers that hail from Russia, Europe as well as Mexico. Yesterday, I went to a piano recital that blew my socks off, afterwards there was a wine and tapas offering in the spectacular garden with local folks peppered with expats. It cost me $10 Canadian.

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I’m learning to muddle through with my broken Spanish, although it is tough being so effusive and so short on vocabulary. I will start my tutoring online next week and hope to volunteer here with local youth who make organic soaps and olive oil so that I can learn more of the colour of this expressive romance language.

Our two room casita, with fibre-op, sits at the very top of the bowl with mountains jutting up on three sides. Any stroll to the the town takes us on a steep incline that makes me often think that I need a climber’s belt, ropes and several carabiners to make it back home.

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Our morning hikes take us down cobbled streets through a dam, salted with patos blancos (white ducks), a gorgeous park past several schools and universities for art, political science and engineering. Of course, there are churches with huge iron bells and haciendas dotted in between with old colonial styling and balconies, man how I love a pretty balcony!

Jeff and I will scoot into Café Tal for a Sencha Tea (or the best hot chocolate I’ve ever had) and then we might have a couple of steamed tacos for breakfast from a street vendor. All totalling about $3.50 Cdn. A cab is 50 pesos (about $3.00 with tip) and the bus is 5 pesos (which is so little I can’t calculate it). Our groceries for the week come to about $30 – $40 Cdn at Mercado Hidalgo (built by Ernesto Brunel and Antonio Rivas Mercado with input by Alexandre Gustave Eiffel of Paris’ Eiffel Tower) where we get all our fruits, vegetables and meats.

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It’s even cheaper if you walk the streets and locate the native indians, mostly women with babes in arms, who’ve brought their wares to sell down from the ranchos way above the lip of the caldera. One such young fellow, in front of his parent’s vegetable stall, stopped and asked me in broken English where I was from. I responded, “Canada,” gesturing way, way far from here, and he asked me if we speak English there and I said, “Yes, and French too!”

The weather is very cool here at night, dropping down to a nippy 5-8 degrees celsius which is in the mid 40’s on the fahrenheit scale. Like home, we have three blankets on our bed for warmth at night. And boy do we sleep! At 7,000 feet above sea level, we’re having to take the homeopathic remedies, Coca and Cundurango, for a touch of altitude sickness. You’re extra sleepy at night, the oxygen thinner so when hiking back up the 3,500 steps (about 15 flights of stairs … no, we don’t count them … we have an app for that!) from having tea, we need to stop a couple of times to catch our breath. Also, you can have headaches right where you’d have devil’s horns, if you were thusly inclined, on the top of your head and feel at times a little hungover with a stomach bug.

While it takes about six weeks, typically, to stabilize your blood oxygen levels, we’re already feeling amazing in our new locale. We travel like this to fulfill our astral desire function to know new people, culture, art, music and language. It builds the ontic (sense of autonomy/immunity) by holding our essence in check as we’re exposed to many different circumstances and seeming social incongruencies to our more conservative Canadian sensibilities. Also, living in Canada, frankly is just too familiar, and also very pricey now that we’ve just paid off all of the “investments” we made into our education.

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We’ll see what the next five months here in Mexico yields. In our opinion, we’d much rather be on this side of any walls to be erected by boisterous (better if I don’t add the other adjectives I’m thinking of) politicians.

 

Victoria B.C., Bison, Dan’s Farm and Fermenting Recipes; A Day in Our Life

"Waiting for the shearer." by Bernard Spragg. NZ https://flic.kr/p/jJWnDR

“Waiting for the shearer.” by Bernard Spragg. NZ https://flic.kr/p/jJWnDR

 

Click on this link to read the full article from Collective Evolution
“If you’re looking to become a conscious consumer, first consider where your food comes from. Ideally, for our health, and to improve social and environmental impact, we would choose to minimize, or even eliminate highly processed foods from our diet. However, many are at the beginning of their food journey, and so for them I suggest that they at least begin to consider what food companies they are supporting, and take a look into their practices. Nestle is a hot topic right now, and for good reason. If you are feeling drawn to boycotting them for their practices, take a look all of their subcompanies as well. Put into a visual diagram like this, we can really begin to see how food industry controls much of what we eat (if you are eating processed foods). This is why if you want to have choice over what you consume, you need to do your research. Then, spend some time at the farmer’s market and begin talking to your local producers.” ~ Sara Dubeau, DMH, DHHP
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Yesterday, we landed in Victoria BC for the month of October. We crossed from Vancouver by ferry (across the Juan de Fuca strait) to this gorgeous rainforest island with tropical trees, rocky beaches and great hiking mountains. I may be in heaven!
 
After we unpacked at the nicest Airbnb we’ve ever stayed at (think fully stocked kitchen and a hot tub too), with the loveliest of hosts (a Sulphur and Calc. which was like looking in a mirror), we headed out to find the local healthfood store for our week’s nourishment.  We traveled about twelve minutes down the Trans-Canada Highway (which we’d taken pretty much from Cape Spear, NFLD all the way to Tofino, BC) to a highly rated healthfood store for our more specific needs.
 
As an “O” (Jeff) and “B” (Ally) blood types we’re seeking none GMO’d, non-anti-biotic, ethically raised wild game. Jeff found us a health food store that carried lots of Bison! Bison bacon, ground meat, and even jerky for our hikes. We also picked up some organic eggs, some non-grain lamb sausage, more almonds, some more organic tea (it’s getting chilly here this Fall), and chocolate with no added sweetener (and no, it’s not bitter!)
 
As we engaged with the salesperson, we asked her where we might get our organic vegetables and she suggested Dan’s Farm. So we pulled up our GPS and headed out of town for the 20 minute drive where the Redwoods are wider than both of us with our arms stretched out!
 
When we arrived, the phenomenal offerings spilled from the front of the store. Fresh, organic produce from Dan’s fields. We filled our basket with 3 types of kale, squashes, purple cabbage, fresh ginger, beets, pickling cucumber, dill, garlic (they had 6 different kinds!), baby greens for salad and a locally raised leg of lamb. We don’t eat any grains of any kind so our grocery bill doesn’t include bread, rice or much of anything found on the inside isles of a grocery store.
 
When we got home, I was feeling so excited by our finds that I fermented the baby cucumbers in salt brine with garlic, dill and some spices I carry with us. I cut all the kale with scissors into a bowl, tossed the leaves with organic olive oil and Himalayan salt and roasted it for an hour in an oven at 225 degrees, for about 90 minutes.
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I also shaved the red cabbage, beet, ginger and garlic, mushed it tightly into mason jars and added salt brine (2 tablespoons per litre) and jammed on the lids. I sit my ferments in a pan with sides knowing that when I burp them of the off-gassing CO2 each morning, they will spit a bit of liquid over the sides. I keep them on a counter, away from the heat of the stove, windows or other ferments like kefir or kombucha as they will cross-infect each other and muck up the process. Similar to other ferments, you wouldn’t put beer in with red wine or champagne either!
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While I was finishing up with my probiotic investments, Jeff stuck the sausage in a pan with coconut oil, also cutting thin slices of beets and squash for cooking around the pan, also a bunch of scissored beet greens. Yum! While that cooked, we started with the the baby greens salad with nothing but a hemp oil drizzle and a little organic balsamic vinegar from our stay in Quebec City.
 
The whole meal was mind-blowing and we have sausage left over for lunch in the morning before we head out for a hike and to stroll downtown Victoria. The lamb roast will be cooked on Monday before we go into busy full days serving patients. I have other ferments of kimchi and salsa that will see us through this week until the new ones are ready in about 7-10 days.
 
Tell us how you’ve become a conscious consumer and where your food comes from and what you love to make in the way of investments into your health and your family’s well-being. What are your priorities given your own typology? How do you manage this while travelling or visiting new locales? What do you love about your local market and the feeling that fresh, organic food gives you? Like us, you may even find your portions are small given that the food is so nourishing … no need ever for fillers or to resort to chemicalized, GMO’d foods by giant corporations.
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Off-Grid Rejuvenation, Naturally

“All photographs in this article were taken at Skookum Adventures (www.wildskook.com) and are © Allyson McQuinn”

Jeff and I were exhausted. We’d traveled by car from Quebec City to Kimberley, BC in about three weeks, stopping to serve patients three or four days each week. We love our digital nomad life, but we’d overextended ourselves and needed a break. We had a four day weekend coming up, but everything in the way of campgrounds and cabins were booked to the teeth, and folks at the information kiosks were shrugging their shoulders at us … a lot!

Jeff got onto Airbnb and found us a remote, off-grid, solar powered, Thoreau-like cabin with a wood stove and candles. I teared up when he told me, as I imagined a rest like none other. We packed up the car early Friday morning with our suitcases, charged iPads to be able to both read and write, along with our four boxes of whole foods and drove the thirty minutes north to Skookumchuck, BC.

It’s my dream to eventually build on our two acre property in New Brunswick so this was not only going to be four days of rest, but also a living research opportunity and I was really excited. Our host Adam, and his wife Laurie, run Skookum Adventures and will take you river rafting and also show you where the free natural hot springs are nearby if you like, but I wanted to mostly explore their off-grid paradise and what went into its design.

We got a tour of the natural swimming pond, artesian well, full of mineralized water bubbling out of the ground, the heirloom fruit and vegetable garden, the outdoor shower, and the bus converted kitchen where a woman had formerly raised her three kids by travelling around the interior of BC. The ten minute walk to the creek yielded a waterfall and natural beach where I experienced brain freeze just from wading in up to my hips.

We chatted loudly on the way there and back as the Elk, Moose and Bear scat (both Black Bears and Grizzlies!) liberally peppered the trail. I was not used to seeing the bones of such big game littered at our feet and I picked up the rib bone of what may have been a large deer and pretended to pick my teeth with it. The balsam smell in that forest was so potent, I felt like I was being air-soaked in the essential oil. It was primal, overwhelming and Divine!

I grew up in the suburbs of Montreal and Ottawa in homes that were constructed by large corporations. The melamine kitchens of the 60’s and 70’s with off-gassing particle board and fiberglass pink insulation was the thing of the day. Efficiency was key to house all these baby boomers born in the forties now raising their families en masse in neighborhoods salted with primary, elementary and a high schools all within walking distance.

It was a pre-fab 2 X 4 world, the Tupperware generation where the milk man and his glass bottles of whole milk with the cream on top was politely discontinued in favor of Instant Carnation skimmed milk, Sheriff Instant Mash Potatoes, Jello and anything Kraft suggested to help out a busy stenographer, teacher or stay at home mom. Avon and coffee parties were popular with women hosting afternoon gatherings with strange fits of giggles when the sherry made it out of the liquor cabinet in the middle of the afternoon. The men were all ensconced in their post-industrial offices making more pre-fab stuff for us all to consume. It was all Andy of Mayberry and “Leave It to Beaver” until “Bewitched” came along.

In the 90’s I jumped right on the band-wagon, emulating my parents by buying a house in the suburbs and shopping at the local grocery store without a thought about what I was creating. I’d pushed the default button on my karmic pursuits, mimicking their pensioned employment, abandoning both my home and kids during the day to work in airless cubicles to put in my thirty years of service. Somehow it felt demoralizing, but I couldn’t for the life of me figure out what to do about it.

Until … my son started spiraling into the autism spectrum after the pre-fab MMR shots and my own health started to plummet fiercely as I tried to save him. The guilt I suffered from having caused him harm, just about took me out with a tumor in my left breast larger than a PGA circuit golf ball. What I didn’t realize is that my allopathic, one size fits all life, was coming to a conscious end. False authority does not individualize its dose OR its potency.

When I came to Heilkunst principles to solve my son’s and my own ills, it was the first time that I was treated as an individual. The system of medicine was qualified to me and our specific issues. I recall wondering if I deserved to be treated in such a way as the medicines were tailor made to our individual physical symptoms and mental sufferings. Also, it was totally natural, systematic, principled and couldn’t cause us an ounce of harm. At first, I thought it was all too good to be true as Jordan started making eye contact, using the toilet and speaking in sentences for the first time at four and a half years of age. He began to thrive and so did I.

Jordan came out of the spectrum and I began writing poetry, prose and stories for magazines. I was also asked to speak at homeopathic conferences with hundreds of people. I was beginning to embrace a life that spoke to deep inner goals and desires that I never even knew I had. My creativity burbled up from a fountain that was self-sustaining and rejuvenating. I began to paint and also take pictures with the heart of an artist. Instead of pouring my exhausted body into bed at night, I was staying up late full of enthusiasm editing pictures or writing into the night.

Fast forward to the present and I realize that my health and well-being can’t do an ounce of pre-fab. I want to grow my own heritage vegetables year-round that I plan to start in my own greenhouse dug down two feet below the frost line. I want to design my own home with mortise and tenon joints with breathable, natural walls. I want to learn to build it myself. I imagine the windows so deep that I can sit for hours surrounded by light with a desk that lives on my lap so I can lounge while also researching and writing. I want to bathe under the stars, with the fresh air on my skin, in a tub that is fired by natural wood. I want to heat my home naturally with solar, wind and wood.

Jeff and I slept twelve hours that first night in that reclaimed “Warden’s Cabin” with the dying embers of the wood stove blinking red through the crevice of the cast iron door. I cried myself to sleep out of gratitude. The next morning I awoke to the scent of someone cooking bacon in the common kitchen across the field. I grabbed my bathing suit to head for the natural pond for a late morning swim and to listen to the birds calling in the Tamarack Pines as the osprey dove and ducked on the up and downdrafts in our temporary rented valley.

I heard a loon call off in the distance on a neighboring lake which caused me to smile with my whole body. I had a busy day ahead, sitting in a comfy lawn chair in the sun, reading after some local lamb sausage and eggs for breakfast with a side of blueberries with clotted Devonshire cream. Rather than just sustain myself, I’m on a right rippin’ trajectory of nothing but rejuvenation from here on in. A custom tailored kind of natural life with those I love intimately in my midst to help stoke the fire of my creativity. Eventually, I’ll be homeward bound full of custom-made ideas!

Images below from our four day sojourn taken by me:

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Sunflowers at the honor system ranch where you could pick out your own veggies and put the money owed in a big tool box.

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Taken with my iPhone right next to our cabin

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Bees have hairy wee bottoms in these parts … who knew?!

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When I’m this well rested, I can capture the antenna on a moth without shaking my foot-long macro lens

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Little white spider on a zucchini bloom

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Sun worshipers like me!

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More toothpicks!

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Shades of On Walden’s Pond

Below: The gravity fed outdoor shower that if you went too early, would have you screeching before the water warmed up.

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Paddleboard anyone … if you don’t mind the weeds, you can swim in the natural pond or rent the teepee for $20 per night Canadian.

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 Bus conversion to common kitchen with a bed in the back for weary travellers

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Sandwiched between The Rockies shown here and The Purcell Mountains. Heaven!

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Our Warden’s Cabin for four days with horse hair between the chinks. It was bought for $75 off Craigslist! Are you kidding me?!