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The Writers' Exchange

Help Vancouver’s Writers’ Exchange!

Friends! The Writers’ Exchange gets Vancouver’s inner-city kids excited about reading and writing through crazy, fun, and imaginative creative-writing projects and support from volunteer mentors:

 

 

The Indiegogo Campaign

This month, they’re raising funds to help cover the costs of renovating a new space. Although they’ve been in the same space for years, their rent has recently doubled and forced them to move upstairs–which they’re happy about, because it means not moving locations for the sake of their students.

However, it DOES mean renovating that upstairs space. June first marked the first day of their Indiegogo campaign to help raise their goal of $20,000, and they’re already at almost $14,000 as I’m writing this! But here’s the thing: the full budget of their move and re-design is $53,500, so any extra funds that they can raise would be AMAZING.

About the Writers’ Exchange

Over 500 kids a year attend the Writers’ Exchange programs at their home on East Hastings in Vancouver and in schools across East Vancouver and in the Strathcona area. Most of the kids have been referred to the programs offered by the Writers’ Exchange by their teachers, because they either need extra literacy support (less than half of the kids at Vancouver’s inner-city schools are meeting provincial literacy expectations), or just need a safe place to go after school and/or during the summer.

Or both!

Even though most of the kids they work with say they don’t like reading and writing before they attend the Writers’ Exchange programs, in 2016, 99% of kids said they liked doing the fun literacy activities at the Writers’ Exchange! Also, every single parent polled said their child benefited from attending this amazing organization’s programs.

The Writers’ Exchange runs free, fun literacy programs after school and during the summer, and inner-city teachers also invite the program’s teachers into their classrooms to create publications with their classes. And then they actually have book launch parties for these kids when their publications are bound and ready to go! (The program receives very generous help with this part of the process from a local publishing company.)

This is a legit program that is VERY much needed for everyone in the community–and they need support. Watch their Indiegogo campaign video here, then please, please donate! xo

 

 


The Writers’ Exchange Society is a registered Canadian charity, number 795045095 RR0001.

Moms: Do Your Kids Have Food Sensitivities?

Hey, friends! I have an exciting announcement: on March 1 2016, Baby Nosh quietly made its way into the world.

(Note: I’m talking about a baby book, not an actual baby.)

What

Baby Nosh is a book I co-wrote with the talented and locally acclaimed shutterbug, Tanya R. Loewen. Geared towards helping parents make good choices when it comes to feeding their baby solid foods, Baby Nosh is ultimately filled with tips, ideas, and 100 recipes that are kind to your baby’s digestive system and will not promote food sensitivities.

These days, with our food supply being so artificial and commercially prepped, we’re all (including our babies) feeling the results of a poor western diet.

But Baby Nosh can help!

This book is chalk-full of nutrient-dense foods that help your baby (your whole family, actually) successfully grow and thrive the way we were all designed to. Babies and children don’t need to suffer with food sensitivities.

If supplied with the right kind of foods, your family can be 100% food sensitivity-free.

Why

Your body is amazing. It does absolutely everything in its power to keep you alive, and that is the only reason we’re not all dropping like flies. I mean, let’s face it: most of us do nothing to mindfully and intentionally assist our bodies in being the best possible bodies they can be.

Right?

But a funny thing happens when you have kids: overnight, you become completely willing to give up your bad vices and totally prioritize your kids’ health and well-being. By way of osmosis, you also usually improve your own health, too.

SO: if you just had a baby, or your have small children, or just want to learn how to make easy, healthy, kind foods for your family, attend one of the two Baby Nosh events below. If you have kids with food sensitivities, you should come. If you have food sensitivities yourself, you should come.

When

Books will be for sale, and Tanya and I would be more than willing to help you achieve a blissful, healthy home–and usually, that type of wellness begins in the kitchen.

There are two locations: Abbotsford (April 5th at Precious Kargo Baby Boutique) and Vancouver (Commodity Juicery). Pick one (or both!) and we’ll see you there. If you can’t make it, you can still buy the book HERE. xo

The 24th Annual Wellness Show Vancouver

This weekend (February 12-14) marks the 24th annual Wellness Show Vancouver, taking place at the Vancouver Convention Centre. I’ve been before, but it’s either been as an attendee or a media representative. This year, I’m much more involved! Check it out:

Fresh + Fit Vancouver

The best place to catch me will be at my booth for Fresh + Fit Vancouver. This boutique white label firm specializes in assisting small wellness businesses promote themselves on social media, and build better online visibility through original content creation in the form of website content and unique and relevant blog posts.

If you’re wondering why small businesses need a service like this, click HERE or watch the video at the end of this post.

The Fresh + Fit booth is located in space 817B—come say hi!

Healthy Families Cooking Stage

I’m not totally sure how this happened, but I’ll be conducting two live demos of healthy snacks for the new Healthy Families Cooking Stage. On Saturday the 13th, I’ll be making Bliss Balls at 3pm, and on Sunday the 14th (Happy Valentine’s Day!), I’ll be making Sprouted Endive Boats (sponsored by Eat More Sprouts) at 3pm.

Come watch my demo(s) and I’ll be happy to make sure you get a signed copy of Vegetarian Comfort Foods after!

Book Sales + Signing

At the Fresh + Fit booth, I’ll also be selling and signing books. They include:

So if you’re at The Wellness Show this weekend, come pop by and introduce yourself! I’d love to meet you. xo


 

Why Your Business Needs to Utilize Social Media

The Wellness Show Vancouver

Hey, everyone! If you live in the Vancouver area, and have yet to attend the annual Wellness Show at the Vancouver Convention Centre, you need to give it a go in 2016.

Besides the fact that I’ll be there (both as a Healthy Families stage presenter, and at my Fresh + Fit Vancouver booth) and I’ll need some good, distracting company, I also have coupons for you!

Not that The Wellness Show is expensive (it’s $14.50 for a general admission and $30 for the entire weekend, and you make your money back pretty quickly in free swag and delicious food samples), but as an extra enticement, the event coordinators have offered me a 2-for-1 coupon for Friday the 12th to offer anyone who may be interested!

You can download it HERE:

Once the holidays are over and you can breathe and focus on your own wellness (by January, we all wanna do it), I promise that this event will sound more than appealing.

Hope to see you there! xo

wellness show coupon

Ditch the Dairy + Go Nutty for Nuts!

Raw Unsalted Cashews

As a wannabe vegan (I consume seafood, but no other meats, and very rarely dairy, but no eggs—how’s that for confusing?), I’ve come to love the benefits of nuts in my diet. These tiny protein and good-fat powerhouses make a fabulous replacement for dairy products, and this post intends to convince you of that. There are even DIY videos for making nut cheese are the end!

Here we go…

Whole Nuts

Nuts are an amazing way to pack protein and good quality fats into your plant-based diet. Adding a handful of almonds to a salad, or eating a few walnuts with a banana for your morning snack is crazy healthy. The key is to only consume 6-10 nuts at a time—they are high in calories, and it’s very easy to throw back your entire day’s caloric intake by snacking on a whole bag.

Best nuts to consume? I love raw, organic, unflavoured almonds, cashews, walnuts, beech nuts, and pecans.

Nut Butters

Ditch the boring peanut butter, and say hello to a whole new world of other nut and seed butters. Cashew, almond, sesame seed (tahini), sunflower, and brown pea butters are my absolute faves. Always be sure to purchase organic nut products, because unfortunately, nuts are one of those crops that are usually soaked in pesticides.

Yuck. Go organic, all the way.

almond milk  

Nut Milks

Ok—you’re in Jen-Land, now. I am the absolute connoisseur on milk alternatives. (Cow milk is nasty—even the organic stuff. It does not work well with our bodies, and is usually full of hormones, additives, antibiotics, and even (gulp) pus from the animals’ mastitis issues. Gross.)

Anyway…

Milk alternatives have come a long, long way. In the past, the only alternatives available were soy (but not organic, and tasted very chalky), and goat’s milk, which was incredibly wild and pungent tasting. Welcome to 2015—where milk alternatives rule the universe!

Although there are many notable brands that make a fab milk alternatives (Silk, So Nice, So Good, etc), my go-to is Vancouver’s Earth’s Own. They make an insanely delish cashew and almond milk, as well as other types. SERIOUSLY—try these products. They’re to die for.

It’s also pretty simple to make your own nut milk using soaked nuts, a Vitamix, and a cheesecloth, but honestly, I just prefer to purchase it ready-made.

Nut Cheese

For the non-vegans out there, I can almost hear you think “Errr…what? Nut Cheese?!”

Nuts make a great base for homemade, plant-based cheeses. My favourite way to make nut cheese, is to soak 1 cup of raw, organic cashews in water for 2 hours. Ditch the water, and place in Vitamix or other high-powered blender. Add 2 tbsp. almond or cashew milk, a pinch of sea salt, and 1 tbsp. or nutritional yeast (Red Star is my fave). Blend until smooth, and use to top steamed or raw veggies, in pasta, or anything else you want.

If you’re looking for a hard cheese, check this awesome 3-part series on YouTube:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wNpqqE25RYI]

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z3eYP6EmWWU]

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zSTAfaFeT5k]

You’re welcome! xo

Totally Turmeric Infographic

turmeric homeopathic remedy

Happy Wednesday, friends! It’s shaping up to be a gorgeous day in Vancouver

This post includes a short and sweet infographic on turmeric, which has been quite the hot topic, lately. This chart was provided by Health Perch and Ghergich & Co.

Read and learn, peeps! xo

Totally Turmeric: Your Complete Guide to Turmeric
“Totally Turmeric” on Health Perch

Content Writing for Health + Wellness in Vancouver

FreshFit-Logo-05

Happy Earth Day, everyone! I hope you’ve all done something miniscule or little or big or enormous to lend a hand to Mother Earth, today! Today’s blog is exciting for me, because I’m introducing a new business that won’t be formally launched for a few more months, but I’m taking on some amazing clients early, so I thought I’d share!

Fresh + Fit Vancouver is my latest and greatest project, spawned from the relentless requests I was receiving to write bios and ‘about’ pages and content for local businesses. I figured if there was a market for this kind of thing, then I’m in! Since my passion lies within the health and wellness industry, I decided to make it niche and remain in that realm.

Jennifer Browne

Fresh + Fit serves two purposes in Vancouver: 

1- To be a place of reference for Vancouverites who may be looking for a new juice bar, spin class, or place to receive a fabulous pedicure, and

2- To provide a blogging service to Vancouver’s health and wellness businesses that highlights originality and individual strengths. Most people don’t like writing their own blogs, but I love writing, and I LOVE a great kale juice, yoga class, and collagen fascial. I will help you post original, fun, interesting content, while also providing link building and social media shout-outs.

“If your goal is to remain visible to Vancouver’s savvy health and wellness consumers, you should still be hosting original content on a consistent basis. Blogging is a fantastic way of providing current and potential clients with new and exciting information that is relevant to what they’re searching for.”

Interested? Visit freshandfitvancouver.com for more details. xo

Springtime In-Season Produce for the West Coast

Happy Meatless Monday!

Although spring isn’t officially here yet, it sure feels like it on the west coast. I don’t know about you, but I’m getting tired of kale, chard, potatoes, and carrots. I want a freakin’ strawberry. And melon.

And rhubarb.

Fruits and veggies always taste better when they’re in season–that’s how you can tell they’re fresh! When your cantaloupe and watermelon start tasting spongy, it’s because they’re old, and out of season. When produce is fresh, it’s crisp and incredibly flavorful.

So when can we expect the first, earliest harvest of this long-awaited season? Pretty soon! Here’s what’s in its prime on the west coast from March until May:

Artichokes

artichoke

Asparagus

asparagus

Fiddleheads

fiddlehead

Kumquat

kumquat

Nettles

nettles

New Potatoes

new potatoes

Radishes

radish

Rhubarb

Rhubarb

Curious what’s in season for each month in the Vancouver, BC area? Here ya go (graph from the BC Association of Farmer’s Markets):

Product Season
APPLES AUGUST – JUNE
APRICOTS JULY – AUGUST
ASPARAGUS APRIL – MAY
BASIL JULY – SEPTEMBER
BEANS JULY – OCTOBER
BEETS JULY – OCTOBER
BLACKBERRIES AUGUST – OCTOBER
BLUEBERRIES JULY – SEPTEMBER
BROCCOLI JULY – OCTOBER
BRUSSELS SPROUTS OCTOBER – DECEMBER
CABBAGE JULY – FEBRUARY
CARROTS JULY – NOVEMBER
CAULIFLOWER JUNE – NOVEMBER
CELERY JULY – OCTOBER
CHERRIES JUNE – JULY
CHINESE VEGETABLES JUNE – SEPTEMBER
CHIVES APRIL – OCTOBER
CILANTRO JUNE – OCTOBER
CORN AUGUST – OCTOBER
CRANBERRIES OCTOBER
CUCUMBERS JULY – SEPTEMBER
CURRANTS AUGUST – SEPTEMBER
FIDDLEHEADS MAY
GARLIC AUGUST – DECEMBER
KALE JULY – OCTOBER
LETTUCE JUNE – OCTOBER
LEEKS SEPTEMBER – NOVEMBER
MELONS AUGUST – SEPTEMBER
ONIONS (SWEET) AUGUST – OCTOBER
ONIONS (COOKING) SEPTEMBER – NOVEMBER
PEACHES AUGUST
PEARS AUGUST – APRIL
PEAS JUNE – JULY
PEPPERS JULY – OCTOBER
PLUMS AUGUST – SEPTEMBER
POTATOES JUNE – OCTOBER
PUMPKINS SEPTEMBER – OCTOBER
RADISH MAY – OCTOBER
RASPBERRIES JULY – SEPTEMBER
RHUBARB APRIL – JULY
ROSEMARY YEAR ROUND
SAGE YEAR ROUND
SALAD GREENS JUNE – OCTOBER
SHALLOTS AUGUST – SEPTEMBER
SPINACH APRIL – SEPTEMBER
STRAWBERRIES JUNE – SEPTEMBER
SUMMER SQUASH JULY – AUGUST
SWISS CHARD JULY – OCTOBER
TOMATOES JULY – OCTOBER
THYME JUNE – NOVEMBER
TURNIPS MAY – FEBRUARY
WINTER SQUASH MID SEPTEMBER – DECEMBER

Book Signing Event: Happy Healthy Gut at Chapters on Robson, Vancouver

Happy Healthy Gut book signing

Happy Valentine’s Day! This day is one of my faves, but not because of all the love and chocolate. February 14th marks the halfway point through February, which means it’s almost March, which means it’s almost SPRING!

And every Vancouverite out there is DYING for spring by this point in our long, dark, rainy winter.

It’s also 5 days before an event I’ve been waiting for since the fall: on Thursday, February 19th, I’ll be signing copies of my first book, Happy Healthy Gut: The Plant-Based Diet Solution to Curing IBS and Other Chronic Digestive Disorders, at my favorite bookstore, Chapters on Robson Street, Vancouver.

WHY is this my fave bookstore? Because it’s 3 floors of awesomeness that are accessed via old-school iconic escalator, and the store itself is deep within the heart of Vancouver’s notoriously fabulous shopping district. Plus, there’s a Starbucks. (Obviously.) Come find me on Thursday from 1-4, and I’ll happily gift you with an abundance of bookmarks, and a big, goofy smile.

Because this will never happen again.

Chapters on Robson

Photo courtesy of Vancity Buzz.

On June 30th of this year, because of skyrocketing downtown leases, Chapters on Robson will be closing its doors, and relocating elsewhere in Vancouver. That day, my friends, will be a sad, sad day.

So help me make incredible memories and join me on Thursday. For those of you who live in and around the Vancouver area, I hope to see your beautiful faces. xo