Join me in taking on the Welfare Food Challenge next week!

Raise the Rates has launched a new challenge, the Welfare Food Challenge. The challenge is to live for a week on the food that a single, able-bodied person on welfare would have – spending only $26. Sign up to take the Challenge below!

Of the $610 a month the BC government provides for a person on welfare, after paying for accommodation, bus tickets and cellphone (necessary to look for work), and basic hygiene only $109 remains for food – less than $26 for a week. There is nothing for clothes, haircuts, or any social life.

The challenge will start on October 16, World Food Day, and will finish on October 23. The week includes World Poverty Day on October 17th.

via Welfare Food Challenge

I am going to document what I eat each day, how much I end up spending, how I feel and anything else that comes up! I am staring mine a but late, likely on the 19th or 20th because I am volunteering at Vancouver We Day and will be up from 6AM to midnight for three or four days in a row so I won’t have time to plan my challenge until after the event.

I am going to try and do it low fat raw vegan style (fruit based) but am looking into the cost of organics vs conventional etc.


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Being a Weirdo in the Modern World

I sometimes feel that it is rude to force my beliefs on others. Just becasue I belive in certain things and chose to live a certain way doesn’t mean everyone should, right? I wouldn’t like it if a bunch of religious fundamentalists forced their belifes on me… but then I can’t see anything outside of my way of thought. To me there is no reason to not be vegan. There is no reason to buy bottled water. There is no alternative way to live. To someone else though, I am the religious fundamentalist. I am the crazy person. And what separates us really? Deep down we are all human. But just as I can’t see how joining the army is the right thing to do, many people can’t see how living an environmentally friendly life is right.

I’m trying to find a balance. My beliefs dictate that I should be sharing and spreading my knowledge, I suppose that’s what this blog is meant to achieve. After all, if nothing had spoken to me about these alternative lifestyle choices I wouldn’t know they exist. The point of individual change is to inspire and promote societal change. But then, what the best way to do that? Lecturing people about eating meat when out for dinner with friends just becomes a damper on a fun social outing. It’s hard to find the right way to communicate. Seeing someone accept a plastic bag at the store makes me want to scream out at them but of course that wouldn’t be polite or socially acceptable…

Why is this so hard? Because if it was easy it wouldn’t be worthwhile I suppose.

I’m making some more changes this week. With the summer semester starting i’m going to stop using public transit (so travel by bicycle and foot) and buy only local foods. Possibly other things too. It’s late and I need to contemplate what I want to implement in my life. I need to decide what I want to achieve.

An Evening of Rhythm and Breath

Are you awake?

Last night I attended this really awesome fundraiser! It was called “A Night of Rhythm and Breath” and we participated in an African dance workshop followed by some transformational breathing. The event was raising money for Alzheimer’s research and our friend Allan O’Meara, who I met through the Vancouver Hug Squad. Allan is leaving in September to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro for the cause (SIDENOTE: this reminded me a little bit of Greg Mortenson’s story which you can read about in his book “Three Cups of Tea“, I don’t really enjoy mountain climbing stories so I thought the first half was very boring but if you like that sort of thing i’m sure you’ll enjoy it).

Jacky Essombe is from Cameroon and she led a very fun dance segment. They had a bunch of people there doing African drumming and we got to dance to their rhythms. It was really cool to watch them drumming, the way they all stayed in sync (it must be through magic I have concluded). The one dude briefly mentioned “community drumming circles” which I hope to find out more about in the future. I always find it interesting when I dance that the moves most people have trouble with come easily for me while other things that people take to easily are a challenge. It was really nice to just be free to move and enjoy the music and the space. Check out Jacky’s website:

The second part of the night was a transformational breathing session led by Dale Joyal. Before we started they kind of warned us about how intense it can be. I half expected to work through all these deep emotional issues and come out a different person. I think this experience really showed me how little I have to worry about and how blessed I have been in life. I don’t really know why I expected to work through deep emotional issues because to tell the truth I don’t think I have any right now. I have accepted things that have happened to me in the past and most of them have since become non-issues anyway. I think it’s one of those things where at the time something feels like the end of the world. To quote 17 Again, “When you’re young everything feels like the end of the world. But it’s not; it’s just the beginning.” (SIDENOTE: This movie is HILARIOUS, i’ve seen it 5 times but my goal is to get to 17 so if you ever wanna watch it just lemme know). I can’t describe the actual process of transformational breathing too much because I think you need to experience it to really understand. I felt very relaxed after… and cold… but i’m always cold haha. I fully encourage and support alternative health remedies like this. Dale described it to us as “oxygen therapy” at one point. I think it would be especially beneficial for singers, as breath support and breathing are they keys to an amazing voice.