Ottawa

Time to juice! Meet the Maker!

I don’t know about you but after a long winter I really crave green juice. Not just any green juice but a fresh pressed, organic and as green as it gets juice. My body literally calls for it! And this year it has been calling extra loud. I normally wait for my spring juicing until the snow is gone but since this winter has been extra long I’m already juicing:).

Photo by Ellina Rabbit.

Photo by Ellina Rabbit.

 It always amazes me what a green, nutrient packed drink can do not only for my energy levels but also for my mind. Every single time it gives me a noticeable boost  (and way better than coffee ever did), it makes me feel lighter and clearer and it simply feels good. 

Juicing has been with me since I was little and I will never forget the carrot + apple juice that my mom made. I  didn’t really like it at the time but mom was very determined to keep us healthy so she made it and we drank it. Today, I love her for it because let’s be honest pressing your own juice is not much fun and a rather messy affair. It is a commitment!

Since juicing is so amazingly beneficial to our health and we are approaching the optimal time of the year to do a juice cleanse, I want to encourage you to do this for yourself. Do it for your health, do it for that extra glow to your skin and do it to smoothly transition from winter to spring. Fresh veggie juice contains loads of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, proteins, carbohydrates, chlorophyll (green veggies) and vital water beautifully distilled by nature in the plants. No question, freshly pressed organic juice is health building!

 I know that most will never commit to pressing their own fresh juice, but hey luckily making your own is not your only option. I’d like you to meet Julien THE juice guy.  Julien runs the juicing show for Pure Kitchen Ottawa. Since he is the person with all the juicing knowledge let’s get to it.

Julien with Hydrate - his every morning drink.

Julien with Hydrate - his every morning drink.

Hi Julien, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

My name is Julien Boyce, juice production manager at Pure Kitchen Ottawa. I started with the company from day one in February 2015, with the intention of working specifically in the juice department. A typical day includes taking inventory and organizing juice shipments, putting together juice cleanses, blending, mixing, and chopping a ton of fruits and vegetables! I’m fortunate to have the best staff and co-workers that make coming into work fun and exciting. 


How does one become the manager of the juice lab at the hottest vegetarian restaurant in town?

I became the juice lab manager pretty early on after landing the job at PK. Only me and one other person even mentioned in our interviews that we were interested in juicing. I had spent a few years working in kitchens, but I wanted something different. At the time, juicing was something very new to me, and my knowledge came from what I was juicing at home. We were all pretty inexperienced with juicing, however we learned very quickly and found our groove within the first few months. So much has changed since, new machinery, a larger space, and it’s only gotten better with time. 

Are PK juices organic? How freshly are they made?

All of the juices are made with organic produce and sourced locally whenever possible. We press around 1000L of juice per week, so we are constantly pressing every day. It can be difficult to keep up with the demand sometimes! Any juices we make have to be made with juice that is as fresh as possible, that means within 1-2 days of pressing. Some juices, such as lemon, have natural properties that allow it to have much longer shelf life than something like kale.


How do new recipes come about? What inspires you while you create?

I’m lucky to have such a creative team. We are constantly bouncing ideas around for new juices. One of the most challenging aspects of coming up with new recipes is getting the right colour. Sometimes flavours will work well together, but they won’t have an appealing colour. I love finding new products to use with our juices that make them original. 

Rowan (team PK) pouring the Lush

Rowan (team PK) pouring the Lush

Do you offer juice cleanses? Can you tell us a little bit about them? 

We offer a standard juice cleanse of five juices per day and one nut mylk, which amounts to 3L of juice. They can range from a one-day cleanse, up to as many days as you and a trusted health professional can agree upon (we had one woman do 21 days). We can always accommodate specific preferences and allergies with different juices. 


How does a juice cleanse differ from other types of cleanses?

Juice cleanses give your body a chance to recover by reducing the amount of energy it usually uses just digesting food all day. The benefit of a juice cleanse is that you can still ensure your body is getting nutrients and minerals it needs to function at its best. 


Any tips to follow a successful juice cleanse?

Ease into the cleanse and ease out of it. You should taper off how much you’re eating 24 hours before you start the cleanse and ease back into eating regular whole foods 24-48 hours afterwards. That’s for most cleanses from 1-5 days. You don’t want to start binge eating the day you finish your cleanse, that can lead to digestive issues.


I really crave green juices at this time of the year. Any favourite recipes for a great Spring green juice? 

I prefer green juices to be very strong with no sugars to mask the flavour of the greens. My favourite green juice is on our menu, called Lush. It is just kale, cucumber, spirulina, and a splash of lemon.


If you had to drink the same juice everyday what would it be?

I actually do drink the same juice every day! I start every morning with a glass of Hydrate. I get to work early and before I eat or do anything, I make sure I have some Hydrate with extra sea salt. This keeps me hydrated. I think that staying properly hydrated is the key to so many health problems and it’s something people tend to ignore. 


Any plans for writing a juice book?

I personally don’t have any plans to write a juice book. There are so many juice books available already, but I don’t think it’s that complicated of a process to need a book. I would be more interested in writing a book about healthy lifestyles/personal development that would certainly include juices and the role they can play in a healthy lifestyle. 

Squeezing lemons:) This used to be done by hand.

Squeezing lemons:) This used to be done by hand.

If there was something you wanted everyone to know about juicing, what would it be?

One thing about juice I always hear as a warning is that they aren’t good for you because you don’t get any fibre. It is true that most insoluble dietary fibre is removed during the juicing process; however, the soluble fibre is still present. Soluble fibre aids in good bacterial growth in the gut which helps the body in so many different ways!

Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us Julien!  And thank you for all the great tips and info. I am always grateful to know the people who make my food, grow my food or juice my veggies . Thank you for what you do!

Ok Ottawa, I was really impressed to hear about the 1000L of fresh juice a week being pressed at Pure Kitchen. That’s a lot of juice! We are definitely on the right path. This makes me super happy:)

I am very lucky to have Pure Kitchen right around the corner from Woman Divine Studio. You can often see  me  running down Richmond Road in between my clients to grab a bottle of pure green energy that keeps me going and going. Pure Celery and Lush are my favourite :)

Pure Kitchen Ottawa, is run by the nicest people you can find and they offered us a 1 day juice cleanse as a GIVEAWAY. Head out to  Woman Divine Instagram to find out how to participate . I hope you’ll win. Make sure to take a look at their Juice Cleanse options HERE and start juicing asap. Now is a great time!

Remember what I always say? What you do to your skin you do to the rest of your body and what you do to your body, you do to your skin. Your skin will absolutely love it!

Pure Kitchen has four locations in Ottawa:

ELGIN

340 Elgin Street, Ottawa ON
+1 613 233 7873

WESTBORO

357 Richmond Rd, Ottawa ON
+1 613 680 5500

KANATA

499 Terry Fox Dr #55, Ottawa ON
+1 613 435 8492

PRESTON

345A Preston Street, Ottawa ON
+1 613 422 0115

Pure Kitchen also offers customized cleanses. So if you have special wishes and/or want to organize your cleanse, you can e-mail: juice@purekitchenottawa.com

Happy juicing,

Magdalena xo

Bathing and what you need to know about it.

I love bathing! Nothing feels as good as a nice warm bath on a cold winter’s night. If you live in Canada, you know exactly what I mean. Winter gets cold, dark and long and soaking in a tub filled with warm water is a great thing to do at the end of the day.

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A cup of Epsom salts, a few drops of your favourite essential oil, maybe a good book in your hand and you can hang out in your tub all night long until your hands and feet start shriveling like prunes. I know,  because I’ve done this many times. It feels amazing to experience this relaxation and stress relief that a  tub full of water provides. And sleep always comes easily after a good soak. But if you are like me and love bathing, there are a few important things to consider before you jump into your tub next time.

Number one is the quality of your water. Why? Because while you are enjoying a lovely warm bath, your body becomes like a sponge and soaks up all the good and the ugly from your water.  And this is when chlorine immediately comes to mind.

The city uses chlorine in our water to prevent disease. Chlorine is a  very effective disinfectant, which kills disease-causing pathogens, such as bacteria, viruses, and protozoans, that commonly grow in water supply reservoirs. At the same time, chlorine is very problematic for our health and it’s a nightmare for our skin. An irritant with carcinogenic properties, chlorine is known to cause anything from skin rashes,  respiratory problems, and cancer. It is terrible for our skin and gut microflora which is essential to our health. It may also be surprising to learn that we absorb more chlorine by soaking in a tub than by drinking chlorinated water. It is actually more problematic to our health to absorb chlorine through the skin because while you bathe, chlorine gets directly into your bloodstream bypassing the initial filtration normally done by the liver when we ingest chlorinated water.

Related Post: Your Shower Is A Major Water Hog, Here’s How To Green Your Bathroom

Hot bath water opens skin pores making it easy for chlorine to be absorbed. Inhaling the steam from hot chlorinated water is also dangerous and may cause many respiratory conditions including asthma.

Number two is water sustainability. We are not the only ones on this planet.  We are so frivolous with our water! But water is sacred and should be treated as such. It takes about twenty to twenty-five gallons of water to take a very modest bath and it will take about the same amount of water to take a longer shower.  If you have a big soaker tub,
now we are talking more like 60 gallons. Hopefully, your showers are quick and you are using an eco shower head to preserve your water consumption. And hopefully, you don’t bathe in 60 gallons of water ever!

This is a very serious issue. Saving water is very important for more sustainable consumption of the planet’s resources. Having access to such basic service as drinking water comes without any effort to us but it is important to remember that 783 million people still do not have such access. So don’t ever use more than you truly need!

So in light of this information, should we give up taking a bath altogether?

The answer is no but we must do it way less and in a more mindful way. Start thinking of your bathing as special ritual, a time to cleanse and rest deeply.  Acknowledge that it is a privilege to have access to clean water.  This will become so much more than a simple soak.

Most of us don’t have a filtration system in our house and we must address the
chlorine situation.

There are easy ways to remove chlorine from our bath water through chemical neutralization.

There are several chemical compounds which can remove chlorine from the water. Sodium acorbate powder (a form of vitamin C) is a good solution since it’s easy to obtain and easy to use. You will need to add 1/4 tsp (or 1000 mg) of Sodium Ascorbate into your bath water about 5 minutes prior to bathing, giving it enough time to neutralize chlorine. Sodium Ascorbate will neutralize chloramine, which is also used to treat water and is even more dangerous than chlorine. A Canadian company Santevia makes bath filters which are made with vitamin C and are very easy to use.

Once your water is clear of chlorine and chloramine you can enhance your bath with additional ingredients for beautifying or medicinal purposes.

Adding Epsom salts will up the relaxation effect of your bath and will help to relieve soreness from your muscles.

I love adding oils to the bath, both lipid oils, and essential oils.

1 Tbsp of almond oil with a few drops of genuine lavender essential oil will leave you with lovely soft skin and ready for a deep restful sleep.

Adding oat flakes to the bath water will soothe irritated skin, any itchy rash, sunburn, dry skin, or eczema.  That’s why we run an oat bath for children suffering from chickenpox.
Place a cup of organic oat flakes in a cheese or cotton cloth and tie it with a string.  Throw it in your tub and run just hot water at first so the oat flakes will soften and make their anti-inflammatory properties available.

You can also make an herbal infusion (it’s like a strong herbal tea) with your favourite herbs and add it to your bath water. I love calendula, chamomile or mint.

Soak it up!

There is another important aspect of bathing. If you bathe mindfully it is no longer only about removing dirt from your skin.  It can be a ritual of removing and cleansing of all which does not belong to you anymore. You can mentally let go of unpleasant experiences from your day and release all that weighs you down. It is a simple yet deeply freeing practice which is greatly supported by the healing aspect of water.

Baths can be taken at night and in the morning. Night baths are usually used for relief of nervous and mental tension. They are a relaxation-inducing practice. These baths should last fifteen to twenty minutes. Morning baths are a tonic or a stimulating practice. They are best taken cooler than your night baths and ten minutes will do.

After a bath when your skin is warm and pores are open, it is a great time to apply skin healing oils. In general almond and jojoba are great choices for most. There are many lovely body oils on the market to choose from.

Finally, I want to give you one more suggestion. On a cold winter’s night when your body is chilled and you feel like you can’t warm up, treat yourself to a warm foot bath.

Neutralize the chlorine first with a tiny bit of Sodium Ascorbate. Throw some salts in and maybe add a few drops of sage or eucalyptus essential oil. Immerse your feet in the water and enjoy. You may find that this is as warming as a big tub full of water.

This is an article which I have written for The Eco Hub. You can find it HERE

Magdalena

Introducing the Marina Featherstone Exclusive Art Massage Experience.

There are few wonderful therapists around the world I have been lucky to connect with in the last couple of years. They are on my bucket list of 'treatments to experience by the best in the field'. I wish I could bring them all to Ottawa for you to meet because I know that they have something extra special to offer. I am thrilled to tell you that we will be hosting Marina Featherstone ( at the top of my bucket list:))  at Woman Divine July 18 & 19 and you will be able to experience her exquisite body massage.

Since this is a special 'pop-up' visit and Marina will be at WD Studio only for 2 days we have just a handful of openings for her beautiful treatments. So don't wait too long if you would like to have this experience because the appointments will fill up fast.

You can book your appointment with Marina Featherstone RMT by phone: 613 2167676 or by email: info@womandivine.ca

 

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This is why I do it.

If you are reading this, we probably have known each other for some time. Actually, few of my clients have been gracing my life with their presence for twenty years straight. It appears we are getting old together like a married couple. Yet many clients still ask me how my work really come about.

When I look back, I can see exactly why I have chosen this path in service. I grew up with a very nurturing mom and a very sick dad.  He was suffering very much and she was doing everything she could to make it better. Long story short, food was always freshly and mindfully prepared, we drank freshly pressed carrot juice (we are talking the 1960’s so give my mama respectJ). There was an aloe plantation living on our window sill and mom was frequently preparing healing remedies for dad. She rubbed our feet and backs with essential oils when we had colds... She never took natural healing courses. Simply put she was wise from within. She applied what she had learned from her mom, relied on her intuition and definitely listened to her heart.

From my mom I have learned the beauty and value of nurturing, compassion, inner wisdom and the desire to create harmony within and without. She has also taught me about the importance of prime quality ingredients both in food and remedy preparation. 

My dad did get better by the way and was with us until my early twenties.

Dad was a master tailor and created bespoke men’s wear. He designed and made beautiful pieces of clothing, all by hand. The process required many hours of tedious work and a lot of care. People lined up for my dad’s services because he made them feel and look great and his work was of excellent quality.

From dad, I learned about unquestionable value of a handcrafted product, high quality service and about developing caring relationships with people we serve in life.

Without a doubt, my parents’ influence stands behind my strong desire to nurture and heal and to make effective botanical skin care products.  Both parents gifted me with creativity and a deep appreciation for beauty, design and creative thinking.

I will now skip my teenage years and my early twenties as I know my parents would rather I not talk about it:)

When I came to Canada, I was immediately attracted to healing modalities and studied quite a few bla bla bla…

At one point I found myself working at the beautiful Carmichael Inn and Spa in Ottawa. It was a lovely place. Because of my suggestion the owners brought in Jurlique organic skin care line, which as you know I have worked with for many years. This is how professional organic skin care started for me and actually this is how it may have started for Ottawa. It was 20 years ago!!! We are talking times when every esthetician in the city was putting toxic stuff on people’s skin…

I will always be grateful for discovering Jurlique at that time and to the Carmichael Spa for giving me the opportunity to explore the organic skin care world. Otherwise, I probably would have never transitioned my practice from massage therapy to skin care because working with toxic products was never an option for me.

Over the years I have worked along many exceptional therapists, too many to mention. I always felt lucky to be part of the natural medicine community as I never felt part of the esthetic world and until today I have a strong dislike for the beauty industry in general.

I had come to fully understand the holistic beauty approach when Ayurveda showed up in my life. I do not remember the exact timing but one of the Ayurvedic books sitting on my shelf is marked 1997. From the get go, I was taken by the deep wisdom and applicability of the science. It helped me organize in my head what I’ve always felt in my heart but had no ability to verbalize.

Rather than the superficial model of beauty promoted by the skin care industry, Ayurveda taught about Beauty being the highest level of health, the sacred aspect of female and connectedness of all living things. It all resonated deeply within me and I felt as I have finally arrived home. The name of my business, Woman Divine, was actually inspired by these teachings.  Ayurveda also brought together my studies of spirituality, herbs, oils, touch therapies and nutrition and from this point I understood that they were most powerful and most effective when applied together.

So, today here I am in my lovely studio, aloe plants on my window sill are replaced with jars of herbal infusions. I lovingly design and handcraft my skin care products and every day I get to nurture through my treatments…  many plans for the future, many creative ideas. We’ll see how it all unfolds but one thing is for sure, without you none of this would even make sense. There would be no treatments, no products to make. I can understand now that we do find happiness in service to others and this is the greatest gift I could have gotten from my parents.

Magdalena

I thought you might like this

Hi there :-) I know, it has been a while... moving, renovations... to put it shortly there was no time or energy left for writing blog posts. I know you'll understand. Since Spring is here and I'm feeling human again, I thought I will say hello and share with you some good resources to help you with Spring cleansing if you wish to go ahead with it this season. Always a good idea.
Ok, so there are many great people offering great services and sometimes it is difficult to decide. I will give you my favourites.

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NUTRITION

Amy Longard Registered Holistic Nutritionist. You can find her here. Amy is a great, kind and caring person and very knowledgeable in the nutrition department. She does one on one consultations and offers all kinds of nutrition related workshops all around the city. If you want to take a good look at your diet and/or a Spring cleanse she is your person to book with.

Donna Davis is an avid athlete, yogi and nutrition coach. She is a very generous spirit, fun and down to earth. She periodically offers online programs geared at cleansing and nutrition. She runs a private Facebook group where people can ask questions, share recipes and such. If online is your thing you can find Donna here.

JUICING

Urban Juice Press is a very cool place founded by Justin Gauthier. Their fresh pressed juices are organic, delicious and come in glass bottles:)  You can get a single juice or choose from various package options. You can buy their juices in shop at 340 Parkdale or online here. My personal humble opinion is that juicing is a great way to clean your system up, particularly in Spring and Fall.

SIMPLE AYURVEDIC KITCHARI CLEANSE is always nice to do.  The recipe is in the previous post I have written many moons ago:) you will find it here. I would add sprouts and bitters to my kitchari cleanse in the Spring.

NATUROPATHIC DOCTORS

If you feel that you want to have a serious check up and guidance from a naturopath here two great Ottawa doctors.

Dr. Kristy Lewis at Sage Wellness specializes in women's health.

Dr. Jan Dorrell at Keenan Health Centre.

Both doctors are wonderful, down to earth and a pleasure to work with.

RESTAURANT

Pure Kitchen is my absolutely favourite in town. Vegetarian with many vegan option and their fresh pressed juices are delicious. 'Healed' is my #1

SKIN CARE

When seasons change, it is a great time to get a face treatment and to take a look at your home routine. You know where to find me:)

So there you have it. I hope you find this helpful.

All best,
Magdalena

Ps. If you have not been to my new studio yet, I must tell you I really love it. It is bright and sunny and... I just love it!!!

It's that time of the year again!

I am just back from my trip to Poland and this is my first weekend at home. Since I was eager for a visit  (my very first this season) to the Ottawa Farmers' Market and the weather was lovely, Tony and I headed out this morning to the Brewer Park location. As anticipated it is great, filled with awesome people and amazing local produce. 

If you have not done so yet check out the Ottawa Farmers' Market website for info on vendors and hours and for some great recipes.

I hope the farmers' market movement keeps growing and we will get to experience more and more of wonderful locally and organically grown food.  

Make sure to eat lots of fresh veggies and fruit this season, support your local growers and keep healthy. 

...and remember HEALTHY BODY= HEALTHY SKIN

Here are few of today's pics.

Hyper local organic calendula oil

This is a solar oil infusion prepared from organic locally grown plant material: calendula flowers by Anne Janssen from Aylmer Backyard Farms and cold-pressed sunflower oil by Huiles d’Amerique located just outside of Aylmer, Quebec.

calendula oil at woman divine Ottawa

calendula oil at woman divine Ottawa

I prepare this infusion all by hand in small batches to assure its freshness and quality.

Beautiful golden calendula petals were first slowly dehydrated at a very low heat to protect their healing integrity. They then were suspended in sunflower oil for a period of six weeks and exposed to the sun and moonlight to assist the process of infusing the sunflower oil with the goodness of calendula flowers. This process married the medicinal properties of both plant materials creating a potent skin healing synergy.

Calendula oil is traditionally used in Herbal Medicine to help relieve skin inflammations and irritations and to aid in wound healing. It is soothing and healing and perfect for the treatment of dry skin, redness, skin irritation, chapped skin, bruises, cradle cap, diaper rash, and sore or inflamed muscles. Calendula oil is also valued for treating radiation-induced dermatitis.

It is exceptional for those with sensitive skin. It is also gentle enough to use for babies and children.

calendula oil at woman divine Ottawa

calendula oil at woman divine Ottawa

50ml - $20

to order: call 613 2167676 or email info@womandivine.ca 

Tired of looking for a perfect skin care product? Make your own and have fun doing it!

Last Saturday I was in Almonte, hanging out with an amazing group of women from the Rising Sun Yoga Studio.  As Pure As It Can Be Workshop in action... we were playing in a lovely kitchen making our very own, all pure, healthy and natural beauty products.

It feels very good, getting together with a group of women sharing wisdom, interests and a good laugh.

We made some cool products to take home. Hopefully this is just the beginning and everyone is inspired to create more.

This is what some of the women said about their experience.

I really enjoyed your presentation and what you do is of great interest to me also. It’s funny, you reminded me of when I was a little girl and I used to go into the kitchen, the garden and my mother’s cosmetics and experiment with making my own lotions and potions...

I love all of the products we made.

I believe it is so important for women to share and support each other as you are with your business!
— Leigh
Amazing and simple.
— Angelina
Loved every minute!
— Jennifer
Everything was so well organized and presented beautifully.
— Mary

Thank you Almonte Rising Sun Yoga I had an amazing time with you!

Magdalena

If you are interested in hosting one of my workshops or would like to join the next available one or simply would like more info, contact me at info@womandivine.ca or by phone: 613 2167676