Friday, July 15, 2016

A dose of nature for Mental Well Being?

Been feeling quite down lately as well as dealing with weird reoccurring illness shit. Trying to figure out what helps to lift the mood including some diet changes, upping vitamins, some exercise, walks etc but realized something. When I am in my little garden tending to the veggies and fruit some kind of peace comes over me. Today I just sat for 5 minutes while a plump bee did his rounds inspecting each yellow cucumber flower for some treats and buzzed as he moved to the next one. For 5 min I just peaceful and forgot the fog that often clouds my brain and the weight that's so heavy it makes me exhausted.

  I was diagnosed with Bipolar II in 2008 and even though I don't think I have this as my symptoms don't fit, I obviously have a life long mental illness that can pop it's head up at any moment to bite me in the ass. It affects my daily life, it affects my creativity and the ability to get as much done as I would like to. Each day is a challenge to keep moving and not let the cloud engulf me. Obviously nature is some kind of key to me coping better so I think I have to push myself out into the woods more often and see what happens. For those of you out there also fighting your own battle with mental illness. You're not alone x.
‪#‎iamnotashamed‬‪#‎nature‬‪#‎depression‬‪#‎sicknotweak‬‪#‎mentalhealth‬



Tuesday, May 31, 2016

May travels to Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Liechstenstein

We have been gallivanting all around Europe during May playing shows in Germany, Austria and Switzerland with a few days off in Liechtenstein: my favourite of the smaller countries.

Thanks to everyone who came out to one of the shows at the Stuttgart Vegan Street Day Festival, Widnau Switzerland, Emsiana Kulturfest in Hohenems Austria, Wasserburg Germany, Bregenz and Schwaz Austria. Also thanks go to people who put us up and fed us in Switzerland, Austria as well as in Liechtenstein. We are grateful for your hospitality.

Lowlights:

* Getting a cable car to the top of the mountain in AT and realizing we couldn't see a thing
* The lack of decent vegan food at times which meant I was often hungry
* The rude guy at the Wasserburg show
* Never having enough time to spend with everyone we liked
* The awful pain in our legs after a wet 3 hour hike down a mountain the next day
* Not so great sound on stage at a couple of locations
* Hotel breakfasts....ugh. Never any vegan options. And that reconstituted orange juice.
* Saying goodbye to the mountains....and all the cats :P

Highlights:

* The weather held out for most of the tour so we got to take some hikes and walks
* Staying with a vegan couple in Stuttgart who had rescued Chinchillas from a fur farm
* Container/dumpster diving in Switzerland with my Liechenstein friends
* Making lunch with all the rescued food the next day
* All the cool people in Hohenems Austria. You're all bonkers, in a good way. :)
* Bike riding to the Rhein in Liechstenstein
* All the cats we met along the way
* The mountains
* The care package of local beer, chocolate and marmalade from Das Ladenlokal in Widnau
* Playing a Bösendorfer piano in Schwaz
* Vegan strudel @ Strudelhof in Magdeburg
* Leaving a note about a mouldy lemon in a shop window in St Gallen Switzerland







Tuesday, September 08, 2015

How it all Began


5 Years ago exactly to this day I began a great journey, hitchhiking from Toronto to Vancouver with only $20 in my pocket eventually teaching myself enough guitar that I could live from shows. Right now I would have been sleeping in Desbarats Ontario and by morning I would witness the birth of a cow and then head out onto the country road to get my next ride.

Within a few days I would be picked up by Jann Arden's brother, share meals with truck drivers, stay with an elderly Christian couple who grew 80% of their own food under Saskatchewan skies in rural fields and give advice to a crying American woman whose son had just come out and she didn't know what to do. In Vancouver I would continue down south sharing shows with my Swedish friend all the way from Portland down to Arizona, Texas, New Orleans and then all the way up to New York and Vermont via greyhound bus for about 6 weeks. This intense relationship would nearly kill me but I would find peace again alone on the road for another 6 weeks bussing West from New York to Portland, seeing old friends and making some new, watching the Autumn colours slip into winter, living off donations and food from gigs in cafes, staying with couch surfers, fighting a two week cold in Cleveland and dragging myself onto the bus again, making it to Portland $200 richer after my host in Boise Idaho pushed an envelope into my hand at the bus station saying, 'we have more than enough, use this to follow your dream'.

From November in Portland I stayed in a house with some art students for a few weeks and fell in love like a dumb teenager. We watched The Walking Dead, drank too much and they liked my burritos. I pretended I was brave when we said goodbye but the truth is, music was all that kept me going for a while. And I wonder, did he ever put those words into song?

So weird to look back on all of this again, like an alarm just went off in me for some kind of anniversary. Or a reminder to have more adventures. Or both.

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

5% of CD sales to the following animal charities for Early August








For the first handful of shows in Canada during August I gave 5% of my CD sales to the following animal charities. Please check out the good work they are doing to help our animal friends.
https://www.facebook.com/BEDRlife
https://www.facebook.com/reginacatrescue
https://www.facebook.com/groups/235145510019672/


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Green Mood Booster Juice

Some of you know that I have battled with pretty serious depression since my early 20's. With a lot of hard work and life changes I have been able to get it to a manageable level over the past few years but I still have some pretty tough days. One of the things I believe is that a healthy diet can do wonders for the mind. I did a lot of research on this topic and came to the conclusion that a diet high in raw and uncooked foods can be really beneficial for people who suffer from depression and mood disorders, especially people with bipolar and ADD because of how the brain chemistry works. 

Over the past few months I began to eat a lot more uncooked foods, then smoothies and now I juice as much as I can. A lot of people scoff at this but I can tell you that for me when my diet is loaded with fresh fruit and veg, it really makes a difference to my mood. It's such a shame that when you go to the doctor for depression the first thing they usually do is push pills on you, pills that cause side effects loaded with chemicals that we have no idea how we will be affected by 20 years down the line. Don't get me wrong, sometimes a person is in such a bad state that they need a little help short term for their own safety, but this should only be used if there is no other option and more safe, logical and healthy options should also be advised by the doctor. A friend recently told me that doctors only have a few days of training in nutrition as part of their training which for me is crazy. I think it's important they know more about nutrition and how the body and mind works in relation to this. But if they can't arm us with the knowledge to help ourselves, then we need to take matters into our own hands and educate ourselves. 

So if you're feeling a bit down try this for a few days. Even if you don't have a juicer you can make do with a big salad bowl, a giant strainer or sieve and a wooden spoon to push the juice through the pulp. Honestly, it only takes 15 min of your time and how long would you spend cooking a delicious meal? 15 min to improve your mood and supply you with lots of vitamins and minerals that will help your body every day doesn't seem like a lot now does it? 

Healthy Boosting!

Green Mood Booster Juice

1 cup spinach or nettle 
1 pear
big slice of yellow watermelon
1/2 lime
big chunk of ginger
small handful of lemon balm
half cucumber
1 apple
little water to help it blend

Change the amounts to your liking and tastes. Blend for a few minutes, pour into sieve and strain, compost the little pulp left over, drink and reap the benefits.




Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Dear Maya Angelou.

Thank you for your beautiful words, hope and wisdom. Thank you for your endless light, energy and fierce strength. Thank you for fighting for and giving voices to African American women and men for over 50 years and countless others. I've been reading your poetry and books since I was teenager and 'I know why the caged bird sings' never failed to give me comfort when I felt alone, hurt and lost. Thank you for giving me the seeds in learning to believe in myself. You will not be forgotten. R.I.P

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” 


Maya Angelou

Tuesday, June 03, 2014


I just wanted give a shout out to everyone this past week who helped organize a gig for us, gave us a bed, cooked us a meal, showed us around their town and came to a show. Lukas Creswell-Rost and I had a lovely time in Switzerland, Austria, Liechtenstein and Germany are very grateful. Thanks and see you again. Oh and for those of you who wanted to know more about Luke. You can find him here: www.facebook.com/lukascreswellrostmusic and listen to his newest track at soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/lukascreswellrost
I took this photo in a field on the mountain in Feldkirch Austria. Such a beautiful spot.