The Thin Blue Line

When I first came to Tofino in 2014, I was immediately in love.

Looking out to the Pacific Ocean
Looking out to the Pacific Ocean

I loved the oceans, the vast spaces, the abundance of sea life on the rocks and in the rock pools. This love has stayed and everytime that I come back to visit, it is like I have entered a new world. I am very excited to announce that I am moving back in May and I cannot wait to become part of the community again.

One of the great things about the Tofino community is the strong ties with the land and the desire to conserve this unique landscape. People here are very aware of the effects of fish farms, logging and oil tankers coming up and down the coast, and how they affect the fragile ocean ecosystems. Currently, the Pacific Rim Whale Festival is happening. It is a month dedicated to educating locals and tourists alike on the oceans and all that live there, but especially the whales. It also ties in with the annual migration of the whales back up to the frigid Arctic waters.

I have just gotten back from a fantastic talk by Paul Nicklen and Cristina Mittermeier. They are two photographic journalists that have dedicated their lives to showing the world the beauty of the oceans and all that live within them. Their passion for nature and protecting it is contagious and  I now sit here in my room, feeling overwhelmed and sad at all that we are doing to our environment. Why do we need to be so greedy?

I know that there is a lot of greenwashing on the internet and it is impossible to go a day without seeing a environment destruction video on facebook, to the point where you just keep skipping them.

But when I saw Paul and Cristina talk and when I saw how the community that I love connected with their message and wanted to know more, you realise that these scary things are not in some far off country, they are just in our backyard.

A photo posted by Paul Nicklen (@paulnicklen) on

Paul and Cristina are campaigning to have protected marine parks in Canada to allow for ocean life to regenerate. They are doing this through their powerful skills of photography to engage us with the lives under the surface that we cannot see. Currently, only 1% of Canada’s oceans are protected but if we all become aware of the issues of the oceans, we can campaign to try and get 20% by 2020.

All movements start from the ground and build themselves up so I leave you with a link of the beautiful videos that Paul and Cristina made for their non-profit organisation Sea Legacy

I may be one person but from me writing this post for you, you can maybe start to become aware of what is happening to your oceans.

I really want to know if this resonates with you too? How do you feel about the health of our oceans?

Let me know below, much love, Olivia xx

A movie review :: “That Sugar Film”

A movie review of that sugar film

David Attenborough is my hero!

When I was a kid, if I got to watch one of his documentaries, I was in heaven! Don’t worry, I also liked the normal kid movies too but there was always something so majestic about David’s description of animals and I just wanted to be there with him, learning about the world that I live in. I also wanted to be a vet at the time and have a pet elephant!

 

Exploring the world around me. Mainly the ground because I fell over!
Exploring the world around me. Mainly the ground because I fell over! Hiking can be dangerous…

 

Fast forward 20 something years and I am still obsessed with learning about the world around me. I love a good documentary but lately, I have been avoiding any concerning food because they have all made me feel guilty for the way that I eat…until I came across “That Sugar Film

A little bit about me and sugar first…

When I was 19, I was diagnosed with candida by a naturopath and had recently just come off an intense round of antibiotics because I had Helicobacter pylori in my gut (the bacteria that causes stomach ulcers and is usually an issue for 50 year olds). I looked fit and healthy, but on the inside, I was battling constant stomach pain, nausea and feeling crappy all over.

My naturopath recommended that I go on an “elimination diet” which took out more than it allowed in, so I was pretty bummed…

No gluten, dairy, soy, yeast, meat products and most importantly, no SUGAR!

This was nearly 10 years ago, when gluten free was not widely available (especially in Darwin, Australia) and no one I knew was a vegetarian, let alone a vegan! The hardest thing out of everything for me was the sugar. I quickly realised that it was in EVERYTHING and although the first few weeks were tough, I slowly learnt how to live on this elimination diet, while enjoying food again. If it wasn’t for this book, “Cooking Without” by Barbara Cousins,  I wouldn’t have been able to do it!

 

On this elimination diet, I started to feel good, and then I started to feel great!

My stomach pain stopped, I wasn’t bloated all the time, my mind was so clear and I had waaaay too much energy if I didn’t exercise. My gut healed and eventually, I allowed different foods back into my diet. If you are wondering why I didn’t stay on the diet for the rest of my life, I will let you know right now, avoiding that many foods makes life pretty lonely. Going for dinner with friends is a nightmare and you have to remember, I was 19. I wanted to live, I wanted a peaceful relationship with food, not one consumed with fear!

 

When I was on the elimination diet... I was super fit and also a super pain in the butt to cook for!
When I was on the elimination diet… I was super fit and also a super pain in the butt to cook for!

 

Since then, I have always been conscious of which foods affect my body and one that stands out is sugar. Last year, I bought the book “I Quit Sugar: Your Complete 8-Week Detox Program and Cookbook” and I tried Sarah Wilson’s method of ridding sugar from my life. What a great program! If I had that when I was 19, I would probably would have stayed off the sweet stuff forever! Now, I will eat foods with refined sugar in them, but only when eating out or at a friend’s house. When cooking for myself, the only sugar in my house is in my dark chocolate and I feel like I have a pretty good balance. I eat foods because they make me feel good, not because I fear that if I don’t eat them, I will get fat/cancer/diabetes ect.

 

If you have ever told someone that you have quit sugar, they will always give you a weird look and you can explain until you are blue in the face, the effects of it on your body but eventually, their eyes will glaze over and they will go back to their triple glazed donut without a second thought. Hence why I just don’t tell people or try to convert them.

 

Enter “That Sugar Film

 

It’s about a guy called Damon, who hasn’t eaten refined sugar in 2 years and because he is curious, he decides to adopt a “healthy” Australian diet. A diet, which consists of about 40 teaspoons of refined sugar (or 160g) a day!

Spoiler alert but his health goes downhill alarmingly quick and you know this because he has a team of health experts, monitoring him through his journey. He basically replaces all his “high fat” meals with “low fat” and although he is consuming the exact same amount of calories, and doing the same amount of exercise, Damon is putting on weight fast and feeling like a piece of poo!

So, this movie sounds like a downer but it is actually hilarious! I watched it with a friend and we were often in stitches, in between being in shock! Hands down, the most confronting thing for me was watching Damon eat cubes of sugar, instead of the added sugar in the foods. YUK YUK YUK! There is also a scene that involves a dentist, but that is all that I am going to say about that.

Another great thing about this film was that it didn’t make me feel guilty for how I eat. It just presented the facts and then left off with a happy ending for Daemon because he felt better when he got off the sugar. I didn’t feel fear, like many other documentaries, I just felt informed and empowered and that is how everyone should feel.

If you want to know more, watch the trailer for That Sugar Film, or even better, watch the whole movie.

 

Let me know what you think of removing the amount of processed sugar in your diet. Could you do it? Have you ever tried?

 

Let me know by leaving a comment below or on my facebook page.

 

Have a great day groovers, Olivia xx