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Owner, "MAP Wellness" - a culinary nutrition and wellness company. Writer. Passionate cook, raw food chef, reiki practitioner, yoga teacher, and LIVE WELL educator. ​do yoga. enjoy good food. run. plant food. cook. savour wine. read books. buy good food. love. grow your energy. find peace. enjoy food. have passion. skip. eat food. do yoga. listen to jazz. have presence. be present. bike. read. see. hear. be. live. love.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


Today I am reminded about the impermanence of things.  Of life, of ideas, of the present.

We all have those certain reference points in our lives that are constant - unchanging, solid.  People, places and things that we assume will be with us for always, comforts in our minds, safe places in our memories, infinite signs of our foundation and roots.

For me, some of those things consist of the farm I grew up on, my faith in God, my love of peanut butter, the seasons, my scars, the clouds in the sky, sarcasm.  My family.

Well, the house I grew up in has long been sold, my faith in the Catholic religion long questioned, but the rest remain firm - mostly. 

I think it is pretty safe to say that taking for granted our families just may be the common thread sewn throughout all of humanity.  At some point in our lives, I think we all function on the assumption that even if left unattended, our brood will be there when we need them, ready to welcome with open arms, our absent selves.  We may nurture our outside-of-the-family affiliations with more attention, knowing that our house is firmly in place and in wait.   I fully admit that my relations with my close and immediate nuclear clan has been less than stellar at times.  And I have beaten myself up for it time and time again ever since my father's passing in May 2011.  In a recent conversation, I explained to a colleague about my family's history - that I had never met my Grandpa Alec Pearson, as he died young of a heart attack before my birth.  The Pearson clan also lost a member in the 1990's, when my Uncle Jim was killed in a car accident on his way to teach at a University in Montreal.  Even after all this, I still have this unfounded sense that family will always be there. 

Growing up, I remember royal blue carpets, root beer floats, potato chips, and golden yellow Imperial Margarine.  I recall carpet burns from too much playing in the upstairs hallway, "The Never-ending Story" on video cassette, and jello salad.  I remember $20 bills at Christmas and Birthdays, too soggy Kraft Dinner, and shopping at Masonville Mall in London Ontario.  That was childhood according to me and my visits to Grandmas.  Simple.  Delicious.  Real.

Growing up I didn't see my extended family much more that two, three, four times a year.  But when I did, we were all there, all accounted for, all present.  But things change.  And we have loss.  And the present is all that is guaranteed. 

Edna Pearson, the matriarch of the Pearson clan made it to 94 years of age.  Her mother, my Great Grandma McWilliam lived longer than a century.  I had always assumed that it was in our blood line to live forever.  So imagine my shock when my dear dad became so ill at 62 and never made it to 64.  And now, as I grapple with the fact that my Grams has met her time, it still manages to shake me to my core.  It is my roots, my history, my genes that are disappearing. 

So today, I recognize the impermanence of everything.  The good and the bad.  I realize that we must appreciate, love, accept and move past from all that we have in the moment, as that is really all we ever have.  Nothing is forever, but memories come pretty darn close. 

I love you Grandma P, you led an inspired life.  We will miss you here on earth.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Huffington Post: My New Home Away From Home?

Hello my friends! I have been sowing and growing my seeds of intention...

Things have been firing off fast and feverishly in my world as of late - so much has been happening that I have again been neglectful in my visits here.  I do hope that you might forgive me when I tell you of a few exciting new developments....

1.  I officially have 2 paying clients for my new business venture MAP Wellness.  Yup!  and YAY!  I have been trying to figure out my new schedule as it serves both them and myself, and have been toiling with the less fun aspects of running a small business: proper budgets, overhead, and legalities!

2. I am also one of the newest contributors for Huffington Post Canada's Living site!!  YES!  This is something that has just come into fruition over the course of the last week and a half, and I am so, so, so excited about it and all that it will allow me to explore in this new world of mine. 

Add to this the fact that I am still playing "catch-up" on many dinner dates and social calls, trying to spend as many minutes as I can poolside here at my home base, and that I can not get enough time outdoors on my bicyle, and life just seems like a blur of wonderful, whimsical happenings!

Oh - so if you missed it, I am blogging recipes for Huffington Post.  

Here is the link:

Love, love, love, love.  

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Stuff & Things

Sunday!  The start of another new week full of potential.  I have written about my love of Sunday mornings in the past (see here), and today I woke up feeling even more inspired than usual.  For many, many reasons.  First?  This:

Booth Stars » 08 Scorpio

Scorpio- Sunday, July 15, 2012

Whatever is wrong now will soon be put right. Your quest for a recovery from a harsh turn of events will be achieved. Your prayers will be answered. There is no turning back from where you are going. So, take it all the way. An exciting chapter in your life is now being written.

I mean, come on!  Does it GET any better than that?  All that is wrong will be made right.  Cool.  Quest for recovery from a harsh turn of events?  Hello, harsh 2009 through to 2011.  Prayers?  Oh I have been praying alright.  Exciting chapter?  Oh I got this.

Yup, today I am feeling mighty fine.  I was up with the dawn for a humid run, and have puttered away in my kitchen til now.  Breakfast on my balcony amongst my lush green tropical plants, with coffee, my laptop and my neighbourhood birds singing is a delightful way to really kick off the day.  Later on I am off to meet with the fellow that I have been working with behind the scenes in the design of my new business's logo and colour scheme - all part of my soon-to-launch wellness company, MAP Wellness.  This past week I secured my very first client, and have the promise for two more to sign on in the coming week!  These pre-launch customers will provide valuable "rehearsal" time to get me into the small biz head space, and hopefully will support my goals via some valuable testimonials and the opportunity for some biz-model troubleshooting.

I also have a few meetings set up in the coming weeks - and not to give too much away, but I may have found a niche market to kick off my culinary workshop circuit, and I may also have found my first real (local!) restaurant to do some recipe development for!  Such excitement.

New recipe creation: Carrot Chia Muffins

As for the rest of things - well, let's just say I am feeling quite amorous right now, with a light flutter of butterfly wings twittering away deep in my belly. 

And it is NOT because I am on book #2 of the "Fifty Shades" trilogy.*blush*

I am in the midst of planning a girls' bicycle tour of Niagara-On-The-Lake here in Ontario (knocking yet another item off of my "To Live List!"), and to that end I am excited to be having lunch this week with the charming "Wine Sisters".  They are a delightful duo with mad skills regarding all things vino - hopefully our meeting will help map my route and perhaps net me some insider tips!

I have also signed on for another month of Booty Camp - this time challenging myself with their brand-spanking new "Booty Fit Express" - based on the ever popular HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) notion.  Did I mention these group classes take place in a park?  Like, outdoors?  And they are only 30 minutes long!  Sweetness. 

And now just for a couple of shout-outs to some ladies I love.  If you have a moment, surf on over and check these darling gals out:

Christa is a positive, inspiring, food-loving blogger from Western Canada.  She has only just begun her journey into the bloggersphere, but it's a real treat!  Her blog:

Sonnet is a holistic health coach based out of Seattle Washington.  I have been reading her whimsical, witty and wonderful food musings for a while now and she never disappoints.  Here recipes, humour and honesty make me smile every time I load up her page in my browser.  Get the goods at
Well folks that is all for today.  I am grateful for all of you that are reading!


UPDATE:  Check out MONDAY'S 'scope:

Scorpio- Monday, July 16, 2012
Posted: 15 Jul 2012 09:00 PM PDT
Uranus is awakening the innovator within you. An established way of doing things has had its day. The status quo is refusing to loosen its grip, but it cannot hold on to its position for much longer against the winds of change that are now blowing so fiercely. The opportunity you have been looking for to re-write the rulebook is before you.

I mean, really.  LOVE.

Friday, July 6, 2012

6 hours of YOGA

Hello all!  Just an update here:  I have decided NOT to continue on my social media free month after all.  Yes, I only lasted 6 days.  But I am choosing to go back online because I can. I am a consenting adult and have the power to make that decision.  After writing the below posting about yoga and extremes, I realized that I was again acting out in my particular way - with my all or nothing mentality - and it had gotten the better of me.  So I have concluded that I need not withdrawal completely online to prove to myself that I can tame my addiction there; all I need to do is cope differently.  So that is what I plan to do.  Limits, time frames, checkpoints and all.  So there.

When you think yoga, you don't usually associate it with the word challenge. At least I don't - anymore.  There was a time that yes, I truly fought against myself on the mat, pushed myself too far, drove my limbs to do things that they sometimes just didn't want to do.  I went so far as to injure my knee so badly that I had to take a break not only from class, but also from my daily run.  That is serious. Granted, even though I was putting my body under a ton of undue stress, it still was very healing for me in many ways.  I turned to Bikram yoga at a time in my life that I needed not only a distraction, but also an avenue to exert excess stresses, work out my body, and have some time just for me.  And I am grateful for all it gave me then.  It was only when I found myself becoming obsessive about those 26 postures; when I was starting to go beyond the parameters of regular practice; did I realize that I needed to ease off of my 43 degree "torture chamber" (Bikram's words, not mine) addiction.  And so I did.  Now, I feel much more at peace with my practice, and choose more variety in my yogic classes to include everything from standard hatha, to restorative, Yin, Vinyasa, and the odd hot one.

This is why, when I discovered that the ALS society was developing its first annual ALS Yoga Challenge, I was a tad hesitant to sign up.  But after reading the websites introductory sentence yet again, I had to put my name on the roster:

Most people diagnosed with ALS lose the ability to use their arms and legs in the first two years of the disease. What would you do, while you still could?

So I am doing it.  On August 18, 2012 myself and hundreds of others will attend a fun-filled day of yoga as we move our bodies for those who no longer can.

I am doing it for my father, an athlete who was active in sport into his late fifties and early sixties; slow-pitch, volleyball, golf and hockey his activities of choice.  He was a runner, a biker, and a dancer, with a regular bedside routine of push-ups and crunches every morning.  He revelled in his body's strength, honoured all his muscles could do for him, and never took advantage.

Go figure it would be a debilitating disease like ALS that would eventually steal his life, after quickly rendering many of his muscles virtually useless.  Had it not been for my fathers paralleling fight with FTD (frontotemporal dementia) I am sure he would have been frustratingly distraught over his quickly atrophying limbs.  The transition from him walking, to walker, to wheelchair happened in a blink of an eye.

And so I will bend and sway in memory of him, to show my love for him, and in the hope that one day there may be a cure for the disease that took my daddy away far too soon. 

If you would like to sponsor me in my day of yoga, you can do so here:

ALS yoga Challenge!


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Canada Day Weekend: In Pictures

Reminder:  I am not on my social media websites for the month of July!  Why?  Find out here.  In the meantime, check out my new "Contact Me" tab if you'd like to get a hold of me pre-August!

Ah, summer-time long weekends.  A chance to get away from the city, breathe clean air, and unwind with the warm breeze, backyard BBQs, and family. 

This past Friday, after an extraordinarily busy week at work, I welcomed my 2 hour bus ride that would whisk me off from Toronto to London, the nearest transit terminal to my hometown in South Western Ontario.  With backpack, snacks, and book in hand, I travelled the long stretch of highway 401 with the anticipation of a child, eager to settle in for some real, sweet, chill-time.

Us Pearson's have many a tradition when it comes to Canada Day celebrations, and it was bitter sweet to replay many of them this year with the entire family...minus one. 

Here, a glimpse into the goings on...(taken with my Android phone; apologies for the lack-luster image quality!)

 Shady fun away from the sun...

Scenes from my morning run - very different from the views and routes I get in Toronto!  That pretty home there, is my old farmhouse...the place I grew up.  Six and a half acres in the country, and I even got to see my old horse Kokomo grazing in the hayfield! (We sold him with the land when mom & dad moved into town)

  More amazing sights discovered on my 5K dash - flowers, fields, and fresh country air!

All decked out in red! My brother-in-law, niece and nephews all ready for the firemens' pancake breakfast!

Mom, myself & sister B.  Post-bite, it was outside to explore the antique car displays.  Dad used to LOVE this annual event!

  Balloon swords & glow necklaces - does it get ANY better? 

And one more - me at the park in my patriotic colours.  Thanks to big sis S for instagram-ming!

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Bye, Bye, Profiles...

I'm going "offline".  For one month.  By "offline", I do of course mean that I am ditching my beloved Twitter and Facebook accounts in favor of simpler living.

Why am I pursuing this brief trip into a life less-connected?  Many reasons, but my main inspiration came from two places. One: My recent stay at Shanti Retreat, a yoga oasis in Eastern Ontario.  The second?  A recent blog post by my sisters dear friend Kathryn that documented when she too, challenged herself to go Facebook-free back in 2009 in an effort to raise money for FTD research (Frontotemporal Dementia was my father's primary diagnosis when he became ill).

During my stay at Shanti, I was in awe of the residents' blissful ignorance when it came to current events, pop culture, and news.  On the day that I arrived there, Nik Wallenda was set to be making his world famous jaunt across Niagara Falls on a tightrope - a news story that had been splashed across every paper's front page, news stations broadcast, and social media forum for weeks, even months.  My hosts at Shanti had no idea who he was.

So fast forward to now;  I have been feeling like a slave to the web, and I do not like it.  There have been far too many hours sucked away by the vacuum that is the Twitter-sphere, far too many minutes lost to Face-crook.  I hate - okay too strong a word- I am disturbed by my constant desire to know all that goes on within my online communities whether it be the grand group of nutritionistas (thanks Meghan Telpner for that word!) I've come to know via tweeting, or the massive amalgamation of media mavens I connect with via Facebook.  It bugs me that after a long, busy day away from my "screens", I feel the need to catch up, and as a result spend countless hours scrolling through my feeds, "nourishing" my mind with all the juicy details of the days' events.

It's an addiction.  Another obsession that I feel I need to break away from a while, even just to prove to myself that I can.  

Granted, I do realize that there are remarkable positive aspects to these daily feeds, and that my being able to build such internet intimacies does not come without benefit.  I am grateful for all of the real-life friendships and personal connections I have made with like-minded folk I have been united with online.  That I can not deny.  I treasure the connectivity that these worlds make possible, and I realize the potent capabilities that they will provide for the growth and development of my forthcoming wellness business.

For now though, I want quiet.  I wish to relax that sector of my psyche that thinks I must be in-tune with every little detail, every action, every event that is going on in my

I want to stop and smell the roses, the lilacs, the freshly cut grass.  Hear the birds sing and feel the warm sun on my face and smooth summer breeze against my back.

This July, I plan to read much (I have an extensive reading list of yoga philosophy books for my upcoming teacher training as well as some summer smut; hello Fifty Shades trilogy).  I will cook much, and rest much, and also hope to schedule in some long overdue face-time with friends and family that I haven't been able to commit a lot of time to with my recently overloaded calendar and course regime.  Presumably, I will be able to allot more time to my writing as well, and thus plan to blog here more often, and will also continue to putter away at my novel.

I have a sinking feeling that this month will feel like a detox in every sense of the word, withdrawals and all, so I plan to prepare and cope accordingly.  As suggested by Ms. Kathryn in her facebook-free blog post, I will, by end of day today,log-out and/or suspend both my Twitter and Facebook profiles and remove my internet shortcuts for both.  I will delete the applications from my smart phone as well, thus hopefully, removing all easily accessible temptations.

And so, on this final day of updates (I know, talk about drama-queen here, huh?), I ask that you all have patience with me, as I can bet that during this month long mission, I will miss a birthday or two, skip out on an event or three, and I may be tardy in my replies via my now only methods of communication - phone and email.

If anyone wants to chat, please feel free to connect with me here on the blog via my shiny new "Contact Me" tab in the upper left corner of the page.  If you already have my personal information, then email me!  Text me!  Or *gasp* call me!  I'd love to see you face-to-face.

I look forward to my quiet, real, and present time away.

Until August... 

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Culinary Nutrition Expert!! That's Me!

Phew.  June has marked the official end of my three month in-depth journey of food for health with Meghan Telpner, finding my way through her kitchen, out of the processed food box, and into my own culinary cuisine philosophy. 

In the last few weeks, I have handed in my final essay assignment, completed my apprenticeship hours, and mailed off all of the necessary paperwork.  Complete.  This comprehensive, in-depth Culinary Nutrition Expert Course designed by Meghan, is unique, inspiring, and a real commitment, but man-oh-man is it also super life-changing and SO worth it.  I feel so blessed to have been able to enroll and be one of the 12 fabulous ladies to take away all the brilliant information acquired and now embark on an entirely new journey of my own.  I can do this armed with an expansive arsenal of skills and experience, and feel super-charged to get the ball rolling!

Since early March, myself and a group of like-minded women from all different walks of life congregated in Ms. Telpner's cooking studio to learn the tricks of her trade.  This flock of fabulousness came from a wide range of age groups; from twenty-something’s to retirees, and included a Naturopathic Doctor, Fitness Company CEO, health food suppliers and distributers, PR folk, myself, and many moms.  A group that may not have otherwise crossed paths, but was brought together with one common goal; to learn all that we could about healing our bodies with clean, real, whole food. 

And learn we did.  Meghan is a ball of bravado, with personal experience to back up all of her nutritional beliefs.  Having healed herself of Crohn's disease through diet just five years ago, she has the goods that make her an expert in her field.  Not only does Meghan teach the biological and nutritional reasons why certain foods are great for you, but she also focuses on how to make that same food taste sublime.  Flavour is never forgotten, in fact it is always at the forefront of every recipe she creates.  In class, we had the opportunity to not only taste these creations, but got to try our own hands at whipping them up from scratch as part of the cooking class portion of the program.  And we ate like Queens!

To that end, if I were to say that the research and theory portion of the course was merely adequate, I would be making a massive understatement.  It was in fact, quite expansive, and I learned a truckload.  At the same time though, I was pleasantly surprised by how much nutrition information I already knew!  I guess my years exploring various cuisines, reading countless cookbooks and foodie websites, and flipping through magazine after magazine about health and wellness have really paid off.  I went into Meghan's classes with a strong foundation, but left with the real deal – the ability to build solid recipes and meal plans for health, with integrity. 

Mmm! A few of the tantalizing tasty plates from class, plus me teaching!  

Upon completetion of the course, teacher extraordinaire Meghan Telpner created the below beautiful video.  It is a great inside look at what goes on in her kitchen, and a superb testimonial to the great work that she does and the lives that she changes: 

For her full write-up & reflection on the course, check out her blog entry here:

So what do I plan on doing now?  Now that I am certified?  Well, in addition to my new role as CNE, I have also recently certified as raw food chef via Alissa Cohen's "Living on Live Foods" course. I am a level 2 chef under her guidelines, which means that I am now trained to teach and train others about the lifestyle and foods that are an integral part of this healing way of eating.  My decision to nab these additional qualifications sort of came on whim, but since my first introduction into the raw food way of life back in 2009, I have always held a special interest in the distinct flavour and complexity of living food recipes.  As I follow an entirely plant based diet myself, it was only fitting that I acquire the credentials to share the food I love to make with others, and perhaps turn a few everyday meat eaters into raw food lovers along the way! 

And now what?  Well, I have a few things in the works that include furthering my skills as raw chef in my very own kitchen, and have begun to develop some great new recipes of my own (I’m thumbing my way through Doug McNish’s recipe book “Eat Raw, Eat Well" for inspiration!).  I am also drumming up a few more workshop ideas to pitch around town, and am in the midst of designing a new fancy-pants company logo and kick-ass website to match.

In this moment, I am really looking forward to some down time over the summer and will spend much time cooking, un-cooking, reading and relaxing.  But believe you me, I plan to kick it into high-gear again in the fall when I will officially be launching MAP Wellness, my new company, my new baby.

Until then, stay tuned for the launch of my new URL, and keep coming back here for updates people!

Love, love, love.