URBAN HIPPIE: Rainbow Foods to start selling meat



Rainbow Foods enters a new era that sees the store selling meat for the first time in its 36-year existence

Rainbow Foods — the health food store that has long been a destination for those who seek all things healthy, vegetarian, gluten-free, and organic — has announced that it will begin selling meat for the first time.

According to Mischa Kaplan, who, along with his wife, has taken over the business his parents founded in 1978 (Mom and Dad are still involved in a mentoring capacity), says the decision was not motivated by financial concerns, but rather to meet customer demand.

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URBAN HIPPIE: Herbivore at the Door chef/owner Candice Bernes talks matcha lattes and ice cream bars


Chef/owner Candice Bernes runs raw vegan restaurant Herbivore at the Door.

Urban Hippie by Jen Lahey is published every second Tuesday at OttawaMagazine.com. Follow Jen on Twitter ‏@Jen_Lahey.  

The website enticing us to try out the new raw vegan resto Herbivore at the Door (70A Leonard Ave.) proclaims that “raw food is sexy,” and if Candice Bernes has anything to do with it, you’ll agree.

Chef and owner of Herbivore at the Door, Bernes was inspired by food as a child growing up in Paris, and later trained under chef Dan Hoyt of Quintessence, New York’s longest running raw restaurant.

Bounty bowl served in a compostable container

The daily bounty bowl is served in a compostable container

On any given day, Bernes says diners can expect to find a variety of fresh, raw, homemade items, such a daily ‘bounty bowl’ filled with salad, sprouts, and additions such as marinated portobello mushrooms, nut and seed burgers, and cooked quinoa.

Also up for grabs: kale chips, broccoli chips and raw dehydrated sunflower seed crackers. Sweets-fiends, there’s something for you, too: watch for the much-sought-after raw vegan ice cream bars, and Bernes’ raw vegan, celiac-friendly date squares. New to the menu this week: matcha lattes with fresh almond hemp milk.

Bernes recently went toe to toe with the Urban Hippie for a few questions about how she got into raw food, why she thinks raw food is worth your time (and your meals!), and exactly what she’d like to serve you.

Can you tell me a bit about yourself, where you’re from and your background as a chef?
My grandmother was an amazing baker and my mother a great cook. As a child I grew up in Paris and remember watching the chefs from a catering event curl butter and bustle in our kitchen. I realized food was a creative outlet I could share with others. A couple of summers ago I decided to go to New York City to learn more about raw food preparation, inspired (read envious) by the raw food blogs I followed.

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URBAN HIPPIE: Herb and Spice expands — new “wellness” shop focuses on beauty and body-care products


The new Herb and Spice Wellness Shop, across the street from its namesake Glebe store, moves all the health and beauty products into one location.

Urban Hippie by Jen Lahey is published every second Tuesday at OttawaMagazine.com. Follow Jen on Twitter ‏@Jen_Lahey. 

The Herb and Spice grocery store at 375 Bank St. has long been a reliable spot to hit for those once-hard-to-find healthy (now so-called super-food) items such as the de-rigor goji berries, spirulina, flax seeds, maca, and raw cacao powders; tons of gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan-friendly goodies; and a consistently reliable and fresh selection of organic fruits, vegetables, and dairy.

But the keen-eyed shopper will note that the beauty section, which featured all the good-smelling stuff such as body and face lotions, shampoos, homemade soaps, additive-free lip balms, and the like, had always been, well, a little bit cramped. (The same savvy customer will also have noticed that the section has moved around within the store over the past several years, in what one can only guess has been an attempt to make it easier for customers to browse and access product.)

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URBAN HIPPIE: Nourish yourself with the taste of Ottawa’s history at Parkdale Market

Urban Hippie by Jen Lahey is published every second Tuesday at OttawaMagazine.com. Follow Jen on Twitter ‏@Jen_Lahey.

If there’s one thing that all Urban Hippies can agree on, it’s that there’s nothing quite like a good haul of fresh produce, preferably bought from someone who had a hand in growing it nearby. And with September upon us, now’s the time to take advantage of the abundance of local fruit and veg that’s pouring into the city before the snow flies and we’re relegated to whatever lesser-tasting specimens will be gracing the grocery store shelves come winter (c’mon, we all know those winter tomatoes from distances away just don’t taste anything like an actual tomato).

We say, hit the farmers’ markets now and get your fill — and dare we say, you might even try your hand at preserving some of the current bounty to enjoy months from now?

Parkdale Market offers local fruit and veg, as well as fresh cut flowers. Photo by Justin Van Leeuwen.

One of our go-to favourite outdoor market is one of Ottawa’s oldest: The Parkdale Market began peddling wares in July 1924, and now has 29 vendors offering up fresh fruit and vegetables along with cut flowers. It’s kind of a no-fuss, no-muss kind of place — what you see is what you get, not too many frills or fancy-shmancy stuff. And we kind of love it for that.

That said, if you’re looking to supplement your veggie haul, take a stroll through the Savour Ottawa Field House (located just beside the market), which offers such local treats as goat cheese, frozen meats, eggs, and honey.

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URBAN HIPPIE: Green Door Grocer offers local, organic produce (and delicious takeaway)

Urban Hippies, take note: there’s a new player in the HFS game (that’s health food store to those unfamiliar with online shorthand) that’s vying to become your new go-to for the tasty and nutritious staples.

Photo by Ron Farmer

When Ron Farmer, co-owner of the popular vegetarian mainstay resto The Green Door (198 Main St.) heard that that its neighbour The Wheat Berry, a natural foods store, would be closing down, he and Green Door co-owner Jenny Ong saw an opportunity to fill what they thought would be a gaping hole in the community. The Green Door Grocer (202A Main St.) opened mid-June.

Having run The Green Door for many years, they already had all the contacts they needed to source the goods for their new grocery, which is located in the spot which used to be occupied by Singing Pebble Books (whose owner snapped up The Wheat Berry’s more spacious spot).

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URBAN HIPPIE: July 23 local screening of eco-doc “Do The Math,” a film that follows enviro-crusader Bill McKibben on tour

Urban Hippie by Jen Lahey is published every second Tuesday at OttawaMagazine.com. Follow Jen on Twitter ‏@Jen_Lahey. 

The "Do The Math" doc focuses on renowned environmentalist and academic Bill McKibben as he hits the road to educate people about fossil fuels (including the Keystone pipeline)

Eco-doc alert! Coming up next week, catch a screening of the film Do the Math, which focuses on renowned environmentalist and academic Bill McKibben as he hits the road to educate people about fossil fuels (including a focus on the Keystone pipeline), the fight on climate change, and the quest, as he sees it, to literally save the world while we still can. Also featured: author Naomi Klein, climate scientist Dr. James Hansen, and Michael Brune, executive director of Sierra Club, among others.

The local screening of Do the Math takes place on Tuesday, July 23 at 7 p.m. at the Hintonburg Community Centre (Wellington Room), 1064 Wellington St. W.

McKibben has written more than a dozen books, including one that was regarded as the first to bring the subject of climate change to a general audience, and writes for such publications as The New York Times, The Atlantic Monthly, Harper’s, Mother Jones, The New York Review of Books, Rolling Stone, and Outside. His mission: to educate people and convince governments and other organizations to make systematic and meaningful changes at what he says is a crucial juncture in the world’s climate change status.

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URBAN HIPPIE: It’s green. It’s funny. It’s ‘Emissions: A Climate Comedy’ — at Ottawa Fringe Fest this week!

Urban Hippie by Jen Lahey is published every second Tuesday at OttawaMagazine.com. Follow Jen on Twitter ‏@Jen_Lahey.

Emissions: A Climate Comedy runs at the Arts Court Theatre, 2 Daly Ave. Wednesday, June 26, at 11 p.m.;  Thursday, June 27, at 9:30 p.m.; and Saturday, June 29, at 8:30 p.m.

Humour and environmentalism go hand in hand in Emissions: A Climate Change Play. Elana Levitan (above) makes her fringe debut in this comedy

Here’s a little hypothetical eco-dilemma: you’re a dyed-in-the-organic-wool, committed environmentalist, doing everything you can to live an environmentally responsible lifestyle that matches your belief system. But after hauling around your baby (and the mountain of baby gear that goes with having a baby) for a year and a half, you finally make the decision to buy a car. A fellow activist takes you task, and even calls you immoral.

For Ottawa playwright Ann Cavlovic, it wasn’t a hypothetical. This happened to her, and it was the catalyst for what would become her new work, Emissions: A Climate Comedy, which is currently showing at the Ottawa Fringe Festival. She says the run-in with a fellow activist did a lot to get her thinking.

Four of Emission's six cast members

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URBAN HIPPIE: Five tips for beating the summer heat (without turning on the air con)

Urban Hippie by Jen Lahey is published every second Tuesday at OttawaMagazine.com. Follow Jen on Twitter ‏@Jen_Lahey.

Last week’s balmy weather brought a song to mind: a 1933 Irving Berlin classic, with those breezy lyrics, “we’re having a heat wave / a tropical heat wave.” And surely, there will be more heat waves to come as we trundle toward the heart of summer in Ottawa.

Luckily, there are things you can do to cool down your living quarters without spending a lot of coin, and without wasting a lot of resources in the mix. Herewith, five easy ways to stay fresh, keep the inside temp from driving you batty, and actually enjoy the heat waves of summertime.

Start with the basics: cool air in, hot air out. In the mornings, get in the habit of closing windows, and keep them covered with drapes, blinds or shutters, especially on the western and southern sides of your house. When (and if) it cools off in the evening, open those puppies up and let the fresh air in to cool things off.

I.D. hot spots: Electronics and appliances both generate a ton of heat, so shut off as many of these as possible during the day when you’re not home. (Little things like this add up when it comes to energy conservation, and when it comes to keeping your home from getting too hot.) TIP: Keep electronics plugged in to a power strip so it’s easy to shut them off with the flick of a switch when you’re set to leave for the day.

Invest in ceiling fans: And make sure these energy-savers are set to push air downwards (many fans have two settings). While you’re at it, your oscillating fans can be put to better use, too, MacGuyver style: set a bowl of ice in front of your fan and let the power of the blades blow the now-icy air blissfully throughout the room.

Attack humidity: If there’s one thing Ottawans like to talk about, it’s weather, and when we do, we talk about the humidity. Humidity makes any heat wave feel, well, muckier. Invest in a dehumidifier and see how much less sticky the air feels.

Cook Smart: Plot your cooking strategically in the warm weather. Turning on a stove to cook a meal can leave your home toasty for hours afterward. Instead, cook pasta or potatoes early in the cool of the morning to be used in cold salads at dinner time, and think about making better use of crockpots, outdoor grills and your microwave if you’re cooking later in the day when the temperature heats up.


URBAN HIPPIE: A trip to Green Tree Eco Fashion in Westboro — enviro-friendly and fashion fierce

Urban Hippie by Jen Lahey is published every second Tuesday at OttawaMagazine.com. Follow Jen on Twitter ‏@Jen_Lahey.

Organic cotton collection by Feral Childe

The stereotype of eco-friendly clothes (the hemp-heavy, crunchy-granola kind of stuff worn by the hacky sack crowd) is something that Sarah Barr is out to change.

She’s the owner of Green Tree Eco Fashion,(358 Richmond Rd.) a boutique for those with a bent for both the environmentally friendly and the fashion-fierce.

The passionate fashionista, who has worked at Chanel and Holt Renfew, amongst other notable companies, describes the clothes at her store as “edgy, modern, current, and funky,” and one gets the sense that she wants customers to feel that way, too, when they’re done shopping at Green Tree.

Barr clearly wants women and men to look outside their pre-conceived notions. She encourages people to dress for their body type — which often results, she says, in customers having a new, more positive, perspective on how they look.

Barr, who grew up sewing, and still does the tailoring for the shop, says that fit is key when it comes to clothes. “Tailoring is very important,” she explains. “If it doesn’t fit perfectly, it’s just a piece of fabric.” She often fine-tunes items for customers so they fit just so.

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URBAN HIPPIE: Gardening season! Quick (pesticide-free) tips to keep your garden healthy

Local tulips. Photography by Becca Wallace.

Urban Hippie by Jen Lahey is published every second Tuesday at OttawaMagazine.com. Follow Jen on Twitter ‏@Jen_Lahey.

Spring, we think we can safely say, has sprung. And for a lot of Ottawans, that means getting our hands dirty prepping our lawns and gardens for the sunny season to come. Indeed, it’s prime time to get the gardens up and running again — but now that Ontario has banned the use of pesticides, what’s an Urban Hippie to do to keep his greenery healthy and productive?

For the answers, the UH turned a man who knows of such things: Peter Rofner is the president and owner of The Richmond Nursery, Ottawa’s one-stop for everything-under-the-sun gardening, and he knows a thing or two (or a thousand) about the ways of the garden. He says there are three things you should be thinking about to keep your garden happy and healthy, sans chemical help.

Prevention, prevention, prevention. Getting ahead of the game is key to preventing your green space from becoming overrun with pests — once you’ve got them, there’s far less you can do. Take fungus, for example: Rofner advises preventing it altogether by ensuring that you’ve got good airflow amongst your plants by spacing them out. (If you do run into a problem with said fungi, he notes that there are biofungicides, comprised of bacteria, on the market that will take care of the problem, and are better than conventional remedies because they don’t become resistant.)

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