Le yoga, c’est quoi ?

Le yoga, du sanscrit qui veut dire “union”, est une philosophie indienne dont le but est de libérer le cycle de renaissance du karma individuel à travers la méditation, l’ascèse morale et les exercices corporels afin de réaliser l’unification de l’être humain dans ses aspects physique, psychique et spirituel.

En savoir plus

Creamy chard soup

Creamy chard soup

I am really glad to be able to cook chard now. I was always a bit reluctant to buy it because its taste is so strong and doesn’t smell really nice to me. I couldn’t find a recipe where I add all the ingredients, so I mixed 4 of them! And I found it so good, I decided to publish it here.

In this one, the lentils and coconut milk adds a creamy texture, the carrots soften its taste and there is less than 10 ingredients! I served it with leftover rice in it for lunch, it was delicious!

For 6 people. Cooking: 35 minutes

  • 150g yellow lentils, rinsed and soaked for 2h prior
  • 200g chard leaves washed and roughly chopped
  • 75g carrots, diced
  • 1 cup of spring onions/scallions or 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 10g grease of your choice
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable broth/stock
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • salt and pepper
  • half a can of coconut milk

 

  1. Rinse twice the yellow lentils and then soak them for a couple hours in cold water with 1,5L in a large pan (like a Dutch oven).
  2. Turn the heat on under the lentils, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat. Let it simmer uncovered with the vegetable stock for about 10 minutes (until the lentils are soft). Skim off any scum that rises to the surface during cooking.
  3. Add the chopped chard leaves and the carrots to the lentils.
  4. In the meantime, soft the onions with some grease in a separate fried pan for 5 minutes.
  5. Add the onions to the large pot.
  6. Add the cumin, the cinnamon, salt and pepper. Cook for another 10-15 minutes.
  7. Blend with the coconut milk and serve it immediately or reheat it for later (this can be done in advance!).

Enjoy!

 

Le Canada dans la peau

Non, il n’est pas venu pour moi le temps de faire le bilan. À vrai dire, j’ai commencé ce post il y a un an (où je ne pensais pas du tout au départ puisqu’on venait d’emménager dans notre nouvel appartement). Mais je pense que, tant que je suis encore au Canada, je devrais continuer ma petite liste (sans petite larme!).

Tout ce à quoi je me suis (bien!) faite au Canada:

– le beurre d’arachide (mais je trouve ça drôle d’utiliser le terme anglais “peanut butter” pour en parler). J’ai commencé par acheter sûrement le beurre le plus modifié sur le marché (mais le nounours est tellement miiignon). Je consomme maintenant du “vrai”, celui qui est fait au Market Organics.

– les bagels. Non, ne t’inquiète pas, le croissant, je ne t’ai pas remplacé! J’aimerai toujours tes délicieuses fines couches de pâte feuilletées beurrées. Mais question prix et praticité, le bagel est bon et tient longtemps au ventre (très bourratif). Et puis, on peut surtout le tartiner de peanut butter… mmmh, mon favori. Ça remplace un peu les tartines pain-beurre de France.

– les burgers et les poutines.

– les tires à l’érable. Je croyais ce plaisir réservé uniquement à l’hiver (le sirop d’érable chauffé est déposé sur la neige et il durcit doucement pendant qu’on l’enroule sur un bâtonnet de bois pour en faire une sucette) mais j’ai trouvé des sucettes qui reproduisent le même plaisir au Marché Outaouais (ça, c’est sûr, y’en aura dans ma valise).

– l’hiver. J’aime le gros clash entre l’été et l’hiver (+35 humide à -35 avec un grand vent sec). Pour moi, c’est ça, le vrai hiver! Et pourtant, je me suis plainte… mais seulement à la fin des hivers, comme tout le monde quand il en re-neige une couche, alors qu’elle était toute partie (et que c’est avril)!

– le bilinguisme. C’est tellement pratique de pouvoir avoir le choix de lire ou de parler en français ou en anglais. Mais cela est peut-être seulement un aspect très présent à Ottawa car la capitale se veut représentative de tout le pays.

– la gentillesse des gens *****

– de passer au feu rouge, pour tourner à droite uniquement!

Seul aspect entre les deux :

– le québécois. J’ai grandement amélioré ma compréhension orale et j’ai appris pas mal de vocabulaire, mais je suis sûre que je ne comprendrais jamais parfaitement TOUS les Québécois, puisqu’il y a différents accents, des patois, des dialectes suivant la ville ou le coin d’où la personne vient…

Tout ce à quoi je ne me suis pas (encore?!) faite:

– le café. Pas de bol pour moi, le Canada, champion des mégas gros gobelets de ce liquide fumant n’a pas réussi à me convaincre. C’est presque dommage, j’ai l’impression de manquer quelque chose de culturel, car on dirait que tout s’y passe, dans ces Tim Hortons, Starbucks et autres Second Cup (j’en passe car il y en a à la pelle).

– les unités de mesures. Je sais juste que mon copain fait 6 pieds de haut. Mais quand j’entends qu’un bébé de 9 livres est né, je plains la mère!

– les écurueils noirs sortant des poubelles… Je les ai même trouvés super charmants au début (c’était dans le parc du Mont Royal à Montréal), mais les pauvres en ville qui font les poubelles, léchant les sachets plastiques, auxquels il manque des touffes de poils et parfois la queue, m’attristent beaucoup, ou m’exaspèrent, quand mes pots de fleurs ou mes poubelles sont retournées ! (Cela s’applique aux ratons-laveurs aussi.)

– les déchets. Je n’ai que Ottawa et Gatineau en exemples évidemment car ce sont mes lieux de vie en ce moment. Et ça vient peut-être du fait que j’ai habité en Autriche que cela me frappe, mais je vois beaucoup de déchets par terre, dans la nature, des sacs poubelles éventrés (ben oui, pas de couvercles, les rats, pardon, les écureuils sentent la nourriture (peu de gens ont une poubelle compost) et ne s’arrêtent pas à la mince pellicule de plastique pour aller chercher ce qu’il reste…

“Non, rien de rien” (I don’t regret it!)

Our former living room
At our old place

It was about time that we move out. I was struggling with all this apartment drawbacks since about the first weeks we moved in it last year. So, let me tell you that I know the list by heart of everything I am not missing.

When we arrived in February 2014, we had reserved a room in an airbnb in Hull, Gatineau for the first month, to let us some time to find our place. My boyfriend started working after the few days we landed so I was looking for a job at the same time as for an apartment for us. We wanted a furnished place, as we had little money to furnish one ourselves for the little time we were gonna stay here (1 year was first planned). We visited some without any great feelings until we saw a sign from our window for another apartment (so very close to the airbnb host, who became our friend). I didn’t want to live on the French side because I wanted to be in an English-speaking environment but nothing could beat that one, so I had to give up. It was a very sunny and cheap two-bedroom apartment considered unfurnished but the last renter had left many things: tables, chairs, plates, cutlery, a couch, a bed and even a (very old) TV set! We could move in right a way. It was perfect for our situation.

The place was free, so I could take my time to bring our luggage and clean it a bit before completely moving in. After one or two afternoons I spent in the apartment, I remarked that my clothes smelt like tobacco on the evening, once returned to our airbnb. Indeed, our downstairs neighbor-to-be was a heavy smoker and we shared the same air as our heating system was forced-air. This means whatever smells downstairs (animals, tobacco, kitchen or musty smells) will be pushed through pines to the above apartment to be widely and nicely shared !

We tried to fight it with air vent filters, with magnetic vent covers, we bought plants to clean the air and opened the windows as much as we could (without freezing the entire apartment during winter), but I could still smell it coming back from work in the evening and in my clothes at work. Of course, once in, after a while, you don’t pay attention anymore but clothes smelt like it, coats, sheets… Oh, I should have mentioned that I am no smoker and my nose detects this smell very well (and doesn’t enjoy it), so it didn’t help getting comfortable in this apartment.

The second drawback can be also viewed as an advantage for some people: we lived VERY close to bars, in fact, THE street to go out in downtown Hull. I don’t think I can stress that point more. Actually, we lived just next to 2 bars but we could hear one other from the same street which was kind of a club too, because music was loud, people were dancing inside and windows were wide opened. I can’t tell you what a nightmare it was during summer, when you are trying to go to sleep or just keep sleeping with loud music, people on the street speaking very loud (and for a long time) right under your window, which is opened since it’s freaking hot in and out and you’re trying to create a breeze through the not-very isolated apartment that has no A/C. Just another detail: you could hear people talk normally as well with closed windows. This is how well isolated this house was. Amazingly enough, we couldn’t hear the downstairs neighbors (compared to the other sense!).

So, after the whole summer being waken up at 2 a.m. each night (and being cracky every morning, that goes without saying), I decided to look for another apartment at fall 2014. This hasn’t been easy and we have dithered a lot while visiting. We knew we had been lucky on this part with this apartment, but if we wanted to have another 2-bedroom (which is convenient for receiving guests), the rent would be higher.

We have been very patient and we decided ourselves for one. And we have been more patient (and dreamy) because it was still in construction and we had to wait until it was finished!

But I have to tell you this one was worth the wait. For the past 2 months, we have been sleeping better, we feel way better and this seems to have a consequence on our relationship too: we have the impression to argue less as we are not so irritable anymore. It has no drawback so far ! Well, of course, it is a bit more expensive but I will go backwards or look for another place.

No, there is definitely nothing we regret from the old place!

(Sorry for the French fellows who might now have the Edith Piaf song stuck in their heads since they read the title of this article)

Remembrance Day in Ottawa

It was a coincidence that I was there. I just thought I should walk along the Rideau Canal for once. I never go walking there during my lunch break. I got lucky because I saw the parade on my way. I had no idea that there will be one and they would be walking towards me! I saw them on the Laurier bridge on this beautiful afternoon. Sun was rising and was warming us (due to the wind’s absence).

2014-11-11 12.27.25  2014-11-11 12.28.43

2014-11-11 12.30.54  2014-11-11 12.33.20

I think fanfares are very emotional and they get you right there; you can’t ignore them and you can’t do like you don’t hear them. The drums resonate into your guts, the uniforms are splendid, the march is perfectly synchronized, the tone is noble. It’s very theatrical. Personally, I can’t disrespect this. Especially today.

Remembrance day has been huge this year: thousands of people at the Memorial of War this morning attending the rededication of the memorial, many of them wore their poppy for the past few days or weeks and placed them on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, next to the Memorial, after the ceremonies.

The poppy is the symbol of Remembrance that also helps raising funds for the veterans and those who suffer from the consequences of war (you can give how much you want while buying it). When it started, veterans manufactured them, often because they couldn’t do much else. The tradition here is you attach the plastic flower on your jacket with a pin on your left-hand side the closest to your heart, from the last Friday of October and take it off at the end of Remembrance Day.

Listening to other Canadians and reading the press (and living the events on October 22nd in Ottawa as well!), I have guessed that this day had a proportion it didn’t have the past years. The symbol couldn’t have had more impact: the attack on the soldier guarding the Memorial War and at the Parliament has hurt Canada right into its heart. I think it has awaken more deeply the conscience regarding the militaries and lots of people have been touched.

Since this happened, I hesitate between two feelings. When I heard about the shooting, I took it like a piece of news, just a little bit more surprised as it happened close to our office. Then, we received the alerts via emails from our company ordering to turn off the lights, close the blinds and hide under our desks. Wow. Is this a earthquake or just some guy with a gun? I was both a bit scared with the gravity of the events and their results but I put it into perspective “Am I really really in danger? Would this guy walk in now? If he does, he sure is lost and isn’t gonna shoot us and ask some directions”. Is it my French side which directs me thinking this way that nothing is ever too serious? Is it a Canadian way of overreacting, like they sometimes do with enthusiasm?

Anyhow, this is very interesting to really feel this whole patriotism from inside, next to citizens of Canada. In particular because I have the impression we aren’t much patriotic in France anymore.

However, it reminded me of how we used to celebrate November 11th in my village, when I was little. Moreover, my mother told me last weekend “this year, I think we will do it like we used to, when you were little”. This is maybe why this memory came back: we go from one “monument aux morts” in one village to the other in another village (doing a few in our “canton”, which is smaller than a region and a “département” but no French Geography course right now :P). The mayor of the village reads the name written on the “monument aux morts”, for example “Jean-Francois Bourgois” and all villagers present would reply in a same voice “Mort pour la France”, literally “dead for France”. This was just annoying for me when I was pulled out of my bed on a bank holiday before 10.30 a.m. when I was little, but I remember it with emotion today.

On the blog of my parents’ friend (he writes in French very interesting historical facts he searches for about my village and the area around) you can see the “monument aux morts” in my village.

It’s easy to see and feel how much care and attention Marion puts into her class and her students. I always felt held and supported in her class. Hope to experience that again!

J’ai eu l’occasion d’avoir quelques cours de yoga avec Marion lors de sa formation au Québec. Elle a rapidement su me rendre confortable et instaurer une ambiance paisible, tout en me permettant de découvrir de nouvelles positions et ressentis. Je la recommande sans hésiter pour les débutants (comme moi!) et les plus avancés!

13 Aug

Lukas Kantarell

It’s easy to see and feel how much care and attention Marion puts into her class and her students. I always felt held and supported in her class. Hope to experience that again!

10 Aug

Alex Grenier

J’ai eu l’occasion d’avoir quelques cours de yoga avec Marion lors de sa formation au Québec. Elle a rapidement su me rendre confortable et instaurer une ambiance paisible, tout en me permettant de découvrir de nouvelles positions et ressentis. Je la recommande sans hésiter pour les débutants (comme moi!) et …

10 Aug

Le yoga, c’est quoi ?

Le yoga, du sanscrit qui veut dire “union”, est une philosophie indienne dont le but est de libérer le cycle de renaissance du karma individuel à travers la méditation, l’ascèse morale et les exercices corporels afin de réaliser l’unification de l’être humain dans ses aspects physique, psychique et spirituel.

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