May 2017 Newsletter
May 24, 2017
Welcome to our May 2017 Gordon PT newsletter!
This edition is packed with fun and useful information:
Pg. 1: It’s Time for Renewal & Growth!
Pg. 2: Local Biz Spotlight: Boots Bakery
Pg. 3: Farmers’ Markets are Back!
Pg. 4: Can IBS be Controlled w/ Diet?
The downloadable link for the digital version of the newsletter is below:
– Link: Digital version of May 2017 newsletter
And here are all 4 articles in full text:
It’s Time for Renewal and Growth!
Are you one of those people that love doing “spring cleaning”? What is it about this time of year that motivates many of us to de-clutter our homes and spend hours on end cleaning up our yards? Maybe it’s just the changing of the seasons, or maybe there’s something special about this time of year that inspires us to start fresh. And while most of this energy is funneled into cleaning up the spaces around us, do you ever find yourself wanting to do a little spring clean-up of your life as well? You can call it a desire to cleanse your soul, or to refocus on your core values, or maybe even to get “grounded”, but as far as I can tell, it’s pretty much the same thing: you want to improve your life, feel better and be happy.
While these feelings and desires may take many of us in different directions, let me just share with you the direction they’re taking me lately. First off, I have the desire to reconnect with myself and to figure out what really makes me happy. This may sound a bit selfish, but I believe that most of my happiness comes from focusing my time and energy on the things that I’m passionate about, which includes things like spending time with my family, getting outside and enjoying nature, and feeling healthy and active. As I reestablish these important areas in my life, I start thinking about my core values, which again include an emphasis on family time, prioritizing health, a sense of adventure, and one other one that I don’t often talk about with people…financial freedom.
I’m not going to bore you with the details about my desire to achieve what I consider “financial freedom”, but I will tell you this: in my opinion, most people don’t even know what their core values are. While your core values probably don’t align 100% with mine, simply knowing what your 4-5 core values are is a really good start. Then you can focus on the tricky part: living in harmony with your core values…
And this is where I believe most of us start to get derailed and feel out of synchrony in life. For instance, when I end up working late, don’t get much time with my family, haven’t been outside or active all day, and don’t feel like I’ve done anything to improve the business, the result is that I feel very unfulfilled for the day. Often times, it’s a feeling of not only being disconnected from my spouse, but feeling disconnected from myself as well. Depending on how you look at it, you may have a similar sensation of not feeling grounded. Now let’s take a good day: I worked hard and got a lot done at work, got off at a reasonable hour, spent some time playing with the kids outside before dinner, and then reconnected with my wife after the kids went to bed. I’m feeling happy and connected!
I really don’t expect every day to turn out perfectly, but when these positive days happen regularly, I’m a pretty happy fellow! Now that I’ve rambled on, let’s talk about a few things that might help you feel a little bit better in the coming weeks:
- If you haven’t already, establish your 3-5 core values and things that make you happy
- Choose a few reasonable activities that align with your core values
Here are a few ideas I have for myself that might help you out:
- I’ve been getting outside during my lunch breaks to get a little exercise
- On weekends and evenings, we’ve been playing outside more and going for more walks and bike rides
- We’re all working in the garden together, usually with bare feet J
- We’re planning a few new hikes in the coming weeks
- I started meditating for 10 minutes at night before bed
Let me wrap up the topic by saying that none of us are perfect, and there’s always room for growth and renewal. As long as you’re open to positive changes and actively looking for them, good things will come your way J
Local Biz Spotlight: Boots Bakery
Most Wednesday mornings you can find me writing emails, blog posts and newsletter articles at my favorite local coffee hangout: Boots Bakery. Located downtown on Main street, between Browne and Division, this bakery has some unique features. First and foremost, all the food is vegan, meaning there are no animal products, like meat and dairy. The bakery is also gluten-free. This makes it really nice if you try to avoid gluten and dairy. But Boots is about more than just the food. It has a unique style and ambiance that can best be described as eclectic and mellow. Just recently, I had the pleasure to sit down with one of the owners, Alison Collins. Here are some of the highlights from our interview (paraphrased):
Q: Alison, I’ve introduced you as a “quirky character”. Can you tell me about you and how you came to own a vegan bakery?
A: I used to work at Mizuna, baking things like vegan carrot cake. Five years ago, I had 5-6 friends come to me and insist that I start a bakery, and they each gave me the money to start it. So I was the last one who was really into starting Boots. This created a lot of pressure on me to succeed, but ultimately it was a really good thing!
Q: How did you decide that Boots would be vegan and gluten-free?
A: I’ve been a vegan for about 20 years, so I always wanted the bakery to be vegan. Once I started baking food that fell into the vegan niche, a lot of people requested gluten-free as well, so that’s what we did.
Q: One of your signatures baked goods is the pumpkin waffle with chai “butter”. How popular is this item?
A: We had no idea that we’d be a waffle house when we opened! Last year, we tracked how many waffles we sold, and it was over 10,000! This is in addition to all the other salads, cookies, cupcakes, fruit bars, coffee cakes, etc.
- You have a unique atmosphere here at Boots. Can you tell me where the look and the feel came from?
- The décor at Boots mimics my own home, which is an eclectic mix. We also used a lot of recycled materials, and my husband is a finish carpenter. This helped us keep our budget low early on, when we used things like old doors to create our booths.
- Every time I’m here, you’re giving away free cupcakes to the little kids. How did that come about?
- I’ve always loved little kids, except when my kids were young, then I didn’t like other people’s kids. But I love that little kids look forward to coming to Boots. When they come in, they start to look for me, which I love. Although I didn’t intend it, it’s also been really good for business because the little kids tell their parents they want to come to Boots!
- You’re located downtown, and you have a fairly regular stream of transients… you also have an “honor jar” of cash right by your front door, which most coffee shops can’t do. How have you embraced this population?
- We’ve always made this population feel welcome and respected, just like all of our customers. So if people look down and out, we’re happy to give them a cup of coffee and a bowl of soup. Part of the “honor system” is that we also have people who pay for other people’s coffee in advance, so all of the patrons of Boots make this system work. The clientele at Boots is such a diverse mix, from City Council members, to college students, to the homeless and to families like yours. And everyone treats people with the respect they deserve.
Next time you’re cruising around downtown and are looking for a cup of coffee and maybe a sweet treat, make sure to swing by Boots! In honor of my favorite bakery, we’ll be giving away 10 free $10 gift cards this week for the misspelled word contest, so find those words quickly (just one of the 3 is fine J). Also, if you’d like to watch the full 17-minute interview with Alison, check out the live video posted on the Gordon PT Facebook page!
Farmers’ Markets Are Back!
One of my favorite things to look forward to this time of year, besides the return of the sun and the long days, is the rebirth of the local Farmers’ Markets! Over the last several years, these locally run markets have been growing, both in terms of the size of many of the markets, as well as the number of the markets (there are something like 12 markets in the Spokane area, as well as additional markets in places like Cheney, Deer Park, Rockford/Fairfield and Coeur d’Alene). And of course my favorite market of all is the one located just out my front door, in the heart of Millwood! This is one of the Wednesday evening markets, running from 3-7 p.m. Here are a few more of my favorites:
- Liberty Lake: this is one of the larger markets in the area, which runs from 9-1 on Saturdays. Last year, they completed construction on the site, which now features convenient parking and some permanent tables and benches. Combined with live music and several food vendors (pizza and Mexican food), you can enjoy yourself for several hours!
- Perry Street: I still haven’t been to this Thursday afternoon market, but it’s on my list this summer! From what I hear, this market has more than doubled in size over the last 2 years. Like the Liberty Lake market, it also features fresh food that you can make into a meal, and Perry has one more advantage: the market is positioned in the heart of the Perry Street District, so you’re within easy walking distance of the local restaurants, bars and coffee shops.
- Downtown: this market is located on 5th street, between Browne and Division (just south of I-90), which is super convenient if you’d like to hang out downtown after the market. In May, the market runs on Saturdays from 9-1, and in June it will also run on Wednesdays.
- Kendall Yards: this is another Wednesday evening market that just sprung up in the last year or two. Like Perry Street, this market is growing rapidly, and one of the perks is the multitude of local restaurants and bars. I’ve never been, because I’m usually hanging out at the Millwood Market on Wednesdays, but I’d love to check it out if I can!
- Hayden: this Saturday market is a bit out of the way if you live in Spokane, but it’s worth the drive at least once this summer (especially if you like hanging out in CDA). I visited this market 2 years ago for the first time and was thoroughly impressed. On any given Saturday, they have 100+ vendors! This includes all sorts of local farms, crafters/artists, food and coffee. It’s quite a spectacle!
Overall, the Farmers’ Markets are a great way to get your hands on some fresh and nutritious produce, while supporting the local farmers and artists. And of course, they’re also a really fun place to stroll around with the kiddos. I hope to see you there!
Can IBS be Controlled With Diet?
Do you know someone who suffers from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)? According to recent statistics, this uncomfortable condition affects up to 1 in 7 people. Common symptoms include abdominal pain, excessive gas, bloating and changes to the bowels (ranging from diarrhea to constipation). Sounds fun, right?! Conventional treatments include several different medications and lifestyle changes. And while most people with IBS seem to agree that certain foods aggravate their symptoms, the advice about which foods to avoid is often confusing. Until now…
Researchers are now having increased success when people adopt a “low FODMAP” diet. If you’ve never heard of FODMAPs, you’re certainly not alone. The term refers to specific types of carbohydrates that are poorly digested in the small intestine. These partially-digested carbs are then rapidly fermented in the large intestine (aka the colon), resulting in gas, bloating and pain. You really don’t need to know what FODMAP stands for, but just in case you’re curious, here you go: Fermentable Oligo-saccharides, Di-saccharides, Mono-saccharides And Polyols.
So what does a low FODMAP diet look like? The list is rather extensive in terms of which foods to avoid and which ones to favor. Here are a few of the highlights:
Foods to Avoid:
- Certain fruits: apples, pears, peaches, apricots, plums, cherries and watermelon
- Lactose products: cow’s milk, yogurt, pudding, ice cream
- Certain veggies: asparagus, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, garlic and onions
- Others: most grains, as well as certain beans and soy products
Foods to Eat:
- Fruits: bananas, blueberries, cantaloupe, oranges, strawberries and kiwis
- Diary-free products: almond milk, coconut milk, rice milk and certain cheeses like feta and brie
- Veggies: carrots, cucumbers, lettuce, olives, parsnips, bean sprouts
- Others: most proteins are fine, as are small amounts of nuts (no pistachios or cashews)
As you can tell, the low FODMAP diet is a bit extreme for most of us. On the other hand, if you’re suffering from debilitating IBS pain, it might just be worth a shot! For a full list of the foods to eat and foods to avoid, just do a quick Google search online. And as always, if you try it out, make sure to let me know how you did!
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