It's the honest-to-goodness truth: It is indeed possible to eat a meal on a moving train that's so lavish it actually competes with the stunning scenery outside the window. You read it here. That’s a common conundrum on the
Rocky Mountaineer, the deluxe train service that takes passengers through the Canadian West: Do I take this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to admire that snow-capped mountain peak looming over the Cariboo Mountain range in the distance or, instead, devote my rapt attention to the beautifully-set dinner in front of me of fresh B.C. Salmon and black prawns and exquisite barley risotto complete with white linen, fine cutlery and British Columbia wine? Aye, there's the rub.
Crossing the Canadian West in style and comfort on the Rocky Mountaineer
The best part about travelling on the Rocky Mountaineer is that if you do happen to divert your attention from the passing scenery even for a moment (or a mouthful), there are plenty more stunning vistas coming down the line. There's no rush, no hurry on this locomotive. At 50 kilometres (30 miles) per hour, the scenic rail journey is conducive to sitting back, enjoying the ride and allowing your mind – and well-fed imagination to wander. As a good friend said after his holiday on the Rocky Mountaineer, "Somehow they managed the perfect synchronicity between the golden glow of a Rocky Mountain sunset and the burnt-gold hue of an oh-so perfect crème brulee." Now that, my friends, is poetry in motion. The
Gold Leaf Service on the Rocky Mountaineer reflects a commitment to service – on
whatever route you take, be it First Passage to the West (Vancouver – Lake Louise - Banff) or Rainforest to Gold Rush (Whistler – Jasper).
Wild BC Sockeye Salmon (Courtesy: Rocky Mountaineer)
The Rocky Mountaineer rail journeys can take you through temperate rainforests, semi-arid desert, lush green forests, past cascading waterfalls, aquamarine lakes, glacier-capped mountain tops – and chances are you'll catch sight of big-horn sheep, eagles, bears and deer, to name a smattering of the wildlife roaming the wilds of Western Canada, and which you can easily spot from your comfortable recliner in the glass-domed viewing car.
Black Tiger prawns (Courtesy: Rocky Mountaineer)
Sir Sanford Fleming Eggs Benedict (Courtesy: Rocky Mountaineer)
Like me, you're probably wondering how they manage to serve up such gourmet meals from a galley kitchen? Two words: talent and innovation. The executive chefs onboard the Rocky Mountaineer earn their stripes in hotels and resorts around the world. "We train and train and train some more," says Executive Chef Jean Pierre Guerin. "It's my mission to make the food as exquisite as the scenery – and that's no small task." The mandate on the “Rocky” is to use as many local, in-season ingredients as possible. In Western Canada, this means Alberta beef, Pacific salmon and wines from the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia. The Rocky Mountaineer culinary team, led by Executive Chefs Jean Pierre Guerin and Frederic Couton, has reproduced some of their best recipes in an easy-to-follow cookbook titled
“Eat Play Love: Regionally Inspired Cuisine.”
Service and scenery go hand-in-hand on the Rocky Mountaineer
Memories and photographs, the makings of a bucket-list holiday (Courtesy: Rocky Mountaineer)
A sampling from the Rocky Mountaineer menu: •
Roasted Rocky Mountain Elk Loin (served in a reduction of pinot noir and wild honey with jalapeno cornbread) •
Lightly Roasted Wild BC Sockeye Salmon (with shaved fennel slaw, vegetable salad and mustard seed vinaigrette) •
Creamy Canadian Barley Risotto •
Spinach & Cascade Mountain Porcini Mushroom Quiche •
Braised Alberta Beef Short Ribs (simmered in Okanagan Valley Merlot and served with horseradish-mashed potatoes) Just as you would the unforgettable scenery, you'll want to snap a photograph of the food to take home with you – one more reason to get the cookbook, or better yet, book your train holiday. Visit
Here's what to do to maximize your antioxidant intake.
1. Spice it up.
Both dried spices and fresh herbs tend to be extra potent with antioxidants. “Having a really liberal approach to herbs and spices in your cooking as opposed to a tiny sprinkle is really beneficial,” says registered dietitian Desiree Nielsen.
2. Go organic.
New research from Spain is suggesting that organic produce may have extra antioxidants. “Phytochemicals are a plant’s defence mechanism—kind of like its immune system,” says Nielsen. “So when you apply pesticides and herbicides to crops, the thinking is that the plant has less need to self-protect, so it downgrades those compounds.”
3. Eat whole foods.
You can have too much of a good thing, and when you take antioxidant supplements you run the risk they’ll aid oxidation rather than fight it. “It has a reverse effect if you take too much or take it out of the right context,” says Nielsen. “When you start isolating compounds from food, they often don’t behave in the way that you would expect.”
We polled family doctors from across the country, and they laid down the law on eight things they wish we'd do—or stop doing.
According to our panel of general practitioners, Canadians aren't always doing what they should to make the most of doctor visits—and skipping out on these crucial tactics could lead to a delay in diagnosing serious conditions. Here's what our experts say you should add to your patient checklist.
1. Stop feeling shy
Many of us hesitate to talk to our physicians about sensitive issues (think substance abuse or sexual health—or even gender identity). But honesty and openness are important, both for fostering a good doctor-patient relationship and for ensuring that you get the best care, says Dr. Laura Pripstein, medical director of the Sherbourne Health Centre in Toronto and a staff physician on the family health team. That's why it's OK to try out a doc before committing. Dr. Pripstein recommends booking an initial visit to see if your potential doctor is a good fit. "You want to see if this person seems like someone you can talk to, someone you feel comfortable with," she says. And if you don't think your doctor understands or respects your concerns, don't be afraid to find someone new. "If you feel you can't ask questions that might be embarrassing, you don't have the right provider," says Dr. Pripstein.
2. Don't come to your appointments unprepared
Get the most out of your time—and your doc's—by arriving at your appointment with a clear plan for what you want to discuss, says Dr. David Ross, an associate professor of family medicine at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. "It's good to have patients think about their problems from when the issue began, then look at it chronologically to the present," says Dr. Ross. Making a prioritized point-form list in advance helps ensure that you don't forget anything or mix up the order of events, he says. Then, work with your doctor to address the most serious issues first.
3. Choose your family doc over the walk-in clinic whenever you can
Yes, a clinic is convenient, but what we gain in easy access, we lose in familiarity. "I think it's really valuable if people can connect with a family physician who they'll be able to see long term, rather than just looking for the quickest way to access care," says Dr. Maurianne Reade, a physician with the Manitoulin Central Family Health Team in Mindemoya and M'Chigeeng First Nation, Ont. A family doctor will know your medical history and will keep it in mind when suggesting treatment—so, for example, if you've recently taken several courses of antibiotics for a UTI, your physician will likely look for a different course of action if you come in with another infection. According to the most recent statistics, about 4.5 million Canadians don't have a regular family doctor. If that's you, contact your provincial College of Physicians and Surgeons, or check to see if your region has an online registry (Ontario has Health Care Connect, while Quebec launched a web-based family doctor finder last year). "It's important to know that we doctors are privileged to share in your stories and to help you through difficult times," says Dr. Reade.
4. Share what's happening in your life
There's a reason your doctor wants to know where you're working, if you're dating and how the kids are—and it's not just because she likes you. (Though she does, we're sure.) Physicians need a picture of their patients' lives beyond their specific health symptoms and conditions, especially when they're first getting to know you, says Dr. Stephen Wetmore, the family medicine chair at the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry at Western University in London, Ont. "Doctors need to know these things to understand how your lifestyle and habits may be influencing your health," he says. So when you're talking about your exercise habits, your health history and whether you smoke, drink or use drugs, mention your employment status, family obligations and intimate relationships, too, says Dr. Wetmore.
5. Be a better googler
Doctors know you do it (hello, late-night web searches), but they would prefer you to ask about good sources of information, rather than going rogue online. They also want you to be honest about your fears if you've read something particularly upsetting. Physicians can't address your concerns or point you in the right direction if they don't know what your fingertips have been up to. "The thing we want our patients to do is ask us for the most reliable Canadian websites to go to as resources," says Dr. Heather Waters, an assistant professor of family medicine at McMaster University in Hamilton.
6. Don't think your symptoms are "no big deal"
If you've noticed you are having more headaches than usual or are sleeping more or are eating less, you might not think to tell your doctor—but you should. There's no set of rules for determining which symptoms are worthy of investigation or discussion, says Dr. Wetmore, but make a note to mention anything that is new or has changed since your last appointment. "You should bring up things like sudden weight loss or fatigue that seems excessive," he says. "It could be a sign of a larger problem, or the cause of a developing problem." Evenif it doesn't end up being serious, seeing your doctor will help ease any anxiety you might be feeling, and that's worth the visit, too.
7. Talk about what you're taking
Tell your physician about any herbal medications and alternative treatments you take, says Dr. Mel Borins, a University of Toronto associate professor and author of A Doctor's Guide to Alternative Medicine: What Works, What Doesn't, and Why. It's important for patients to share what's working for them and for doctors to be open-minded about therapies outside their own practice or traditions, he says. This is also a concern when it comes to conventional meds, especially if you're pregnant; there are only 23 medications specifically approved for use during pregnancy— yes, out of every available drug—which can leave women feeling anxious about taking prescription or over-the-counter drugs when they're expecting, says Dr. Robyn MacQuarrie, an obstetrician-gynecologist in Bridgewater, N.S. But don't stop taking your meds as soon as your pregnancy test comes back positive. "It's really important to talk to your doctor instead of stopping cold turkey," says Dr. MacQuarrie. Physicians can help you determine the risks and benefits of using different drugs, and they can let you know when the effects of not taking a medication while pregnant may be worse than taking it— which is the case with some antidepressants.
8. Avoid diagnosing yourself
You know doctors don't like it when you come in prepared with a diagnosis you've made thanks to the aforementioned Dr. Google. But do you know why? It's not because they think you're encroaching on their territory! Rather, they worry that a serious medical problem might get missed or you'll cause yourself unnecessary anxiety over something not serious. That's because not everyone has the most common symptoms of a particular condition. Plus, men, women and different ethnicities can have varying symptoms for the same problem. For instance, Dr. Reade's community has a large proportion of people with diabetes, which can affect the warning signs of cardiac disease, a major killer in Canada. Instead of the usual pain or pressure on the left side of the chest or arm, men and women with diabetes may instead have spells of profuse sweating with weakness. And, of course, women who don't have diabetes can have differing symptoms, too; sometimes, a heart attack can feel like acid reflux or come with sudden nausea, vomiting and lightheadedness. So always tell your physician if your symptoms are surprising or strange—like a headache that feels different than usual, for example. And if you're worried about a specific diagnosis, be sure to bring that up, too.
While every Canadian faces his or her own unique set of health hurdles, there are a number of ailments that have become pervasive in Canada. Though medicine has advanced over the years, our modern lifestyles have introduced a new set of health challenges. Here are some of the top health problems that Canadians face today.
Summer grilling doesn't just brings out the best get-togethers, but also the best in barbecued steaks. Don't throw your t-bones and sirloins into the grill just yet. Our easy-to-follow recipes for marinades for steak will give your meat a hearty flavour-boost that'll please all meat-lovers in your family.
The best way to add some flavour to your steaks is by whipping together some great marinades for steak and letting the meat soak up the amazing flavours. If you love exotic spices, try bathing your steak in a Five-Spice Marinade, which is flavour-packed with Chinese five-spice powder. Or, mix together cumin, paprika, garlic and lemon juice for a hot and zesty Moroccan Marinade.
Want something simple and classic? A quick Salt and Pepper Steak Rub is a perfect addition to any barbecue.
You can also try brushing your steaks on the grill with some Sweet Smoky Tomato Basting Sauce, a delicious mix of tomatoes, apple cider and chipotle peppers in adobo sauce.
Now get out and get grilling with some of these delicious marinades for steak.
10 tasty marinades for steak:
1.Salt and Pepper Steak Rub The classic combination of black pepper and coriander seeds is delicious on thick, juicy steaks, such as T-bones, sirloins or strip loins.
2.Sweet Smoky Tomato Basting Sauce This sauce mellows out considerably when brushed over meat on the grill, but it also packs a punch of flavour when served as a side sauce at the table. For doubly delicious results, use it to baste while grilling and serve extra sauce at the table.
3.Moroccan Marinade Got a pantry of spices? Stir together a few tablespoons of cumin and paprika with cinnamon, garlic and lemon juice for a flavour-filled marinade, perfect for grilling meat and poultry.
4. Universal Spice Rub Keep this simple all-purpose rub on hand for a last-minute flavour boost. You can rub it onto steak, ribs, brisket, chicken, fish or seafood before putting them on the barbecue.
5. Chili Orange Marinadeâ€¨ Love the taste of orange? Try whipping together orange juice, orange rind, tomato paste and chili powder for a flavour-packed marinade, perfect for grilling steaks or chicken.
6. Lemon Pepper Marinadeâ€¨ This zesty mix of lemon rind, lemon juice, garlic and peppercorns makes a delicious marinade for grilling steak and chicken.
7. Five-Spice Marinade Want add a punch of flavour to your steak? Bathe your steaks with a marinade of Chinese five-spice powder, gingerroot, onion, cayenne pepper, soy sauce and orange juice.
8. Cajun Spice Mix Add some spice to your steaks. Mix together some brown sugar, paprika, cumin, dry mustard and hot pepper flakes and lather it onto your sirloins, kabobs and T-bones. 9. Mediterranean Spice Mix If you're interested in adding a milder flavour to your steak, whip together some rosemary, cumin, oregano and cinnamon for a sweet and delicate flavour.
10. Adobo Marinade Love jalapenos? Soak your steaks with this spicy marinade, made of garlic, lime juice, cumin, oregano and a hot jalapeno pepper.
The leading researchers on couples have found that your attachments to your earliest caretakers have a powerful impact on your later romantic relationships. The attachment behaviours of both of your parents in childhood ingrain deep-seated learning about how to be in relationship and shape your later experiences of love.
How does your relationship with your father impact your romantic relationships? One of the most intriguing findings in the field of couple therapy is that people tend to unconsciously pick partners who resemble their parents in some way. And dads have a key role to play. Research shows that women tend to be drawn to partners who are similar to their fathers psychologically, behaviourally or emotionally. Women who have positive relationships with their fathers even tend to pick partners who resemble their dads physically.
Why? Well, on a certain level it's simple: We live what we learn. But some couple researchers have taken it a step further. Harville Hendrix, a United States–based couple therapist, has argued that people unconsciously pick partners who resemble their early caretakers in order to work through old wounds or unresolved issues from their childhoods. Since parents are only human -- and because we are so vulnerable and dependent as children -- there are inevitably old hurts present.
Continuing the paternal pattern with partners Research also shows that women in long-term couple relationships tend to reenact the relationship patterns they learned from their dads. This makes sense when you consider that your relationship with your dad is where you learned to relate to the opposite sex. This can be either beneficial or problematic. If your dad was a supportive, emotionally available parent, then you will have learned the skills needed for a healthy relationship early on and your romantic relationships will likely benefit as a result.
On the other hand, if you were in an unhealthy role in relation to your dad you may be at some risk of continuing that role in your couple relationships. For example, if you were a caretaker to your dad you might find yourself excessively caretaking your partner in your couple relationship and feeling exhausted or resentful as a result.
How to bring positives from a negative relationship Awareness is key. The more you can bring your triggers, behaviours and reactions into conscious awareness the freer you can be from your past. If you find yourself having strong negative reactions to your partner, there's a good chance that childhood material is being activated.
For instance, are you projecting onto your partner disappointments that are really about your dad? Or do you repeatedly find yourself dating the same kind of guy with the same negative outcome? If you can become aware of what you're doing that isn't serving you, then you can begin to empower yourself to make different choices that will nourish and benefit you in your adult intimate attachments.
What if your dad wasn't around while you were growing up? Lots of people grew up without a father. If you are carrying powerful negative emotions about this -- such as a sense of abandonment or feelings of unworthiness -- then I encourage you to do some healing work, preferably with a compassionate, caring therapist. On the other hand, without any hardwired internal templates you are free to create a couple relationship that suits you best.
Assess your relationships Take an honest look at how your dad might be affecting your couple relationship today. Are any of your father's behaviours causing conflict with your partner? Does your dad express approval of your partner or criticize him? This behaviour has the power to strengthen or weaken your couple relationship. Is your dad respectful of your relationship or is he intrusive or controlling? If he is controlling,consider setting some limits to protect yourself and your couple relationship. A good, relationship-oriented therapist can help support you in setting respectful boundaries.
So take stock of this important relationship with your father. What do you honour and appreciate about what you've internalized from your dad? And what might you need to work on or change inside of yourself for the benefit of a more satisfying couple relationship – not to mention your own freedom, health and happiness?
Carole-Anne Vatcher, MSW, RSW is a Therapist and Relationship Coach for women. She works with women in person in her private practice in Kingston, Ontario and via telephone with women across Canada. For more information or if you are interested in working with Carole-Anne visit her website at www.carole-annevatcher.com.