Look Who's Nominated For the One Lovely Blog Award!

One Lovely Blog Award

Thanks so much to FIT FARMER for nominating me for the ONE LOVELY BLOG AWARD! I’m super excited to be part of this supportive blogging community, and I hope everyone who reads this will check out my blog recommendations.:)

The Rules
– Thank the person who nominated you for the award
– Display the banner/sticker/logo on your blog
– Share 7 facts or things about yourself
– Nominate 15 bloggers that you admire and inform nominees by commenting on their blog

7 facts about me:
1. I’m a writer. I began with my first book (Happy Healthy Gut), and then I started writing for magazines (like Vancouver’s alive Magazine), and now I just write to get reactions, make a difference, and challenge myself. I’ve always loved to write.
2. I am 33-years-old. I have three kids, one husband, zero pets, and no more apples in my apple tree. (Because I picked them all to make applesauce, which I talked about a couple of blog posts ago.)
3. I used to have IBS, but I don’t anymore. 4 years ago, I began a whole food, plant-based diet that changed my life from the inside out. You can read all about it in Happy Healthy Gut!
4. I love to sing. Even though most people who have heard me will say I definitely can’t carry a tune, it’s because I have a VERY hard time singing in from of anyone aside from my kids (even my husband). But I can sing–for real.
5. I’m obsessive-compulsive. I didn’t really know this until I was a parent, but when you start comparing things with other moms and realize that you’re the only one who tracks days you work out, have a glass of wine, or feel overly emotional, you come to understand that perhaps you’re slightly ridiculous.
6. I love to eat! I’ve always been a major foodie, and I’ve always been willing to make myself sick for that extra stuffed mushroom. (Although I have to say, now that I’m 4 years in on the whole food, plant-based bandwagon, I can eat way more without feeling sick. It’s seriously ideal.)
7. I LOVE trash TV. Particularly the Real Housewives franchise, and especially New Jersey. Yup.

My 15 nominees:
1) Kitchen, Uncorked
2) Just January’s Jargon
3) Oh She Glows
4) Love Food
5) Love.Peace.Hapiness.Cooking
6) Taste of Colours
7) Bucket List Publications 
8) My VanCity 
9) Forks and Beans
10) Pickles & Honey
11) The Kind Life
12) Living Food Love
13) The Garum Factory
14) Fiona Grows Food
15) Good Girl Gone Green

Happy blog perusing! xo

Welcome Back: The Surrey International Writers' Conference

SiWC2014

Calling all writers!

While the end of summer is often a melancholy time of year for Vancouverites (here comes the rain!), it also means that fall is just around the corner, and that the 22nd Annual Surrey International Writers’ Conference will be in full swing!

“The SiWC Society prides itself in creating an atmosphere of writers helping writers. The conference is run as a not-for-profit society by a volunteer Board of Directors, a few staff, and a team of amazing volunteers. We have over 700 presenters and attendees who come here from around the world: Japan, Ireland, Switzerland, Scotland, England, and all over the US and every province in Canada, to learn, share and connect with other writers.”

I cannot state enough how incredible it is to experience this writers’ conference. My first year attending, I came with a fully finished manuscript in hand, and no other direction. Six weeks later, I had an agent, a book deal, and had begun writing for Vancouver’s own alive Magazine.

I can personally attest to the pricelessness of this event.

If you’ve ever wanted to become a professional writer, this conference is for you. Even if you’ve already been published and need some new inspiration, the sessions that this conference provides are unreal, from the presenters and the timely topics that are discussed, to the other attendees, participants, and volunteers that you’ll meet there.

“No matter what level your writing is at, this is your chance to attend over 70 workshops and meet one-on-one with well-known authors, agents and editors.”

Last year, over 700 presenters, board members, and attendees congregated at the Sheraton Guildford Hotel in Surrey, where the event takes place. Workshops go all day from Friday October 24th, until Sunday the 26th. There are even master classes on the Thursday for those who can’t wait to get started. You know, for the keeners.

(I was a keener my first year attending, and I loved it.)

Jack and Diana SiWC

Aside from the workshops, there are meet-and-greet lunches, dinner banquets, author Michael Slade’s Shock Theatre performance (this is a goodie), and Jack Whyte’s rendition of The Hippopotamus Song. (Hint: everyone sings the chorus.)

Hang out at the hotel bar with agents, editors, publishers, authors, and other attendees. Who knows? You may just end up having a conversation with authors Diana Gabaldon and kc dyer, or local social media guru Sean Cranbury.

Anything could happen.   

Not interested in attending, but want to be part of this awesome conference, anyway?

“One of the ways we raise funds to be able to continue providing this amazing opportunity for our writers is through our Silent Auction that runs throughout the conference. We love the opportunity to showcase local venues and attractions to those that attend. SiWC can provide donor recognition on our website (with a link to your site) as well as print and verbal recognition at our conference. If you are interested in an even greater involvement as one of our conference principle partners, we will be happy to provide more details.”

Siwc pic

Need I say more? Get inspired, get motivated, get registered. View the website at www.siwc.ca for more information.

Additional Details:

Conference Dates: October 23rd-26th, 2014

Conference Location: Sheraton Vancouver Guildford Hotel in Surrey, British Columbia

Contact person for Silent Auction/Door Prize donations is Jennifer Browne at jenbrowne.pc@gmail.com.

Not-for profit Society registration #S57858

*Shared from www.myvancity.ca

This is Why Photographers are Expensive (or, Book Cover Photoshoot)

Book cover photshoot

An amazing photographer and I shot the cover image for my new cookbook yesterday. (Well, okay, she shot it, but I’m lumping myself in there since I made the food.) The fact that this bucket list item was being crossed off was extremely exciting for me, and despite only standing there staring at her while she photographed four of my recipes, I was exhausted.

Remind me never to do anything strenuous, because apparently, I tire easily.

The new book is (currently) called Vegetarian Comfort Foods: The Happy Healthy Gut Guide to Delicious Plant-Based Cooking. It’s somewhat of a supplement to Happy Healthy Gut: The Natural Diet Solution to Curing Your IBS and Other Digestive Disorders. Upwards of 100 whole, plant-based recipes designed to kick-start your body into kick-ass mode. (AKA: lose some weight, eradicate your digestive problems, strengthen your immune system, and increase your intake of phytonutrients that fight free radicals.)

It’s being published by Skyhorse Publishing, and is slated for release in spring 2015. I’m STOKED. While I don’t have any images that will be in the book to show you yet, I can show you some of the pics I took with my iPhone while the real photographer did all the work.

‘Cuz I’m helpful like that–and this is why I’m not an actual photographer. I promise the professional images will look a lot better. Like…a lot.

I wonder if professional photgraphers are also good at taking selfies…

Also, this isn’t my kitchen.

Tanya R Loewen

Tanya R Loewen

Tanya R Loewen

Thanks, Tanya! xo

August Giveaway: WIN a hard copy of the Clean Plates Cookbook!

CleanPlates-COOKBOOK-4__CLEAR

Announcing a brand-new giveaway contest! For the duration of each month, beginning today, Happy Healthy Life will be giving away a free copy of a fabulous book. This month’s prize is a hard copy of the Clean Plates Cookbook–and it’s a goodie.

To enter, simply click HERE. You can also access the contest on the homepage of this website, or by going directly to the Happy Healthy Life Facebook page.

There are multiple ways to enter, including “liking” the Facebook page, following me on Twitter, messaging me on Twitter, etc.

At the end of the month, a contest winner will be randomly chosen through Rafflecopter. As long as the winner resides in Canada or the United States, I will personally mail a copy of Clean Plates within a week of the contest closing.

So enter to win, and be sure to check back for September’s giveaway, too.

Good luck! xo

Clean Plates: healthy food that works best for YOU, and where to find it

CleanPlates-COOKBOOK-4__CLEAR

Hey, everyone! Happy Meatless Monday! I’m in the middle of a new project that will become a reality this spring (yay!), and while on my journey to learn more about great health and its connection to fabulous food, I stumbled across an incredible organization called Clean Plates, and its amazing cookbook.

The goal of Clean Plates is stated as follows:

“This book spells out exactly what “clean eating” means and why it matters. Make no mistake, it’s not a diet book—it doesn’t promote a superfood or the latest scientific breakthrough—it is, however, a guide that provides clarity on the topics of nutrition and eating what works best for your body, while providing recipes and practical resources like sample menus.” – From the e-book of recipes from the Clean Plates Cookbook

But it’s even more than this.

Have you ever wanted to know where you can go to find the healthiest, tastiest food around? More than just a restaurant guide, Clean Plates is a lifestyle. Founded by Jared Koch, nutritionist, Clean Plates started out as a New York restaurant listing for establishments that provide clean, wholesome, and above all, delicious food. Koch wanted to prove that healthy food can be just as delectable (if not more!) than the less-than-nutritious comfort foods we’ve all been guilty of consuming.

Today, Clean Plates has expanded west to cover the city of Los Angeles. Maybe Clean Plates Vancouver is on the horizon? (I’ll do my best here, friends!) Koch was kind enough to provide a written endorsement for a recipe book (vegetarian comfort foods!) I’ve written that will be released in early 2015. (Skyhorse Publishing) To show him and his collaborators my appreciation, I wanted to let you all know about this amazing dream of theirs to inspire people from all over the United States to discover which delicious foods keep their bodies nourished, and where they can find these foods on the road or close to home.

Check it out:

You’re already making really smart choices. We have another smart choice we’d like to tell you about: Clean Plates.

Clean Plates gives you everything you need and want to eat clean.

Eating clean can improve your life in untold ways and you don’t have to do anything extraordinary or extreme. You don’t need to give up meat, learn molecular chemistry, buy weird unpronounceable stuff or eat food that tastes like…well, not good. It is not about deprivation, denial or guilt. All you need to do is make some different choices—and Clean Plates is there to help you every step of the way to make those choices easy and dare we say … absolutely delicious.

With Clean Plates you’ll find out about:

  • Restaurants that source locally, organic and sustainably
  • Organic, non-gmo products
  • Recipes from just-out cookbooks
  • The best gluten-free desserts
  • What is Moringa and why is everyone suddenly talking about it

Beet Juice

If you’re interesting in learning more, then I highly recommend signing up today for their free weekly email—they’re kind of amazing:

http://www.cleanplates.com/?utm_source=jenbrowne&utm_medium=blog&utm_campaign=jenbrowne

Below is a link to the e-book of recipes from the Clean Plates Cookbook, and has been generously shared with me, so that I can in turn share it with you. So check out the link, and work on that clean plate of yours. A permanent link will also be placed on the homepage of my website, but this is a preview generated specifically for current Happy Healthy Life lovers!

http://national.cleanplates.com/files/2014/07/ThankYouFromCleanPlates.pdf

CleanPlates-COOKBOOK-4__CLEAR

I will also be organizing a Clean Plates Cookbook giveaway, so get excited, stay tuned, and have a great week!

 

 

Local Food Products that are Rocking My World

Save-On-foods Vendors

This past weekend, I took part in an event at Save-On-Foods that was promoting local products. I signed Happy Healthy Gut books, and the other vendors were Happy Water, NutraCleanse, and Everyday Superfoods.

It is SO much fun to hang out with people who are like-minded when it comes to health. While the Happy Water reps kept the rest of us hydrated and genuinely happy (they literally danced and hoola-hooped the WHOLE time while playing Top 40), I was fortunate enough to chat for an extended period of time with Tony from NutraCleanse and Gordon from Everyday Superfoods about their products. I decided that this week’s blog should inform consumers of these fairly brand-new products, and perhaps you’ll all fall in love with them as I did.

Happy Water

Happy Water: This product is an award-winning, naturally alkaline lithia water. The water originates from Canada (Kootenay region), and is produced in Vancouver, BC. It contains “naturally occurring lithia, calcium, magnesium, potassium and fluoride.”[1]

For community events such as the one last weekend, Happy Water will send their “Smile Squad,” and the energy and positivity is definitely in the air. For information on how to request the Smile Squad to attend your event, visit http://livehappywater.ca/contact.

The product goes for about the same amount as other bottled waters.

Nutricleanse

NutraCleanse:  Although I’ve seen this natural health product around for awhile, I’d never before tried it, which is VERY unlike me. I’m a sucker for new health products (especially foodstuffs), and I’m surprised at myself.

This product is manufactured in Mission, BC, and the ingredients are organic, gluten-free, and limited to ground flax seed, psyllium husks, dandelion root powder, burdock root powder, and fenugreek seed powder.

That’s it.

The purpose behind adding this product to your daily smoothie or yogurt or whatever is to increase your overall fibre—and it sure works! If you’re someone who feels as though you could benefit from increased fibre consumption (ahem—EVERYONE), then you should give this product a try. I am a huge promoter of gut health, and this particular product is a goodie!

A 1 Kg. bag goes for roughly $29.99, but you can get it for $20.99 if you keep your eyes peeled.

Everyday Superfoods

Everyday Superfoods: Again, I’ve seen this product around (the rep told me it’s been around for a couple of years, but they only recently have become very mainstream and distributed), but hadn’t tried it yet. The main ingredients in their mixes are chia seeds, hemp hearts, and buckwheat.

The blends are great on oatmeal, in yogurt, or added to baking, and there are at least four different mixtures. The one I’m trying right now is called Cocoa Wow, and I also took home a bag called Trim.

They go for about $6.99 per bag (the weight isn’t disclosed, but it looks like it’s just over a cup’s worth), and the product is mostly organic, gluten-free, and vegan. It’s manufactured in Richmond, BC.

So there you have it! My newly acquired fun foods! Give them a try, and let me know what you think. Ciao, peeps!

 

[1] http://livehappywater.ca/our-water/

 

Top 5 Reasons to Attend a Book Signing This Weekend

Book Signing

Okay…I fully admit that I have a vested interest in people attending book signings. But I actually do have valid reasons why this activity should be on your weekend to-do list, which I’ll specify right now:

1- When’s the last time you set foot into a bookstore? Do you even know that they’re still around? Amazon and other sites like it have made online book buying super easy (which is great), but remember the feeling of actually being in a bookstore? I mean, call me a total nerd, but bookstores ROCK. They’re like a vortex of awesomeness. You can get lost for hours and won’t even feel guilty about it after. (As opposed to getting lost for hours on a Vegas casino floor.)

2- There’s something special about picking up a book because it’s got a rocking cover, flipping through the pages to find out what they feel like, checking out the author pic and/or bio, and collecting a bunch until you can weed out the ones you really want to read, while ditching the few you won’t on a random table somewhere. Doesn’t sound familiar? Yeah…I don’t do that, either. :/ An electronic reader has nothing on an actual book, and I will argue that until the day I die. We all spend so much of our time staring mindlessly at our computers, and laptops, and iPads and iPhones. How about just open an actual book. Seriously.

Reading Books Makes You Better

3- Authors are excited to have people talk to them. (We’ve spent far too much time talking to ourselves about our own book.) Even if you don’t want to talk about their book or you don’t plan on buying one, it’s fun to have a conversation with someone different. You can bet that a year of that author’s life was spent writing their book, it took an addition x-amount of months or years to sell it to a publisher, and another year for the publishing process to be complete. There is definitely something to talk about, even if it’s “have you ever written at 3:00am?” (The answer to which will always be a resounding YES.)

4- It makes for good conversation with your friends at dinner on Saturday night:

“So, what did you do today?”

“I attended a book signing. You?”

“Uh…I played Dragon City.”

See? You’re already looking smarter and cooler than John Smith over there. You’re welcome.

5- You’ll end up finding that perfect Father’s Day gift for your dad. It may not even be a book, but bookstores have other stuff, too, and it’s all awesome. ALL OF IT.

Happy Healthy Gut Cover Design

So, here’s the deal: I have a book signing this weekend for my new book, Happy Healthy Gut. It’s at the Chapters in Langley, BC from 2-5pm. If you live in the area, and you come see me there, and you sign up for my website, and you mention this blog post, I will not only sign it for you, I’ll buy it for you as well. You will get it FOR FREE. And we’ll both be happy and live happily ever after, too. (But not together. Because that might be weird.)

‘Til tomorrow, peeps. Peace.

Happy Healthy Gut: book signing this weekend!

Book Signing!

Hey, all! Just wanted to let you know that I will be at Save-on-Foods on Sumas Way in Abbotsford, BC this weekend to promote and sign books! Visit me from 11-5 on Saturday and Sunday (March 8 and 9), and receive Vega testers and Silverhills Bakery goodies!

See you there! xo

Book Launch! Happy Healthy Gut is Officially Released

Beet Juice

Hey, everyone! I’m so excited for this book release. Today’s the magic day, so I thought I’d let everyone know exactly what this book is about. January is the month to take better responsibility for your health and happiness, and since those words are in the title, I thought I’d take advantage.

About the book (description from amazon.com):

Millions of Americans deal with daily digestive malfunction and attribute it to genetics or faulty wiring. Jennifer Browne reveals the common denominator present in almost all chronic digestive angst: food. What we choose to fuel ourselves with has a direct impact on every part of our bodies, starting with the digestive system. Browne urges us to own responsibility for our own health and make conscientious decisions regarding the cause and effect foods have on our digestive tracts. Written in frank, humorous laymen’s terms and sharing her own personal success story along with others’, Browne passionately educates her readers on why a plant-based diet is the only prescription necessary for a happy, healthy tummy. Discover the direct correlation between digestive trauma and factory farming; the incredible benefits of juicing, fermenting, and sprouting food; the reason why GMOs lead to IBS; and what ingredients really just translate to “sugar” or “lab-created chemical.” “Happy Healthy Gut” is an easy read that is truly important and highly informative for anyone who has ever dreamed of a perfectly functioning digestive system.

About the Author (description taken from amazon.com):

Jennifer Browne is an advocate for nutrition education and digestive disorder cessation. She is passionate about promoting clean, “wholistic” food practices and avoiding the slew of “non-foods” that make up our current food system. Browne was diagnosed with IBS in 2001 and has been symptom-free since 2010 when she adopted a mindful, plant-based diet.

Buy the Book (link to amazon.com):

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1626360413?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creativeASIN=1626360413&linkCode=xm2&tag=girlunin-20

Happy Healthy Gut Cover Design

Enjoy your weekend! Keep healthy!