How To Ward Off The Winter Blues

While Ontario is home to lush landscapes with diverse plant and animal species, it is also a victim of winter’s cold and dark days. While the lead up to the winter with preparing for festivities can be joyful, and the end leading into spring is exciting, the middle months of January and February can be long and arduous. 

For many people who live in the Blue Mountain and Collingwood area, winter is usually filled with long days at the ski hills and friendly banter next to blazing wood fires. However, with the pandemic in full force, people no longer have access to outlets that would usually keep them sane during these months. 

Outlined below are a few measures you can take to boost your mental health so you can forcefully take on the months ahead. 

Virtual Exercise Classes

One of the best ways to increase your mood during the winter and fend off the winter blues is through exercise. Through exercise, your body produces endorphins, which can have incredible effects on your brain. While getting exercise in the winter is difficult, especially with gyms being closed, you will have to think outside of the box. 

Following an online video exercise class can be useful. Still, the live feedback you would gain from an in-person class is usually a primary motivator for people who wouldn’t typically work out independently. However, how many fitness instructors are scheduling online, live virtual lessons. You connect your camera, and they can see and give feedback while you follow along in your living room. 

Eat Healthy Foods

You are probably eating raw fruits and veggies throughout the summer, going outside often, and breathing in the fresh air, but these behaviors tend to disappear in the winter. People often adopt unhealthy eating habits throughout the winter, eating heavily processed foods high in sugar, salt, and chemical additives. When you eat this way for a prolonged period, it can severely impact your mood. 

By subbing out processed foods with whole raw ingredients, you will notice that your mental state improves. You can look up some new recipes or speak to someone you know who eats healthily for some help. While it can take time to change up your diet, with a bit of determination, you will come to see it is well worth the effort. 

Try Supplements

If you are eating healthy but still find you are not getting all the minerals and nutrients you need, try supplements. Most people lack vitamin D during the winter, affecting mood, the immune system, and several other bodily processes. 

By adding a few vitamin D drops into your water each morning, you can combat the deficiency. There are also several other vitamins and minerals like B12 and magnesium that can help support mood. If you speak to your healthcare practitioner, they can steer you in the right direction. 

Defending yourself from the winter blues requires an adjustment. You need to carve out time during your day to prioritize mental health. By exercising, eating right, and supplementing, you will feel incredible by the time spring arrives when you can go out and enjoy your neighbourhood

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Foraging In Collingwood: 3 Edible Wild Plants You Can Find In Ontario

For many households, the pandemic has initiated an interest in culinary experimentation. People are busting out old cookbooks and looking to get creative in the kitchen. From sourdough starters to banana bread, the cooking trend has been growing, especially now that it is winter and people are spending even more time indoors. But did you ever think of using foraged ingredients in your meals?

One of the best things about living in Ontario, especially in the Collingwood Area, is the proximity to wild forests and beautiful beaches. These wild landscapes are home to a diverse network of plants that are not only beautiful to look at but edible. Foraging in Ontario has become more popular, and people are doing their research now during the winter to get ready when the vegetation starts to bud in the spring. 

If you are interested in trying your hand at Collingwood foraging, you will want to know which plants to choose. Once the warmer weather comes along, get out your wicker basket and head into the woods with your best pair of garden shears. 

Maple Blossoms

Almost every Canadian is familiar with maple syrup, but maple blossoms are not as well-known, especially when eating. Maple blossoms grow in the spring, and they are most prominent before the actual leaves begin to form. These are said to be sweet, and crunchy, and best served covered in batter and fried. You can also try and pickle them and eat them at a later time. Make sure to search for some reference photos, so you know you are picking the right ones. 

Dandelion

An unknown superfood, dandelions are very common throughout Ontario. These yellow-flowered plants are not only delicious but extremely nutritious with a hefty amount of antioxidants. When picking dandelions, make sure to do so in wild areas rather than in urban areas as there may be pesticides. You can throw the leaves in a salad, use the stems as a pasta- substitute, and add the flowers to a stir-fry.

Mulberries

Mulberry trees are prominent throughout Ontario. These large trees can yield tons of berries every spring and summer, but many do not realize they are edible. These tart delicacies are perfect for adding to a summer pie or your favorite jam recipe. They tend to look similar to a blackberry but can come in red and lighter shades as well. A reference photo will be your best friend as you hunt for these sweet treats. 

With a wildlife oasis in your backyard, you should start getting ready for the many activities you will get to explore when springtime arrives in Collingwood.

While it may be cold now, the winter will breeze by in no time. When it does, you can get ready to pick some delicious maple blossoms, some healthy dandelions, and sweet mulberries. You could even make a salad combining all three.

Make sure that you always do your research before picking edible plants. These three tend to be very distinct and safe, but many others could pose health risks. 

 

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The Moonlight Market

With all of the hype over the solar eclipse this week, many in Collingwood may have forgotten about an important event – the Moonlight Market. This once-a-year event happens in downtown Collingwood and is just as magical as the solar eclipse. This year Moonlight Market will celebrate its fifth year.

Our very successful Saturday morning farmer’s market holds a special event every September called Moonlight Market. In addition to the morning market from 8:30am until 1pm, the vendors will be open and ready for business on Saturday, September 2nd from 6pm to 10pm in their usual location, which is located in the municipal parking lot at the corner of Second and Pine Streets.

Have dinner at one of Collingwood’s great restaurants or buy dinner at the market, then shop the other vendors for all the best in produce, meat, baked goods, artisanal foods, crafts and artwork. The market employs the 100-mile market mantra and all of the produce is grown within 100 miles of Collingwood.

The market isn’t just about shopping either! There will be a number of entertainers for adults and kids. Jimmy and the Extractions, a local Collingwood band favourite will be there to play rock, alternative, and folk music. The Stilt Guys (who you may have seen at the Collingwood Elvis Festival) will be there as well, in glow-in-the-dark attire, to keep both adults and kids entertained.  

U-Pick Parties will have some balloon twisting and face painting for the kids (and the adults if you dare). There will be free (healthy!) treats from The Healthy Kids Community Challenge, an initiative that helps kids move, drink water and up their fruit and veggie intake with a number of great activities. If that isn’t enough, kids can play at the Imagination Playground, a block-based creative play system that kids love. The Mobile Active Play Trailer will also be there, offering free recreational activities for kids of all ages.

The regular market closes down after Thanksgiving weekend, so there isn’t much more time to enjoy this seasonal delight. Get out next weekend and check out the Moonlight Market, and revel in this time of harvest before the snow puts a damper on it!

 

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10 Best Patios in Collingwood

Patio season has officially begun and what better way to enjoy a day on the weekend than sitting on a patio with friends in Collingwood, enjoying the food, the drink and of course the gorgeous scenery. Here’s a list of the best patios in the town!

1.       Duncan’s Cafe

A great spot for people watching, this local favourite located right on Hurontario has comfortable seating, fresh squeezed orange juice and is the perfect spot for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

2.       Tremont Cafe

Another spot for lunch, brunch and dinner, this charming patio located outside of a heritage building – the Tremont House – is a not-to-miss this season. The food is outstanding and so is the service.

3.       Trattoria Azzurra

For a romantic night with an al fresco meal, take your date to the Tratoria Azzurra and visit their lovely patio. On the other hand, bring the entire gang for family-style Italian dining in the great outdoors. Either way, you won’t be disappointed.

4.       Bent Taco

Known by visitors as the best patio in town, people rave about sitting outdoors enjoying a meal at Bent Taco. Not only is the food amazing, the service is top-notch and if you get chilly, you might even get blankets to keep you warm! If blankets aren’t your style, drink a few tequila shots or Bent margaritas instead.

5.       Lakeside Seafood and Grill

With amazing waterfront views, this restaurant opens right up to its patio, so you’ll enjoy the beautiful weather inside and out. Their homemade soups are definitely a must-try, even during the warm weather.

6.       Santtini’s Restaurant

With a small sidewalk patio, you can people watch while enjoying your glass of wine and frito misto. You’ll feel like you’re right in Italy.

7.       Sol Kitchen

If you are looking for something fresh and delicious on a sunny day, look no further than Sol Kitchen. With a small sidewalk patio, you can enjoy healthy fare and soak up that vitamin D.

8.       Rusty’s

Rusty’s patio is great any time of the year. Right at the base of the mountain, this is the spot to go for a party atmosphere and great drinks. The food isn’t bad either.

9.       The Dam Gastropub

Actually in Thornbury, it is definitely worth making the drive. The food is delicious and local and the drinks are worth raving about. The patio may just be the best in the area.

10.   Firehall Pizza Co.

And last, but not least, this spot is centred around all of the action at the mountain and is a great family-friendly spot for hanging on the patio while munching on some tasty pizza.

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A Taste of the Town

You don’t want to miss this gastronomic event, happening in Collingwood and now in its 15th year! Imagine, tasting delights of food and drink from 20 of Southern Georgian Bay’s best restaurants while overlooking beautiful Georgian Bay.

A Taste of the Town happens on June 4th at Sunset Point Park from 12 noon until 3 pm and your $135 ticket price goes fully back to local and international charities. Because of this, you’ll get a tax receipt for most of the money! Local charities on the list to receive donations from this event include Big Brothers Big Sisters Georgian Triangle, Georgian College’s Collingwood campus and Hospice Georgian Triangle. Hospice Georgian Triangle provides trained volunteers to support individuals in their last days who are living with life-threatening illnesses. They only get 50% of their required funding from the government, so events like this really help this important charity in our area. This event has raised close to $500,000 in its 15-year history.

With only 500 attendees, your ticket allows you unlimited tastings of all food and beverage samples. You do have to be over 19 to attend, so don’t bring the kids!

Sunset Point Park is an iconic spot to have this event, known for being a local favourite spot for having picnics. A Taste of the Town is like one big, classy and delicious picnic, otherwise known as a waterfront garden party! Once you’re done at the event, you can walk off all that food and drink on one of their many waterfront trails.

collingwood event

The list of local restaurants attending is fabulous and you know you’ll delight in some of their favourite dishes, with many utilizing the 100-mile diet mindset. Not only will you be enjoying great food and drink and supporting some amazing charities, you’ll be eating local too! Here are some of the local restaurants that will attend:

·         Bruce Wine Bar

·         Farm to Table

·         Sol Kitchen

·         Heavenly Café

·         Tesoro

·         The Pottery

·         Kaytoo Restaurant and Bar

·         Tim Hortons

·         Men with Knives

·         Collingwood Sweet Shoppe

·         The Tremont Café

·         Gustav Chophouse and Bar

·         The Smoke

·         C&A Steak Co.

·         Cabin Bistro

·         The Mill Café

·         Memories Bar and Grill

The local wineries and breweries include:

·         Georgian Hills Winery

·         Creemore Springs Brewery

·         The Collingwood Brewery

Head to the Brown Paper Tickets site to get your tickets that you can pick up at will-call, since the event is only one day away!

 

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