Madeline Sloan is a beautiful, firey, very interesting and lovable Big City Hippie from East Vancouver. I’m proud to call her my cousin;) She’s all about holistic health, the environment, and social innovation. Not only that, she’s a stroke survivor who believes that everything you need is already within you. Maddy believes everything comes back to nature; yet society is disconnected from the impact of planetary health on human health. She’s the Wellness & Sustainability Lead at a natural health supplement company, and she has founded Big City Hippies to educate and energize others in their holistic, green journey. Maddy approaches problems mindfully and with an empathetic heart, and she’s endlessly curious. You can usually find her hanging out with her hubby, John, and dog (#GunnarThePooch), taking photos, cooking, doing EDx Courses, advocating for the environment, listening to podcasts, reading everything from Neuroscience books to Heart & Brain comics, and generally practicing hygge (in a nutshell, the Danish word for comfy relaxation).
Let’s get into the interview with…
What inspired you to start Big City Hippies?
In December 2012, I had a Brain Haemorrhage/Stroke, which put my work & life on hold. For over 2 years, I was committed to serious rehab, and Big City Hippies was started as my creative outlet. I wanted a place to share my values, ideals, information, and perspective on all the facets of my personality and lifestyle. My sister, Penelope (Penelope Sloan Design) helped me with the name and encouraged me to “just start it”. It’s still a work in progress, and post-stroke me is committed to maintaining my own health & wellness, so Big City Hippies isn’t always a priority. If anyone in Vancouver resonates with my perspective and wants to get involved, contact me! Big City Hippies is meant to be a collective!
Tell us in a nutshell what Big City Hippies stands for!
Big City Living, Hippie Ideals! It’s the intersection of sustainability and wellness, because #SustainabilityIsWellness. Currently, it’s a social media and blog platform to educate, promote, and inspire others on Eco-Health Living in the city.
You’re always up to date with the most recent environmental happenings. What are you most hopeful and excited about at the moment?
The new GreeNDP Government in BC. I am hopeful that some concrete steps will be taken now that they have the “majority”. I am hopeful that the Kinder Morgan pipeline will be shut down, that the Site C Dam will be shut down (and arable farmland restored), that clean energy will take precedent, that environmental protection will become much stronger, and that our MPs will put the pressure on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to keep his word & campaign promises. The list is pretty endless! I’m also pretty excited about the advancements in science connecting nature and health/wellness. Even though this is innate wisdom, this type of research data is needed to sway policy makers & businesses in the right direction to make decisions that nurture our Mind,Body & Soul along with Mother Earth.
Name 3 environmentalists/groups we should all be following:
- The Dogwood Initiative (if you live in BC)
- The David Suzuki Foundation (if you live in Canada)
- Greenpeace (the whole world)
- Also, for in depth databases, reports, and scorecards on topics such as food, farming, toxins, and more, I follow The Environmental Working Group (EWG) and The Cornucopia Institute. They are both US-based, but their information is often very pertinent to Canada, since we live & trade so closely.
What are 3 things you can’t live without in the morning?
- My Passion Planner (agenda/journal/everything book)
- tongue scraping and teeth brushing
- H20 & breakfast
What’s coming up next?
I just started the Instagram @joybundling. Joy Bundling is purposeful pleasure: bundles of joy, for you, by you. It is creating intentional space for self love & self care. It’s doing a few things that bring you joy with intention + thought behind it. It’s elevating everyday routines and moments into euphoric states; maximizing pleasure, while reducing pain and apathy.
This will be crowd-sourced by out global community and collected on the instagram page – follow along!
- 1 cup organic black rice
- 1 can organic full fat coconut milk
- ½ cup of water
- small knob of organic ginger, diced up
- 1-2 tsp true ceylon cinnamon
- 1 mango, chopped into bite-size chunks
- handful of organic strawberries (sliced)
- 1 tsp coconut (shredded)
- handful of walnuts
- 1 tbs coconut oil
- generous handful of chia seeds
- Soak the rice overnight (cover with fresh water), rinse, and drain, then cook in ¾ can of coconut milk (reserve the remaining ¼ of can for topping) and ½ cup of water (soaked rice needs less liquid to cook it - start with the coconut milk, add a ½ cup of water and see how far that gets you).
- Cook with ginger, spices, and coconut oil in the pot, and add diced mango (ours was frozen organic mango chunks) halfway through to infuse that fruity flavour (we just placed it on top of the rice and let it "steam" itself thaw with the lid on). If using fresh, simply stir in, but reserve some for topping!
- Cook till the rice is al dente (a little chewy), which should be about 35-45 minutes. Stir it a few times, and see if you need to add more water. If you add too much, don't worry, you can drain some off or just leave it as additional "sauce" - it'll still be creamy & coconutty).
- Once cooked (about 35-45 minutes), stir in other ingredients like the chia seeds.
- Serve in your favourite bowl, and top with additional fruit, shredded coconut, nuts, and cinnamon.
- Pour your reserved coconut milk on top, or add your favourite milk instead.
*Double the recipe so you have breakfast for a few days (add water when reheating to re-constitute the creaminess)! Use local, seasonal, organic fruit (peaches and apricots would be amazing) for the best flavour and nutritional profile! Shop at your neighbourhood farmers market for an amazing selection of seasonal fruit and buy organic to support nature, your health, and the farmers' health.
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