Canadian Tire partners with West Kelowna cafe

 Kekuli TireLocal Canadian Tire owner Don Cummins is buying his staff lunches from the Kekuli Cafe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been hard on businesses. Those who remain open to the public as essential services are under pressure to try to keep up, while restaurants struggle to stay alive offering take-out and delivery.

On the Westside, Don Cummins, the Canadian Tire dealer, and Sharon Bond-Hogg, owner of the Kekuli Cafe, have formed a mutually beneficial partnership between their neighbouring businesses.

For more than a month, Cummins has been supplying daily meals to his staff from the Kekuli Cafe.

Cummins came up with the idea as he was heading home after a long day at the store and noticed the large ‘We are open’ sign painted on the Kekuli Cafe’s window.

“It dawned on me that with only take-out orders, small businesses like that were struggling to make ends meet,” said Cummins.

He had met the owners before.

“They are really great local folks,” he said and thought maybe he could help them and at the same time give something back to his team at the store that would lighten their daily stress.

“They make the best bannock in the world, so my staff was just as excited,” he said.

After Cummins got in touch with his general manager, they contacted Bond-Hogg, and together they came up with the plan.

Bond-Hogg said Cummins called her out of the blue asking if she would be interested in forming a partnership as he would be buying his staff lunch through the COVID-19 crisis.

It was good news for Bond Hogg, who said the partnership has allowed her restaurant to remain open. Restrictions during the pandemic had seen her sales drop 75 to 80%, and they were looking at cutting back hours, closing certain days or even closing their doors during the pandemic.

“We gained so many new customers and everyone has loved the food,” said Bond Hogg. “We almost have everyone’s name memorized and the staff there are positive, friendly and supportive.”

The partnership has also given people the chance to see what the Kekuli Cafe offers as the only Indigenous fast casual restaurant in Canada.

Popular items for the catered lunches include frybread powwow tacos, handmade bannock flatbread with homemade pebre salsa, sour creme, lettuce, cheese with a choice of venison, chicken, chorizo or corn/bean and the venison bacon cheddar on homemade baked bannock YeYe bun.

“My team loves it,” said Cummins, adding some of his staff have mentioned the catered lunches relieve a lot of stress related to getting groceries or making lunch every day.

“It feels good to help out our neighbours and employees,” he said.

Stocking Up for COVID-19: What Do You Actually Need?

First, it was hand sanitizer shortages, then toilet paper hoarding. Now the lines at the grocery store are lengthening, shelves are emptying, and you may be wondering: Should you really be stocking up right now? And what do you actually need to buy?

Depending on where you live, you may have some familiarity with preparing for a natural disaster, such as a tornado or an earthquake. But preparing for a pandemic is a lot different from either of those.

Dr. Michael Osterholm, an infectious disease expert, likens the difference to preparing for a long winter rather than a single weather event, such as a blizzard.

But that doesn’t mean you should buy up a month’s worth of supplies all at once. Read on for what to do as you get ready to stay home and practice social distancing.

Keep a 14-day supply of food on hand

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)Trusted Source recommends that you self-quarantine if you’re returning from travel to a high-risk area.

Many countries are closing their borders, and some states and counties within the United States are enforcing curfews and closing businesses.

While there’s a lot of uncertainty, what is certain is that things are changing rapidly by the day and even hour. So it’s a smart move to have some essentials on hand. Here are some suggestions for what to stock up on:

  • Dried or canned goods. Foods like soup, canned vegetables, and canned fruit are nutritious and keep for a long time.
  • Frozen foods. Frozen meals, pizzas, vegetables, and fruits are an easy way to keep food around without worrying that it’ll go bad.
  • Dried or freeze-dried foods. Dried fruit makes a great snack. While dried beans are cheap and nutritious, they can also take some time and effort to cook. For an easy alternative, you may want to keep a few freeze-dried foods on hand, though they can be expensive.
  • Pasta and rice. Rice and pasta are easy to cook and gentle on the stomach. They also keep for a long time, and they’re relatively inexpensive, so you won’t spend a fortune stocking your cupboards.
  • Peanut butter and jelly. Easy and kid-friendly — enough said.
  • Bread and cereal. These keep for a long time.
  • Shelf-stable milk. Refrigerated milk is fine too, but if you’re worried about it going bad before you can get through it, try looking for milk or nondairy milk in aseptic packaging.

As you make your purchases, be mindful of what you can realistically go through in 2 weeks. Even in areas where travel is limited, people are still able to go out for essentials. Buying only what you need right now will help make sure there’s enough to go around.

Stock up on sick day essentials

If you get sick, you’ll need to stay homeTrusted Source unless seeking medical care. Stock up ahead of time on anything you think you may want or need while sick. That could mean:

  • Pain and fever reducers. Both acetaminophen and ibuprofen can be used to relieve pain and bring down a fever. Depending on whether you have a cold, the flu, or COVID-19, your doctor may recommend one over the other. Talk to your doctor about which may be right for you, and be sure to have some on hand.
  • Cough medicines. These include cough suppressants and expectorants.
  • Tissues. Old-fashioned handkerchiefs also work and are reusable.
  • Bland food. Some people find that the BRAT diet is helpful when sick.
  • Tea, popsicles, broth, and sports drinks. These can help you stay hydrated.
Prepare your home

As with food, it’s a good idea to keep some home essentials on hand. Again, the idea here is to make sure you have what you need if you’re sick and unable to leave your home.

According to the CDCTrusted Source, the virus hasn’t been found in drinking water. And it’s unlikely that water or power is going to be shut off as a result of the virus. That means that unlike with natural disaster preparedness, you don’t need to stock up on things like bottled water or flashlights.

Instead, focus on items related to your health, such as:

  • Soap. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Hand sanitizer. Washing with soap and water is the best way to clean your hands. If you don’t have access to soap and water, you can use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.
  • Cleaning supplies. Use diluted bleach, alcohol, or a product that meets the EPA’s criteria for use against SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19.
 Get your medications in order

If you take prescription medications of any kind, see if you can get a refill now so that you have extra on hand if you’re unable to leave your home. If you can’t, then it may be a good idea to get a mail-order prescription.

This is especially important if you’re part of an at-risk groupTrusted Source. This includes people with:

  • heart disease
  • lung disease
  • diabetes

It also includes older adults.

Pick up kid and baby supplies

If you have kids in your home, you’ll want to make sure you have any kid- or baby-specific supplies on hand, too. If you regularly use diapers, wipes, or formula, make sure you have a 2-week supply.

You may also want to purchase children’s cold medicines and toys, games, or puzzles to keep kids busy.

Don’t panic buy

These are uncertain times, and with the news changing daily, it’s understandable to feel anxious. While it’s important to take the virus seriously, don’t panic buy. Purchase only what you need, and leave items like masks for healthcare workers.

Eating For Anxiety with Raina Lutz, RHN

Let’s talk about holistic support for anxiety with Raina Lutz, RHN, including diet tweaks & additions to support it. Experiencing anxiety, the most common mental illness, is complicated. It takes time, patience, trial & error to find the right foods, supplements, exercise & emotional/therapy. Learn specific recommendations for your anxiety.

Registration Encouraged, Drop In Welcome


March 24
6:30 pm


Osoyoos Regional Library
8505 68th Avenue
Osoyoos, Bc V0H 1V0 Canada 
+ Google Map
(250) 495-7637

International Women’s Day Celebration @ Vernon ORL

Celebrate International Women’s Day with the Intertwining Women at the Vernon Library! Everyone Welcome!

  • Saturday, March 7, 2020
  • 10:30 AM  4:00 PM
  • ORL Vernon2800 30th AvenueVernon, BC, V1T 2L8 Canada

10:30am – Morning Workshops
 Twining Dolls in recognition of MMIWG
 Braiding/Twining Yarn to bring us together
 Furoshiki for wrapping food and gifts with fabric
 Origami for healing and hope
 Bring yarn, pony beads and fabric

12:00 – Soup and Breaking Bread – “Bread and Roses”
 Soup provided for workshop participants
 Bring bread to share that honours your ancestors

1:00pm – Ceremony with Smudge in Justice Park

1:30pm – Intertwining and Sacred Circle
 Background on morning workshops
 Origins of International Women’s Day
 Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG)
 Storytelling – Mourning Dove and other historians
 Music and more…
 Bring your voice, stories and instruments

2:40pm – Sharing Food
 Bring your favorite finger foods and snacks to share

3:10pm – Closing Ceremony

Everyone is welcome!

Cost: FREE

Location: Okanagan Regional Library, Vernon -MAP-

What’s the point of living longer if you’re not enjoying life?

Book Review
“Undo It!: How Simple Lifestyle Changes Can Reverse Most Chronic Diseases by Dean Cornish MD and Anne Cornish

Over the many years that I’ve had the privilege to spend time reading and writing on various health care topics, the common theme, at least of the books and articles I’ve selected, is that you can live a longer and healthier life with a few lifestyle changes.

The root question however is how badly do you want to?

“After all, what’s the point of living longer if you’re not enjoying life?” asks Dean Cornish MD & co-author Anne Cornish in their 2019 book “Undo It!: How Simple Lifestyle Changes Can Reverse Most Chronic Diseases.” They may be simple to describe and you likely know already what they are but if you are anything like me, these changes are often not so simple to implement, at least not fully.

So, what do they want us to do?

First, we need to change our diet to one low in “animal protein, fat, sugar, and refined carbohydrates and high in flavor—primarily fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and soy products in their natural, unprocessed forms”.

What … no more Montreal Smoked Meat primarily from Schwartz or Gulab Jamun for dessert? Some examples offered are mostly fruits and vegetables because they are anti-inflammatory, foods like blueberries, strawberries, nuts, cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, and green leafy vegetables.

Second, we need to exercise, such as walking and doing some strength training. That one is easier for many of us. Third, we need to introduce some daily meditation and gentle yoga to reduce our stress. Oh yes, and don’t stress out as you look for time every day to reduce stress.

Fourth, we need to love more. They write that “people who feel lonely, depressed, and isolated are three to ten times more likely to get sick and die prematurely from virtually all causes when compared to those who have strong feelings of love, connection and community.”

It’s not until you’ve read through most of the book that you find out if you can’t do this on your own, the authors are offering their services, for a fee, to help you eat, pray, love, and exercise more.

But don’t let that stop you from reading this book. I found many ideas that I hope if I can get the discipline to implement will help me through my “rusty years” and would help those of you interested in “reversing even severe coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, reversing, slowing, or stopping the progression of early-stage non-aggressive prostate cancer, high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol levels, obesity, some types of early-stage dementia, some autoimmune conditions, emotional depression and anxiety.”

What’s new in this book, likely because it is relatively current, is the authors give us a couple more reasons, other than our desire to live long and healthy lives, to find that disciple to eat foods that are better for us, exercise more, and stress less. The first reason is to help sustain our very expensive publicly-funded health care system. They say their approach is cost-effective. “It turns out that only five percent of patients account for 50–80 percent of all healthcare costs. These are people who have chronic diseases—and heart disease is the most expensive condition in terms of total healthcare spending.”

So if you won’t do it for yourself, do it for those who support our healthcare system. Still not good enough?

Their second reason to embrace the new you, and preferably not incrementally as they say “Paradoxically, big changes in lifestyle made all at once are often easier to make than moderate, gradual ones when reversing a disease,” is in consideration of future generations and what our current food choices are doing to the planet.

The authors say, “that animal agribusiness generates more greenhouse gases than all forms of transportation combined. All transportation worldwide generates only about 13.5 percent of the carbon dioxide that contributes to global warming. Eating meat, on the other hand, is responsible for at least 18 percent of carbon dioxide emissions.”

They go on to conclude with a startling statistic that “Livestock now use 30 percent of all land worldwide and are causing deforestation, particularly in the Amazon, where 70 percent of the land that used to be forest is now used for grazing.”

There is so much more in this book than I can relate here to you in a few short words, including a few dozen recipes which I will be giving a try. I found the book informative, easy to read, and potentially life changing. If you want to live longer, healthier, and perhaps make a personal contribution to the fight against climate change, this book is a good place to start.

Norm Letnick is MLA for Kelowna-Lake Country and the official Opposition health critic.

Red Wine for Cold Weather

 This weekend’s frigid weather will have you reaching for a glass of red.

Here are nine worthy options.

Black currant, blackberry, chocolate and sage positively ooze out of the Harper’s Trail 2018 Cabernet Franc ($26).

Harper’s Trail is one of only five wineries in Kamloops and capitalizes on its terroir of dry rolling hills of sage and dry grass along the South Thompson River.

Hot summers contribute to concentrated fruit flavours in the grapes.

But Kamloops is still considered at cool-climate wine region by world standards, which means evening, spring and fall conditions are fresh, giving grapes, and thus wines, desirable minerality and acidity.

Cabernet Sauvignon is the world’s most popular red wine for a reason.

Vines, which are widely planted in virtually every wine region on the planet, bud late to avoid frost and are resistant to rot and pests.

It produces a thick-skinned grape that translates into concentrated black currant, blackberry, cherry, cedar and mint flavours and aromas in wine.

The wine can be drunk young, or tucked away in the cellar for 10 years to enjoy its complexity in the future.

Bench 1775 Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 ($39) from Naramata is a delicious, classic example of the varietal.

Most people don’t know Cabernet Sauvignon is the unlikely offspring of Cabernet Franc, a red wine grape, and Sauvignon Blanc, a white wine grape, which cross-cultivated by chance in France in the 17th Century.

Bench 1775 also uses 66% Cabernet Sauvignon blended with 34% Syrah in a combination made famous in Australia.

The winery’s 2016 vintage Cab Sauv-Syrah ($22.50) highlights the best of both varietals with a blackberry-cherry-violet-and-pepper profile.

Bench 1775 Cabernet Franc 2016 ($30) exudes plum and raspberry and begs to be paired with pizza or pasta in tomato sauce.

Hester Creek Winery in Oliver recently released five reds crafted by winemaker Robert Summers that can be enjoyed now for their fresh, dark fruit flavours or aged five to seven years to develop complexity.

The 2018 Character Red ($19) is an approachable blend of Merlot, Shyrah, Petit Verdot and Malbec that will reward you with plum and blueberry flavours backed by violet, pepper and caramel.

Hester Creek’s Selected Barrels program blends wines made from grapes from a number of the winery’s vineyards to create appealing, approachable vintages.

The Selected Barrels Merlot 2018 ($18) is 100% Merlot, but the fruit came from five different vineyards – three from elsewhere in Oliver and two blocks of Hester Creek’s on the Golden Mile Bench.

The 2018 Selected Barrels Cabernet Merlot ($18) lives up to its name, blending three varietals – Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc – from three different vineyards.

The result is a pleasing punch of cherry, plum and vanilla.

Hester Creek’s Reserve system makes wines exclusively from a particular block of the winery’s old-vines vineyards on the Golden Mile Bench.

The 2017 Reserve Cabernet Franc Block 3 ($26) is made of grapes from 50-year-old vines that are thinned to one bunch per shoot for naturally concentrated and vibrant wine exhibiting raspberry, plum and pepper.

The 2017 Reserve Merlot Block 2 ($26) is made of grapes planted in 1972, resulting in a lush wine brimming with plum, cherry and chocolate.