“The television is a gun, pointed at the viewer” from The Secret Language of Birthdays by Gary Goldschneider & Joost Elffers

Gillian Mandich by © Camila Gargantini

“Before meeting for our session, Gillian and I spoke over the phone. As soon as I heard her voice I felt I was speaking with the happiest people I’ve ever met. I could feel her smile through her voice. Our session didn’t go any different… lots of laughter and a positive attitude towards everything – specially when she decided to climb this redwood tree at High Park. Even her choice of clothing clearly demonstrates her approach to life. Grateful to have met you and wishing you will the best in your future pursuits.” – Camila G

Gillian Mandich is a PhD(c) in Health Promotion, co-host of Holistic Health Diary, TV and radio personality, advisor at Examine.com, yoga teacher, and writer.

Image by © Camila Gargantini

An Interview with Gillian

Q. What is your best memory/moment from one of your past birthdays?

A. My most recent birthday I turned the big 3-0! I spent the few days leading up to my birthday at one of my very favourite places in the word, Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health (a magical health and yoga retreat center in Stockbridge, Massachusetts). I went to a workshop led by one of my favourite authors and yoga teachers, Gabrielle Bernstein. It was such a special, peaceful way to end my 20’s and welcome in a new decade with lots of yoga, meditation, and hikes.

Q. How about the worst? And why?

A. When I turned 16 I was SO excited to get my drivers licence!!! The months leading up to my birthday I studied and studied the drivers manual. I was so prepared to go to the driver’s licence office as soon as it opened the morning of my birthday, pass my test, and drive home that day! However, things didn’t go quite as I planned because just before my birthday the employees who worked there went on strike and so I couldn’t go write my test I had to wait over a month after my birthday to go write my test (which I then did and passed!!)

Q. What was the present you’ve received for your birthday that most surprised you?

A. My husband (who was my boyfriend at the time) went to Build-A-Bear and made two teddy bears that he dressed to look like Johnny and Baby from my favourite movie, Dirty Dancing. He also got me amazing tickets to the live theater version of Dirty Dancing in Toronto – nobody put that birthday in the corner

Q. Is there one food or dish that you insist on eating during your birthday celebration?

A. Every year I love to do at least one shot of wheatgrass (wheatgrass is one of the best living sources of chlorophyll available, it is also a great source of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, enzymes, and phytonutrients). It’s a fun, delicious way to celebrate your special day and boost your health at the same time!

Q. What do you believe is the most important aspect of celebrating a birthday?

A. I love birthdays because they bring people together to celebrate. It’s so easy to get caught up in day-to-day life, and birthdays provide an opportunity to get together with family and friends to have fun and celebrate!

Q. Do you/your family/culture have any traditions/rituals/ceremonies that are performed to celebrate birthdays? What is it?

A. My family (I am the oldest of 7 children) is the opposite of the von Trapp family – our musical ability is far less than excellent! We love to sing happy birthday; however, the tune is so off!! We sound awful, but we have the best time singing “happy birthday”.