Finding a healthy balance

Linda Ulrich with her homemade borscht. - Brian Giebelhaus photo
Linda Ulrich with her homemade borscht.
— image credit: Brian Giebelhaus photo

When the going gets tough for Linda Ulrich, the Peninsula resident turns to her trusted source of relief: meditation, a practice she has been exploring since her teen years.

The Vancouver native – who has lived in South Surrey off and on for more than a decade – says meditation is one of the many ways she helps keep herself healthy and balanced.

“I’ve had instructions on various meditations over the years, and I just love it,” Ulrich says. “I enjoy anything that can help bring some calmness and grounding.”

After years of interest in spirituality, Ulrich got the opportunity to help others find happiness when she became owner of Whitby’s Books and Gifts on Marine Drive nearly four years ago.

“I’ve always been interested in the various philosophies and religions and spiritualities,” she explains.

Since taking over the reigns at Whitby’s – which has been open on the Peninsula since 1989, carrying a variety of books, movies, jewelry and gifts designed to promote personal growth and spiritual development – Ulrich says the experience has been “wonderful.”

“It’s been four years of highlights,” she says. “Every day we have new customers, old customers. People come in to share their lives. It’s really a feel-good store.”

Ulrich admits it’s a bit of a departure from some of her previous careers – including a buyer-purchaser in the medical industry and owner of a bedding and linens store in Metrotown.

“I jump around a lot – I have to admire those people who stick to one thing half their life,” she laughs.

Ulrich says she loves to cook, particularly ethnic dishes. And though she is not of Ukranian heritage, she says her recipe for borscht is the “best she’s ever tasted.”

“I came across it about five years ago, and we just love it.”



1½ cups diced potatoes

2 cups diced beets

1 tsp salt

1 tbsp vinegar

1 cup sliced carrots

1 cup green beans, chopped into 1-inch pieces

1 cup frozen peas

2 cups shredded cabbage

1 tbsp parsley

1 tbsp + 1 ½ tsp. chopped dill

1 cup chopped onion

1 28-oz. can chopped tomatoes

1 stalk of celery, chopped

⅓ cup butter

½ tbsp butter

1 Tbsp sugar

sour cream for garnish


In a large pot, place potatoes, beets, salt and vinegar, add enough water to cover and bring to a bowl. Add carrots, green beans, peas. Add more water to cover vegetables, and boil for 15 minutes.

Add cabbage, parsley, one tablespoon of the chopped dill, ½ cup of the chopped onion, canned tomatoes celery and salt & pepper to taste; add more water if necessary and boil for 30 minutes longer. In a separate pan, fry the remaining ½ cup of chopped onion in melted butter until tender – don’t brown. Add onions to soup. Ad remaining 1 ½ tsp of dill, and sugar. Boil for 10 more minutes, allow soup to rest for ½ hour. Add sour cream to each bowl of soup.


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