All posts by Graham Ballachey

Why hello. I'm Graham. I was born in Brantford, Ontario, and growing up I also lived (in order) in Montreal, Quebec; Burlington, Ontario; and Calgary, Alberta. I then attended the University of Victoria in Victoria, British Columbia where I majored in physics. I then moved to Ottawa, Ontario, where I earned a Master's degree in mechanical engineering. After grad school, I relocated to where I am now: Vancouver, British Columbia. I'm truly passionate about learning and sharing knowledge on how to optimize the human experience in our modern world. From our physical bodies, to our powerful minds, to our environmental impact, to our spiritual manifestation, human beings are the dominant expression of life on this planet Earth. It is my intention with Sustainable Balance to explore and optimize the human form and our impact on the universe on all levels, and share this with others. An effective human lifestyle must embrace our physical manifestation while also pursuing spiritual ideals: A Sustainable Balance of all that makes us what we are. Explore with me!

A Quarter Steer Order from Hooke Farms


Before I get into the specifics of my quarter steer story, here’s some background.

I love beef. The heartiness. The meatiness. The warmth.  The fat. The feeling of satisfaction after eating it. The high nutrient concentrations. I love it. There is a reason it’s so freaking popular. Problem is, when beef is raised unnaturally (think feedlots, antibiotics, tearing down rainforests for pasture, etc), it can be a devastating force on the natural world around us. I don’t debate that can be the case. That’s not always, true, however.

I have read articles written by intelligent people (like Diana Rodgers, RD, of how some of the numbers you hear about when it comes to beef production are often out of context Continue reading A Quarter Steer Order from Hooke Farms

A Half Pig Order from Gelderman Farms

My Half Pig Order

I eat animals. To some extent, I eat animals and animal products pretty much every day. I’ve already discussed the ethics around eating animals in “Should Humans Eat Animals“, and a later link to two articles in “Feeling Guilty About Eating Meat?”, so I won’t bother this time around. What I’d like to do in this post is explain in detail the manner in which I sourced a half pig from a local farm called Gelderman Farms (I live in Vancouver, BC, Canada) that I believe is raising the animals responsibly. Continue reading A Half Pig Order from Gelderman Farms

Sleep Series – Part 8: The Power Nap

Introduction to the Power Nap

As I write this, I am brimming with mental energy. I don’t have this sort of mental energy all day long, so I have to take advantage of it when I do. As long as I got a good sleep and am healthy, I have this kind of energy about an hour after I wake up (and after a coffee…). Then, there’s another time of day where I have this kind of energy again. It’s right after my power nap. I’ve been power napping for over ten years. Not every day, but whenever I can make it happen or really need it. It’s almost always in the early to mid afternoon, and takes at most twenty minutes, and usually more like fifteen. I simply let go, nod off, and I’m back, refreshed.

It’s a skill I’m quite proud of. Continue reading Sleep Series – Part 8: The Power Nap

Feeling Guilty about Eating Meat?

If you’re feeling guilty about eating meat, you’re not alone. I get hit with it too sometimes, even though I consume animals and plan to for life. It’s been a couple of years since I shared my thoughts on “Should Humans Eat Animals“. I still stand beside what I shared in that article. Basically, I feel like a lot of the arguments to not consume meat (of all types, not just factory farms) are overblown and largely misunderstood, and that the arguments in favour of a vegan or vegetarian diet are often not seeing the big picture (in a proper setting, not a factory farm).

That said, I still don’t support factory farming (although I occasionally compromise) and have oriented my life towards supporting farmers who are taking great care of their animals and their impact on the soil that sustains us. Continue reading Feeling Guilty about Eating Meat?

A Cedar Self-Wicking Planter

In my last post, I described the changes I had made to my balcony to increase the amount of “nature” in my apartment to provide a more soothing and relaxing environment. As part of that, my friend and I made a bare cedar self-wicking planter with a waterproof basin in the bottom. The basin holds just over 25 litres of water, and contains multiple soil ‘contact points’ so that the water will wick up into the soil and keep the plants watered. I got the idea from Jesse Lemieux (of Pacific Permaculture). He made a video of him using plastic containers to make a very similar planter that uses this concept. It was definitely cheaper and easier to do than what I did, but I wanted the bare wood to create a nice environment for myself.

Here’s what I did (with Chris Gordon, of course): Continue reading A Cedar Self-Wicking Planter

The Importance of Your Environment

I’d heard before that being in a natural environment was healthy. Forest bathing and those types of things were always talked up in the Primal/Paleo communities, and hey, I definitely enjoyed hiking, camping, and cottaging and all that. It just feels good. That said – I’ve also always been mostly a city boy. Growing plants and creating a soothing environment were not really something I thought about until recently. This post focuses on some improvements I’ve made in my life this year. I hope to encourage others who could potentially make some similar changes to do so as it has definitely helped me.  Continue reading The Importance of Your Environment