$4.2 trillion industry

The health craze is happening!  …in fact it has been happening for a while now. As a kid, I remember my mom trying different diets to lose weight and and gain more energy. Sadly I remember these diets going just as fast as they came.

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Reality is that in order to have a “health craze” you need to be living in state of “unhealthy”.  If everyone was running around with boundless energy, strong muscles and appropriate fat-to-muscle ratios we wouldn’t give a lick about the next fad diet!

So what do we need to do?

We need to take a step back and look at what we our filling our cupboards with and in turn our bodies with.  We need to look at the fuel that we are providing our bodies with and the results we are getting from that fuel.

FOOD IS FUEL… every time we eat or drink it is an opportunity to either feed or fight disease.

The health and wellness industry is currently a $4.2 trillion industry because it is our human instinct to want to not only live but to thrive. We have built a society that counts the hours in each day, and for most people, fills every waking moment.  Feeding ourselves is just getting in the way and we have created an unlimited resource of shortcuts to keep on keeping on!  Our health has been taken for granted and put on the back burner… and now we spend more time and money than every before in history trying to gain it back.  We have forgotten…

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Our food and soil climate cannot sustain the kinds of meals tradition dictates and does not contain the kinds of nutrition that our grandmothers enjoyed.  As the decades pass, life evolves and changes and our food choices need to as well.

How can you start?

  • throw out your conventional ideas about what a meal should look like (MEAT, starch, vegetables)
  • shop on the exterior of the grocery store
  • eat WHOLE foods
  • give your self an 80/20 goal (80% of what you eat and drink will fight disease, 20% will feed it)  *because we are human, not perfection
  • integrate more plant-based foods into your diet
  • STOP obsessing about protein – you will get enough! SERIOUSLY!
  • if you buy packaged food READ THE LABEL first, don’t eat what you can’t pronounce
  • kids need a healthy diet MORE than adults do… don’t give your kids crap food because they will “run around and burn it off”, you are just feeding disease in their tiny growing bodies
  • eat thoughtfully and feed your kids thoughtfully, not out of habit

 

Our current habits have created our current health climate.

Your habits create your health.

Fuel your body for how you want to feel each day… and if you don’t know how reach out for help 🙂

 

 

Meal Prep

Last week I had the chance to work with an amazing woman who organizes meal prep for families.  I love this concept… you sign up and pre-pay online, you choose how many meals you would like to take home and freeze for easy whole food family dinners.  On her sign up page there is a drop down menu of 4 meals to choose from, pick your favourites and show up!  She has all the recipes broken down into steps and how you need to chop – cook – or mix the ingredients!  BRILLIANT

It’s so easy to just do the step on the little sticky note and then move onto the next sticky note, meanwhile we all got to chat and get to know each other 🙂  The final step is assembling the meals in freezer ready packaging that includes cooking instructions.

3 hours later 8 women had prepared and packed 71 plant-based meals!

During this meal prep we made Roasted Yam and Black Bean Burritos, Lentil Soup, Sweet Potato Pineapple Indian Curry and Plant-based Chickpea Burgers

I ❤️ Plants!

There is only 1 diet that can prevent and even in most cases repair the damage of heart disease… and that is… wait for it…

a whole foods plant based diet!

This comes as no surprise that you are hearing this from me. I like to remind people of that every once in a while and with any luck someone will be hearing this for the first time and it will save their life.  Cardiovascular disease is the #2 killer of Canadians and we are doing it to ourselves.  I won’t chatter on and on I’ll just post this picture and let it resonate in your mind, your soul and hopefully your heart 🙂

Figure A – a diseased artery after eating a typical Canadian diet

Figure B – the same artery after 32 months on a whole foods plant based diet

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“Every time you eat or drink you are either feeding disease or fight it”… you choose.  (Heather Morgan)

Fusion Noodles

Another leftover creation that turned out so delish, that I will just make it on purpose and not wait for leftovers!  A little Italian, a little Asian – win win!

So I had sprinkled everything on top really pretty to take an appetizing Insta-pic but then I stirred it and started eating it before I remembered to take the PICTURE!!

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We like the really think spaghettini or vermicelli noodles when we are eating pasta.  I  love to have just a little taste of noodle and mostly taste the veggies and sauce that I’ve dressed it with.

Since, I was starting with leftover spaghettini that had been in the fridge, it was cold and I decided to roll with it and make a cold noodle ‘salad’.

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I added my seed mix. This SUPERFOOD mix I’m trying for the first time.  Usually I just add hemp hearts and the “salad topper” from Costco that has pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and dried cranberries in it.  Either way these seeds are a healthy source of fat, great fibre and add a nice crunch.  I also sprinkled some chili powder, S&P and chopped up fresh basil.  For a little moisture and some salty asian flavour (because that is what I love, give me heat and salt and I’m a happy girl!) I added a splash of tamari. Tamari is fermented soy sauce.  Because of the fermentation, the salt doesn’t effect your blood pressure the same way that it would with other salty products and it is gluten-free if you need that.

 

If you decide to give it a try I hope you like it as much as I did!

Nutritional Yeast – not really yeast

It feels like everyone has the spring cold, let the wiping of runny noses begin again… or maybe not!  We have some serious science showing that you can boost your immune system significantly with just just 1/2 a teaspoon of nutritional yeast daily.  Actually one of the studies done on CHILDREN showed a 50% decrease in colds and flu. (We all know how germy that little mini-me can be with daycare and school)  The beta-glucan in the yeast raises the immune response, even just 1/8 of a teaspoon of nutritional yeast daily over a 12 week period not only reduced the incidence of colds and flu but in the kids that did get sick, they were sick for less than half of the time!  On average the kids eating the nutritional yeast either didn’t get sick or were sick for only 3 or 4 days as opposed to the kids who did not eat any were sick an average of 9 or 10 days!

nutritional yeast

Let’s be honest it does look a bit like fish flakes but thank goodness it doesn’t taste like them!  (At least I think it doesn’t, I’ve never tried fish flakes)  It has a nutty, cheesy flavour and can be added to loads of different meals.  We add it to our spaghetti sauce and then again on top like parmesan, I add it to my guacamole, to the mashed potatoes, to the baked potatoes, I sprinkle it on onions and mushrooms when I’m frying them to add to supper, I dump some into the curry, sprinkle it on tacos…sooooo many uses! 

Nutritional yeast is deactivated yeast so it wont cause any inflammation in the gut or contribute to candida. It is very beneficial for lowering cholesterol, is an antioxidant and is often fortified with vitamin B12 (something most of us, vegan or not, just aren’t getting enough of anymore…our food is too clean!)  

 

Pancakes… fluffy make your kids smile pancakes :)

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I’ve been committed to putting oats into my pancakes for a while now and full disclosure – oats makes them very heavy.  The kids were thankful for pancakes but have been wishing for light fluffy – like I used to make when I cooked with eggs – pancakes.  So here you go!   Now you’ll have to just risk it like I do each time since I don’t measure the amount of water that I put in. I just add little by little until I get a good consistency that drips off the whisk (you’re going for thicker than a crepe batter but not clumpy or lumpy)

Fluffy Vegan Pancakes (with no oats – kind of)

  • 3 pureed bananas – the riper the sweeter so those black bananas that you save for baking will do just fine!
  • 3 cups stone ground flour – it also works with 2 cups stone ground flour and 1 cup oat flour (which I make by blending my oats in the blender until they are like flour!)
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup ground flax
  • 1/4 cup hemp hearts (optional)
  • 1 cup plant milk (we use cashew milk)
  • 1 tbsp baking soda & some apple cider or coconut vinegar (now what you want to do is get your tbsp of baking soda onto the spoon, hold it over your mixture and pour the vinegar in small amounts onto the baking soda to make it bubble and activate. I use 2 or 3 splashes of vinegar (you wont even taste it in the pancakes)
  • Whisk it all together and start adding your water, a little at a time until you achieve that drippy but not runny pancake consistency

That’s it, heat the pan with a little avocado oil and pour the batter into whatever size pancakes your family likes – or you have the skills to flip!

ENJOY 🙂

The Devil’s in the Hairy Details

What can you even tell from a hair mineral analysis?  EVERYTHING!  Here is a list of just 12 of the insights that a hair mineral analysis can provide.   This easy and accurate test is the WHAT and the WHY and I am the HOW 🙂  Once you get your sample taken it is important to get it accurately interpreted so that you can get the full picture of what is happening in your body and how to best approach rebalancing.

  1. Heavy Metal Toxicityhormones
  2. Mineral Deficiencies and Imbalances
  3. Metabolic Rate (fast or slow)
  4. Adrenal Fatigue
  5. Thyroid Function
  6. Nervous System Imbalances
  7. Protein Synthesis
  8. Inflammation
  9. Energy Levels
  10. Mental Health Issues
  11. Liver & Kidney Stress
  12. Carbohydrate Tolerance & Blood Sugar Imbalances like Diabetes and Insulin resistance

Give me a call @778 676 5210 or scroll to the bottom of the page to book online 🙂 

Easy Ramen and Kale

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This was just a quick lunch with my favourite kind of noodle…ramen!

Ingredients:

  • ginger
  • garlic
  • chili peppers
  • soya sauce
  • 1 cup bouillon (or 1 cup water and 1/2 tsp bouillon paste)
  • button mushrooms (because that is what I had on hand but shiitake would have been ideal)
  • kale
  • ramen noodles
  • toasted sesame oil (gives it the asian flavour)

I put the oil in the pan and heated it up a little with the garlic, ginger and mushrooms. I let it fry for a couple mins while I washed and tore up the kale. Then I just dumped everything else in the frying pan, kept the heat on medium low and put the lid on until the noodles were cooked.  Since I wasn’t in the mood for soup today 1 cup of water was enough to cook the noodles and have a bit of sauce from the noddle starch and spices.

Fun Facts about my lunch!

Kale is a cruciferous vegetable making it a powerful antioxidant able to help fight off free radicals.  It is also full of vitamin C and lowers cholesterol.  Mushrooms are fantastically anti-inflammatory in your body and your blood vessels and heart will thank you with every serving!   Ginger is great for digestion and of course garlic boosts immunity. 

Bowtie Pasta

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Sometimes my kids want crazy shaped noodles… part of being a kid I guess.  They picked this bowtie pasta out at the grocery store and I thought…what the heck am I going to make with this?!  This adorable shape made me start dreaming of pesto but I didn’t like the ingredients in anything from the store… so I thought, I’ll just make it myself.

Let’s say this is a loose interpretation of pesto since it’s very basic and quite clean tasting …really I just wanted that sweet fresh basil flavour!

Green ‘Pesto’ Sauce: handful of fresh basil, handful x2 of spinach, 1 avocado, a splash of coconut vinegar, a splash of water and a squeeze of lime.  A dash of pink Himalayan salt to bring out the flavours and into the blender it went.  It was bright green perfection!   I put the leftovers in the fridge and it was even better the next day after the flavours had time to marinate with each other.  I did choose to skip the garlic in the sauce since I knew we wouldn’t use it all up at once and I find that fresh garlic the next day is super overpowering and I wanted to enjoy the clean flavours of the fresh greens and herbs.  

The Veg: I fried up some mushrooms, onions, garlic and canned chickpeas (drained and rinsed) in a little avocado oil, S&P, and nutritional yeast. The nutritional yeast gives it the wow factor, a salty – cheesy flavour without the actual salt and cheese.

In the end, kids got their cute pasta and mom got her fresh ‘pesto’ sauce!  WIN WIN 🙂

Some Nutritional Facts:

  • chickpeas are a great source of vitamins, minerals, fibre and an excellent source of plant based protein.
  • mushrooms are anti-inflammatory making them great for your heart and blood vessels.  There is also new research showing their benefits in improving cognitive function.
  • onions and garlic are a no brainer! Immune boosting, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory along with providing many vitamins and nutrients such as B1, B6 and vitamin C.
  • spinach is a great source of vitamins namely vitamin K, important for bone health.
  • basil is a good source of magnesium and vitamin A, promoting healthy blood flow.

 

Tiny Tacos

TACOS

This one was quick and easy since jackfruit comes in the can and doesn’t really need to be cooked.  I just pulled apart the jackfruit and fried it a little in some sweet and tangy BBQ sauce with a handful of smashed black beans.  To boost the flavour even more I added some onions, garlic and mushrooms to the frying pan.  Onions and garlic are not only great for the immune system but are also powerful anti-inflammatories, lowering inflammation in your gut and throughout your body.

DID YOU KNOW: Mushrooms relax your arteries lowering your blood pressure!

We love our homemade guacamole! Avocado is rich in oleic acid – a healthy fat – and we try to consume it as much as possible  — our guac is just squished avocado with some S&P, a splash of pickle juice and scoop of nutritional yeast —  For the rice I always cook it in broth and often will add some cumin or coriander for added flavour.  If you add the spices to the water then the rice (or any grain you cook) takes on the flavours as it’s cooking and soaking it all in.

We topped it all off with a little salsa and some fresh cilantro — cilantro is great at soaking up and naturally removing any extra heavy metals from our body. 

INGREDIENTS:

  • rice
  • guacamole – avocado, pickle juice, nutritional yeast
  • jackfruit
  • black beans
  • onions
  • mushrooms
  • garlic
  • salsa
  • BBQ sauce