About Me

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I support people on their journey to wellness through nutrition and lifestyle coaching! I am passionate about teaching people how lifestyle choices can be fun, inspiring and positively affect all aspects of their lives. I love guiding people to wellness one meal at a time!! I am also a passionate mama, a yogi and I love to cook!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Lemony Lemon Soup

Hi there,
Sorry it has been so long since I have posted. I have been busy cooking up a storm, holiday parties and I still have to work with all of that going on :). Life gets busy as we get closer and closer to the holidays. I am sure many of you are in the same boat right about now!
Anyhoo, today I came home and felt like some warming lentil soup. It is chilly outside here in the GTA and I thought what better time to whip up a fresh batch of wholesome lentil soup. I love cooking without a recipe. It is so much fun and you never know what you are going to come up with!
I felt like having something with a lemon zing to it, so here is what I came up with.


LEMONY LENTIL SOUP
1 onion, chopped
2 tsp butter
Saute onions over medium low in butter until translucent. For about 5 minutes.
2 carrots, chopped
3 celery stalks
3 cloves of garlic
Add the carrots, celery and garlic. Saute for another 3 minutes.
Then add;
1/2 cup red lentils
1 container of low sodium organic vegetable broth
Season with sea salt and pepper
Bring to a simmer and cover for 15 minutes.
2 cups of chopped swiss chard
1/2 juice of 1 lemon
The zest of 1 lemon
Add chard, lemon juice and zest. Stir until chard is slightly wilted.
ENJOY~
This soup is absolutely delish....if i do say so myself :)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Creamy Miso Dressing

Here is another way to get the nourishing benefits of miso into your diet. See my previous post to learn some of the health benefits of miso and get my miso soup recipe.
This recipe is slightly adapted from Get It Ripe, By Jae Steele. Jae Steele is a local nutritionist who is also a vegan. Her two cookbooks are great learning tools on how to do vegan RIGHT! There is a big difference between being vegan and being a healthy vegan.
Even if you are not vegan (which i am not) it is important for the health of our bodies and the health of the environment to enjoy vegan or vegetarian meals on a regular basis. Jae Steele's recipes show us that we can eat vegan foods that are healthy and taste great....with a focus on eating locally and sustainably!
Check out her blog here; http://domesticaffair.blogspot.com/
I am sure once you try this amazing dressing you will no longer want to buy the stuff off the shelf. It is creamy, tangy, and delicious! ENJOY!


1 tbsp traditionally fermented miso (find at your local health food store)
1 tbsp cashew or almond butter
1 tbsp agave syrup or honey (honey would not be vegan)
1 tbsp tamari soy sauce
1 garlic clove
1/4 cup flax or hemp oil
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until well combined. Store the extras in a glass jar!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Veggielicious Miso Soup

Miso is a true superfood in my eyes. What the heck is it, you might ask? Miso is a fermented soy bean paste that is delightfully delicious and super healthy for you. Move over chicken soup when you are feeling under the weather..... and say hello to miso soup. I still am a huge fan of good 'ol chicken soup anytime especially when you are feeling under the weather but miso soup is also a great alternative for vegetarians or those who want to shake things up and add some variety. The best part = it is much easier to make!



Here are some of miso's nutritional highlights;
  • Antiviral -- miso is very alkalizing and strengthening to the immune system helping to combat a viral infection.
  • Natural source of healthy bacteria which is essential for a healthy digestive and immune system
  • Great source of Zinc; important for immune health, prostate health, etc.
  • High in many health supporting nutrients; protein, vitamin B12, vitamin B2, vitamin E, vitamin K, tryptophan, choline, dietary fiber, linoleic acid and lecithin.
  • Can help ease menopausal symptoms due to the natural phytoestrogens
The important thing when purchasing miso is to look for a organic and naturally fermented variety. I recommend going to your local health food store to buy miso. Also, the darker the miso paste the more intense the flavour. I have a very dark miso paste at home but if you are just trying it for the 1st time you might want to get a lighter variety.

Veggielicious Miso Soup
1 1/2 cups of veggie broth (use homemade or low sodium Imagine Soup Vegetable Broth)

1/2 cup of veggies of choice ( I use carrots and cabbage, julienne sliced)
2 shiitake mushrooms, diced
2 green onions, chopped
1 tsp of coconut oil or sesame oil
1 tbsp of high quality organic miso


Bring broth to a soft boil. Turn down to a simmer. Place your veggies in the broth. Allow to simmer for about 5 minutes or so until veggies are soft. Take off heat. Add 1 tsp of oil and miso. Stir well until miso is dissolved. Enjoy!


SHARE WITH ME ~ What is your favorite warming soup during these cooler months of the year???

Friday, October 29, 2010

Last of the pumpkin craze....

First of all I would like to clear something up. Remember in my previous post, I had said that pumpkins do not taste good on their own?? I went on to say that they need some sweetness to be palatable. Well, I am here to tell you that I take it back!! I roasted my own pumpkin (yes, and it is really not that hard), pureed it, tried it on its own and it was delicious!! I enjoyed a big 'ol bowl of it this week and am going to get some more pumpkin to enjoy it again! The only pumpkin I had tried on its own in the past was canned pumpkin and while canned pumpkin is okay to use in recipes...it is not the same as freshly roasted pumpkins. Learn how easy it is to roast your own pumpkin here!!! I highly recommend trying it! And with Halloween being this weekend, what better time to try roasting your own pumpkin with the family?? And don't forget about the nourishing and tasty pumpkin seeds.
Okay, for all of you crazy pumpkin 'like minded' people like me out there.......I have my final pumpkin recipe coming but first I want to share with you a few of my fellow Blogger's amazing pumpkin ideas;
2. Roasted Pumpkin Medley...another one from Meghan Telpner
3.Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream from the gluten free goddess @ Elana's Pantry
4.Chocolate Pumpkin Pots (yes chocolate and pumpkin..Mmmm) by the lovely Ricki Heller

Okay now for my recipe. I was looking for a pumpkin pie type dessert without all of the added sugar and calories and here is what I came up with.

Crustless Pumpkin Pie



1/2 cup of pumpkin puree (you can make you own or purchase)
1 heaping tsp of pumpkin pie spice (check out Meghan Telpners Pumpkin porrage recipe to get the recipe for pumpkin pie spice...see above)
1 egg
1 tbsp of pure maple syrup or 10 drops of stevia (or 2 tbsp of maple syrup)
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup of light or full fat coconut milk ( I used light this time because I wanted something light....but go ahead and use the full fat)


Pre-heat oven to 350F.
Set a pot of water on the stove to bring to a boil.
Combine pumpkin and spices in one bowl. In a separate bowl, beat eggs and add the rest of the ingredients and mix.
Whisk the egg mixture with the pumpkin mixture.
Pour custard into 3 ramekins (1/2 cup). Place ramekins in a deep baking pan. Add water to cover ½ of the ramekins. Carefully place in the oven and bake for 1 hour + 10 minutes or until firm.
Serve warm or chilled.


Share with me!!! What are you doing to make this Halloween weekend just a touch healthier for you and your family???

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Pumpkin Loving Smoothie

I promised another amazing pumpkin recipe and here it is.....
If you are a fan of pumpkin pie, this smoothie is sure to please. It is sweet, fragrant, creamy and delicious all in one cup! Pumpkins are low in calories, high in fiber and beta carotene. This is a great way to enjoy pumpkin without all of the added sugar and calories that is in pumpkin pie, custards and cheesecakes. With this smoothie you are getting all of that pumpkin goodness without affecting your waist line!

½ banana
1 tsp pumpkin spice (or mixture of ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg)
¼ cup pumpkin puree
1 cup almond milk
1 serving of vanilla protein powder


Blend all ingredients; expect protein powder until well blended. Add the protein powder, pulse until mixed in. Enjoy!


One more amazing pumpkin recipe to come! Stay tuned!!!!

Share with me in the comments section below! What is your favorite thing to do at this time of year??? It could be about food (like enjoying amazing pumpkin recipes), something you like to do outdoors, halloween related, etc.
Always enjoy hearing your comments and feedback!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Pumpkin Pie Muffins

It is pumpkin season and I have been hard at work to find some great things to do with pumpkins that doesn't have a ton of added sugar and calories. Have you ever tasted cooked pumpkin without added sugar?? Well, it is not very tasty (in my opinion anyway). It needs some spices and sweetness to make it palatable. But when you find the right mix of pizazz it can be magical. Can you tell I like pumpkins. Well, I do ;O) 
I have been on a mission to create pumpkin recipes that have minimal sugar (and using natural sugars) and calories but still taste amazing! And I believe I have been successful.
These pumpkin pie muffins are gluten free, high in fiber, low calories, and taste amazing! Try them for yourself.
The almighty pumpkins nutritional  highlights are that it is very low in calories, fiber packed and a great source of beta carotene.
I actually took a trip to my local farmers market, bought a fresh pumpkin, seeded it, roasted it and then made my own puree. You can also purchase canned pumpkin.
I have another pumpkin recipe coming next week. Stay tuned!
Ingredients~ 
3 eggs
2 tbsp coconut oil or butter
¼ cup coconut milk or unsweetened almond milk
¼ cup pumpkin puree
10 drops of stevia + 1 tbsp agave or maple syrup OR 2 tbsp of agave syrup or maple syrup
¼ cup +2 tbsp coconut flour
¼ tsp baking powder
Pinch of sea salt + 1 tbsp of pumpkin spice

Directions~
Preheat oven to 350F.
Process eggs, coconut oil, milk, pumpkin puree, stevia and agave syrup in a food processor. Pulse until combined. Add in coconut flour, baking powder, sea salt and pumpkin spice. Pulse until well combined.
The batter is thick! Fill 6 muffin tins (grease the pan with some coconut oil or butter) just over half way. Bake for about 15-20 minutes. Until muffins are set and the edges become golden brown.


Please note: You can purchase Organic Coconut Flour from the Bulk Barn. If you are celiac, you should purchase pre-packed gluten free flours do to risk of cross contamination. But for the rest of us, this is a much more cost effective way to purchase coconut flour.


These muffins contain 108 calories each + 4 grams of fibre + 4 grams of protein.

PLEASE SHARE!!!
What is your favorite fall vegetable and how do you like to enjoy it????





Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Roasted Cauliflower with a “Cheesy Sauce”!

I made this for dinner last night and let me tell you it sure was a treat. This vegan “cheesy sauce” even past the test of my dairy loving family. It was creamy, cheesy and delicious!

The yellowish colour of nutritional yeast comes from the concentration of the B vitamin riboflavin. Riboflavin helps protect your cells from oxygen damage, supports energy production and helps with absorption of other B vitamins. Also a great source of vitamins niacin, thiamine, biotin, and folic acid and minerals selenium, chromium, zinc, phosphorus, and magnesium.

Roasted Cauliflower

• ½ head of cauliflower, broken up into bite size pieces
• 2 tsp olive oil
Preheat oven to 350F. Place in an oven safe dish. Drizzle with 2 tsp olive oil. Cover with foil wrap and bake for 30-35 minutes or until tender.

“Cheesy Sauce”
• 3-4 tbsp of nutritional yeast
• 3 tbsp of tahini, cashew butter or combination of the two. I used Cashini Butter By: Artisana
• ½ juice of 1 lemon
• ¼ cup water
• 1 small clove of garlic
• 2 tbsp of diced onion
• Pinch of sea salt, to taste
Place in a food processor or high powered blender and blend until well combined. Taste and adjust seasonings.


Combining the two
When cauliflower is fully cooked, take out of oven and top with the cheesy sauce. Enjoy!







Friday, October 15, 2010

Exciting Week

Hi all,
Well it has been an exciting week. I was on Wylde on Health last Friday with two of my favorite people in the world of natural health, Dr Joey Shulman & host Dr. Bryce Wylde. It was so much fun! If you missed click on the link at the bottom of this post to watch online.
I also hosted a fun seminar on one of my favorite topics, Digestion! For those of you who don't know....the reason why I am doing the amazing job of teaching people how to eat well and live their best lives is because I was having severe digestive problems and had to search for answers to heal myself. I was chronically constipated, had extreme low energy, was breaking out in rashes all over my body....let me tell ya, it wasn't pretty.
Anyways, I played with my diet to find the best diet for me to improve my digestive health and since then haven't turned back. Digestion is something we all take for granted until it is not working for us.
Digestive health is critical for all aspects of health. I am a huge believer in the concept that we are only as healthy as your pipes. We are designed to ingest foods, break it down into its smallest parts, absorb the nutrients, proteins, fats and sugars from the food to be used by the body and then excrete the waste. It seems so simple but many things can go wrong along the way. Constipation, gas, diarrhoea, bloating, indigestion, acid reflux, thin or hard stools and smelly stools are all common symptoms that tell us that we might need work on our digestion.



Here are some of top tips to enhance digestion!!


• Drink lemon and warm water in the morning on an empty stomach to aid in a mild digestive and liver cleanse.


• Bulk up with Fibre! 1 tbsp of ground flaxseeds per day and/or try using a cereal that contains psyllium fibre – I like Natures Path Smart Bran (1/4 – ½ cup per day)


• Water! Water! Water! – A dehydrated colon is a constipated colon! Aim to get at least 8 cups of water per day or 2 litres! Insufficient water intake is the most common cause of constipation.


• Chew your food – Digestion of carbohydrates starts in your mouth with enzymes in your saliva. Most people do not chew thoroughly, which makes digestion of food much harder when it reaches your stomach. Chewing is the #1 tip for proper digestion.


• Magnesium – is the 2nd most abundant mineral in the body, next to calcium. It is needed for over 300 enzymatic functions in the body. One of those functions include keeping the bowels hydrated to allow for easy passing of stools. In the simplest terms; it makes your poop come out easier. Foods that are high in magnesium include; dark green vegetables and whole grains. If you are suffering from constipation, ask your health care provider if magnesium supplementation is right for you!


• Lubricate with healthy fats! Fish oil, nuts, seeds, cold water fish, avocado are all great sources of healthy fats. These fats help lubricate your stools to allow for easier passing!!


• Add some bacteria to your life – Probiotics are essential for good digestion and to relieve bloating. The following are great sources of probiotics;


o Plain yogurt

o Traditionally fermented sauerkraut – I like Eden Organic

o Fermented soy – Miso, tamari and tempeh

o Talk to your health care provider about supplementing with probiotics, especially if you have been on antibioitcs.  


• Move your body!! Exercise stimulates peristalsis which is the rhythmic contraction of your digestive system which stimulates bowel movements. Cardio, rebounding and yoga in particular are great to stimulate the digestive system.


• RELAX! Avoid eating on-the-go. Slow down for two minutes before and after you eat to allow your blood to “relocate” to your digestive system. If feeling anxious, write down all of your thoughts before you begin eating. (Digestive problems are associated with anxiety.) Try taking a few deep breaths before you eat.


• De-stress!! There is probably no system in the body that’s more responsive to mind-body influences than the digestive tract. Deep breathing, yoga, taking a hot bath, massage, etc. These are all effective ways to de-stress yourself. Aim to get at least 20-30 minutes of relaxation per day!

SHARE WITH ME!!! What have you done today to improve the health of your digestive system????


MISS ME ON TV LAST FRIDAY?? NO NEED TO WORRY, YOU CAN CLICK HERE TO WATCH ME ON WYLDE ON HEALTH!!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Packing Healthy School Lunches!

School lunches can be a tough; the kiddies need to like what they are having on top of being super healthy to provide them with the energy they need to get through the afternoon at school. I don’t know about you but when I was a child there was often a lot of lunch swapping going on. When you spend the time making your kids a healthy lunch and the money YOU WANT YOUR KIDS TO EAT IT! We also have the challenge of food allergies in schools. Schools are peanut and often nut free along with other restrictions depending on the school your kids go to. All of these factors can make it challenging to make a healthy and allergen free lunch that your kids will actually like. So my intention here is to inspire you to get creative and make lunches the kids will actually like and not want to trade.
When I decided that I was going to write this post, I thought who better to ask what would make a good lunch than kids themselves (I also posted a Facebook question where I got some great answers. If you are not part of the Facebook fun on my fan page, I highly recommend you pop by and click the like button to take part in the healthy conversations Click here to become a fan!). So I asked my nieces and nephews what they would like in their lunches. The first answer I got was from my 5 year old nephew Michael and he said all he wants in his lunch is chocolate. Then he moved on to say a nutella sandwich would hit the spot. My older nieces and nephews liked the idea of pizza, sandwiches and leftover stews/soups. My partner Todd said that his favourite lunch was the pre-packaged Lunchables(please do not buy these). I always liked a good peanut butter sandwich.


So with that information I have put together some ideas that I think would not only be super healthy and help your kids get through the afternoons with their energy levels consistent but also that they will enjoy and actually eat!


So here is some of my top picks;


Lunch Ideas!
• Hummus Wrap – Whole grain wrap (I love the Food For Life Ezekiel Wraps) + hummus* (amazing chickpea dip) + veggies (cucumber, tomato, romaine lettuce and/or spinach)
• Leftover Chilli, soups or stews (store in a thermos. Heat before adding to the thermos and it should stay warm until lunch)
• This one is for my 5 year old nephew!! 2 slices of sprouted grain bread + homemade ( and much better) nutella (Get a great recipe here!!)
• Pizza Sandwich – 2 sprouted grain wraps, pizza sauce mozzarella cheese + steamed and diced veggies. Top one wrap with all of your child’s favourite pizza toppings, be sure to add a few more veggies and make sure cheese is on the bottom and top so the wraps stick together. Place 2nd wrap over the 1st one. Heat a pan with a touch of olive oil over medium heat. Heat wrap on both sides until cheese has melted. Cut into triangle shapes and let cool before packing.
• Nitrate free turkey or chicken sandwich served on sprouted grain toast with some veggies and hummus on the side
• Whole grain bagel topped with organic cream cheese + cucumber slices, served with some trail mix on the side
• Tuna salad boats! Served on top of romaine lettuce + cherry tomatoes. Serve along with some yogurt and fruit.
• Homemade Lunchables – Nitrate free turkey slices (Organic if you can afford) or organic pepperoni cut into squares, cheese slices, whole grain crackers (try Kashi TLC crackers) + avocado (sprinkle with some lemon juice to prevent browning) + veggies such as cucumber, tomatoes, carrot sticks, etc.
• Whole grain bread topped with Sunflower seed butter and banana slices. Send with some hummus and vegetables
• Tofu fingers (recipe below), sweet potato fries and steamed broccoli served with some organic ketchup


Snacks, desserts and sides!
• Nut Free trail mixes (make your own with seeds and organic dried fruits or try Enjoy Life Trail Mix found at the health food store)
• Apple slices + pumpkin seed butter
• Organic Yogurt (buy plain yogurt and add unsweetened jam or pure maple syrup so you can control the sugar content or look for yogurt with the least amount of sugar)
• Enjoy Life (company that makes products free of all common allergens including nuts and peanuts) Granola Bars
• Whole grain muffins (homemade made with natural sugars)
• Healthier baked goods such as black bean brownies or teff peanut butter cookies (made with Sunflower seed butter instead of peanut butter; try the product Sunbutter http://www.sunbutter.com/)
• Guacamole or salsa with zucchini slices or organic baked corn chips
• Homemade fruit smoothies* (add some Greens+ Kids for an added nutrition boost and flavour)


Tips
• Always send your kids with a bag filled with a mixture of vegetables
• Get your kids involved in making their lunches and make it fun
• Get your kids involved in the produce section. Let then choose the fruits and veggies they would like to have in their lunch. Make a game of it, try something new every week.
• Always make sure you add some healthy fats (seeds, avocado, olive oil) and protein (eggs, legumes, meats, yogurt, etc) to your child’s lunches to support blood sugar balance and concentration
• Keep your kids hydrated with good old H2O. Send 1-2 bottles (re-usable) in their bags.
• Try packing lunches in stainless steel containers or BPA free plastic bento box kits http://www.laptoplunches.com/ (check at your local health food store such as Natural Life Health Market)


Product Suggestions
• Beretta Farms (http://www.berettaorganics.com/) – Lunch Meats OR Presidents Choice Blue Menu Chicken slices
• Sunbutter (http://www.sunbutter.com/) – Alternative to peanut butter, made with sunflower seeds
• Food For Life (http://www.foodforlife.com/) Ezekiel wraps and bread
• Stonemill Breads (http://www.stonemillbakehouse.com/English/010~home/)
• Enjoy Life (http://www.enjoylifefoods.com/) – Granola bars and trail mix
• Greens+ Kids http://www.genuinehealth.com/by-name/greens-kids.html

Get some more amazing lunch ideas at these websites;
• http://www.laptoplunches.com/list-all-recipes.php
• This is great for kids on special diets including wheat and gluten free.
http://www.nourishingmeals.com/2010/09/recipe-round-up-ideas-for-packing.html

Baked Tofu Fingers
Source - Enlightened Eating By: Caroline Dupont
• 1lb firm or extra firm tofu
• 2 tbs tamari
• 1 tbs of cold pressed olive oil or sesame oil


1. Preheat oven to 350
2. Slice tofu in half lengthwise and then cut these two these two halves into ¼ inch thick slices
3. Mix oil and tamari in an 8 inch pan and dip each piece of tofu into sauce, coating it well
4. Arrange tofu in the same pan in a single layer. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes depending on how crispy you like it, turning slices once halfway through cooking time


Brain Healthy Tuna Salad
• 1 can of water packed light flaked (less mercury than white) tuna (170g)
• ½ a fresh avocado (instead of mayo), mashee
• ½ juice of 1 lemon
• A big handful of fresh herbs (I used cilantro because I love it)
• Other options include; chopped onions, celery, bell pepper, add a dash of hot sauce, etc.
Mix this together in a medium size dish and serve on whole grain bread, wraps, or romaine lettuce leaves


Homemade Classic Hummus
• 1 can of chickpeas (I use Eden Organic)
• 1/4 cup olive oil
• 1 small clove of garlic
• 1/2 the zest from 1 lemon
• 1/2 the juice of 1 lemon
• 2 heaping tbsp of tahini
• Sea salt and pepper to taste
Blend all of the ingredients in a food processor, except tahini. When well blended, add the tahini and adjust salt and pepper to your liking. Pulse a few times to mix and viola!!
Easy peasy (as my mother would say) and your done!!


Fruit Smoothie
• ½ banana
• ½ cup berries
• ½ cup plain yogurt
• 1 scoop of Greens+ Kids
Blend and add to a re-useable container. Great to add to breakfast, enjoy as a snack or packed in a lunch box.

Here is a nice reminder why we need to take the time to make nourishing meals for our children. Even if your child is at a healthy weight their bodies still need good nutrition. We all need vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, proteins, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates to live a full and healthy life. As a society we need to teach our children how to live a healthy life and it starts as soon as they start eating.
Gotta love Jamie Oliver!! See this link; http://www.ted.com/talks/jamie_oliver.html

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Mindful Eating ~ The Hidden Weight Loss Secret

This post is for anyone who struggles with eating/weight, who has a long history of dieting, or just wants to become more present and aware of their food choices and how it impacts their health! The following tips are designed to help you take the power back when it comes to your food choices!

What is mindful eating??


Mindful eating is based on the Zen principle of mindfulness and requires your being acutely aware and conscious of the act of eating. This means engaging all of your scenes while eating; smell, touch, taste, texture. Do you actually like the food you are consuming? Are you truly hungry? Taping in to our inner guidance system; what foods make you feel great and what foods make you feel lousy?


As a nutritionist, I am extremely passionate about this topic. You see, anyone can go on a diet and lose weight, but the goal is to keep it off for life. My personal goal as a nutritionist is to help people change their lifestyle to keep the weight off for good this time.


Without the incorporating the concepts of “mindful eating” into your life, making it so ingrained that it is second nature to you, you will likely gain the weight back! I know that seems like a harsh statement, but it is true.


When we tune into our bodies and honour what our bodies want and need then it doesn’t seem like a diet anymore. It is eating for wellness, to live your best life. “Eating to Live, instead of living to Eat!!”


ESSENTIAL “MINDFUL EATING” TIPS!!


Eat with full awareness
o Before you begin eating, tune into your body. How are you feeling right now? Rate your hunger level?


o Eat without distractions!! Do you really feel satisfied after eating your snack or meal in your car, in front of the TV or even worse at the fridge door? Why not take a seat at your kitchen table, light a candle and/or make a nice cup of tea to enjoy with your snack/meal?? Use your nice dishware. Create a space that makes you feel good. Notice if you feel more satisfied when you take a few extra moments to make a nice space for yourself


o Eat until you are 70% full. Author Michael Pollen puts it simply, “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants”. It really is a simple as that. You have to tune into your body to do this. You also have to eat slowly. It takes 20 minutes for your body to tell your brain that it is full. Notice what your body needs to feel nourished and not too full!


If you pay attention to when you are hungry, what you are eating, when you have had enough, you end the obsession because obsession and awareness cannot coexist” ~GENEEN ROTH~

Engage all of your senses
o When was the last time you gave yourself the space and time to really pay attention to your food? Start by smelling you food. Take a few moments to notice what happens in your body when you smell your food. Is your mouth filling with saliva? Is your stomach grumbling? Do you like the smell of your food? Do you like the way it looks?


o Then feel the texture of your food. The popular chef, Jamie Oliver, continues to discuss on his show the importance of getting your hand involved in cooking. For example, the next time you are tossing a salad try use your hands. Notice how all of the textures feel on your palms and finger tips.


o When chewing, begin to notice the flavours and textures of the food. Name then to yourself.


o When you take the time to engage all of your senses you will gain more enjoyment from eating. This is something that I know for sure. Try it yourself! Notice if you get more satisfaction from less?


Chew slowly
o As I said above, it takes 20 minutes to tell your brain that you are full. So what do you think is going to happen when you stuff your dinner down in less than 5 minutes?? You will likely eat too much and are not going to feel very satisfied. You will miss out on the pleasure of the food because you don’t really taste and enjoy the textures of the food you are eating.


o Homework – next time you eat something with sugars in it, for example an apple or other piece of fruit, notice the change in the flavours as you chew it. As you chew your saliva start the breakdown of the carbohydrates in the food making it sweeter with each bite.

Change your focus
o Why are you trying to lose weight or improve your health? What is your main objective? Have you even thought passed getting into those jean’s that you haven’t fit into since you were 19?? If you are losing weight for physical reasons, like fitting into those pair of jeans, you will most likely eventually fall off the wagon. I have found that for most of us, it has to be about more than that. Life gets too busy and hectic. On a stressful day, getting into those jeans or whatever else it is will be the last thing on your mind.


o Make a list of 100 reasons why health and feeling your best is important to you. The more clear you are on why you want to eat healthy, the more likely you are to stay on track!


o What do you want to achieve in this beautiful life of yours? What is most important to you? How will choosing the best foods and eating what makes you feel your best help you achieve those goals.


o On a personal note; I know for myself, that I would not be able to do this job that I LOVE if I did not make healthy choices at each meal and exercise on a regular basis. I need to be present with each client to help them achieve their health goals and if I don’t take care of my physical body, I would not have the energy and focus to do it. That is one of the things that drives me to eat well and take care of my physical body on a daily basis. What drives you??


o It is estimated that 90% of women are dissatisfied with their bodies! Even after weight loss is achieved most women are dissatisfied with some aspect of their bodies. If your goal is to lose weight to like the way you look then you are missing part of the puzzle. The goal is to love yourself right now, the way you are! Love yourself enough that you want to take amazing care of this human body that you are now residing in. Then you will be making choices from a different place, making healthy eating plan a lifestyle that is built on the desire to feel your best, not to be a certain size. It is then, that you will have a lasting change!


Nourish yourself in other ways
o Brainstorm on other things that would nourish you after a stressful day besides food.


o Examples; herbal teas, hot bath, yoga, meditation, relaxing essential oils, music (listening to music while I making dinner, while having a relaxing bath, cleaning my house, etc. Also love live music), reading a great book, sunshine. These are examples of what I find nourish me in my life. Make your own list and add these things into your daily life. When you incorporate these things into your daily life you will nourish your spirit and not feel like you need food to support you after a hard day,


o ACTION STEP ~ Create a list of 50 things other than food that soothes your soul. If you need some help check out the book “50 Ways to Soothe Yourself Without Food” By Susan Albers PhD.


o Start incorporating these into your daily and weekly life and watch how your world changes.


Focus on connecting with people
o When you are on a “diet” if you even want to call it that (I like to think of it as a lifestyle revamp), it can be easy to be obsessed with food. When you go to parties, weddings or even worse going up to someone’s cottage for a whole weekend, food is commonly the main focus when people get together and that can be difficult when you are trying to stay on track with your healthy eating plan. What has helped me is to create an intention to focus more on the people at the gathering than that big bowl of nachos and cheese that can sometimes seem to be calling your name. When you change your focus, the food doesn’t seem to call your name anymore. Where attention goes, energy flows!!! When you change your focus and attention the food sits in the background and doesn’t have the same power over you!


Eat foods that make you feel good! Listen to what your body wants!
o I can assure you that the chocolate cake that has been calling your name might make you feel good for a moment, but after that you will feel crappy. That is not what your body truly wants.


o One of the first questions I ask all of my clients is about their energy levels. The fact is that most people are walking around with low energy levels most of the time. When healthy dietary changes are made, energy levels improve quite quickly. Our bodies respond when we make the best food choices. We all know what foods make us feel our best. Focus on choosing foods that make you feel good and achieving your ideal weight will be an awesome side effect of those choices.



It’s never been true, not anywhere at any time, that the value of a soul, of a human spirit, is dependent on a number on a scale! We are unrepeatable beings of light and space and water who need these physical beings to get around. When we start defining ourselves by that which can be measured or weighed something in us rebels. ~Geneen Roth~

Helpful Resources
Women Food & God By: Geneen Roth
When Food is Love By: Geneen Roth
Excuses Begone By: Wayne Dyer
The Power of Intention By: Dr Wayne Dyer
A New Earth By: Eckhart Tolle
50 Ways to Soothe Yourself Without Food” By Susan Albers PhD.
The Quest for Peace, Love and a 24” Waist By: Deborah Low

Look for me on CP24 (Toronto station) this Friday @ 7pm. I will be on Wylde on Health with 2 of my favorite people in the world of natural health; Dr Joey Shulman and Dr Bryce Wylde!!

SHARE WITH ME!! DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS THAT HELP KEEP YOU ON TRACK WITH YOUR RELATIONSHIP TO FOOD AND MAINTAINING A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE? WHAT WORKS FOR YOU AND WHAT DOESN'T WORK FOR YOU????
WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU!!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Creamy Lentil Soup

I love this soup. Not only because of its creamy deliciousness, but also because it gives me something to do with broccoli stalks. I hate wasting things, especially something that is so nourishing to our bodies. So here is a great soup that uses those stalks that most of us throw out. Make sure you cut off the outer part of the broccoli stalks because it is very fibrous and would impact the creaminess of this soup.


• 1 onion, diced
• 1 tbsp of olive or coconut oil
• 1 med sweet potato, peeled and diced
• 2 cups of combo of cauliflower + broccoli stalks (cut off outer part of the broccoli stalk)
• 2-3 garlic cloves
• 1/2 cup red lentils, rinsed
• broth or stock to cover an inch over the veggies
• sea salt or 1 tbsp of tamari (soy sauce) and pepper to taste

1. Sauté onion is olive oil or coconut oil for about 10 minutes on medium heat. Keep an eye on it and make sure you do not burn the onions. If you do, start over. You will not like the taste of the soup if the onions are burnt. The key is to caramelize the onions which will contribute a ton of flavour to this soup.
2. Add other veggies, garlic and red lentils. Sauté for 2-3 more minutes. Season with sea salt and pepper.
3. Cover with broth or water, bring to a boil.
4. Simmer for 30 minutes until lentils are cooked and sweet potato is soft.
5. Blend and Enjoy!

Option = add 1 tbsp of your favourite curry powder and/or ginger!



Friday, September 24, 2010

Kale Avocado Salad

 Recipe slightly adapted from the lovely kitchen of Ms Caroline Dupont. Caroline was one of my teachers from nutrition school and has continued to be one of my mentors in the field of health and wellness! One of the most beautiful people I have ever met, inside and out! Thank you Caroline for all of your inspiration!

Kale is a super powered leafy green vegetable that is located in the lonely part of the grocery store along with all of the other leafy greens. Kale contains the most bang for your buck when it comes to nutrition. What I am saying is that.....YOU SHOULD EAT YOUR KALE!

Here is kale growing! I think many of us are disconnected from where food actually comes from. Here is it, in the ground..... Remember....real food is not made at the grocery store, it comes from the earth :o)

One cup of kale supplies us with 70% of the RDA of vitamin C. It is also a rich source of B6, manganese, fibre, as well as many minerals including copper, iron and calcium! Kale has 3 times more calcium than phosphorus, which is a highly beneficial ratio since high phosphorus consumption is linked to osteoporosis. So many of us think of dairy for calcium....kale is a much better source of "easy to absorb" calcium. A must for anyone concerned about bone health.
Kale also contains plant nutrients that help balance hormones for men and women. Indole 3 carbinols and sulforaphane are 2 big fancy words that can help reduce PMS and menopausal symptoms and help prevent prostate problems in men.
So now the question is......how the heck do I eat that weird leafy green stuff??? I knew that's what you were thinking, I get it all of the time. Well, first of all you could try my simple Yummy Greens recipe, my favorite kale chips (from Elanas Pantry) or start your day off with a green smoothie. Or you can try this amazingly healthy, enzyme rich raw kale salad. The problem with eating raw kale is that it can be hard to digest because of the cellulose. In this salad you marinate the kale in sea salt and lemon juice, both help to break down that fibrous cellulose making it much easier to digest. 
This salad has been enjoyed by many in my household. And by many who really thought they didn't like kale. It is such a great way to ease people into greens, because it tastes great and is easy to make! 
I dare you to try it??

• 1 head kale, thick centre stem removed, sliced fine
• 1 avocado, halved, flesh scooped out of peel
• 1/4 vidalia onion, chopped
• 2 ½ tbsp. olive oil
• 1 ½ tbsp. lemon juice
• 1 tsp. Celtic sea salt
• 1 cup of cherry tomatoes, sliced in 1/2

In a large salad bowl, toss together all ingredients (except tomatoes and onions), using your hands to squeeze as you mix to wilt the kale and cream the avocado together. Add the tomatoes after mixing. Serve!
This is my favorite variety of kale. You cannot get it everywhere, but I find that I can get it pretty consistent at Longos and most health food stores!

SHARE WITH ME! What is your favorite way to enjoy kale?? Or, if you have never had it before; What is holding you back from trying it??
I love to hear your comments and feedback in the comments section below!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Finding the Balance – Ph Balance that is....

Acid and alkaline are two terms that are becoming more common as people are becoming more conscious of their health and well being. But what exactly does it mean and how will it impact your health? Well, that is what this post is all about today.

Every solution is either acidic or alkaline including the fluids of your body (stomach acid, blood, urine), beverages such as coffee and sea water. Acidity and alkalinity are measured in pH which stands for potential of hydrogen. In the body, when we ingest acid forming foods we contribute to hydrogen ions making our bodily fluids more acidic. The opposite of that are alkaline foods, which contribute to hydrogen ions being removed from the body, making us more alkaline.


An important point to understand is that, the effect of the pH of foods that we ingest is after digestion; the ash that a particular food leaves behind. Therefore, acidic tasting foods like lemons, when digested are actually alkaline to the body due to the alkalizing minerals left behind.


Most North American diets are way to acid, setting the stage for an acidic society. Foods such as fast food, processed foods, meats and grains leave behind an acidic ash. Now another important point to understand is that, it doesn’t mean that all acidic foods are bad and alkaline foods are good. It is all about a balance. Your body always wants to maintain homeostasis (just another word for balance) therefore a balance of both acid and alkaline forming foods should be consumed. Now does that mean that you can get your acidic foods from fast foods and other processed foods? The answer is NO. You would be missing out on the important health benefits of “healthy” acidic foods such as legumes, whole grains and some nuts as well as eating foods with too much salt, bad fat and devoid of vital nutrients.

Here’s are some common problems associated with being too acidic;
o Poor bone health – the pH of the blood has a very narrow range and is vital for you stay alive. If you blood goes even slightly too acidic or alkaline you die! Therefore it is put into priority to keep you alive (isn’t the human body amazing??). So when you are eating too many acidic foods, your body will put out alkaline minerals such as calcium from the bones to balance out the pH of the blood. If this happens occasionally, all is okay.....but over a lifetime, it leads to osteoporosis.
o Fatigue – Your cell function gets disrupted leading to fatigue.
o Heartburn
o Free radical damage occurs with greater ease, while antioxidant activity is impaired
o Vitamins and minerals are poorly absorbed
o Decreased immune system (due to increased free radical damage, decreased cell function, etc) – more likely to get sick. Actually, if you get sick often you might want to take a look at your pH
o Connective tissue becomes weakened causing skin and hair to lose their tone and texture
o Headaches and migraines are more common
o Water retention – likely due to mineral imbalances
o Many health care professionals believe that a highly acidic body can lead to cancer
o Burning sensations on tongue or the mouth
o Bad breath
o .....to name a few


How to measure PH - A few points to consider;
o You can purchase pH paper at the health food store.
o Urine and saliva pH are equally effective to measure your pH. Actually, it is highly beneficial to test both many times throughout the day to get an accurate idea of where you are at.
o Tear a piece of pH paper. Spit into a spoon or cup or alternatively urinate into a plastic cup. Do not put the pH paper into your mouth. Dip the paper into the fluid. Read the pH level using the chart that comes with your paper.
o Ideal ranges
               6.2 - 7.0 @ 7am
               6.6 - 7.2 @ 3pm
               7.0 - 7.4 @ 9pm

pH Food chart - if you are having trouble reading this.....please click here and print your own copy of this great resource from Genuine Health, makers of Greens+.


To restore healthy pH levels (as most North Americans are acidic) aim to get 75% of your food intake from alkaline sources and 25% from acidic foods.


Here are some practical tips to Alkalize your diet (even if you do not test your pH, most people need to work on becoming more alkaline)
o Eat lots of fruits and vegetables. Most are alkalizing
o Add fresh lemon or lime juice to your water
o Eat at least 1 cup of dark leafy green vegetables per day. Click here for my simple yummy greens recipe
o Eat millet and quinoa as an option for the acid forming grains (wheat, brown rice)
o Enjoy miso soup (1 tsp of miso into 1 cup of hot water. Drink on its own or add some fresh veggies or sea vegetables)
o Enjoy a green smoothie for breakfast, lunch or dinner
o Enjoy homemade strawberry sorbet instead of ice cream
o Choose fish and lamb over beef and chicken for less acid forming protein
o Use olive oil instead of other vegetable oils, also more alkaline.
o Talk to your health care practitioner about supplementing with a greens powder or buffered vitamin C to alkalize to system

And lastly, it is important to note that it is not solely food that influences the state of your pH. You mental state, your thoughts and feelings can impact your pH. Thinking happy, peaceful thoughts can help make you more alkaline which negative and stressful thoughts can push you to be more acidic.
So choose your thoughts wisely!!

"Let thy food be thy medicine, and thy medicine be thy food"
~Hippocrates, Father of Medicine, 400 B.C.~

Share with me - What foods do you eat to improve your health and what is your favorite way to prepare them??

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Getting back on the “Health Wagon”!

If you are like many of my clients, (who are fantastic, by the way ;O) you may have fell off your healthy lifestyle plan over the summer months. Cottages, BBQ’s with friends and family and other parties or “get together’s” can sometimes wreck havoc on your best intentions to eat healthy and exercise. When we are celebrating with friends and family our portion sizes tend to increase, many of us drink more alcohol and desserts can be calling our name!

The past few weeks for me has come along with a general theme.......I have seen client after client who have come into my office and said to me “Jamie, I need you to help me get back on track!! I got carried away this summer”. So if you have fallen off, despite your best intentions, your healthy lifestyle plan; YOU ARE NOT ALONE!! And you can back on track right now! Not tomorrow, or after the weekend, RIGHT NOW!!

Here are my TOP 5 tips to get you back on track;
  • Get on those running shoes and get moving!! Get outside, go to the gym, get a new exercise DVD (I highly recommend P90X), get a rebounder (you can find them for $40 or so), go to an exercise class……the point is GET MOVING! Any type of movement counts. Aim to move your body 4-5 days per week.....at least!
  • Take a trip to the grocery store and stock up on healthy goods! When you have healthy food in your fridge and cupboard you will eat it!
  • Take 30! That is 30 minutes when you get home from the grocery store to cut and chop, boil some eggs (i always like to have boiled eggs on hand for a 1 ingredient healthy snack), make some hummus, etc. When our veggies are cut up and ready to go and we have healthy snacks on hand; we are more likely to eat them.
  • Dump the Junk! Get the unhealthy stuff out of your kitchen. If it is there you or someone you love WILL EAT IT! Spend 10 minutes doing a cupboard cleanse to help get you on your path to wellness.
  • Oil yourself! Healthy fats including olive oil, avocados, fish oil, nuts, seeds, coconut oil and flax/hemp oil are all examples of amazing oils that help your body burn baby burn. Healthy fats improve insulin sensitivity which will decrease cravings for those unwanted foods. Some other benefits of healthy fats include; improved memory and focus, decreased inflammation, sustained energy and amazing hair and skin!


Do you have any tips or tricks that help you get back on the health wagon if you have been off your regular routine? If so, PLEASE SHARE your tips! Spread the healthy tips!!