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!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Gotta love Jamie Oliver....



Lentils, a small but nutritionally mighty member of the legume family, are a very good source of cholesterol-lowering fiber. Not only do lentils help lower cholesterol, they are of special benefit in managing blood-sugar disorders since their high fiber content prevents blood sugar levels from rising rapidly after a meal. But this is far from all lentils have to offer. Lentils also provide good to excellent amounts of six important minerals, two B-vitamins, and protein

2 to 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

2 to 3 cloves garlic, crushed (or more)

1 to 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger

2 teaspoons mild curry powder

2 cups red lentils

8 cups water or veggie stock (or a mixture of both)

3 to 4 large carrots, peeled and sliced

4 cups thinly sliced chard (or kale, spinach, collards)

2 to 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 teaspoons Herbamare or sea salt

Heat the olive oil in a large stockpot (8-quart). Add the onions and saute for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, and curry powder and saute a minute or so more.

Add the red lentils and water or stock. I like to prep the carrots at this point. It's just nice to get the lentils cooking first to save time. Then add the carrots, cover the pot, and simmer for about an hour total (start time after adding liquid and lentils).

Turn off heat, add greens, lemon, and salt. Stir it all together and let it rest for about five minutes for the greens to soften. Enjoy!

Source: www.NourishingMeals.com.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Why Many Diets Just Don't Work!!

When a calorie deficit is first introduced weight loss usually occurs however it doesn’t take long before the weight loss stops because the body develops a weight regulating mechanism that recognizes food shortages and decreases its metabolic rate to protect you. This process is called the “Starvation Response”. The problem with dieting or a drastic decrease in calories is that the body cannot distinguish between dieting and starving. When you decrease your caloric intake quickly your body goes into starvation mode and tells your fat cells to hold on for dear life. Instead your body will start to use your muscle as energy. This is the reason that so many people slow there metabolism by dieting. Muscles burn more calories than fat twenty-four hours a day. The more your body uses your muscles for energy the further you decrease the amount of calories that you burn all day long, even at rest making it harder to maintain your weight. Ever wonder why most people who go on diets end up gaining the weight back and more? This is because they lost there muscle instead of their fat and decreased there resting metabolic rate. Eating enough food and small frequent meals throughout the day is absolutely essential for an effective weight loss program. This gets your metabolism working at top speed to help you burn fat instead of your valuable muscle tissue.

Other Drawbacks of Fad Diets;

They don’t teach good habits

Slow down metabolism

Most of the weight lost from a low calorie diet is mostly muscle

Body starts producing less fat burning enzymes (lipoprotein lipase)

T3 (thyroid hormone) output decreases

Appetite may increase as a protective response

Focuses on weight instead of body composition

An important thing to remember when trying to lose weight is that building muscle is a critical component for fast and effective fat loss. Notice I said “fat loss” and not “weight loss”. This is because muscle weights more than fat so you may even find that you are gaining weight. The important thing to look at is how many inches’s and body fat you have lost. Weight training just three times a week can make a huge difference in a fat loss program. You need to make sure that you are taking a day off in between to allow for muscle recovery.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Regardless what happens in your outer world you have the capacity to remain poised in your inner world. It's not so much the outer world that determines your destiny. It is more the way you perceive & interpret it, make decisions about it & how you take actions upon it. You are the captain of your ship, the master of your destiny. Allow yourself to be extraordinary. Dare to be magnificent!
~Dr. John Demartini~

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


Instead of imagining your life with the so-called perfect kids, lover, spouse, boss, employees, parents, friends and so on, learn to appreciate each of the people in your life for what they bring to you. Effective relationships happen when each person seeks to understand and honour the other just as he or she is. In this situation, people’s principles are honoured, affirmed and fulfilled and they open up to you.

~Dr John Demartini~


SUGAR – We all love it. Unfortunately, North Americans are eating way too much of the stuff and it is showing in our health. A diet high in refined sugars increases risk of diabetes, heart disease, depresses the immune system, interferes with the absorption of a variety of important vitamins and minerals and affects our waist line putting us at greater risk of obesity. A recent study has now linked 1-2 high sugar sodas per week to pancreatic cancer. http://www.nationalpost.com/story.html?id=2534371  

The more we increase the sugar we are consuming, the more we see a trend of these now common diseases. Our portion sizes and frequency of sweet foods continues to increase. Dessert used to be some that was enjoyed once per week on Sunday night dinner. Now we are enjoying these sweet treats daily or numerous times throughout the day and our portion sizes are continuing to increase. Now the regular chocolate bars are not enough, we need to supersize it.

One of the problems is that sugar is in foods that we might not think of as high sugar foods. Yogurt, whole grain cereals and breads are just three common examples of foods that can contain a lot of hidden added sugar. The “low fat” craze of the 90’s just took out the fat and added a bunch of sugar. We got fatter from the low fat craze. Why is that?? This was in large part due to all of the extra sugar that was added to our diets.

At most, the average amount of added sugar you should consume is no more than 40 grams or 10 tsp of sugar per day. Now that can be pretty easy to get considering that your morning yogurt can contain up to 35 grams of sugar per serving. Even your healthy “whole grain” cereal can contain 16 grams or more of added sugar.

One can of coke contains 44 grams of sugar; one regular size mars bar contains 43.6 grams of sugar. These both provided more sugar than you should be consuming in a whole day.

For optimal health and a healthy waist line, I recommend trying to consume ½ of the added sugar recommendation. Aim to get 20 grams or less of added sugar in per day and watch your waist lines decrease. Please note: This is added sugar, not the sugar that is naturally occurring in fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

And for those of you who think that they are okay because they drink diet pop and get treat with no added sugar (sweetened with artificial sweeteners).....please see the following link;


Tips to satisfy your sweet tooth without reaching for the Mars bar include

- Enjoy 2 squares dark chocolate (70% or greater)

- Enjoy sweet herbal teas – I love Celestial Seasoning Bengal Spice or Apple Cinnamon

- Try using natural sweeteners. Agave syrup is much sweeter than sugar therefore you can use less to achieve desired sweetness. Try using it in replacement of sugar in your coffee or tea!

- Enjoy a piece of fruit when you are craving something sweet.

- Make homemade popsicles with your favourite  fruit and plain yogurt

Please feel free to ask me any question regarding this topic or any other topic on nutrition.

Monday, February 8, 2010


I receive this daily email from Insights of the Day. Four days a week is a powerful motivational quote and then every Friday it is an inspiring or thought provoking story. I really enjoyed this one, so much so that I thought I would share it with all of you. Enjoy!!

......and I highly recommend signing up for the daily emails. See below for email and website information.
Be well,

The Woman Behind the Counter

The other day I was in the Phoenix Airport on my way to a meeting in Denver. Unsure of how long it would take to get the car parked, get the luggage checked, get through the security line, and get to our gate, we (my husband Michael and I) ended up at the airport early. Once we parked our belongings at the gate, I did what I always do when I'm early to the airport; I headed toward the News Stand for the sole purpose of staring at the tabloid magazine covers. Yes, I know, it's a nasty habit, but before you cast your stones, I should tell you I only allow myself to read the COVERS of the magazines. JUST the covers. And even in those few moments I can feel my brain cells rotting and my dislike for humanity mounting.

However, on this particular trip to the News Stand I witnessed something much more fascinating, and disturbing, than any tabloid could offer.

In this particular News Stand there was a friendly looking gentleman. He had a pleasant face th at was graced with a cheerful smile. He and I were hovering in the same area; I was looking at the magazines, he was looking at the Snickers bars. Though, "looking" wouldn't be the right word -- "agonizing over" would be a better way of putting it. You see, this friendly-seeming man was about 200 pounds from healthy. As we stood silently by each other, I could hear him as he struggled to breathe, and watch him shift uncomfortably from foot to foot as he worked his way down the candy display.

I watched him out of the corner of my eye as he picked up a regular sized Snickers with his right hand and a KING sized Snickers with his left. He looked at his two options, back and forth, back and forth. He rolled them around in his hands, crinkled their wrappers, contemplating his decision. After at least a minute, he reached to put the regular sized one back ... a shame, I thought. He was so close.

But then, like a flash of lightening from above, at the very last moment , he THREW the KING sized Snickers back. It landed atop the gum with a deafening THUD. The man turned and looked at me with regular Snickers in his hand. Gripped it tightly, shrugged, and smiled.

For a moment, I saw a glimpse of pride on his face; the kind of pride that comes from taking control of your life. Granted, it wasn't the BEST decision, but it WAS a step in the right direction and it was clear he was pleased with himself. I smiled back and nodded; a silent congratulations for a job well done.

He took his regular sized Snickers strutted to the register where a 50ish woman waited. She was friendly in an abrasive sort of way, and as I moved to look at the cover of Men's Health I heard her say to the man (who was still in the glow of his recent victory):

Sure you don't want the KING sized Snickers? Looks awful good..."

The man who had just made a good decision, froze. He stared at the woman behind the counter. In that moment, it was as if t he Phoenix Airport stopped.... As he stared at the abrasive woman behind the counter, I stared at him. The woman reached for the KING sized and waved it in front of his face. "Don't do it. Don't do it," I willed him. But in the next moment, he nodded, took the KING sized Snickers, paid, and slowly walked away.

I wanted to say something, but it wasn't my place. As he walked past, he didn't look my way, instead he looked to the ground and to the KING sized decision he held in his hand.

Now, it would be easy to blame the woman behind the counter for the demise of our Snicker loving friend. She didn't HAVE to offer him the KING size when he seemed to be perfectly content. However, it is not her fault; she was only doing her job (I swear they get paid on commission -- every time I try to buy a magazi... I mean, a pack of gum... they always ask if I would like water or a snack. It can't JUST be because they're really concerned for my hydration or hunger). No, the res ponsibility lies solely in the man who ultimately made the choice.

We relate to this man. Whether you struggle with your weight, or you struggle to make good financial decisions. Maybe you make poor decisions, of any size, in your personal relationships. Whatever your vice may be (and there may be many), we have all been here before; on the brink of a breakthrough, only to fall short with no one to blame but ourselves. Whether you've been there once or been there 100 times, there is an important lesson to learn here; one that may not be the most obvious.

Who you are now does not determine who you will be.

I'll say it again. Who you are now does not determine who you will be.

Sounds nice, right? Easy lesson, nice lesson, hopeful lesson. The catch is this: you have to MAKE it so. The difference between who you are NOW and who you will BE happens because of choice. It doesn't have to be a heroic choice, it can be small/consistent choices made everyda y in the right direction, that make the difference. But they MUST be made and can only be made by you.

How do you do this?

First: start seeing yourself NOW as the person you will BE. If you're broke, start seeing yourself as un-broke. If you're alone, see yourself wrapped in the warmth of a healthy relationship. If you're heavier than you would like to be, see yourself thin.

Second: It is not enough to just SEE yourself there, you must start behaving in a way that mirrors the behaviors of the kind of person you will become. Un-broke people make sound decisions when it comes to finances -- do that now. Healthy people find joy in salads and low-fat dressing -- you should too.

Third: Stay focused. There is a good chance that others will continue to see you as you are now, and that's ok. It's not their fault. They may not be aware that you have made a decision to change; not aware that you are making small consistent decisions toward the person you wa nt to become. They may not SEE those small decisions or REALIZE what they are adding up to. Stay focused on YOU. On YOUR vision for yourself. And don't be afraid to verbalize your desires to those around you so they can aid in your transformation.

This is where I believe our friend at the candy counter went astray:

Perhaps he was seeing himself not as who he IS, but who he could BE -- well, healthy, happy...

I KNOW he was making a small decision in the right direction...

But when he got to the counter, the abrasive woman saw him as he WAS: a man who "must" love KING sizes. And instead of staying focused, instead of standing as a warrior for his future-self, he crumbled with the words "I will always be this" ringing in his defeated ears.

We all relate to this story. We have all been there. I just urge you to not go there again. Fight for you future self, and beware the woman behind the counter.

When all was said and done, I walked out of the News Stand empty-handed and heavy hearted. I took my seat at Gate C27 and waited for our plane to arrive.

(Post Note: Michael ended up sitting next to this man on the plane. When I told Michael this story, looong after the flight, he said, "That makes it worse ... he was such a nice guy.")

Kindra Hall

Kindra Hall is a storyteller with 18 years of experience. She shares her stories on stage, in coaching sessions, and on her blog: www.kindrahalltellsall.com. She works with organizations and individuals to discover, craft, and deliver their stories in order to more effectively communicate their mission and values. She has performed on the stage of the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, TN at the Exchange Place.

(copyright 2009 KindraHallTellsAll)
courtesy of:
Heather Sparrow, RNCP

Greek Lentil Salad

Serves 4 ~ Source ~ Enlightened Eating By: Caroline Dupont

Lentils provide six essential minerals, two B-vitamins, and protein-all with virtually no fat. The fiber in lentils helps to maintain healthy blood sugar and cholesterol levels. As a nutritional superfood, lentils should be on your weekly shopping list. Enjoy in soups, stews, or try this healthy salad. It is delish!!
1 cup of brown lentils
4 cups of water
2 bay leaves
1 tsp of fresh thyme or ½ tsp of dried
2 garlic cloves.
Peeled ½ cup of diced celery ½ cup of mixed bell peppers, diced¼ cup of minced red onion½ cup of fresh chopped parsley1/3 cup crumbled feta or crumbled tofuDressing: ¼ cup of olive oil, 3 tbs of red wine vinegar, 1 tsp of ground fennel and Dijon mustard and salt and pepper to tasteRinse the lentils. In a medium pan, bring the lentils, water, bay leaves, thyme, and garlic to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about twenty minutes, until tender, stirring occasionally.Combine the dressing ingredients in a large bowl. Add the celery, pepper, onion, and parsley.Drain the lentils and discard the bay leaves. Remove the garlic, mash it and mix it back into the lentils. Toss the lentils with the vegetables and dressing and add the crumbled feta or tofu. Adjust seasoning. Serve warm or chilled. For information on the cookbook Enlightened Eating go to:www.carolinedupont.com

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Flourless Brownies

Around Christmas time I had my 4 year old nephew over and like any other 4 year old he LOVES sugar and treats. So being the health conscious lady that I am, I decided to try something new and make him a "healthy" sweet treat. So I found this recipe on wholefoods.com (great website for recipes....by the way). It is a high fibre, fairly low sugar brownie with the secret ingredient being BLACK BEANS. I know it sounds strange, but trust me....IT WORKS! These brownies are fudgy and good for you! My nephew loved them and so did I. I dare you to try them....

Makes 16

1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added black beans, drained and rinsed

3 large eggs
1/3 cup melted butter, more for the baking dish
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon gluten-free vanilla extract
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons cane sugar (i have a client who used Agave Syrup instead and said they turned out great)
1/2 cup gluten-free semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup finely chopped walnuts (i omitted the walnuts and added more dark chocolate chips for the 4 year old)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter an 8-inch baking pan. Place the black beans, eggs, melted butter, cocoa powder, salt, vanilla, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor and blend until smooth. Remove the blade and carefully stir in the chocolate chips and walnuts. Transfer mixture to the prepared pan. Bake the brownies for 30 to 35 minutes, or until just set in the center. Cool before cutting into squares.

- Agave Syrup is a natural sweetener from a cactus plant. It has a low glycemic index than many other sweeteners and it tastes great. It is the consistancy of maple syrup but the flavour is very neutral making it great for baking and cooking. I use it all the time.
- Also, I used one can of Eden Organic Black Beans for this recipe. For those of you who think they have trouble digesting beans, try Eden Beans. As a result of the way they are cooked, they are much less likely to cause gas.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Simple Eggplant Caponata

Slightly adapted from http://www.elanaspantry.com/eggplant-caponata/

Research on eggplant has focused on an anthocyanin phytonutrient found in eggplant skin called nasunin. Nasunin is a potent antioxidant and free radical scavenger that has been shown to keep our cells healthy. With only 27 calories and approximately 3 grams of fiber per cup, eggplant is a valuable addition to a healthy diet. And it tastes good too!

1 medium eggplant, diced into ½-inch cubes (leave skin on)
½ cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
2-3 garlic cloves, diced
1 handful green olives (option: with jalapenos)
2-4 tablespoons olive oil
¼ teaspoon sea salt

In a large bowl, combine the eggplant, tomatoes, garlic olives, olive oil and salt
Transfer mixture to a baking dish

Bake at 350° for 35-45 minutes until eggplant is tender


PLEASE....Don't forget to look at the nutrition label when buying food for your babies. When you have the time make your own baby food with wholesome natural foods. I know that can be difficult some times with all of our busy lives so another option is Sweet Pea Baby Food. High quality organic baby food without all the... added sodium
"A pre-packaged Gerber pasta meal marketed for toddlers contains the same amount of sodium as two medium-sized orders of french fries from McDonald's, says the Canadian Stroke Network"

Roasted Tomato & Paprika Soup

Source: Super Natural Cooking, By: Heidi Swanson

5 tomatoes, cored and quartered
1 large red bell pepper, seeded and quartered
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Extra Virgin olive oil, for coating
5 cloves of garlic, unpeeled
3 cups of stock or water
¼ tsp smoked paprika

Preheat oven to 375F and position 2 racks in the middle of the oven. Rub 2 rimmed baking sheets with a thin glaze of olive oil.
Arrange tomatoes, skin side down, on a baking sheet. Coat bell peppers and onions with olive oil and put them on the other baking sheet along with garlic; place the pepper skin side down as well. Give both sheets a light sprinkling of sea salt and pepper, then bake until the tomatoes start to collapse and the onions start to brown and caramelize, about 45 minutes. Turn the onions if they start getting to dark on the bottoms.
Peel garlic, dump roasted vegetables into a big bowl and puree with a hand blender. Alternatively, use a conventional blender or food processor adn work in batches. Blend in the stock and paprika and adjust seasoning to taste. ENJOY.

Paprika is said to be extraordinarily high in vitamin C and is thought to contain up to nine times as much vitamin C as a tomato. The sun-dried, organic paprika has higher vitamin C content versus the processed ones.