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!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Heart Healthy Tuna Salad

At work today one of the beautiful ladies that I work with, Antonella, gave me a great idea to “health up” tuna salad! Being a nutritionist, I got really excited. I know I am a nutrition geek, but I can’t help it.

When I got home this evening I just had to try it!! So here it is…
  • 1 can of water packed light flaked (less murcury than white) tuna (170g)
  • ½ a fresh avocado, instead of mayo...Brilliant!! (sprinkle some lemon juice on the second ½ and save it for the next day or so)
  • 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 enjoy!!

Serving options:
  • Serve over some whole grain toast (try Stonemill or Ezekiel; both great bread companies)
  • Or a healthy whole grain wrap (Food for Life or La Tortilla Factory are great)
  • For a lighter option; enjoy on a piece of lettuce or Belgium endive or top on a salad!

Avocados are a rich source of monounsaturated fatty acids (heart healthy fat) including oleic acid, which has recently been shown to offer significant protection against breast cancer. It is also a very concentrated dietary source of the phytonutrient lutein and contains measurable amounts of related phytonutrients (zeaxanthin, alpha-carotene and beta-carotene) plus significant quantities of vitamin E.

Thanks for the inspiration Antonella :D

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Overcoming Emotional Eating:

We are all guilty of it; eating as a way to suppress or soothe negative emotions, such as stress, anger, anxiety, boredom, sadness and loneliness. At the end of a long, hard day we want to ‘treat’ ourselves to something that makes us feel good, such as that nice big piece of chocolate cake or that huge bowl of your favourite pasta dish. You work hard today right?? Don’t you deserve it?? This type of eating and thinking can sabotage your weight-loss/health efforts. The problem is that emotional eating often leaves you feeling depressed and guilty which can result in a downward spiral. Emotional eating often leads to consuming too much food, especially high-calorie, sweet, salty and fatty foods. Many of us are taught as children to use food to comfort and soothe or reward good behaviour. The good news is that if you're prone to emotional eating, you can take steps to regain control of your eating habits and get back on track with your weight-loss goals. The first step is becoming aware of why you are emotional eating in the first place.

10 steps to overcome emotional eating
1. Identify the root cause of your craving. What emotion are you feeling at this time?? What is the food that you are craving going to do to help you with this emotion?? What was your relationship with food as a child?? What was your parent’s connection to food?? Start a journal to help get in touch with the emotions that are coming up for you. It is important to understand your connection to food. This will allow you to take control and make more conscious food choices.
"You cannot find your soul with your mind;
you must use your heart.
You must know what you are feeling.
If you don't know what you are feeling,
you will create unconsciously."
~ Gary Zukav ~
2. Take a ‘TIME OUT’!!! Take 10 minutes to just “BE” with no distractions.
a. Tell your family that you need to take a ten minute break.

b. Find a quite place in your house

c. Close your eyes.

d. Become aware of your breathing. When a thought enters your mind (which, by the way, it will)    gently remind yourself to go back to your breath

e. Do this for at least ten minutes. If an emotion comes up, allow it to express itself in whatever form it comes in. Avoid controlling what comes up for you. Allow everything to be as it is.

f. Be aware! How does your body feel now?? Are you still craving the food?
3. Find replacement behaviour. Go for a walk, yoga or the gym, take a hot bath, read a great book, paint a picture, play a board game with your family, etc.

4. Make a list of all the reasons healthy eating and weight loss will impact your life. What is most important to you?? Link healthy eating to your highest values in life. How will healthy eating help you to get closer to your most important goals in life? After you create your list put it somewhere where you can look at it daily to keep your mind focused.
"Every intention sets energy into motion whether you are conscious of it or not." ~ Gary Zukav ~

5. Get some support!!
a. Join a support group

b. Seek a qualified therapist and/or nutritionist

c. Purchase (or borrow from the library) motivational books, start a book club with some of your friends with the focus on these types of books.

d. Go to motivational seminars on nutrition, emotional /spiritual health, etc.

e. Call a good friend to talk when you feel a strong craving come on. 
6. Nourish your spirit in other ways! What do you LOVE to do?? Examples may include painting, photography, reading great books (fiction or non-fiction), gardening, pottery, journaling, writing poetry, etc. Find time each day to include something that nourishes your spirit. Start brainstorming on what that is for you!! Create a ‘LOVE LIST’ of all the things that you love to do and start doing them!!

7. EXERCISE at least 3-4 times per week. Everyone knows that exercise has many health benefits such as increasing your fitness level and helping you lose weight. One benefit of exercise that is often overlooked, however, is that exercise can improve your mood and give you a general feeling of well being. There is actually a hormonal reaction that happens in your body as a result of exercise. These ‘hormone-like’ structures are called endorphins! They make you feel good and can help reduce cravings.
8. Get rid of trigger foods. What foods do you crave most?? Cookies?? Chips?? Chocolate?? Avoid having these foods in the house. If it is not there you are less likely to be thinking of it and less likely to go out and get it. If your trigger foods are healthy choices such as nuts be sure to portion size them out ahead of time. Get the little snack Ziploc bags and put 10-12 nuts in each one. Grab it on your way out for a healthy snack that is in proper portion size.

9. Balance blood sugar. Many people think that they are weak by giving into their cravings however it may be a result of blood sugar imbalalances. When we eat high sugar foods or not enough protein and fats at our meals, blood sugar goes up rapidly; as a result your pancreas produces high amounts of the hormone insulin to bring blood sugar down quickly. This results in low blood sugar and increased cravings for sweet foods to bring blood sugar back up. It becomes a vicious cycle. When we eat lean proteins, healthy fats and switch to whole grains while reducing sugar we will receive a steady stream of energy from our foods to avoid low blood sugar and cravings for high carbohydrate foods.

10. Believe that you are fully capable of losing weight for good!! Create a positive affirmation that is in line with this belief. Even if you don’t believe it at first. Studies have shown that people can make themselves believe things that they currently do not by stating positive affirmations to themselves many times during the day until they have reached their goal and fully believe that they are capable. The opposite is true as well; if you don’t believe you are capable of reaching and sustaining your weight loss goals, YOU WILL MOST LIKELY END UP DOING SOMETHING TO SABATOGE YOURSELF!!
What you believe and what you say to yourself has a tremendous impact on what happens to you and what kind of life you’ll lead. You are the creator of your own destiny. You write the script of your life with every thought. The more self worth and love you have for yourself, the more prosperity and success you will achieve.
~Dr. John Demartini~

 Women Food and God, By: Geneen Roth

 The Heart of the Soul: Emotional Awareness, By: Gary Zukav

 You Can Heal Your Life, By: Louise Hay

 A New Earth, By: Eckhart Tolle

 The Beck Diet Solution, By: Judith S. Beck Ph.D
 Loving What Is, By: Byron Katie

 The Breakthrough Experience, By: John Demartini

 Excuses Be Gone, By: Wayne Dyer
The bottom line, whether you weigh 340 lbs or 150 lbs, is that when you eat when you are not hungry, you are using food as a drug, grappling with boredom or illness or loss or grief or emptiness or loneliness or rejection. Food is only the middleman, the means to the end. Of altering your emotions. Of making yourself numb. Of creating a secondary problem when the original problem becomes too uncomfortable. Of dying slowly rather than coming to terms with your messy, and very, very short –even at a hundred years old- life. The means to these ends happens to be food, but it could be alcohol, it could be work, it could be sex, it could be cocaine.
~Geneen Roth~

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Power up your health with a green smoothie

Green smoothies are a great way to start your day! Here is what I had for breakfast this morning.

 ½ frozen banana

 ½ cup fresh or frozen berries

 Water (about a cup or so)

 1 tbsp of ground flaxseeds

 Handful of fresh greens (ex: chard, kale, collards, spinach)

 1 serving of a greens powder (I use Schinoussa Sea Vegetable)

 1 serving of protein powder (Whey protein isolate, hemp or rice based proteins are top quality. I am currently using Progressive Nutrition Harmonized Vegan protein. I also love Genuine Heath Proteins+)

 NutraSea Fish Oil 1-2 tsp

Blend the first five ingredients in a high powered blender until well blended. Then turn machine off, add protein powder, fish oil and greens powder. Pulse once or twice to mix. Recipe note: Do not over blend the protein and fish oil. It denatures the protein and makes the consistency to frothy.

Enjoy the energy boost for the entire day!!! Your trillions of cells will thank you!

Kale, collards, chard, beet greens!! These foods are located in the section of produce that is missed by most people. This is such a sad thing because these foods are nutritional powerhouses. They contain essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that are vital for optimal health.

I know .....I know.....you don’t like them!! I hear it all the time. Well this smoothie is an easy way to get your greens and not have to taste them! Trust me!! It will change the color of your smoothie but not the taste. Try it for yourself!!

And if you do like these greens and are eating them on a regular basis that is great!! You can also receive a health boost by adding some more of these superfoods into your diet by enjoying this smoothie.

Another great way to get greens into your diet is to chop finely and add to your soups or stew!!

I would love to hear your comments and feedback. Feel free to post them along with any questions or concerns.

Friday, March 12, 2010


Dr John Demartini is one of my favourite speakers/writers. His approach to wellness is balanced and refreshing. We are holistic beings and Dr. Demartini teaches us to accept that by being thankful for all aspect of being. My favourite book by him is called The Breakthrough Experience!! I highly recommended it!

The following is part of his weekly newsletter that was posted this week on Facebook. (note: if you are on Facebook, search him and become fan of his!)

Enjoy, Jamie

Here are 10 Steps to Living More Confidently:

1. Save Money
Financial independence is a vital aspect of self empowerment. When you invest and manage your money wisely you get more money to manage. When you start to earn income from the interest of your invested money you are entering into a position where money no longer controls you. Save at least 10% of your earnings each month. If this is too much start with, then start with as much as you can. As you increase your savings, you will feel a greater level of self worth which opens you up to be guided by inspiration rather than desperation.

2. Know Where You’re Going
Clearly define what you would love to do in your life. Don’t edit your dreams. If you have a clear road map, it’s much easier to get somewhere. Your energy soars when you’re clear on your aim and direction.

3. Surround Yourself with People that Inspire and Uplift You
People who think big allow you to expand. You cannot put your hand into a pot of glue without some of it sticking and likewise you cannot interact with inspired people without some of that rubbing off on you.

4. Affirm the Person You Would Like to Become
Affirmations are simply a title for the ‘things we say to our self about our self’. Rather than think about who you have always been, start telling yourself who you are today in the present moment. As an example: I am confident, powerful and decisive at all times.

5. Read, Read and Read
Whether it be a self help book or a great novel, reading opens your mind and expands your vocabulary. Reading can assist you to speak with poise and confidence.

6. Count Your Blessings
Keep a gratitude diary and take note of what you have to be grateful for each day. You will be amazed how this shifts your perspective and actions.

7. Eat Less, Eat Regularly
Eating too much slows you down and can make you sluggish. Eating moderately at regular times each day assists the body with digestion and optimises physical function.

8. Smile
Smiling tends to change your physiology and creates the impression of vibrancy and youthfulness.

9. Complete Things
The more you do simple things and complete them, the better you train yourself to do what you say you will and experience a sense of achievement. Start with a checklist. Give yourself rewards. Ask someone to assist you to be accountable.

10. Transform Your Baggage
Many people walk through their lives dragging their emotional baggage because of a mis-perceived past and events they have never appreciated and loved. Just in case you’re carrying any unnecessary loads, I encourage you to do this one thing now. Make a list of every single thing in your life that you resent, or anything you have never loved—anything you think you made a mistake on, whatever you think you could have done “better.” And then go through those items, one by one, and ask yourself, How did it serve me? How did it serve others? Respond to these two questions again and again, until you discover the benefits of these actions and events, and see the balance, the order, and the gifts resulting from them in your life—and in the lives of others.

For more information on Dr John Demartini contact the Demartini Institute on info@drdemartini.co.za

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Tips to give your shopping cart a Makeover!!

Here are some simple tips to take with you the next trip to the grocery store.

1. Do most of your shopping on the perimeter of the grocery store. It is there where you will find most of the nourishing whole foods such as fresh produce (which should be the bulk of your cart) and lean proteins.

2. Plan your attack for shopping down the aisles. Avoid the snack foods and sugary drink aisle. Canned tomatoes, low sodium broths, whole grains, legumes, and nuts and seeds can be found in this section.

3. When purchasing dairy, opt for low fat (not no fat) and watch the sugar. Stick to plain yogurt and cottage cheese and add your own sweetness to it by adding fruit. TIP: Try Greek yogurt, it is smooth and creamy texture while naturally higher in protein.

4. Choose Healthy Fats: Go for unsalted nuts and seeds that are raw or dry roasted (store in the freezer to maintain freshness) and always choose high quality extra virgin olive oil or organic expeller pressed canola or grapeseed oil for cooking and baking. Organic butter and coconut oil are also good options with proper portion size in mind. 1 tsp = 1 serving of fat!

5. Produce tips

a. Purchase locally grown produce whenever possible, look for local frozen fruits and veggies during off season

b. Buy these foods organic when possible; strawberries, peaches, apples, celery, potatoes, cherries, kale, lettuce, bell peppers, carrots and pears. These foods contain the highest amount of pesticide residues.

c. The cleanest veggies (least pesticide residues) are the following: onions, avocado, pineapple, mango, asparagus, sweet peas, kiwi, cabbage, eggplant, papaya, watermelon, broccoli, tomato and sweet potatoes.

6. DON’T GO TO THE GROCERY STORE HUNGRY!! This is one of the most important tips of all. When you go to the grocery store hungry, it makes it much harder to make the best choices and you are more likely to buy foods do not support health on an impulse.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Is snacking the culprit in childhood obesity??

Should we be concerned about our children snacking during the day? Well the answer lies in what they are snacking on. You see, that is one important point that this article in the National Post (http://www.nationalpost.com/life/health/story.html?id=fd01127b-4e8b-4d2f-9783-109c07dc36c7&p=1) is missing. Healthy snacks during the day can help to keep our children’s energy levels up, blood sugar stable and provide them with important nutrients. The problem is a result of what I see in most people’s grocery carts.....processed sugary treats such as cookies and cakes, chips, pop, etc. These foods will pack on the pounds. But if you stock your kitchen with healthful nuts, seeds, fruit, veggies and healthy dips such as hummus, and high fibre granola bars (I like Kashi granola bars, see link below), you will be providing your kids with snacks that will help them effortlessly maintain their weight. Also, try my homemade flourless brownie recipe for a sweet treat that is high in fibre and delicious (see previous post)!

Processed snack foods tend to trigger more cravings and more eating. Next trip to the grocery store try bypassing the “junk food isle” and go for the whole food snacks!

Be well, Jamie