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, 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!!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Mexican Style Chicken & “Rice”

I found this recipe on www.elanaspantry.com a while ago and it was on my list of things to try for quite some time now. Ever have those recipes in the back of your head that you know you want to make one day and you never seem to get around to it? Then when you finally get to make it you think; why didn’t I try this before? Well, this was one of those recipes for me. It was simple to make, light, packed full of nutrient rich veggies and the best part….it tasted great! The best part is that it is a great way to slip in some veggies to your kids, partners or other family memebers that give you a hard time with vegetables, without them knowing. If you have one of those recipes on your “want to make list” let this be a reminder to make it!! Just try it! You may find a new family favourite! I did!!
Cauliflower is the main attraction of this dish. Cauliflower has many health benefits including;
• Indole-3-carbinols and sulforaphane– both big nutrition words that mean cancer prevention, detoxification and hormone balance
• Vitamin C – Is abundant in cauliflower. Vitamin C is needed for collagen production, gum health, keeps your immune system strong.....to name a few of the benefits of this important vitamin
• Folate – supports red blood cell production, important for cell production and helps your nerves function properly.
• Fibre – Great source of colon cleansing fibre; 12 grams per 100 calories of cauliflower! Wow!
• Vitamin K – helps your blood clot normally and important for bone health

Here is my take on the amazing original by Elana at www.elanaspantry.com (if you haven't been to www.elanaspantry.com, then I highly suggest you check it out. It is filled with amazing, low glycemic recipes from breakfast to desserts!  I have yet to make something from this amazing website that wasn't amazing! (......and I have tried some of the baked good out on my nephew and they were a true hit)

  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • ½ medium onion, chopped finely
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped finely
  • ½ head of cauliflower, roughly chopped
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (Diced into cubes and pan fried on medium heat until cooked. Can also use leftover roasted chicken)
  • ½ head of kale ( I like dinosaur kale)
  • 1 tsp of tamari
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • Season with chili powder, oregano and cumin ( I used a heaping tsp of each)

Topping options
• Avocados
• Salsa
• Sauerkraut (find traditionally fermented at your local health food store, I like Eden Organics)
• Grated cheese
• Black beans
• For some extra heat, Tabasco sauce

1. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat
2. Sauté onion over medium heat for 10 minutes, or until soft
3. Add celery for another 5 minutes
4. Meanwhile place cauliflower in a food processor with the “S” blade and pulse until it becomes the texture of rice (can also be grated, if you do not have a food processor)
5. Add the cauliflower rice to the skillet and cook for 5 minutes or so.
6. Add in a bunch of chopped kale, seasonings, tamari and cooked chicken and cover until kale is lightly cooked. 1-2 minutes.
7. Scoop some into a bowl and top with your favourite fixin’s.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Baked Hummus Delight

Well, I am still up here at my parents cottage in Haliburton. There was quite a shift in weather from nice and warm, to waking up today and it only being 14C outside. Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrr...... I am keeping warm this morning with 3 cups of green tea!
Late afternoon yesterday, the family all went golfing (I am not into golfing, but the rest of the family is so I stayed back). I knew they would be hungry when they got back to the cottage around 8pm so I decided to try this recipe that I saw in a yoga magazine (Yoga at Home, from the editors of Yoga Journal).
I never thought to bake hummus! But let me tell ya, it was good!!!

Here is my spin on the recipe:

1 batch of hummus (see recipe below) - you could also use store bought
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, chopped in small pieces
1/2 cup katamata olives, chopped in small pieces
1/2 cup of crumbled feta
1 tbsp of olive oil

Spread hummus evenly in an oven safe dish. Sprinkle with olives, tomatoes and feta, being sure that you cover the surface evenly.
Drizzle with olive oil.
Bake @ 350F for 15-20 minutes.
Serve with whole grain crackers (I used Mary's Organic Crackers)

Here is the platter that I had ready for the golfers! Sheep's milk cheese, organic brie, grape tomatoes and Mary's Organic Crackers

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!!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Camping and Healthy Eat's

Happy last weekend of the summer everyone!!
For those of you who know me, you know that this is my week off. It is Thursday now, and so far (except for today) I have had great weather. I started my week off at a wedding last weekend. Here I am with my date!

My significant other (Todd) was a part of the wedding party so I got the pleasure of sitting with our nephew. Let me tell ya, we had a blast! :O)
Then I went on to my cottage for two nights. My cottage is on a beautiful lake in Haliburton. Here is the lovely sunset I watched with Todd the first night here.
Some might think I would just stay up here, right?? Well, we decided to shake things up during the middle of this fine week and go camping for a couple of nights.
I had mentioned to many of my lovely clients and some friends that I would be going camping for a few nights during my holidays. And well, if I had a nickle for everyone who ask me what the heck I would be eating while camping....... Well, I would have a few dollars anyways, lol. So, I thought I would write a post on it.
I know it is the end of the summer and this might not help you this year, unless you are brave (unlike me) and go fall or even scarier winter camping. I am just a summer camping person and I only like it for a day or two.
This camping trip took us to the beautiful Silent Lake about an hour and a bit away from my cottage. Here is the link; http://www.ontarioparks.com/english/sile.html
My two requirements for the camping trip were that it had to be secluded (no camp sight in the middle of a field) and no motor boats on the lake. We brought our kayaks and I really like the peacefulness of kayaking on a lake when there are no boats around.
So here it is, our home for two nights!
Here is the reason I am writing this post. To prove that camping doesn't mean you have to give up on your healthy eating plan. Here are a few things we dined on!

We grilled up some amazing veggies right over the camp fire. Todd had a steak and I brought an amazing bean salad that I had made back at the cottage.
The morning came and we sipped on some green tea. I made Todd some freshly squeezed OJ (Yes, I spoil him - he said it was the best OJ he ever had).

We also had some fresh fruit that I had cut up before hand and some eggs. (sorry, forgot to take a picture of the eggs)

We went for an amazing hike through the forest up to a lookout point that was overlooking the water.

Then back for lunch. Made a quick and easy chicken stirfry with olive oil and tamari (that's it because that was all I brought) and a arugula and leaf lettuce salad.
For snacking, I had pre-made some hummus and brought some carrots. Todd is not a big fan of hummus so I also made Power Bars from Elana'a Pantry! So yummy!! I highly recommend them!
In the afternoon, we went for a nice kayak ride across the lake! So peaceful!!
Then for dinner #2 we had found a cedar plank salmon at the local store in Haliburton. It had sea salt and pepper and that's it! We also grilled up some great veggies with it.
Here is my plate of food that I thoroughly enjoyed!
Here we are enjoying the great outdoors.

And here are some of the great sights we saw at Silent Lake!

Share with me!! I love to hear your comments and feedback!
What are your favorite camping eats???