Prevention

Monday, 02 December 2019 21:01

Spices That Will Add Vibrant Flavours & Health Benefits to All of Your Fall Favourite Dishes

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Fall is officially here— we can smell it in our kitchens. The smells of fall spices are undeniably comforting and delicious, but some of your favourite fall spices also have fantastic health benefits. Make sure to include these spices in your fall dishes for some brilliant flavors and extra health kicks.
1. Turmeric
Turmeric is one of the healthiest spices on the planet. It contains an active compound known as curcumin, whose long list of proven health benefits includes fighting off unhealthy cells and slowing down the signs of aging. Curcumin also contains strong anti-inflammatory properties, meaning that it is beneficial in reducing inflammation and alleviating symptoms of inflammatory diseases. As a bonus, turmeric also adds a beautiful golden color to your dishes. Make sure to add black pepper whenever you use turmeric as it significantly improves the body’s absorption of curcumin.
2. Cinnamon
This famous fall spice contains a vast number of various antioxidants. Antioxidants are key for fighting off those damaging free radicals that can cause chronic diseases. It also contains powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Studies have shown that cinnamon helps regulate blood sugar levels by improving insulin sensitivity. Insulin is the primary hormone involved in blood sugar regulation. Therefore, cinnamon is a beneficial spice for individuals with insulin issues.
3. Nutmeg
You can’t have staple fall dishes, like apple and pumpkin pie or eggnog, without nutmeg. However, this powerful spice also contains many important nutrients. It is rich with manganese, copper, and magnesium, but it also contains many other essential vitamins and minerals. Some studies have shown that nutmeg can relieve pain, such as the joint pain experienced by individuals with arthritis. It is also often used as a natural remedy for insomnia because it helps you fall asleep easier and get good-quality, uninterrupted sleep.
4. Ginger
Ginger is well-known for its digestive health benefits. It is widely used for treating nausea and other digestive issues, such as an upset stomach and acid reflux. Adding ginger to your meals or making a ginger tea after a big fall feast can help your digestive system process all that food with ease. If you’re experiencing morning sickness or nausea for any other reason, ginger will provide you with relief. It also has natural anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties that can help your body fight against infections while also controlling inflammation. 
5. Clove
Cloves are high in antioxidants, which help the body fight off disease-causing free radicals. They are also well-known for their health benefits for the liver. The liver is a powerhouse organ with many responsibilities. One of its main jobs is to break down unwanted or old molecules and prepare them for excretion from the body. However, sometimes in the process of breaking down unwanted molecules, damaging free radicals are produced as a by-product. These free radicals can build up in the liver and impair its function. Cloves and other antioxidant-rich foods can help clear away these free radicals from the liver and keep it (and you) healthy.
Need more personalized advice?  Work with Me
Monday, 22 April 2019 17:42

Natural Ingredients You Already Have at Home that are Great for Your Skin

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Countless top-of-the-line skincare products line the shelves at your favourite stores -- and most come with a price tag that will make your heart skip a beat.  Taking care of your skin is of utmost importance, especially with each passing year as your skin naturally ages.

First things first -- what you put inside of your body daily helps regenerate your skin cells and give you that healthy-looking, glowing skin.  Healthy from the inside out is a real thing -- so being mindful of eating whole fruits and vegetables regularly is essential.

Did you know there are numerous "foods" you can use as natural skincare, too? You likely already have these things lying around your kitchen -- so give them a shot.

1. Coconut Oil

One of the most versatile ingredients by far is coconut oil. It is incredible for delivering intensive hydration to dry skin. Plus, if you have stubborn makeup, it will take it off without you having to rub and scrub.

2. Coffee Grounds

Can’t live without your morning cup of coffee? Before you toss those coffee grounds, set them aside to use as an energizing scrub for your skin. And guess what? It blends perfectly with that coconut oil for a fantastic moisturizing exfoliant that rids you of dull skin cells and smooths out skin with softness.

3. Avocados

If you love eating avocados, set aside a little bit each time you make your avocado toast to put on your skin. Even just rubbing the bits that get onto your hands leaves your hands feeling soft and moisturized. Mashing a banana in with avocado and drizzling with olive oil makes a fantastic, hydrating face mask that you'll absolutely love.

4. Greek Yogurt

Because it contains lactic acid, Greek yogurt is ideal for smoothing away the signs of aging. You can plump up your skin naturally just by slathering it on your skin and letting it sit for about 10 to 15 minutes. The probiotics in it also work to soothe skin, leaving you with a great complexion after you’ve washed it away.

5. Green Tea

Brew up some green tea. After pouring your cup, let the rest cool and put it in a clean, clear spray bottle. Stash it in the fridge for a toner brimming with natural antioxidants to fight the signs of aging and refresh your skin. You can also apply it with cotton pads for more beautiful skin every day.

6. Raw Organic Honey

Honey in its purest form is antibacterial and soothing. It helps calm irritated, red skin, plus it can clear up scars and encourage skin regeneration. You’ll have a more refined appearance just by smoothing honey onto your skin.

7. Cucumbers

Rich with ascorbic acid, cucumbers have long been known as a natural way to de-puff the under-eye area. Puree the juices from your cucumbers to use as a tonic, and you’ll have soothed, calmed skin you’ll love to show off.

With ingredients like these in your kitchen, you'll have several ways to pamper your skin at your fingertips.

Wednesday, 23 January 2019 20:23

5 Recommendations for a Healthy New Year

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Does it seem like the years fly by faster each year?  Sometimes I can't believe how fast they go by, and this year is no exception.  We get wrapped up in our schedules, and before we know it, we're making holiday plans again with our loved ones.  
 
Same goes for New Year's Resolutions.  We proudly proclaim them at the beginning of each year with the best of intentions.  We really mean to accomplish them, but nearly all of them fall flat before Spring even hits.  
 
There are many reasons why this happens.  To stick with your resolutions, you’ve got to be realistic about your goals. Here are some tips for creating resolutions you’ll actually keep so that when New Year’s rolls around again, you can try making a new resolution instead of the same ones year after year.
 
1. Set up a reward
Whatever you’ve decided, be it weight loss or quitting smoking or even both, you’re more likely to make a positive change in your behavior if you have a reward waiting down the line. Make your goals manageable, also. Saying that you just want to lose weight has no direction which is why this goal always fizzles out. Make checkpoints along the way if you're going to see those results, and make those rewards unrelated to food. 
 
2. Pair up with your pals
Getting together with friends to better yourselves is an excellent way to build up your new good habits. Whether it’s taking a class together at the gym or learning a new craft like painting or pottery, teaming up with your friends will make it much more likely you won’t give up on your goals. 
 
3. Keep a written record
Writing down your resolutions makes it more front and centre in your mind. In fact, starting a journal around your resolutions is highly recommended. You can write what you’ve done each day to get to that goal. 
 
4. Dissect your resolutions into tangible goals
If you’re serious about achieving your resolutions, before the ball drops, write out your resolutions. Then, dissect them into what you’re going to do to get there. So, if your goal is to lose 50 pounds, write down what you’re going to do to get there on a daily basis. You can commit to 15 minutes of exercise per day to start and then increase it at a checkpoint. You can also commit to swapping out some unhealthy items every week. Doing it this way will help you make the changes you want to see. 
 
5. Share your resolutions
If you really want to succeed, tell your friends and family about your resolutions before New Year’s Eve. You will find much support and possibly teammates to take along for the journey.
 
Don’t let another year of unresolved resolutions fly by. Make 2019 your year, it’s entirely within your reach.  What are you excited about in the new year?  Hit reply and let me know, I’d love to hear from you.
 
Friday, 18 January 2019 19:15

Breaking Habits vs. Starting New Habits

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Breaking habits can be even harder than starting new habits -- wouldn't you agree?  Especially when those habits are related to your health.  If you tend to gravitate toward unhealthy junk foods, it can be a considerable struggle to change your eating habits to incorporate healthier items.  
 
There are a few reasons why this is so difficult to do, and even better, there are several tricks you can implement to get over that hump.
 
Today we're speaking specifically to breaking the junk food habit and beginning to eat more whole foods...
 
Go gradually with your cutbacks 
Junk food is loaded with sugar, and your body gets hooked on it.  Start by cutting down on these junk foods that are currently in your diet. You’ll get less of a high from them, and you’ll be more likely to stick to your healthy eating goals. Start by taking the sugar out of your coffee, or by switching out your snacks each day with a healthy snack.  Whatever small step you choose, stick with it until you're comfortable with your new healthy habit -- then move on to your next healthy habit.  It works like a charm! 
 
Never buy foods with more than five ingredients
In the supermarket, you should mainly roam the fresh aisles where the produce and unprocessed foods are. However, there are still staples you’ll need from the inner aisles. Read those labels when you find items in those inner aisles, and try to find the healthiest option possible of what you're shopping for -- the fewer ingredients and the more you can pronounce those ingredients, the better.  
 
Add more colors and textures to your plate
A salad is impossible to eat if you just throw soggy lettuce in a bowl. Instead, make it a rainbow of colors and a playground of textures. Add tomatoes, colorful peppers, crunchy nuts, and even a bit of goat cheese to please your palate.
 
Break your bad habit cycles
If you always ventured to the vending machine at work in the mid-afternoon, break the association with that by starting a healthier habit. Take a walk that keeps you away from that vending machine, for example. It will only take a few weeks to replace that old bad habit with a good one, and you'll be feeling so good about your swapped habit that you'll be ready to tackle your next habit swap. 
 
Make healthy foods more accessible
You’re more likely to eat right when you’ve got a healthy snack ready to go. Bag up portions of mixed nuts, make your own trail mix, and keep cut up veggies with hummus around and you’ll always have a healthy go-to snack.
 
Don’t keep junk in the house
To make the switch complete, keeping those junky items out of your house is best. That way if you get a craving at midnight, you won’t be willing to run out and get it. You’ll train yourself to save sweets and treats for special occasions instead of for late night snacks.
 
Allow yourself to be disgusted
A great way to make the change to eating less processed foods is to really learn what’s in them. Go ahead, pull those packaged foods out and research the labels. Look up all the ingredients you can’t pronounce. They sound much less delicious now, don’t they?
 
Be patient and kind with yourself, too. Your inner voice needs your nurturing to make this change for the better. 
 
Need some gentle guidance?  Join my Online Program "Eating with Intention"
 
 
 
Tuesday, 01 January 2019 22:03

6 Ways to Stay Healthy Even When You Travel

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Whether holiday travel plans, vacations, or work has you on the road, it can certainly disrupt your usual routine and throw you off track. So how do you still get in a workout and eat right even when you’re miles away from home? 
 
It's absolutely possible with some intention setting and pre-planning.  You may have to be traveling, but taking the time to take care of you is critical no matter where you are.  Here’s how to do it without it feeling like a chore.
 
1. Check out your hotel’s fitness options
Most hotels have fitness centres or swimming pools. Find out what they contain before you book. If your company is footing the bill, you may not even have a say in where you stay, however knowing what exercise options you have available will allow you to keep a fitness plan while you’re traveling. Should there be no fitness room of any kind, you can stream videos in your room to exercise to or get in some walking as you explore the area you're visiting. 
 
2. Learn about the food in your destination
Most places will have healthy eating options, though they might not be as robust a selection as you’re used to. Find out what kind of food is available in your hotel and nearby. Some hotels have kitchenettes where you can cook your own food, which is an excellent option for keeping your own healthy foods on hand for your meals. 
 
3. Don’t just sit there
Long flights mean lots of sitting, which affects your circulation. Get up and move about the cabin and do some exercises while in your seat to battle it. Trapped in the airport from a delay? Get up and walk around a bit before returning to the gate. Incidentally, if you’re traveling internationally, moving about more will help you beat jet lag faster.  There's plenty to do and see in an airport, so have fun exploring and getting some extra steps in.
 
4. Stay hydrated
Water is essential when you’re flying. It might mean more trips to the lavatory, but without enough hydration, you may become dehydrated.  It's easy to slack off of water intake as you travel, but be extra mindful this year of staying hydrated along the way.
 
5. Adapt to the time zone
Even if you fly from one end of the country to the other, the time zones will play tricks on you. Eat all of your meals at the correct times in the time zone you’re in. If you’re not entirely hungry, eat a fibre-rich snack to help power you through.
 
6. Keep the right attitude
No matter where you are, even when your normal routine gets shaken up, always remember that a healthy and fit lifestyle isn’t just some short-term goal. It’s a way of life, and sometimes life has bumps in the road. Keeping that on your mind will help you make healthy choices. 
 
That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t enjoy yourself while away, but rather, make smart decisions. Small tweaks to your travel plans can show significant results, and I invite you to keep that in mind as you travel this season.  We often subscribe to the "all or nothing" mindset, but the sweet spot is right in the middle of all or nothing.  
Tuesday, 02 October 2018 17:50

Practical Ways to Be Healthy This Fall

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With back to school and cooler temperatures, fall is always the time of year when focusing on your health seems to be put on the back burner. You don’t have to let this busy time of year take the wind out of your sails though. There are certain things you can do to have a healthier fall for you and your family.
Saturday, 25 August 2018 16:51

Keeping Your Blood Sugar Stabilized Throughout the Day

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Avoiding Those Blood Sugar Crashes 
 
 
We've all had those moments where we waited too long to eat, and we struggle through a blood sugar crash where the hanger settles in and takes over.  You could feel lightheaded, shaky, and generally unwell -- so keeping your blood sugar stabilized throughout the day is a great way to have sustained energy, feel vibrant, and keep your body functioning optimally.  
 
Balancing your blood sugar is essential, and the longer you let your blood sugar run wild, the more likely your chances for developing a long-term problem can grow.  So how do you keep your blood sugar stabilized throughout the day? Follow these tips for blood sugar bliss. 
 
1. Eat foods that release energy slowly
Your regime should consist of foods that are low on the glycemic index. In other words, these foods release energy into your bloodstream slowly for more sustainability. Things like vegetables, legumes, berries, nuts, seeds, and whole grains are all excellent choices.
 
2. Snack healthfully between meals
If you find yourself grouchy after breakfast but before lunch, then it’s time to start packing yourself a healthy snack that will keep you feeling balanced and satisfied until your lunch break. A protein-rich serving of almonds is an excellent choice, and exceptionally easy to carry along with you. Choose wisely, and you’ll find the foods you eat to keep you adequately fueled for your day. 
 
3. Add protein to each meal 
When you eat protein, it helps signal to your brain that you’re full, making it one of the most important foods to eat. Protein can be found in many different foods eggs, almonds, broccoli, leafy greens, tuna, and lentils, to name a few.  Making sure each meal has protein will help you stay satisfied longer without those hunger pangs setting in too quickly.
 
4. Don’t skip breakfast
Your body needs a good start each morning. Fuel it up right by eating a healthy breakfast that includes a healthy fat and a protein. A good example is a hardboiled egg and an avocado. This combination keeps your blood sugar levels stabilized and starts your day off right.
 
5. Stay away from sugar and refined carbs
Anything with sugar and refined carbs is something you should be avoiding. Processed foods are lurking everywhere, and fill the majority of our grocery stores.  It can be challenging to ditch these entirely, but start one step at a time.  You'll notice a heap of difference once you fully get processed foods out of your kitchen, and things will taste ten times better, too! 
 
6. Say no to soda
Diet or regular, sodas are filled with sugar, preservatives and artificial sweeteners.  These chemically-created beverages are horrible for your health and will cause spikes in your blood sugar. While artificial sweeteners don’t contain glucose, they still produce the same effects on your blood sugar just like sugar does. Instead, make your own fruit-infused water to curb sweet cravings without harming your body, or crack open a sparkling soda water.
 
By watching out for these common blood sugar pitfalls, you can keep your body functioning optimally and feeling fantastic. 
 
Do you struggle with keeping your blood sugar stabilized throughout the day?   
Thursday, 23 March 2017 16:14

Maple syrup – a seasonal sweet treat

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Enjoying the sugary sap of a maple tree is a springtime ritual for many Canadian children. During the long winter, the maple tree has the unique characteristic of producing a supply of starch that acts as anti-freeze for its roots. When the snow starts to melt, water trickles into the roots and thus begins the flow of “sugar water” that will eventually be tapped. By mid-March, after the first thaw, the sap is freely flowing and will continue flowing through April. 
 
Families who make a day of visiting the sugar bush during the annual Maple Syrup Festival can go on a nature hike through a maple grove and learn about how trees are tapped to obtained this natural sweetener. Many tree farms also have wagon rides, a petting zoo and a gift shoppe to entice and amuse visitors. Then, after working up an appetite, people can enjoy a short stack of fluffy pancakes drizzled with maple syrup from the trees they just walked past!
 
Maple syrup is not only a local food, it's a natural wonder. Going on a guided tour of a sugar bush, one quickly begins to appreciate the laborious treat that is maple syrup. Amazingly, to make one bucket of grade A or grade B syrup that's good enough to eat, 40 buckets of clear sap need to be boiled down for several hours. 
 
It's this large-scale boiling process which produces the distinctive maple flavour. Straight out of the tree, the sap itself is actually rather bland and resembles spring water, making the sweetness of the final product even more awe-inspiring. The steam pouring from the large caldrons of boiling maple sugar water drift through the woods is enough to entice anyone to the sampling table. 
 
Maple syrup is a natural and nutritious alternative to refined white sugar or honey. Teaspoon to teaspoon, maple syrup contains fewer calories than honey and is a source of zinc, calcium, iron, B vitamins, and antioxidant manganese. 
 
Maple syrup is lower in calories than honey (only 17 calories per teaspoon) because it's only 60 percent sugar. Though calorie wise it's about the same as white cane sugar, the naturally occurring vitamins and minerals in maple syrup makes it nutritional superior. It's far from being “empty calories”. 
 
Maple syrup products can be purchased in most local grocery stores in Canada or from your local farmer's market.
Monday, 02 January 2017 14:05

3 Ways to Get Back on Track to Healthier Eating

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3 Ways To Get Back On Track To Healthy Eating
 
 
Feeling bad about overeating on the holiday? Don’t worry about it! It’s good to indulge every once in a while – everything in moderation, including moderation! The trick now is to get back on track as soon as possible and return to your normal healthy routine.
One day of over doing it can send your hormones and metabolism into a tizzy as it tries to process the onslaught of calories. This can directly affect the hormone insulin because the pancreas goes into overdrive to break down the excess blood sugar. This can leave you with a food hangover- and with symptoms like drowsiness, dizziness, and an unsettled stomach.
Another hormone that becomes messed up is leptin. When you overeat, your body is unable to recognize when it is legitimately full and it is harder to feel satiated. Occasionally, this can actually work to your benefit because higher leptin levels lead your body to think it is lacking food and can cause the release of fat from cells to provide energy.
We should see how many calories there are in a holiday meal.
May I present the average Christmas dinner- turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, green beans, pie, ice cream, and wine- you are looking at about 2,500 calories and more than 100 g of fat! And that is without going for seconds!
Like I said, it is okay to overdo it from time to time, if you know how to get back on track. Here are some “day after” tips for you to try:
 
1. Eat some Salad
Do yourself a favour and buy a large package of the pre-washed baby lettuce greens and whip up a large batch of salad dressing. If you make it easier on yourself, by having the ingredients on hand and ready to go, you might feel more compelled to eat a healthy lunch and dinner. To complete the meal using the greens, add a hard-boiled egg or some lean protein – like white turkey meat or chevre (goat cheese). Top your big salad with some grated carrot and then sprinkle on some pumpkin seeds.
 
2. Drink some tea
Holiday meals, though delicious, can also be salty. High-sodium foods can cause weight gain and register as increased poundage on the scale – all because of water retention. Weight gain from water retention is temporary because your kidneys can flush excess sodium from your body. One way to jumpstart this process is by drinking a detox tea that is designed to get things moving. I like the effect of dandelion tea because it flushes out the excess sodium and also improves transit time – meaning your colon will also be flushed – and then you can flush the toilet! Healthy elimination is the first step to getting rid of toxins and losing excess fat.
 
3. Go for a walk
Chances are your exercise routine was put on hold over the holiday too! While you might not want to get out and move it after dinner (what with the turkey coma and all), going for a walk the next day can give you the motivation you need to get back on track with your exercise program. It is a wonderful time of year to get out to see the snow covered trees and hear the crunch of the snow beneath your feet, de-stress, and appreciate nature with its fresh crisp air.
 
That’s it – 3 simple steps to return to healthy eating– salads, tea, and walking. Getting and staying on track is important in balancing hormones, losing weight and feeling great. 
Saturday, 31 December 2016 15:47

Are You Getting Enough Fibre?

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A general recommendation for adults is 25-35 grams of dietary fibre per day. Children need fibre too, different amounts depending on the child's age and how much they eat.
 
When increasing the fibre in your diet, start gradually. Too much fibre too quickly can cause discomfort.  
 
Remember to drink plenty of fluids daily with a high fibre diet, fluids help your body to use fibre properly.
 
Here are some quick and easy ways to boost your fibre intake:
 
1. Start your day with a fibre-rich cereal: oat bran, bran flakes or oatmeal.
2. Top off your high-fibre cereal with a scoop of raisins, a sliced banana or some orange sections.
3. Take a high-fibre bran or oatmeal muffin to lunch. It's even better if it contains fruit like apples, apricots, raisins or dates.
4. Fibre-boost your salads with carrots, apple slices, dried fruit, raw broccoli and cauliflower pieces, chickpeas (garbanzo beans) and kidney beans. You can also add ground flax seed or chia as a topper.
5. Choose whole grain breads as often as possible.
6. Load up your plate with extra vegetables.
7. Work some beans and peas into your meals; try split pea soup, baked beans, three-bean salad or chili.
8. Try hummus (chickpea spread) in a pita pocket; have lima beans for dinner.
9. Add green peas to casseroles, stir-fry meals, rice or noodles.
10. Boost the fibre in casseroles and mixed dishes by tossing in a handful of oat bran, wheat bran or a crunchy high-fibre cereal.
11. Snack on fibre-filled fruits: pears, raspberries, apples, oranges, nectarines and bananas.
12. Have a sweet tooth? Cookies such as sultana raisin cookies or fig bars offer some fibre. A real winner is a homemade oatmeal and raisin cookie.
13. When a recipe calls for 1 cup of flour, use whole grains like Spelt, Kamut or whole wheat 
14. Whenever possible, for maximum fibre, eat the whole fruit or vegetable (including its skin).
 
Remember:
* Increase the fibre in your diet slowly. Eat fibre often to reduce gas and bloating.
* Drink at least six to eight cups (2 L) of fluid such as water, juice, milk, or soup each day. Fibre holds fluid, which keeps stools soft.
* Eat regular meals and snacks to keep food moving through your bowel.
* Establish a routine and allow enough time for bowel movements.
* Exercise - physical activity promotes regular bowel function.
 
Fibre is important to eliminate constipation and increase our feeling of satiety so we don't eat as much.  It will also aid in sweeping the colon of toxins.