drive-thrus are for lazy people.

Living my healthiest and most holistic life, without a drive-thru !


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Why I’ve tossed out the Jergens Moisutrizer in favour of Coconut Oil

Your integumentary system.

It keeps the outside world OUT; and the inside world IN

This organ system has many functions (regulates body temperature, provides cushioning to the body, excretes waste, etc.) —     you want this system to be functioning optimally!

Your skin should be treated like a piece of expensive artwork – not a test canvas, do you get where I’m coming from?

Your bathroom is likely FULL of harmful skincare products, all of which claim to make you “age less” and “look younger” – but I have a feeling that they’re all lying. Last time I checked, our skin wasn’t meant to take on all of these foreign chemical-like substances that provide a ‘temporary’ fix.

Your next detox doesn’t have to start in the kitchen, it can start in the bathroom – and yes, you’ll still notice big benefits!

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Since I began my program studying holistic nutrition, my eyes have opened up to how complicated we have made our world. Food doesn’t have to be difficult, you can eat things grown in your backyard or a chicken raised in the town next to you. Beauty shouldn’t be so difficult either – if you won’t eat your products, why put them on your skin? It all ends up inside of you, leaving your body to detox the bad and eliminate it before it causes harm!

This also goes for those of you with children— their little bodies are sensitive, so choose products that are as pure + natural as possible!

Worried about aging and wondering how to get rid of those black lines under your eyes? Why not start with prevention through a whole foods diet… You eat food all day every day, and what you put down the hatch is going to have an effect on your outside appearance, not just the internal stuff! Just think of how rotten a smokers lungs would be after 50 years of 2 packs per day – and they usually don’t look so hot on the outside (even with a few botox injections)! Same goes for food + internal/external appearance…

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Take yourself back to basics.

1. Read the book Ecoholic Bodyby Adria Vasil. [I’m part way through; it’s great as a reference to flip through whenever you have questions. No need to read start to finish]

2. Check out this chart from MindBodyGreen.com

3. Slowly clear out your bathroom cabinets, and replace with natural shampoo/cleanser/soaps/mascara/moisturizer/etc. I am in the process of doing this right now– it’s unrealistic to think that it will happen overnight, so take it slow. One. thing. at. a. time… The financial burden will be lessened and you can slowly adapt to your new products.

Dump this…

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4. Use what’s in your fridge to make cleaning products, face masks, and moisturizers! An example of something I’ve done for a while now is to make a hair mask out of a mashed avocado + olive oil.

Put it on before bed// tie your hair into a bun// sleep on an old towel (it stains!) // wash it out in the a.m. – MAKE SURE YOU SET YOUR ALARM WITH TIME FOR THIS, or you’ll look extra greasy all day 😉

Now this makes for healthy hair!

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5. Do some of your own research! I’m not the expert on all of this (not yet anyway) so be an informed consumer! Check out the Environmental Working Group [EWG] website, especially their consumer guides!

Never look back.

Start reversing your aging process.

Make smarter choices =)

Feel and look fabulous!

Have a happy weekend, friends.

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Indian + Orange Kale Salad

This. salad. is. SO. good.

Not a salad person? Stop reading… (Sorry, but maybe this recipe isn’t for you)

Trust me, you won’t be disappointed – the secret is to “marinatethe kale overnight in the dressing. It soaks up the flavour so wonderfully, and the taste just ends up being more intense the longer you let it sit.

(Don’t leave it for TOO long though, a few days max.)

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What you’ll need.

(i.e. Ingredient List)

Mix together;

  • Kale Leaves
  • Beet Leaves (optional)
  • Shredded Red Cabbage
  • Shredded Carrot
  • Diced Avocado

Dressing

  • EVOO
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Sesame Oil (optional)
  • Finely diced blood orange
  • Zest from blood orange
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Almond Milk (to thin it out a bit)

Coat the salad mix with the dressing. Let it marinate! This is KEY!

When you’re ready to eat – sprinkle with nutritional yeast (it adds a yummy flavour)

Top with Tofu Strips sauteed in coconut oil, and chickpeas grilled with Garam Masala Indian Spice.

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I know, this recipe is all over the place – but that’s how I cook!

-YUM-


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“If kids grow kale, kids eat kale”.

Hey friends.

I hope everyone had a very green weekend, with a few drinks for St. Patty’s day of course.

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All this green drinking, got me thinking…

Canada is still behind on the trend of banning food dyes. Food dyes are synthetic and completely unnecessary in many of the products they are found in. The only reason that they are often added is for visual appeal, since processed foods have often lost their natural colour.

My thoughts?

Having a food dye a couple of times per year isn’t going to kill you – but make a conscious effort to avoid them. All of them.

Check your fridge for products that may contain these dyes;

Tartrazine, Quinoline Yellow, Sunset Yellow, Carmoisine, Ponceau 4R and Allura Red.

One place to check for this Tartrazine; in your Kraft Italian Salad Dressing. Who knew? All the better reason to simply make your own using EVOO, Balsamic, and some dried spices of your choice.

Read more about the harmful effects of tartrazine/ yellow # 5 right here.

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Food Round-Up

This broccoli-slaw is to die for.

The recipe looks a little something like this…

Shredded red cabbage, shredded broccoli, shredded carrots.

Add in raisins/dried cranberries, and chopped almonds.

Coat with a homemade dressing (tahini, olive oil, mustard, apple cider vinegar, s&p, maple syrup, almond milk)

Top with sesame seeds.

Eat!

*Note. It tastes better after ‘marinating’ for a day or two in the fridge. The veggies also start to soften up a little bit.

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While I was on the go this weekend, I was keeping fueled with these Vega Bars.

They came especially handy when I was running late for my Spin class, and didn’t have time to fuel up on a meal at home.

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Did You See This on TedTalks?

This guy (Ron Finley) got fed up with the food options offered in his neighborhood of South Los Angeles, so he decided to plant a garden. He’s ready to help people re-establish their connections to food by putting in the word needed to grow it yourself.

WATCH Ron Finley by clicking here

Some memorable quotes that I thought were great…

  • “South Los Angeles is home of the drive-thru, and the drive-by… And guess which one is killing more? The drive-thru”. Love this ! So good to hear someone else knock down the drive-thru !
  • “Growing your own food is like printing your own money!”…
  • “If kids grow kale, kids eat kale,” he declares. “If they grow tomatoes, they eat tomatoes. If they’re not shown how food affects the mind and body, they blindly eat whatever’s put in front of them.”

Have a great week everyone !

Feel free to leave me a comment below, I’d love to hear from you.

 


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The joy of BREAKFAST

Hey !

Three (3) quick, simple, nutritious and yummy breakfast ideas for you tonight (to make tomorrow a.m. perhaps !?)

1)

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Quinoa Porridge

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Made with white quinoa, chopped apples, lots of cinnamon, walnuts, blackberries, almond milk.

Other things that you could add to spice it up; chia seeds, almonds, maple syrup, banana, coconut pieces.

2)

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Tropical Smoothie

In a blender; apple, grapefruit, orange, almond milk, water, coconut, walnuts, spinach, ice, tofu, cinnamon

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Grapefruits are just so photogenic !

3)

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Tofu + Egg breakky scramble.

Sautee your tofu in coconut oil, add in kale and kale stems as well as any other veggies that you’ve got on hand. Add in eggs, top with salt& pepper + cumin

IMG_10325 Tips for your next Breakfast

  1. If you don’t eat a good, hearty breakfast – chances are that you might overeat later in the day
  2. Make sure that your breakfasts contain some protein and complex-carbs to keep you feeling full and energized longer. Carbs are not the enemy 🙂
  3. Choose whole grains, and if you’re gluten sensitive avoid Barley/Rye/Some Oats/Wheat/Spelt
  4. Make you’re breakfast a meal you enjoy, something that you’re happy about eating first thing in the a.m.
  5. Wake up early enough to have time to enjoy your breakfast, along with a coffee or tea. Mornings can be enjoyable, if you’re not in a panic!


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Vega One Product Review

A product that I can’t get enough of and fully support is the topic for this post.

I’ve been meaning to write up a post about Vega Plant-Based Nutrition for quite some time now, but my writers block has been getting the best of me (does this happen to all bloggers?)

Over the past 6 months, I’ve been playing around with my diet to try and find what works best for my body. Whether it be an omnivore type diet, vegetarian, vegan – I was open to experimentation, and still am. I naturally have moved away from eating all meats (except for the occasional free-range/organic/antibiotic free bit). I’ve also started to shy away from much dairy, unless it’s all natural as well. I do feel strongly about these choices, but take into account that I live in a society that eats anything and everything. I am only human, and it’s useless to pick a title for my dietary habits because they are always changing. I may not fall under the label of veg/vegan etc. but I do now call myself an informed consumer who makes a conscious effort to know what’s going in to my body.

Ever since I’ve made these changes in my diet, I’ve noticed a few things…

  • Ensuring that I have enough protein in a day can be HARD (especially when avoiding meat/dairy and teaching exercise classes 2x/day)
  • I don’t miss meat, at all…
  • Dairy + Sugar upsets my stomach
  • I feel my best when I eat a fruit and vegetable based diet
  • I am not bloated/cramped/gassy when I eat clean/raw foods

And much more, but those are a few that came to mind.

Without diving too far into my personal eating habits today, I’m really here to express my thankfulness for a 100% natural plant-based protein powder called Vega.

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They have so graciously sent me a whole whack of their new (and old) products, and I am happy to endorse them because I use these products myself in everyday, busy/crazy/chaotic  life.

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(I am not being compensated to write this post – all opinions are my own from personal experiences)

What I love about their products is that they have abseloutly nothing to hide. No fillers, no chemicals, no artificial colours or flavours. These products are built for the athlete, but usable by ANYONE. One scoop of their Nutritional Shake provides you with 50% of your daily vitamins and minerals (covering MANY key nutrients that you may otherwise be lacking through your diet), and their products can help you achieve the energy levels necessary for optimal sports performance (or even just for feeling better in your every day life)

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That being said, as a student studying Holistic Nutrition – I always look to FOOD as my first source of daily nutrients. Again though, I am only human and often lack the time to whip up the type of nutrient rich meals that I need to teach a high energy spin class. These shakes are especially good to me at 6a.m. when I can barely even think about cooking breakkie. So, shake it is…

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(Pictured above: Vega One All-in-one Nutritional Shake in Berry flavour)

A scoop of this stuff offers you…

  1. 15 grams of protein (the same as 2.7 eggs)
  2. 1.5 grams of Omega-3 (same as 2.3 servings of salmon)
  3. 1 billion Probiotics (same as 1 cup of yogurt)
  4. 6 grams of Fiber
  5. 3 servings of Greens (same as 3 servings of veggies)
  6. 2.7 cups of Antioxidants (same as 2.7 cups of blueberries)
  7. 50% of your recommended daily intake of Vitamins & Minerals

Not bad, huh?

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All kinds that I have tried have tasted great. I normally don’t like ‘fake’ flavours, so I was hesitant to try these ones – but the natural flavoring is bang-on. Not to sweet, just subtle enough to be enjoyed.

Call me boring though, I  still like the ‘Natural’ Nutritional Shake the best. The rich yet mild taste goes perfectly into a banana + kale smoothie.

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Protein powders are not for everyone, so do your research before you go drop $ on a tub of this.

Those of you with soy/gluten/dairy/sugar allergies – not to worry… Vega One is free of all of them. You’re good to go!

Other goodies that you should try from VEGA!…blog 069

Sacha Inchi Seeds.

Never heard of them? Well listen up!

These bad boys are the richest plant-based source of Omega-3’s on the planet! What a perfect healthy indulgence. They come in Karmalized, Natural or Choc-o-lot flavours.

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Vibrancy Bars.

A combo of raw and sprouted ingredients and 180 calories, these make a great on the go snack. In fact, I chowed down on Chocolate Decadence one today after my workout.

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Maca Chocolate.

Eat it sparingly, and enjoy it. Yes, there are health benefits to eating this organic chocolate bar.

Maca is a root plant native to the Andean mountains which has a whole lotta benefits which I won’t even try to explain better than Vega does, right here.

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Truth be told, I could write a whole lot more – but I know you’ve heard enough for one blog post!

If you have any questions, you can always send me an e-mail or respond to this post in the ‘comments’ section =) I love hearing from you guys.

If you’re interested in Vega products, check out their website

In addition, you can explore Brendan Braziers (the creative mind behind Vega) ‘Thrive Forward” program which introduces you to plant-based eating, and cleaning up your diet. Heck, even if you’re not interested in the program it’s still a pretty website with some fabulous recipes.

Have you tried Vega products? Which are your favourite?

How do you like your Protein? Food sources or supplement sources?


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Apple Pie Smoothie Recipe (or you might call it a Green Smoothie)

This smoothie may not look all that “apple-pie-esque”, but it kind of tastes like it!

Sure – I may have an obsession with green smoothies. But despite the similar colours each time I make them, they do all taste different!

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They taste especially good when served in a wine glass. Who said we can’t use wine glasses every day anyway?

Recipe

Apple Pie Smoothie: Adapted from Jenna Orme

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Ingredients

  • 1 apple of choice, chopped finely (skin left on for extra fiber)
  • 1/2 of a frozen banana
  • 1/2 finely chopped Pear
  • 2 Tbsp. Almond Butter
  • 3 Pre-Soaked Dates (to make them more easily blend-able)
  • 1+ cup of Almond Milk
  • 3 Ice Cubes
  • 1 Handful of Spinach (or as much as you want!)
  • 2 tsp. of Pumpkin Pie Spice

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Blend well, and enjoy !