drive-thrus are for lazy people.

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


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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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five short-term goals…

Daily Blab: Keeping up with my goals

February is almost over, and with that – most people have totally lost their ‘New Years Resolutions’. Not me though, because I didn’t make any! Well I sort of did, but instead of calling them New Years Resolutions, I wrote up a simple list of goals. Things that I’d like to accomplish, almost like a 2013 bucket list.

Knowing that my preferences and lifestyle changes from day to day and month to month, I didn’t feel like setting myself up for failure with a New Years Resolution.

For me, the likelihood of sticking to a short-term goal is much more probable than long-term ones – most of us naturally lose site of what we set as our targets and then end up forgetting them all together. So, today I’m writing out 5 short-term goals for the month of March. Ideally, I will achieve all 5 – but if not, I won’t beat myself up over it! I’ll reward myself for the ones I did have success with, and try a second time to accomplish any that didn’t go so well.

Here we go..

  1. Keep my food diary, so that I can ditch the unnecessary snacking.Mindless eating is one of my worst habits, and I do it every single day. This week, I’m writing down everything that goes into my mouth – In hopes that that enough will deter me from mindless munching.FoodLog

2. Read before bed. Every night!

I do it once or twice a week, but normally I’m too exhausted by the end of the day. That being said, there’s always time for a couple pages of reading – no excuses! Look at this stack of books that I have to choose from!

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Top 3 books to finish in the month of March = Blog inc., The 4 Agreements, and Eating Alive.

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3. Make sure that I’m getting enough protein.

Without much meat and fish in my diet, it’s been more of a conscious effort to get enough protein in my daily eats. I’ve got to start cooking up more beans and legumes! Hummus, anyone?

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4. Use my spare time wisely.

Time is valuable, we all know that! Free time should be spent doing things I love, things that make me happy, and being productive! That’s it, that’s all.

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5. And finally, guzzle down more h2o! Especially lemon water.

More lemon water = healthier skin, more detox, stronger immune system (lots of Vitamin C in lemons), gets your system moving in the morning so that you can get all that ‘shit’ out of your body! Great, eh!?

Of course, I have a million other goals in mind – but I started with the basics. Cleansing doesn’t have to be a MAJOR life shift – it can be something so simple as eating more vegetables or cutting back on caffeine.

What are your goals of March? Leave me a comment below and I promise to help keep you on track, if you do the same for me!

Find me on TWITTER as well – for more regular updates =)


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Eat Clean for Better Sex?

I just finished listening to Tosca Reno on 102.1 The Edge Toronto — talking about how to increase your libido/sexual health through diet.

Anyone else listen to this segment? I loved the fact that Dean Blundell was endorsing the facts that men need to Eat Clean for better sex!

If that’s not motivation for us to clean up our diets, I don’t think anything will work!

One thing that Tosca said that stuck with me was that “You can eat your way out of health, or you can eat your way IN TO health” – It’s ultimately your decision. Nutrition is a KEY component in your future health, so why are you still eating the junk?

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My fave – “Morning Greens Smoothie”… I literally CRAVE it each day now!

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Eating a nice veggie-rainbow! Clean Eating – yes! (Cilantro, Tomato, Zucchini, Red Onion)

If your not ready to do a full overhaul of your diet, start to think about a time that WILL be right for this. Make a few little changes each month, and cut the crap from your kitchen slowwwwly!

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In other news – it’s Bell Let’s Talk day today— which is raising awareness for Mental Health.

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I’m super intrigued by this topic, especially since I just finished studying it in school. We must realize that the faces of mental illness are not just certain stereotypes of people— it actually affects a whopping 1 in 5 people, making it an extremely important issue to become aware of. Everybody can think of someone affected by Mental Health issues, and today is a time to bring awareness to it…

A quote from Bell Let’s Talk…

“Once depression is recognized, help can make a difference for 80% of people who are affected, allowing them to get back to their regular activities”.

Spread the word (and the love) people!

Relating this back to nutrition– ZINC is a commonly deficient nutrient in people with mental health disorders. Zinc is in every body cell and it’s necessary for the proper action of your hormones. It plays an especially large role in the development of Alzheimer’s and Anorexia.

Ways to get your Zinc?

(Yes you can take a good multi-vitamin, but let’s talk food…)

  • Oyster (you best source!) – but since I don’t eat Oysters, what else ?
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  • Pumpkin Seeds – these little green guys are VERY high in Zinc
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  • Ginger Root
  • Pecans
  • Whole Wheat/Rye
  • Oats
  • Brazil Nuts

How Do You Like YOUR Zinc?

Leave me a comment by clicking the “Add Comment” button !


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Food Inc. Documentary

Have you ever watched the movie “Food, Inc.” ?

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If not, I highly recommend that you do! Though I am not a big movie-watcher, the odd documentary really gets me excited.

The premise of the movie is basically to give the viewers an overview of the billion dollar food industry – and how it is no longer focused around the farmers and food itself, but rather the business and money that these corporations are pulling in. Of course, that’s life – but it’s pretty gross to see what supermarket food items have come to be.

Profits > Quality in our world today… More reason to support local, small scale farmers.

A quote from Michael Pollan that was in the movie…

“There are no seasons in the American supermarket. Now there are tomatoes all year round, grown halfway around the world, picked when it was green, and ripened with ethylene gas. Although it looks like a tomato, it’s kind of a notional tomato. I mean, it’s the idea of a tomato”…

So on that note, a few tips for your weekend shopping adventures.

  • Look at where your produce is coming from – the tag under the fruit or veggie should tell you what country it came from. Make it your mission this weekend to NOTICE where your food is coming from, and make conscious choices whether you really want to buy those oranges from Mexico or not…

 

  • Support local farmers markets if you have the chance

 

  • Purchase organic meats – if you don’t see the point, watch Food Inc and then reconsider. Try and include at least 3 or 4 nights per week that are vegetarian as well.

 

  • Eat with the seasons when possible! Right now, you SHOULD be able to find some Ontario produce if you look hard enough – you might find Beets, Leeks, Carrots, Parsnips, Sweet Potato, Apples, Squash and Regular Potatoes… Oddly enough, these are all the perfect ingredients for a fabulous SOUP recipe!


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The ever-debatable topic of… GLUTEN. Do you eat it? Do you avoid it? Thoughts welcome!

Happy Thursday everyone !

It’s amazing how on my days off, I can literally consume myself in nutrition blogs/articles /websites. There is SO much information out there, you barely have to actively seek it – it just seems to find you once you dive in! And my problem is, that there is no way out once I start… but hey, that’s what days off are for right?

After teaching spin class today, I decided I wanted to check out a fabulous bakery that I had been to back in November. It’s called Cobz in the Kensington Market of Toronto.

It is abseloutly phenomenal – especially if you’re a baked good addict like me (it was nearly impossible not to buy out the ENTIRE store once I walked in!)

I ended up picking up loaf of freshly baked (still hot) loaf of whole grain chia bread. It was pure bliss when I tried it before, so I knew I had to get it again…

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This bread is literally the best thing sincewell, since sliced bread

(I guess that expression doesn’t work in this case!)

Besides the chia seeds and whole wheat flour, it contains dates, raisins, sunflower seeds and cinnamon. Dreamy combination, I know!

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Besides the fact that you should go out and splurge on a loaf – I also wanted to blog about the after effects of me eating this…

I try to avoid Gluten on a regular basis for a few reasons…

  • It’s a common allergen for many people, though you may not even know it
  • It makes me feel bloated
  • I enjoy the taste of Gluten-Free products, often more so than regular versions
  • My Mom is Celiac so I’ve become accustomed to eating GF products, and think that I might have a sensitivity to it as well (though not necessarily a full blown allergy like my Mama)

Oddly enough, I did have a Gluten Allergy test done about 3 years ago (I was curious if I had it, like my Mom)

Problem was that I had cut Gluten almost entirely out of my diet for the months leading up to this test (because I knew it didn’t make me feel the greatest), and of course what I didn’t know at the time was that you actually have to be EATING whatever you’re getting tested for in order for the results to be accurate.

Seems obvious, right? Clearly not for me at the time. It would have been nice for the doctors/nurses to specify that!

The test came back negative. So I figured I had no problem with Gluten – and went on consuming it at my leisure…

But lately, I’ve noticed that often times when I do eat baked goods made with regular flour – or have a beer… My stomach is noticeably upset with me!

Without further detail, here are some signs that you might be Gluten-Intolerant…

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  1. Digestive Upset after consuming products which contain Gluten (Soy Sauce, Beer, Bread, Muffins, Lunch Meats, CousCous) – without being too descriptive this could include gas, bloating (looking like you’ve got a baby on the way, perhaps?!), and problems in the bathroom
  2. You’re tired and lethargic after consuming it (this could be a result of many foods, gluten is a potential culprit though)
  3. Your moods change after eating it – possible feelings of sadness or anxiety
  4. Inflammation in your body (puffiness, joints swell up, etc.)

On the topic of inflammation, I read a really great/moving/sad/happy article from the NY times. It’s really long, so clear some time to read it though if you can. It’s about a Mom whose son was diagnosed with arthritis at the age of 3 (sad, right?) and was put on medication at such a young age. She basically refused to see her son dependent on medication for the rest of his life, so she started to seek out Alternative Medicine. After much heartache, there was triumph… and they were able to treat his arthritis WITHOUT MEDICATION, and through diet and natural supplements instead.

Here is the article, if you want to read it!

Anyway, if you do suspect (like me) that you are either Gluten Sensitive or Intolerant – you can look into doing an Elimination Diet (on my to-do list) or you can get an IgG or IgE test which will examine all foods, and show you every allergy that you have.

My  Mom did one, and found out that she was extremely sensitive to eggs – but never knew it all her life. It’s best to cut out these foods, since they are likely causing inflammation in your body (which is not pleasant for anyone)…

Anyways… that’s just more food for thought, I guess. Take it with a grain of salt and choose your battles of what bandwagon to hop on in regards to dietary choices.

On my menu tonight, I’m going to try this recipe from Joyous Health.ca … Hopefully it turns out!

 

 


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Songs to FUEL your workout!

Music can either make or break my workout. How about you?

For example, think about the last group exercise class that you attended. Can you remember the music that the instructor played?

I used to avoid certain classes for the mere fact that I knew the music wouldn’t motivate me- and so I make a conscious effort to keep my tunes current, fresh and fun.

If you’re in need of some new songs to throw on to your iTunes (perhaps for your upcoming 1/2 marathon training or to do some heavy lifting) check out my new favorites;

There’s a sample !

I always resort back to a few sites like 8tracks or Songza if I’m short on ideas!

Hope everyone had an amazing weekend, I’ll be back with more recipes and holistic tips this week.


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new job !

Exciting could describe my day yesterday.

I am officially going to be a spin teacher on the Real Ryder bikes at a studio in Toronto… It has been my goal since I first tried a class on these amazing indoor spin bikes back in October 2012, and the day has finally come where I will have my own class to teach!

Curious what the hype is about these bikes? Check out this video of the studio…

Cool, eh?

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Since I’ve been slacking on my recipes lately.. I’ll show you a few of my eats over the past week or so.

Breakfast.

It’s been a struggle, but I’m trying to start my day with veggies some days of the week. Whether it just be some sauteed kale with my eggs, or hiding things in a smoothie – I want to get some hearty nutrients into my first meal.

This has been a slightly difficult change since normally I crave sweet in the morning (apples, bananas, berries, etc. is my ideal breakky)

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Omelet with red peppers and cilantro.

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Sauteed Kale and 1 Egg

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Same breakfast as the other day, this time with a greens and fruit smoothie

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Eggs sprinkled with my favourite spice, cumin.

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In my super smoothie: Almond Milk, Kale, Banana, Greek Yogurt, Pumpkin Puree, Chia Seeds and a few Nuts

Other mornings have been sub-par so I won’t bore you with those photos.

I’ve been noticing that I haven’t been extremely hungry some mornings when I wake up, and I know that it’s directly related to how much I eat after dinner and before bed. Often times, I’ll reach for a snack immediately after dinner – which I should really be taking as a sign of either a poor habit, sugar addiction, or unsatisfying dinners.

Instead of addressing any of these, I usually just look to satisfy the sugar cravings. Now that I know more about the potential causes of these cravings, I want to more consciously address the root cause and hopefully kick this habit to the curb!

Can anyone else relate to this? Do you get strong cravings for sugar immediately after dinner?