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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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 !


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Feel Better, Sick Friends !

This post will probably be semi-annual, but it’s always a useful one.

Why am I interesting in chatting about natural ways to cure a cold/flu ? Because I think that so many people have it all wrong… Yet, they wonder why their cold lingers around for weeks upon weeks!

The old method of sugary Gingerale and soda crackers just aint gonna cut it, folks ! All that you get from those 2 “sick foods” is a dose of sugar (which actually DEPRESSES your immune system: the bad-ass system in your body that fights all day, everyday to keep you healthy) as well as an overkill of sodium! Yikes… where did we go so wrong? Cold and flu meds are useless as well, so don’t worry about making that late-night trip to your local Drugery to waste your money on symptom-maskers that are filled with some unnecessary chemical fillers – not to mention the fake colours and dyes that are used to make pills pretty colours. How was I once fooled into thinking these were the answer to a sickness!!??

I haven’t been nurturing myself as well as I should be, so I’m making a special note to have some “cure-me” time today. I have been feeling slightly lethargic, weak, and a little bit brain foggy all week (hence the lack of blog posts) – and I’m sick of it! No pun intended.

Here’s some simple tips…

HERBAL SUPPLEMENTS! Go back to your “roots” and use nature to cure younot drugs and chemicals. Try popping any of these within 48 hours of feeling cold/flu like symptoms, for best results.

  1. Echinacea


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    Isn’t this flower beautiful? No harm in taking a double dose of this !

    You can take it preventatively to reduce your chances of catching a cold in the first place, or you can take it at the first signs and symptoms. The poor herb is actually threatened in the wild right now, so make sure to buy organic and high quality. Go to a herbalist who can get you a tincture for best results…

  2. Take your probiotics!


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    Keeping your gut healthy with good bacteria will ensure that your Immune System is able to function optimally and fight off infections of all sorts! Quality probiotics are important, so make sure you buy a good brand. Your local health food store can help you with this. Probiotics are ESPECIALLY important for those of you who have taken antibiotics over the past 5 years. Sadly, antibiotics don’t discriminate and they kill off both the good, the bad and the ugly. So now, you need to re-populate the good!

  3. Garlic!

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    I love garlic in all sorts of ways (and so do my roommates – best to stay far away from us after we’ve eaten it). The method that can help a cold and flu? RAW! Sadly, cooking the garlic won’t cut it as a theraputic way to use it. You need to crush it/chop it and then let it sit for 5 minutes before munching on it. The natural enzymes in garlic need time to convert from alliin to allicin, which is the natural antibacterial ingredient! Chop it up, let it sit, and put it in with a teaspoon of raw and unpasteurized honey to cut the taste!

  4. Rest up ! Give yourself a break – and sleep as MUCH as possible. Oh ya, and hydrate with as much water as you like. Preferably some warm lemon water water in there as well !

 


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The many benefits of… TURMERIC

It’s a Turmeric kind of day !

This little spice (with BIG health benefits) seems to be popping up everywhere over the last 24 hours!

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It made an appearance in my dinner last night/lunch today…

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(Not so photogenic food – Moroccan Spiced Veggie & Rice Stew topped with Parsley Pesto)

And it also came up in class today, while learning about inflammation

If that’s not enough, I flipped on the T.V. this afternoon and go figure the guest-speaker was talking about the health benefits of Turmeric !

New info that I learned about Turmeric today is that it is one of the ONLY foods that influences EVERY SINGLE chemical involved in inflammation in the body. It is literally an inflammation SUPER FOOD.

You’ve likely had Turmeric in the past, but some of you may not even know what it tastes/looks like. It’s an orangey-yellow coloured spice that’s used in many curry dishes, making it a staple in a traditional Indian diet.

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….From plant… to useable spice!

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Curcumin is the active and powerful anti-inflammatory ingredient in Turmeric, but it also contains a small amount of Iron, Dietary Fiber, and Vitamin B6! The benefits are endless!

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Since INFLAMMATION is your bodies way of telling you that something is wrong (with signs such as redness, swelling, water retention, constipation) – you want to keep inflammation to a minimum – and one way to do this is through the consumption of anti-inflammatory foods/herbs/spices.

Ex. Turmeric, Ginger, Broccoli, Red Cabbage & Omega 3’s – and many more…

Not concerned about inflammation in yourself? Why not take a hands on and active approach and reduce inflammation before it starts!

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Eat your Turmeric in many ways.

  1. Take 2 Tbsp. in warm water and drink it ‘straight up’
  2. Add it to your favourite recipe (stews, soups and casseroles are perfect for this)
  3. Make your own capsules of it, or buy it from the health foods store
  4. Add it to condiments such as mustard or salad dressing

Whatever way you choose, up your intake starting ASAP!


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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 =)