drive-thrus are for lazy people.

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


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Swap {THIS} for {THAT}

Hey!

I wanted to give you all a few simple “swaps” that you can easily incorporate into your daily routine. By making these switches, you’re detoxing your current routine and moving towards a more healthful approach! Might I add, that these are all quite cost effective as well (save a $ here, spend it somewhere more useful!)

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Why would you want to make these switches, you ask? Read on to find out…

1. Ditch the “table salt” in favour of Himalayan Pink Sea Salt.

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Why?

Sadly, table salt has been processed enough that it no longer contains all the wonderful minerals that salt should – pink salt is rich with 80+ minerals. Your table salt has been enriched with Iodine and often times sugar is added to it – check your labels!

2. Toss out your chemically-laden moisturizer in favour of coconut oil.

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I’ve discussed this in a previous post which can be accessed here!

Once again, I can’t say enough good things about coconut oil. If you haven’t tried it yet, get yourself some next time you’re at the grocery store! It can be found in the health food section.

3. Make your own household cleaners!

Why?

Store-bought cleaners are full of chemicals. These chemicals are harmful to you, and everyone else who lives in or visits your house. These seemingly harmless products can cause skin irritation, allergies, respiratory irritation, hormone disruption… The list goes on and on and on.

You can read more about it on The Organic Consumers website here.

Solution?

D.I.Y – It’s beyond easy once you’ve invested in the supplies (and will save you $ in the long run!!). Get a squirt bottle; vinegar; baking soda; some essential oils… etc.

Living Well Spending Less blog gives you some great links to homemade cleaners for all areas of the house

5. Swap out store bought salad dressings for homemade dressings

Free of additives, preservatives, and nasty gunk – a homemade salad dressing tastes better and is more cost effective. You can keep it simple with this recipe from Vega, or go with something a little more complex!

This dressing is dee-lish, if you’re interested!

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6. Ditch the St. Ives Apricot Scrub (guilty!) and make a DIY facial scrub (2 Tbsp. White Sugar + 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil; just be gentle with it)

David Suzuki has some great resources on homemade cosmetics.

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Detox-Update. My progress THUS far! [+ a delish. granola recipe]

Cleansing ain’t so bad!

Today is already April 12, and I’ve been on a little ‘detox‘ since April 1.

I thought it would pass by slowly, but to my dismay it is flying by so far!!!!

The rules that I’ve stuck to quite rigidly include; no dairy, no gluten, no refined sugars, no chocolate, no processed foods, no alcohol… In addition, getting a GOOD sweat on 6x/week with some new workouts squeezed in, and drinking more and more lemon water everyday (although that’s not hard, seeing as I LOVE my morning start of 1/2 a lemon squeezed into room temp. water)

Quick little survey about my progress thus far;

  1. I feel…

    GREAT! The times that I haven’t felt 100% were the times that I slipped up and had a fresh baked chocolate chip cookie, or that mega-beer at the Blue Jays game… Go figure, eh !?

  2. I’ve eaten…

    LOTS of delicious foods. Lucky for me, this cleanse did not steer me too far away from my regular/routine diet. However, for some people this type of detox might involve a complete overhaul of their pantry! That is why it’s important to start with only what you can handle & want to take on…

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Above: Detox-friendly burrito bowl from Fresh Restaurant. You see cheddar cheese you say? Nope, that’s Daiya cheese alternative.

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Above: Detox friendly quinoa porridge. My complete protein is topped with blackberries, coconut flakes, walnuts, chia, and almond milk

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Above: This was a weird random meal that I threw together last weekend. It includes free-range chicken from my mama, sauerkraut topped with nutritional yeast, edamame, and a homemade chickpea flour bread (Besan) with spinach – LOVE this recipe.

3. Noticeable ‘side-effects’ of the cleanse…

Good = Better skin, less bloat after meals, weight loss

Bad = Hard to remain social, temptation is all around us – In addition, I miss chocolate

4. Plan for the next 13 days?

  • Keep to the original plan!
  • Try not to wander too far off from what I originally wanted to achieve
  • Cut out a couple more foods to see if I can identify any more food sensitivities

*Sorry for the lack of posts lately, life has been busier than usual*

I’ll get back on track soon enough with more recipes, fitness routines, and holistic living tips!

In the meantime;

–> Try this granola recipe that I just popped into the oven. Mix up cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, pure vanilla extract, melted coconut oil, a mashed banana, and maple syrup in a big bowl – add in oats, pumpkin seeds, almonds, chia seeds and dried cranberries. Spread on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, bake at 300 degrees for 35 minutes: stirring every 10 minutes.

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–> Check out my article on fitblogger.ca *Click here to get to it directly.

–> Take a look at the blog ‘This Rawsome Vegan Life’ which I am currently in love with. Her food photography is to die for! I want to hire this girl as my personal dessert chef.

 

 


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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 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 =)


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Eat Your Way Through Valentines– Without the GUILT!

If you’re like me – you look for any reason under the sun to do some baking.

Cooking, I’m not so fond of. But baking is different…  I’ve always felt a sense of comfort in baking, maybe because it reminds me of home and happiness.

With Valentines Day coming up tomorrow, are you planning to bake anything for your “Valentine”/Friend/Family/Roommate/Etc… ?

It will likely make their day a bit brighter – so pick one of these “healthier” cookie recipes to whip up before tomorrow.

Happy Valentines!

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(This photo is from the “Love Your Body Campaign” that I put on during my undergrad)

Recipe # 1

From the blog, “The Healing Kitchen”

RAW VEGAN VALENTINES COOKIES

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They are dairy free, gluten free, mostly raw, sugar free, vegan, vegetarian – you name it!

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Recipe # 2

This recipe comes from the blog Squirrelly Minds…

These are Peanut Butter and Oat bites: Vegan Approved!

I have made a very similar recipe to these before, and I love them because they are SIMPLE. Quick, not too time consuming, and tons of taste!

PB & Oat Bites Recipe from Squirrelly Minds

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Recipe # 3

For the raw-foodie – this recipe from Ravishing Raw looks SO good.

(Click the link to see the photo)

I love that they’ve used avocado and carob as opposed to traditional ingredients found in mousse. Much healthier!

The options are really endless!

Happy Healthy Baking !