52 weeks of good health....

every week I will share with you a tip to improve your eating habits or lifestyle to help you reach maximum energy levels and increase overall physical and emotional health.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Recipe of the Week

For those of you complaining that you still can't make time for breakfast...these bars leave you with no excuses!

Oatmeal On-the-Go Bars (Makes 18 Bars)

  • 2 Cups Old Fashioned Oats
  • 1 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 1/2 Tsp Cinnamon
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1 Tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 1/2 Cup Milk (any kind of milk — rice, almond, soy, cow’s — will work)
  • 3 Tbsp Maple Syrup
  • 1/2 Cup ripe, pureed banana
  • 1/2 Cup natural peanut butter
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla
  • 3/4 Cup Dried Fruit (Cranberries, Raisins, Blueberries, and/or Cherries)
  • 1/2 Cup Nuts (Walnuts, Sunflower Seeds, and/or Sesame Seeds)

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Place the first 5 dry ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine.
3. Mix the milk, applesauce, egg, agave, and vanilla in a separate bowl.
4. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet mixture, stir to combine and then stir in the dried fruits and nuts.
5. Pour the oatmeal mixture into a buttered or greased 7 x 11 inch baking dish.
6. Bake for 30 minutes or until thickened and golden.
7. Cool, cut into squares and serve.

*Allow to cool, cut into squares and place in a ziploc bag to freeze up to 4 months. When ready, allow to defrost in fridge for 24-48 hours.

*Refrigerating the bars will make them last up to 5 days.

How are you feeling?

Well, we're 9 months into our year to better health...how are you feeling?

I thought it would be a good time to recap some of what I think are the more important tips from the past 9 months....with 3 more months to go, this will be a good time to regroup and continue your quest to the healthiest and happiest you!

Water - every cell in our body needs water; keeping properly hydrated helps with our digestion, helps keeps our bodies free of toxins and helps our skin look fresh and young!

Going Veg - this one couples with eating more fruits and vegetables....try making one night a week vegetarian night. You'll find new recipes that you'll love and new ways to cook veggies that you may not have liked before. Taking a break from meat, at least one night a week, is great for your digestion!

Mind/body connection while eating - this tip again has importance when it comes to proper digestion; making meal time stress free, with good conversation or relaxing music and taking the time to enjoy the food that is fueling your body will help reduce that heavy feeling that some people experience after eating (and can prevent over eating too!).

Breakfast - meal of champions...right? We're all eating healthy breakfasts now, right? There are so many great recipes for on the go breakfast foods, that there really isn't any reason to not be fueling up before beginning your day. Check out this weeks recipe for a Oatmeal on the Go bar.,,

The friendship connection - check in with your "people" and see where everyone else is at! Make sure that they feel appreciated...it's so easy to let friendships slide when you are feeling busy and stressed, but you need to remember to take the time to nourish these relationships. (this is a great reminder for me...I need to take the time to do this myself!).

Tips that are also up there in importance are trading in your refined products for whole grains, including more beans in your diet for extra fibre, and listening to your body...it has lots to say!

In good health,

Monday, September 20, 2010

Thinking of Cleansing?

Do You Need Internal Cleansing?

How do you know when it’s time to free your body of accumulated toxins and other waste material?

We all like to jump in the shower each morning to feel clean and refreshed. What we don't often think about, is that it is important for us to keep clean on the inside as well as the outside. To detoxify, is to clean our internal organs from a toxin or pollution. Toxicity occurs in the body when we consume a substance more than we can utilize or eliminate. From time to time it is beneficial to open our channels of elimination and purge stored toxins. Exposure to toxins comes from the food we eat and the air we breathe. Chemicals, pollutants and drugs all compromise our body's natural balance - called homeostasis.

Are You Suffering From Toxic Overload?

ü Are you constantly tired?

ü Is your skin spotty or dull?

ü Are you constipated?

ü Do you have dark circles under your eyes?

ü Are your eyes and hair dull?

ü Do you suffer from headaches?

ü Do you have achy joints?

ü Do you have sinus problems or allergic type symptoms?

ü Do you suffer from night sweats?

ü Do you suffer from flatulence?

ü Do you have abdominal bloating and water retention?

ü Do you have cellulite?

ü Do you have body odor?

ü Do you have problems sleeping?

ü Do you have problems concentrating?

ü Do you suffer from mood swings, or anxiety?

ü Do your muscles ache for no apparent reason?

ü Do you suffer from skin problems or eczema?

ü Do you suffer from stress?

ü Do you suffer from irritable bowel syndrome?

Cleansing May Not Be For You

It is normal to experience mild symptoms while cleansing, like mild headaches, achy muscles and joints, and some weakness or light headedness during the detoxification process. However, if you begin to feel very weak, dizzy, shaky, nauseas and develop severe headaches, it is important to stop, and gently improve nutrition, and slowly decrease exposure to toxins before trying again.

These symptoms are a sign of a highly toxic body. If the body is highly toxic, the portals of elimination can become blocked which could result in a “healing crisis.” This indicates that too many toxins are just bouncing around and cannot get out, causing the liver to become overloaded and increasing overall levels of toxicity.

Who Should Not Fast or Cleanse?

· Anyone malnourished

· People who are obese

· Those with severe candida

· Women who are pregnant

· Those with hypoglycemia or diabetes

· Anyone with ulcers, the sick, the very stressed, very thin or very toxic

What Will a Cleanse Do For You?

· Your digestive system will be flushed of accumulated waste and putrefied bacteria.

· Your liver, kidneys and blood can be purified.

· Your mental clarity will receive a boost.

· Possible dependency on habit forming refined sugar, caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, or drugs is relieved as body chemistry normalizes.

· Bad eating habits can be broken.

· You stomach has a chance to normalize in size for better weight control.

· You will feel lighter and more energized.

· You will feel more mentally alert, less spacey, more emotionally balanced.

How to Reduce Consumption of Toxins?

· Eat a diet rich in antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids - both help neutralize the damaging effects of free-radicals (toxins). Vegetables and fruits are the best sources of antioxidants. Cold-water fish, freshly ground flaxseed and walnuts provide omega-3s.

· Green drinks – help to alkalize the body, help flush toxins from the body and are high in nutrients (Greens+, PhytoGreens, Barley Green, etc.)

· Buy organic foods whenever possible

· Avoid drinking tap water – opt for filtered or bottled water. Water flushes and cleanses your body. Don’t wait until you get thirsty to drink water; thirst is a late signal that your body is dehydrated.

· Reduce intake of processed or packaged foods, and avoid anything artificial

· Always wash and peel non-organic fruits and vegetables

· Eat meat and dairy products in moderation

· Keep your body at a healthy weight – lots of toxins are stored in body fat

· Minimize or eliminate caffeine from your diet

· Read labels carefully to avoid artificial additives

· Choose non-chemical household cleaners

· Install a filter on your shower head to minimize chlorine

· Avoid scented body products

Cleansing Tips

· Always ensure you are consuming a diet high in fibre while cleansing. Toxins released from cleansing ultimately end up in the colon, therefore it is important to keep the bowels moving during a cleanse so as not to re-infect or re-intoxicate the organs. Flax meal is a healthy mild fibre that can be sprinkled on cereals, salads, or added to smoothies.

· Drink plenty of water to speed up the elimination of toxins in the body.

· Do not start a cleanse if you are feeling unwell.

· Epsom salts baths are very relaxing and detoxifying – 2 cups per bath

· Eliminate caffeine and alcohol during this time.

· Water with the juice of ½ a lemon taken each morning aids digestion and cleanses the blood.

· Juicing is an excellent way to load up on essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

· Dandelion root tea acts as a mild liver cleanser and can be taken daily.

· Avoid wheat, dairy, sugar, and animal protein as much as possible during a cleanse.

· It is beneficial to relax, de-stress, and get lots of rest while cleansing. The body has a lot of work to do during this time so be kind to it and avoid heavy exercise, and stressful situations whenever possible. Visualize peace and serenity.

· Finish your cleanse by taking good quality probiotics (acidophilus/bifidus) to reinstate the good bacteria/flora in the intestinal tract.

Preparing for a Detox

· Check your calendar and choose a time when you know you can take time to rest and relax

· You might want to book a massage during this time

· Stock up on everything you need to avoid trips to the grocery store

· Ensure your surroundings are calm (not always easy, I know)

· A day or two before starting a detox, being to prepare yourself. Eat simple, fresh foods and cut down on meat and dairy products, alcohol, wheat, sugary food, tea and coffee, and junk food.

· If you plan to detox for more than two weeks, seek professional advice.

In good health,


Monday, September 13, 2010

9 Contributors to Weight Gain...

It's not always just about what you are eating...here are some other reasons why people may gain weight. Being able to recognize these contributing factors can help you avoid the weight gain in the first place.

1. Stress – When the adrenal glands are stressed they produce hormones than contribute to weight gain. People who are depressed often have decreased serotonin levels in the brain, causing cravings for sweets and starchy foods.

2. Genetics – Children born to overweight parents are at risk of being born with more fat cells, so keeping the weight off is not impossible, but it will be more of a challenge.

3. Skipping Meals - Many people think if they skip a meal their body will use fat for fuel. Nothing could be further from the truth. When there is no food for fuel, the body holds onto fat and uses lean muscle tissue, which is a cleaner burning fuel for the body. Consequently, we lose muscle mass and become soft and spongy. Going any longer than 3.5 hours between meals also causes blood sugars to drop which can lead to hypoglycaemia and in some cases, diabetes.

4. Food Choices – Foods high on the glycemic index (sugary or refined foods) contribute to weight gain. Overeating, and food sensitivities lead to leaky gut syndrome which impairs good digestion, stresses the liver, contributes to weight gain.

5. Metabolic Rate – Low thyroid function makes losing weight more difficult. Thyroid hormones control our metabolic function. The thyroid and adrenal glands work very closely together.

6. Liver Dysfunction – The liver processes hormones, eliminates toxins, cleans the blood, metabolizes proteins and carbs into energy, manufactures bile to help break down fats, and hundreds of other functions. It’s important to keep the liver squeaky clean.

7. Hormones – Any disruption of liver detoxification contributes to excesses or imbalances of hormones, particularly estrogen. Often referred to as “Estrogen Dominance” which contributes to fat around the abdominal area – “Jelly Belly.”

8. Lack of Exercise – Exercise burns calories and builds muscle, both of which are required for maintaining a healthy weight.

9. Medications – especially anti-depressants contribute to weight gain.