Holistic Nutritionist in the Okanagan, British Columbia. Small-batch, luxury kombucha. Our goal is to create beautiful kombucha tonics and custom nutrition plans specific to our clients’ healing needs. Helping women who know how to eat get the tools & motivation "to actually do it!"
2 cups, Black Beans (cooked, drained and rinsed) 3 cups, Diced Tomatoes 1 Sweet Onion (diced) 1 cup Organic Frozen Corn 1/2 Green Bell Pepper (diced) 2 Jalapeno Pepper (de-seeded and diced) 2 tbsps. Chili Powder 2 tsps. Cumin 1 tsp. Oregano 1/2 tsp. Black Pepper 2 tsps. Himalayan Salt 1 cup Brown Rice (uncooked) 4 cups Water 1 Avocado (peeled and diced) 1/4 cup Organic Salsa
1. Add all ingredients except kale, avocado, and salsa to slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for at least 4 hours. Cook up to 8 hours, depending on how thick you like your soup. 2. Ladle into bowls and top with a spoonful of organic salsa and avocado. Enjoy!
Fat is a macronutrient that is crucial to the proper functioning of our bodies and brain.
The sad thing is, many people are still stuck in the (very 1980's) trend of avoiding fat at all costs. Many of my clients have serious hang-ups about the calories from fat ruining their waistline, or the feeling of fat in their mouth, because they are so trained that it is bad for them.
However, what we need to understand is that fat plays many important roles in the body, including being a source of energy. Fats are made up of individual fatty acid molecules which join together to make chains. These chains vary in length (short-, medium- or long-chain), and each type of fat offers different benefits. The structure of fat also determines whether a particular fat is solid or liquid at room temperature. For years (for decades, some of us) we have been taught that fat should be avoided at all costs, but this is simply not true. We need fats, good fats, to live and for cognitive function. (If you have brain fog while on a low-fat diet, you'll understand what I mean!)
You need fats for skin health too! Among many other reasons, us women can use all the creams and potions we want to help our dry, dehydrated skin but it won't do much at all to solve the root cause - unless we are eating right.
Are you still afraid of fats? You’re not alone. Fat in foods has been the villain in North America for the past few decades, as low-fat and non-fat foods became the new normal we were told that a low-fat diet would help us get the body we want. According to numerous 'alternative diet' resources, the fact that saturated fat should be avoided is one of the biggest lies we've been told.
There are a lot of healthy fats out there, we just have to take a look. In other parts of the world, fat has always been welcome at the table. Here in Canada, we’re only recently realizing the truth, that not all fats are created equally.
How Did We Get Here? According to Dr. Axe: "Post-World War II, research began emerging that seemed to link foods with saturated fats, like eggs and red meat, to coronary heart disease. By the 1960s, the American Heart Association had recommended that people reduce their fat intake, and in 1976, the U.S. Senate held a series of committee meetings, “Diet Related to Killer Diseases,” on the topic. Subsequent food guidelines advocated for eating less saturated fat and more carbohydrates. The war on fat had begun.
While the guidelines advocated for more carbs in the form of fruits, vegetables and whole grains, what the average American understood was that carbs — any kind of carbs — were good (even refined carbohydrates!) while fat was bad. The food industry pounced: High-carb, low-fat foods became the norm. Grocery store shelves and refrigerators were soon lined with low- and no-fat items (that were packed with sugar — because without any natural fat, a lot of favorite foods just didn’t taste good anymore.) Not coincidentally, both a sugar addiction as well as an obesity epidemic in N. America began soon after low-fat diets became the standard recommendation.
The problem? None of the studies actually linked high-fat diets to heart disease. The science just wasn’t there. In fact, numerous studies have since debunked the myth. There is no hard evidence that dietary saturated fat increases a person’s risk for coronary heart disease or cardiovascular disease.
Additionally, a seven-year study of more than 48,000 women showed that low-fat diets don’t lead to more weight loss or less disease. (3) And yet another study found that, when subjects ate either a Mediterranean diet, low-fat diet or low-carb diet, those following a high-fat, low-carb meal plan not only lost the most weight, but also drastically reduced their bad cholesterol levels."
Traditional foods wisdom: It turns out our ancestors were right all along: Healthy fats can be good!
Good fats are those that have not been hydrogenated, manufactured with high temperatures or otherwise damaged in the processing humans do. Good fats include a variety of saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fats. Including these fats regularly in your diet maintains healthy cells. Good fats also support healthy immune and hormonal systems. Good fats include items like butter, coconut oil, EV olive oil, and even animal fats like lard and tallow.
The Bad Fats
The bad fats include processed, heated, deodorized and/or bleached vegetable oils and rancid fats. It's suggested you avoid these bad fats. Examples include vegetable oils like corn, soy, canola and cottonseed oils. Any polyunsaturated oils that have been exposed to heat, light or oxygen in manufacturing should be avoided.
... and the Ugly
The 'really' bad fats include hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils and trans fats. These ugly fats are often found in margarine and spreads as well as many baked goods and processed foods. Altered fats have no place in the diet or in our food supply! Ugly fats offer no nutritional value and have been linked to the rises in obesity, metabolic syndrome, heart disease, and cancer.
SUMMARY OF GOOD FATS TO INCLUDE
Cod liver oil
Duck, chicken, and goose fat
Flax oil and seeds
Ghee (clarified butter)
Nuts and seeds
Olive oil (extra-virgin)
Pastured organic meats
Sesame oil (expeller pressed)
SUMMARY OF BAD AND UGLY FATS TO AVOID
I Can’t Believe It's Not Butter
Smart Balance/Any fake butter or vegetable oil products
Enjoy eating healthy fats and reading labels or making switches in your kitchen to upgrade the fats and oils you use. It makes a huge difference and is one that often people can feel. Switching our fats is one of the biggest upgrades we can make in our nutrition, wishing you the best of luck in this big move!
Food Planning eliminates a lot of stress for most people. It's just most people aren't taking advantage of it because they believe it's truly 'more' on their plate to do food planning. (Pro Insight: planning ahead is essential to saving time.) Most people believe they won't remember to do food planning for the week, so again this is about prioritizing. If you miss a week, just get back on the wagon right after and plan for the one after. This is not the same as a meal plan, however, because Food Planning is when you list out what meals you'll make for the week. This is completely different from following a meal plan you receive from someone else and have the stress of creating new recipes with new-to-you ingredients. You create this meal plan before you shop so that you know exactly what you need to buy in order to make the meals. This saves you time and money as you aren't wandering the grocery store guessing as you go.
You ask "How does it save me time?"
Because you won't be stressing every day about 'what's for dinner' tonight and rushing to the grocery store every day, it'll save you a headache. You'll already have a plan and won't even have to think twice about it.
You can do food planning however it works best for your family.
Some people do daily theme nights (ie. Meatless Monday, Tuesday Soup, Wednesday Casserole, Thursday Pasta, etc)
Some people do weekend planning for the week
Some people follow meal plans seasonally, some people like to improvise based on their families' favourites
Some people have wall charts, some people have fridge white-boards.
Some people do 3/4 days ahead planning - Sunday plan for M-W, Thursday plan for T-S.
How does it save me money?
With planning of meals you won't waste as much food as you'll be eating what you buy. Think about all the times you've thrown out food from the back of your fridge. If those meals had been planned they wouldn't be garbage! Commit to eating your food before it goes bad. Secondly, figuring out how much food you need to buy in order to make it through until your next grocery triptranslates into you ordering emergency takeout much less often! (Those $14 lunches really add up!) Saving money on food means you have more room in your budget for healthier, organic foods like whole yogurt, fresh produce or for a treat: special cheeses.
Here are my amazing tools for your own single or family food planning:
Create your food plan but don’t be intimidated. Just give it a try and see how it feels for you. If it feels right and does help you, keep going! You can always allow freedom and change and balance and edit it as you see fit.
Utilize similar ingredients for the week. Meaning, don’t buy a bag a 10 lb bag of potatoes and then only use them once in the week. Cook them all up and use leftovers for breakfasts, snacks, etc. In this way you are putting your food to work—and therefore save money! (This just keeps getting better, doesn't it!)
Give yourself freedom + options so you don't feel trapped. When you prepare your food plan, tell yourself, “This week, I will eat either a sandwich or a soup for lunch.” Then, you won’t feel locked down to any specific entree.
Pick a day of the week you have some free time, and skip the Netflix for a couple hours. You can prep for the entire week on one day, (Sunday?) which is amazing for those who work outside the house or who are just really busy (aren’t we all?!!)
Re-heat the easiest meals on your busiest days so you can open the fridge or freezer and find super quick easy meals (like a pre-made and re-heated casserole or a soup?) that are DOABLE for those schedules-packed week nights.
Don't used "I'm tired" as an excuse ever again! Pack your planned lunches the night before, so you can’t be “too tired” in the mornings.
Easy ways to make meal planning easier + faster:
Skip the homemade tomato sauce and stock up on organic brands when they go on sale
Buy pre-washed bagged lettuce
Buy bulk foods and make 3 or 4 batches of your favourite recipe to store for future eating (freezers can be used storing real-food meals, not for freezer-burned fish n' chips)
Buy bags of pre-shredded cheese instead of grating your own
Summer time - if you aren't a farmers' market-goer, purchasing fruit trays from the grocery store is an ideal way to have ready-to-eat healthy snacks just a fridge-door-open away
Summer time - stocking up on fresh fruit and freezing it each week leaves you with a nice lot of frozen fruit for the fall, ready to go for smoothie additions
Don't bother peeling all your vegetables (that's where a lot of the nutrients lie, anyway!)
You can do this
Don’t get discouraged if you thought a chili or casserole that would last all week gets eaten in two days and you’re stuck grabbing subs or ordering takeout again! The more you learn about your household’s eating habits, the better you’ll be able to shape your food plans and prepare for a refrigerator stocked with food you need.
Now pat yourself on the back for taking the time to do this! You are ahead of the game each day you choose to be organized and plan. I never like people to feel tightly bound to any rule (although, Type A's may enjoy this security) so allow yourself the freedom to investigate, experiment and play with meal planning until you find a simple rhythm that really works for you.
Whole, real, unprocessed food on the table with the people you love is one of the best gifts you can give to yourself and to your family.
Panic and anxiety is too prevalent today. To guide and educate on the holistic approach to anxiety and panic attacks, I partnered with 2 other Holistic Nutritionists (and ones' a chef!) to give you a full morning of calming anxiety (March 4 we do it again in Kelowna) luncheon and workshop, and deep education on how to implement these tools into your life. Truth be told, it is scary to navigate. But it can feel easier when you have help and friends to support you.
Tools to Relieve Anxiety/Panic Attacks
1. In, Out .... Breathe
You knew this one was coming! But it’s true, you’ve got to stop yourself and start breathing. If you do one thing, it’s this…....take a moment to breathe. It can be hard to focus on your breath when it feels hard to get a full breath, I know. Before I knew what panic attacks were, I would suddenly feel nauseated, my hands would tingle or go numb and there was a lump in my throat. Sometimes during attacks my chest would tighten. I thought I was dying…...for real. Experiencing something so unfamiliar was terrifying. Everyones' attacks are a little different but all steeped with the same underlying cause - nervous system overload. I soon learned that the moment I felt panic coming on, I should become very present and focus on my breath. This is something you learn to do in yoga or meditation classes, but you don't need to be in class to do it. Use it whenever you can remember to, even if you aren't having an attack but are just feeling stressed. Deep breath, hold, exhale. Then I repeat. Deep breathing changes things on a physiological level. When you get in tune with your breath, it can help bring you out of an attack, you'll notice yourself calming down and coming back to earth.
2. Support your brain health with steady blood sugar.
There are many things you can do to support your adrenals through diet. One big one is to have stable blood sugar levels. You can do this by eating more often and having little snacks through the day. If you do notice you go a long time in between meals, make sure you pay attention to your hunger levels and have ready snacks available so it isn't inconvenient when you get hungry in between meals. You need fats too - so eat a spoonful of coconut oil, coconut butter or a handful of raw nuts (that have been soaked) to keep your blood sugar level. Eat starchy vegetables instead of grains and glutinous foods like pasta and breads, my favourite is roasted sweet potatoes as a side (or main!) meal. Here's hundreds of sweet potato recipes to choose from or try my sweet potato oats for breakfast!
3. Minimize the white stuff - refined sugar.
When you minimize your sugar intake to fruits and starchy vegetables and eliminate excessive sugar in sodas, processed snacks, high-fructose corn syrup, refined sugars and sugar substitutes you make a statement to your body - that you really care. Refined sugar spikes our blood sugar and can spur on anxiety. My favourite way to eat special treats while taking care of my blood sugar is to have a whole foods cheezecake from my friend Connie. The real food movement tastes SO GOOD. Healthy fats and whole foods sugars (which means minerals and no huge blood sugar spike!) means I can eat it without worrying how my body can handle this or thinking this might mess up my day.
4. Avoid those peppy stimulants.
Stimulants? Who needs them when we are already over-stimulated. Avoiding known stimulants such as coffee and chocolate (I know, not fun, but I promise it will help!) is vital for lessening your anxiety. If you have a stimulant addiction (dependence on coffee or daily sweets) you have the option of working with a nutritionist to help you find the source of the issue. To curb your cravings you may simply need more food, more fats, or the support to turn off your mental dependence on these stimulants. Food itself isn't always addicting, it's our thoughts about the food being addicting that turns them problematic. Another common coping mechanism we can use is alcohol. But for those of us who are anxious, avoiding alcohol is a really good idea. Especially excessive alcohol. It can actually put additional stress on the adrenals and affect your mood – not supportive of our healing, is it?
5. Calming Food Diet-Additions.
Add whole, free range eggs, soaked raw nuts, pumpkin seeds and dark leafy greens to your daily diet (if these foods are well tolerated). Note – dark leafy greens such as spinach, kale, swiss chard, and collards are beautiful foods but they do have goitrogenic properties, especially when eaten raw so take care not to eat them in large amounts and always recommended to cook or steam them to reduce the goitrogenic effect. Here's how I learned to introduce and then love swiss chard. BACON!
6. Use aromatherapy
Fragrances really do have a physiological effect on our moods. Burning incense, lighting a candle or using calming essential oils like lavender or chamomile or a grounding essential oil that's spicy and earthy can calm our bodies (slowing heart rate, lowering blood pressure and relaxing muscles). Find a friend who sells high quality essential oils (easy now a days) and pick out some healing, calming scents. It’s a winning combination.
7. Scrub a Dub Dub.
Bath Time. Pour 2 cups of Epsom Salts in a warm bath and get in. This raises magnesium levels in your body and will have a calming effect on your mind by relaxing the nervous system, lowering cortisol levels and reducing the excitability of the brain. It works EVERY time! And hey, throw a little of that lavender oil in there for some extra relax in your remedy. Bonus points for doing deep breathing while IN the bath.
Stressing about not stressing?
So now that you have physical proof (panic) that you’re being challenged by stress and anxiety (and you know why it’s important to mitigate it, as evidence by you still reading this), you may start to stress about not stressing.
OH THE IRONY! This used to happen to me! I was so committed to reversing my anxiety at one point that I tried to put a ban on ALL stress in my life. Except that life doesn’t work like that. Stress comes and goes but the moment I would perceive it, I’d tried to get a handle on it and control it and then I’d start stressing that I felt stress and that created more stress.… don’t do this! Don’t let your desire to reduce stress actually create more stress to you and your nervous system. The best thing you can do is to relax about it all. Be aware but be relaxed. You have many tools now, listed above. When stress arises, talk to it, see what it asks of you, and if there's no real danger (there isn't, 99% of the time) give it a little wave, breathe, and let it pass you by.
As one of the leaders in the wellness industry, we have a rare but crucial opportunity to reach people at their most vulnerable. Food is so personal, intimate and sometimes secretive in nature. As a nutritionist, we help people with one of the most personal things they can do: eat, and the the opportunity lies in exploring the literal aches and pains of the mind and body and how symptoms are connected to food. Nutrition as an exploration of dietary manipulations as well as an exploration of self can be a gateway for many people that leads to more healing: therapy, massages, meditation, crystal healing, dosha balancing, yoga, sensory deprivation, etc etc etc. Wellness is about so much more than images of flowers and yoga poses: people come to us to sort through their struggles, calm their anxieties, and just generally feel better in our consumerist world that prefers' them to feel worse. Often we are their last resort.
As stress and anxieties build in society it feels as if wellness careers are more important now, in this politically charged and high tech time, than they’ve ever been. More of us are struggling not just with digestive issues, but to add to our plates our mental wellness is suffering, our high-tech habits are weakening our bodies and minds and our addiction to being busy is dizzying.
We’re lucky that the people who are seeking out wellness-related products, services, communities, or “influencers” are already open when it comes to a responsible and proactive mindset. They're ready to jump into change. They're ready to fight.
Those clients already know they can be the change they wish to see in the world, and they already know that it’s small but powerful tweaks to routine that are the real gateway to being that change. Wellness folks come to us ready to be open, be vulnerable and shed what they don’t need anymore in order to start fresh. It's a powerful time and it's a powerful process to be a witness of.
That requires an immense level of responsibility, vulnerability and bravery, all of which is something I cannot take lightly. My clients are so ready for change, and are willing to put the work in required of it that I too, hold very high standards on myself and my work with them too.
Here’s what I can promise you..… non-judgement, accessible nutrition recommendations, staying open to learning, high code of ethics and art as activism.
1. Finding safety in your wellness team
It can be easy for a nutritionist's words to be triggering – shameful even. Sometimes we are not aware that people are feeling embarrassed or judged by us and most often, people are self-conscious of being judged by us when we aren't! I meet everyone where they're at and I don't judge. Period. Our students, readers, clients, and followers come to us baring their vulnerable selves in the heat of the moment, like talking about digestive problems, their life drama's, their nutrition issues and having probing questions asked in a coaching session, being open to alternative ways of living, the discomfort ...….those are all vulnerable things to do! Changing your diet is a process, learning and evolving as you go, which is something I am not immune to either. We are all learning. Keeping an open mind is the only way for new things to get in. Finding practitioners that you trust are key to feeling safe as you explore your version of wellness. The space of non-judgement that I hold during these moments is what keeps clients feeling safe.
2. Getting a wide variety of ways to live well that can work for your lifestyle.
Most of us aren’t living the life of the “wellness high society,” who can afford multiple holistic and massage treatments per week, buy thousands of dollars a year of special powders and supplements to get high nutrient intake, and have transformed their backyards into fitness gyms or backyard farms for organic food access. I’m not against any of these things of course - they’re wonderful, but just not realistic for everyone out there. In my practice I take into account the entirety of the human experience and where folks are at. I won't send you a dispensary list for $200 worth of suggested supplements. I won't recommend organic foods unless it (truly) fits in your budget. I won't do anything that doesn't work for you. Because the truth is, the only good advice is the advice you can take, and I need my recommendations to fit your life. If it doesn't take, then it's wasting both our time. It just has to fit.
3. Be open to learning, always.
I am still learning, always, and I promise I know I must seek out, actively seek out, viewpoints other than my own, because we all know that living truly WELL in body, mind, and spirit means not assuming that one way is the right way for all times and for all people. I believe so strongly (like way, way deep down in my core) that in order to be our best selves, we must be open to continuously learning ourselves. It does not stop. How can it? My version of living well and finding balance has evolved immensely over the years. Living well is about finding what works for you, and how can I outline that for you perfectly? I can't, but I can demonstrate that balance and flexibility have vital roles. And in order to help people find what works for them, I must demonstrate that there is more than one option and more than one way to be part of the wellness movement. It doesn't have to look a certain way in order for success.
4. Find practitioners with a high standard of ethics, and bring your own high standards for yourself to the game.
I hold confidentiality (and our schools' Code of Ethics) in such high regard. I promise that I will continue to respect the confidential nature of my relationship with clients and protect the confidentiality of assessments and recorded documents. I maintain an interest in the well-being of all human beings, regardless of colour, creed or nationality, and in the care of planet Earth. I respect the rights of my clients as an individual as to personal tastes, morals and social values, and am non-judgmental as to the life values and experience of the client. I promise to only provide professional services only in those areas in which I have competence and training.My job is to guide clients, to help them achieve optimal health through natural nutrition and I always respect the right/need for the client to make the final decision in all wellness plans and to accept responsibility for their own choices and actions. Bringing your own standards for yourself to the table makes you a stronger player. Since our profession is yet to be regulated, it's up to us as practitioners' to have our own personal code of ethics within our practice, which is important to me for gaining your trust.
5. Bring your whole self into it. (I use my Art as activism)
I get to use artistry to build my business. Writing. Speaking. Teaching. Brewing. There are many ways in which wellness and creativity intersect and so many ways to get creative when it comes to promoting change. Behind the scenes, I'm volunteering for Slow Food Thompson-Okanagan (a branch of SF Canada), I'm researching stuff you probably wouldn't want to (so you don't have to) and sometimes, even writing letters to corporations or government officials. I promise to continue this underground fight and to partner with other high caliber activists so we can do our art together, as both art and activism are made even more powerful when there’s a collaboration involved. The fight isn't always broadcasted, and it isn't always "tweeted" either. But I don't play by the rules "no photo didn't happen." Don't let that dim our light for continuous growth in the movement. Bringing your whole self - your creative self and all - is key to making deep change, because you're not depending on one part of yourself to do all the work, it becomes holistic. I know that our voices mean something, even though it sometimes feels too small, I speak for all of the food movement when I raise my voice against issues that negatively affect our planet and our health.
Right now is the time to take action. Right now is the time to do things differently.
As Holistic Nutritionists' our goal is to inspire others, to help change people’s lives for the better so they can truly live well.With the accessibility of good quality food, a community interested in healthy, holistic living, the high level of coaching available & a ton of tools at our disposal (think all of Google), right now, more than ever, is the time to make that happen. Above are 5 ways to bring the new sanctuary of wellness into your life.
The space of non-judgement that I hold during these moments is what keeps clients feeling safe, because the truth is, the only good advice is the advice you can take, and I need my recommendations to fit your life. If it doesn't take, then it's wasting both our time. It just has to fit. And in order to help people find what works for them, I must demonstrate that there is more than one option and more than one way to be part of the wellness movement. It doesn't have to look a certain way in order for success. Since our profession is yet to be regulated, it's up to us as practitioners' to have our own personal code of ethics within our practice, which is important to me for gaining your trust. I know that our voices mean something, even though it sometimes feels too small. I speak for all of the food movement when I raise my voice against issues that negatively affect our planet and our health.
We're all friends here: so let's not be shy! While not the sexiest of topics, but it sure helps you feel better when the plumbing is cleaned out.
Have you heard about the Holy Grail of Bowel Movements? It is not talked about in many social circles.
But with your friend fiber to help, (and us, your friends to talk about it with!) you won't be feeling shy, full or constipated any longer.
When Nikki at the Green Vanity and I partnered for our very first event, and did our Taking the Taboo out of Poo day event - almost 2 years ago - we opened up the discussions to the public & our clients about what healthy bowel movements felt like - and how to get them bulkier and easier to pass. Not stuff everyone is comfortable talking about, but once you master having regular healthy poo, you won't feel as strange to talk about it. You might even feel proud! (You'll most definitely feel lighter, cleaner and happier!)
To get all those benefits, there are two types of fiber that your body needs.... soluble and insoluble. Both come from plants and are forms of carbohydrates. Fibre includes all parts of plant foods that your body can't digest or absorb and is also known as roughage or bulk. But your friend Fiber can’t be broken down and absorbed by your digestive system so as it moves through your body it slows down digestion and makes your stools softer and easier to pass.
Most foods contain both insoluble and soluble fiber but are usually more abundant in one type than the other. The easiest way to learn them is that soluble fiber absorbs water, turning into a gel-like mush (think of what happens when you add water to oatmeal - I think "S" soluble for Slush) while Insoluble fiber doesn’t absorb water (think of what happens if you poured water over celery.) For the layperson this doesn't really matter - the point is that we know we have both in our diet. Slush fiber comes more from certain grains, beans and lentils while Insoluble comes more from whole grains and vegetables.
I'm attaching high fiber foods that are EASY to get into your diet.
MY TOP 7 HIGH-FIBER FOODS TO EASILY ADD TO YOUR DIET
I love oats, especially as a warming breakfast in the cold Canadian winters. They are soft, easy to digest for those of you who are still trying to incorporate breakfast into your day, and can easily be flavoured many, many different ways. My favourite recipe for oats can be found here, and my favourite overnight oat recipes that I share with my clients can be found here.
I always saw barley as that ingredient that great-great-grandmother added to her huge cauldron soups, for heartiness and good cheer. After adding the barley, she'd go finish knitting sweaters, feed the animals, help a neighbour deliver a baby and then return home to serve her 9 children and husband dinner. (Gosh, do we have a lot to admire.) Here's my favourite easy barley recipe - no doula/knitting/homesteading skills required - or you can just add barley to your favourite winter soup or stew. (If you can, use hulled barley rather than pearl! With less of the outer layers having been removed, it has more of the good stuff!)
A staple in my pantry, although I usually have canned beans on hand. If you buy dried and cook your own beans, all the power to you. Beans are easy to add to soups or stews, but my favourite is my super-fresh summer couscous salad. It's truly fast and delicious, which makes it the best summer staple food to have on hand in your fridge. So if you're stuck on how to get more beans in your diet this week, there's a mighty large chance you can't go wrong with this incredible salad!
So easy to make into a quick soup. Lentils rock, their fiber content is great but they have another big benefit - their protein and mineral content makes them a necessary staple for vegetarians and vegans. Lentils are believed to be one of the oldest crops that exists! Now that's traditional food. My favourite recipe is for winter lentil masala from my friend and nutritionist Renee. It's quick, easy and incredibly nourishing.
Well this is an easy one. Just eat more fruits for great fiber content. Fruits with skins you can eat are apples, grapes, kiwi (buy organic) and mango. My personal favourite fruits are pineapples, cantaloupe and Okanagan cherries/peaches and raspberries. The easiest fruits to add to your diet are easily hand-held snacks that don't have any messy drippings - such as bananas, mandarin oranges, blueberries, cherries or strawberries. This recommendation is best for summer, & a fruit salad can really dress it all up and put a nice bow on it.
Ahhh, an essential skill for your holistic kitchen. It took me awhile to master brown rice (having a rice cooker also makes things easier, too, although not necessary!) and now I cook it up all the time. I use it in casseroles, for stir-fry's or in stuffed peppers. Soaking your brown rice for 6-8 hours (the night or day before cooking) really helps cut cooking time down and removes phytic acid, making the minerals in the rice more available to your body, soaking whole grains is ancient wisdom and is still practiced around the world in traditional food practices. Here's a great brown rice guide.
Digestive health = eating lots of vegetables. I could have picked eggplant, or cabbage, or brussels sprouts, but I picked broccoli. Why? Broccoli is just one of my favourites. I find it super easy to steam (quick steam 5-9 minutes) and layer with dressings or sauces, Kitsilano flashbacks, sea salt or cheese for a treat and a fast breakie or lunch. But all veggies are easy to steam and coat in your favourite sauce or cheese. What's your favourite veggie? Roasted is best for winter, raw feels best for the summer.
Something else to keep in mind.....
Fermented foods aid digestion BIG time. Your supplements intake and exercise levels also contribute to digestive health and functioning. But another big variable in your digestive health is water. Healthy poop contains a lot of water.... if the body senses you are dehydrated, it'll suck every drop of moisture out of your food, which means dry and hard to pass poops. Even if you're getting plenty of fiber, without proper H2O intake, you're sure to get no-fun, painful poops. Keep in mind that if you're sweating due to heat or exertion, you'll need even more water to recover to normal hydration levels.
I get asked this question so often, "How and I supposed to take it, and how much am I supposed to drink?" I thought it deserved its' own words.
Kombucha Tasting Summer of Love party, Cawston, Summer 2017
For all drinkers of kombucha I have to share that appearing at a table with a tasting flight of Experience Kombucha can be a delightful encounter, and while there is no specific technique for this undertaking there are some interesting ways you can make the process more entrancing for you.
Many people do kombucha tastings as a wine tasting - and I love it. There is never any harm in a sniff, swirl and then share.
Here's how most people drink kombucha: They drink it.
And here's how you should be doing it...
1) Notice the color and the floating yeasts ... because Experience Kombucha is traditionally prepared in small-batches, our kombucha is not cookie cutter. Colors, amount of floaties and even carbonation levels can all differ from batch to batch.
2) Give it a whiff. The scent of vinegar indicates the healthy presence of certain special bacteria's us brewers' crave. Note that, and see if you can pick up any other scents from the kombucha, like the fruits.
3) Take your sip and see what you notice first - the secondary ferment flavour, or the vinegar, or the sweetness, or the tart? How does it shift as it is bouncing around your mouth? What does your tongue pick up first and what is the 'after-flavour' for you?
Drinking kombucha will be adding new yeasts and bacteria to your body. While healthy, these are still new. Therefore, it is always recommended to start your intake slow, and increase your intake gently.
Start with 1 oz. per day, with food.
After a week or so, many people find they are wanting more than 1 oz. per day. If this is you, then increase to 2 oz. per day. I wouldn't recommend more than 4 - 6 oz. per day, even for seasoned drinkers.
If you are an alcoholic or are alcohol sensitive, caffeine or sugar sensitive, or have Candida that you are actively working to balance...…kombucha may not be the drink for you. Listening to/feeling out how your body reacts to it is crucial. Does it help your body digest better, how does it feel after you drink it? Everything in moderation.
For intermediate drinkers:
You have to listen to your body. There are some days you only need a few ounces (with food or without, since your body is now used to the new yeasts + bacterias, and you may even find yourself craving it because it makes your liver happy - our body is always naturally attracted to what is really good for it!) and there are days when you do crave more.
If you find you have a bowel tolerance for kombucha, learn your limit and stick to it. It doesn't make it healthier to "create a D-train" reaction of your bowels. If you find this is happening, limit your intake to just a few oz's and just a few times a week. Everything in moderation.
For those with the serious kombucha addiction:
You've been drinking it for a while and you're shocked to read that you only need 1-2 oz. a day and that 6 is the highest recommended amount! "What?!" You say, "But I drink like, a whole 14 oz. bottle on the days I do have kombucha!" If you're using it for fun (as a mix with your adult beverage or to replace pop) then as long as it feels fine for you that's great! However, our Experience Kombucha is traditionally prepared meaning proper fermentation length and no added probiotics, which means you may not need as much of it as the other guys'. It's all about how it feels for you, but as for drinking it therapeutically, low doses of therapeutic drinks are always better than over-doing it. (Just like alcohol.)
For all of you....
Keep enjoying kombucha, your gateway to healthier living & Holistic Nutrition - it's quite a trip!
Like anything that you don't really want to eat, you might think greens like swiss chard, kale, beet greens, spinach or collards are gross or boring. But you know it's good for you, and that clean slate of a new year is adding to your motivation to eat better. This will help. Adding something awesome (bacon, anyone?) tends to make it more appealing for anyone.
When we are first changing our diet, we tend to 'hide' foods or cover up healthy foods. This works wonders when you are starting out in holistic nutrition and being patient with your taste buds. Eventually, one day, you'll be loving kale and your swiss chard!
(Only us RHN's and the organic farmers' can hope....)
I digress. To make your swiss chard sexier, adding the bacon and garlic really enhances the flavor of the chard in this recipe ... this works equally well with Swiss chard, rainbow chard or even kale if you can't find any chards.
4 slices bacon, chopped
1 bunch swiss chard
3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 tbsp butter
salt and pepper
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until just browned, stirring occasionally.
While the bacon is cooking, separate the chard leaves from the stems. (Some people do not like to eat the stems - they won't hurt you, it's just a texture thing! So you can cook them up earlier so they are softer, or you can compost 'em) Tear the leaves into rough pieces, then chop the stems into small pieces.
Add the garlic to the skillet. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the butter and chard stems (if you are) and cook for 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Then stir in the chard or kale leaves into the skillet. Toss with the garlic/bacon/chard stem mixture. Continue cooking and tossing until just wilted. It should soften, but should mostly retain its shape. Everything will green and brighten up. It's a beautiful thing.
Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve immediately.
Many of my clients have "stress eating." We are searching for answers, love or comfort from our food.
It's something we unconsciously do and it really adds to extra pounds, a feeling of tiredness (lethargy) and low energy as well as decreasing our motivation to make the right choices because heck, we've already ate bad today, so why keep trying anyway? This is the trap we get caught in.
Without going into lengthy details about this ('stress eating' pretty much sums itself up in the name), let me just tell you quickly the tools to get out of stress eating...
Heres' how to get out....
Decide You Are tired of making excuses and not fixing this problem.
Pay Attention and get curious & conscious about your stress eating: when you do it, why, how much time it sucks from you.
Fill the Gaps and make the decision to fill that time with something nourishing instead, like your hobby, getting some exercise, turn on music to relax to, drinking water or preparing healthy food with that time instead.
Step 5 - If you book to work with me you get a unique hand-crafted plan tailored just for you! After receiving your personalized nutrition package (foods, supplements & lifestyle adjustments to add to your life to move forward from where you are now) you are set to get going on the recommendations and start making real headway.
Need more in-depth coaching? Joining Change Makers gets you bi-weekly education & content to work through, monthly coaching, a private Facebook group with incredible support, and much more. Here's a taste of some of the content you'll receive in our 6 months together.
Mindfulness for Success Triggers Food Planning vs. Dieting Whole Foods & Deficiencies Food and State of Mind Water, Exercise Peace with Body Image Hunger Scale Stress and Food Eating Thought Process How to Shift Stressful Thoughts Food-Related Stressors Self Care
This is about so much more than food.
You'll get a feeling of concrete simplicity when it comes to food from dedicating your time in Change Makers, by the end of it you'll be able to NEVER have to worry about nutrition again. It won't stress you out.
It won't make you count, track or worry about it.
You can stop searching for the next fad diet or cure. Forever.
Can I be super forward and honest? Because this program teaches you the basics and you learn to listen to your own body for food guidance, you move forward with a life changing tool: all the power yourself. No more searching, dare I say, if you put in the effort required Change Makers solves ALL your nutrition woes (and some life ones too!)
That's big change. After 6 months of dedicating yourself to the education and changes, you can....
Clear nutrition off your plate of worries so you can focus on other things in life.... you know the little things like a side of yourself you've never known, a new fitness love you've gained, or that hobby-turning-business you've been dreaming of. (These are real things that changed for real people in my program!)
Click through the gallery to see what clients and partners of Lutz Nutrition are saying..... so blessed to have such nice words shared with me.... want to get free education from Lutz Nutrition.... sign up for my e-mail (you won't be disappointed!)
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