Deanna

Sunday, 07 May 2017 23:24

Carrot Cake Smoothie

1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 scoop vanilla protein powder (whey, hemp or pea)
20 raw almonds
1 medium carrot (chop it up if you don't own a vita-mix)
1/2 a frozen banana. (More if you want it really frosty)
About 5 ice cubes
A chunk of ginger root about the size of a dice
Lots of cinnamon and nutmeg to taste

Blend and enjoy!

 

1. Mint - Mojitos anyone? This delicious Cuban drink is totally refreshing and has lots of minty power. Mint is a natural stimulant; it soothes stomachs and promotes digestion. Mojitos usually have sugar added to help release the mint. If you want a sugar free version, the solution is to really smash up the leaves to get the oils out.

Sugar-Free Mint Mojito
For each hardy glass, take 10 mint leaves, and half a lime (cut into thin slices). Use a muddler, or the back of a spoon to pound the juices and oils out. Do not strain! Fill each glass with a cup of ice and then pour 1 ounce of white rum and ½ a cup of sparkling water over top. Garnish with a lime wedge.

Make mine a virgin: Simply leave out the rum and add more water.

2. Cucumber - Cool and refreshing and grown close to home, cucumber is a perfect summer vegetable. Cucumbers have many nutrients like vitamin C and beta-carotene, yet very few calories.

Cucumber & Rosemary Gin And Tonic (Makes 2)
Take 2 inches of peeled cucumber, thinly sliced, 1 inch of fresh rosemary, the juice from ½ a lime and 1 ounce of gin. Put into a glass measuring cup. Smush the cucumber and rosemary between the measuring cup and the back of a spoon. Strain into two glasses. Top up each glass with tonic water and a few ice cubes. Add a couple unpeeled slices of cucumber and a 2-inch sprig of rosemary into each glass as a garnish.

Make mine a virgin: Instead of Gin use juniper berry extract, watered down.

3. Strawberries - Local strawberries abound in the month of July and it is quite easy to freeze them fresh and use them in a daiquiri- like smoothie. Strawberries have a lot going for them, they are high in vitamin C, flavonoids and phytosterols. Phytosterols are known for their ability to reduce cholesterol.

Strawberry Smoothie Of Your Dreams
You’ll need a powerful blender, like the Vitamix: 1 cup frozen strawberries, 1-1 ½ cups of water, 1 tablespoon flaxseeds, 1 teaspoon coconut oil and a teaspoon of bee pollen. Add a one-inch piece of ginger for some extra summertime zing. Set blender to high for about a minute and enjoy.

4. Kombucha - Oh the wonders of Kombucha, have you heard? Kombucha is a fermented drink that has the fizzy quality of soda pop but the health benefits of yogurt. That’s right, kombucha is key to our good gut bacteria. It also boosts immunity and is rich with enzymes and vitamins.

See the recipe for Kombucha Lemon Berry Sangria 

5. Lemon - Making your own lemon iced tea is actually very simple. All it requires is a tea bag, some boiling water, a lemon and some ice. Lemon is great for reviving on a hot day as it provides lost electrolytes. It's also great for metabolism.

Lemon Iced Tea
Place a teabag of your choice, either earl grey, orange pekoe or green, in a large stainless steel bowl. Add 3 cups of boiling water, and set aside. Once it has cooled, add about ½ a mug’s worth to each cup, add a squeeze of lemon and fill the cup with ice. Top it up with some nice cool water.

Make mine alcoholic: For a take on the Long Island iced tea, you can add 1 ounce of vodka to the mix.

6. Ginger - After indulging at the BBQ, ginger can come to the rescue to soothe bloating and gas. To add a summery twist, you can have ginger beer instead. To get the desired health effects from ginger beer the ingredient list must include ginger root or ground ginger, not ginger oil or extract. You can drink ginger beer on its own or combined with spiced rum and a twist of lime for a delightful cocktail.

7. Pineapple - Bromelain, the active ingredient in pineapple stems, is thought to have anti-inflammatory properties and aids digestion with active enzymes. Pineapples are also high in vitamin C, fiber and manganese, a trace mineral that is needed for proper fat metabolism. The digestive aid coupled with manganese makes pineapple great for weight control.

Refreshing Pineapple Smoothie

Get out your high-powered blender and add 2 cups organic pineapple (skin removed, but keep the core), 1-inch fresh ginger root (peeled), ½ cup mint leaves, 1 teaspoon spirulina powder, 1 teaspoon coconut oil and 1 cup water. Blend everything together for 1 minute and enjoy right away while enzymatic activity is at its peak.

Sunday, 07 May 2017 20:29

Kombucha Lemon Berry Sangria Recipe

Makes 6-8 Servings

Ingredients
1 bottle dry white wine
3 bottles of raw organic kombucha (equivalent to 1 liter)
2 cups of fresh grapefruit juice
1 cup strawberries, cut up small
1 cup raspberries
½ cup blackberries, sliced in half if too large
½ lemon, sliced razor thin
2 tbsp maple syrup (optional)

Directions
1. Combine all ingredients, except lemon slices, into a large pitcher or bowl.
2. Chill for 2 to 24 hours.
3. Toss in lemon slices and serve.

Why is this considered healthy?
· Kombucha is a fermented drink that is naturally effervescent. Some of its claims to fame are: detoxification, aiding digestion and boosting the immune system.
· The berries contain antioxidants and the alcohol has both antioxidants and pro-oxidants, so they potentially balance out.

White wine has two strong antioxidants of its own, tyrosol and hydroxytyrosol, also found in olive oil, that aren’t present in red wine.

Sunday, 07 May 2017 20:17

Best Foods to Fight Stress

Mood and food are intimately related as certain flavours and aromas trigger memories of special occasions and feelings of contentment. All emotions including stress and anxiety trigger chemical responses in our body as hormone levels fluctuate and the sympathetic “fight or flight” system kicks in.

With each meal, we have the opportunity to counteract or subdue the stress response with the foods we choose. Here are a few top picks for stress-busting foods:

Seeds and nuts. Don't let their high calorie count deter you. Seeds and nuts contain valuable B vitamins and a hefty dose of magnesium to help you make calming neurotransmitters like serotonin. Magnesium along with calcium is also useful for relaxing tense muscles. Sprinkle some sunflower or pumpkin seeds onto your salad or nosh on a few almonds or walnuts before a long meeting. Just remember to keep portions small as a little goes a long way.

100% whole grains. Women, in particular, are notorious for reaching for high-carbohydrate foods in times of turmoil. This craving may be the body's way of asking for more fuel in preparation for a “fight”. Carbs also boost leaves of feel-good serotonin. Choose whole grains like brown rice, 100% whole wheat bread or pasta for sustained fuel. For extra nutritional value, try ancient whole grains like quinoa, spelt, kamut and amaranth which are higher in protein and antioxidants.

Fresh fruit. Speaking of antioxidants, boost your vitamin C intake with oranges, grapefruit, strawberries, kiwis and cantaloupe. Prolonged stress depletes levels of vitamin C as the body's defenses against free radicals get worn down. At the beginning of a stressful week, make a big fruit salad with seasonal berries, melon balls and grapes to have ready for snacking or packing. Vitamin C from whole foods give you the added benefit of fibre that you don't get from juice or supplements.

70% cocoa chocolate. Stressful times call for a little indulgence so make your special treat count towards correcting the biochemical imbalances created by stress. Dark chocolate has been making headlines for helping with blood pressure reduction however researchers are also finding that this healthful food contains natural anti-depressants like phenylethylalamine. Like seeds and nuts, a little goes a long way so keep your indulgence to no more than 40 grams (1.4 ounces) per day.

Sunday, 07 May 2017 20:02

5 Ways to Reduce Belly Bloat

Do you wake in the morning and your stomach is pretty flat and as the day goes on your waistband feels tighter and by the time you go to bed at night you look like you're 6 months pregnant? If you answered yes, then you are experiencing bloating.

Bloating is often caused by eating too fast, eating high amounts of fatty foods or poor digestion. Here are my top 5 tips to help you banish the bloat:

Reduce the sodium in your diet as it could be causing water retention. 80% of the sodium in our diet comes from packaged, refined, processed and fast foods so if these make up a high percentage of your diet you need to start looking at bringing in more whole foods.

Increase the water in your diet, this will help flush the sodium out through your urine reducing the water retention. Remember that if you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated so you need to increase your water intake. (Half your body weight in ounces) Set an alarm on your phone if you really keep forgetting!

Eat smaller, more frequent meals and take more time over your meals, eat slower and remember to chew. Undigested food gets into your stomach and intestines and if not broken down properly will sit and ferment causing bloating and gas. Put your knife and fork down between bites and chew until the food is a paste – remember your stomach doesn’t have teeth!

Include foods that aid your digestion such as ginger and if after eating you are experiencing some digestive discomfort have some ginger or peppermint tea. One of my favourite tea blends for this is called ‘Eaters Digest’ by Traditional Medicinals, I always have some on hand just in case!
Another way to help your digestion is to include fermented foods in your diet, but not all fermented foods are created equally. Choosing the right foods will make all the difference in the benefits you receive. The trouble with the majority of commercial fermented foods is that they have been pasteurized, are much higher in sugar and have been heated at high heat causing the beneficial probiotic bacteria to be killed off therefore losing the health benefits.

Here are some traditional fermented foods to consider:
Sauerkraut
Kimchi
Raw kefir
Raw apple cider vinegar
Kombucha
Miso

If you want to try making your own fermented sauerkraut, check out the recipe below and if after making this your bloating is still showing up on a regular basis, make an appointment with your friendly nutritionist to get to the root of the problem.

Traditional Sauerkraut
Yield: 1 quart (32oz) Mason Jar
Days to Culture: 5 Days-3 Weeks

1 Cabbage, thinly sliced
1-2 Tbsp Full spectrum Sea Salt

Place chopped cabbage in a mixing bowl.
Add sea salt and massage together well.
Add any other desired ingredients (variations below) and massage until juices are abundant. The thinner the slice the easier this is.
Mix well and pack kraut into the mason jar. Firmly pack until approximately an inch of liquid (brine) is covering the kraut.
Use a weight such as a sterilized stone to keep down the kraut down so the brine is creating a seal

Substitute your favourite vegetables, herbs and spices such as cauliflower, broccoli, beets, carrots, cauliflower, radishes, dill & garlic, ginger & turmeric or garlic & onions.

Saturday, 29 April 2017 19:14

Top Foods for Tissue Health

If you're pretty active like I am, you want to protect your tissues.  
 
Did you know that the most abundant tissue in the body, which is also extremely important for anyone who works out, is none other than “connective” tissue?
 
Connective tissue “connects” things in your body to help maintain structure.  It basically supports and anchors parts together.    
 
For example, your joints have ligaments (that attach bones to each other), as well as tendons (that attach muscles to bones).  These are examples of “dense” connective tissue made mainly of collagen.  
Monday, 24 April 2017 20:50

Tips for Choosing Supplements Wisely

 
 
We all know the vast array of supplements on the market today. It seems that new ones are launched every day and there is more and more marketing lingo that promises to save your health.
 
But you are a savvy health-conscious consumer. You want to make sure you're making wise choices with your health (and money).
 
Here are eight expert tips for you when choosing supplements:
Saturday, 15 April 2017 14:17

Why we should all be lifting weights

I know you may not want to be a body builder (it's awesome if you do, though), but that's not what I'm talking about here!

Nor do you have to join a gym.

Nor buy super-fancy equipment.

Want to know why I recommend lifting weights (a.k.a. “resistance training”) for people of all ages?

Thursday, 23 March 2017 16:14

Maple syrup – a seasonal sweet treat

 
 
Enjoying the sugary sap of a maple tree is a springtime ritual for many Canadian children. During the long winter, the maple tree has the unique characteristic of producing a supply of starch that acts as anti-freeze for its roots. When the snow starts to melt, water trickles into the roots and thus begins the flow of “sugar water” that will eventually be tapped. By mid-March, after the first thaw, the sap is freely flowing and will continue flowing through April. 
 
Families who make a day of visiting the sugar bush during the annual Maple Syrup Festival can go on a nature hike through a maple grove and learn about how trees are tapped to obtained this natural sweetener. Many tree farms also have wagon rides, a petting zoo and a gift shoppe to entice and amuse visitors. Then, after working up an appetite, people can enjoy a short stack of fluffy pancakes drizzled with maple syrup from the trees they just walked past!
 
Maple syrup is not only a local food, it's a natural wonder. Going on a guided tour of a sugar bush, one quickly begins to appreciate the laborious treat that is maple syrup. Amazingly, to make one bucket of grade A or grade B syrup that's good enough to eat, 40 buckets of clear sap need to be boiled down for several hours. 
 
It's this large-scale boiling process which produces the distinctive maple flavour. Straight out of the tree, the sap itself is actually rather bland and resembles spring water, making the sweetness of the final product even more awe-inspiring. The steam pouring from the large caldrons of boiling maple sugar water drift through the woods is enough to entice anyone to the sampling table. 
 
Maple syrup is a natural and nutritious alternative to refined white sugar or honey. Teaspoon to teaspoon, maple syrup contains fewer calories than honey and is a source of zinc, calcium, iron, B vitamins, and antioxidant manganese. 
 
Maple syrup is lower in calories than honey (only 17 calories per teaspoon) because it's only 60 percent sugar. Though calorie wise it's about the same as white cane sugar, the naturally occurring vitamins and minerals in maple syrup makes it nutritional superior. It's far from being “empty calories”. 
 
Maple syrup products can be purchased in most local grocery stores in Canada or from your local farmer's market.
Sunday, 12 March 2017 21:14

Do I need to do a cleanse?

The Benefits of Cleansing

The Benfits of doing a cleanse have an effect on your whole body and mind.  Often we feel tired and sluggish and don't really sleep that well.  Working with a licenced practitioner to find a program that is geared to your needs you will be better able to  lose weight, end Chronic pain, and Fatigue.

What is Cleansing?

Cleansing is the natural process of ridding the body of toxins, heavy metals, and parasites that are present. It mainly addresses the detoxification of the body’s vital organs that are responsible for the absorption of nutrients and the removal of waste byproducts, such as the liver, kidneys, the gallbladder, and digestive tract. This is something that your body does naturally, however there are times when supplements and foods will help improve the process. 

These organs play a major role in our body’s operating system as follows:

  • The Liver is the largest organ in the body and hence has the most work such as excretion of toxic waste in the form of cholesterol and drugs, it metabolizes fats, proteins, and carbohydrates, stores vitamins and minerals and detoxifies and purifies the blood.
  • The Kidneys control the production of red blood cells, removes waste products from the blood, balances the body’s fluids, and regulates the body's acid contents, salt, and potassium levels.
  • The Gallbladder stores bile, produced by the liver and it is important for the digestion of food, 
  • The Digestive Tract is responsible for the breakdown of food into molecules which are then absorbed into the body in the form of nutrients and minerals.

Why we need to help our body eliminate toxins:

Due to the unhealthy consumption of processed foods, fatty junk foods, low-fibre foods, microwave depleted meals and carbonated drinks,  the body can no longer function at its best when it comes to digestion and absorption of nutrients. 

That is why many people suffer from inconsistent bowel movements, indigestion, bloating, food allergies and sensitivities, irritable bowel syndrome, heartburn, and obesity because the body is incapable of ridding itself of all the accumulated toxins and waste. This not only poisons the gut, it damages the other vital organs too.

A cleanse helps to bring the body back to homeostasis/balance.

Benefits of a Cleanse:

  1. Rid the body of harmful toxins, metals, and accumulated waste in the form of fecal matter in your gut.
  2. Removing excess fecal matter, healing the digestive system will improve your ability to lose weight.
  3. A cleanse will maximize your body’s intake of healthy nutrients and minerals that are important for the production of energy and you will feel invigorated and energized.
  4. The effects of a cleanse will leave you feeling less bloated, and may even help you to identify food sensitivities.
  5. You will have improved digestion which will then in turn eliminate cravings.
  6. Inflammation is your body’s reaction to unnatural substances that invade it. Chronic inflammation can lead to Chronic pain such as migraines, autoimmune diseases and degenerative conditions. A cleanse will rid your body of the toxins responsible for inflammation.
  7. A number of lifestyle choices and factors such as smoking, drinking, pesticides, stress, lack of exercise can contribute to excess Fatigue and Lack of sleep. 
  8. People who suffer from Brain fog often feel confused, forgetful, and lack focus due to an imbalance in your body which can be a medical or lifestyle related. A healthy brain is the first line of defense against mental disorders and depression. A cleanse will get rid of the toxins in your body accumulated through an unhealthy diet. At this point in time we are well aware of the connection between gut health and brain health.  
  9. Infections such as Candida, ie. vaginal yeast infections, fungal infections, skin rashes are very common in people who are overweight, people with weakened immune systems, people with Inflammatory disorders, and diabetes. 

 

Your body has a way of letting you know when something is out of balance. Unfortunately, most of the time these signs go unnoticed or completely ignored. In many cases, one might suffer from recurring symptoms of the same illness and even a trip to the doctor will  do nothing to help or alleviate the symptoms.  You may benefit from a cleanse if you are exhibiting the following:

  1. You are moody or constantly fatigued.
  2. You suffer from insomnia and often disturbed sleep patterns.
  3. You are constantly bloated or suffer from Irritable bowel syndrome.
  4. You are overweight and resistant to weight loss.
  5. You have constant infections such as acne, itchy skin and yeast infections.
  6. You are retaining fluid.
  7. You are suffering from gallbladder issues, or have had your gall bladder removed.
  8. You have an Autoimmune disease.
  9. Congested sinuses or repeated sinus infections.
  10. Bad breath, especially if your tongue has a white coating.
  11. Excessive overheating and sweating.
  12. You have cravings, especially for sugar.
  13. Excessive urination.
  14. Dehydration.
  15. Yellowing of the eyes due to excessive alcohol.

 

Beware of  products or programs that are promising unrealistic results. A good cleanse should not have a  negative response in your body.

A healthy cleanse program is matched with a healthy diet and a supplements suggested by a licenced practitioner that is aware of your specific needs and current medications. 

If you are ready to take back your health, let's get started and get you back to feeling vibrant, refreshed and focused.