Deanna

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.

Friday, 10 March 2017 17:48

Raw Brownie Batter Bites

I love love, love, chocolate.  These tasty little bites are loaded with chocolatey goodness and antioxidants from the raw cacao nibs.  The addition of a little sea salt makes them addictive and good for balancing your electrolytes too.  ;)

Soaking the almonds allows for easier digestibility, and it is also easier on your food processor.  The dates are soaked as well and the water is dumped off.  You can save it to use in another recipe if you wish.

 
I used peanut butter for the nut butter as that was all I had on hand, but any type of nut butter would work here.  I'm not so good at measuring, I just throw things together and taste along the way, so if you want more of something (like cocoa) then just add it.  My tbsps were heaping!
 
 
Raw Brownie Batter Bites
 
1 1/4 cup dates (soaked)
1/4 cup nut butter
1 cup almonds (soaked)
3 tbsp cocoa powder (heaping)
1/2 cup hemp seeds
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup oatmeal flakes
2-3 tbsp raw cacao nibs
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp sea salt (to taste)
 
Soak the dates and almonds for 2-3 hours to soften the dates and to begin to activate the enzymes in the almonds for better digestibility. 
 
In a food processor, start with dates and nuts and keep adding till all ingredients are combined.  Roll into bite size balls and store in an airtight container.
Place the airtight container in the bottom of the freezer behind frozen vegetables so your kids don't find them.
 
 
3 Ways To Get Back On Track To Healthy Eating
 
 
Feeling bad about overeating on the holiday? Don’t worry about it! It’s good to indulge every once in a while – everything in moderation, including moderation! The trick now is to get back on track as soon as possible and return to your normal healthy routine.
One day of over doing it can send your hormones and metabolism into a tizzy as it tries to process the onslaught of calories. This can directly affect the hormone insulin because the pancreas goes into overdrive to break down the excess blood sugar. This can leave you with a food hangover- and with symptoms like drowsiness, dizziness, and an unsettled stomach.
Another hormone that becomes messed up is leptin. When you overeat, your body is unable to recognize when it is legitimately full and it is harder to feel satiated. Occasionally, this can actually work to your benefit because higher leptin levels lead your body to think it is lacking food and can cause the release of fat from cells to provide energy.
We should see how many calories there are in a holiday meal.
May I present the average Christmas dinner- turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, green beans, pie, ice cream, and wine- you are looking at about 2,500 calories and more than 100 g of fat! And that is without going for seconds!
Like I said, it is okay to overdo it from time to time, if you know how to get back on track. Here are some “day after” tips for you to try:
 
1. Eat some Salad
Do yourself a favour and buy a large package of the pre-washed baby lettuce greens and whip up a large batch of salad dressing. If you make it easier on yourself, by having the ingredients on hand and ready to go, you might feel more compelled to eat a healthy lunch and dinner. To complete the meal using the greens, add a hard-boiled egg or some lean protein – like white turkey meat or chevre (goat cheese). Top your big salad with some grated carrot and then sprinkle on some pumpkin seeds.
 
2. Drink some tea
Holiday meals, though delicious, can also be salty. High-sodium foods can cause weight gain and register as increased poundage on the scale – all because of water retention. Weight gain from water retention is temporary because your kidneys can flush excess sodium from your body. One way to jumpstart this process is by drinking a detox tea that is designed to get things moving. I like the effect of dandelion tea because it flushes out the excess sodium and also improves transit time – meaning your colon will also be flushed – and then you can flush the toilet! Healthy elimination is the first step to getting rid of toxins and losing excess fat.
 
3. Go for a walk
Chances are your exercise routine was put on hold over the holiday too! While you might not want to get out and move it after dinner (what with the turkey coma and all), going for a walk the next day can give you the motivation you need to get back on track with your exercise program. It is a wonderful time of year to get out to see the snow covered trees and hear the crunch of the snow beneath your feet, de-stress, and appreciate nature with its fresh crisp air.
 
That’s it – 3 simple steps to return to healthy eating– salads, tea, and walking. Getting and staying on track is important in balancing hormones, losing weight and feeling great. 
Monday, 02 January 2017 13:44

Chia Pudding

Chia Pudding is so easy to make and is loaded with fibre. 
Saturday, 31 December 2016 15:47

Are You Getting Enough Fibre?

 
A general recommendation for adults is 25-35 grams of dietary fibre per day. Children need fibre too, different amounts depending on the child's age and how much they eat.
 
When increasing the fibre in your diet, start gradually. Too much fibre too quickly can cause discomfort.  
 
Remember to drink plenty of fluids daily with a high fibre diet, fluids help your body to use fibre properly.
 
Here are some quick and easy ways to boost your fibre intake:
 
1. Start your day with a fibre-rich cereal: oat bran, bran flakes or oatmeal.
2. Top off your high-fibre cereal with a scoop of raisins, a sliced banana or some orange sections.
3. Take a high-fibre bran or oatmeal muffin to lunch. It's even better if it contains fruit like apples, apricots, raisins or dates.
4. Fibre-boost your salads with carrots, apple slices, dried fruit, raw broccoli and cauliflower pieces, chickpeas (garbanzo beans) and kidney beans. You can also add ground flax seed or chia as a topper.
5. Choose whole grain breads as often as possible.
6. Load up your plate with extra vegetables.
7. Work some beans and peas into your meals; try split pea soup, baked beans, three-bean salad or chili.
8. Try hummus (chickpea spread) in a pita pocket; have lima beans for dinner.
9. Add green peas to casseroles, stir-fry meals, rice or noodles.
10. Boost the fibre in casseroles and mixed dishes by tossing in a handful of oat bran, wheat bran or a crunchy high-fibre cereal.
11. Snack on fibre-filled fruits: pears, raspberries, apples, oranges, nectarines and bananas.
12. Have a sweet tooth? Cookies such as sultana raisin cookies or fig bars offer some fibre. A real winner is a homemade oatmeal and raisin cookie.
13. When a recipe calls for 1 cup of flour, use whole grains like Spelt, Kamut or whole wheat 
14. Whenever possible, for maximum fibre, eat the whole fruit or vegetable (including its skin).
 
Remember:
* Increase the fibre in your diet slowly. Eat fibre often to reduce gas and bloating.
* Drink at least six to eight cups (2 L) of fluid such as water, juice, milk, or soup each day. Fibre holds fluid, which keeps stools soft.
* Eat regular meals and snacks to keep food moving through your bowel.
* Establish a routine and allow enough time for bowel movements.
* Exercise - physical activity promotes regular bowel function.
 
Fibre is important to eliminate constipation and increase our feeling of satiety so we don't eat as much.  It will also aid in sweeping the colon of toxins. 
 
Saturday, 24 December 2016 19:17

Perfect Pumpkin Pancakes

Perfect Pumpkin Pancakes 
 
 
My daughter is always having friends over on the weekend, so I like to make something fun for them.  These wheat free and dairy free pancakes are certainly kid approved, and they always ask for more.  In fact, most moms call me later for the recipe.  What is it about kids and they will try something different at a friend's house? 
Saturday, 24 December 2016 15:14

Pumpkin Muffins

Pumpkin Muffins 
 
Autumn leaves are falling, and the pumpkins are ready to be picked and baked into something spicy.
Saturday, 24 December 2016 15:08

How Stress Can Affect Your Weight

I realize this is not always an easy thing to do.  Most of us are juggling way too much and going through the day at warp speed, trying to get more and more accomplished.  By having a high-stress level, not only is it harmful to your health, it’s harmful to your waistline as well. 
 
When you are constantly under stress, hormone levels, like cortisol and insulin are elevated.  The elevation of these 2 hormones can sabotage your weight loss efforts and actually cause weight gain.  
 
‘Feeling stressed can create a wide variety of physiological changes, such as impairing digestion, excretion of valuable nutrients, decreasing beneficial gut flora populations, decreasing your metabolism, and raising triglycerides, cholesterol, insulin, and cortisol levels.’  – Mercola.com
 
So, while you may think you can “handle it” as far as your stress level goes, we aren’t meant to be under constant stress and it takes its toll. If you are doing everything right as far as diet and exercise, but you’re under stress every day, you’re not going to see or feel the results you want. 
 
What are some ways you can reduce your stress level? 
 
Is there something you can start with this week? 
 
Some of my favourites include exercise, yoga, going to the beach, getting outside in nature, meditation, listening to music, reading a book.
 
I also find that Reiki is a great stress reliever, and in fact have many people book sessions with me for that very reason.  
Saturday, 24 December 2016 14:59

6 Ways to Avoid the Winter Flu

Avoid Sugar
Sugar decreases the function of your immune system almost immediately, and as you likely know, a strong immune system is key to fighting off viruses and other illness, including the flu. It is especially imperative to avoid sugar if you feel you are coming down with something, but keeping sugar out of your diet for the long haul will do wonders for your health and make your body stronger, which will make it harder for the flu to bother you.
 
Get Enough Rest
Just like it becomes harder for you to get your daily tasks done if you’re tired, if your body is overly fatigued it will be harder for it to fight the flu. 
 
Eat Garlic Regularly
Garlic is a triple-whammy: it’s antibacterial, antiviral and anti-fungal. Garlic is one food that you should be eating every day. 
 
Don’t Let Stress Become Overwhelming
We all face some stress every day, but if stress becomes overwhelming then your body will be less able to fight off the flu and other illness. It has been estimated that up to 90 percent of illness and disease is stress-related.
 
Exercise
When you exercise you increase your circulation and your blood flow throughout your body. The components of your immune system are also better circulated, which means your immune system has a better chance of fighting an illness before it has a chance to spread. In a sense, exercising helps your immune system to be more efficient in weeding out and acting upon viruses and diseases. 
 
Wash Your Hands
Washing your hands will decrease your likelihood of spreading a virus to your nose, mouth or other people. If your immune system is strong, it should be able to fight off the virus if it does enter your body, but washing your hands provides a bit of extra protection.