Spice it up!

chiliDamp weather and cooler temperatures…snow’s just around the corner in Canada’s mid-west. No better time to focus on preparing homey comfort foods, stews, and broths. As you do so, think about adding spicy elements to meals to boost and strengthen your immune system. I love brightening up a rainy fall day with a hearty bowl of chicken soup. If you’re on the go and can’t find time to make broth, there are plenty of great low-salt brands available, packaged or in tetra packs. I add steamed veggies and a  peppery chili or “chilli” paste or lemongrass paste just before removing hot soup from the stove.

Both chili paste or lemongrass add warmth and extra flavour while providing a boost to your immune system. My favourite brand is Gourmet Garden. Browse the company’s website by herb or spice for recipes. These amazing Aussie products are available in many fresh produce and grocery aisles across North America — a fabulous import from Down Under…

I also cannot say enough about the importance of investing in your wellness by choosing quality nutritionals. Vitamins C and D are a must during fall and winter, especially in northern climes. I recommend Proflavanol®C-100 or Proglucamune® from Usana. The benefits of cellular science are many and will help keep your body primed to ward off nasty colds, flus and virus strains.

Enjoy a bright new season of wellness…warmth…and all things good

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Love Your Body – Do Your Homework

Who doesn’t want to live a happier, healthier life? We all do. A big key to healthier living is  balance or ‘moderation’. Basic rule: don’t overdo it. This applies to choosing daily balanced meals, exercise, sleep, and health nutritionals and supplement use. In terms of healthy eating, don’t think ‘diet’. Instead, plan to enjoy food and to eat from all of the food groups, (4-5 servings daily of fresh (organic if possible) veggies, fruits, add moderate protein, whole grain carbs, and three tablespoons of healthy fats (olive oil is my favorite). At the gym, overdoing it is a precursor to injury and unnecessary oxidative stress. Take it easy. Enjoy your workouts. In terms of nutritional supplements, I encourage one rule: Do your homework. Not only are supplements not all ‘created equal’, even the very best high quality vitamins or nutritionals can sometimes be too much of a good thing, and may prove harmful if you overdo it. Check with your doctor or a naturopath before starting a vitamin regimen. There’s a reason for this. Our bodies are chemical and biological. Anything we eat or ingest may have potential negative side effects or interactions with medications, food, other supplements, or our physical makeup. I recommend visiting a qualified naturopath or physician before going on a supplement regimen (see Mayo Clinic for additional info). Live well, breathe deep, sleep well, eat well, stay active. You matter. Take good care of YOU…

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Cut the BHT…eat smarter

live wellYou know what I mean. If you can’t spell it, don’t eat it. I doubt you’ve ever asked yourself, “…did I eat my butyl today…? i.e. Butylhydroxytoluene. (BHT) is just one of several common food additives often found in breakfast cereals. Smart and healthy food choices means avoiding chemical additives, even if we’re told they’re ok in small amounts’. Problem. Our bodies aren’t designed to deal with additives. Some of these affect and disrupt natural hormones. BHT is just one of a long line of additive culprits you don’t want in your life or diet. Learn how BHT can cause you to pack on unwanted pounds, (in an article from Livestrong.com). In Canada, the Yummy Mummy Club had helpful info on BHT, BHA, etc., and the impacts they have on our health.

Eating smart means not skipping meals and eating a balanced breakfast. Healthy grains, fat, fruit, veggies, moderate protein. You can start right by toasting a slice of organic sprouted grain bread with a non-dairy healthy fat ‘butter’, (I use Melt for healthy fat and Silver Hills – a superb line of sprouted grain breads). Add a poached free run egg or scrambled egg whites and herbs, a few cucumber slices, and a (pesticide-free!) orange. Another great energizer —old-fashioned steel cut oats. Cook it ahead, store in 1/2 c. baggies, freeze, and have it ready to go. Heat it up and add slivered almonds, coconut, fresh berries or fruit, a dash of Ceylon cinnamon, and plain yogurt, or dairy-free milk.

For people on the go, a protein smoothie is ideal. Start your day with a smoothie protein base that gives you at least 18g of protein per serving.  Add frozen or fresh fruit, 1.5 c. water, ice, non-dairy milk, some greens, blend it up and keep inventing new recipes. For a delicious plant-based smoothie, try VegaOne (awesome flavour and blendability (is that a word?), or go for Usana’s ‘MySmartFoods‘ macronutrient line. Give your body a break from anything that smacks of ‘preservatives’, and keep sharing all that good energy!

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