Chia Seeds 101 in 100 Words

Chia Seeds (Salvia Hispanica) are grown in Mexico, Central America, and South America and could definitely be considered a “superfood”.  They come in a white or black variety..both are good for you.  Chia seeds are small and can be added to cereal, smoothies, salads…pretty much everything.  Amazingly, Chia Seeds are gluten-free, and high in fiber, protein, antioxidants, and phytonutrients.  They can actually be substituted in for eggs; just grind 1 tbsp of chia seeds and mix it with 3 tbsp of water – let it sit for 5 minutes and then add to your recipe.  Chia seeds also contain about 5 grams of omega-3 fatty acids per 2 tbsp serving, however, the form of the omega-3 fatty acid is ALA.  ALA is good at reducing inflammation but doesn’t provide the benefits of DHA/EPA Fish Oil Omega-3’s which offer heart and brain health support.  I enjoy a brand called Organic Prana Chia.  And yes, they are the seeds from which Chia Pets come from…you really can’t go wrong!

THE DAILY DL (Dalai Lama):

“Choose to be optimistic, it feels better.”

– Dalai Lama XIV


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Monday Morning Roundup: The “Real” Cause of High Cholesterol, Your Prostate, and Smoking Ban Expansion

The best in health and nutrition news from the past week…enjoy!

A “groundbreaking” new study presented at the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress points concludes what we’ve known for a long time; statin medication is ineffective in 40% of patients and 2.) maintaining a healthy weight is of the utmost importance in preventing high cholesterol.  Researchers found a specific protein called resistin that increases LDL “Bad” cholesterol – something they think is fantastic.  Why?  Because now they can work on ways of blocking this resistin which might make statin drugs work better.  Yep, that’s logical.  Let’s fund a new drug that helps make an existing drug work more effectively.  That sure makes more sense to me than allocating more money to health promotion and providing people with the everyday tools needed to learn heathy habits.

It’s Movember and the premiere of Saskatchewan is growing a ‘stache.  November is the month for prostate cancer awareness.  Click here to get the 411 on all things prostate.

My friend Mirkka sent me this e-card and I LOVE IT!  I would love to give away omega-3 capsules for Halloween – but here are some cool healthy Halloween treats you can make instead!

Now, what do you think about this one?  Toronto Public Health wants to expand on the area’s where smoking is prohibited from restaurants to bus shelters, public squares, hospital grounds, sports fields, entrances to buildings, and patios.  TPH states that this would cut down on second-hand smoke and “discourage young people from taking up smoking by eliminating situations in which it’s seen as socially acceptable”.  I’m in favour, what about you?

Have you heard of Bariatric Surgery?  It’s a type of procedure that reduces the size of the stomach in order to help people who struggle with weight loss establish a healthy BMI.  This article published in the The Telegraph claims baratric surgery is a quick fix and likened it to breast enhancement surgery.  Proponents of the surgery say it saves lives by helping reduce risk for heart attack and other weight related diseases.  It’s definitely an interesting debate….

THE DAILY DL (Dalai Lama):

“Open your arms to change but don’t let go of your values.” 

– Dalai Lama XIV


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Weekly Recipe Bulletin: Tokyo Oatmeal, Chocolate Mousse a la Sante, Apple Sunday Sweetness

I can’t believe it’s been this long, but about 8 years ago I moved back to Japan to teach English and after a year in the middle of nowhere I was relocated to West Tokyo.  The area I lived in was like a village in a huge city and luckily, my friend Stephen lived a hop skip and a jump from my apartment.  Together we explored Sengawa – there was this one main drag that had everything; a video store, pachinko parlours, phone shops, bakeries, shoe shops, flower stores, and a little fruit shop.

Sengawa’s Main Drag

Every Monday on my day off work, I went grocery shopping for the week and stopped off at the fruit shop where I got literally two bags of fruit – in it were 7 asian pears (called nashi in Japanese).

Asian pears are delectable.


Well, they look like an apple and taste like a  mix of apple and a perfectly ripened pear.  They’re sweet but not overbearing.  Each morning, I made oatmeal with a nashi and when I moved back to Canada I kind of forgot about nashi’s until the other day when I happened upon one at No Frills.  Here is the recipe:

Tokyo Oatmeal

– 1 nashi, diced

– 1/3 cup of quick oats

– 2 tbsp goji berries

– 1/2 tsp cinnamon

– 1/2 tsp nutmeg

– 1 tbsp maple syrup or brown sugar

– almond, rice, or soy milk

– 1 tbsp flax seeds, milled (optional)

Directions:  cut up a nashi and put the chunks into a small pot.  Add almond milk until the nashi is just covered and over medium heat, bring to a gentle boil.  Add 2 tbsp goji berries and 1/3 cup of oats.  Cook for 3 minutes.  Add spices and flax-seed.  Stir in maple syrup and enjoy!  Serves 1.

Dairy and gluten-free.

I was reading Meghan Telpner’s weekly newsletter and she had a recipe for Chocolate Black Bean Pudding – it looked so interesting so I had to five it a whirl.  Sure glad I did!  With a few tweaks of my own it turned from a pudding to a delicatble mousse.  What I like about this recipe is that it is a nice dessert but the black bean component slows down digestion and will therefore help control your blood sugar.  It’s rich and flavourful, satisfying and yet also a “healthier” option for connecting with your sweet tooth.  Bon Appetite!

  • 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 2 cups black beans
  • 1/2 cup pureed sweet potato
  • 2 Tbs coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds, ground + 1/4 cup warm water
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 banana’s, diced

Instructions:  in a small pot on low heat, melt the chocolate.  Place all ingredients including the melted chocolate in a bowl and either process it using a food processor or even easier, an immersion hand blender.  Blend until smooth and place in the fridge for 1 hour and serve with a bit of chopped up banana on top.  Serves 8.

Dairy and gluten-free.

Apple Sunday

I saw this recipe in my weekly WHFoods newsletter and thought it sounded like a treat and a half…and I was right.  It’s divine.  Like the recipe above, it’ll satisfy your sweet tooth but the protein included somewhat keeps your blood sugar from spiking into oblivion.  It’s full of whole and natural foods and something you can feel good eating – 1 serving contains 100% of your daily manganese and 30% of your DV vitamin E requirements.  I found the almond extract a little over powering so reduced the amount in my version below.

  • 2 apples (one granny smith green apple and a red apple of any kind)
  • 2 TBS almond butter
  • ¼ cup maple syrup (the real kind, not the Auntie J variety)
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 2 TBS grated coconut

Instructions:  cut up the apples into little cubes and place them into two dishes.  In a small mixing bowl, combine the maple syrup, almond butter, and almond extract and mix until well combined.  Drizzle the mixture onto the apples.  Top with each  bowl with 1 tbsp unsweetened coconut.  Serves 2.

Dairy and gluten-free.

THE DAILY DL (Dalai Lama):

“Know the rules well, so you can break them effectively.” 

– Dalai Lama XIV


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Monday Morning Roundup: Food and the US Election, Stuff That is Making Us Dumb and MORE!

A collection of the best stories and tidbits on health, nutrition, and wellbeing from around the “web”.  Enjoy!

The San Francisco Chronicle published an insightful article by Food Politics author Marion Nestle on how politics and the US Election are playing into the makeup of school lunches for children.  Check out School lunch rules caught up in politics – in it Nestle details some of the controversy surrounding the USDA’s (amazing in my opinion) decision to put an upper limit on the number of calories included in a school lunch meal.

Ever have a specific ingredient (for me, it’s cilantro!) where you just don’t know what to do with it? is a cool website that details 100 ways to cook BLANK.  Eggs, sweet potatoes, apples – check it out if you’re the type that likes to cook outside the box.  They even have a posting on Tequila!

Learn how to create your own medicinal remedies in 20 Pain Cures You Can Find in Your Kitchen in Natural Pain Remedies from Your Kitchen featured on

To maintain optimal health, we need to be getting around 8 servings of vegetables everyday – at least two of those should be leafy greens.   It’s super hard to achieve this and it takes effort but one way to ease the load is to start your day off with a green smoothie.  Check out this tasty recipe from PETA that will essentially provide you with 3-4 servings of those health boosting greens.

This article from made me laugh.  It’s called 5 Things You Won’t Believe Are Making You Dumber.  I’ve pretty much experienced everything on the list…oh boy!


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Weekly Recipe Bulletin – Work Week Breakfast & 9 to 5 Lunch

Over the past year or so, I’ve come to realise that many people know what they should be eating – but making it happen is a whole other story.  The pace of life is so fast and we’re running in place (or from home to work, driving kids to sports, school, book clubs, dinner dates, the gym, etc) so trying to eat healthy with a limited “time” budget can be a challenge.  My whole world is healthy eating/living and even I find it hard at times!

With that in mind, this week the focus is on getting in a good breakfast and lunch with the following recipes – each packed with nutrition and can be accomplished with as little as 15 minutes a day.  Try it for one week and I promise that you’ll feel so good you’ll want to continue investing time and energy into your health.

Sunday Night Muesli Delight

On Sunday night, you’re going to grab a big Tupperware container (3-4 litres will do).  Grab the following ingredients, toss them into the Tupperware, and shake until combined (this will take you under 10 minutes).  Each  morning when you wake up, grab about 1/3rd a cup of this mix, top it with Almond milk (or whatever milk you enjoy) and let it sit for 20 minutes till the milk is absorbed…then enjoy.  Thank you my amazing teacher and author Caroline Dupont for her inspiration!  This makes about 10 servings.

– 2 cups rolled oats

– 1/2 cup chia seeds

– 1/2 cup flax seeds

– 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds

– 1/2 cup sunflower seeds

– 1/4 cup goji berries

– 1/4 cup cranberries

– 4 dried apricots, chopped

– 2 tsp cinnamon

– 2 tbsp honey (optional)

9-5 Work Week Lunch

I’m on the 9-5 Work Week Lunch bandwagon and I’m never getting off.  Each time I eat a different variation of this recipe I’m floored by how awesome it tastes.  It leave you feeling full, focused, and doesn’t cause bloating or post-meal fatigue.  It takes about 15 minutes if you’re using your time wisely and can be done while you’re waiting for your muesli to soak.  Again, thank you to Caroline Dupont for sharing this secret with me so that I could share it with you!  Here’s how it works:

Get a medium-sized pot and put a grain in it – I like to use one of the following:  brown rice, soba noodles, millet, or quinoa.  For the purpose of this example, let’s go with quinoa.

In the pot, put 1/2 cup of water and bring it to a boil.  Add 1/4 cup of quinoa.

Put a steamer on top of the grain and add in the following (note, when you steam the veggies all their juices will fall into the quinoa which you’re going to eat – score!)

– 2 cups leafy green veggies (I like kale or swiss chard)

– 1 cup of an orange or red veggie (red pepper, carrots, etc)

– 1 cup of bean sprouts (or other sprouts)

Cover and let steam until the quinoa is ready – about 10 minutes.

Pour the quinoa and steamed veggies in a big bowl and mix.  Next you’re going to add your seasonings and concentrated protein – here is what I normally add in:

– 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds

– 1 tbsp sunflower seeds

– 1 tbsp walnuts

– 1 tbsp chia seeds

– 2-3 sheets of nori (sea weed)

– you could also add some cooked chicken, turkey, fish, or tofu

– 1 tbsp chives

– 1 tbsp fresh basil leaves

– tbsp fresh cilantro

– 1 diced raw clove of garlic

– 1 tbsp sauerkraut (the fermented kind you find in the refrigerated section of a health food store)

You need a suace to bring this to life.  You an use a bit of sesame seed oil, tahini, or ponzu sauce…I make a big patch of sauce on Sunday night and then use it throughout the week.  Here is a breakdown of my ponzu sauce that is adapted from the Fresh at Home cookbook (this cookbook btw has a whole chapter on cool sauces and there are 12 copies available at the Toronto Public Library):

– 4 cloves garlic

– 1/4 cup fresh ginger, chopped

– 1.5 stalks of lemongrass (available in the fresh spice/herb section of the fruit and veg section of your grocery store)

– 1/4 cup chili flakes

– 1/4 cup dry white wine

– 2 cup s water

– 1/3 cup soy sauce

– 1/3 cup brown sugar

Combine everything in a pot and bring to a boil.  Let simmer for 20 minutes, strain so that you remove all the chunks of garlic, lemon grass, and ginger and store the liquid in an air tight container in the fridge.


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Weekly Recipe Bulletin – Beet Chips, Chickpea Spread, and Sweet Potato Cookies

It’s always a tough time of year to get into eating health as we get back to school and work after a long summer of indulging.  These recipes are inspired by a Whole Foods workshop I attended on Friday evening (Friday night’s just aren’t what they use to be!).  My aim for this week’s bulletin was to bring it back to the basics of preparing real highly nourishing foods that taste great.

Beet Chips

In my seminar this past week, the instructor reiterated the importance of getting enough root vegetables into our diet.  Energetically, root veggies are warming and beets in specific contain something called Betalaines which are an anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory.  Beets are also a good source of folate.  The following recipe was loosely adapted from Martha Stewart’s website.

– 4 beets

– 1 tsp olive oil

– 1/4th tsp garlic powder

– 1/4th tsp salt

Directions:  peel beets and cut into 1/16th of an inch slices.  Toss with a tsp of olive oil and a bit of salt and garlic powder (or regular minced up garlic).  Lay out on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 10-20 minutes.  Let the beets cool – this is how they’ll become crispy.

Sweet Potato Cookies

I got this recipe from my teacher at The Canadian School of Natural Nutrition (CSNN) and have made some slight adjustments.  What is cool about these cookies is that there is no dairy, eggs, or gluten in them making it a suitable treat for kids with allergies.  There is also 8 grams of fiber in EACH COOKIE!  Yum….

– 1 cup coconut oil

– 1 cup sweet potato puree (cut up one large sweet potato and steam it for about 10-15 minutes – then puree.  It’ll yield about 1 cup)

– 1 cup brown sugar (sucanat or coconut sugar work well too)

– 1/4th cup milled flax seeds

– 1 tbsp vanilla extract

– 3 cups brown rice flour

– 1 cup rolled oats

– 3/4 tsp baking soda

– 3/4 tsp salt

– 4 tsp cinnamon

– 1.5 tsp ground ginger

– 1/2 tsp nutmeg

– 1/2 tsp cloves

Directions: In a large bowl, beat coconut oil, sugar, sweet potato puree, flax and vanilla extract.  In another bowl mix all remaining ingredients.  Transfer dry ingredients into wet ingredients little by little until everything is well combined (I used an electric beater).  Let sit for 20 mins and in the meantime pre-heat oven to 350.  Line cookie sheet with parchment paper and add 1 tbsp of  batter for each cookie.  This recipe will give you about 40 cookies in total.  Cook 17 minutes, remove from oven, and let cool.

Chickpea Spread

I served this dish at a book club meeting and one person commented that it tastes lighter and healthier than hummus – I’ll take that as a compliment!  This recipe was adapted from a book called Fresh At Home and can be served with crackers or as a veggie dip.

– 1-3/4 cup chickpeas

– 1 cup carrot, grated

– 1 large dill pickle, finely chopped

– 1 celery stalk, finely chopped

– 1 tbsp mayonnaise

– 1 tbsp honey mustard

– 1 tsp lemon juice

– pinch of salt

Directions:  in a food processor or with an immersion blender, roughly chop chickpeas.  Put into a bowl and add the rest of the ingredients.  Mix well and puree with an immersion blender or potato masher until you get a smooth consistency.


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Weekly Recipe Bulletin: Easy Fusion Chicken, Mint-Ginger Salsa Salmon and Pineapple Basil Chicken Skewers!

In keeping with my quest to eat more protein, here are some tasty meals I tested out over the past week.  It’s a great time of year to capitalize on all the fresh and local produce that is just bursting with flavour!

Easy Fusion Chicken

This is the second time I’ve tried this dish out and it doesn’t disappoint.  It takes about 40 minutes from top to bottom but the overall time can be cut down on if you prep some of it in the morning.  What I like about Fusion Chicken is that it is pretty low in fat, has a ton of flavour, and is satisfying.  Try to go for a low sodium chicken stock – the one I use is called “Imagine”.   Serve over rice – I use PC long grained brown rice which tastes amazing but takes a little longer to cook.  Easy Fusion Chicken has been adapted from the Dietitians of Canada Simply Great Food.


  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 500 grams chicken breast, diced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp mild curry powder
  • 4 shallots, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice

Directions:  Mix flour, salt, and chili in a plastic ziplock bag.  Add chicken and coat.  discard of excess flour and put chicken in a large skillet that has been heated to medium heat with the olive oil.  Brown chicken and then add curry powder.  Cook till chicken is no longer pink in the middle and then remove chicken from the skillet.  In the same skillet, saute shallots and garlic for 2 minutes and then add red pepper, broth, raisins, tomato paste and lime juice.  Return chicken to skillet and reduce heat.  Simmer 15-20 mins till sauce has thickened.  Serves 4.

NuTIPtion:  did you know that Curry is good for cognition?  There are anti-inflammatory and antioxidant agents in this wonder spice and properties that prevent protein plaque build up. 

Mint-Ginger Salsa Salmon

Yum.  Yum.  Yum!  Tangy, tasty, and zesty would be how I describe this dish.  Adapted from WH Foods It takes 20 minutes to make and looks pretty gourmet.  Try this out at your next dinner party!


  • 1/3 lb salmon fillet, cut in half
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • sea salt and pepper to taste
  • Salsa
  • 1 ripe tomato, diced
  • 1/2 cup green onions, minced
  • 1 tsp ginger, minced
  • 2 tsp fresh mint, minced
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • sea salt and pepper to taste


  1. Rub salmon with 2 tsp fresh lemon juice, salt and pepper. Broil for about 5 minutes per side.
  2. Combine salsa ingredients and spoon over salmon.  Garnish with mint.

NuTIPtion:  besides being anti-inflammatory and helping with gastrointestinal upset, Ginger is now being studied for its potential impact on the prevention of colorectal cancer.

Pineapple Basil Chicken Skewers

I’ve been on a chicken skewer kick these days.  They are pretty easy to make, low-fat, and build a good serving or two of veggies into the meal.  I made this recipe for my lovely neighbour Leslie’s birthday and both she and Branno quite enjoyed the moist texture and tangy flavour.  Adapted from a blog I found online Stetted it’s a recipe I’ll definitely be making again.


1 cup loosely packed basil
1 20-ounce can pineapple in juice
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
Black pepper
1 pound boneless skinless chicken
1 medium white onion
1 green pepper
24 grape tomatoes
10-12 bamboo skewers


Wash basil and pat dry. Drain pineapple juice from can, reserving the chunks for the skewers.  Put basil, pineapple juice, olive oil, salt, and three cracks of pepper into a food processor or blender and blend well and pour over diced chicken.  Cover and let sit in fridge for about 1 hour.  Thread chicken, pineapple pieces, onion, and tomato on skewer and grill over medium heat.

NuTIPtion:  Bromelain is found in pineapple and is a natural digestive enzyme that helps with protein breakdown.  One cup of pineapple also contains 131% of our daily Vitamin C requirements.


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Yo’ Gurt…what yogurt should I eat?

My friend Katie asked for a post on the best options for yogurt…so here we go.  In preparing for this post I took a trip to my local No-Frills grocery store and was amazed when I actually investigated the number of yogurts available on the market.  Non fat, low-fat, Greek, probiotic, no sugar, drinkable, added plant sterols, etc.

Actually, while I as researching I noticed two women looking bewildered (3 including me!) and when I asked them what they were going to purchase one said “whatever is on sale” and the other said “I never know”.

The first question I would ask you is why are you eating yogurt – what is your objective?

An easy snack?

Are you looking for calcium?


All three of the above?

Let’s examine the different attributes.


You would be right in guessing I would recommend zero sugar added yogurt, however, I would rather you have a higher calorie sugar yogurt than a low-fat version that is synthetically sweetened.

Why is lower or no sugar better?  Too much sugar can lead to problems with blood sugar control.  Additionally, sugar contributes greatly to obesity, and cancer causing free radicals.  In order to keep free radicals to a minimum, our body should be slightly more alkaline than acidic.  If we’re too acidic, calcium will be drawn from our bones and make the blood more alkaline.  Since sugar causes acidity, you would be doing yourself a disservice to eat sugary yogurt because the calcium in your body will be used to maintain an alkaline state rather than building up calcium stores.

What’s up with synthetic sweeteners?  Aspartame, sorbitol, isomalt, maltitol, mannitol, and xylitol (all synthetic) are quite controversial because of the surrounding evidence that they are carcinogenic and perhaps disturbing to your brain and nervous system especially with children.  The fact is, they are manufactured and since they’re not real food why but it in your body?

TAKEAWAY:  Choose a plain, unsweetened yogurt.  Add a 1/2 cup of berries to sweeten…or if you must, a small tsp of maple syrup or honey.  While maple syrup and honey contain sugar, if you get an organic and/or unrefined version you’ll be getting more nutrients than plain old table sugar which is 100% empty calories.

Organic Plain Yogurt


Here is a break down of the total number of milligrams of calcium required per day:

1 – 3 years old:  700 mg

4-8 years old:  1000 mg

9-18 years old:  1300 mg

19-50  years old: 1000 mg

Older adults:  1200 mg

Calcium works with various other minerals and vitamins to help build strong bones and teeth.  You can’t absorb Calcium properly without Vitamin D so make sure you’re getting at least 400 IU’s a day of Vit D.

In general, regular yogurt has 150 mg’s of calcium per 1/2 cup and Greek Yogurt has 120 mg’s per half cup (the later looses some calcium because of the straining process).

TAKEAWAY:  Yogurt is a great way to get calcium and if you’re objective is calcium consumption, go for a non-greek yogurt version.

Super Mineral Calcium


In the past few years, Greek Yogurt has danced on to the stage in a Tony Award winning performance – and deservedly so in my opinion.  What makes Greek Yogurt difference is that it’s got a nice creamy thick texture and a boat load of protein compared to regular yogurt.  In fact, 1/2 cup of Greek Yogurt has about 13 grams of protein compared to regular yogurt which has only 2.5 grams.  It’s also very low in fat.

How many grams of protein do we need a day?

Weight in Pounds x 0.8 = # of grams of PRO per day.

TAKEAWAY:  I’m a fan of Greek yogurt especially for the maintenance, repair, recovery of muscles.  Just make sure it’s plain…the flavoured versions are full of sugar.

Plant Sterols & Probiotics

Plant Sterols are found in…as you guessed it plants.  They are relatively new on the nutrition scene but there is a lot of optimism surround them because they’re known to lower LDL Cholesterol (bad cholesterol).  LDL compounds move cholesterol from the liver to the cells where in excess (due to poor diet, lack of exercise etc – see The Health Junction’s prior post) it can cause cellular damage.  Up to 3 grams of plant sterols are recommended by Health Canada.

Probiotics are present in our colon and help maintain a balance between good and bad bacteria.  Eating a poor diet which is high in sugar, alchohol, booze, meat, and yes…even dairy and degrade the quality and quanity of probiotics in our system leading to dysbiosis – or an imbalance in our microflora.  They are helpful in supporting a healthy immune system and act as a natural antibiotic.  Sure, eating a yogurt with probiotics is helpful in maintaing a healthy gut and colon, however, if it has sugar in it you’re back to square one.  Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post on probiotics to learn more about what they can do for your health.

TAKEAWAY:  Sure, give these a try!  The product below has both probiotics and plant sterols.  It does have sugar – 6 grams per 1/2 cup which isn’t horrible.

BioBest Plain Yogurt


Beat the heat wave with these cool books!

Note:  all books reviewed are available at the Toronto Public Library.



The Kind Diet

Despite having seen this slightly weird video of Alicia Silverstone feeding her son pre-chewed food directly from her own mouth, I wanted to check out her book “The Kind Diet” which was suggested to me by a friend.  In her book, Alicia Silverstone outlines her path to becoming vegan and managed to examine the benefits of such a diet without being preachy.  I learned a lot about how mainstream animal protein is farmed and merchandised to the public which makes me feel like I have more power as a consumer.  There is a recipe section which is divided into three sections which build up on going vegetarian to vegan (the later by the way means eating no animal or animal by-products).  I made Eggplant Chana Masala with a group of middle school students and we all quite enjoyed it!  If you are interested in the topic of veganism or just want to learn more about whole and natural foods check this book out.  Four out of five stars!


Meals That Heal Inflammation

Julie Daniluk is a pretty well-known Canadian Nutritionist and is the host of OWN’s Healthy Gourmet – and she graduated from the school I’m going to so I’m extra proud of her book “Meals That Heal Inflammation”. I waited 3 months for this book at the library, but it was worth the wait.  Julie’s book talks about how inflammation within the body is often caused by food.  By using anti-inflammatory healing foods as medicine, we can give our body a break and restore balance.  Both recipes that I’ve tested so far were 100 percent delectable; African Nut Butter Stew which was a creamy white bean, sweet potato, almond butter, and kale based concoction as well as Cinnamon Baked Apples, a lovely grain free version of apple crisp. Five out of five stars!


DIY Sunday – Getting Clean Green Stylez

I have been so encouraged by my DIY deodorant project that as my beauty and cleaning products start to run out I’ve been trying to replace them with greener homemade options.  So far, so good – still cleaning my teeth with homemade toothpaste and my armpits happen to smell of lovely lavender.  Next on my list of projects is a DYI Laundry Detergent and All Purpose Cleaner.

By the way, I’ve noticed that getting started on an at home pharmacy can be a little pricey at the beginning, but you’ll soon start to realise both the financial and environmental footprint benefits so keep at it!

Laundry Detergent

(adapted from Lindsay Coulter’s Queen of Green section of The David Suzuki Foundation website:

7 L water

1 cup soap granules

1/2 cup borax

1/2 cup washing soda

20 drops essential oil (optional)

Add 1 L water and soap granules to pot. Heat until diluted.

Pour into pail with 6 L water, borax, and washing soda and stir until dissolved. Add essential oil. Soap will gel as it cools.

Use 1/2 cup per full load

NOTE: this makes upwards of 7 liters so make sure you have a bucket or pail with a lid on it before you get started.  I think lavender and eucalyptus essential oils would work nicely in this recipe.  You can find these ingredients at some grocery stores and almost all health food stores.


All Purpose Cleaner

(adapted from Gillian Deacon’s book Green For Life.  Check out her website at

This couldn’t be any easier.  When your current spray cleaner runs out, keep the bottle and refill it almost to the top with water.  Add 10 drops of both Lavender and Tea Tree essential oil.  Tea Tree Oil is antibacterial, antifungal, antiseptic, and antiviral.  Lavender Oil is also antiseptic and smells divine.  This can be used to wipe counter tops, tables, bathroom counters, etc.  The essential oils run at about $9 CND per bottle but since you only need a little bit, they do last quite a while.