A Guide to Feeding our Future

Archive for the ‘Health Tips’ Category

Health Tip: Time to Cleanse!

By: Susan Kingston, RHN – Montreal, QC

This time of year is a good time to talk about fall cleansing. The natural times to do cleanses are in the spring and fall, and fall is the time when we cleanse parasites and large intestine for any bacterial overgrowth caused by critters on our fresh fruits and vegetables in the summer, not mention those rare or medium rare steaks cooked on the BBQ ;-)!

Parasites and bacteria cause a strain on the system, and taking the toxic load off of your body will better prepare you for a healthy winter, avoiding the many ‘colds and flus’ that so many people experience. It can also reduce inflammation in the body and the brain—clearing brain fog and helping us to be sharp and centered! Along with these benefits, food intolerances can be reduced as we clean up our bodies and heal our intestinal environment.

I’d like to share with you some cleansing anti-parasitic/anti-candida/anti-bacterial herbs and foods to focus on in the fall, so if you decide to get cleaned up before winter, you will know the best route to go.

Foods to support cleansing:

  • Organic meats (grass fed beef, chicken)
  • Wild caught ocean fish
  • Dark leafy greens and all non-starchy raw and cooked vegetables-juicing is excellent as well
  • Garlic, onions
  • Saurkraut, kimchi, and other fermented vegetables
  • Beef and chicken broths–soups and stews
  • Coconut oil
  • Lemons, limes
  • Lots of pure filtered water

Herbs:

  • Oil of oregano
  • Grapefruit seed extract
  • Clove
  • Black Walnut
  • Olive Leaf
  • Pau-D’Arco
  • Uva Ursi
  • Cinnamon Bark
  • Peppermint

I would like to add that if you are not in excellent health, it is always best to consult with your holistic practitioner before embarking on a cleansing protocol in order to do it safely and use the products and foods best suited to you. And those of you who decide not to consult, then please make sure you drink lots of water, and are having regular bowel movements every day so you do not end up ill with toxic build up as your body clears critters!

Health tip: Note Your Motivation for Eating (cont’d)

By: Hollie M. Hunt-Last, D. C’Ed. ROHP/RHN – Moncton, NB

As previously mentioned, most commonly, there are two main ways that food is used regarding emotions : to push emotion down into suppression, or to fill an emotional void with fulfillment. Examples of each these were given last month.

NOW, to conclude this line of thought – here’s an example of a situation that entails both suppression and fulfillment : Could it be because you are bored, and without a distraction your thoughts turn in on you, prompting you to eat so that you do not hear (you’re suppressing) your disturbing thoughts? Does the boredom bring up for you a feeling of lacking something in life? In a case like this, you may eat to feel more fulfilled because it also fills in a temporary gap.

Exercise:

Whenever you are eating (and also when you’re not hungry),  inquire within to find out what’s really going on: which motivation to you experience more – suppression or fulfillment? What is the emotion behind that motivation? By becoming more conscious of the motivation behind your eating, you’ll be better able to adjust your habits by addressing the motivation, not just the resulting behaviour that you want to improve.

Health Tip: Note Your Motivation for Eating (cont’d)

By: Hollie M. Hunt-Last, D. C’Ed. ROHP/RHN – Moncton, NB

As mentioned over the last couple of months in this health tip series, most commonly, there are two main ways that food is used regarding emotions : to push emotion down into suppression, or to fill an emotional void with fulfillment. I gave an example of using food for suppression last month. Below are examples of fulfillment:

Examples of using food for fulfillment:

Is it that you are feeling lonely and need nurturing that food seems to provide for you? Does it make you feel warm inside when you turn to food to take away pain? Like grandma’s apple pie? What about “drowning your sorrows” in ice cream? Has there ever been an opportunity presented to you of something you really wanted, yet you stopped yourself from moving forward into something really fulfilling? Then to fill the void, you focused on food more in your life and gained weight after this point? “I am happy and content when I eat” would be this behaviours’ mantra.

We may use the same foods for both the suppression and fulfillment behaviours. Is it always that cut and dry? Hardly. There are even examples of when these two behviours combine! Check in with us again next month to discuss examples of combined motivations and for questions to ask yourself regarding your own motivation for eating!

Health Tip: Dealing With Gluten Intolerance

By: Susan Kingston, RHN, NNCP – Montreal, QC

Gluten intolerance has been linked to Alzheimer’s Disease, Ataxia, Reynaud’s Disease, and many other neurological problems. Avoiding it is crucial to those who are intolerant.

Recent research is also now showing that even those without a clinical intolerance should be limiting wheat, as it is not what it used to be due to alterations in the protein. Even a strong body can react with inflammation and disruptions to intestinal permeability, leading to ‘leaky gut syndrome’, causing ill effects on the body and brain.

Some helpful hints on avoiding gluten:

  • Make your own gluten free bread, cookies, muffins, etc.
  • Buy products labelled “gluten free”
  • Avoid processed foods, soups, sauces, and soy sauce which often contain hidden gluten
  • Avoid coffee which can cross react with gluten making your immune system believe you have eaten gluten
  • Ask diligent questions when eating out such as: Are salad dressings and sauces made in-house or brought in? Can they give you a homemade one or just lemon and olive oil? Is there a gluten-free menu?Are foods cooked on the same grill as gluten products, or in the same deep fryer? Be the cautious customer!

Being gluten free is not always easy, but being disciplined about the foods you put in your body will reward you for a lifetime, staving off modern day ailments such as auto-immune disease, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease – not to mention the devastating effects of diseases such as Alzheimer’s and other cognitive disorders.

Health Tip: Start Your Day Off Right!

By: Kristin Harris, RHN – Richmond Hill, ON

Mornings can be hectic for families to get out the door – breakfasts to be eaten, lunches and snacks to be packed, not to mention showers, getting dressed, kids to school/daycare, mommas and papas to work…there’s a lot to do!

Here’s the thing: how you start your morning sets the tone for the whole day, so if you’re rushed, stressed, fighting to get everyone out the door, and running on a coffee and a bagel, you’re probably not feeling your best or setting yourself up for a successful day.

Not only does the stress of a disorganized morning affect your productivity and mindset, but also, the food you eat directly affects your mood – attention span, focus, energy levels, anxiety etc. Here are some tips to set you and your family up for a happy, organized, energetic and productive day:

1) Eat a good breakfast

This doesn’t mean that you need to slave over the stove whipping up gourmet omelets each day of the week. There are many options for quick AND healthy meals that the whole family will enjoy.

The key is to include a complex carb, good quality protein and healthy fat, as these will keep you satiated and your blood sugar stabilized. Here are some examples:

  • Buckwheat waffles (I like Nature’s Path) with almond/cashew/sunflower seed butter, cinnamon and 100% pure maple syrup or raw honey.
  • Sprouted toast (like Silver Hills brand or Ezekiel) with almond butter (or sunflower seed butter) and sliced bananas or, mashed avocado on toast.
  • And my ultimate fave – SMOOTHIES! I love smoothies because they take no time to make, you can take them to go and you can jam all sorts of nutrient dense foods into one yummy drink that both kids and adults love!

mornings - kristin harris

Here’s a base smoothie recipe that I like to use:

  •  1½ cups liquid (water, coconut water, almond, rice or coconut milk)
  • 1 cup greens like spinach (you can’t taste it, I promise)
  • ½ banana
  • 1 cup frozen berries
  • 1 TBSP flax oil
  • protein – vegan protein powder, organic greek yogurt, raw nuts/seeds, nut butter, etc.

2) Pack your lunch the night before

This will save you lots of time in the morning, will keep you organized, and will ensure the packed meals are healthy and balanced because you’re not scrambling to put something together in the a.m.

The best tip I can provide for lunches is to make extras at dinner so that you have leftovers. Another option is on Sunday, make a big batch of a salad (quinoa salad, bean salad, spelt pasta, etc) so you’ll have plenty throughout the week.

Try this simple recipe for Quinoa Salad:

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • ½ cup green onion, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • crumbled feta
  • 1 can of chickpeas

dressing

  •  juice from 1 lemon
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • pinch of sea salt and pepper

In a large bowl combine all salad ingredients. In a separate bowl or jar, mix together dressing ingredients and then stir into quinoa salad. Enjoy!

3) Schedule your prep time

Organizing and scheduling in time to make nutrition a priority is key to success. Schedule one hour, once a week, to do some prep work, such as cutting up veggies ahead of time so that packing lunches and snacks are easier. Have fruit ready to go in a fruit bowl or in the fridge to grab on the go, and make one or two snacks, like homemade granola bars or date bites – or hummus to go with veggies and crackers.

Here’s a basic hummus recipe that you can try – feel free to mix it up by trying other beans or adding different flavours like roasted red pepper, roasted garlic or sundried tomatoes!

  • 1 can of chickpeas
  • 2 TBSP tahini
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 garlic cloves
  • pinch of sea salt

Puree all ingredients together and store in refrigerator.

Here’s to smooth sailing in the morn! 🙂

(Educated Eater note: you can find more great “easy morning” ideas by browsing our recipe categories!)

Health Tip: Note Your Motivation for Eating (Cont’d)

By: Hollie M. Hunt-Last, D. C’Ed. ROHP/RHN – Moncton, NB

Last month, I mentioned that most commonly, there are two main ways that food is used regarding emotions : to push emotion down into suppression, or to fill an emotional void with a sense of  fulfillment. Below is an example of suppression;  as you read this, ask yourself if you or someone you know falls into this category…

Examples of using food for suppression :

Are you angry but you feel it inappropriate to express your anger and so you turn to food instead? It’s possible you may be turning to food to so that you don’t have to feel what you are feeling in the moment. For example, “I will eat this pizza and NOT think about my situation”, or “As long as I keep distracting myself with food, I will be ok”.

If this describes your motivation for eating, even if just occasionally, you may wish to examine it further. We will continue to review this topic over the coming months…

Health Tip: Tried and True Lemon-Aid

By: Susan Kingston, RHN, NNCP – Montreal, QC

Ever wonder where Lemonade got its name? Lemon-Aid! My take on this was it was so named because of its liver-cleansing and digestive-supporting properties.

You can easily support your body and brain through simple lemons. When you support your liver and digestion with regular consumption of lemon-aid (fresh, homemade – not the commercial kind), you can clear brain fog, raise your energy level, and also alleviate some allergy symptoms, both inhalant and digestive.

More Benefits of Lemon-Aid:

  • strengthens liver enzymes
  • aids digestion
  • regulates blood carbohydrate levels
  • aids in new enzyme production
  • contains natural antiseptic that kills harmful bacteria
  • is a powerful antioxidant
  • exhibits anti-fungal properties

It’s also a very simple but rewarding drink – and perfect as a refreshing summer beverage.

Try this easy recipe to enjoy with family and friends!

Summer Treat Lemon-Aid

Yields: 4 glasses

Ingredients:

  • Fresh juice of 4-5 lemons
  • 10 raspberries
  • 1-2 tbsp maple syrup if desired to sweeten, or stevia
  • 4-5 cups water
  • 1 tray of ice

Directions:

  1. Blend altogether in blender and drink up!

Health Tip: Re-Introducing Intolerant Foods

By: Susan Kingston, RHN, NNCP – Montreal, QC

Many of us with food intolerances are hoping that one day we’ll be able to re-introduce those “intolerant” foods back into our diet after a period of abstinence.

This is definitely possible – other than with gluten intolerance (the most recent research shows once gluten intolerant, always gluten intolerant; one reason being because of its ability to cross the blood brain barrier so easily) – but usually only after having done some work on re-balancing intestinal flora, a crucial step in the healing process of the gut.

Any food that is lactic-acid fermented is very helpful in this process. These foods are full of probiotics and enzymes for digestive support. Traditionally, (especially before refrigerators) people ate many lactic-acid fermented foods, and in many countries, people still do.

Sauerkraut is one of these beneficial foods, and I’ve talked about one of my favorites on my Educated Consumer recommendation this month. I will be featuring a recipe this month as well, so that you can even make your own – so be sure to check back and take a look.

Other fermented foods that will support intestinal flora, and therefore support re-introducing intolerant foods over time are:

  • Kimchi
  • Fermented beets, carrots and other vegetables
  • Lactic-acid fermented pickles
  • Kefir and yogurt (organic, and free of fillers like pectin and corn starch)
  • Raw cheese
  • Beet kvass

Enjoy these foods in abundance, and begin the healing process so that, in time, you may eat a larger variety of the foods you love!

Health Tip: Note Your Motivation For Eating

By: Hollie M. Hunt-Last, D. C’Ed. ROHP/RHN – Moncton, NB

For all things that we do, there is a reason. Even if habits appear to be self sabotaging, there is a good reason why we started doing them!

There is usually a self preserving or survival reason for all things that we do. Discover what your reason is, in the moment, that you are eating.

Is the reason that you are hungry, and so the body is seeking food to survive?

Is it that you are feeling something unpleasant that your body considers to be a threat, and so you are eating to suppress the feeling? There are many different ways in which this can manifest.

Most commonly, there are two main ways that I have seen food being used regarding emotions :

1) To push emotion down into suppression.

2) To fill an emotional void with fulfillment.

Check in with us next month to learn more about examples concerning these two motivations…

Health Tip: It All Starts With Sleep!

By: Kimberley Record, Health Coach, RHN – Campbell River, BC

Have you ever noticed that after a good night’s sleep, it’s much easier to make healthier choices – food and otherwise – throughout the day?

When sleep-deprived, you are much more prone to reaching for health-sabotaging, sugary, and energy (calorie) dense foods – and more often! Why? There is actually a scientific reason for this: the hormones that control your hunger (grehlin) and fullness (leptin) go completely out of whack when you aren’t getting sufficient sleep. Grehlin increases, and leptin decreases – not exactly a great combination when trying to improve your eating habits.

So in fact, when you’re looking to make healthy changes to your diet, one of the first (and less obvious) areas to look at is your sleep hygiene.

Are you currently getting 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night? If you’ve answered no, then your attempts to improve your health and diet may be much less effective. To ensure you optimize your efforts by improving your sleep, follow this link for some simple tips:

http://sleepfoundation.org/ask-the-expert/sleep-hygiene

Educated Eater Challenge:

Try going to bed before 10pm for three nights in a row and see how different you feel by the third day. Share your experience here!