Holistic Nutrition

The Behaviour of Overindulgence – Healthy vs. Unhealthy

Posted by on Oct 18, 2013 in Blog, Mental Health | 0 comments

The Behaviour of Overindulgence – Healthy vs. Unhealthy

Since the Thanksgiving Holidays have recently passed, and pretty much after every holiday, I get a whole slew of emails from clients I had recently checked in with that normally starts with “oops I overindulged a bit too much at the holiday dinner”.

Yes, eating more will naturally encourage weight gain or prevent a weight loss, but what I always try to explain is that there is a difference in overindulging during happy social events, and overindulging in a room by yourself eating out of a box or a container endlessly. One is enjoyed, the other is numbing the emotional roller coaster that wants to come out. Guess which one a nutritionist is really concerned with and wants to dialogue about? I’m certainly not here to say “don’t eat cake at your birthday party” – my goodness, that is the best time to eat cake!

Overindulgence When You are Happy

Happy overindulging is bound to happen. You’re laughing, you’re talking, you’re in the pure enjoyment of the food prepared by someone you know or at a fancy restaurant. This is okay. Why? Because you’re happy, you’re savouring, you’re enjoying, and you’re consciously overindulging. This type of overindulging is actually less likely to impede health and weight goals because it’s situational, and doesn’t happen daily, and you’re less likely to eat an entire cake. If this starts happening daily then you live too luxurious of a social life so stop complaining of a little extra weight and be thankful you’re a happy over-indulger 😉

Overindulgence When Your Are Sad or Emotional EatingDepressed

Overindulging because you are sad and depressed and eating in secret/alone so you can binge on food is super challenging to experience and is worth a discussion because it doesn’t make you feel good and is a sign that you need more helpful mechanisms to address stressful emotions. These are the situations I want to discuss with clients, or help clients find further support.

The reason why I differentiate the two is because with the first situation, I often have a good giggle with my clients. So you had a normal dessert on a holiday – big deal. I’m glad you don’t live a super strict life and you make room for flexibility.

When the second situation occurs, I don’t giggle, nor make a joke. When someone is emotionally eating, they feel stuck, out of control, unsure of alternative options and often feel deep shame about it (even though every single person has experienced this and it is normal). The last thing I want is for them to feel abnormal and alone.

The point is, if you’re overindulging to push feelings down or you’re eating all alone and mindlessly chomping, even if weight isn’t a concern or your health, this behaviour isn’t productive and will wreak havoc on your emotional health if your feelings and emotions are helped in a more helpful way. It’s okay to talk about it and begin necessary steps to find alternative mechanisms for dealing with stressful emotions.

If you’re slap happy and enjoying the heck out of weekly or monthly dinner parties – go on, have fun, enjoy the evening, be in the moment, savour everything, and be happy!

If you need to explore alternatives to emotional eating – I encourage you to reach out to a psychologist and build your social support to help you realize that you don’t need to tackle this alone – and there is no need for shame – only support 🙂

Lemon Chicken & Romaine Salad

Posted by on Oct 10, 2013 in Family & Kids, Lunch & Dinner, Whole Food Recipes | 0 comments

Lemon Chicken & Romaine Salad

This recipe actually holds a dear place in my heart just based on how it came about. Before I was even full on into nutrition and into making food (aside from baking) I had to make a healthy recipe for my grade 12 Exercise Science class and outline why it was a healthy choice. I recently came across the recipe/assignment that was neatly inside a plastic cover sheet and made it again – still tastes great and full of fresh lemon flavour! I wish I came across it in the summer, but hey, recipes stay on here forever so it’s better shared than never to share at all.

It reminds me of a basic garden salad with chicken you’d get at a restaurant but that’s okay, easy recipes are great every once in awhile! If I made this as a teen, maybe your teen could make this for you 😉

You can see in the picture of the recipe the “nutritional tips” I wrote out – pretty basic but good to know nonetheless! I never would have thought at the age of 17 that a grade 12 assignment would end up on a website of my own some day, nor that this was my career path 🙂

Lemon chicken and romaine recipe

lemon chicken and romaine recipe2

dinner - easy lemon chicken marinade

Grilled Lemon Chicken with Romaine Salad

recipe created by a 17 year old Sarah Maughan

pfizer viagra samples Ingredients
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
3 tbsp juice from a lemon
lemon zest from 1 whole lemon
2 tsp dijon mustard
1/2 tsp sea salt, sugar and pepper – although I use honey now that I’m older and more wise 😉
1 clove garlic, minced
3 tbsp olive oil
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
6 cups torn romaine leaves
2 carrots, grated
1 tomato, chopped
3 cups baby spinach
1 1/2 cups cucumber, chopped

enter Directions

1. In a small bowl, combine vinegar, lemon juice, lemon zest, 1 tbsp water, mustard, salt, sugar (or honey), pepper and garlic and whisk in 1 tbsp of the olive oil

2. Place the chicken in a shallow baking dish. Pour 2 tbsp of the lemon mixture over top and coat on both sides. Cover and refrigerate for an hour or more – if more than an hour put the rest of the lemon mixture in the fridge as well

3.Grill chicken for 5 minutes each side until done. Cover and set aside for a few minutes

4. In a large bowl, combine the torn romaine lettuce, chopped tomatoes, grated carrots, baby spinach and chopped cucumber

5. Whisk remaining 2 tbsp olive oil into the reserved lemon mixture and pour over the salad. Toss and divide into 4 bowls or plates

6. Slice chicken crosswise into thin strips and arrange over each salad.

What Goes In, Should Come Out – Tips for Relieving Constipation

Posted by on Oct 1, 2013 in Blog, Top Tips | 0 comments

What Goes In, Should Come Out – Tips for Relieving Constipation

Spending a bit more time in the bathroom lately – or maybe no time at all? You may be constipated!

Tired of Bran? No problem! Check out other ways to relieve constipation

Tired of Bran? No problem! Check out other ways to relieve constipation

Yesterday’s blog mentioned a multi-disciplinary way of treating constipation that you may never have ever thought of and today I’m going to go into a bit more detail about food. Everyone’s heard the good ‘ol saying of “increase your fiber” or “add bran to your morning” to help relieve constipation.

Well, fiber is important, but it’s not just about fiber, and it’s most certainly not just about bran (there are a ton of other sources of fiber that don’t hurt you so much) – it’s also about a functioning digestive system in general!

Here are my top 5 constipation relievers:

Food Tips for Relieving Constipation

  1. Increase your fluid intake in general but more specifically, begin each morning with ½ a lemon squeezed in 1 cup water. It has to be really tart tasting to activate that saliva and trigger digestive movement – or digestive dominos as I call it. You can do this before each meal for extra support.
  2. Chew your food! Yes, chewing actually breaks down your food and allow for better digestion and faster digestion. It’s easier to move a pasty blob, and less work on your digestive enzymes if you’ve broken down the surface area of your food so next time you’re chewing, chew a little more and savour that deliciousness.
  3. Remove food sensitivities – everyone is unique so I recommend doing an elimination diet to help determine this. Even though Dairy can cause diarrhea in most people, it can actually be related to constipation too, especially cheese! Food sensitivities in general can cause inflammation, which means less space for food to move around. So if you suspect a food sensitivity, be sure to discuss this with your Naturopathic Doctor or Holistic Nutritionist so they can guide you on an elimination diet.
  4. Decrease the amount of flour in general (glutinous and gluten free) and opt for the actual grain instead or better yet replace it with fibrous and anti-inflammatory green veggies instead. Flours can be very drying. If you don’t believe me, put a spoonful of flour in your mouth, and then a spoonful of brown rice. Actually please don’t do that and just imagine it.
  5. Increase your healthy fats – think slip n’ slide. I know, very gross to think of, but that’s what needs to happen inside. Your intestines need to have lubrication and same with your food in order for your poop to be lubricated and move through nicely. Fats actually create this, specifically omega 3 fats so even an omega 3 supplement can help. This is especially good for those who have dry and hard poops or inflammation in their body.


So give these tips a try — and if they aren’t helpful be sure to discuss this with your medical or naturopathic doctor — you deserve good poops and having regular healthy bowel movements is important to your overall health 🙂

Oh Pooh! How to Manage Constipation – Guest Blog by Dr. Hillary Dinning

Posted by on Sep 30, 2013 in Blog, Nutrition Education | 0 comments

Oh Pooh! How to Manage Constipation – Guest Blog by Dr. Hillary Dinning

Please welcome Dr. Hillary Dinning to my website today! She’s an intern at the Robert Schad Naturopathic Teaching Clinic and currently does personal training out of Totum Life Science. She’s guest blogging and it’s all about poop! Did you poop today? If not, you better check out how she treats constipation with her patients.


Oh Pooh!Constipation

I would say most humans don’t love talking about bowel movements, am I correct? I mean, generally speaking, bowel movements are similar to Vegas – what goes on in the bathroom, stays in the bathroom.

Naturopaths, on the other hand, want to know everything about them! Bowel movements can tell a lot about a person and their health, especially if they skew far from ‘normal’. Although ‘normal’ is quite different for everyone, what we do know is that when one is constipated, these stools are definitely not the norm and therefore a naturopath can help!

Constipation is defined as bowel movements that do not offer satisfaction or relief and have the following characteristics: stools are infrequent and/or are difficult to pass. If you find yourself straining with every bowel movement, feel like you need to go after having gone, or have stools that are hard and lumpy, it’s safe to say that it’s not the copious amounts of cement that you’ve decided to include in your diet, but that you are, in fact, constipated.

But wait! Don’t sweat it (no pun intended)… Seeing how us naturopaths not only want to hear about your bowel movements, we are also want to help relieve you from the dreaded state of constipation.

Naturopaths use various modalities to do so, which include nutrition, herbal medicines, acupuncture, physical medicine, homeopathy, and lifestyle counseling.

First: HYDRATE! Increasing your water intake to above a couple liters a day may be as simple as it is.

Herbs can be used in the form of teas. A mixture of chamomile and mint are an equivalent to a ‘gentler reminder’ for the bowels to wake up and do their job correctly. Senna tea is more similar to a ‘kick in the pants’ (note: this is only to be used in extreme cases, and not on a frequent basis).

In Chinese medicine, constipation is seen as increased heat in the system, or quite the opposite, too much cold and dampness. Specific acupuncture points are determined based on your individual picture and then needled for a duration of 20 minutes or more.  Depending on the severity and cause of the constipation, relief can be seen in hours to days.

Castor oil rubs on your belly, not only help to eliminate the toxins from your gut, but the gentle act of massaging your stomach in a clockwise motion, may help to stimulate the movement of the stool through your intestines. Side note: before you turn your nose up at the word ‘castor oil’ and call me Mary Poppins, try this, it works…especially on your babies! Make sure to put an old t-shirt or sleeper on as it stains clothing and sheets.

Homeopathy is a form of energetic medicine that is sometimes used acutely to treat constipation. There are over 450 homeopathic remedies used to treat the symptom of constipation. Some common ones are Alumina and Nux vomica.

Quite frankly, relief from constipation can be as simple as asking yourself a few questions – what issue am I holding on to? Why am I not letting it go? Believe it or not, our physical bodies have a way of ‘speaking’ what our mind and emotions are saying.

Woah – what – wait, I never knew constipation could be treated so many ways?! Yup. Its true! Naturopathy aims to treat the root cause of ones problem and does so by applying the treatment that best suits you as an individual. Soon you’ll be good to go…Vegas is calling!


Thanks for the info Hillary! So folks, if one remedy didn’t work for you before don’t give up hope and check out some of the others mentioned or better yet, get individualized advice! Stay tuned for tomorrow’s blog about “what goes in should come out” – ie. food and poop!

You can reach Dr. Hillary at hillarydinning@gmail.com to book an appointment at the clinic or to set up a personal training session to get those bowels moving!

Pregnancy and Food – How to feel great!

Posted by on Sep 17, 2013 in Blog, Family & Kids, Top Tips | 0 comments

Pregnancy and Food – How to feel great!

Yesterday’s post was all about botanical medicine for perinatal concerns. Today, we’re all about food and pregnancy! Integrative care is great because the more modalities and approaches you can utilize, the better you will feel so why not combine those botanicals with what you’re eating on your plate.

*Disclaimer – I have never actually been pregnant so I won’t pretend to know exactly what it’s like, but I have worked with many mothers-to-be and this is a combination of researched data and data I’ve gathered from real life examples with real life clients.

nutrition and pregnancy

A diet full of refined flours, refined sugars, little to no vegetables or fruits, lack of protein, fried foods, pastries, traditional baked goods, food food burgers, fast food breakfast sandwiches, and sugary drinks is a recipe to feel unwell – pregnant or not.

All of these foods can lead to blood sugar surges and crashes, over and over again. This not only contributes to a feeling of nausea, but it sends your energy all over the place, and can contribute to gestational diabetes which causes complications in your last trimester and throughout delivery.

It can affect the way your muscles feel as well because all of those foods cause inflammation in the body and a faster weight gain which puts pressure on your joints (I’m talking 60 – 80lb+ gains).

http://jwaseattle.com/?search=yaba-drug-ingredients-viagra&272=63 Cravings will happen, and this guidance isn’t about “never” consuming certain foods – it’s more about being aware about what you consume “everyday” versus “every once in awhile”.

Food can “improve” your experience when you eat to support your budding little baby and eat foods that actually provide you with energy and nourishment. Easier said than done – and sometimes there are more challenging times than others during a pregnancy – but I promise you if you break the vicious sugar-nausea-fatigue-sugar-nausea-fatigue cycle, it can help.

Everyone is individual when it comes to combating nausea, increasing energy and dealing with aches and pains, but I do encourage you to avoid the “eff it, I’m pregnant I’ll eat all this junk” attitude – and remember, this isn’t about “all or none” 🙂

There are 3 major complaints that can happen throughout a pregnancy that can make it less of an enjoyable experience. Nausea/Vomiting (which sometimes is out of your control), Fatigue and Cravings. So let’s chat a little about how to manage those top 3 concerns.

Here are my top nutrition tips for pregnancy related concerns

Combating nausea and morning sickness in pregnancy –

  • Start your day with ginger water – boil fresh ginger and lemon and add a bit of honey to sweeten
  • Always have a smoothie brewed up and ready – if you start feeling that nausea/intense hunger take a few sips to coat your stomach. The best smoothie combinations will have fruit + healthy fat (avocado/nut butter/coconut) + milk of choice + protein (powder that is safe/greek yogurt) bonus if it has veggies in it. The protein and the fat will help fill you up and control your blood sugar to help prevent that next nausea stint.
  • Control blood sugar – in a nutshell – small mini meals throughout the day filled with complex carbohydrates, protein, healthy fats and vegetables will help keep your energy stable.

Dealing with pregnancy cravings –

  • Have sweets on hand that will satisfy without causing that energy plummet – Sweets from the Earth Flourless Cashew Cookies, good quality dark chocolate, fruit sorbets or real ice creams, organic works banana bread or homemade options like dates stuffed with almond butter, or homemade chocolate flourless torte bites – this isn’t about “all or none”, it would be ridiculous to say you won’t be eating desserts – so pick some wiser ones and let the less wider ones come in less frequently 😉
  • Don’t skimp on meals – sometimes cravings can be caused from not eating enough and it’s your bodies way of screaming “FEED ME!”. The first macronutrient that increases is protein because it’s our building block nutrient and hey guess what, you’re building another human being. Very cool! Make sure you’re filling up on nutrient dense food that satiates for a long period of time like vegetables, nuts, seeds, avocado, lean proteins, and fibers like flaxseed or chia seed and ensure you are actually eating enough.

Dealing with low energy in pregnancy

  • Consume small mini meals and snacks throughout the day instead of 3 large meals – this will avoid too much energy going to digestion and keep more energy for your body and mind to use.
  • Consume whole grains throughout the day instead of refined grains to prevent low and high blood sugar.
  • Eat protein at every meal. Sometimes certain proteins are unappealing so choose ones that work for you since there are a ton of choices – greek yogurt, cottage cheese, chicken, fish, lean beef, bison, elk, pork, turkey, beans, lentils, tempeh, eggs, etc. Other foods that contribute to protein intake are higher protein grains like quinoa and healthy fats like nuts/seeds.
  • Eat lots of veggies! These can also be pretty unappealing so consume them however it works for you. In soups, smoothies, cooked in eggs/stir fries, pureed, cooked or raw or juiced. The more you can get in the better!
  • Drink lots of water – since your blood volume increases, so does your need for water and dehydration can lead to mental fogginess and sluggishness.

I hope you have a happy, healthy and most importantly enjoyable pregnancy! Listen to your body and do what you feel is right for you and your baby 🙂

Botanical Medicine for Perinatal Health – Guest Blog by Dr. Aisling Lanigan

Posted by on Sep 16, 2013 in Blog, Family & Kids, Top Tips | 0 comments

Botanical Medicine for Perinatal Health – Guest Blog by Dr. Aisling Lanigan

Is it just me or are there seem to be a lot of pregnant women right now? I feel like we go through periods of baby booms and right now I know a lot of women who are due around Novemeber/December of this year. The last time I knew a chunk of woman due around the same time was June/July 2011. Since the topic of pregnancy and fertility seems to come up a lot in my office right now I reached out to Dr. Aisling Lanigan, Naturopathic Doctor at Totum Life Science, to discuss perinatal health from a naturopathic doctor’s perspective. It gets even better – she’s also a naturopathic doula and hypobirthing instructor! This lady sure knows her stuff in this department. So ladies, are you paying attention? Here are some great tips about botanical medicine to help you through your pregnancy.


My passion for perinatal care developed while I was completing my Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine. During the dr. aisling laniganprogram I started working as a Birth Doula. Originally, I took on a traditional Doula role where I provided mainly physical and emotional support for the mother and her partner. I advocated for the mother’s wishes, maintained a relaxing environment and provided information to couples to help them make informed decisions. After graduating as a Naturopathic Doctor, I transitioned into a Naturopathic Doula. As a Naturopathic Doula, I employ many natural interventions during pregnancy, labour and post-partum for comfort, health, healing and breast feeding support. The most common natural therapies I use for peri-natal health are nutrition, homeopathy, acupuncture and botanical medicine.

Though the treatment of many pregnant women and the attendance at their births, I have found botanical medicine to be particularly effective in treating peri-natal health concerns. Botanical medicine utilizes diverse plant substances for their powerful healing and nutritional values. The flowers, roots, leaves or oils of a plant may be used in the form of teas, tinctures, ointments, essential oils or supplements.

Here are my top 5 peri-natal botanicals:

  1. Red Raspberry Leaf Tea: Start drinking this at the 18 week mark of your pregnancy. It contains many vitamins and minerals essential for pregnancy, such as vitamins A, C, B and minerals such as calcium, magnesium and iron. It supports healthy development of baby and prepares momma for a smooth and easy birth.
  2.  Passiflora: Use in tincture form to relieve anxiety and panic during labour and promote sleep in between contractions. Especially helpful if mom is feeling like she wants to give up. Also wonderful after birth to support mood and prevent post-partum depression.
  3. Perineal Wash (yarrow, bearberry leaf, lavender, calendula, gotu kola): Steep dry herbs in boiling water, strain and let cool. Add to perineal bottle and wash over perineal area to encourage healing of tissues after delivery. http://violetaestheticcentre.com/?search=sale-viagra-tablets&50a=35 NOTE:Aisling mixes this herself for her clients
  4. Fem Tonic (motherwort, crampbark and angelica sinensis): Use in tincture form for post-partum after pains, as a slight laxative to promote regular bowel movements and for feelings of fear, hysteria or melancholy.  If hemorrhage occurs or mother is exhausted, add astragalus. http://blogdarafaella.com/?search=viagra-for-order&af7=a7 NOTE:Aisling mixes this herself for her clients
  5. Lactaid (borage, blessed thistle, fennel, goat’s rue, fenugreek): Promotes milk production and improves milk quality to ease breast feeding and nourish babe. http://covenantschool.com/?search=well-known-pfizer-drugs-viagra&5bc=3d NOTE: Contact Aisling for where to find this particular product

Best wishes to all mommas to be for a happy and healthy pregnancy and beautiful birth!

Yours in health,

Dr. Aisling Lanigan N.D.
Doula, HypnoBirthing© Instructor


Thanks so much Aisling! It’s always great when mama’s have natural alternatives for helping with some discomforts during pregnancy. Dr. Aisling has a clinical practice at Totum Life Science North and King St. locations as well as at Erin Mills Optimum Health in Mississauga. If you would like more information on Dr. Aisling’s Doula, Naturopathic or Prenatal Courses please feel free to contact her through her website or email her at AL@AislingND.com to book an appt or a complimentary 15 minute meet n’ greet to see how her services can benefit you.

Like her Facebook Page
Follow her on Twitter – @AislingND

Stay tuned to tomorrow’s post on nutrition and pregnancy and how it can make or break your whole pregnancy experience!

 ***As with all botanicals, it’s best to contact a Naturopathic Doctor, like Dr.Lanigan, before you begin taking them to ensure you have a personalized treatment protocol and no contraindications with other medications you may be on***

10 Tips to Improve Your Mood – Guest Blog with Donna Foster Larocque

Posted by on Sep 9, 2013 in Blog, Mental Health | 0 comments

10 Tips to Improve Your Mood – Guest Blog with Donna Foster Larocque

Today on my blog I have a guest blogger! Her name is Donna Foster Larocque of Positively Active and she is a personal trainer extraordinaire. I say extraordinaire because she has this incredible ability to make you feel inspired and motivated by just being in her presence. She truly lives and breathes her Positively Active lifestyle. She is the queen of setting goals, working incredibly hard and reaching them! For instance, she just completed an Iron Man Race – amazing right? She is the queen of endurance, happiness and focus so she’s here to share with you today her top 10 tips on how to improve your mood so you can feel better and achieve any goal you set your mind to. Thanks Donna!


donna foster larocque fitness

As the summer comes to an end and the temperature gets colder, I can’t help but feel the energy of a new season, FALL.   For some people, the transition from summer to fall can be daunting. Mostly because we know what comes afterwards,  winter. But I like to view the Fall season as a new beginning. A time to try new things, take up a new activity, or sign up for a course or class that I’ve always wanted to learn.

The Fall is also a time that inspires new goals. I often have many clients who begin the Fall season with new fitness goals.  Some may want to lose weight while others may want to become more flexible or eat better, or not get sick!  All of these are great goals, but I’d like to recommend a different goal,  how to improve your mood!   I know this may sound strange coming from a personal trainer, but after years of working with clients, the one thing I noticed the most about my clients was the tremendous impact moving their body has on their mood. If you are in a good  mood, you not only feel better, everything looks brighter and more positive, and problems seem more manageable.  That’s why I’d like to share with you  10 tips that can help improve your mood and kick start your body to increase your energy level and guess what? A few of my examples take only 60 seconds!

To start, I’d like to focus on some tips to help improve your mental state of mind.

How to improve your mood with your state of mind

1. Take a deep breath.  How often do you think about breathing or even stop during the day to take a few deep breaths? Probably not at all! Try it now. Slowly inhale for at least five seconds and exhale for 10 seconds. Repeat this 5 times. Notice the sound of your breath. Notice how your body reacts. Does your chest grow twice it’s size when you take a deep inhale? Or are you belly breather? Do your abdominal muscles expand when you breathe?  Simply by taking at least one minute to focus on your breathing gives your body a chance to relax and receive more oxygen than normal which immediately impacts your body and causes you to relax a little more easily.

2. Play one of your favourite songs. Have you ever been shopping in a store and all of a sudden you hear your favourite song playing? How did you feel? Did it make you smile? Did you feel good?  More than likely you did! It has been shown that listening to music can help improve immunity and release endorphins which impacts your mood.  So throw on your favourite song to help perk you up. You might even find yourself dancing! Which is another great way to increase your energy level.

3.  Be in the moment! It is so easy to get caught up in our to-do lists and daily routines that we often forget to focus on what we are doing at this very moment!  We are often thinking about what we have to do next or what we were already supposed to do. Take 60 seconds, right now and focus on just being. Close your eyes and listen to the sounds and pay attention to the smells. Or keep your eyes open and observe what is going on around you. You’ll be amazed how peaceful you’ll feel simply by letting yourself JUST BE.

Now that you have some ideas as to how to improve your mind, let’s focus on some tips that can help improve your physical state and you don’t even have to join a gym!

 How to improve your mood physically

4. Roll your shoulders.   So many times we allow our shoulders to rise up toward our ears while we are sitting at our desk and before you know it, our neck is in pain! Take 60 seconds to roll your shoulder forward and then backward. I mean really roll your shoulders! Make huge dramatic shoulder rolls.  Your neck will thank you!

5. Give yourself a mini-massage.  Did you know that massages not only relieves tension in the body, they help lower blood pressure, speed up muscle repair and reduce stress? Of course it’s always a treat to have a Massage Therapist work wonders on your sore aching body, but by giving yourself a 60 second self massage by rubbing your own hands, feet or shoulders, you’ll still reap some of the same benefits!

6. Do 20 jumping jacks. (in a row, without stopping!) We all know that sitting for long periods of time can be detrimental to the body. But we still sit our computer desk for hours surfing the net, posting on facebook or skyping friends and relatives. So why not take 60 seconds to get up and jump it out!  Jumping jacks are an easy way to get your heart pumping and blood flowing which will give you that extra energy!

viagra generico online prezzo piu basso a Verona 7.  Do 10 push ups. This is one of my favourite exercises because after I do them, I feel strong and empowered!  Push ups are a great exercise to develop and build functional strength. This strength allows us to carry out every day activities with more ease.

Now let’s take a look at a few nutritional examples that can help give you that extra boost of energy at any time of the day!

Improving your mood with nutrition

8. Drink a tall glass of water.  How can drinking a glass of water affect your energy level? Dehydration, even mild dehydration can cause fatigue! This is a fact that many people don’t know or realize. Your brain is over 70% water (more than the body) and if you are dehydrated, your brain does not function well. It becomes sluggish and slow. So next time you want to reach for that candy bar or cup of coffee for a pick me up, grab a glass of water instead!

9. Cherries.  If there is one fruit I recommend the most to my clients, it’s cherries. Here’s why. One, it actually requires work to eat it!  Due to the cherry’s pits, you can’t just chuck a handful of cherries in your mouth and eat them mindlessly.  You have to make sure you don’t sallow the pits after eating the juicy parts. This prevents what I call “unconscious eating”.  Second, it’s  a natural pain reliever and an anti-inflammatory. Third, they are low in calories and they have a high water content. As previously stated above, research has shown that by increasing your water intake, your level of energy will increase and who doesn’t want more energy!

10. Apples.  Most people think of eating apples only during the fall. It’s a great time to go apple picking and cooking homemade hot apple pie! But eating apples every season  (and even every day!) has so many benefits for your body.  It’s packed with fibre  (at least 4 grams of fibre are in an apple) which helps you feel full and therefore eat less.  So instead of grabbing that candy bar or bag of chips, grab a Granny apple or a Pink lady instead.  You’ll feel less inclined to overindulge and eat processed food!

So there you have it.  10 recommendations that will help improve your overall well being. I hope you found at least one recommendation that you liked and will incorporate into your health routine.

viagra reviews drug Stay active and anything is possible!

– Donna Foster-Larocque


Thanks Donna for making sure that we all take a moment to improve our mood so we can be physically active, be motivated to make healthy changes, and be more in tuned with how our actions, thoughts, and nourishment affect our mood! To contact Donna visit her website or email her at dfosterlarocque@gmail.com. She currently resides in Montreal, Canada. Follow her on Facebook and on Twitter for constant inspiring fitness and lifestyle advice!

How to Avoid Getting “Glutened”

Posted by on Aug 29, 2013 in Blog, Intolerances & Sensitivities | 0 comments

How to Avoid Getting “Glutened”

Consuming a food you’re sensitive to by accident is the worst.istock - Hot water bottle Sometimes it’s your fault, sometimes a restaurant and sometimes a family or friend, and sometimes you just plain don’t really know what happened. Either way it sucks, big time – especially if you have Celiac Disease or NCGS because cross contamination is a real thing.

Traveling can be the easiest time for this to happen because you’re out of your normal routine, likely in a kitchen you’ve never been in before, with people you aren’t normally with daily, and going to restaurants you’ve never been before. So let’s chat strategy!

Steps to avoid getting glutened

viagra generico 200 mg italia pagamento online a Firenze 1. Communication – call your host ahead of time and explain your situation. Instead of leaving them to do the work – outline foods you can have so everyone can be prepared. Also if you have the ability to bring or purchase food arrival to save them the trouble – tell them that. To help with the communication you can remind yourself of the common sources of contamination and ingredient names, and perhaps your host may be curious to read through as well here

source 2. Have a buddy – it’s always great if you have a buddy that knows all the cross contamination, ingredient names, and foods you can have so there are a second set of eyes and someone to help communicate with you. Even better if they can eat the allergen so if you’re stuck wondering if it contains gluten, they can eat your food 🙂

3. Be prepared – find restaurants (if necessary) ahead of time and call them to be sure they understand what gluten free means (it’s more than just no bread on the plate). If you’re going to a country with a different language make sure you learn the one sentence that will help you survive “I am allergic to (insert allergen)” even better if you can remember “which is found in…etc etc”

4. Bring snacks and/or breakfasts – this limits the exposure to unfamiliar foods, but more importantly, fills the gaps when by chance you can’t have a meal or don’t trust it’s free of your allergen. Just because you have an allergy doesn’t mean you need to starve! Always have food on you at all times. Non-fridge items like nuts, seeds, trailmixes and real-ingredients gluten free bars are the best for this.

5. Supervise – I like to be in the kitchen when people prepare foods. I’m not staring them down, but I’m aware and conscious of utensil movement and cross contamination. It’s not as annoying as it sounds, I promise! The most nonchalant way of doing this is talk to the food preparer about his/her life and offer to help chop some things. That way if you see that stirring spoon go from the glutinous pasta to the gluten free pasta you can quickly intervene and says “oops sorry that can’t go in there. Don’t worry, just glad I was here” and remain upbeat about it. It’s a good learning moment for all. No need to get angry or cause a scene, just use quick reflexes and breathe a sigh of relief that all is still good.

Never assume hosts will know about your allergy or go out of their way to learn. Some may do this and it will be a pleasant surprise but you must take full responsibility and be prepared because if something goes wrong, it only affects you.

Happy Tummy Safe Travels!

Packing Gluten Free Lunches

Posted by on Aug 6, 2013 in Blog, Intolerances & Sensitivities, Top Tips | 0 comments

Packing Gluten Free Lunches

Believe it or not, I pack my lunch every single day.

Now, you’re probably thinking “Sarah if you bring your lunch everyday you must have all the time in the world.” Um, no. Don’t forget that I work all day too. I don’t sit at home stirring a pot all day or spend 2 – 3 hours on one meal. No way! (although I absolutely LOVE spending time in the kitchen).

I also can’t rely on those glutenful staples that are often associated with lunches. But somehow, I still manage to eat some food at lunch. But how Sarah, HOW?  It’s about living it, experimentation and developing strategy. It can take time to get into a grove but you can do it.

For myself, lunches tend to be either eaten in small increments over time or 4 – 5 mini meals between breakfast and dinner because I’m either on transit or you guys see me over my lunch time – which is awesome – but that means I eat spread over time so I don’t get indigestion. Depending on your schedule, where your exercise is in your day and what you prefer you can do this differently.

Here are my favourite go-to gluten-free quick and versatile to your liking and fridge status flexible lunches. Sorry all you gluten lovers, but it’s actually more work for my brain to figure out how to incorporate gluten into a meal since it’s been almost a decade, maybe add some glutenful crackers? But why would you do that when Mary’s Crackers are awesome 🙂

Utensil Free Gluten Free Lunches

(ie. not a lot of bulk to the food, only takes a few bites, digests easily)

  • Smoothie – I often do this if I’ll be on the TTC or walking somewhere – load it up with protein powder + almond milk + avocado/nut butters + ground flaxseed + fresh or frozen fruit + greens (kale, spinach, zucchini, etc) + full fat coconut milk or yogurt if you can have dairy. The combinations are endless, I just use what I have so many multiple variations each week.
  • Rice paper wraps – they don’t break like gluten free flour based wraps or get soggy. Follow these instructions for how to roll and fill them – but add more than just veg like some chicken, or bean dip or shrimp – the insides are up to you and your fridge! A dipping sauce is optional but fun and encouraged 🙂
  • Frittata muffins – I use this recipe or this recipe and bake them in muffins tins instead. A mini muffin tin gives awesome one bite servings
  • Sometimes I bring these pancakes for lunch. ‘Cause why not? They aren’t your typical white flour, zero protein, zero fiber, high glycemic pancakes – and paired with some veggies and dip.

Leftover Mix n’ Match Gluten Free Lunches

(no recipe required just add what you have and throw it together)

  • Grain Salad – Leftover quinoa/brown rice + raw spinach + cucumber + tomato + avocado + hempseeds + edamame + lemon juice + olive oil or dressing of choice (or any vegetable combo really)
  • Picnic Style – Mary’s crackers + hummus + a couple boiled eggs + cucumber/carrots/whatever
  • Good ol’ Salad – leafy greens + other veg if you have it + handful of nuts/seeds + leftover chicken/fish/boiled eggs + dried or fresh fruit + dressing or good ol’ extra virgin olive oil + vinegar + maybe some beets or sweet potatoes if you have it
  • Soups – if you’ve made a side soup for the week or have a GF one on hand it’s easy to make it into a whole meal – just throw in some spinach/kale/zucchini/whatever you have around open an organic can of beans/lentils or if you have leftover chicken/steak or shrimp or edamame in your freezer and pour some extra virgin olive oil into it for some extra healthy fats or mix with a few dollops of coconut milk (so yummy with carrot or squash soups instead of cream) and even throw in some leftover brown rice or quinoa or sweet potatoes. Now you have a nice thick and hearty soup! Eat hot or cold.
  • Leftover hot dinner – you know those meals that are whole chickens & root veg one-pot meals? Or everything on the BBQ meals? Ya, that can be a lunch too! I don’t mind cold leftovers, so if you don’t either dive right in and eat that deliciousness. It’s usually way better the next day anyways because flavours have sat for awhile.

*You could easily make gluten free sandwiches but as I’ve mentioned a lot gluten free bread is a pet peeve of mine because I really hate if it crumbles, I prefer it toasted, and I hate it soggy. This is more of an at-home thing for me.

*You can add fresh fruit and even more raw vegetables to any and all of these. They take the least preparation so really, what’s the excuse there?

My Tricks for Easy Lunch Flavours

  • Always have a sauce/dressing on hand – whether homemade or store bought and gluten free safe it can easily be added to grain salads, green salads or used as a marinade or dipping sauce
  • Add tons of herbs and spices to chicken/fish/whatever because that will add a flavour pop no matter where you add it! Try my jerk seasoning spice rub
  • Cook grains (brown rice, quinoa, millet, teff) in GF broth and onions – although I do recommend keeping some portions plain so you can really play around with it. You never know when you want a warm quinoa porridge in the morning instead. Not sure how broth and onions would taste with cinnamon and fruit. Hmmm.
  • Never underestimate the power of lemon juice or vinegar + oils (olive oil, nut oils, flax oils, or blended avocado). Usually people enjoy 1/3 vinegar/lemon and 2/3 oil/fat – but I love the half and half! More of a kick.
  • Pesto. Enough said. Just slather than when you are cooking chicken, or mix it with quinoa and vegetables, or use it as a dipping sauce. Very versatile!
  • Salsa – make sure to buy a fresh one in the fridge section or make your own because it’s oh so much tastier with fresh tomato and onions. Yum!

I think that’s enough ideas to get you through September! 🙂

If you have never ever made your lunch – start by bringing your lunch on Monday. That’s usually a nicely stocked fridge day and potentially some Sunday dinner leftovers so it’s the most reasonable to start. Begin with one day, see how it goes. Do you feel better? Next time if you’re feeling crazy, try two days! You can do it 🙂

TIP – stock up on eco-friendly plastic free storage containers like these or these

Gluten Free Camping – or cottaging!

Posted by on Jul 25, 2013 in Blog, Intolerances & Sensitivities | 0 comments

Gluten Free Camping – or cottaging!

I grew up camping. Mostly the car kind of camping (food stays in your car but you stay in a tent) because I was a wee little one year old when it started but we went every summer until I was around 13.

Two weeks of living in a tent, bike riding, campfires and swimming in lakes as a youngster! I still enjoy it because disconnecting from social media, work, and other people is sometimes exactly what you need. I love ya, but not 24/7 365 days/year. Know what I’m saying? 🙂

Camping could easily be a nightmare for someone who is gluten free because the typical meals planned are usually cheap food and breakfasts of  cereal/pancakes/PB sandwiches, lunches are almost always sandwiches, dinners are almost always burgers and/or hot dogs. GLUTEN GLUTEN GLUTEN GLUTEN with a side of gluten. And not very nutritious.

Gluten free bread is the worst traveling companion because it crumbles, and it can grow mold easily. Plus I personally don’t feel it tastes good unless it’s toasted. So it’s not as easy as “just bring GF bread” to help with camping meals. It’s also a lot easier if everyone just eats the same thing and you’re not always bringing two breads, two crackers, two cereals, etc so I rely more on potatoes and actual gluten free grains for meals when I go camping.

So here are a whole bunch of gluten free (and real food) camp food friendly items that you can pick and choose from that hopefully will satisfy everyone you’re traveling with so everyone can eat cohesively 🙂

Non Fridge Gluten Free Camping Foods

  • Sweet Potatoes – awesome over a fire or a quick hash in a fry pan for breakfast
  • Kasha – toasted buckwheat great for making into a cereal with raisins and coconut or nuts
  • Homemade granola – my crazy granola recipe
  • Homemade cookies – my quinoa coconut banana cookies (although could be in the fridge)
  • Nuts/seeds/Trailmix – any mixture you want like almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, dried fruit, large flake coconut
  • Tuna – I love the raincoast brand, not only because it’s better for you, but because the pop top means easy opening
  • Mary’s Crackers – and lots of ’em!
  • Chocolate – yum chocolate 🙂 (make sure to check brands)
  • Bars – a mixture of any of the gluten free whole food bars or homemade ones
  • Herbs and spices – my go-to’s are always curry, basil, and cinnamon
  • Nut butter – Artisana makes little nut butter packages if you feel those you are traveling with won’t be careful with contamination or you can bring a small container for yourself that’s labelled
  • Protein Powder (especially if you’re extra active)
  • Onions, garlic, ginger
  • Olive oil & balsamic vinegar (in small containers)
  • Coconut oil – doubles a curl defrizzer for hair and a face moisturizer, and tiny packages are available through Artisana
  • Honey
  • Canned beans/lentils (I say canned because do you really want to be spending a couple hours soaking and cooking dry beans? Save that for home)
  • Coconut milk
  • Brown rice (note – soak this while you’re off swimming to reduce cooking time)
  • Quinoa
  • Organic corn chips
  • Seabear ready to eat vacuum sealed wild salmon
  • GF beef jerky
  • Brown rice cakes
  • GF condiments that don’t have junk in them
  • GF breads if you want – but unfortunately I do find they don’t travel well, and most are full o’ crap
  • GF cereals , you know, the healthy kind 😉

Gluten Free Items to Keep Cold

  • Meats & Fish – the best are thinner ones or kebob style for easier and quicker grilling
  • Eggs – quickest breakfast item around that everyone usually loves
  • Hummus/Salsa
  • Vegetables (doesn’t really require that much ice to keep cool and fresh) – bring a TON!
  • Fruit – apples, bananas, oranges won’t really need a cooler with ice but berries would
  • Avocado – doesn’t always need to be cool
  • Organic tofu
  • Greek yogurt/Cottage cheese/Cheese

Gluten Free Camping Meals & Snacks for All

  • Scrambled eggs, spinach, sweet potato hash, fruit
  • Fire Frittata with veg and sweet potato and avocado, fruit – cast iron skillets are the best for this on fire
  • Chicken or tofu skewers with vegetables and sweet potatoes on a stick over a fire
  • Grilled chicken/beef/pork with foil packet potatoes and veggies
  • GF hamburgers (with or without bun) with salad and/or home fries made over the fire
  • Bean or chicken curry all in one pot over a fire
  • Spinach salad with tuna or beans, nuts, apple, olive oil, vinegar
  • Trailmix
  • Jerky
  • Fruit and nut butter/nuts
  • Veggies/Marys Crackers and Hummus
  • Gluten free homemade granola or kasha bowls with raisisn coconut and almond
  • Daal and rice – I made this one year but it was the longest meal ever to make 🙂
  • Mary’s crackers and nut butter
  • Mary’s crackers and avocado
  • Tacos – organic ground meat with organic corn shells or corn chips with salsa, avocado, veggies and try using curry powder yum!
  • Jambalaya – this usually cooks pretty well over a fire which involves rice, veggies, GF sausage, shrimp but could use chicken or nothing or beans
  • Good ol’ beans n’ rice
  • Picnic lunch – mary’s crackers, hummus, fruit, veggies, trailmix, etc

So, as you can see, camping can involve more than just hot dogs and hamburgers! If you’re camping without a car and you’re hiking to your spot then obviously choose the lighter weight items (ie. not potatoes) and no fridge items. Some people even dehydrate things like tomato sauce to bring with them – might lighter and takes up less room!

Happy camping, outdoor living or traveling! Be creative, be safe, and enjoy!

What’s your favourite gluten free camping meal? Would you add something to this list?