Turn the Worry off and Eat Mindfully.

As a holistic nutritionist and self experimentation addict, I have tried so many different ways of eating. This is where it’s gotten me.

In my past I have worried incessantly about sugar. I have worried about buying conventional grapes over organic when I know organic is better. I have worried about not taking the plunge into eating 100% gluten free with my kids. I’ve worried about eating pizza when I should be eating a salad. Then there was that year and a half when I went vegan and worried about eating cheese. Then I was vegetarian and worried about eating meat. My worry even went as far as to worry about eating cooked food when I went “raw”! It’s insane!

Today I am convinced that worrying about your food hurts more than whatever food you are about to eat. I don’t worry about anything I eat anymore. Ever. I bless it and I enjoy it. If I had to label the way I eat today, I would say that I eat mindfully. I listen to my body and eat accordingly.

The number one thing our bodies need is water. We all wake up dehydrated due to air exchange during the night. So, when I wake up I drink 2 glasses of water with either lemon or apple cider vinegar squeezed in. Both are alkalizing and detoxifying. Then I drink plenty of water throughout the day, with lemon or ACV occasionally (about ¼ cup total).


Once your body is well hydrated, choosing the right food becomes a lot easier. Your intuition will start to control your eating. For instance, I used to eat a lot of chocolate. But once I took care of my hydration, I would find myself reaching for the chocolate out of habit and not because I actually wanted any. It didn’t take long before I stopped reaching for it all the time, and saying no was easy.

However, when the kids have me stressed out and I need a moment to myself, I’ll grab a piece of chocolate, pop it into my mouth, close my eyes, and relax for 30 seconds. I use this moment as a quick grounding ritual. I close my eyes and set the intention to connect to my higher self and God. I breathe in love and peace and ask for the patience to respond to my children with love. I come out of it a lot better than I went in, and I’m a much better parent for this little ritual.

In general, I eat more fruit, vegetables, and protein than carbs. We drink green juice in the mornings and follow that up with protein powder later on. Then we eat lunch and then dinner. We don’t usually eat dessert, but I went through a phase in the summer where I ate ice cream every night! And then, one night, I didn’t want it anymore. My body needed to detoxify from the dairy, and I listened.

When you have a treat, eat it mindfully with joy. Know that it is exactly what your body and soul need at that moment! Eating with joy is probably the most important thing next to water. And when it doesn’t bring you joy anymore, then stop, as I stopped eating ice cream.

I set the intention every day to eat foods that heal my body and soul, and ask Archangel Raphael for help in breaking bad habits. I ask my body what it needs, and more often than not the answer is water. Ask your body questions and then wait for the answer. You may think the answer or feel the answer, but if you ask a question, know that the answer will be given. Look for it.

Angel Prayer: “Archangel Raphael, I ask that you guide me to foods that nourish my mind, body, and soul. I ask that you help me to incorporate movement into my day and that you help me to stay hydrated. And so it is!”

After you ask for guidance, be sure to listen for those subtle hints during the day. When you have a thought that pops into your head that you should drink some water, drink some water! If you feel that you should have a salad for lunch rather than your usual burger and fries, listen! Start to pay attention to your body, ask it what it needs, and then listen for the answer. Drink plenty of water and above all, enjoy your food!

People Say Some Pretty Unbelieveable Things…

There are many things that get me fired up about parenting and the nutrition aspect is probably my hottest button.  I cannot believe a pregnant woman actually wrote this:

“Whats the point of giving him/her a few months of organic homemade pureed baby food, when in a year he’s gonna be eating Kraft Mac N Cheese anyway?”

I’m sorry, is your baby going off to college when he’s one year old?  Babies will only eat Kraft Mac N Cheese if you make it for them!  This is insane.  It brings me back to my waitressing days when a couple with a barely 1-year old asked for french fries at 7am because “it’s the only thing he will eat.”  Way to be good parents! Whose fault is that?

And yes, there is a point of feeding a baby organic homemade pureed baby food:  It’s cheaper, more nutritious, tastes better, comes complete with enzymes for digestion, and it’s not full of artificial colours, flavours, or preservatives. Anything that sits on a shelf with no refrigeration for months is not going in my baby’s mouth. No, I will not prepare my baby’s food for the sole purpose of bragging rights; so I can be that bitch at mommy and me who thinks she’s better than everyone else.  No, I will prepare my baby’s food because I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I understand that people are busy and they’re looking for the magic bullet that gets food on the table without any work on their part, but how much effort does it take to blend some carrots or mash some peas?

Green Juice Feast Day


Well I certainly didn’t plan on a juice feasting day, but that is what seems to be what’s happened.  It’s time to kick this fight against my sinus infection into high gear anyway.  Bring on the greens!

This morning, Yuri made over 2 L of green juice to take to U of T Soccer Training Camp.  However, the green juice didn’t make it to training camp.  I ended up drinking at least 1 L and it was so good that I just made another Liter!  It is just amazing how much nutrition you can pack into your day when you include green juices.

To top off my efforts to kill this sinus infection, I finally bought some apple cider vinegar (organic, unpasteurized, with the Mother).  If you’ve got sinus issues, get some apple cider vinegar and add 2 TBSP  to a glass of water, several times a day. You will instantly enjoy some nasal draining!  I am contemplating adding some ACV to water and throwing the mixture into my Neti pot, but I’m still working up some bravery to run vinegar through my nose!  I made the mistake of trying hydrogen peroxide in the neti pot…DON”T DO THAT IT BURNS and apparently can do some damage!  Rookie move on my part.

Today alone, I have personally consumed the juice of:

1 bunch of dill

1 bunch of parsley

1 1/2 apples

5 carrots

1 1/2 bunches of swiss chard

2 heads of celery

1 lemon

2 inches of ginger root

1/2 a cucumber

Shocking, isn’t it?  I bet I have eaten more vegetables today than most North Americans get in a week or even a month!  I am officially back on the green juice train.  This baby is going to come out green!

Here is the recipe for my new favourite juice.  Let’s call it the…

Dill-Inspired Green Juice

1 bunch dill

3 carrots

1 apple

1 bunch swiss chard

1 head of celery

2 inches of ginger root

Juice all ingredients and enjoy approx. 1L of amazing green goodness!

A Pregnant Woman’s Natural Cold Cure. It’s Your Cure too!

I am sick.  Not with morning sickness, but with a cold. The kind that sits in your throat, your nose, your head, and your ears.  The mucus is so thick and disgusting that I can barely breathe. And I can’t taste anything at all.

One of the toughest things about being pregnant is being sick.  Your immune system is slightly relaxed due to your little  angel of a parasite and little things can get you down.  In my case, I think I ate one too many toasted tomato sandwiches.  I’m sensitive to wheat, but I gave into the cravings anyway and now my body is rebelling.  Fear not body, I will be nice to you from here on in. Most of the time, anyway :).

Many people believe that whole grain bread is healthy, and while it’s better than white bread, if you’ve got a wheat sensitivity, it’s all the same.  It’s a heavily processed food, so it’s not something you should be eating every day like most North Americans do.  Toast or cereal for breakfast, a sandwich for lunch, and pizza or pasta with garlic bread for dinner ring a bell?  And it’s not just wheat that can make you sick.  If you eat too many processed foods and not enough fresh foods, you will tip the balance in favour of sickness.  Sickness is your body’s way of saying “HEY!  Give me some respect please or I’ll MAKE you!”

Now, that being said, what do you do when you get hit with a freight-train-type cold? Here is my personal, natural cold remedy.  It is good for pregnant, and non-bun-in-the-ovens alike.  This is something that everyone should do when they come down with a cold.  You don’t need to run to your pharmacy and load your self up with unnecessary drugs.

The Plan:

1. Drink plenty of water. Water helps flush out your body, and keeping it well hydrated will allow your body to get things done.  Add a bit of lemon to help flush your liver.

2. Lay off the wheat and the dairy and other processed foods. Get rid of them completely if you can at least until you feel better.  Wheat and dairy are the most common allergens and since you’re body’s immune system is already compromised, consuming these foods only hinder it further.  These foods are acidic and therefore not health promoting in the slightest.  That being said, lay off the beer too!  If you are concerned about calcium, go get yourself some kale, broccoli, and swiss chard.  Some of the world’s biggest animals are solely leaf eaters.  There’s a reason they don’t drink milk.

3. Increase your anti-oxidants. Eat plenty of colourful fruits and vegetables in their raw state.  These foods hold the building blocks that will help you overcome any sickness and build a healthy body.

4. Exercise. I know it’s hard to exercise when you feel awful, and walking from the couch to get the remote knocks the wind out of you, but you’ve got to move.  The best exercise tool I know of for this situation is the rebounder.  Lightly jog on the spot on a rebounder to get the lymphatic system moving.  Put on your favourite music and dance while jogging.  15 minutes a day is a fantastic place to be.  Have three 5-minute sessions if it’s what you need.

5. Use a neti-pot. This delightful contraption can be used in conjunction with sea salt (less than 1/4 tsp) and warm water.  You tip the water into one nostril, and tilt your head so that the water runs out the other nostril.  Daily use of a neti-pot when you are in good health will keep your body’s first line of defense (your nasal passages) free and ready to defend your body!

6. Drink ginger tea. The easiest and best way to make ginger tea is by cutting up an inch cube of ginger into small pieces, and letting it steep in a french-press (traditionally used for steeping coffee).  Ginger is not only effective in relieving morning sickness, but it has many positive effects on the digestive system.  It is useful in the treatment of colds and flu because it is an anti-inflammatory and a natural pain killer.

For those of you who are NOT pregnant, I will add taking a few drops of oil of oregano each day and eating a clove of chopped up raw garlic each day to your regime.  These are potent disease killers, but are not recommended during pregnancy.

Well, it has been 24 hours since I started taking my own advice. I can breathe, my headache is gone, my ears have very minor to no pressure in them, and my throat is clear of mucus and doesn’t hurt anymore.  I can taste my food better and by tomorrow or tonight even, I should be tasting 100% of my food.  I used the neti-pot twice yesterday and had about a liter of ginger tea.  I used the neti-pot again this morning and rebounded for 15 minutes.  So far I have eaten a banana, an apple, 2 cups of spinach, 2 large tomatoes, and plenty of water with a bit of lemon today.  Things are looking up.  As soon as reinforcements arrive, I’ll be making a green smoothie with apples, banana, greens, ginger, lemon, and water.  Yummy!

Creamy Coconut Cashew Nut Milk and a Creamy Strawberry Shake

Creamy Coconut Cashew Nut Milk

2 cups filtered water
1 cup cashews
2 tbsp coconut butter
4 dates
1 tsp vanilla extract (or 1/4 of a vanilla bean, seeds only)

Place all ingredients in a high speed blender and blend until smooth.  If you don’t have a high speed blender like the vitamix, you can place all ingredients in a blender and let them sit for a couple of hours until the cashews and dates soften.

I HIGHLY recommend investing in a vita-mix.  It’s so powerful that it can turn an ipod into dust – I’m sure you can find some interesting videos on youtube.  I use my vita-mix at least 4 times a day.  You can make nut milks without having to use a strainer, and make the smoothest raw cheesecake you’ve ever tasted.

And since I happened to have fresh strawberries in the fridge – voila!  Instant strawberry shake.

Silky Strawberry Smoothie

Creamy Strawberry Shake

1 batch Creamy Coconut Cashew Nut Milk
1 cup fresh strawberries

Blend all ingredients in a high powered blender until smooth.

The funny thing about strawberries is that when you pick them yourself, their size range from that of a raspberry to…a slightly larger raspberry! They taste so sweet and just downright incredible.  When you buy them imported from who knows where, they’re the size of peaches and they taste sour and just gross!  If you missed them this time around, don’t miss out on picking your own (or buying, although picking your own can be fun) local berries next season!

So Happy.

yammy1I am literally smiling all the time.  My skin looks better every day.  Tell me again why I went off raw?

Yesterday I spent about 4 hours cleaning the kitchen.  Now it’s so bright and inviting!  Today I cleaned out the pantry and I threw out so much crap – including some white flour we haven’t used in more than 2 years!!!  Gross.  I also managed to spill the flour all over the floor, and the dog didn’t even move, and if the dog won’t eat it – you know it can’t be categorized as food!

I just got in from a run and whipped up some nori wraps, but this time I made a raw almond dipping sauce that was out of this world!!!  I was so eager to eat that I didn’t take any pictures of it.  The dipping sauce kicks my lame almond paste’s butt!


Raw Almond Dipping Sauce

4 tbsp raw almond butter
2 tbsp water
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp ginger, minced
1 tbsp tamari or Braggs
1 tbsp lime juice

I also picked up some E3Live at the health food store since we’re in-between wheat grass harvesting “seasons” (which last 10 days).  E3Live is a highly concentrated shot of greens.  It’s even darker than wheatgrass juice – and more bitter.  When you take greens as green and as bitter as E3Live (or spirulina, kale, collards, etc.) it means your liver is getting detoxified hard-core.  This also explains why I have had a pretty intense breakout of eczema on my right middle finger.  It’s so swollen that I can barely bend it!  I really hope the swelling goes down through the night because it is so uncomfortable.

If you’re going raw for the first time or starting to take concentrated greens like this, keep in mind that you could go into a healing crisis and feel a lot worse before you feel better.  This is because the liver has the tools it needs to release toxins into the bloodstream for elimination…and this can be extremely intense if you are higly toxic.  I have done my fair share of cleanses, and usually the nausea/sickness goes away 4-5 days after starting/modifying a cleansing program -for me, but all experiences are unique.  So hang in there if you find yourself in a healing crisis!

Spirulina: Why I Eat It Every Day.


The question I get asked most often when I tell people that I eat raw, vegan food is: Where do you get your protein?  The simplest answer: spirulina.  “Spir-what?” They ask.  So rather than explain myself over and over again, I thought I’d just write about it and refer people to this website.Spirulina is an amazing superfood.

I guess you could say that spirulina is my preferred source of protein, although that isn’t my main objective in eating it.  To be honest, I am a firm believer that all foods in nature have the perfect amout of fats, carbohydrates, and protein, so I never strive to get any single macro-nutrient.  I just eat a wide variety of foods and listen to my body.  Society, on the other hand, seems to be obsessed with the protein question, and if you’re one who is protein obsessed, this may be your reason to include spirulina in your diet!

Spirulina is a complete protein, which means that is contains all of the essential amino acids.  It’s also rich in EFAs: GLA, ALA, LA, EPA, DHA, and AA.  If you don’t understand what those mean, don’t sweat it.  Just think Omega 3s!

Spirulina is also loaded with vitamins and minerals – just look at its colour.  Anything THAT green is golden for the body.  Everyone could use more greens in their diet, that’s for sure.  What I can say for certain is that spirulina gives me loads of energy every time I eat it.  And at the moment, my favourite way to eat spirulina is in a smoothie loaded with local, fresh berries!


Tennis, anyone?

Today we were at the Rogers Cup, and although we brought some raw chocolate and some cashews, we were starving for something different.  Amongst all the crap that other people were eating, I found a yummy fruit salad, but I needed to buy about 10 of them to be fully satisfied!  Which would have cost about $50…  Just a reminder that if you’re out of the house all day, you had better be prepared!

Raw Food Praise – I WANT to exercise!

It’s amazing the effect that eating raw has on my desire to exercise.  Last night I took the dog for a 5 k run.  Today after work I went to a hot yoga class, and after I biked home I went for another run with a friend.  It’s really nice to have a running partner because you have that little bit of added motivation.  When you have someone calling you and asking if you want to go running, it’s like an alarm going off and motivation calling you!  If you get several running partners, there’s a guarantee you’ll be running a few times a week!

I haven’t had much to eat today, which is kinda weird considering the amount of exercise I’ve had, but I don’t feel much like eating anything right now.  When you eat raw, natural, good quality foods, you are more in touch with your nutritional needs, wheras when I eat cooked foods, I think I need food all the time!  I’d eat late at night all the time when I was on cooked food. 

When I eat raw, I only go into the kitchen when I am truly hungry…or if I can’t wait to try a new raw recipe!  Also, on cooked I always cleaned my plate, but on a raw food diet, I just stop eating when I’ve had enough.  I eat raw dessert for breakfast if I feel the desire!  And when I have dishes that are rich in nuts or other heavy raw ingredients, my body steers me clear of them for a few days.  Never, ever on a cooked diet did my body tell me anything!  I remember years ago when I didn’t have any idea the effects that food had on my mood or energy level.  Now, I know the second I have eaten something that doesn’t agree with me.  I can just feel it. 

And since you only eat when you’re hungry on raw, there is no breakfast, lunch, dinner schedule…you eat on your own hunger schedule…that being said, I think my hunger level just rose…so apparently “dinner” tonight is going to be around 11pm!

Marinara Salad

Marinara Salad

Dinner: Marinara Salad

Time To Make: About 3 minutes

Would I Make It Again: Yes!

Ingredients: 1 cup leftover Marinara Sauce, (recipe in Eating for Energy) an avocado, 6 stalks asparagus, 1 yellow pepper, 3 green onions, and 1/2 a cucumber.  Variations:  Whatever you have in the fridge!

My Return to Raw: Day Two

Today started with a:

Green Super Smoothie

1 tbsp spirulina
1 mango
1 tbsp bee polin
1 cup strawberries
few cubes ice
1 tbsp chia seeds
2 dates
1 tbsp sesame seeds
water to desired consistency

Then it was off to pick berries at Whittamores Farm on Steeles Ave.  So many delicious berries!  I think we picked for a couple of hours, and I got sunburnt 🙁 but it was worth it.