Our gut is home to between 70 or 80% of our natural defense system aka our immune system.

Our gut microbiome is composed of a community of bacteria, fungi, yeast and viruses (yes viruses) that all contribute to maintaining health and have some very close ties with our immune system.

Our microbiome is in constant communication with our immune system and these interactions are actually educating our immune system on how to function optimally.

In short, the health of our gut microbiome is directly linked to every aspect of our overall health. Whoa, that’s a big statement isn’t it? Dont take my word for it, check out these links: here and here 

Now here’s the kicker. The risk of severe COVID-19 symptoms is more common in those with comorbidities or pre existing conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity.

Studies have shown that high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity are all linked to a disrupted gut microbiome also known as dysbiosis. Again: here and here

That leads to the question: How the gut microbiome may influence the severity of COVID-19.?

The author’s conclusion: Tapping into the potential of the gut microbiome and minding your microbes as a way to stay strong and resist infection.

There are only a few spaces left for my upcoming fermentation workshop. Join me to learn how you can begin minding your microbes by creating your own delicious probiotic foods as well as ways to get these beneficial foods onto your plate daily.

Click here for all the details.

If you’ve worked with me, you know how much I promote fermented foods. At one of my previous workshops, a participant asked: ‘’ Are you being paid by a sauerkraut company or something?’’

I’m not; but I can’t ignore the evidence that continues to pile up about the benefits of fermented foods and probiotic nutrition.

There are limited places for my upcoming online fermentation workshop. Click here for all the details.

I designed the workshop to be basic enough for beginners with fun tips that everyone will enjoy.

What you will get with this workshop:

  • Hands-on experience; you will leave with about 16 half-quart jars of your own delicious, bright and colourful ferments to enjoy and share.
  • Practical and simple how-to demonstrations so you can easily expand your family’s repertoire of fermented foods.
  • 15 delicious recipes that will help you easily incorporate these probiotic foods into your family’s diet.
  • Tips on how to select the best fermented foods from the grocery store (In case you decide to take a break from fermenting)
  • A list of easy to find groceries and common kitchen equipment so you can ferment along with me at home.
  • A recording of the entire live workshop will be sent to folks who sign up.
  • The opportunity to stay connected via a closed facebook group to share and ask questions after the workshop is over.

Our ancestors fermented food out of necessity as a safe way to preserve food. Our modern culture has moved away from naturally fermented foods in the name of convenience and speed. I really think these traditional foods are one of the missing links that can help restore health and digestion as well as our ability to resist disease.

Most dairy and beef farmers feed fermented food to their animals in the form of silage. The consequence of running out or of having a bad batch is immediately noticed in the overall health and production of the herd. Any good dog or cat food contains some kind of probiotic supplement.

Fermented foods are beneficial for immune system health, digestive health, cardiovascular health, liver and kidney health all the way to emotional health highlighted by the growing body of research we’re getting on the gut-brain connection.

These foods have an impact on just about every body system because the health of our gut microbiome (our gut ecology) is so important.  What I’m talking about is not a magic food or a cure-all, it’s about variety, diversity and consistency. Or in other words it’s about getting many different types of fermented foods in, in small amounts on a regular basis.

It’s time to stop putting out health fires and start preventing them at the source. Getting to the root cause of all these ailments means starting with the gut.

Don’t hesitate to be in touch if you have any questions.

You’ve heard that leafy greens are good for you but how do you get them onto your family’s plate?

Leafy greens are a staple at my house now but it wasn’t always the case.

Here are my top five tips for getting the leafy greens in:

1. Fermented foods; fermented foods are probiotic and enzyme-rich and are so beneficial that they’re also on my list of foods that I try to get in everyday. I love adding leafy greens to my ferments and a little goes a long way.

Here is one of my jars of fermented veggies featuring kale from my garden.

Find all the details for my upcoming online fermentation workshop


2. Soups; with the cooler weather here soups will be making a comeback. Add finely chopped leafy greens (such as spinach, parsley, Swiss chard, beet greens, collard greens…) generously to soups at the very end of cooking. The leafy greens won’t affect the flavour but will definitely boost the nutrient content.

Check out my delicious Hearty minestrone with a silky sweet potato base recipe


3. Meat loaf; meat loaf can handle a lot of greens and even the fussiest eaters won’t balk at the greens once they taste this flavour-packed recipe. Try it as a meatloaf as described in the recipe or use the seasoned meat for stuffed tomatoes, zucchinis or peppers.

Sexy meatloaf recipe


4. Pesto; you may have heard me talk about pesto before but it’s such a delicious way to get the greens in as well as a great way to conserve them, that it deserves another mention.

Check out my easy seven minute pesto demonstration video


5. Smoothies; smoothies are an easy way to get greens into your day. If you’re used to all-fruit smoothies, start slow and replace a small part of your fruit by a mild-tasting leafy such as romaine lettuce, mache greens, organic spinach, parsley or baby bok choy . As you get used to the colour and the flavour you’ll gradually be able to increase the amount of greens you add in. Having the greens washed and ready to go increases the likelihood of this happening.

I hope this inspires you to use up those greens before they wilt.

I’m touching base to let you know that I’ll be hosting a free online info session on August 29th  from 10:00 – 11:30.

The session will be recorded for folks that register.

Click here for all the details.

I will be talking about why weight loss is about much more than calories in and calories out.

We’ll discuss the importance of insulin and how balancing that important hormone will have an impact on weight loss, cravings, inflammation, energy levels and even the quality of our sleep.

Thomas S Cowan MD states:* ‘’ Basically, people gain weight because of insulin… despite the persistent belief that weight gain is all about calories, without insulin it is impossible to gain weight and become fat, no matter how many calories someone takes in.’’

Dr Jason Fung says:** ‘’ Under normal conditions, high insulin levels encourage sugar and fat storage. Low insulin levels encourage glycogen and fat burning. Sustained levels of excessive insulin will tend to increase fat storage. An imbalance between the feeding and fasting will lead to increased insulin, which causes increased fat and voilà –obesity.’’

Join me for an info session where I discuss exactly how you can balance your insulin levels using delicious whole foods and simple lifestyle changes.

I never intended to become a weight loss specialist. What I’m realizing though is that weight issues open up the conversation.

My real pleasure comes from seeing the significant improvements that people experience as a side effect of nourishing their bodies with whole foods, balancing insulin levels, improving digestion and maximizing elimination. That’s the good stuff. The weight loss is just the icing on the cake.

My real passion is making the good stuff doable and delicious. I’m all about the win-wins

There is a lot of evidence that proves that we aren’t simply victims of our good or bad genes and that we have a lot more power and control over our health.

I also believe that our food is our fuel and one of the great joys of life.

Our food should nourish and delight us and so it should be chosen carefully, honoured and savoured.

Fat doesn’t make you fat. Chronically high insulin levels make you fat.

Fat is delicious. It’s is the vehicle for flavour in our food. Food that is fat-free or low-fat tastes like cardboard which is why food manufacturers have to add loads of sugar, artificial flavours or worst of all, artificial sugar to make them palatable.

Here’s what Dr Willett of Harvard writes:
”Diets high in fat do not account for the high prevalence of excess body fat in Western countries; reductions in the percentage of energy from fat will have no important benefits and could further exacerbate this problem. The emphasis on total fat reduction has been a serious distraction in efforts to control obesity and improve health in general.” Reference here

Fats keep us satiated; boost the immune system, lower inflammation, protect our brain and help regulate hormone production.

But before you go clicking your heels for a bucket of KFC, let me say that not all fats are created equal.  As healthy as some fats are, others could be contributing to your inflammation and heart disease.

Food manufacturers will have us believe that because something is labelled all vegetable it’s considered healthy.

Squeezing oil from non oily vegetables requires a surprising amount of heavy duty processing: pressing, solvent extraction, refining, de-gumming, bleaching and deodorizing are all necessary to make these oils tasteless and shelf-stable.These highly processed fats do nothing for our health and actually contribute to inflammation.

How many years was natural, wholesome butter demonized to be replaced by edible plastic aka: margarine? Some folks are still separating the yolk from the egg whites because of a fear of fat or cholesterol.

Click here for all the details about my upcoming online info session

Thanks to Dr. Ancel Keys and a study called the Seven Countries Study, we’ve been preached to repeatedly to ride the low-fat wave.

The theory that was proposed as a result of the Seven Countries Study was that dietary fat was directly linked to heart disease.

The problem with this theory was that it was an assumption based on correlations and didn’t take into consideration various factors such as sugar, industrialization or the refining and transformation of food.

The correlations between dietary fat and heart disease have since been dispelled
but it takes time to slow down the speeding bus that was the low-fat movement and I still often come across the same fear today that fat is bad.

Some of the problems with studying food are that:

  • Statistical methodology requires elements to be isolated in order to study their effects. No food is ever eaten in isolation. We never just eat a molecule of vitamin A. Food is far more complex than its component parts.
  • Not all food is created equal. It isn’t fair to compare an organic, grass-fed, full-fat yogourt to a sugar-laden, artificially-flavoured, low-fat version. Your body will not react the same way even though they’re both labelled yogourt.
  • We are all incredibly unique and what feels good for some doesn’t work as well for others. There can never be a perfect diet just like we couldn’t all fit into the same pair of jeans. Some of us need a lot of fat in our diets and some do well with less.
  • The context in which the food is eaten will affect how the body processes that food. A healthy salad eaten during a period of high stress may not sit as well in the same person as a piece of pizza eaten in a relaxed state surrounded by friends. It’s not that pizza is healthier but mindset and context matters a lot.

The more I learn, the more I’m convinced that simple is better. Tuning in to our body’s signals and going with the least processed or fiddled-with option is always a better bet than following the latest trend.

I hope you’ll join me for an info session where I discuss my views on food as well as the details on my best prevention tool for gently guiding clients towards healthier diet and lifestyle choices.