I’ve always been a lover of good food and the more I learn, the more I’m blown away by the power of food to significantly and quickly shift overall health.

Is it time to change the lens through which you view those three meals a day?

If you’re like most people, food is a way to stave off hunger; for some it’s an inconvenience.

For many people the only criteria for selecting food are taste, cost and convenience.

Perhaps it’s time to reassess those criteria and give food the importance and rank it deserves in order to prevent health conditions that weaken our resilience to infection and disease.

Our health care system is demonstrating that we can’t ignore prevention for very much longer. Wise diet and lifestyle choices are like money in the bank for safeguarding the quality of our tomorrows.

The Metabolic Balance program is a holistic nutrition and lifestyle program that uses food therapeutically. One of the 8 lifestyle guidelines that is built into the program is to eat an apple a day. Easy enough.

When I was first researching this program, I remember thinking that the apple a day guideline was a bit gitchy or just a play on the old cliché ‘’ An apple a day keeps the doctor away’’.

It turns out that an apple a day is a lot more than just a cliché.

Read on to see what I came up with:

Cancer: Apple consumption is linked to a reduced rate of lung cancer in several large studies.

Cardiovascular disease: Apple consumption is directly associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. Researchers attribute this to the high flavonoid content of apples.

Asthma and pulmonary function: Specific antioxidants and flavonoids in the apple appear to have a positive impact on asthma and pulmonary function.

Diabetes: Apple consumption has been associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes. This could be due to the quercetin content; a component found in the peel of the apple.

Weight loss: Higher apple intake is associated with improved weight loss according to a study of overweight women in Brazil.

Cholesterol: Apples lower cholesterol and the main benefits seem to come from the fiber. Again, eating the whole fruit is best.

Detoxification: Apples are one of the best sources of glucaric acid, a compound of calcium D- glucarate.  Calcium D-glucarate is a powerful detoxifier of estrogen and has been linked to preventing breast, prostate and colon cancer as well as removing carcinogens and toxins from the body.

Skin and energy: Apples are one of the best sources of malic acid. Malic acid is commonly used in skin care products and for energy complaints such as chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia.

I’ve highlighted the apple here but almost every natural whole food has its own reason to shine when it comes to giving your body what it needs to function optimally.

Join me as I discuss how the Metabolic Balance method can help you manage your weight, regain your vitality, reduce inflammation, balance hormones and prevent health problems naturally using only delicious whole foods – including an apple a day.

Consider sharing this with someone you love.

Could this be your window to finally work on those health goals?

Here are 10 reasons why I think you should 

  1. Your food is your fuel. Would you pour muddy water into your gas tank? Your body uses the nutrients that it gets from food to function, heal and repair. Are you filling your tank with the premium high quality stuff?
  2. We’re all unique and we all have different needs and requirements. ”Winging it” and cookie cutter diets often miss the mark . There’s an awful lot of contradictory information out there. Learn what’s right for YOU.
  3. Tuning in to the signals your body is giving you is the key to sustainable health. Your body is always giving you feedback; many of us were never taught to listen.
  4. Your body is a marvel of nature (stick with me here) It strives for balance, optimal health and to keep you at your best. What if you started thinking of your amazing bod as your ally in health? Would you consider giving it the right fuel and tuning in?
  5. Cravings are the result of what and how you are eating. You’re not weak and you don’t lack willpower. Eating the right delicious foods in the right proportions at the right time will crush cravings.
  6. Insulin is the body’s master commander; learn how stabilizing this important hormone will change your health game forever.
  7. Weight loss isn’t just a question of calories in versus calories out. Insulin acts as the body’s weight thermostat. Is your thermostat set too high?
  8. Sleep issues, low energy, depression, mood swings, hormone issues…? Insulin could be (one of) the root cause(s).
  9. Getting older does not have to hurt! Inflammation isn’t caused by a lack of anti-inflammatory medication, why is it our main go-to when dealing with pain? Consider getting to the root cause here too.
  10. Fat isn’t the enemy, it’s a vehicle for great flavor and healthy fats are essential for optimal health. Now doesn’t that sound delicious?

I’m hosting a free online info session where I’ll discuss the Metabolic Balance program and why, after 4 years it’s still my best tool to help clients achieve their health goals in a gentle, holistic and sustainable way. I hope you’ll join me.

Consider sharing this with someone you love.

Even though we will be lying low this holiday season, practicing a little strategic prevention will be a gift to yourself come New Year’s resolution time.

I’ve been working at checking my self-talk. You know; that internal dialogue loop that repeats and repeats inside your head. A teacher recently pointed out how difficult it is to make great things happen in your outer world if your inner dialogue is nasty and mean.

So I thought maybe you’d appreciate some tips on getting through Christmas without the usual weight gain and bloating and hopefully help prevent that January nasty talk?

Download or print your handy reminder HERE

Top tips for surviving Christmas:

  1. Aim to maintain. Stress has been high, it’s winter in Canada and we can’t leave the house. Be kind to yourself! The holidays aren’t a time to be trying to lose weight but you can aim to maintain the weight you’re currently at.
  2. Continue weighing yourself every day. Keep yourself accountable and make micro-adjustments rather than falling asleep at the wheel and then waking up like an angry bear in January.
  3. Drink water. Getting enough pure water is one of the most important things for easy weight maintenance and allows your body to flush out accumulated toxins. To calculate how much water you should be drinking: take your weight in kilograms multiplied by 35. This will give you how many milliliters of water you should be drinking every day. If you weigh more than 250 lbs. or 113 kg, cap your water intake at 4 liters per day. Try to get most of your water in between meals to avoid diluting those precious digestive juices.
  4. Eat slowly and chew. Almost no one chews enough. Poor chewing or eating when stressed or distracted is the root cause of so many digestive problems. Set down your utensils between bites and fully chew the bite that’s in your mouth before filling your fork, aim for 20 chews per bite. Really savor your food and if you’re lucky enough to be enjoying your food with other people, enjoy them too.
  5. Take some extra time over the holidays to do the things you love and don’t always make the time for.  Read, pray, meditate, walk, paint, draw, sing… Pay attention to how you feel after doing that thing. You may be inspired to schedule it in more regularly.
  6. Alternate alcohol and water. Drink and be merry but be kind to your liver. Our livers bear the brunt of our overindulgences and you’ll need it in good shape come January. Alternate alcoholic drinks with a big glass of water or keep some sparkling water handy to enjoy between toasts.
  7. Be moderate. Have a bit of everything but check your portions and go back for seconds of the really good stuff. My daughter has this concept nailed. We always know if Kiana has had a go at a box of chocolates because of the tiny bites that are missing out of each one. She’s not wasting her precious chocolate quota on less than delicious choices. If it isn’t absolutely decadent – pass.                                                                    
  8. Avoid snacking between meals. Allowing a break between scrumptious meals without snacking will allow your body to fully digest the previous meal. Digestion is demanding on the system and can take energy away from repair, detoxification and maintenance. This will also help keep insulin levels (the fat building hormone) stable.
  9. Stay regular. Keep your bowels moving daily. Constipation puts a huge burden on the body.  Eat plenty of vegetables and take extra fiber such as chia, ground flax or psyllium.
  10. Catch up on your sleep. Stress and sleep deprivation have a cumulative effect on the body, particularly on weight gain and aren’t given enough screen time in our culture. Take the steps for great zzz

There are so many things that are out of our control these days, think of this as a reminder of what you still do have control over.

Download your printable reminder HERE

Positive change never comes from punishing, hateful self-talk. Sustainable change happens when we step into our lives and become a little more mindful of what’s going on behind the scenes as well as what’s in front of us in the present moment.

Wishing you a restful and kind holiday season.

Tout comme vous avez pris l’initiative d’être proactif avec votre santé, j’essaie toujours d’améliorer mes compétences en tant que coach pour mieux vous aider.

Avec tout ce qui se passe, je suis plus déterminée que jamais à vouloir inspirer les gens, sachant que les petits changements peuvent apporter de grandes récompenses pour la santé.

Plusieurs d’entre vous ont exprimé le besoin d’un soutien supplémentaire pour adopter pleinement tous les changements de régime et de mode de vie que nous avons discuté lors de nos sessions ensemble.

Est-ce que l’un des énoncés suivants vous défini?

  • Vous êtes toujours déterminés à atteindre vos buts mais parfois vous manquez de motivation. Vous aimeriez plus de support pour vous aider à y arriver.
  • Vous avez atteints votre objectif mais vous avez du mal à maintenir votre nouveau poids santé.
  • Vous n’avez pas (encore) atteint vos objectifs, mais vous constatez des améliorations et vous voulez continuer.
  • La vie vous a mis des batons dans les roues et vos nouvelles habitudes ont pris le bord «je vais reprendre mon plan la semaine prochaine»
  • Vous êtes perfectionniste et quand vous avez senti que vous n’étiez pas en mesure de faire les choses à 100% vous avez tout abandonné.
  • Vous allez bien, mais vous aimeriez refaire vos phases 1 et 2 pour reprendre du bon pied.

Je vous invite à me contacter afin de discuter de vos besoins et pour déterminer s’il vous reste des consultations non utilisées sur votre plan.

J’ai aussi mis en place des réunions zoom qui auront lieu le premier samedi du mois de 10h à 11h

Voici le lien zoom pour vous connecter : https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83066071810

Ces séances visent à poser des questions, partager des conseils ou des recettes ou simplement pour discuter.

La vie est souvent surchargée et désordonnée.

Viser le progrès plutôt que la perfection et être doux avec soi-même est de mise, surtout pendants ces moments difficiles.

J’aimerais avoir de vos nouvelles.

Just as you took the initiative to be proactive with your health by addressing diet and lifestyle, I’m always trying to up my game in the coaching department to help support you better.

With everything that’s been going on, I’m more committed than ever about wanting to inspire you that small diet changes can bring big health rewards.

But let’s face it, changing old habits is hard.

Several of you have expressed the need for some extra support to fully embrace all of the diet and lifestyle changes that we discussed during our coaching.

Do any of the following statements resonate?

  • You’re still working towards your goals but your motivation is a little wobbly. You’d like a little more support and accountability to help you get there.
  • You’ve reached your goal but you struggle with old habits and maintaining your new healthy weight.
  • You haven’t quite achieved your goals (yet) to but you’re seeing improvements and you want to keep on moving forward.
  • You feel like you’ve dropped the ball and the familiar feelings of discouragement and negative self-talk are firmly back in the driver’s seat.
  • Life has gotten in the way and your new habits and foods have taken the back seat «I’ll get back on next week»
  • You’re a bit of a perfectionist and when you felt you weren’t able to do things 100%, you stopped doing them altogether.
  • You’re doing pretty well but you feel like you need a little reset.

Contact me so we can work out how I can help support you towards your goals and to determine if you have any unused consultations left on your plan.

I’ve also set up monthly zoom meetings that will take place on the first Saturday of the month from 10:00 until 11:00 am

Zoom link here:  https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83066071810

These sessions are to ask questions, share tips and recipes or just hear from others that may be going through similar challenges.

Life is busy and messy.

Adopting a progress not perfection mindset along with a generous dose of self-kindness is always in order when adopting positive changes but most especially called for during these difficult times.

I’d love to hear your thoughts or if there is any other way I can help.

If the recent pandemic has taught us anything it’s that our health care system can’t survive the consequences of ignoring prevention.

Its cold and flu season, its November and we’ve all been stressed to the eyeballs.

Here are some easy things that YOU have control over that will make a huge difference in your ability to resist getting sick or succumbing to these hard times.

Are you getting enough rest?

Sleep is so underrated and most people are sleep deprived. Our body uses the time we sleep to heal, detoxify and regenerate. Prioritizing sleep is essential.

Set yourself up for a great night’s rest:

  • Turn off devices and screens at least one or two hours before bed. The blue light from screens simulates the release of cortisol by the body. Cortisol is our wake up hormone.
  • Try a relaxing and detoxifying Epsom salt bath before bed. Soaking in a tub with one or two cups of Epsom salts for at least 45 minutes is a great way to relax. Epsom salts provide essential magnesium that is a naturally calming mineral.
  • Cool your bedroom down, crack a window or block heat registers. Sleeping in a cool environment is most conducive to a good night’s sleep.
  • Block light; close blinds or use a face mask if necessary.
  • Are you a light sleeper? Sound proof your room or use ear plugs to ensure you won’t get disturbed.
  • Listen to your body’s signals. When you feel extra tired, grab a nap whenever you can, make sure to get to bed earlier or use weekends to catch up.

We’re so obsessed with being productive that we tend to push through important messages our bodies are attempting to send us.

Are you stressed?

Of course you are, most people minimize stress. We’ll never be able to eliminate stress completely and a little stress is good and keeps us moving forward. But putting things in perspective can help:

God, (Universe, Source Energy, Goddess, Higher Power, Inner Ding…) grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.

What soothes you?

Is it light exercise such as walking, striking a few yoga poses, getting out in nature, reading an inspirational book, being creative, meditation, prayer…? Do it.

Prioritize it the same way you prioritize paying your bills, maintaining your car or checking in with a loved one. Set an alarm on your phone to do that thing that feels good to you every day.

How’s your diet?

Folks associate healthy eating with cutting out everything they enjoy. Not true. I think enjoying your food is as essential as the quality of what you eat. Just be moderate and get crafty at making the healthy stuff delicious.

Rather than cutting things out focus on adding good things in:

  • Perhaps you’re in the habit of skipping breakfast? Try getting in a morning smoothie. Here are some tips on how to build your own therapeutic smoothie. Even doing this a couple of times a week is better than never. Pay attention to how you feel when you do manage to get it in.
  • Vegetables are your multivitamins. Make a delicious soup and freeze some for later or try roasting vegetables.  I’ve converted many Brussels sprout haters to lovers by cooking them this way.
  • Leafy greens like spinach, kale, parsley are widely available and powerful.  Wash them immediately and have them prepped and ready. Chop them up fine and add them in everywhere. They don’t affect the flavour but the nutrient payoff is huge.
  • Try to get a little probiotic or naturally fermented foods in daily. Examples of fermented foods are yogurt, kefir or naturally fermented vegetables like sauerkraut.
  • Sprouts are packed with enzymes that are powerful for the immune system. Add sprouts to salads, onto hot soups, into sandwiches or toss into a stir fry at the very end.
  • Slowing down, giving thanks and thoroughly chewing your food is powerful for digestion and overall health. Sound too simple? Trust me, I’ve seen clients overcome serious digestive issues simply by bringing a little more mindfulness to mealtimes.

According to new research on epigenetics, about 95 percent of all illnesses are related to diet and lifestyle choices, chronic stress and toxic factors in the environment.

You have a lot more power over your health and the quality of your golden years than you thought. Small changes add up and do make a difference. What will you do for yourself this November?

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.