Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Cosmic Cookies

Everytime I visit my sister Angela in Edmonton we always end up doing a Planet Organic pit stop at some point during the day to pick up a cosmic cookie or a spelt muffin as a little treat.

Sooooooo when my friend Andrea sent me the Planet Organic cookbook in the mail yesterday I was so excited to see the recipe for cosmic cookies was included!!!!

This recipe took 5 minutes to gather the ingredients in my cupboards, 10 minutes to measure everything and mix together and 24 minutes to bake in the oven. They were the perfect snack before Chris and I headed out to the AGO for lunch at their new restaurant, Frank.

2 1/4 cups quick cooking oats
2 cups spelt flour
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 cup flaxseeds
1 cup granulated cane sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon
2 1/4 tsp sea salt
1 3/4 cups dark chocolate chips
1 1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup blackstrap molasses
3/4 cup canola oil (I used sunflower oil)
1 cup soy milk

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Combine the dry ingredients in one bowl and the wet ingredients in another bowl. Add the wet to dry and mix by hand until just combined.

I used an ice cream scoop to scoop the dough onto the baking sheets and gently flattened them before baking.

Bake for 24 minutes or until lightly browned.

These cookies turned out great. I only made 12 cookies and put the rest of the dough in the freezer for another time.

Oh and the lunch at Frank was delicious as well. Slow service but we weren't in a rush so we weren't too annoyed. I had the roasted sunchoke soup to start and Chris had a mediterranean lentil salad to start. The sunchoke soup was very mild whereas Chris' lentils had a bit more of a bite to them. Both were beautifully presented and the dishes were gorgeous. I had a roasted beet and arugula salad next while Chris had the beef brisket sandwich with gruyere and frites. Both were nicely presented and flavoured.

Happy New Year!

Hangover Cures

Last night Global TV aired it's story on natural remedies for hangovers. If you missed the health segment last night you can go to their website and click on family health.

The short version of my recommendations:

1. drink lots of water
2. eat before you go out
3. 1000 mg of vitamin C before you go to bed
4. b complex before you go to bed
5. could try a homeopathic remedy for your headaches or nausea like belladonna or nux vomica
6. cysteine - naturally found in eggs!!!

Have a great New Years Eve!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Rhinovirus and Exercise?

How's food? How's water? How's exercise? These are some of the basics questions I'll ask my patients that come in, whether it's for weight management or some other health concern.

In the winter, I commonly hear that colds put people on standby with their fitness routines or healthy eating plans. In today's Globe there was a story on whether people should exercise when they have a cold. There actually has been a couple of research studies done that concluded that exercise is not affected with cold symptoms.

So next time you have a cold or some cold symptoms are starting, ask yourself if you are using it as an excuse not to exercise or if you truly can't exercise. Most times exercising will actually help your cold symptoms, as heating up the body may help kill the virus!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Back to Basics

Christmas was great. It was relaxing. If I take time off from the clinic it's either a non-stop hustle and bustle vacation with Chris in a new city somewhere or it's a working vacation so I can do some clinic stuff that I don't have time for during the typical work week. This has been a nice change and I'm glad we ended up both taking time off and staying at home.

Xmas was filled with the usual tradition of 12 meatless dishes for xmas eve and midnight mass with my parents.

When we got back on Saturday I was feeling relaxed and decided I needed to work off some xmas treats so I went to moksha. For the last few months I have been going to moksha flow classes instead of the regular moksha classes. They are a bit shorter in time and definitely faster paced. On Saturday though I missed all the flow classes so I went to a regular 90 minute class. It was actually a good change to go through all the postures with an emphasis on technique.... it was definitely back to basics.

Back to basics is also really important for food during this time of the year. With all the holiday treats it's important to remember the 90/10 rule - 90% of the time be good and 10% of the time you can have a treat or enjoy something special. If you are one of my patients it means doing your lemon in water in the morning or your greens, drinking enough water (2 L) throughout the day, trying to have veggies at lunch and dinner, eating protein in every meal etc.....

This is also one of the reasons I love naturopathic medicine and why I do what I do.... It's all about the basics. In today's society, with all the craziness, we forget about what we need to be happy and feel good - enough water, solid sleep, exercise or an active lifestyle, and simple, clean food.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Natural Remedies for Hangovers

This morning Global TV came to the clinic to tape a story on hangovers and what can be done to ease the effects before going to bed and upon rising.

Alcohol does three main things to the body which in turn are the causes of hangovers: dehydration and loss of electrolytes, decreased production of sugar by the liver, and vitamin B12 deficiency. Vitamin B12 is a coenzyme that is used in one of the pathways of the metabolism of alcohol.

The story will air on Global on December 29th or December 30th during the health segment. You'll have to watch to find out what can be done!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Cold Medicines and Kids

Health Canada issued a warning that cold medicines should not be used in kids under 6 years of age.

I have definitely noticed an increase in the number of kids that I see over the years. Parents are becoming more and more aware of potential side effects of cough and cold medicines and of safer alternatives.

There are alot of homeopathic remedies and supplements for kids that help increase their immune systems and help fight the many viruses they are exposed to everyday.

Holiday Diet Diary

ahhhhhhhhhh..... the diet diary of a patient the week before xmas.........

This week is always an interesting week in my practice. Because I focus mostly on nutrition and most of my patients have to do a diet diary, most visits are preceeded by "it hasn't been the best week..." followed by explanations of holiday parties, work stress, too little time at home, too much time spent in malls.....

I must have sounded like a broken record this week. I totally understand holiday parties and wanting to enjoy some holiday treats. However the problem comes in when the parties or baked goods start Dec 1 and don't end until Jan 1.

Moderation really is the key during the holiday season. If you know that you have 2 parties during the week, the rest of the week you should try to eat well and exercise so when you are at the party you can enjoy a couple of treats! If alot of time is spent outside the home, make sure to have healthy snacks in the car or on your person at the mall, like fruits or almonds. If you have to eat in the food court try to make the best choice... focus on finding vegetables, simple foods without a lot of sauces. Sushi is always a safe bet; most fast food places have salads now (just use 1 tbsp of the dressing not all!); a stir-fry; a smoothie; always lots of options.

I could go on forever but Chris always tells me I have to shorten my blogs! He just told me I should go on the Twitter diet, the blog that only allows 140 characters!!!!

Sunday, December 14, 2008


I just finished doing a facial with my mother-in-law and brother-in-law's girlfriend at home. It was a great chance to relax for an hour and try out different products on our faces. It totally reminded me of my sister Angela and I doing 'facials' when we were growing up. We used to love using the St. Ives products from Shoppers - the price-point was right and we felt we were doing something great for our skin!

So today we were using Yonka products - I usually use their gel cleanser and one of their nighttime moisturizers but Jane had some fun products in her drawer, like the serum, rose water, and a couple of masks. So we started by cleansing, then used a gel peel off mask called gomage, then the rose water, followed by a mask, finishing with a serum and moisturizer. It was lovely. It wasn't exactly the experience of getting a facial with Reni but nonetheless it did the trick!

This reminds me of an article I read in the Post yesterday about how with the tough economic times ahead people are losing their "luxury people" first. So people, especially women, may put a professional facial on hold for the next year but may buy a lipstick or do a facial at home to keep the feeling of doing something nice for themselves.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Herpes and Alzheimers?

Driving home from the clinic last night I was listening to 680 news on the radio. Something popped out at me that really made me listen and do a little of my own investigation.

A recent study in the Journal of Pathology has shown increasing evidence that the herpes virus, which causes cold sores, is a major cause of the protein plaques that are evident in the brains of Alzheimer's sufferers. The protein plaques are accumulated in the brains of dementia patients.

This will probably lead to more research using anti-virals for Alzheimers. This makes me want to extrapolate using natural anti-virals .... I love science.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Kale, it's nutritious.

Usually when I grocery shopping I keep my head low, grab my veggies and leave.

Friday mornings I usually teach at CCNM, up in North York. Today after teaching I decided to stop at the Longo's in North York, instead of coming back to my neighbourhood and doing my usual Friday night dinner grocery pick-up.

I picked up some brussel sprouts for tonight and a bunch of kale. As I was leaving the produce section a woman tapped me on the shoulder and asked how I prepare kale. She told me she buys it to feed her lizard but ends up throwing out two-thirds because she doesn't know what to do with it.

I was shocked and clearly it hit a nerve as I did something I don't usually do. I launched into how to prepare it, how I usually put it in pasta sauce or puree it into soups..... then I started in on the nutritional aspects to this complete stranger! It has tons of calcium, it's liver-friendly.... blah blah blah.

Not sure what got into me ... if you ever see me at a grocery store, run the other way!

Thursday, December 4, 2008


I love leftovers. Usually the next day the flavours have all marinated well together and really come together. Today for lunch I had this great quinoa chickpea pilaf that I tried a couple of nights ago. I prepared it in less than 30 minutes and was delicious!

First thing I did was dice up a sweet potato and drizzle it with olive oil and roasted it in the oven on 450F for 20 minutes. I then made quinoa with vegetable broth, 2 minced garlic cloves and a pinch a red chili flakes. While that was cooking I cut up some green beans in 1 inch pieces and steamed them.... opened up a can of chickpeas and threw everything in the quinoa when it was almost done. I added some parsley and the sweet potato, a little Herbamare and pepper and heated it through. So quick and healthy - I love it.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Fajita Sunday! Ole!

One of the easiest and quickest meals we do at home is fajitas. Fajitas are pretty simple and are quite healthy (because of all the veggies) before all the traditional toppings of cheese and sour cream. The other thing that drives me crazy are the fajita seasoning packages that the majority of people use for flavouring.

Our version is the healthy version. We usually dice up onions and mushrooms, slice a red and green pepper, chop up a bunch of asparagus, and throw in roasted sweet potato chunks, and saute everything together in a pan. Once all the veggies are almost cooked through we put a couple of teaspoons of this "fajita dust" we found down the street at the Cheese Boutique. The ingredients of this preservative-free concoction are garlic, paprika, cumin, white pepper, lime juice powder, black pepper, cayenne, and salt. How simple! Some time this week I'm going to try and re-create this mixture.....

I try and buy kamut flour tortillas when the faijitas are pre-planned or at the very least the ancient grain tortillas by Dempsters if its a last minute decision. We top with some of the Neals Brothers Organic Salsa and roll it up. A meal easily done, start to finish, within 30 minutes.

And tonight - The Amazing Race - they are still in Moscow this week - we laughed last week at their obstacles with the cab drivers in the city. When we went last year we had more than our fair share of communication issues!!!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

My inner Martha Stewart

Normally I don't have the patience to fiddle with all the decor stuff of every season. I love looking at all the planters in my neighbourhood and how they change every few months according to the seasonal foliage.

Most years in the past I have been a struggling student with no time, energy, or money to bother and last year - the first year we had a house - we were consumed with buying furniture and less so with pine boughs, wreaths, and candles.

However this year across from our place there is a woman that moved in and she is always busy working outside with her rubber boots and gloves arranging flowers and foliage in planters. I drive by every morning on the way to the clinic thinking how beautiful everything looks, yet irritated that I can't put something together on the weekends to join in the spirit and channel my long forgotten (or never realized) Martha Stewart.

So today, bright and early, in true Carol fashion I drove to a few little flower shops and bought some pine and cedar and evergreen boughs. I spent some time cleaning out my planters of the dried up herbs from the summer and then organized the planters and arranged the boughs. IT LOOKS GREAT!!!! And when Chris and I left this evening to go to a movie and saw the planters it brought me such happiness. Next up: maybe a little xmas cheer for inside the house!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Scary world

Sitting at home watching CNN with Chris. He points out he's stayed at the Taj Hotel in Mumbai, as recently as last year. I've never been to India, but can't imagine what's going on on their streets right now. It's a small and scary world.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Pregnancy Outcomes

Heard something on the radio on my home from the clinic that I always try to express to my prenatal patients. Health before pregnancy is directly related to pregnancy outcome and in turn health of baby.

There was a study done (still have to look it up and read through it) on women who had weight loss surgery before pregnancy. Those women who lost weight and were healthier before getting pregnant had a better overall pregnancy.

This is why earlier this year I introduced the Baby & Me Pregnancy Program at Zawada Health. The program is essentially an educational program to ensure that women think about every possible aspect of their health and their environment prior to getting pregnant and while pregnant. Many women have already been through the program and found the information invaluable.... information about the benefits of fish oil (DHA), why avoiding artificial sweeteners is important, how to gauge how much exercise to do during pregnancy, teas to drink in your 3rd trimester that can help with labour and delivery, etc....


This whole social networking thing is insane. My husband, Chris has been hounding me to have a facebook page. For the last 3 or so years as many of my friends have asked me "to be their friend" and join, I have insisted that I didn't want a part of it.

So last week Chris came home from an advertising company reception that focused solely on how businesses large and small are using facebook as a chance for their clients to discuss and compare notes etc....

Now I've been doing some research and thinking about this and am now considering it! I can actually envision my patients discussing ways to get through a detox, maybe sharing recipes or something.

Maybe I'll give it a try.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

On the verge of getting sick...

October was busy and I'm starting to feel it. I can always tell when I'm going through a busy period when my immune system is telling me enough!

So last night I kept my husband up with my constant coughing.... I was feeling a touch sniffly all week but I managed to keep it from becoming a full blown cold. I armed myself with my usual weapons. I always keep Echinacea Combo from St. Francis and vitamin C and zinc ready in the cupboard just in case.

This morning I woke up exhausted from my coughing spells and knew I needed a different supplement. Thanks to Tom at the OAND convention I had a sample bottle of Resp-fx by Integra Nutrition (alpha science laboratories). It is a specific combination of respiratory herbs specific for opening up the airways and coughs.

Worked like a charm! I did 1 Tbsp every 2 hours today and now it's suppertime and I'm all good. I'll take it easy tomorrow and hopefully I'm fresh for Monday!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Info on Macrobiotic Eating

The following is taken from a fun website from the author of Hip Chicks Guide to Macrobiotic Eating....

What is Macrobiotics?

The word macrobiotic comes from "macro" which means large, big or great, and "bios" which means "life". So to practice macrobiotics is to practice the art of a great life. Sometimes this means that your life is totally groovy, but it also means that the person eating macrobiotic foods begins to perceive things from a wider and wider perspective; we see the ups and downs of life and ride them like good surfers. When you perceive a bigger picture, you can let go of the small stuff.

What do you eat?

Most people practicing macrobiotics mix and match from the following foods: whole grains, beans and bean products (like tofu), organic vegetables (local and in season), soups, sea vegetables (a/k/a seaweed!), desserts (sweetened with rice syrup, barley malt, fruit and sometimes maple syrup), a little fish, a little fruit, pickles (to aid digestion), condiments (to provide minerals), nuts, seeds and non aromatic teas. However, every person has different needs depending on their age, gender, lifestyle and ambitions. Plus, the real spirit of macrobiotics is about freedom; one eats healthy food most of the time so that one can eat more extreme foods some of the time. So people in good health can go out and "play", having a glass of wine, or a piece of chocolate cake, or . . . whatever, when they feel it's appropriate to the occasion. They then return to their regular macro foods in order to maintain their health and eventually "play" again.

What are Yin and Yang?

Macrobiotic philosophy comes down to explaining everything through the lens of yin and yang. Yang force creates contracting and inward movement while yin force creates expansion and outward movement. From these fundamental forces we get everything: light and dark, speed and slowness, hot and cold, hard and soft, etc. All dualities can be seen through this lens. In macrobiotic thinking, it is believed that if we eat foods that are whole, local and in season, that our bodies get the perfect yin ness and yang ness needed for the natural environment in which we live. When we harmonize with nature, we experience strength, flexibility, freedom and happiness. Tropical foods are great for people living in the tropics; they provide the perfect yin ness and yang ness to balance the extreme heat. Likewise, blueberries are a great fruit for people in New England. When we start to eat really really yin foods like bananas, pineapples, yogurt and sugar (smoothie, anyone?) day after day in New York City, we lose touch with the natural world and eventually become weakened by all the excess yin force.

Why do people use the macrobiotic diet to recover from cancer and other serious illness?

In macrobiotic thinking, all illness begins with becoming out-of-sync with the natural environment. And the primary way that we do that is by putting food inside of us that has nothing to do with nature. Yes, there are other factors—lifestyle, emotional stressors and living next a to a nuclear power plant—and they all need to be addressed, but food is always either working for or against your health and freedom. Many people have found that when they return to whole, macrobiotic foods and respect the laws of yin and yang, their bodies rediscover a natural balance that supports their healing.

Macrobiotic Dish for Dinner

For tonight's dinner I'm shaking things up a little for us.... I was surfing around earlier today for cauliflower recipes because we haven't had cauliflower for a while and wanted to try a new recipe.

My mom used to make breaded cauliflower at least once a week and it was always so delicious. She use to boil the cauliflower and then pan-fry some bread crumbs with butter and then smother the cauliflower with the breaded goodness. Yes I know, I know.... it's a wonder how I became the healthy eating naturopath I am with a family that is traditional Polish and farmers. Meat and potatoes is definitely what I grew up on.

Anyway.... so tonight I stumbled upon macrobiotic eating and remembered how in the macrobiotic diet potatoes and other nightshades are "forbidden". So a macrobiotic version of mashed potatoes is what we are having tonight.

1 cup millet
1 clove chopped garlic
2 cups cauliflower
pinch of salt
3 cups water

Rinse the millet and put in a pot with some chopped garlic and some olive oil and heat on medium for 5 minutes stirring constantly.

Add the cauliflower, water and salt and bring up to a boil. Simmer for 30 minutes and then puree everything in a blender or food processor.

Ok so I just finished eating the puree with Chris. Both of us thought it was a touch bland ... we added some fresh ground pepper to make it a bit tastier. It really did look like mashed potatoes but the texture of the millet and cauliflower before I pureed it was actually delicious.

Will definitely do the recipe again but next time no pureeing.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Crazy October...

Wow.... I cannot believe it's November and the sun is shining! For those of you who wondered what happened to my blogs in October - I'm back! It's been super busy around the clinic with people wanting to boost their immune systems for the upcoming winter season, last minute fall detoxes, seminars etc.

I also just finished up my 3rd annual mom's group detox. As usual they are always great - super motivated about their health, always asking me lots of great questions. It was interesting because they are finally noticing that the more often they do the cleanses the better they feel overall and the easier it's getting. They now have a great repetoire of detox recipes which always is the key to a successful detox. AND yes I'm still working on the detox cookbook.... Hopefully now with the craziness over I can focus my "extra" energy on that!

October 18th weekend was the annual OAND conference. Usually some great inspiring speakers on various topics, great "naturopathic food", and a supplier show always showing the newest researched products. I was super busy this year leading up to the conference as I was asked to speak on managing pain in a primary care practice. So needless to say, being my first time speaking in front of peers, it was nervewracking but I managed.

My lean, mean, yoga machine of a sister was also in town for 2 weeks for a level 2 moksha teacher training so I tried to see her as much as possible. Look for a butternut squash soup recipe we tried at Yorkdale's William Sonoma on Tuesday. It was wonderful - I got their recipe but have to try to recreate their bottled squash puree!

Ok back to work....

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Metro Lentil Soup Recipe from Patient

Wow. It's been awhile since I've blogged. Things have been crazy busy around the clinic with tons of old patients coming back for their fall detox and lots of new patients wanting to feel better overall and boost their immunity for the upcoming winter season.

Last week one of my favourite patients from the building came upstairs to the clinic because she saw a soup recipe in the Metro newspaper on her way into work. She knows I'm a big soup fan, because they're easy to make on a weekend and then freeze into individual portions for fast, no-think lunches for work!

This one is great if you enjoy warm strong flavours like curry and cardamom!

Here it is:
Curried Lentils, Sweet Potato and Cauliflower
1 large onion, roughly chopped, 3 tbsp Indian curry paste,10 cardamom pods,2 medium sweet potatoes, about 1lbs peeled and cut into ½ pieces,¾ cup green or brown lentils, rinsed, 2 cups vegetable broth, 5 cups cauliflower florets, 1/4 cup fresh coriander leaves, salt and pepper

Heat a large, heavy saucepan over medium low heat. Add onions and curry paste, stirring paste thoroughly into onion. Cook, stirring constantly for 2-3 minutes. To remove seeds from cardamom pods, smash pods with a large knife of meat mallet. Remove the small brown seeds (discard pods) and stir into onion mixture along with sweet potatoes. Cook for another 2-3 minutes.
Stir in lentils and broth, cover, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer, covered for 15 minutes. Add cauliflower and return to a boil; reduce head and simmer 8-10 minutes or until lentils and vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, stir in coriander, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Let stand a few minutes before serving.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Green Pesto Pasta


Today is detox day 4. Doing great.... yesterday was a touch hungry because I didn't bring enough snacks to work.

Last night for dinner we whipped up something in 20 minutes. Got the brown rice pasta boiling while I made a parsley pecan pesto (no dairy - completely detox friendly!), sauteed a bunch of asparagus, threw in a can of tuna (but could have done chickpeas instead), and then mixed the pesto with the asparagus and tuna. By the time that was done the pasta was finished cooking so we mixed it all together and presto... delicious pesto pasta!!!!

This Sunday may be tricky as we are going to the Buffalo Bills game..... I think my husband Chris will be starting this detox on Monday instead of tomorrow as planned!!!!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Detox Day 1

Ok so summer is over, trips are done for now and autumn is coming.... DETOX TIME!

Today is day 1. So far I've had my Metabolic Cleanse shake for breakfast, a lentil and sweet potato and leek soup, a cup of cooked beets, a peach and lots of almonds. Since we got back from Chicago late last night we haven't had a chance to do groceries so nothing is on the menu for tonight as of yet. I'll have to grab some stuff on my way home!

So far so good.

Hurricane Ike

Chris and I just got back from the "windy" (more like rainy) city of Chicago. Fabulous city!

We flew in on Friday morning and flew out on Monday night. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday we toted around umbrellas making the best of the wrath of Hurricane Ike. We were lucky as some parts of Chicago were completely flooded!

We saw as many sights and neighbourhoods as we could and spent some of the wettest times inside at the Art Institute and restaurants. We went to some fantastic places to eat - so if you are ever in Chicago and looking for an upscale vegetarian restaurant (Green Zebra), a hip Japanese spot (Japonais), a small plates, tapas style dining experience (avec), or a Mediterranean inspired localavore chef (Naha) try these spots out.

So between eating and shopping we stayed dry and had a great long weekend.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Dalton McGuinty and David Rocco Do Hip Cooking Video

As most of Ontario knows (or should know) Premier Dalton McGuinty is big on education. Last year the Ontario government started the daunting task of trying to eliminate junk food from our schools and promoting healthy eating.

This video is of David Rocco (I love his show on the Food Network!!), the Premier and a few kids on a farm in Ontario talking about the benefits of eating locally, how good our Ontario produce is, and of course demonstrating how to cook a quick couscous salad.

I love the music in this video too!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Baron Baptiste to the rescue!

Wow. After a weekend of eating I was glad that Ang was in town. We went for a walk after dinner so I could show her our neighbourhood and work off some of the perogies and the dessert bonanza that was this weekend.

When we got home she took me through 30 minutes of power flow yoga that she recently did additional training in, in NYC. What a fantastic workout - now I have to find a Baptiste DVD so I can try to do some on my own. This yoga is definitely not for beginners.

90% of the time be good.....

Well remember that saying in the last blog - this weekend clearly wasn't one of those times....

We had brunch with our good friends Kirsten and Matthew on Sunday at the Drake. Kirsten suggested the Drake because it has a variety of breakfasts so everyone would be happy. I had the yogurt and granola and fruit - can't go wrong with this and I also knew there were perogies in my future that day as my parents and my sister were coming over for dinner!

Problem came when Kirsten gave Chris his birthday gift in a beautiful green box. She spent the morning baking cookies and brownies topped with this fudgey icing and layering them carefully in the box. The 4 of us also discussed more ideas of food network tv shows as Kirsten is a great cook and baker... I could take her recipes and make some substitutions to make them healthy! (Apparently I would be the one that would take all the fun out of recipes!)

Tofu Medallions Wrapped in Kale

It was Chris' birthday on Saturday - it was a weekend packed with events and friends and family to see. Saturday night we were off to our friends Aaron and Kevin's for dinner at their new house. I said I would bring dessert - Chris' favourite - World Class Chocolate ice cream cake from Baskin Robbins and they said they would take care of the rest.

So impressed.... it was a delicious and healthy meal.... They warned Chris that he would hate dinner but love dessert. We started with a mixed green salad with cherry tomatoes. The main course was brown rice, and grilled mixed vegetables AND the best part - tofu medallions wrapped in kale. I begged them for the recipe but no luck - I'm on my own to figure out how they wrapped a tasty tofu mixture in a leaf of kale. Watch for later blog on my attempt at this!

Dessert was debacherous I fear. Aaron also baked chocolate chip cookies to go along with the ice cream cake that I brought. If any patients are reading this - remember what I always say: "I'm not here to take away all the pleasures of life. 90% of the time be good and then the other 10% of the time enjoy yourself."

Thank you for a lovely evening Aaron and Kevin and thank you to D et D!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Saucy stir-fry

One of the things that stresses alot of people out is thinking of new things for dinners. Last night I remembered a recipe from a magazine that I had read that was brought to me from one of my patients and decided to whip it up (of course with some minor changes!). It took me less than 30 minutes prep time included!

I cut up a red and green pepper, a zucchini, a head of broccoli and some mushrooms. I sauteed some garlic with the mushrooms while cutting the other vegetables. Added the veggies while I made the sauce. I mixed 1/4 cup of Pomegranate juice, 1/4 cup of Braggs, 1/4 cup of water, 1/4 cup of rice wine vinegar and 1 tsp honey. I slowly added 2 Tbsp of arrowroot powder to thicken the sauce and then poured the whole mixture in with the veggies. While this was cooking I made the quinoa and picked Chris up from the subway. Came back 10 minutes later the stir-fry thickened up nicely, the quinoa was ready and we were starving and ready to eat. Turned out wonderful.... Next time I would have added a bit more pomegranate juice to flavour it up even more and maybe top with some pomegranate seeds and hemp seeds to add some crunch.

School lunches - here we go again!

With the recent listeriosis outbreak in deli-meats, many parents are stressed over what to pack for the kids (or themselves!) for lunch.

The September newsletter includes 2 easy lunches - grilled veggie pinwheel sandwiches and chicken and pineapple skewers. Another thought includes making a bean spread for a wrap and adding some vegetables - you could put a cup of cooked adzuki beans/lentils/chickpeas in a blender with a 1/4 cup salsa, spread the mixture on a wrap and throw in some spinach, tomatoes and cucumbers, or whatever veggie mixture your kids will eat and roll it up for them!

You can always put together your own "lunchable" in a tupperware - a few pieces of grilled chicken from the night before, a small bunch of grapes, a few tablespoons of hummus or healthy dip, some celery/carrots/cucumbers and maybe a few rice crackers. A lunch doesn't have to be a salad. It just takes some time to think of or seek out other options and break out of the sandwich rut!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Planet Organic in Port Credit Saved the Day!

Chris was coming home late tonight so I ran some clinic errands after my last patient in Port Credit. I got soooooooooooo hungry - I couldn't wait to get home to make dinner. I remembered Planet Organic on Lakeshore has a freshly made food/salad area just like Whole Foods so I decided I would grab something quick and healthy to tide me over. Well as usual, you go into a store, thinking you are only going to get one thing and come out with ten things.

I saw some freshly made blackened tofu cubes so I thought I could grab some to snack on in the car. Well then the "hail to kale salad" peaked my interest so I bought a small container of that.... then the problems started when I wandered through the aisles - I ended up with a $40 bill!

That'll teach me to stop anywhere on the way home hungry. Good thing is I got a new idea for an easy, nutritious salad for lunch - shredded kale, red cabbage, carrots, Braggs, flax oil, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds, and some oregano or other herbs.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Olympics are done....

I love the Olympics. Every 2 years, whether it's the summer or the winter Olympics, I am fully engrossed in every athlete's story and glued to the television.

In second year university at McMaster I had to take History and Sociology of Sport as one of the mandatory credits for my kinesiology degree. It ended up being a fantastic course, my favourite section being the Olympic movement. We learned and discussed the political and social controversies of each Olympics, the boycots, the stories of many athletes, and the future of the games.

Even before McMaster, I loved watching the competition, the heart and soul each athlete pours into their sport, the sacrifices made, the dedication of their high performance training and most of all how every country comes together on the world stage, putting their differences aside in the spirit of sport.

I had my doubts about Beijing. I thought there would have been more controversial stories, and more protests. But again in the spirit of sport everyone came together to welcome China to the world Olympic stage. It was a phenomenal spectacle of architecture (Birds nest and the water cube!!!), symbolism, culture, and volunteerism.

One of the things on my life list is to go to an Olympics - maybe London 2012?!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Business Panel Discussion

Tonight I can't sleep.

I left the clinic at 5:30 tonight to be a part of a panel discussion on naturopathic practice management at CCNM. There was a panel of 3 different NDs all with varying business experiences discussing the trials and tribulations of opening a clinic and/or starting a practice. We talked about leases, bank loans, patients, marketing, etc., to a group of 4th year interns and new grads.

As many people know I didn't start off as the sole owner of Zawada Health. I started right out of school opening the clinic as part of a partnership. For many different factors the partnership didn't work out but the clinic is strong 5 years later with me at the helm and my fabulous crew of massage therapists, a chiropractor, a hypnotherapist, and a psychotherapist. It was a great experience for me to re-live the opening of the clinic, the hard work and all the people that were instrumental in me succeeding.

At the end I was asked who is my mentor and who was instrumental in my success. Along the way I had many people that helped in one way or another, but the 4 people that I couldn't have done it without are my sister, my parents, and of course my husband.

My sister was and still is always there for laughs and unwavering belief that I can do anything I want. I learned work ethic and how to manage people from my self-employed parents that worked so hard every single day on the farm. They will drive 2 hours to help out at the front desk when my receptionist is gone; they will paint, fix, or clean anything in the clinic; they were and still are always there to help me and love me. And Chris has seen everything from the beginning..... he heard me say at the beginning how excited I was to have one new patient the first week of opening (and still thinks I should tell my first patient ever that she was my first patient and give her her money back!!!); he was there to listen to me, and struggle through the first couple of years; he was there to edit my articles, or write a quick press release for me; he was there when the business partnership fell apart and keep me strong and keep me laughing to get through it all.

What a journey it has been so far!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Food Network Evening - $600 Pepper Mill

Last night was the annual CEF (Children's Emergency Foundation) fundraiser. This year was a lot bigger than last with probably closer to 20 different food stations all manned by different Food Network celebrity chefs. Massimo Capra's station with a mortedello pocket of cheese on polenta was delicious and Bob's Blumer's dessert pizza was also scrumptious.

There was a silent auction as well as a live auction towards the end of the evening. I tried to convince Chris that a bowling pin pepper grinder used by Bob Blumer on the Surreal Gourmet was worth bidding on. After the bidding went over $100, I had a tough time lobbying Chris for his Visa!!! It ended up going for $600...

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Stinky Sole

When we came downstairs this morning the kitchen smelled like fish. We had sole last night for the first time. We usually have salmon, tuna, rainbow trout or halibut because of all the rich omega 3's.... but I wanted to try something different and sole was on sale. Not that it matters because it's pretty cheap to begin with!!

I spread a thin layer of dijon mustard on the fillets, and prepared a spelt flour topping with lemon pepper seasoning and freshly chopped parsley. I coated the fillets and heated some grapeseed oil in a skillet and quickly pan fried the fillets. 2 minutes on one side and then I flipped them over, covered them and turned off the heat. It was delicious! It tasted like a breaded fish but was actually wheat-free. The flour was just enough to crisp it up.

Too bad sole is so stinky.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Warm Kale Saute

I just finished steaming a head of kale. Somedays I can easily eat a whole bowl without adding anything to it, however tonight I need to shake it up a little.

Kale and sesame is a great match so I thought I would try to make a sesame seed dressing. I took out my blender and put about a 1/2 cup of tahini (sesame seed butter - sesame seeds just ground up), a few squirts of Braggs (like a soy sauce without the wheat, salt and preservatives), some agave nectar (about 3 Tbsp), and blended it. It was a touch too thick so I added some water. It actually turned out quite nice and probably got close to my daily requirement of calcium if not more!!!

When Chris gets home, I'll just pour over the steamed kale and add a few sprinkles of sesame seeds!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Can't Win

Chris is starting to exercise. Chris is drinking more green and white tea and less coffee. Chris is generally overall moving in the right lifestyle direction.

Today, after two days of exercise, he is complaining of right upper quadrant pain. He thinks if he stops exercising and drinks more coffee, these problems (that he never had before) will disappear.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Butcher by Nature - Philosophy 101

Yesterday morning I popped up to Annette and Runnymede to an organic butcher shop. I always run by the shop in the mornings but have never stopped in as it's closed before 10 am. So yesterday on a quest for bison meat I remembered about the shop and decided to go check it out.

What a wonderful place and owner! The owner was super friendly and helpful, the shop was spotless and had a great little selection of organic meats, game meats, gluten-free goodies, and some spelt pastas and crackers.

The owner mentioned the hours of operation and said a few clients had commented on not being open on Sundays and Mondays. He then eloquently said that he has 3 kids and wants to have a great work-life balance, so even if he is a small business owner he wants to live a happy and fulfilled life!

Something you have to constantly remind yourself of whether you are a small business owner, a farmer, a lawyer or a politician....

Friday, June 20, 2008

Arugula and Beet Salad

Dinner tonight: Salmon steaks with some lemon pepper, olive oil, and of course fresh dill from my herb garden, AND a little salad I just created in my head!

First I roasted 4 beets in a balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and grated shallot dressing for 20 minutes. In the meantime I washed the arugula and diced an avocado, toasted some walnuts, and found some dried cranberries and threw it all together in a salad bowl. I added some goat cheese and then added the roasted beets on top and then drizzled the remaining vinagrette throughout.


Morning Glory Spelt and Brown Rice Muffins

My mother would be so proud of me today. Growing up she was always cooking delicious feasts and baking coffee cake, after coffee cake for everyone on the farm (including the 10 St.Lucian seasonal offshore workers!!). Every creation, whether following a recipe, or completely making it up along the way, was delicious.

So today I pulled a Sophie, mixing 2 different muffin recipes to create something I knew I (and maybe Chris) would like and be healthy.

First I mixed together all the dry ingredients - 1 cup spelt flour, 1 cup brown rice flour, 1 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp baking powder, 2 Tbsp ground flaxseed, 1/2 tsp of sea salt, 1 tsp cinnamon, and 1 tsp nutmeg. The wet ingredients included 2 eggs, 2/3 sunflower oil, 1/3 cup evapourated cane sugar, 1/3 cup light brown sugar and 2 tsp vanilla. I whisked the wet ingredients quickly for one minute and then added the combined dry ingredients to the wet.

Now for the morning glory part of the muffin recipe - I grated 1 red delicious apple, 3 medium carrots, 1 small zucchini and added them in. I then toasted some slivered almonds and some coconut I had around and threw that in as well. This is the beauty of the morning glory - anything really goes! Lastly I added 1/4 cup ground almonds and mixed everything together. I spooned everything into the muffin cups and put it in the preheated 350 degree oven for 25 minutes.

I was shocked - delicious!!!!! And more importantly they looked beautiful.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Even the shower isn't safe!

New study came out today regarding the off-gassing of shower curtains made of PVC. Can't say I'm surprised ...

"A new report says vinyl curtains off-gas a slew of chemicals - more than 100 - known as volatile organic compounds, which are a major contributor to indoor air pollution. The curtains also contain traces of metals such as lead, cadmium and mercury and high levels of phthalates, including one variety that Health Canada has recommended be prohibited in children's toys." (from Globe and Mail)

I had a couple of patients say how concerned they were that nothing is safe anymore. I realize it may seem that way, but you have to be confident that you are making smart consumer choices and keeping your lifestyle as clean as possible. No one can be perfect, but everyone has the power to make the best food choices, and the best lifestyle choices to properly support their health, regardless of everything else that is going on around them.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Food at Seminars?!

Just got back from a really good seminar on women's health. Tori Hudson, an ND who is probably the leading naturopathic women's health practitioner in North America, is the speaker for this 2 day integrative health seminar.

From 9 am to 5 pm today she discussed the scientific research behind why we as NDs prescribe what we do for PMS, dysmenorrhea, interstitial cystitis, and PCOS, among other concerns. It was a good review of the research that has been done on many nutraceuticals and the mechanism of action of the supplements, that I use in my daily practice with many of my patients. It was also surprising and refreshing to see a couple of medical doctors and nurse practitioners at the seminar. Hopefully they relay information back to their colleagues that our medicine is actually very well researched and there's a method to our madness!

HOWEVER.... I along with many of the other attendees were surprised to see what breakfast and lunch entailed. Usually when I attend naturopathic seminars and conferences the food is very much catered to our healthy, nutritional ways i.e. soymilk is provided for tea and coffee, lots of fruit at breakfast, many different vegetable options, tofu or beans are usually an option etc. Today's breakfast was an interesting array of croissants and bagels, while lunch was a variety of deli sandwiches on white bread or baguettes. WOW.... we spent all day discussing how diet has such a huge impact on PMS, and dysmenorrhea... discussing how a highly refined sugar diet and high carbohydrate diet can contribute to many of the women's health concerns that we treat....

Note to self: eat breakfast before leaving home tomorrow and bring my own walnuts and fruit for snacks.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Golf Course Snacks

Yes I golf. I started a few years ago and have come to love being outside on the courses trying to hit this little white ball around, to make it go into a hole. I took lessons from the beginning so I've learned properly and Chris is very patient so we've had a lot of fun over the last couple of years playing together!

I do think there needs to be a little refinement in the food and beverage aspect of the game though.
18 holes takes between 4 and 5 hours and I like to walk versus taking a cart, (when we're allowed to), so I get maximum exercise. I like to eat every 3-4 hours - it's important - it's keeps blood sugar balanced and metabolism going smoothly. This poses a problem on the golf course unless I take an apple and/or a protein bar to snack on.

I understand that for many people golf can be about the beverages (beer) and the food (mayo-laden tuna or egg sandwiches and/or chili dogs) but I do believe there needs to be some healthier options. How about some green tea for those cold mornings? How about roasted veggies on spelt bread? How about a little mix of unroasted almonds and walnuts and some fresh fruit?

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Sore Muscles

Wow we're sore today....

Chris and I started painting the house yesterday. We had a relaxing morning having breakfast and reading the newspapers at a cute little place in Roncesvalles and then trekked over to Home Depot and Benjamin Moore for painting supplies and paint. The painting process didn't start off well ... we dropped a gallon of paint out of the back seat of the car and onto the garage floor. I thought it would be fun to paint together .... Let's just say that after painting for 4 hours we called it quits and there may be a call to College Pro Painters in the near future.

This morning we popped into RPM Studio for our Sunday morning spinning class. We were sore from yesterday but decided to still go and get some exercise. Now it's early Sunday evening and I've taken some Arnica orally, rubbed some Traumeel into my thighs and am going to take an epsom salt bath tonight. I'll be as good as new for tomorrow's adventures.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Veggies and Quinoa Not a Meal?

Just finished eating dinner....

Chris and I talked this morning about what we had in our fridge to put together for dinner tonight so we didn't have to go to the store after work. I said we could bake the brussel sprouts in a touch of dijon mustard and olive oil, have the beets in the freezer from my parents garden they recently brought over and some quinoa.

So when we got home we quickly prepared everything and there was some grumblings from the other side of the table that there was 3 "sides" for dinner and no "main". It was really tasty and really fast to prepare.

Quinoa is my favourite grain - it's the grain with the highest amount of protein and has great calcium and magnesium content as well - AND it definitely can be considered a complete meal when served with just veggies. Maybe next time to satisfy everyone we'll put some lentils(or sausage!) in the mix... maybe that will makes all the troops happy!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Muesli for Breakfast

I totally forgot about having muesli for breakfast until my good friend Jane reminded me by asking for a recipe!

Jane just got back from beautiful New Zealand and had mentioned a typical breakfast for her and Scott was muesli. She wasn't able to find a good muesli here and asked if I had a recipe. Sure enough I did and used to do this once in awhile. Give this a try if you want something different for breakfast.

The night before you want to have muesli, take 1/2 cup of large flake oats and soak in water in a bowl (cover with 1 inch of water). In the morning, grate an apple into the oats and mix in 1 Tbsp lemon juice, 1/2 cup plain yogurt or rice milk or soy milk, 1 Tbsp toasted pumpkin seeds, 1 Tbsp sunflower seeds, and 1 Tbsp toasted sliced almonds, and 1/2 fresh berries. Stir together and enjoy! You can always substitute any of the nuts and seeds or the berries for different fruit.

Saturday, April 19, 2008


I just got back from the OAND AGM. The OAND is our professional provincial association and it holds an annual general meeting every year. 2007 was an exciting year for our profession as The Naturopathy Act was passed in provincial legislature. Essentially the Naturopathy Act puts us under the RHPA (Regulated Health Professionals Act), with other healthcare professionals such as medical doctors, chiropractors, speech pathologists, and massage therapists, among others.

The OAND is our only connection to the policies and framework that the provincial government will be putting into place with the Transition Council. Every month the association collects dues that essentially allow them to continue working on our behalf to make sure we are allowed to safely and effectively educate and treat our patients to the best of what our many years of education and training have given us. Who would talk to the government if the OAND wasn't around? I wish more of my colleagues across Ontario realized the importance of having a provincial association - healthcare in Canada is provincially regulated!

There should be no reason why everyone in Ontario shouldn't want to have a Naturopathic doctor as part of their healthcare team. I have no doubt that much of the burden on the healthcare system we have provincially, would be lifted if more people saw Naturopathic doctors.

Again.... I love what I do. Oh and I love that Aileen and Makoto introduced me to Bulldog this morning before the AGM.

Ok off to enjoy the sunshine!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Spring Is FINALLY Here!!

I feel great today. The sun is out, and Spring is in the air! This time of the year reminds me of so many things.... the first of course, having grown up on a farm, is the smell of the freshly ploughed soil and the second is actually a Traditional Chinese Medicine course I took with a couple of friends/colleagues while we were still at CCNM.

It was a course on the five element theory of Chinese Medicine. It was the day I realized nothing can change who I am - I was born a "wood" and will always be a "wood". Every element has a season associated with it, a colour, a set of characteristics, an organ, health concerns and tendencies....

I am the wood element, which is associated with the liver, and with Springtime. Spring rejuvenates me and gives me the energy I need to grow and work hard. The two friends I went to the course with were "fire" and "water" and we learned what each of us gives each other and what we have to be careful doing to each other. Fires are full of energy. Fires need wood to spark them and to give them ideas/ thoughts to keep burning... but that isn't always good. Sometimes it's too much for a fire and they can get out of control and burn out easily. I also learned that I tend to surround myself with "earth" people. My two best friends, Noreen and Andrea are both "earths" - I guess they stabilize me and ground me. Thanks guys!!! I'm off to visit my "fire" friend, Anna, tomorrow! Always an adventure.

It was a course I will never forget as I learned how to look at myself differently and how the people around me affect me, my thoughts, and my actions. One of the teachers wrote in my textbook something I will always remember - "Remember that you must learn to be patient and bend like bamboo."

Friday, March 7, 2008

I-Channel, @issue

Yesterday afternoon I left the clinic early to tape a show for a health series on I-Channel (Channel 197 on Rogers Cable) called @issue. Zoltan Rona, MD and author, and Kelly Rabazzo, a chiropractor, and myself were part of a round-table discussion on alternative and complementary healthcare. This station or network or whatever you call it, was very well organized and the host, Catherine, was really good at keeping everyone at ease and keeping the conversation moving along.

It was a pleasure to meet Zoltan Rona as he has definitely jumped outside the conventional medical box by looking at how effective natural therapies are and by being a leader in environmental toxin testing and treatment.

We discussed how important nutrition and exercise are in people's lives and how poor lifestyle choices can put someone down the track of chronic disease like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. We also discussed who our patients are and what kinds of health concerns we see. We finished off with a fiery topic for all of us - regulation for NDs, what OHIP covers, and what the provincical and federal governments need to know and do to help today's society live a healthier, longer life.

I'm not sure when it's going on air. Hopefully they'll let me know!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Snack Idea Before Dinner

It's been busy since I've been back from Edmonton and my body is in yoga withdrawal. Getting lunches and dinners together has been difficult this week as Chris and I have been getting home late.

Yesterday I was able to pop into TNT (an Asian supermarket) down the street between patients to pick up some edamame or soybeans. It was so easy and quick that it was the perfect snack when we got home starving and we had to wait for our veggie stir-fry to finish cooking. Threw the frozen edamame in some salted boiling water for 2 minutes, drained them, and then shook them with some large sea salt crystals and a mix of hot spices. We munched away while our dinner was cooking! Almost as tasty as the edamame we love at Kinki (sushi restaurant) in Ottawa.

My dad would be shocked seeing us pay for and eat a bag of soybeans, a crop that caused him so much stress over the years!

Monday, February 25, 2008

My Personal Yoga Boot Camp

Wow. I'm just about to leave Edmonton after an intense 5 day personal yoga boot camp. I feel amazing. I came out on Thursday to visit my sister and check out her new Moksha yoga studio. Little did I know what I was in for! I ended up making the visit a little personal challenge - I did 2 classes a day for the time I was here and by the last class I took today, I could noticeably see and feel the difference in my flexibility and strength.

More importantly, I think it's important to sometimes step out of the regular hustle and bustle of life and challenge yourself to reawaken your health, vision, and goals. It doesn't even have to be yoga.... I guess it could be to challenge yourself to sit in stillness for 15 minutes a day, quit drinking pop for a week, write down what you are grateful for everyday for a month, or walk everyday for 20 minutes for a month.

I am grateful that I had this opportunity and thank Ang for kicking my butt everyday for the last 5 days..... my thighs and triceps thank her as well.


Monday, February 11, 2008

Artificial Sweetners Make You Fat!

I was so happy, (almost vindicated!), when I read the Globe this morning and in the Life section there was an article explaining why artificial sweeteners make you fat.

When patients come to see me for weight loss, a common thing I see in their diet diaries is diet pop or low-fat, fat-free stuff - things with artificial sweeteners - even with Splenda, the sweetener many try to convince me that is "good". I always try to explain how I would rather see them eat/drink real sugar because at least your body knows what to do with sugar. Artificial sweeteners confuse the body's messaging systems - your body doesn't know how to react! I could rant forever.....

You can't fool nature.... Switch your pop for water and you will start to feel better!

Key Lime Pie (made from avocado!)

Thanks to Leona from Mom's Time Out for giving me this amazing recipe! Apparently it comes from "Raw Foods Made Easy"..... It really was easy, taking less than 30 minutes to prepare!

First I made the almond crust by taking 2 1/4 cups of ground almonds, 3/4 cup pitted, unsoaked medjool dates, and 1/4 tsp sea salt and processing in a food processor until it began to stick together. I then scooped it into a pie pan and distributed the crumbs evenly along the bottom and up the sides of the pan and then placed in the freezer for 15 minutes while I prepared the key lime mousse.

Put 3/4 cup mashed avocado (1 1/2 avocados), 1/4 cup agave nectar, and 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice in a food processor and process until smooth. I then removed the crust from the freezer and spread the mousse over the bottom. I had fresh blueberries on hand, so I just sprinkled them on top and chilled for 2 hours.

So Friday night was "raw food night" in our house. I made a raw food pizza (crust was made of quinoa and adzuki beans) with cauliflower, beets, and sweet potato as the topping. Turned out pretty tasty except not crisp enough (didn't let the ingredients cool enough before processing I think!).

So after dinner I told Chris that I made a delicious new pie for dessert - mmmmmmm - Key Lime Pie - he was happy (as he usually is when there is dessert mentioned!) until I made a fatal mistake - I let it slip that avocado was in the pie! Ruined! He didn't even want to try it.

I, however dove right in - it truly was delicious and I don't think anyone would have noticed that it was made from avocadoes! Next time I probably would try making individual little tartlets just to make it look even more beautiful and to keep me from eating as much as I did!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

More on Bisphenol A - Parents Be Aware!

More research out on bisphenol A - this time confirming the suspicions in plastic baby bottles!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Mom's Group Detox

Just got back from one of my mom's group, group detoxes. It was the third and final get together so we talked about the reintroduction of foods and of course chatted about some "cheats", and more recipes. I love this mom's group. They are such a motivated group of women that really are trying to achieve the best health possible - not only for themselves but their families. It is people like this that really remind me what a wonderful profession I'm in and choose to practice.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Water Excess?

Was just sent the following article on drinking too much water causing kidney failure in Walkerton residents....

What do I think? I think 80% of people that I see don't drink enough water and stories like this upset me because it just deters people from drinking water at all! Simple health concerns like headaches and constipation can be minimized with making sure you are properly hydrated. Your body is 70% water and every cell needs water to do its function properly. A good goal is 2 L a day or half your body weight in ounces - definitely increase that amount if you are exercising.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Detox Day 10 - Husband Crashes

Yes it's true.... Chris threw in the towel today and had steak and wine for dinner.... we'll see how he feels tomorrow...

Hopefully he can hold off on going back to coffee in the morning and stick to the green tea for a while longer! Maybe we can still slowly reintroduce things over the next few days...

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Water Bottles

So many questions and thoughts surrounding water and water bottles today!

Just talking to my sister Ang out in Edmonton.... She just recently opened up a Moksha Yoga Studio (hot yoga) out there and is selling Sigg water bottles along with some other yoga stuff. She was saying that since Lululemon pulled the Nalgene water bottles off the shelf last year, she has been getting more questions about the best containers for water. Interestingly enough I told her, I've been getting the same questions over the last year from my patients and friends.

Here's the scoop:
Most plastics have the numbers 1 through 7 stamped on the bottom to indicate how to dispose or recycle the plastic. Number 1 bottles, that typically hold water or soda or juice, contain PET which cause the plastic to degrade and leach into the water with crinkling and reuse. The small mouth also makes them hard to wash therefore bacteria can be a problem.

Number 7 bottles, hard plastic ones like Nalgene or baby bottles, contain bisphenol-A, a hormone disrupter. Studies on its effects are currently being done. Number 2 and Number 5 bottles are currently the safest and can be found on yogurt containers.

What do I think? If you are going to drink bottled water, drink it and then recycle it, don't keep reusing the bottle. When you are at your desk or at home drink from glass. And if you need something for on-the-go or at the gym or at Moksha Yoga, buy a stainless steel, glass, or Sigg bottle which is aluminum that has been tested to not leach!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Children and Cough Syrup

Finally got the January newsletter done and sent out. The whole 2nd page of the newsletter is on the controversy with children and cough syrup, a topic I was recently asked to do a segment on CBC radio about and partly what I'm speaking to a mom's group about this Friday.

Over the holidays I was sick and my biggest symptom was a cough. Being at my parents over Christmas I didn't have my usual arsenal of herbs and homeopathics, so rest and lots of fluids, Eucalyptus steam inhalations, and pear sauce were my main weapons. This is why I decided to write about coughs in the newsletter - my dad although greatly supportive of my career and willing to try anything naturopathic, including a detox, insisted that NyQuil was the only thing that would help my cough go away. Coughs are a natural defence mechanism of the body... why suppress something that needs to happen? Sometimes for babies or children the discomfort and ensuing irritability signals that something has to be done, but there are a lot of natural therapies one can try to support the body's own ability to heal itself before surrendering to a cough suppressant!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Detox Day 4

Well the start of a new year means another detox to clean up shop and start fresh. Things are going well for me - feeling good and don't miss much. My biggest obstacle this time is my husband.... his constant complaining of being unsatisfied and grumpy is taking its toll on me. He says I would be grumpy if the tables were turned and I had to eat and drink nothing but wheat, dairy, sugar, alcohol, and caffeine. Yes my body would indeed revolt.

Made some tasty detox-friendly sweet potato pancakes today.... grated a large sweet potato and a zucchini, added some paprika, sea salt, and pepper and bound everything together with some chickpea flour and my favourite egg replacer (flaxseed simmered with water). Made them into little patties and quickly browned them on a skillet before throwing them into the oven. TASTY!