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It’s that time of year again! Everywhere I turn I’m dodging coughing and sneezing.  If there’s one thing that’s a real drag, it’s getting sick.  It feels like such a waste of time lying around waiting to feel better.

Here are some strategies that have worked for me for not getting sick in the first place.  I rarely get sick so I think I can safely say it works.

Wash your hands often.  This is the most basic and most important.  Don’t let the germs get into your body in the first place.

  • Wash your hands as soon as you get home. I’ve gotten my whole family into this habit and it’s made a big difference. I recommend using moisturizer often so your hands don’t get dried out. Also I put hand moisturizer on before I go to sleep.
  • If you’re going to be eating food and touching it with your hands, make sure you wash your hands first!  Popcorn, chips, hot dog, hamburger, fries, apple, muffin, etc. It astounds me how often I see this not happening.
  • If you can, carry wet wipes with you (in your purse/bag) so you don’t always have to go off to the washroom to wash your hands.  When my son was a baby I got into the habit of carrying wet wipes with me and they were so handy it stuck.  Now whenever we’re eating out at a restaurant I hand out wet wipes to “wash” our hands before eating and at movies before we have popcorn or treats.  I also have a pack of wet wipes in the glove compartment of the car and in my gym bag.

Don’t touch stuff:

  • Don’t touch your face unless your hands are clean.  Don’t rub your eyes, scratch your ear, put your fingers on your mouth unless you’ve washed you hands.  If you can’t wash your hands use a tissue (carry those mini tissue packs with you) or a shirt sleeve to wipe your eye, etc.
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow, not your hand, not only are you taking in germs by putting your hand on your mouth, you are also putting germs on your hand that you will be spreading around when you touch things. Be considerate of others!
  • Press the elevator button with your elbow.
  • Cover your hand with your sleeve to open the doors or, when available, use the wheelchair accessible automatic door – press it with your elbow or your hip.

Take Vitamin C daily.  Boost your immunity so if your body takes in a germ it can fight it off.  Double up if you’re feeling run down or you’ve been in contact with a sick person.

Drink lots of water.  I aim for 8 glasses a day.  It flushes toxins and germs out of your system plus so much more.

Don’t let yourself get run down:

  • Monitor your sleep.  Aim for at least 8 hours a night.  Make up for lost sleep with a nap if you can.  Before you go to bed, make note of what time you have to get up and turn out the light at least 8 hours before.
  • Don’t skip meals and get really hungry, you’re immunity goes down and you’re more susceptible to catching germs.
  • Eat nutrient rich food to boost your immunity:  vegetables, fruits and low fat proteins (meat, fish, chicken, beans, eggs).

Be in touch with how you feel. I can always tell when I may be getting sick; I feel tired and run down and I usually have a headache. This is my body sending me a signal, if I hear it I can prevent myself from getting sick.  I listen to what my body is telling me and take these steps to thwart the virus from taking hold:

  • If possible, I take a nap.  If I don’t have time, I have a short rest; 10 minutes on the couch or just sitting still and focusing on relaxing.
  • I boost my water intake to 2 litres a day.
  • I double my Vitamin C
  • I eat extra healthy.
  • Strangely my body craves a “Power Muffin” from Whole Foods, this seems to be the tell tale sign for me. This is a super rich muffin packed with lots of nutrients.  It’s practically a meal in itself, I would say it’s 400 – 500 calories.  Not something to eat often.
  • Don’t let yourself get cold for too long. The bodies energy goes into trying to warm us up and our immunity goes down.
  • For me, feeling chilly when I’m not in a chilly place is a sign that I’m coming down with something. I make sure to make an effort to warm up; I bundle up more, drink hot drinks, go to the sauna or have a hot bath until I no longer feel cold.
  • I would say 99% of the time I’m able to prevent myself from getting sick, usually within a day I feel back to normal.

Next week:  How To Get Better Fast When You’re Sick

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Finally, here is my first recipe!

(as some of you have been requesting)

While doing some research for a blog post, I realized I was not getting enough protein. So I decided to try the infamous breakfast protein shake.

It took me a while to find a protein powder that was gluten-free, dairy free, (mostly) organic and that also did not taste like cardboard, as some do.

Then it took some testing to find a combination that tasted good.

Now I love it!

It’s very filling and sets me up for the day. When I don’t have it for breakfast I find I am hungry all day. I find starting the day with protein and then having protein at every meal keeps me satiated. If you find that you are often hungry consider upping your protein intake.

I don’t know of any other way to get this much protein at breakfast – well maybe eggs and turkey bacon, but that feels so heavy and is a lot more cumbersome to prepare.

The smoothie is pretty big and filling so I have half and then I bring the other half to have after the first class I teach in the morning.

Ingredients

1 cup organic vanilla almond milk – 30 calories (Costco)

1/2 organic banana – 50 calories (Whole Foods)

1 tbsp organic hemp oil (for shiny hair)  – 120 calories (Whole Foods)

1 tbsp organic chia seeds gives it nice thick consistency – 50 calories/2 g protein (Costco)

1/3 cup organic frozen berries – 20 calories (Costco)

1 scoop Kaizen Vegan Chocolate Protein Powder – 160 calories/25 g protein (Whole Foods)

Total calories: 430

Total protein: 27 g

I put everything in my Bullet blender except the frozen berries and protein powder, I let it sit for about 15 minutes so the Chia seeds soften.

When I’m ready to have it I add the frozen berries and protein powder and blend for a bit longer than you would think (1 full minute) so it has a really smooth whippy dessert-like consistency.

I find it’s hard to digest the protein so I take a digestive enzyme capsule from Whole Foods with it.

Once in a blue moon if I don’t have time for a meal I will have it as a meal for lunch or dinner.

Let me know if you try it!

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Have you ever read the ingredients on a candy bar?

The main ingredient of concern (among many) is hydrogenated vegetable oil.

It’s oil that’s been treated with hydrogen, if you can believe it, to make it stronger. This way when items are shipped they do not break as easily. The problem is, this oil does not break down in our bodies. In fact, we are not able to digest it at all so it sticks to our arteries collecting dust until there’s enough of it there to to block the artery all together. The only way to remove it is surgically, that is if it doesn’t cause a heart attack first!

Hydrogenated oil is also known as “trans fats” and it’s become common to see food items marked “0 trans fats”. Unfortunately this cannot be trusted. Since I always read ingredient labels I was surprised to read “hydrogenated oil” on an ingredient list on a product that was labelled “0 trans fats”. “How strange”, I thought to myself, so I called Health Canada to get to the bottom of it. Turns out Health Canada allows companies to label an item “0 trans fats” when it has under certain amount of hydrogenated oil. Can you believe it!? So always read the ingredient list even if it says “0 trans fats” (be aware that this oil is sometimes listed as “modified oil”).

This time of year those evil little candy bars seem to be everywhere. We see them in a bowl at the reception desk or in the lunch room, tempting us to have one. After all, they’re so small and cute, they can’t do that much harm, we tell ourselves.

But really, think about it, do you really want to eat this thing that is packed with artificial flavours and hydrogenated oil?! Is it really worth it?!

Ask yourself:

Is It Crap?

What are the ingredients in that tasty morsel?
Is it actually tasty & delicious or am I eating it out of: boredom? something to do? unconsciousness? feeling uncomfortable? obligation?
Is it made with artificial flavour and hydrogenated oil? Or is it real made with natural ingredients?
What are natural ingredients you wonder? If you can’t pronounce it or don’t know what it means then it’s crap. Pretty simple, huh!?
Consider how you will feel after you eat it: Crap makes you feel like crap!

Be picky! Be choosy! Don’t eat crap! Trust me it’s not worth it.

You are an adult and you can go and buy yourself some candy whenever you want.

If you really are craving a treat go buy yourself something made with real wholesome ingredients. Go to a real chocolate store or Whole Foods, there are so many choices now. You can get chocolate made with real cocoa, cheesies made with real cheese, organic popcorn that is not packed with yellow dye, homemade cookies, there’s so much out there if you really want it. You will start to be able to tell the difference between real and fake food and pretty soon you’ll have hard time eating the “crap” because it tastes like, well, crap.

Don’t eat crap!

FOR KIDS:

After I had my son and he was old enough to participate in Halloween I got worried thinking about all the hydrogenated oil, artificial flavours, dyes and general crap that would be going into his body with all that Halloween candy.

So this is what I did:

I let him have all the candy he wanted on Halloween night and the day after.
I explained to him my concerns about the candy and how bad it was.
I offered to trade his candy bag for a toy (he LOVED the idea!).

If he was feeling really sad about giving up his candy then I’d get him a few treats made with wholesome ingredients.
Get the candy out of the house, out of sight, out of mind. If you stash it or you might eat it!

What to do with the candy? Leave it the alley, take it to your office, community centre, food bank or just throw it away, it’s garbage anyway.

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This is a great reminder to reach out and create community, something I strive to do in my classes.

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Recently I listened to a podcast by Joe Rogan and Dr. Rhonda Patrick.

He beautifully expressed many of my feelings regarding exercise and it made me want to share it with you (warning: swearing):

.

or you can read my summary below
I hope it motivates you!

Some people don’t want to exercise; they’d rather go to a doctor and get a pill. There’s a fear of discomfort, they don’t want to sweat and strain. It’s an extreme feeling in the mind.

What it really is however is the discomfort of the beginnings of getting in shape. Because once you’re fit, exercise is something you look forward to. It alleviates stress and makes you feel good: relaxed, carefree, more appreciative of things and less reactive.

Neuro-imaging studies show that exercise improves executive function and calms the amygdala – the brains emotional centre. Exercise helps you think logically and be less reactive from the gut. Meditation has similar effect.

So how to get started? Create momentum. Resist the resistance. Realize that discomfort is your friend. The choice to resist creates momentum, just as the choice to avoid creates momentum. The more you resist the more you can resist. The more you avoid, the more you continue to avoid. When we consistently resist the avoidance it creates a force that propels us forward.

Often when we are not happy and content with life it’s because we have given into the avoidance. We have stayed in our comfort zone. The need to act is so strong yet we avoid it. We feel that resistance all the time and we have to fight it in order to get past it so we can progress and succeed.

When we choose to avoid working out, it’s not only bad for us physically but also mentally. When we decide to stay on the couch we tell ourselves that it’s an option, that avoiding is an option that is at our disposal and that creates momentum to continue avoiding. Our choices create neuro-pathways in the brain: to avoid or to resist. Once the neuro-pathway is created we tend to stay on that path. If we choose to avoid, we may then find ourselves avoiding other things in life too: conflict, uncomfortable decisions and making changes.

When we get off the couch and go workout we feel successful and a sense of accomplishment. A year from now you could have a completely different body working out just 2 -3 times a week. It’s not a huge commitment and the outcome is incredible. You could add ten years to your life! It’s not about vanity; it’s about the quality of your life, not only as you age but also right now, how it affects you today. And it not only affects you but everyone that comes into contact with you.

When we live a sedentary lifestyle and eat badly we accelerate aging; we become broken and start to fall apart. We can delay the aging process and improve the quality of our life simply by being active and eating well. What could me more important?!

If you could take a pill to prevent your body and mind from a decaying from old age would you take it? Everyone would say yes, but there is no such pill. The pill is exercise and healthy eating. Actual pills don’t always work and they have side effects. And a pill is not going to make you feel better in a true sense. A pill is not going to clear your mind, change the shape of your body and give you confidence and ease. Yes pills are sometimes necessary for a medical condition but often the medical condition is caused by unhealthy habits to begin with.

Our consciousness is in charge of making the choice. What will you choose?

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I’m not a vegetarian but I found this very interesting:

 

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It’s that time of year, seems there are a lot of sick people around, coughing, sneezing, etc.  If there’s one thing that’s a real drag, it’s getting sick.  It just sucks to feel bad and it feels like such a waste of time lying around waiting to feel better.

Here are some strategies that have worked for me for not getting sick in the first place.  I rarely get sick so I think I can safely say it works.

Wash your hands often.  This is the most basic and most important.  Don’t let the germs get into your body in the first place.

  • Wash your hands as soon as you get home.  I’ve gotten my whole family into this habit and it’s made a big difference.  I recommend using moisturizer often so your hands don’t get dried out.
  • If you’re going to be eating food and touching it with your hands, make sure you wash your hands first!  Popcorn, chips, hot dog, hamburger, fries, apple, muffin, etc..  It astounds me how often I see this not happening.
  • If you can, carry wet wipes with you (like in your purse) so you don’t always have to go off to the washroom to wash your hands.  When my son was a baby I got into the habit of carrying wet wipes with me and they were so handy it stuck.  Now whenever we’re eating out at a restaurant I hand out wet wipes to “wash” our hands before eating and at movies before we have popcorn, etc.  I also have a pack of wet wipes in the glove compartment of the car and in my gym bag.

Don’t touch stuff:

  • Don’t touch your face unless your hands are clean.  Don’t rub your eyes, scratch your ear, put your fingers on your mouth unless you’ve washed you hands.  If you can’t wash your hands use a tissue (carry those mini tissue packs with you) or a shirt sleeve to wipe your eye, etc..  Cough or sneeze into your elbow, not your hand, not only are you taking in germs by putting your hand on your mouth, you are also putting germs on your hand that you will be spreading around when you touch things.
  • Press the elevator button with your elbow.
  • Cover your hand with your sleeve to open the doors or when available use the wheelchair accessible automatic door, press the door opener with your elbow or your hip.

Take Vitamin C daily.  Boost your immunity so if your body takes in a germ it can fight it off.  Double up if you’re feeling run down or you’ve been in contact with a sick person.

Drink lots of water.  I aim for 8 glasses a day.  It flushes toxins and germs out of your system plus so much more.

Don’t let yourself get run down:

  • Monitor your sleep.  Aim for at least 8 hours a night.  Make up for lost sleep with a nap if you can.  Before you go to bed, make note of what time you have to get up and turn out the light at least 8 hours before.
  • Don’t skip meals and get really hungry, you’re immunity goes down and you’re more susceptible to catching germs.
  • Eat nutrient rich food to boost your immunity:  vegetables, fruits and low fat proteins (meat, fish, chicken, beans, eggs).

Be in touch with how you feel.  I can always tell when I may be getting sick; I feel tired and run down and I usually have a headache.  This is my body sending me a signal, if I hear it I can prevent myself from getting sick.  I listen to what my body is telling me and take these steps to thwart the virus from taking hold:

  • I try and take a nap.  If I don’t have time, I have a short rest; 10 minutes on the couch or just sitting still and focusing on relaxing.
  • I boost my water intake to 2 litres a day.
  • I double my Vitamin C
  • I eat extra healthy.
  • Strangely my body craves a “Power Muffin” from Whole Foods, this seems to be the tell tale sign for me.  This is a super rich muffin packed with lots of nutrients.  It’s practically a meal in itself, I would say it’s 400 – 500 calories.  Not something to eat often.
  • Don’t let yourself get cold for too long.  The bodies energy goes into trying to warm us up and our immunity goes down.
  • For me, feeling chilly when I’m not in a chilly place is a sign that I’m coming down with something.  I make sure to make an effort to warm up; I bundle up more, go to the sauna or have a hot bath until I no longer feel cold.
  • I would say 99% of the time I’m able to prevent myself from getting sick, usually within a day I feel back to normal.

Next week:  How To Get Better Fast When You’re Sick

Read Full Post »

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