[Recipe Post] Lower Cortisol with Dessert? Yes Please!

STRESS!!!

Its causes are absolutely everywhere. Would you agree?

Our natural “fight or flight” stress response is supposed to help us escape injury or death in an emergency and then return to normal after we’ve, well, fought or flew. But, in our society, with stressors basically ever-present – it becomes a long-term reaction. It becomes chronic.

You might already be familiar with the main stress hormone, called “cortisol.”  It’s released from your adrenal glands in response to stress. It’s also naturally high in the morning to get you going, and slowly fades during the day so you can sleep.

Now did you know that too-high levels of cortisol are associated with belly fat, poor sleep, brain fog, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and even lowers your immunity?

Do you experience any of these? Keep reading – I have a list of foods, nutrients, and lifestyle recommendations to help you lower this stress hormone naturally! Continue reading “[Recipe Post] Lower Cortisol with Dessert? Yes Please!”

[Recipe Post] Cafe-Style Summer Drinks, without the Cafe Lines and Name Typos

With the warmer weather comes patio season, and that often intertwines with frosty cafe beverages with or without caffeine. While I am no stranger to these cafe offerings (especially on a lovely day out or a little walk amongst the shops), it does get pricey to buy one each time. Not to mention the amount of wasteful packaging that might accumulate in your bins, if you’re like us and try to remember to bring a tumbler but don’t always manage (it’s a work in progress).

My classic ice-cold bev tip for when you want that cafe taste but not the expense or the trash OR the questionable additives:

Continue reading “[Recipe Post] Cafe-Style Summer Drinks, without the Cafe Lines and Name Typos”

[Recipe Post] Nostalgic (and Dairy-Free!) Cream of Wild Mushroom Soup

I have been dairy-free for over 10 years. Before I broke up with milk products, for the sake of animals as well as my skin and immune system, a favourite food while living at home and eventually on my own was cream of mushroom soup.

You know the kind – condensed and canned, that you need to add however much milk to it to make it “edible”. (And not remotely healthy.)

But I loved it. Continue reading “[Recipe Post] Nostalgic (and Dairy-Free!) Cream of Wild Mushroom Soup”

My 3 Favourite Plant-Power Breakfast Foods + A Savoury Recipe to Try

Do you love your breakfast?  Do you have a short list of “go-to” recipes?  Do you need a bit of inspiration to start eating breakfast again?

Getting some protein at each meal can help with blood sugar management, metabolism and weight loss.  This is because protein helps you feel fuller longer and uses up a bunch of calories to absorb and metabolize it.  So I’m going to show you how to get the protein, as well as some veggies and healthy fats for your soon-to-be favourite new “go-to” breakfasts. Continue reading “My 3 Favourite Plant-Power Breakfast Foods + A Savoury Recipe to Try”

Stay in Bed… All Night Long (for the Other Good Reason)

Do you feel like you’ve had a messy breakup with sleeping through the night?

Are you feeling exhausted or basically running on fumes all day?

Keep reading! I have some great tips (and an amazing recipe) to help you stay in bed all night long… for the other good reason. *ah-wink* Continue reading “Stay in Bed… All Night Long (for the Other Good Reason)”

[Recipe Post] A Healthy Hormone-Lovin’ Mexican Poutine

What do you get when you want sweet potatoes, broccoli, and cashew cheese? In this case, I made… a healthy Mexican poutine? Whatever it was, it was a delicious way to eat my colours and get a good range of hormone-healthy antioxidants, fiber, and healthy fats. Continue reading “[Recipe Post] A Healthy Hormone-Lovin’ Mexican Poutine”

Coffee: To Drink or Not To Drink?

You either love, love, LOVE it (I do!), tolerate it as a means to get through the day, or flat-out hate it. You know if you actually like the taste, or if it’s just a thinly-veiled excuse/vehicle to deliver mounds of sugar and cream to your bloodstream. You know how it makes you feel (i.e. your digestion, your appetite, your mental acuity, etc.).

But then you have all the crazy headlines sending you mixed signals, with some that say coffee is great, and the next day that you should avoid it!

And even more confusing, some people can manage to consume coffee on the regular with seeming ease, citing that it’s their super-power elixir that carries them effortlessly through errands, workouts, homework, and more; while there are others who experience a plethora of not-so-super symptoms ranging from jitters, restlessness, anxiety, digestive distress, and counter-intuitive energy lows and sleepiness after one cup.

There is actual science behind why different people react differently to it. It’s a matter of your genetics and how much coffee you’re used to drinking. Continue reading “Coffee: To Drink or Not To Drink?”

Keep the Stuffing from Leaving You Stuffed: Three Ways to Avoid Overeating at Meals

Sometimes those holiday feasts are just amazing.

And it’s not just the abundance of delicious food but also the people, the decorations, and the ambiance.

It is way too easy (and common) to indulge on those days.

But it doesn’t always stop there. Continue reading “Keep the Stuffing from Leaving You Stuffed: Three Ways to Avoid Overeating at Meals”

[Recipe Post] Potlucks on Plants + Italian Stuffed Mushrooms

Navigating holiday food can be hard enough when you’re making a lifestyle change, as those of us who are vegan know intimately well. The same goes for anyone taking on a change for their own health reasons, whether it’s gluten-free, keto, paleo/pegan, anti-candida, etc., etc., etc….

Then there’s the challenge of potlucks and worrying if you’ll find anything to eat that falls within the parameters of your new habits. Cue filling up on grocery-store veggie platters (sans dip), fruit trays, and steamed veggie sides… and when things get dire, lots of chips. It can be pretty easy to fall off the health-wagon in the face of both temptation and minimal “safe” offerings.

So what can you do? My top 3 strategies are: Continue reading “[Recipe Post] Potlucks on Plants + Italian Stuffed Mushrooms”

[Quiz] What’s causing your energy to bottom out?

I have a confession to make. I’ve been a bit of a sugar and carb addict.

Over the last several months – probably more like years – I found I seemed to need coffee (and lots of it) to get through my day. I reached for a matcha coconut latte with coconut sugar or maple syrup, often paired with chocolate, every afternoon. And at night, on my most stressful days – and it felt like there were a lot of them – I’d also sit in front of the TV eating rice pasta, pad Thai, Kettle chips, and macaroons.

At the time, I didn’t realize how much all that sugar was impacting my energy. Continue reading “[Quiz] What’s causing your energy to bottom out?”

Finding Self-Care in Food Trends

I’m like you. I scroll through my Instagram feed, double-tapping lovely photos and those with lovely captions, inspired by all the pretty things and places, words and FOOD. With so many people sharing snapshots of their day-to-day lives and the lives to which they aspire, disseminated virtually everywhere in seconds, social trends crop up and spread unbelievably fast.

I’ve been there, through smoothie bowls and Buddha bowls, avotoast and sweet potato toast, nice cream and zoodles, and now – rainbow unicorn everything. Continue reading “Finding Self-Care in Food Trends”

A Nutritionist’s 5 Favourite Foods for a Healthy Sex Drive (and a Sexy Smoothie Recipe)

I originally wrote this article for TheCoconut.com. It was published on that site on August 1, 2015. The smoothie recipe also appears as the Day 20 recipe in my free LPFL 20-day Fast & Fresh Green Smoothie Challenge.

Let’s face it: healthy sex, whatever that looks like in your intimate relationships, is an important aspect of a healthy lifestyle – as much as a clean diet, regular exercise, and stress reduction. Nothing puts a kink in the works (or takes the kink out, as it were) like a slumping sex drive. Fortunately, a lower sex-drive than your normal may be nourished back to a more desirable level by adding some delicious libido-boosting foods into your everyday diet. Continue reading “A Nutritionist’s 5 Favourite Foods for a Healthy Sex Drive (and a Sexy Smoothie Recipe)”

Skin Illuminated: 7 Health Hacks

Last week (along with sharing my very personal mental health post, which has also been updated), I shared a #nofilter selfie on Instagram. I’ve been receiving compliments on my skin for some time now, including from strangers who speculate that I must use X skin product or Y supplement and that’s why it’s so nice. Having grown up with teasing for my skin problems (as well as my general weirdness and smartness, but I digress); having tried conventional OTC pharmaceutical products ranging from Cetaphil and Noxzema to benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid; having tried prescription Differin gel, minocycline, and hormonal birth control… it’s been dumbfounding to me that what was once my bane is now my banner, displaying my own glowing health. Compliments gladly taken! Here I’ll share what I’m actually doing, so that you can get glowing too. Continue reading “Skin Illuminated: 7 Health Hacks”

#BellLetsTalk: Masks [Updated]

Yesterday was Bell Canada’s “Let’s Talk” Day, dedicated to raising awareness and funds to destigmatize and support mental health issues. I am a big fan of the initiative, though ironically I felt I was too silent when the day actually arrived. Continue reading “#BellLetsTalk: Masks [Updated]”

Recipe Post: Super Simple Avocado Toast Two Ways

Avocado toast seems to be popping up everywhere! This food trend shows no sign of stopping, and for good reason. In whatever iteration you try, avotoast makes a fast and satisfying plant-based meal option that’s nutrient-dense and packed with health benefits. Continue reading “Recipe Post: Super Simple Avocado Toast Two Ways”

No More Noodles? NO to That!

In my first sessions with clients, I typically ask them, “What food would you be most broken-hearted to find missing from your plan?” The answers, while sometimes surprising, generally range from chocolate and coffee to bread and fruit, but the answer I hear most often is pasta. Continue reading “No More Noodles? NO to That!”

LoveBites: Stress Management

You know that stress management is important for your health. But what does that really mean? What can you do to reduce stress day-to-day?

Find ways to manage and reduce stress that are also in line with keeping you healthy. Coping mechanisms that are fun while they’re happening but ultimately leave you hurting (e.g. the morning after, sure, but also cumulatively in the future) contribute to the stress on your body.

So what ARE some healthy ways?

✔ yoga and gentle movement
✔ meditation and visualization
✔ journaling
✔ making time for creative expression
✔ aromatherapy
✔ massage therapy
✔ warm baths with Epsom salts
✔ loving sex – both partnered and solo
✔ time with friends – but only if you’re not already feeling over-peopled
✔ mindful eating and drinking – taking time to savour the indulgence
✔ choosing more foods with high antioxidant content and anti-inflammatory properties on a daily basis – eat the rainbow!

There are many more healthy ways to manage stress. What are your favourites? What will you try?

Photo credit @wellnessstockshop

LoveBites: Drinking Yo Calories

March is National Nutrition Month! I have a ton of stuff planned for you over the next 4 weeks…

First up: you may have heard “don’t drink your calories”. And for the most part, it’s true – we consume far too many calories from a variety of beverages throughout the day.

But consider what those calories actually consist of.

If we’re having coffee or tea with sugar (and a lot of us are also getting them with flavour syrups, whip, and toppings…), processed juice (or “fruit/juice drink”) and “smoothies” that are made of more sorbet/ice cream and sugar than they are real fruit & veg, pop, beer, wine, mead, Klingon bloodwine… then we’re just adding calories and a shit-ton of sugar and additives with little benefit to show for it (besides tasting good).

That said, there are 2 sides to this. Choosing fresh-prepared, cold-pressed juice or smoothies made with high-quality, nutrient dense produce can be a great way to getting a lot of nutrients and antioxidants into your system quickly.

It’s a balancing act… namely, a macronutrient-balancing act.

Do you need to watch what you drink?

Photo credit @wellnessstockshop

LoveBites: A Goal is Something to Aim At

Setting a goal gives you something to strive for. It encourages you to move forward and do the work to even approach the vicinity of achieving it.

20180227_103614_0001Sure, it may not turn out the way you thought or hoped – but imagine the gains you might make in the process.

Consider a goal like “lose weight”. We all approach it differently, and our results will speak to that. If your intention in “losing weight” is simply to “get thin” or “lose my belly”, you may be disappointed if you don’t achieve exactly that.

BUT what did you gain in the process? Example: physical strength and endurance – maybe you don’t have slender ballerina limbs like you thought you would, but your arms and legs are now thick with firm rockin muscle that make it easier to dance all night at your best friend’s wedding or go on that awesome hiking adventure with your partner, you can breathe more easily after running to catch a bus, your stress level comes way down, and your medical blood work shows lower risk factors for CVD, diabetes, etc.

If you don’t reach your exact goal, reframe and celebrate what you’ve gained.

Need someone to help you set those goals and reframe? Hit me up.

LoveBites: Eat Yo Veggies

Your friendly reminder to not rule out fresh-prepared and frozen fruit & veg. They are amazing time-savers in the kitchen, especially if you find yourself frequently slammed with fatigue, cramps, sadness, or other PMS symptoms you have to deal with, on top of needing something to eat, on top of worrying if that something is even healthy. If you’re going to eat for convenience, this is still a step in the right direction.

Remember when you can get your butt to the store to read labels – make sure there’s nothing funky added like sugar, salt, colour, etc.

I’ve professed my love for ready-to-eat beet spirals lately, and I use frozen fruit (I love the PC Organics power fruit berry blend, and mango chunks) in my smoothies all the time. I’m also a fan of frozen broccoli And butternut squash chunks, and use fresh salad greens mixes to eat as salad as well as to throw into pasta sauce, curry, soup, and of course smoothies. And while they’re not just simple veggies, I like to grab a bag or 2 of Ikea frozen veggie balls (sneaky veg!) when I’m there.

What are your go-to time-saver fruit & veg choices or tricks?