Adapting to STRESStember and Beyond!

I love fall. I love the crunchy leaves underfoot and the more comfortable temperatures (hello again, my beloved hoodie collection!).

What I don’t love… is the spike in stress that often comes with this particular change in seasons. Being a lifelong student as well as a nutrition professional means I see it in myself and those I work with.

September/October ➡️ change in routine ➡️ STRESS!!

I’ve figured out along the way that it’s important to have nutritional strategies to help keep a balance from day-to-day!

Among the top of these nutritional strategies is watching my blood sugar balance. Avoiding eating too much sugar is key, and making sure I have a combo of protein + fat + fiber with each meal and snack helps with this as well.

Sometimes that’s still not quite enough to temper the overall load, and I’ll turn to a few of my favourite adaptogens to supplement my needs.

Adaptogens, quite simply, help your body “adapt” to stressors, usually by modulating the hormones involved in the stress response (e.g. cortisol, adrenaline).

These are some of my favourites:

  • I particularly love adaptogen powder mixes, like Botanica’s reishi hot chocolate, turmeric golden mylk with ashwagandha, Four Sigmatic’s reishi elixir, or adaptogen coffee. Reishi and ashwagandha may both help reduce cortisol.
  • A good B complex capsule like AOR is a staple for balancing the nervous system and adrenal function, while an adaptogen herbal blend like AdrenaSense is great for coping on days when stress runs extra high.
  • And I love maca as it may help balance stress hormones as well as sex hormones!

Check out these products here

Whatever your favourite adaptogen is, there are lots of great products and ways to enjoy them.

I love adding the powder mixes to smoothies or whisking into a tea or coffee!

If you feel you need additional support, talk to your nutritionist or naturopath about adding these to your routine.

**Make sure you clear them with your primary prescribing practitioner as well to avoid potential contraindications, as some herbs and vitamins may interact with some meds/conditions.**

Do you use adaptogens? What’s your fave and how are you taking it?

[Recipe Post] Cafe Brunch Smoothie Bowl

Sunday mornings are for smoothie bowl brunches!

This chocolate peanut butter one features fresh market raspberries and Hippie Mylk’s new oat milk from the Westboro farmers’ market!

In the smoothie base:
– 1 banana
– 1 cup Hippie Mylk oat milk
– 1 serving Prairie Naturals cafe caramel rice protein
– 1 serving Botanica chocolate greens
– 1 tsp moringa powder
– 1 Tbsp crunchy natural peanut butter
– 1 Tbsp ground flax

The toppings:
– 2 tsp chia seeds (divided – some stirred into the base to thicken a little more before serving)
– 1 tsp hemp hearts
– 1/2 Tbsp Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips, optional/for a lil extra treat
– 1/4 cup Yoso unsw coconut yogourt
– 3/4 cup fresh raspberries

Blend the base ingredients and pour into a bowl. Sprinkle/dollop toppings. (Option to blend some of the chia seeds and yogourt into the base for extra thickness.)

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This was delicious and so filling! Just what I need for a marathon study session.

Are you brunching it up this morning? What’s your fave brunch food?

[Recipe Post] Lion’s Mane Brain Power Slushy

Who loves lion’s mane? This girl!

I’m excited to try this drink mix from Botanica Health! Have you tried it?

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Lion’s mane is a mushroom that’s considered nootropic – great for brain function. It may help boost focus and concentration, and may even help with nerve healing! I love it for heavy work days when I know I need to be on point.

Try this combo as an afternoon pick-me-up for your brain:

• 1 cup frozen strawberries
• 1 serving lion’s mane tea mix
• 1 tsp. to 1 Tbsp. chia seeds (to your liking)
• 2 sprigs fresh mint leaves OR 1 serving mint matcha tea powder
• 1½ cups water

Blend and enjoy. Using more frozen strawberries creates a more slushy consistency. Alternatively, shake up the lion’s mane with the water, then add all the other ingredients to steep as a “spa water”. I love having the chia in there for a little boost in protein and omegas to give this low-sugar drink even more balance.

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Refreshing! Do you find you need a pick-me-up in the afternoon? What do you usually go for?

What I’ve Learned Camping on Plants

My first experiences with camping date back to when I was maybe 4 or 5 years old, at my uncle’s cottage in the country. I remember being carsick on the way there, Sam the stuffed Basset hound in my fists, and my elder cousin, a wise 7-year-old, telling me there were snakes under the bridge and my young mind conjured a full-on hissing snake pit of doom such that my uncle had to carry me screaming across it.

Later, pioneer camping Continue reading “What I’ve Learned Camping on Plants”

Spirulina: Why it’s a Hot Topic in WFPB Food Talk & Why You’ll Want to Try it Too [Recipe Post]

It’s a rich dark green (or blue), it comes from the sea, and chances are you’ve seen it listed as a component in at least one food or beverage item at your favourite plant-based hotspot.

Spirulina is popular in whole-food plant-based diets, and not just because it’s fun to say. So why is it so prevalent in the discussion of nutritious staples to include in a balanced plant-powered lifestyle? Continue reading “Spirulina: Why it’s a Hot Topic in WFPB Food Talk & Why You’ll Want to Try it Too [Recipe Post]”