[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”

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)”

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: 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?

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?”

[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?”

Rainy Days are for S-O-U-P! How to Make Delicious “Anything Goes” Soup for #Procrastimasters

Chances are when we think of making soup, we think of standing in the kitchen all day, chopping and pre-cooking a LOT of vegetables, stirring, seasoning, tweaking to perfection, letting the ingredients simmer for hours on end before finally savouring.

But, on a cold rainy day, sometimes you just need to have soup RIGHT THE EFF NOW. Continue reading “Rainy Days are for S-O-U-P! How to Make Delicious “Anything Goes” Soup for #Procrastimasters”