Breathe

Have you ever paused in traffic, or on a busy sidewalk, or even in a huge line-up in the mall at Christmas and wondered, “What the heck are we all doing?” All bustling from place to place, everything so urgent, so important that we lack the courtesy to even be kind to one another anymore.

Being in the health and wellness field I’m in the wonderful position of being a listening ear, a trusted ally, a confidant.  And in the 10 years that I have been that person professionally for others, there have been a few common threads – one in particular that I feel connects more than have admitted.

We’re too busy.  We are trying to do too much, too fast, too often.  We have too many balls in the air – it doesn’t even resemble juggling anymore – it’s more like dodging the balls that are being fired at us faster than we can think or react.  How are we supposed to do all of this and be the very best and have the cleanest house and smartest kids and be fit and eat well and get that promotion and be that considerate partner to our spouse…walk the dog two times a day, keep up with laundry mountain, bake allergen free cupcakes for the kid’s fundraisers, keep up with social media, answer all those texts….oh and have time to compare ourselves to everyone else we see online who seems to have it all together and have great hair?

Even as I type this my mind keeps flitting to my to-do list, wondering if I actually even have time to be writing this right now.  But I need to.  So many of my lovely clients and dear friends have been coming to me lately, telling me of their feelings of being overwhelmed, of feeling lost, feeling inadequate, getting panic attacks in the middle of nowhere.  Anxiety and depression are real but many of us don’t even have time to acknowledge that is what is going on or know where to start in getting better.

I wish we could all just stop.  And breathe.  And look around us and see there are really very few things that TRULY matter.  Hold those things and people close to you and press pause on everything else.

There’s been a big movement to go through all of our physical possesions and purge what does not bring us joy.  Well, maybe we should purge our lives of the things that steal our time and attention, our health and our joy – the things that don’t matter, that won’t mean anything in 5 minutes let alone 5 years.  Let those things go.  And breathe.

Health Renovation

Have you ever renovated your house or a room in your house?  It’s a big job.  A whole house renovation goes through many stages, it takes time to see the final result and a whole lot of work goes into the process.  When you see before and after pictures it looks fast, easy and painless but for those who have lived through it you know it’s anything but. It’s a process.

Before spending time and money renovating, the first thing to ensure is that the foundation, electrical and plumbing is intact.  Only then do you start patching walls, painting and filling the house with more permanent fixtures.

Renovating a home takes patience.  Lots and lots of patience.  But at the end, when everything works perfectly and looks just the way you imagined, it all becomes worth it.

Renovating a house is similar to renovating yourself.  The word renovation isn’t often heard in conjunction with health but I think that’s really how we should be looking at it.  It is often called a health “transformation” as though it’s as simple as snapping your fingers and ta-da – you’re transformed – but it is a process, too. It does not happen overnight.  It takes hard work, time and dedication.

Sure, you can do a quick “renovation” – throw paint on the walls, hang some curtains – but if you neglect the leaking plumbing or the poor electrical then you will end up having to rip out and undo all of the work you did later on.

It’s the same thing for quick fix health solutions.  You can mask symptoms or lose a quick 10 pounds with one of the many fad diets but if you don’t heal the underlying issues like the foundation (gut, digestive system), plumbing (detoxification/elimination pathways) and electrical (brain, nervous system) you will end up with the same or worse health issues later on.

Take the time to do it right.  Get to the root of the issue.  Heal the gut. Start to absorb the nutrients you eat. Detoxify and support the liver. Create a sustainable, lifelong health plan.

If you’re ready to begin a health renovation, I can help.  My Health Renovation 6 Week Program begins January 14, 2019.

What exactly is the Health Renovation Program all about? In 6 weeks you will learn:

-how to heal the gut and repair your digestive system

-what foods are inflammatory and cause damage to your gut and digestive system

-what foods support healing and disease prevention

-how to support your liver and detoxification process

-what foods promote healthy elimination (bowel movements)

-how to enable your body to handle stress more efficiently and support your nervous system

-how to create simple meals for yourself that are healthy, nutritious, sustainable and delicious

-how simple lifestyle changes can positively enhance your health

What else do you get?

-access to an online community support group where you can ask questions, share recipes and connect with like-minded individuals

-a detailed powerpoint presentation that clearly outlines all the topics and aspects that you will learn as outlined up above

-unlimited communication with me via email/messenger regarding any and all questions you may have throughout the duration of the challenge

The challenge begins JANUARY 14, 2019.  The cost is $35.  Take charge of your health and join me for this lifechanging challenge.  Register by January 7 and receive a free 10 day meal plan plus 5 healthy snack ideas and tips for kitchen essentials!

Signing up is easy!  Simply click here to send me an email to get started!

 

You Are What You Eat – or ARE You?

 

You’ve all heard the expression you are what you eat.  But I like to say you are what you absorb.  The vast majority of people have issues with their gut.  Years of eating processed foods, foods exposed to toxins from pesticides and pollution, or eating allergen containing foods can all lead to problems with the gut making it difficult for your body to digest and breakdown foods and absorb the required nutrients.

What exactly is digestion and absorption?  Digestion is the process in which your body breaks down the food you eat into smaller components that can be absorbed.  Absorption is the transferring of the food components into the bloodstream to be circulated to all parts of the body.

 

Causes of Poor Absorption

 

  • Low stomach acid – low stomach acid is caused by stress, diet that is high in meat and refined grains, chlorinated water, antacids, coffee and nicotine.
  • Dysbiosis – an imbalance of the “good” and “bad” bacteria in the gut. Dysbiosis is caused by a high sugar diet, antibiotic usage, birth control pill, steroid medications.
  • Dehydration – water is a necessary component of breaking down food particles.

 

What You Can Do

 

Luckily, the body wants to repair itself and we can help our bodies become better at digesting and absorbing foods again.  Here’s what you do:

 

Foods to Eat:

-fresh squeezed lemon juice and water first thing in the morning

-whole foods as much as possible

-lots of brightly coloured fruits and vegetables

-probiotic foods daily

-protein at all 3 meals

-water!

 

Foods to Avoid/Decrease:

-wheat and wheat containing products

-dairy products

-sugar and products containing sugar (high fructose corn syrup etc)

-processed foods

-additives, preservatives, dyes, artificial ingredients

-caffeine

-alcohol

 

Also, avoid eating when you are rushed, stressed or upset and try not to eat too close to bedtime.  Taking these steps can ensure that you are making the most of the food that you put into your body and can set yourself up for optimal health.

Paleo “Butter” Chicken

I don’t know about you – but I absolutely LOVE Indian food.  The combination of spices just makes my mouth water even thinking about it!  And the lovely aroma that fills the house when everything simmers on the stove….heavenly.

While I love Indian food, I don’t always love how it makes me feel.  I follow the Paleo diet fairly consistently and as such, don’t cook with dairy – which makes it difficult to make butter chicken by following all of the recipes you can find online.  After years of tweaking recipes found online and by trial and error in my own kitchen, I have come up with the best dairy free butter chicken recipe (seriously, it is the BEST).  It is flavourful, it is creamy, it is rich and the combination of the spices is delicious.

Without further ado, here is the recipe!

butter chicken

What you need:
2 tsp avocado oil (or extra virgin olive oil)
8 boneless chicken thighs (breasts taste delicious in this recipe, too!)
1 tbsp garam masala
1/2 white onion, finely diced
3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
1-2 tsp fresh ginger, grated
2 1/2 tsp curry powder
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1 1/2 tsp dried coriander
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/2-1 tsp cayenne
1/8 tsp cinnamon
3 cups tomato sauce
2 medium sized sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
1 small head of cauliflower (cut into florets)
1 can of coconut milk (400ml)
pinch of salt and pepper
4-5 dashes of tobasco (if you like things hot!)

What you do:

  1. Preheat oven to 365 degrees.
  2. While it is heating, wash and cut sweet potatoes, cauliflower, onion and prepare garlic and ginger.
  3. Place chicken thighs (or breasts) on baking sheet and sprinkle both sides with garam masala.  If using breasts, cut them in half.
  4. Cook chicken 20-25 minutes.
  5. While chicken is cooking, preheat skillet over medium high and add in avocado or olive oil.  Once hot, add onion and sauce 5-7 minutes until it softens.  Then, add garlic, ginger, curry, coriander, cumin, turmeric and cayenne and stir until fragrant (about 30 sec).
  6. Add tomato sauce and sweet potatoes.  Cover and simmer for 8-10 minutes until sweet potato starts to soften.
  7. By now chicken should be done in oven.  Take it out and cut it into bite sized pieces.
  8. Pour coconut milk into skillet and nestle chicken and cauliflower in.  Cover and cook until cauliflower softens, about 7-8 minutes).
  9. Add cinnamon and tobasco and stir to mix.
  10. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  11. ENJOY!  This tastes delicious on it’s own or served over cauliflower rice or regular rice if you eat grains.

Please leave me a note in comments if you try the recipe and let me know what you think!