Saying Yes to Eggs!

You know what one of my biggest pet peeves is? It’s being hungry. I grew up in the ’80′s which means I was part of the “low-fat” craze – fat is the enemy, avoid at all costs. So for the first half of my life, breakfast was usually a bowl of cereal with skim milk or maybe a plain bagel. Sometimes even the “low-fat” sugar laden bran muffin. Sounded healthy at the time. Of course that meant that I was always hungry, not to mention that I could never lose those last 10 pounds.

Fat, my friends, is not the enemy. In fact, the key to controlling hunger and keeping cravings far far away (which translates to weight loss) is to nourish your body with healthy fats and proteins. This 2009 study, for example,  published in the British Journal of Nutrition concluded that eating more protein at breakfast is highly effective in reducing hunger throughout the day.

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Surviving the holidays – strategies for staying healthy

In case you hadn’t counted, there are only 7 days left till Christmas. Shopping, office parties, neighbourhood parties, family dinners, more shopping, gift wrapping, book club, one more martini…..how many days left??

Not only are there not enough hours in the day, there are also way too many opportunities to kick all your healthy intentions to the curb. Who has the time or energy to go for a run when you’ve been out late every night and nibbling on gingerbread all afternoon? Before you know it, you end up with tight jeans and a sense of lost control.

It’s hard enough to stick to your healthy nutrition plan at the best of times but this time of year simply presents too many opportunities to over-indulge. It’s not too late to rein things in and make this year the year you really do stay on track. Here are a few tips to help you navigate the party circuit and enjoy the holidays without a shred of guilt.

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Avocados for health…..do you or don’t you?

 

Why do so many people still fear the divine avocado? You know, you really should be more afraid of the fruit-flavoured yogurt or bowl of Special K you may have eaten for breakfast this morning. I see so many people who are still fat-phobic:  the yogurt, the cookies, even the salad dressing are all fat free. But somehow, the extra pounds are not coming off…..does this sound familiar? Have you ever considered that maybe, just maybe, it’s because calories and fat content are not the whole story? Simply eating less and restricting fat intake usually don’t lead to permanent weight loss; it’s more likely to lead you down the path of yo-yo dieting and long-term weight gain.

While eating an avocado isn’t magically going to shed those unwanted pounds,  incorporating whole natural foods, such as the avocado, into a healthy nutrition plan will help you hop off the yo-yo train and establish life-long, sustainable eating patterns.  Here’s why I think the avocado is a superfood you should be enjoying several times per week.

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Secret to sugar detox – new green smoothie recipe!

Sunday morning I woke up with a food hangover. Yes, even we nutritionists overdo it sometimes. We are, after all, only human. A few too many of those “oh they’re so tiny I can have one more” Halloween chocolates, that slice of pizza that seemed like a good idea at the time and, the final kicker, the take-out Chinese food. I’m one of those people who feels fine immediately after even the worst food choices but if I allow myself to keep making them (as I did this past weekend) the inevitable happens.

I spent Saturday night tossing and turning. When I woke up Sunday morning I felt, literally, hung over even though I hadn’t touched a drop of alcohol. Dark circles under my eyes, was feeling very lethargic and just generally yucky all over. You know what I mean, you’ve all been there right?

Anytime we overdose on sugar, alcohol, greasy foods or anything else we don’t tolerate well, the end result is a stressed body. Sleep is interrupted, digestion becomes sluggish and skin starts to show the signs of inflammation. When I hit this point I head straight back to the green smoothie. It’s the easiest way to kick start the “detox” process that really is the key to feeling better.

So, yesterday morning I hit the kitchen and here’s what I pulled out for the concoction of the day:
How much more vibrant than that can you get? :) I’ve been experimenting over the last few weeks with lots of green smoothie recipes. A little tangy and a little zesty, this one from yesterday is one of my favourites.

Green Citrus-Ginger Smoothie

  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 1 orange, cut into chunks
  • 1/2 cup frozen pineapple, cut into chunks (I freeze my own)
  • 1 kiwi
  • 1/2 green apple, cut into chunks
  • juice of 1/2 lemon or lime
  • 1/2 tbsp parsley
  • 1/2 tsp minced ginger
  • 1 tbsp flax oil
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds

Note: I don’t have a juicer or a Vitamix – I use my KitchenAid blender and it does a fantastic job.

And voila – here’s the final product:

When you flood your body with this much fibre and nutrition you can’t help but have happy cells! This smoothie is super-alkalinizing (to counter all the acidity of the sugar or whatever other junk you indulged in) and brimming with anti-oxidants. The fact that it’s in liquid form and full of naturally occurring enzymes means its easily digestible, so the nutrients are well absorbed. All that fibre helps ensure the toxins move out of your gastrointestinal tract, leaving you clear-headed and energized, all while keeping your blood sugar nicely balanced. Oh, and another added bonus – it’s perfect for boosting your defences against cold and flu season.  All those greens, Vitamin C and the added kick of ginger support your immune system and help keep you healthy while everyone around you is coughing and sneezing.

It’s almost hard to believe how much goodness can come in one glass. This smoothie is great for breakfast, after a workout or makes the perfect afternoon snack when you think you need something sweet! Drink up, I know you’ll feel like a million bucks!

Posted in anti-inflammatory, antioxidants, athletes fuel, breakfast, detox, digestion, energy, fibre, Healthy snack, immune system, recipe, skin care, sleep, spinach | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Searching for happiness – 7 lessons from Kripalu

I hope you’ll humour me and bear with me a little as I stray today from my usual “drink more green smoothies” type of blog post. I am writing this post on Sunday morning as I find myself in a rather pensive mood. You see, I’ve spent this weekend with a wonderful group of friends at the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health  https://kripalu.org/.  Nestled in the Berkshires in western Massachusetts, the scenery and colours were spectacular.

 

The retreat centre focuses on holistic health incorporating mind, body and energy. When I entered this weekend I didn’t consider myself a particularly meditative person but as I’ve learned a teensy bit more about both the benefits and modes of meditation, I believe I was wrong. One thing is for sure: taking the time to clear your mind of clutter goes a long way towards relaxation, restorative sleep and a sense of rejuvenation.

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