Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Did You Know? : Milk

you are not my mother - img via
I remember the days when I was little and we had milk in our cereal every morning and a glass of milk with every dinner. These days I reach for the Almond Milk. Oh how times have changed.
Over the last couple of years I've learnt more and more about milk and how it actually isn't that great for our bodies. Just recently though I discovered my last tad of knowledge about the side effects of milk that sent me into the "Absolutely No Milk" category.

Did you know?

  • We are the only mammal that drinks milk from a different mammal? We are naturally only supposed to drink our own milk. Milk from a cow is meant to make a calf grow 8 times it's birth weight by it's 1st birthday. Calves grow to be 1000-2000lb animals! Babies also require milk from their mothers to grow quickly in the first few years of life but don't require cow's milk to continue growing afterwards.

  • You don't require milk to get your calcium intake for the day. You can actually receive more calcium from other sources. Sesame seeds contain 90mg per tablespoon, 1 cup of broccoli contains 178mg and 1/2 cup of Tofu contains 258mg. The average daily dose recommended is between 700-1000mg. It's also not bad to take a calcium supplement if you are lacking calcium. People don't realize that we consume a lot of our calcium through our food we eat.

  • It has been found that the majority of the world population is lactose intolerant (lactose is found in cows milk). Being lactose intolerant causes upset stomachs, digestive problems and unnecessary bloating. So why do we want those symtoms?

Now here's the fact that pushed me over:

  • A majority of cows are milked while they are pregnant. This meaning that we take in a very large amount of hormones from the cow. These hormones can't be filtered out and have a great effect on our bodies. In studies this has shown to increase the risk of cancers, especially breast cancer.

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If you are still needing that "milk" in your cereal or coffee why not switch to Almond Milk? One cup of Silk Almond milk (unsweetened) contains 45% of your daily recommend intake of calcium.

Do you drink milk? Have you ever thought about switching over to Almond or Soy milk?


P.S. -This was in no way endorsed by Silk or any other Soy Milk or Almond Milk Company. This is solely based on my personal studies and findings.

Friday, 21 September 2012

Weekend Warm-Up : Extended Summer

Here in Vancouver we are having an Indian Summer and supposedly it's lasting for another 60 days. Good news to me. I'm not a fan of the rain. Yes, I know, I live in Vancouver, rain city.

img via
 This week I started off with some slight back pain but thought I would push through it because I joined a new gym (Trevor Linden gym). Well it was really stupid on my part and I ended up hobbling around feeling like someone was constantly ringing out my spine like a wet towel. Ouch! So I dedicated some time to get rid of the pain instead of the gym. A little meditation and yoga hit the spot. My back pain is usually caused my an emotional blockage (ie.stress). Every time I try to convince myself that it's an actual physical injury and try to stretch and massage the heck out it. This method only equals complete failure. Once I calm down and realize it's stress I take the right steps. Stubborn Aries here!

This Saturday I'm heading to the car dealership. I'm thinking of getting a Ford Escape. The 2012, not the new 2013. The new one reminds me more of mini van. I've actually wanted an Escape for years and years but always ended up with something different. My car right now is incredibly non functional for me. Only 2 doors and does not have room for any dogs. It's also awful on gas so hopefully I say good bye to the nice car and hello Escape.

Lovely Links:
  • an update for your morning granola. Pumpkin Granola for the Fall season. Yum!
  • actual legit reasons to skip your gym session. Listen to your body.
  • i've mentioned having warm lemon water in the morning before and here are some more reasons why.
  • completely agree with this movie date tip. Maybe try it out this weekend?

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Travel : Cresent Beach, White Rock

I love the beach, the ocean and sun. It lives inside of me and I have an instant smile and calmess when my toes feel the sand beneath them.

There's a small town called Cresent Beach which is located in White Rock. White Rock is 40 minutes south from downtown Vancouver. White Rock also borders Washington, US. Cresent Beach a very laid back community with a majority of the residents being weatlhy retired people. The funny thing is that all the new aged hippies flock to Cresent Beach. It's full of yoga studios, unknown amazing restaurants and cute organic cafes. There is one main street which holds them all. At the end of the main street is the beach.

When I took time off during 2011 to venture into different industries in the business world, I would take my dogs along the path that follows Cresent Beach on days I had free. Hearing the waves crash against the shore cleared my mind and allowed me to let go of the stress of the day. I always loved going with my mom to Cresent Beach for a nice long walk and end up grabbing sweet hard ice cream at the end of our journey.

A couple weeks ago my mom and I wandered over to Cresent Beach just to sit by the ocean so we could take in the soft sounds and scents of the ocean. Afterwards we headed down to our favourite organic cafe, Sunflower. They have the best muffins I've ever had and they aren't tiny! We split a moist Blueberry Peach muffin and sipped on their delicious Saltspring Island coffee. Everything is handmade right there in the cafe and everyone who works there is incredibly down to earth. There's no other cafe where you feel like you're at home like Sunflower.

This time I spent with my mom was eye opening to me. It was a time when it really hit me how the chemo is affecting my mom. We used to be able to take long walks but now the walks have turned into strolls. The positive I take from this is that it makes us slow down in life. Appreciate each word spoken to each other. Appreciate the small things around us that we take for granted. Like the grapes we found in the garden patio in the back of a small bistro that we would have never seen before. Although this pains me to see her feel confined by the cancer at the moment, I know this will soon be over and she'll be right back to where she was. There's lessons to be learned right now and then it's time to move on with the positive healthy future.

Never forget to be in the present moment and appreciate the people and things around you.


Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Healthy Weight: Tips for Healthy Grocery Shopping

I wish I could shop at the organic grocery store or farmers market every time but I can't so I've learnt how to make the best of it at the Supermarket.

fresh veggies from the market

Have you ever noticed that every grocery store (supermarket) is set up the same way? It's no coincidence. People have been paid to figure how our thinking works and lead us to parts of the store that are more profitable to them. Where do they make the most money? Middle isles and at the till. The problem for us is that these areas are the most unhealthy areas in the whole store.

Here are some tips on how to shop healthy at the grocery store:

  • Avoid middle isles: the middle isles contain products that can sit on the shelves for long amounts of time and almost everything has been processed (no real nutrients). This meaning the products have chemicals and preservatives so they don't rot. Chemicals don't belong in our bodies.
  • Keep it Fresh: The perimeter of the store will have fresh fruit & vegetables, fresh bread, meat, seafood and frozen products that have been frozen while still fresh. No this does not mean that the frozen pizza or microwave meal is good for you. I'm talking about the frozen peas, carrots etc.
  • Try to avoid going to the grocery store when hungry: I know oh too well that it leads to disaster - "I'll have one of these and one of those". Not only do you make unhealthy choices but you also spend unnecessary large amounts of money. Ever had a someone come back from the store with an extra 5 things that weren't on the list? I wonder why lol.
  • Be ready for the checkout: If you know you are extremely tempted by those pesky candy bars and gum then come prepared with a tiny bag of trail mix or carrots. I like to grab a magazine while waiting in line so I'm not staring directly at 30 different types of chocolate.
  • All Natural - Gluten Free - Sugar Free, etc.: Just because the label reads that it's free of something doesn't make it healthy. It can still be full of preservatives and still be highly processed. Make sure to read the label and try to buy boxed/canned products that only have 5 or less ingredients. Keep it real!

Where do you wish you could grocery shop?


Friday, 14 September 2012

Healthy Weight : Keeping Smoothies Skinny

Beware: Smoothies are usually considered a meal and I'm a Smoothie Freak! Love em!
Smoothie Art
A large percentage of smoothies that are offered at on-the-go places have the same amount of calories as a meal. Liquid calories can be dangerous! There is also a large amount of sugar in smoothies (natural or added) and should be consumed in the morning or early afternoon so your body can burn off all that extra energy/sugar.

There's also healthy smoothies and then there's "smoothies" which are actually just milkshakes in disguise. Smoothies can be a great meal replacement if made correctly and be amazingly beneficial to your health. Adding Kale into your smoothie everyday is an easy way to get those extra greens.

A run down of some of the smoothies offered at "on-the-go" places:
Jugo Juice - a fav "on the go" one
Mc Donald's Peach Smoothie - 545g serving
320 calories / 70g carbohydrates (sugar) / 65g of sodium

Dairy Queen/Orange Julius - Strawberry Banana - 587g serving
320 calories / 82g carbs / added sugar and fructose corn syrup

Booster Juice - Mango Hurricane - 24oz
336 calories / 78g carbs (sugar)

Starbucks Strawberry Banana Smoothie (soy) - Grande
290 calories / 58g carbs (sugar)

To give you an understanding of how it compares to a restaurant breakfast:
A waffle at IHOP (no syrup/no butter) is
310 calories / 37g of carbs

Now I'm not saying go grab a waffle instead of a smoothie but I'm showing you that a smoothie is pretty much a meal and can sometimes be considered an unhealthy meal if you don't know what's going into it.

The BEST thing to do : Make them at home so you know what is going into them and how much is going into them. That way you can also make meal sized or snack size.

Here's an example of a smoothie I make at home most mornings for breakfast:
Magic Bullet - your best friend in the kitchen!

  • 1 small frozen banana
  • Handful of frozen mango chunks
  • Handful of blackberries
  • Large handful of Kale
  • 1 scoop of Vega (Natural) Energizing Protein Powder
  • 1 tablespoon of Flax Seeds
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1/2 cup of almond milk
Blend! and slurp!

Amazing added ingredients for smoothies:

Kale : High in Vitamins A, C & K. Great source of Iron and fights fatigue. I can notice a huge awesome difference in my skin when I add Kale.
Flax Seeds: Great source of fibre and Omega 3's.
Chia Seeds: High in calcium, iron and magnesium. They also contain Omega 3's.
Coconut Water: Filled with potassium and 5 different electrolytes. My favourite brand is Zico.

To milk or not to milk?
I'm not a fan of using milk but instead I like to use almond milk or soy milk. I find that milk is not easily digested by anyone and causes more harm then good.

What do you put into your smoothies? Are you a smoothie lover?


Tuesday, 11 September 2012

My Life Update : What Is A Health Coach?

I'm taking steps towards my goal - dreams - purpose in life right now!
September Favourites (so far) : Sunsets, Tea and Smoothies

September is going to be the start of some really exciting things in my life. School officially started yesterday and I was an eager beaver and jumped right into studying. I'm attending the Institute of Integrative Nutrition in New York to become a health coach. I can officially start practicing in February. It's really interesting to meet a wide variety of people from across the world that are enrolled into the program. I love that the common interest is to create healthier lives for everyone in the world.

So what is a health coach you ask?
A health coach guides you to better overall health. Food is not the only thing that determines how healthy you are. It comes from a balanced combination of healthy relationships, fulfilling career, staying active (getting exercise) and spirituality. A health coach helps you recognize where you can improve in your life to find that overall happiness and health. Once recognized, set out and determine how to improve your health, setting goals and creating plans.

We've probably all been there at once when you can eat all the veggies you want but the scale doesn't move. Think back... were you happy at work? were you constantly arguing with others? was there no love in your heart for others? Sitting down a majority of the day? All these factors can bring down your overall health.

When your overall health is down for large periods of time, it leads to disease.

Preventable diseases is one of the reasons I wanted to become a Health Coach. It upset me to see the people around me year after year be diagnosed with diseases. Or hearing about peoples family members being diagnosed with a disease way to early in their life.

A few simple (sometimes challenging) life changes and you can prevent so much turmoil from entering your life and the ones you love.

Would you ever consider seeing a health coach?


Friday, 7 September 2012

Weekend Warm-Up : Pictures & Pinterest

A short week has come to an end!

What's everyone up too this weekend? We are heading out to see a DJ (Morgan Page) downtown tonight. It's a nice chance to let go. Lately everything has been so high strung and the idea of relaxing is forced. I've made sure to meditate in the morning to ensure I'm get some "grounding time".

I've been wandering through Pinterest this week so I thought I would share some of my favourites and a couple of my own pictures from the week.

This is from last weekend at Joe Fortes. Lucky for us we showed up at happy hour and scored a perfect spot on the roof top patio (score!). Everything in this picture made me feel blah! It's amazing how you can feel the difference between "fresh/whole food" and "deep fried/proccessed" food. Don't get me wrong... it all tasted in INCREDIBLE. The best part of the appies was the bread with lobster oil and balsamic vinegar dip.

via Pinterest
This is a great DIY project I would actually take on. We haven't put anything up on our bedroom walls yet. It's been 9 months since we moved in! Can you tell I'm not much of a interior designer?? Help me!

via Pinterest
Love this look! Not a huge fan of the braclet though. I can't believe how excited I am getting for Fall fashion.

via Pinterest
This is what fills me :  FAITH - HOPE- LOVE

Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Healthy Recipe : Salmon Cakes

A favourite healthy recipe created by Scott and loved by all our friends!

This recipe originally started off as a salmon burger. Scott had made them into patties and stuffed them in to a fresh whole wheat bun. It was delicious but it was too much. We all sat around holding out stuffed bellies claiming it was the BEST salmon burger we've ever tried but it was just way too much food.

Ta-da : the salmon cake was born. So the next week (it's that good) we made them and tried it without the bun. The flavors are so incredible that it was amazing on it's own. The curry sauce underneath compliments it perfectly. You don't have to have the sauce but it's a nice touch.

This recipe is unlike the "cakes" that you get in restaurants that are filled with stuffing's and are not healthy for you. This is full of fresh ingredients and a touch of panko crumbs to hold it together. I like to add a salad on the side as you are getting a ton of protein from the salmon. We've also had baked sweet potato fries and quinoa as a side. It goes great with anything.

Salmon Cakes

This recipe will make four 8 ounce salmon patties.

600 grams of salmon ( I found that a rough chop for this patty works
best for flavor and it will juicier)
1/4 cup of chopped green onion
1/4 cup of chopper red bell pepper
1/4 cup of panko (may need to use more with different salmon)
2 egg yolks

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and lightly mix. You don't want the salmon to be torn apart.
Preferably refrigerate for 20-60 minutes to let in bind and the flavours combine. Separate the mixture into 8 balls. Lightly press them down to form more of a pattie than a ball.

In a frying pan with coconut oil, lightly crisp the salmon cakes on both sides to get a crunch. Then put the cakes in a 375 degree oven for 10 minutes.

a nice squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

As for the light mayo for the plate:
Light mayo mixed with Thai red curry paste (this tastes absolutely
amazing, the stronger the mix the better it goes with the salmon cake)

This is now a staple meal in our house.
Hope you enjoy it as much as we do!


Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Start Before You're Ready : New Health Plan

When a new season comes along it brings the opportunity to create new healthy habits.

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September is the perfect time to jump back into a healthy routine. Although it can get pretty hectic in the beginning of September with everyone coming back from vacation and kids returning to school, it's actually easier to get back to a normal routine. The amount of unplanned outings goes down and there's more time for scheduled activities and exercise. The number of unhealthy food temptations thankfully dwindles down too.

When to begin? Now! When creating a new plan for your health, there is no better time than right now to start it. It doesn't have to be made into a huge deal. Just take the first step. Don't make excuses of why you should wait for tomorrow or next week or when everything is a bit calmer. Your health routine/plan is a way of life and not a "diet". If it seems overwhelming, just take small steps at first.

For example: If your goal is to run a half marathon and you've never ran before, you wouldn't go out and run 5k on the first day. Your body would go into shock and you would more than likely quit on your new goal. Take it easy and gradually build up. The same principles apply to your eating habits. You don't have to go all out on the first day. Gradually eliminate unhealthy chemical filled foods from your diet each day till eventually you are eating only those vibrant and natural lean proteins, veggies and fruits.

Happy September Everyone!
Do you have any new goals for this Fall or Winter? I'd love to hear them.

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