Quick dinner recipe (less than 5 minutes!)

Quick dinner recipe (less than 5 minutes!)

We've all had those nights where we can't even fathom spending 15 minutes on dinner, much less 30. But how about 5 minutes?

A whole foods, healthy, customizable dinner that takes 5 minutes or less? How is that even possible?

Enter my good friend Sara Bradford. Sara is a good friend of mine who is a fellow holistic nutritionist who's a wizard in the kitchen, but still has one food in the real world (you know, the one where you need a good cocktail and dinner to come from a can at the end of a trying day).

Read on for Sara's no-BS take on how to get dinner on the table in 5 minutes or less while keeping your sanity, hormones, stress and energy levels intact.

Read More

Life lessons learned from doing something that utterly terrifies you

Life lessons learned from doing something that utterly terrifies you

2 weeks ago, I did something that was so terrifying to me that I haven't done it in 10 years.

Whenever I thought about doing it, I could feel my chest tighten up. My breathing got shallow. My muscles tensed up. My mind went into a tailspin of worry, questioning why I was even trying to do this particular thing again even though I was paralyzed with fear.

And I did it anyways. And it was glorious.

So what did I do? I flew by myself.

To some of you, this might not seem like a big deal. You probably fly by yourself all the time, maybe even flitting from country to country while you see the world. That sounds like my worst nightmare.

I can do a lot of things that terrify other people, like public speaking, which by the way is the #1 thing that most people fear more than death itself! I can stand up in front of a crowd of hundreds of people with no speech prepared or practiced and knock it out of the park. I've never really had too much of an issue with it my entire life, so I can't fully understand when other people have a debilitating fear of it.

That's me with flying by myself ... or that was me, because 2 weeks ago I embarked on an 8-day, 7,686 kilometer trip (for you Americans, that's almost 5,000 miles) with 5 flights to 3 Canadian cities in 3 different time zones. BY MYSELF.

Talk about immersion therapy. #gobigorgohome

How was I able to do this even though I was terrified?

Read More

Top 5 Healthy Holiday Gifts that Keep on Giving

Top 5 Healthy Holiday Gifts that Keep on Giving

It's officially the most wonderful time of the year for us to run ourselves ragged decorating like Martha Stewart, going to holiday parties, christmas concerts, family get-togethers, buying gifts for our kids' teachers (while our husband looks at us all crazy, wondering why we have to buy them gifts), and spending all of our money buying stuff for our family who just add it to their current pile of crap and forget about it 1 week later. We ask for wish lists from kids, husbands, and parents, and go out of our way to think up of things that will make their lives easier, and surprise and delight them.

Then when those same people ask us what we want, we say: "Oh, I don't really need anything" ... and then we're mad when they buy us oven mitts. Or socks. Or lingerie from our husbands, which only spurs two thoughts in my head: "do I have to take my socks off when I wear this?" and "what the hell, when am I ever going to have the energy to figure out how to do a corset up on myself?".

How about this year, you choose to opt out of the holiday madness.

You choose to stop asking for things that you're just going to take to the thrift store 2 years from now.

You choose to ask for and give gifts that offer something that everyone needs: relaxation, down-time, and some much needed pleasure.

See, one of my core desired feelings that I want in my life is calm. Most of the time, I feel some version of that on a day-to-day basis. I think that a huge part of me feeling calm is that we got rid of our cable TV, mostly because Aleks wouldn't watch anything other than Netflix, and also because we only watched 3 things on a regular basis: football (the hubby), HGTV (me), and The Walking Dead (both of us). We just didn't feel like spending over $80 a month on a few minutes of good shows.

That's how it turned out that I almost completely forgot it was Black Friday/Cyber Monday/why-not-make-the-whole-damn-weekend-one-huge-gigantic-sale because we don't see any regular commercials. I ran out this weekend to buy some 3M command strips, because one of my pictures fell off of the wall, and ran into a half hour line packed with people buying toys, electronics, and tools by the cart load.

It made me sick.

I realized how far away I am from that kind of unconscious spending. I just can't do it anymore.

However, I still have to give my family and husband some sort of Christmas gift list, so I've compiled a list of gifts to ask for that WILL make your (and my) life easier, better, happier, and calmer.

Instead of asking for nothing, or socks and underwear without holes in them, just print out this list and give it to your loved ones.

These are the gifts that keep on giving health for the rest of the year, and whether you use it in January, April, or August, you'll be thanking yourself that you had the foresight and self-survival instinct to ask for something that you're not only using, but actually enjoying.

Here's my top 5 healthy gifts that keep on giving year-round:

Read More

An anti-cancer manifesto

An anti-cancer manifesto

It's October, which means it's Breast Cancer Awareness month. Just in case you're living under a rock and hadn't noticed that everything is pink.

This is one of the most frustrating months for me as a holistic practitioner, with seeing posts all over social media saying something along the lines of "only 5-10% of breast cancers are hereditary, and the other 90-95% are a total crapshoot". That one little line was written by an incredibly powerful woman I know who has fought 3 different forms of cancer over 8 years, all starting in her breast. However, I believe that statistic is doing you an incredible disservice.

Why? Because the other 90-95% are NOT a total crapshoot. You absolutely have the power to reduce your chance of developing cancer.

Today, I'm just going to talk about nutrition, because it's what I know the most about and what I've been studying the longest. Perhaps I'll have another ground-breaking post in me for my next article, but I'm not promising anything. So let's examine what you're putting in your mouth everyday, and how much control it has over your chances of developing cancer.

If there's one thing that is a non-negotiable for me and my health, it's the food I eat.

What you eat 3-5 times every single day has the ability to create disease OR the best health you've ever had. It's your choice.

A fantastic book on this subject is "Eating Well, Living Well" by Richard BΓ©liveau and Denis Gingras. In this book, there's a summary on prospective studies (long-term studies) showing the link between consumption of specific foods and incidence of cancer. The numbers are utterly staggering. In a study of 11,699 women, there was a 44% reduced risk of post-menopausal breast cancer when dietary folate was consumed from green vegetables. This was independent of folic-acid containing supplements, indicating that while supplements are good, the actual vegetable is better. Another study of 58,049 women showed that the higher quartile of dietary lignan intake (which you can find in vegetables, fruits, and flax seed) was associated with a 8.5% decrease. However, in women with estrogen or progesterone positive breast cancer (i.e. hormone fuelled breast cancer), the decrease in risk with the highest lignan intake skyrocketed to 28%.

Pretty much every other cancer has studies with similar results, as follows:

Read More

How to clean up your skincare routine

How to clean up your skincare routine

I learned lots of things in nutrition school that I wish I didn't know, but I can never unlearn them. Things about the food system in North America that made me want to alternately cry and never eat anything from the grocery store ever again. That's why I had to change the way I was eating first, because I couldn't willingly put processed foods and phood (fake foods) into my body anymore knowing what I knew.

Once I learned that in North America, personal care products are manufactured with over 10,500 chemicals where no pre-market safety testing is required, I couldn't feel safe using my regular skincare goodies anymore.

I started putting effort into up-leveling our family's body care products, and trying not to kill us all with the chemical shit storm that makes up regular body lotion, face moisturizer, deodorant, shampoo and conditioner, soap, lip balm, sunscreen, and toothpaste.

Here in Canada, we follow the same cosmetic guidelines as the FDA in the U.S. According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG) Skin Deep Database, in 36 years the FDA has only rejected 11 ingredients as unsafe in cosmetics, despite some ingredients being known or suspected as carcinogenic (cancer causing), toxic to the reproductive system or known to disrupt the endocrine system (hormones, of which insulin, stress, and sex hormones are included). The European Union, by comparison, has rejected hundreds of ingredients in cosmetics.

Here's how I cleaned up our skincare routine, one product at a time:

Read More