Make ahead breakfast recipes

Chia PuddingThese recipes are quick to prepare and make enough servings for breakfast for a week for 1 person.

Oatmeal Bake
Oats provide a good dose of soluble fiber to help you stay regular and lower cholesterol levels.

  • 2 cups oats
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup berries (fresh or frozen)
  • ½ cup chopped nuts & seeds
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup almond milk
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).
  2. Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl and add the berries.
  3. In another bowl, mix the egg,  almond milk and vanilla.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry mix and then spread the mixture into a greased baking dish.
  5. Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown
  6. Serve with more berries and milk or on its own!
  7. Store in the fridge or make a big batch and freeze.

Chia seed pudding
Chia seeds are rich in fiber, omega-3 fats, protein, vitamins and minerals.

  • 1 cup of full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 cup of almond milk
  • 2/3 cup of chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp of maple syrup
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  1. Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend on low speed until thick or blend on a higher speed for a smoother texture.
  2. Store in the fridge.
  3. Option to serve with fruit.

Be Sun Smart

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The best way for us to get vitamin D is from the sun but what are the best practices to do so safely? With so many sunscreen products available how do we know we are making a good choice?

A good place to start is to visit EWG’s Skin Deep Database to verify the safety rank of your sunscreen. Ratings of 3 or below are considered good, and zero is the best possible rating.

When shopping for sunscreen, you want to read the labels well and avoid conventional sunscreen which contain harmful ingredients such as: Oxybenzone, Octinoxate, Homosalate, Octisalate, Octocrylene, parabens and more.

Instead opt for a mineral base sunscreen. The two common minerals are Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide. A few brands use only Zinc Oxide which is preferred because it’s a critical mineral nutrient and covers the full spectrum of UV protection and doesn’t contribute as much to free radical development. Titanium Dioxide doesn’t offer full spectrum UV protection and is not as natural for the body.

What about nanoparticles vs non-nano particles and chemically coated zinc oxide vs uncoated?
For these answers head over to the Badger Balm site where they have it all explained in depth. Badger.jpg

My top pick for suncare is Badger Balm because of the ingredients. It uses only uncoated non-nano zinc oxide, as its main active ingredient and has a short list of natural non active ingredients. The only unfavorable attribute is that it leaves a bit of a white layer on the skin. I have used the Sport version that is water resistant for up to 80 minutes. Remember to reply to prevent a burn!

Other sunscreens that use only Zinc as their main active ingredient and are fairly easy to find include: Boo Bamboo and derma e® but the list of non active ingredients is long and some ingredients are questionable. Raw elements USA has good ingredients but it’s harder to find in Canada. It is available on Amazon.

To recap, the ideal sunscreen:

  • Is mineral based, uncoated and non-nano
  • Offers broad spectrum protection
  • Contains natural inactive ingredients
  • Comes in a tube not a spray. You don’t want to inhale the product.
  • Has an SPFs no lower than 30 and no higher than 50.

In addition to mineral base sunscreen you can also practice being sun safe by:

  • Avoiding sun exposure at peak times (11 a.m. to 4 p.m.).
  • Wearing a hat, sun glasses and UV sun protection clothing
  • Staying in the shade when possible

Enjoy the sun!

 

Hungry For Change

Almost a year ago I posted a blog titled “A Whole Body Approach to Dietary Changes” with the intention of sharing the message that diets do not work!

During my years of practice as a Holistic Nutritionist and a Naturopathic Doctor this has become increasingly evident and assisting patients towards whole food eating a focal point in my work.

I recently had the opportunity to watch “Hungry for Change” and this belief has since been further validated for me.  After eagerly taking in the information from health experts around the world I feel even more compelled and drawn to the promotion of whole food eating as a way of life and to share this incredibly valuable information to others.

Whatever your current relationship is with food this movie will offer new insight and awareness about nutritional choices for you and your family.

Five Favourite Functional Foods: Eat your Medicine

So often when considering nutritional health we become focused on the foods that should be avoided,  the”bad” foods that contribute to poor health, accelerated aging and weight gain.   I am in complete agreement that certain foods are empty in nutritional value and add stress to our body’s system but prefer to place emphasis on the addition of nutrient dense functional foods that not only provide fuel to the body but also enrich overall health.

Functional foods are rich in macronutrients (protein, fats, carbohydrates) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) plus contain additional compounds that prevent disease and promote optimal health.

With the addition of what I consider to be the top five functional foods to your current daily diet you will improve nutritional status, optimize health and prevent disease.

1) Flax Seeds: rich in omega 3 fatty acids and fibre, aid in gastrointestinal health, balance blood sugar, reduce cholesterol levels and balance hormones.  Add 2 tbsp of ground flax seeds to your smoothies, yogourt or salads.

2) Kefir: contains as much as 20 times the amount of good bacteria as one serving of yogourt, important for immune health, proper bowel function and hormone health.  Add 4-5 tbsp to your favourite yogourt or smoothie.

3) Green Tea: contains L-theonine and antioxidants,  improve concentrations, assist with detoxification and balances mood.  Aim for 2-3 cups per day as a substitute for coffee and/or tea.

4) Coconut butter: medium chain fatty acid that assists with weight management, reduces cholesterol, supports immune health and provides a quick source of energy to the body.  Use in cooking as a replacement for other oils or butter, spread on toast or add to smoothies.

5) Tumeric: a spice that adds flavour to foods and decreases inflammation, jump starts the metabolism and aids in detoxification.  Add 1/4 tsp daily to your eggs, soups, stir fries, salad dressings or sauces