Category Archives: Holistic Health

Why cookie-cutter meal plans don’t work (and how to make your own)

Meal-PlanWritten by my brilliant dear friend, Laura Curiale.

You’re on the internet: Facebooking , Instagramming, looking up recipes and meal ideas.

You have a busy life and you want to be healthy.

Then you see it.

A beautiful, blue, clickable link promising you balanced daily meals and shopping lists to match.

This is amazing! You think… and so you pay the $9.99 for one week, the $17.99 for two, or maybe even the $40 for the month.

Sound familiar?

Well, join me in the “I wish I had bought that dress instead of this meal plan” club, sistah!

Week 1 goes off without a hitch.

The shopping is easy, the meals are ok, I’m thinking – I’ve totally got this!

Week 2 is OK.

Similar meals to the first week.

I know I’m definitely grabbing a takeout pizza because let’s face it, for me, a week without one of my favourite foods is not a good week.

Now I arrive at week 3 and I’m dying of boredom.

Who wrote this meal plan? Why do they not like flavours? Why am I listening to someone who doesn’t know me or my likes or my lifestyle?

There’s only so many days in a row I can eat boneless, skinless chicken with steamed veggies and brown rice.

And just like that, I hop off the bandwagon and am back at square one.

It took a few rounds of this before I came to the conclusion that these cookie-cutter meal plans aren’t for me.

And it’s not because I’m bad at following directions (I even have the Kindergarten report cards to prove it).

It’s that eating became a chore.

And that’s not right because I love food! 

I was a disciple of Mr. Quaker Oats oatmeal for the majority of my life. What could be better? Individually-wrapped flavour-packed oats that were ready in the blink of an eye (or a boil of water). But this too got boring, and thinking of eating chemical flavours every day kind of got to me.

Here’s how I made a meal plan that sticks.

I started to really think about what gets me going about food and how I can incorporate my favourites into my lifestyle.

What’s an oatmeal-lover have to do to get her morning oat craving?

Having recently been introduced to overnight oats, I went back to the internet and found oh, about a gazillion different variations.

The best part? You can make these suckers the night before! Sunday night overnight oat-making means I have breakfast ready and waiting for me for the next 4 days at least.

Simple, healthy, fast, and cheap and way healthier than chemical-filled Quaker Oats.

Now you may not be as oats-crazy as this girl, but the point I’m trying to make is…

You can make amazing, delicious and healthy meals that suit your tastes and your lifestyle by planning properly.

Not sure where to start?

That’s where Make Love in the Kitchen comes in.

This 6 week online program walks you through the steps of creating a plan so that you always know what to eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.

You plan your outfits, your vacation time and your Friday nights- isn’t it time you make a plan in the kitchen that will stick?

Click here to get started.

awesome-program-for-meal-planning

so true, i never stick to a meal plan someone else has made. love the idea of creating my own

amazing-program-that-gets-you-organized-and-keeps-you-accountable-to-strategize-and-plan-your-meals

How To Cultivate Bliss (no thoughtful man required)

how-to-cultivate-bliss

Yesterday morning at a local cafe, my friend Paula and I witnessed something that would change the life of two people forever.

The man at the table next to us got down on one knee and proposed to his girlfriend (via a crossword puzzle that he created, submitted to the paper, and they filled out together- holy mind-blowing, right?). And just wait until I tell you about the unconventional ring…

Both Paula and I teared up immediately (teared up = holding back uncontrollable sobs of joy).

The energy was just so pure. You could feel the love (just like this Mowgli’s song).

Paula and I exchanged a glance wondering, “should we be ignoring them and let them enjoy this incredible moment together?”. But it was clear that they were receptive to sharing the good news with the people around them. Their energy elated me.

Which got me thinking- how freaking cool would it be if I can I maintain feeling this bliss every single day? Is it even possible?

The answer came to me immediately. Yes.

But since we can’t witness a heartfelt proposal every single day, it seems like the best way to cultivate this bliss is from within (cue corny music here, I know, I know…)

Here’s a list of a few things I came up with:

  •  Show Gratitude (start your day by writing down 10 things you are grateful for)
  • Meditate (check youtube for guided meditations)
  • Moving Your Body (walk, pilates, yoga, TRX, bike, hike, shake what your mama gave you (aka dance in your living room)).
  • Be in Nature (trees, birds, fresh air- oh my!)
  • Prepare yourself a nourishing meal (real food for the win!)
  • Disconnecting from your phone/computer/electronic device of choice (gives you time to do all of the above)

Common theme- all these things come from you.

No relying on anything or anyone (except for Mother Nature, but you came from her, so that’s cool).

And if you’re thinking “well I don’t have time to do this stuff”…

Choose just one, and do it for 2 minutes for the next 5 days.

It’s a definite start.

Back to our happy couple, the ring was absolutely breathtaking- it was a rough diamond, in the shape of heart. The girl said “I have a thing for heart-shape rocks”. Well call me corny, but oh lordy, pass over the tissues!

What’s something you can do today to cultivate bliss within you?

Let me know in the comments.

how to cultivate bliss

Mindful Eating Meditation for Chocolate

Mindful-Eating-Chocolate

Question for you:  when was the last time you ate chocolate?

I don’t mean when did you last mindlessly scarf down a chocolate bar or box of chocolate chip cookies (which is so easy to do as you binge watches Netflix- Grace & Frankie, anyone? So good.)

But truly, when did you last taste chocolate?

Have you every paid attention to the smells, taste, color, sensations and total vitality that good quality chocolate can bring?

If no, now is the time!

This 2 minute meditation is a chance for you to observe the subtle qualities of the food you put in your mouth.

Go ahead and grab any of the following:

  1. Cacao bean (you probably don’t have this lying around your house, but if you want to get a bag, invite some friends over, and do this together, it’s so fun!) (where to buy)
  2. Cacao nibs (where to buy)
  3. Good quality dark chocolate (like this or this)
  4. Homemade Chocolate Treat (like this or anything from this Pinterest Board)

Grab your chocolate, sit down, and press play for this brief mindful eating meditation.

(This mindful eating exercise is based on the work of Deanna Minich in her book Chakra Foods for Optimum Health.)

 

Action item for you:

At your next meal, bring this observation and attention to the food you put in your mouth.

Pay attention to the smells, color, tastes and intention that you put into your food.

I can almost guarantee you that it will make your food taste better AND infuse you with nourishing goodness.

What insights or feelings came up from doing this meditation?

Let me know in the comments.

 

mindful-eating-meditation-for-chocolate

How To Dye Your Hair Naturally

You won’t find too many picture of men here at FoodSavvy.

But after I saw this man speak at a conference last month and he absolutely blew my mind, I knew I needed to introduce him to my FoodSavvy peeps.

John Warner Hairprint

John Warner, Green Chemist, Inventor Extrodinaire (pic from http://cen.acs.org/index.html)

Who is he? Well his name is John Warner, and here’s a few things you should know about him:

  • He studied Organic Chemistry at Princeton
  • He wasn’t happy with the negative impact many new inventions had on the environment so he decided to change things.
  • He is the founder of Green Chemistry (which according to the EPA is defined as, “the design of chemical products and processes that reduce or eliminate the generation of hazardous substances”)
  • Has met the President for his contribution to this field
  • Founded the Warner Babcock Institute for Green Chemistry, LLC- A research organization developing green chemistry technologies. (When he described this place it sounded like the coolest place every to work. People in different offices inventing non-toxic, green products!)
  • Founded Beyond Benign, a non-profit dedicated to sustainability and green chemistry education.
  • He has published over 200 patents, papers and books.

As a scientist, he sees it as his job to bring things into the Universe that didn’t exist before.

But unlike a lot of others in his field, when he invents products, he thinks of the impact it will have before he creates, not after.

So what does this have to do with dying your hair naturally?

Well John and his team have created a product that restores your hair to it’s natural color. This product is called Hairprint.

Traditional hair dyes “paint” the hair. But Hairprint actually returns the structure of the hair to its original state.

What causes hair to go gray in the first place is when the melanin pigment is no longer being produced sufficiently or at all (this can be caused by diet, stress, hair dyes, genetics, age, etc…). So hair color starts with the melanocyte cells, which produce melanin. What Hairprint does is gives these hair molecules that have stopped producing melanin,  what it needs to go about this molecular process.

Hairprint is truly a Hair Healing System- it transforms the health of the hair by making it stronger and gives it more body and luster. It just so happens to reverse gray hair to its natural color as well.

Here’s what to expect when you buy a box of Hairprint:

Hairprint Box

These are the ingredients of the bottles:

  • Mucuna (a plant- and truly medicinal in my humble opinion)
  • Bicarbonate of soda aka Baking soda
  • Sodium Carbonate (this is the “worst” ingredient in the sense that  I would not want to eat it. But in the grand scheme of hair dye, it’s way better than the other options…)
  • Magnesium Gluconate (same kind of magnesium you would supplement with)
  • Diatomaceous Earth (mineral that can be bought at Health Food Stores)

Hairprint Ingredients

Ingredients of the PreTreatment Package:

This pretreatment package doesn’t have as “glamorous” whole food ingredients, but click on each of them to find out more about them (and see that none of them are toxic!)

HairPrint Pretreatment Ingredients

When will you see the results?

Instantaneously after the first application!

How often do you have to apply this?

According to the Hairrint website, “That depends on your objective. If you are covering gray roots, you will need to do it as often as your hair requires, from 3-5 weeks depending on the rate of hair growth. If you are covering gray that is lightly dispersed throughout the head, more like salt and pepper, you may find that you want to do it every 6-8 weeks. If you are using Anti-Aging formulas, and you have very little or no gray, our clients find that once every 6-8 weeks works very well.”

Each box is $39.

Sorry blondes/red heads, as of now, Hairprint is designed for those with brown or black hair.

But John assured us they are working to figure something out for other hair shades!

You can order online and have it delivered straight to your door. Doesn’t get easier than that.

Click here to order Hairprint.

Let me know how you like this product.

And a big Thank You to John, and people like John, who are using their knowledge to go out into the world and create products that aren’t harmful to our bodies or environment.

Which reminds me of one of my favourite quotes:

Go Into The World

 

*Affiliate note: when you purchase Hairprint using the links on this page I will get a small commission for referring you. But as you know, I would never recommend anything I wouldn’t use on myself and truly believe in. Thanks for voting with your dollar and making this world a better place by your choices!

Easy Herbs to Grow In Your Backyard (+ simple uses for each)

A few of my favourite things: the smell of pine, Bernese Mountain Dogs, tea dates and my herb garden.

Fortunately, ’tis the season for backyard growing and I want to share with you the must have herbs that I grow in my backyard (and a few recipes that I use for each one):

1. Mint

Mint Ice Cube Picture from http://justimagine-ddoc.com

Mint Ice Cube Picture from http://justimagine-ddoc.com

2. Basil

Blueberry Basil Smoothie picture from http://www.mynewroots.org

Blueberry Basil Smoothie picture from http://www.mynewroots.org

3. Lemon-Thyme

Lemon Thyme

Lemon Thyme Picture from http://www.thekitchn.com

I randomly came across this herb last year at a garden centre.

  • The best for adding to water.
  • Also great to give a kick to veggies, fish & chicken

4. Chives

Chives picture from https://www.flickr.com/photos/grongar/4830422541/

Chives picture from https://www.flickr.com/photos/grongar/4830422541/

I literally add chives to everything… Breakfast, lunch and dinner, there’s always room for chives…

  • Eggs
  • Salads
  • Veggies
  • Chicken
  • Beef

5. Rosemary

Rosemary Picture from http://pixabay.com/en/rosemary-spice-kraeuer-food-eat-74365/

Rosemary Picture from http://pixabay.com/en/rosemary-spice-kraeuer-food-eat-74365/

(thanks for the reminder, Jennifer!)

  • The best on sweet potatoes
  • Roasted veggies
  • Chicken
  • Eggs (it’s true!)

What are your favourite easy herbs to grow?

Let me know in the comments below (bonus points if you include your favourite way to use it!)

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