As a part of a clinical group challenge, I am going to tackle the Paleo diet for the next 3 days! I thought I would share my experiences as this is a new way of thinking about and eating food for me. Not sure what the Paleo diet is? Until now, I wasn’t either! (more…)
I’m on a kick to write and post about real food. The fact that I have to write ‘real’ in front of food is absurd, but true. If you haven’t seen my post by Dr. Mark Hyman about the revolutionary idea to eat whole foods, please check it out.
So on this particular topic, I’m going to rant about dairy. Yep – that dairy that the Dairy Farmers of Canada have done a great job on making us believe it is healthy and essential in our diets. And while there are some positive aspects of ‘our’ milk compared to say that USA’s, like the fact that Canada does not allow the use of bovine growth hormones, *artificial* hormones, etc in the production of dairy – did you know that Canada actually imports dairy (120 million kg in 2012) from other countries that has been produced using these things, and does not required to be labelled? Read more here. And the no artificial hormone thing drives me crazy… female cows are just artificially inseminated to stay pregnant for the duration of their milking career. Hormones change during pregnancy – this goes into the milk. Imagine the toll on their bodies for being pregnant for their career – stress hormones go into the milk. And oh – we are also the only species that consume milk after being weaned off of breast milk in infancy. Weird.
The next time you’re in the grocery store, read the milk carton labels. Check out which ones are actually labelled as ‘milk’ and which ones are mysteriously labelled as ‘dairy beverage’. In Canada, products with ‘modified milk ingredients’ cannot be called ‘milk. Ewh. So what are these modified milk ingredients?
MMI are defined by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency as any of the following in liquid, concentrated, dry, frozen or reconstituted (?!) form: casein, caseinate, cultured milk products, milk serum proteins, ultrafiltered milk, whey, whey butter, whey cream and any component of milk that has been altered from the form in which it is found in milk. Gross.
So when you think you’re getting ‘milk’, you might actually be getting a butter-oil compound, which is actually 49% butter and 51% sugar. This goes back to our lovely dairy imports – this product is more non-dairy than dairy, so it’s cheap. It can be imported without having to pay the tariffs that are applied to real dairy products. Where are MMIs? READ labels! Almost every ‘dairy’ product has them – including ice cream! (Sorry people!).
And, I’m not even going to get into the genetic modification of casein and whey.
The argument that modifying milk has no effect on our bodies simply doesn’t stand. I may have a biased opinion about milk because it makes my skin break out in bumps and hives – but I (and so many other naturopathic doctors) have seen people get better from removing dairy from their diet too many times. Autistic kids start speaking on a gluten/dairy free diet (improvements were seen so much so in a study of gluten/casein free diet in autism spectrum disorders that it was unethical to not treat the control group). A patient can actually go to the bathroom because their lifetime of constipation resolves. Chronic sinusitis goes away. Children’s ear infections stop happening. Acne clears up (this one is particularly gaining ground, see medical studies here). Most people feel better when they don’t eat dairy!
So, I challenge you to read labels. Opt for soy, almond, coconut or rice milk and yogurt. Purchase a probiotic supplement. Think before you buy. Know what you’re eating. The devil may be in your dairy.
Yesterday was old Christmas day, and in tradition – time to pack away all the Christmas decorations and get in gear for 2013! Instead of throwing out my Christmas cards, I recycle them each year by making gift tags for next Christmas. Here’s how:
- Simply take your Christmas cards and cut out parts of the front of the card so you have a nice Christmas image
- Make sure the back of the tag is free of writing
- Punch a small hole in the top of the tag and attach string, or just tape to the gift next Christmas!
This is a great way to cut down on the waste of the season, and to save money next year! It also adds a nice touch to your gifts.
Happy New Year to all – wishing you health and happiness in 2013!
Merry Christmas (and Happy all other celebrations of this time of year!) to those of you who have read my less-frequently-written-than-intended blog posts! 2012 has certainly flown by – which means 2013 and graduation is drawing ever so near! WooHOO!
I thought I’d share a few (relatively) healthy holiday recipes with you – both of which are my (and now my friends) favorites for this time of year:
Holiday Peanut Butter Balls
- 2 cups of crunchy all natural peanut butter
- 1/4 cup of butter or coconut oil
- 1 tsp of vanilla extract
- 1 cup of quinoa flour
- 1 cup of icing sugar
- 1-2 cups of dark chocolate chips
- Christmas Sprinkles (for fun!)
Combine the peanut butter, olive oil and vanilla extract until smooth and well mixed. (You may need to heat it.) Add the quinoa flour and icing sugar, and mix until a thick dough forms. Roll into 1-2 inch balls and place on a sheet of parchment paper on a cookie sheet and freeze until solid.
Meanwhile, melt chocolate chips over a double boiler (small metal bowel suspended in a pot with a small amount of boiling water works). Once the peanut butter balls have frozen, roll in the melted chocolate until covered and then return to cookie sheet. Quickly cover in a few sprinkles, if desired. Once you have dipped all the peanut butter balls, return to freezer until hardened. Store in an airtight container in the freezer and take out just before you are ready to serve! Delish!
Christmas Chicken Chunks
- 6 chicken breasts (skinless/boneless), cut into 1 inch cubes
- 1 cup of crushed crackers of your choice (gluten free, if needed)
- 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese of nutritional yeast extract for dairy free option
- 1/3 cup of chopped pecans or walnuts
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1/2 tsp tarragon
- 1 clove of garlic, crushed
- 3-4 eggs, whisked
Combine dry ingredients in a bowl until well mixed. One at a time, dip a chicken cube into the egg and then roll in the dry mixture. Lay on a paper lined baking sheet. If freezing at this point, arrange in a container and separate each layer with parchment or wax paper. Cover and freeze. If cooking, pre-heat oven to 400 F. Bake chicken chunks on greased baking sheet for 15-20 minutes. Cook each side for half of the baking time. Makes a great appetizer!
All the best for 2013!!!
It’s that time of year again! Unfortunately, cold & flu season is upon us and no matter what you may do to prevent it – sometimes you just get hit. I’m just getting over a cold myself and thought it would be a great chance to share some of my tried and true naturopathic tips for colds and flus! Continue Reading
After one full semester in clinic, I finally feel like I’m settling into the routine of things. One of my four clinic shifts is the Adjunctive Cancer Care Shift and (fortunately or unfortunately) it’s busy and comes with a steep learning curve. The recent edition of the Integrated Health Practitioners Magazine featured a series on naturopathic and integrative cancer care and so, I was inspired to write a post on naturopathic cancer care. Continue Reading
Alrighty - it’s been waaay too long since I made a post! Summer (and clinic!) have been busy. Now that September is just around the corner, it’s time to get back into things and I wanted to share a quick and easy, yet adventurous recipe – zucchini noodles! Continue Reading
The first blossoms of my Chamomile plant have finally come out (that’s them in the pic!). To celebrate the newest addition to our herb and vegetable garden (which is doing extremely well considering it’s all growing on a balcony!), an article about Chamomile is in season!
It’s been a little while since I posted a recipe – and seeing that we’re in the heat of summer, what better than a quick, easy and refreshing curry chickpea salad?! This will take you less than 10 minutes to make and will give you a great lunch or snack!
Today was finally a refreshing day in Toronto – 20 degrees felt cold! Getting through last week’s heat wave was a bit of a challenge for this girl from Labrador without air-con in my apartment. To stay cool, I made some yummy 100% watermelon juice popsicles with the help of my fabulous juicer and have been drinking water like a champ.
Us naturopaths love water and think it’s wonderful for the body. It’s important so many metabolic processes, including our natural detoxification. Continue Reading
Today I was riffling through photos of past trips to find some frame-worthy shots. I found myself in the tea fields of Cameron Highlands in Malaysia. The greenery of the photos still surprises me – and I just had to make myself some tea!
And, let’s face it – I’m obsessed with Davids Tea. If you haven’t already been to check it out – it’s a must! Davids Tea offers a ton of teas, in any flavor you can imagine! With this weekend’s hot weather and the heat wave we’re about to get, it’s how I stay refreshed. Think tea’s only for cold winter months? Keep reading!