How often do you go on a "diet" only to fail a week later because you can't resist that sugary doughnut staring at you from the bakery counter? "Well I've cheated now, might as well just have another one" you say to yourself as you sadly eat the rest of the box.
Does this sound like you? Do you feel like a failure? Do you never seem to be able to complete a "diet"?
Well good news for you, because I don't believe in diets.
And I am about to tell you the secret of how to eat healthy but also indulge when you want to without creating negative consequences on your body and your mind.
It's called the 80/20 rule.
But first, let's talk about why I don't believe in diets.
They are not practical.
If you were on a diet and I were to ask you, "are you going to eat this way for the rest of your life?" what would you say? I am guessing you would say no.
Most diets have you doing some crazy things but when you can't sustain the diet anymore or you go off the diet the chances are pretty good that your "bad habits" will sneak back in and you will start eating the way you did before you went on your diet.
Let's take the Ketogenic Diet for example. The Keto Diet is a fad diet right now that has people restricting carbohydrates so that the body will turn fat into ketones to use as energy.
The problem is, we need carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are sugar (both simple carbs and complex carbs). Our body needs sugar to run and give us energy and supply sugar to our brains to function properly.
What happens when you aren't eating any carbs? You are eventually going to crave them because your body needs them to function (and you will probably crave the simple carbs a.k.a white sugar because it will give you the quickest boost of energy).
You can only burn fat to use as energy for so long.
Then your body will start losing muscle and you will experience fatigue and will eventually enter into starvation mode. Yes you might lose a lot of weight quickly (however the fat loss is most likely water loss), but you are doing long term damage to your body (especially your heart) in the process.
Let's not do that ok?
Instead lets talk about my 80/20 rule. It's simple. Focus on healthy eating 80% of the time and the other 20% indulge in the things you really enjoy eating.
When we are eating things that are good for our body 80% of the time they can handle 20% of naughty foods and be ok. It's when the scale is tipped more in favour of junk that our bodies struggle to process the junk foods.
I am a realist. I know that you go out for dinner. I know that you like to eat cookies while watching a movie on a Friday night. I know that sometimes you are too exhausted to cook and you order in pizza. I know that sometimes you stand in your pantry and sneak chocolate and hide from your kids when you're having a really bad day (wait, maybe that's just me?!).
I know all of this because despite being a nutritionist I am a human and a mom and I don't eat "perfectly" all the time. NO ONE DOES (not even the hippiest, plant loving, green juice drinking, vegan out there)!
If you're someone who has tried diet after diet and is constantly restricting yourself and depriving yourself of things you want, and then shaming yourself when you do eat those things, try it my way and see how you feel.
What I tell my clients is to focus on the healthy foods they are eating (fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, beans, lentils, lean meats) rather than thinking about all the things they are "missing out" on. Add more of these healthy foods to your diet and you will notice there isn't as much room for the naughty foods. When your diet is mostly whole foods you can have chips or a slice of cake without it being detrimental to your health.
When you do get a big sugar craving, try eating a natural sugar first. Dates, fresh fruit, baked sweet potato, honey (natural sugars make amazing desserts, have you tried my raw vegan cheesecake?!). Chances are it's your body's way of telling you that you A: are not eating enough carbohydrate, B: that you aren't eating often enough (every 2-3hours) or c: both. Start to decipher when it's your body telling you it needs sugar for fuel and when it just wants to taste that cronut.
And for those of my women out there who are desperately trying to conceive, this applies to you too. You don't have to never look at sugar again, quit drinking alcohol for good, make disgusting green concoctions that you know are good for you but make you gag and be miserable. Indulging a bit here and there is not going to make your chances of conceiving go down, I promise.
The media has made healthy eating out to be super complicated, making people think they need to do crazy diets to achieve the goal they want (weight loss, clear skin, improved energy, etc.) and then when the diet doesn't work the person feels like they have failed. When really it is the media who has failed you.
I am here to tell you that it is simple. Eat plants, most of the time, enjoy a treat when you really want it and be happy. That's it :)
My Chocolate Almond Smoothie is an awesome drink for when you want a sweet fix but is made with all natural sugars. It tastes naughty but it is entirely nutritious.
Chocolate Almond Smoothie
1.5 frozen bananas
3 Medjool dates, pitted
2 Tbsp almond butter
2 Tbsp organic cocoa powder
1 1/4 cups almond milk
Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
Love and Light xo,
Have you heard of Moringa? I hadn't heard much about it until a few months ago when I was shopping at my local health food store. I knew it was a superfood but I didn't know HOW super it really was until recently.
Moringa Oleifera is a tropical, fast growing tree and its leaves are highly nutrient dense and nutritious. It is rich in magnesium, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, vitamin A, omega 3, chlorophyll, protein among many other nutrients. But what really caught my eye was how rich it is in iron. It has 25x more iron than spinach. Iron is a really important mineral, especially for us plant eaters. I've been on the lower side of the iron spectrum as of late due to my pregnancy so this really intrigued me.
Due to the amount of anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals it contains, moringa is a perfect food for athletes as it can improve endurance and lower inflammation. It's great for women breastfeeding as it may increase milk supply and boost energy levels. It also helps to lower blood sugar levels and increases mental focus. It has been used as a natural aphrodisiac to increase sex drive, HOWEVER, I have also read that it may reduce rates of conception. So if you're looking to get pregnant moringa may not be the nutrient for you. But once you ARE pregnant it can supposedly help boost the immune system.
Moringa was supposedly used as an Ayurvedic medicine, sunscreen, body lotion, perfume and for purifying water in ancient times. Due to its speed of growth and nutrient density, moringa is being looked at as a way to bring protein and vitamins to impoverished people.
This was the first time I tried it so I will let you know in the future how I feel. But in the meantime, you may be interested in trying it out yourself, but only if you're not trying to conceive!
Morning Moringa Bowl For Mamas
Vegan, Gluten Free, Sugar Free
1 can of coconut milk
1/4 cup, plus 1Tbsp chia seeds
1tsp. moringa powder (if you're trying to conceive just leave this out. The bowl is amazing and packed with nutrients with or without it!)
pinch of himalayan sea salt
-toasted shredded coconut
-toasted chopped cashews
-cacao nibs or chopped dark chocolate
-maple syrup or honey
-freshly grated ginger
1.Place coconut milk, chia, vanilla, moringa powder and salt in a bowl. Whisk together. Cover and place in fridge overnight. You may want to whisk a few times before going to bed to make sure it doesn't clump together.
2.In the morning, give pudding a stir, top with desired toppings and serve.
Love and light xo,
I have been thinking a lot lately about my time. How do I give myself more time? With so many tasks in a day, and with the hours feeling as if they are getting shorter and shorter, I found myself feeling more anxious, more tired, more drained.
For my work I tell other people what to do to improve their health, but I was finding that my own self was getting put on the back burner. Which seems a bit backward as I'm supposed to lead by example.
I used to enjoy going to yoga whenever I pleased, reading a book for hours, or going to the movies with my husband. I didn't feel guilty when I sat on my patio and drank a tea and daydreamed.
What is it about becoming older and more responsible that makes us feel that we are not as important as we were when we were 19? Not as worthy of self care? Not allowed to take time for ourselves or we will be seen as lazy?
Why do so many women feel like this? Do you feel like this too? Like you have to occupy every hour of every day with tasks so that you can check things off of your never ending to-do list to feel like you accomplished something so you can feel good about yourself?
I know all about this. Between being a mom, running a business, taking care of the house and working a job on the side I found that there was not a lot of time for anything else. I knew it was making me sick. I was suffering from adrenal fatigue.
I knew that this was not a way to live. I told myself, "I have to find a better way".
And slowly I am.
I am currently building a beautiful, new, energetic program with my spiritual coach to guide my clients with. Through this process I have found a new way of working, and a new way of being. Want to know what it is?
I take 15 minutes to just sit and be.
That's it. I just be. And this is how I re-connect to myself. Then I am able to work for an hour at the most and my inner voice flows, and I get things done and I feel good about what I have channelled. I close my computer and I reconnect with the rest of my family. But this hour is my sacred time. And I cherish it.
I recently read an interview of someone I deeply admire, Sarah Britton of www.mynewroots.org The interview was on self-care and she said that she gives herself a gift every day. Not a new pair of shoes, but a special gift that doesn't necessarily require money. Like sitting for half an hour and drinking tea. Or watering her plants. Then she has something to look forward to in her day. A bit of time she makes for herself everyday.
I thought, Sarah, you are brilliant. So I have begun incorporating this train of thought into my own life. I now give myself a gift every day. Today it was swimming in the lake. Yesterday it was journalling. Tomorrow it might be taking time to enjoy a bit of stretching. And every day it is 15 minutes to just sit and be. I am loving this new way of approaching my life. Because it makes time for me.
Did you know that YOU are the most important person in your life? It is true. You are. And you need to make time to nourish that person every single day.
To keep you healthy.
To re-connect to your inner being.
To re-connect to your dreams so that you can go into the world and live them.
And when you are in this gift giving vibration of peace, love and joy, you can make miracles happen.
You can accomplish anything you want, but only when you are in this good vibration.
This is very true. I am seeing it unfolding in my own life. It is true for you too.
Not every day is easy. We all still need to grocery shop, cook dinner, do the laundry, make money. But if you can give yourself a gift every day you will have something to look forward to. A time to cherish yourself and re-connect. And this will give you the space to create your life however you want it. You will get more done. You will have more energy. You will be happier.
For the next 30 days, I challenge you to give yourself a gift every day. In a month from now I bet you will see someone more relaxed, more in-tune with herself and able to give love and joy more freely. Just try it. I dare you ;)
Chocolate Overnight Oats
Vegan, Refined Sugar Free, Gluten Free
This recipe is a go-to for me. I make it the night before I have a really early morning and have to be out the door with my daughter really quickly. It is a bit of self care in the morning because it is full of healthy ingredients, but mostly, it makes me feel really good and happy inside!
1/2 cup oats (certified gluten free if intolerant)
1 ripe banana
1Tbsp. cacao powder (to read the difference between cacao and cocoa click here)
1 cup plant milk
1Tbsp. chia seeds
pinch of pink himalayan salt
1/2 cup berries or fruit of choice (I like strawberries, raspberries, blackberries or cherries best)
cacao nibs (optional)
chopped walnuts (optional)
flax oil (optional)
1.Place the oats, banana and cacao powder in a bowl. Mash the banana and mix the 3 ingredients together until all is incorporated and the oats look like a chocolatey mess.
2.Add the milk, chia and salt and mix until uniform.
3.Cover and place in the fridge overnight.
4.In the morning, top with fresh berries, cacao nibs, walnuts and flax oil.
Love and light xo,
Holy moly it's the middle of April. I don't know how that happened but I am grateful to be here already. I don't know about you but I couldn't stand the winter anymore this year. All winter I dreamed of sunnier places...
Speaking of the sun, I got back from our family trip to Bali a few weeks ago and let me tell you, it was AMAZING! The people, the food, the weather, the beaches, the flowers, the relaxation. It was a beautiful experience. I didn't know how tightly wound up I was until I got home and felt so completely relaxed. Thank you, Bali. If you're thinking about travelling to Bali, do it. You will not be disappointed.
We spent most of our time in Ubud and Bingin areas, as we wanted to purely soak in the magic, eat good food and sleep on the beach. After speaking with many different frequent Bali travellers, these were the best places to go. There was a beautiful waterfall near Ubud called Tukad Cepung that was worth the trek down. No one was there and we felt the energy of such a beautiful experience quite cleansing. We also had the opportunity to visit the third cleanest village in the world (Penglipuran), which was right next to a bamboo forest. We visited a few temples, our favorite being the rock temple Gunung Kawi. The rice fields close by to the temple were stunning, and look just like all the pictures you see.
One of the highlights of our trip (other than sleeping a lot and stuffing our faces with delicious food) was getting to visit and feed the elephants. This was a bit of a controversial topic as my husband and I really wanted to see elephants but did not want to support any kind of animal cruelty, which can be quite common. But we found one place that treats the elephants very well, and you can tell they are happy and healthy. Getting to touch an elephant is a magical experience.
As foodies, finding new places to eat every day was an exciting experience. From nasi goreng made by a local woman up the road, to an outdoor vegan dining experience at Moksa (tempeh bbq ribs with sweet potato mash-so good), to a chocolatey smoothie at Kismet to the chickpea bowl at Buddha Soul, to banana pancakes with a platter of fruit every morning, everything we ate was divine. But I think my favorite dish was the pitaya bowl at the Cashew Tree near Bingin Beach. If you're not sure what pitaya is, it's another name for dragon fruit. I loved it so much that I wanted to create my own version back home.
The pitaya in Bali that we had was a beautiful, rich, deep purple whereas here in the Okanagan I can only find white dragon fruit. The taste is quite similar but the purple variety is much prettier. Pitaya is chock full of vitamin C, and if you are trying to get pregnant, vitamin C is really important. Many women who are having no luck getting pregnant have an imbalance of progesterone and estrogen-too much estrogen and not enough progesterone. Progesterone is needed to prepare the uterine lining during the luteal phase to receive a fertilized egg. Not enough progesterone means that this is unable to happen properly, and therefore the lining may not be thickening enough to sustain a pregnancy. If you are undergoing stress (let's face it, we all are), the adrenals are going to produce too much cortisol. This will interfere with your progesterone production. To much cortisol can also create estrogen dominance, which can cause PMS, clotting, fatigue, weight gain, swollen breasts, endometriosis among other unpleasant things.
So why is vitamin C so important for fertility? It helps to increase progesterone levels. An extra 750-1000mg per day can really help to improve these levels. There is no worry about taking too much vitamin C- you will know it's too much when your stool becomes loose.
If you have been trying to get pregnant for quite some time now, look at your fruit intake. Our reproductive system runs on glucose and consuming more fruit can help give your system the boost it needs. Try to consume fruits in the most natural form possible-meaning as organic as possible. The less toxins you are consuming, the easier it is for your body to function in optimal health and the cleaner your body is to house a little baby.
Vegan, Gluten Free, Sugar Free
1.5 cups frozen pitaya
1.5-2 frozen bananas
1 cup frozen raspberries, plus extra for topping
1.5 cups coconut water
handful of blackberries
shredded coconut for topping
hemp seeds for topping
maple syrup, optional
1. Blend the frozen pitaya, frozen banana, frozen raspberries and 1 cup of the coconut water in a blender until mixed. Mixture should be quite thick, but if it is not blending well enough, add a bit more coconut water.
2. Spoon into bowls and decorate with kiwi, blackberries, raspberries, hemp seeds, coconut, and maple syrup (or anything else you love-granola is a tasty option).
3. Make sure you chew your pitaya bowl, as this helps the digestive process. Serves 1-2 people.
Love and light xo,