Category Archives: Healthy Tips

Are you taking care of YOU?

Screen Shot 2013-05-28 at 9.54.51 AMI really had a hard time writing this blog post.  It was a short week here in Canada. For us, Monday was Victoria Day so I had to cram 5 days of work into 4 days.  We also took the kids and two of their friends to New York City for the weekend.  This added laundry, cleaning the house and grocery shopping to the list, things I normally do on the weekends.

The first thing to go out the window when I am busy is taking care of the one person that keeps all the balls in the air, all the time…ME!  I start skipping meals, staying up too late to get work done, sjip my morning walk, skip my daily meditation and on and on.  I think this is true for most mom’s.  We not only take care of our lives but we have the lives of our families to take care of as well.  Add to that a full time job or a company to run and it can be almost impossible to find some me time.

Think about how insane that is though, it is really true that when mom is happy everyone is happy and when mom is stressed everyone is stressed.  It is important for us to take care of us first so we can be more effective in looking after our loved ones.

Try to ignore the hippopotamus sized dust bunnies under the beds or better yet, get the kids to capture them. The finger prints on the fridge, hey who are they hurting?  Leave them for another day.  Teach the children how to make an awesome cup of tea (or martini, no judgement here, my kids make wicked cocktails!).  Even if it is a 15 min break locked in the bathroom sitting on the counter with your eyes closed.  Unless the house is on fire everything can wait at least 15 min.  When my kids were babies and I was home changing diapers, feeding them, cleaning the house and doing endless loads of laundry, as soon as my ex-husband came home from work, I handed him the baby and went for a walk around the block.  I was on my break.

As women we under-value our worth.  A good friend of mine told me one day she felt guilty because she didn’t contribute as much financially as her husband did.  She is a brilliant mother and an awesome wife who takes care of everything so her husband can concentrate on his work and do what he does best.  The way I look at it is if she were not so awesome her husband would have to worry about all the stuff she takes care of and he would not be as effective at his job.  We are multi-taskers, warriors for our kids, nurses, CEOs of our homes, chefs, maids, nannies etc. etc. and that is on top of our day jobs in most cases. So please commit to taking care of yourself every day for at least 15 min, you deserve it and your family deserves it.


Dealing With Food Allergies – Part Two

In my earlier post, I made you aware of different symptoms that might indicate that your child is reacting to a food/s.  I also explained that the foods we eat the most often are usually our worst culprits unfortunately.  I then explained to you how to eliminate a potential culprit from your child’s diet and watch for any reaction when you reintroduce that particular food.  It is now time to tell you more!  Are you ready?

People go to medical doctors or food allergists to detect problematic foods.   Here is the problem with those tests.   Those tests only measure IgE reactions, meaning allergic reactions.  But most reactions are actually sensitivities.  What is the difference between allergies and sensitivities?  When a small amount of a food is consumed and a reaction ensues, that constitutes an allergy.  When a larger amount is consumed, often over time, and a reaction ensues, that constitutes a sensitivity.   And when there are sensitivities, often the reaction in the body is delayed.  A child can eat 2 eggs for breakfast and have no apparent reaction but 3 days after consumption, they may not go to washroom that day or a rash might appear or their asthma might get worse.  These sensitivities do not show up in regular allergy tests, which is why they can go undetected for decades.

What is the other problem with these tests?  Allergy tests only detect skin reactions to problematic foods.  The majority of allergic reactions take place in the intestine!  Many show up in the brain, joints or organs, just to give a few examples!

The most accurate way of detecting problematic foods is by keeping a food and symptom journal.  A parent records what their child eats and any symptoms their child is experiencing.  Some would say, “It can’t be the carrots causing my child to break out in a rash 2 days later.”  They might attribute the rash to the swimming lesson the child just completed instead.  It is only by seeing the patterns recorded in the journal that links can be made between certain foods and adverse reactions. And carrots DO cause reactions!  In fact, any food can be problematic.

Some would say that their child is eating too many things and that they need to have some way to narrow down the problematic foods.  There is no 100% accurate form of testing, not even a blood test.  Interro testing can certainly narrow things down and it is a lot less expensive than a blood test and provides immediate results.   Around 200 foods are tested on an adult or child over the age of two, using accupuncture points and a computer that has the foods programmed into it.  Many naturopaths and some nutritionists offer this form of testing.  After recommending others to perform this testing on my clients, I finally purchased the system myself and it is such a help in narrowing down the culprits.

The majority of us have food sensitivities, wreaking havoc in our lives, by causing or worsening over 200 symptoms or conditions.   Sensitivities to dairy products are a huge contributor to ear infections.  Sensitivities to chemicals are a huge culprit for ADD.  Wheat sensitivities contribute to stomach aches and IBS.  I implore you to look into the problematic foods for you and your child and make each one of your days more comfortable and healthier!

Extra information at The Resourceful Mother 

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by Meredith Deasley from The Resourceful Mother Pediatric Nutritionist and Life Coach 


The Easiest Cleanse in the World!

Just the word cleanse brings sorrow to my heart. What kit to buy, what food can’t I have and what will I cook?  My head is spinning! I dwell on how hard it will be, how it will be a struggle and to what end? Well throw all those ideas away and look how easy a cleanse can be. No kits and with a little planning you can have a successful cleanse. And with this cleanse there are no large detox reactions because it is gentle.

Here is what Sarah says she sees in her clients from cleansing:

  • I’ve seen many clients remove gluten and excel in their athletics, or remove dairy and suddenly they are no longer having chronic sinusitis or clearing their throat during the day.
  • I’ve seen chronic bloating disappear with the removal of gluten/dairy/eggs.
  • I’ve seen someone in chronic pain remove nightshades and flour and regain their movement.

Food is powerful. Food makes or breaks who you are, what you look like, and how you feel and function.-Sarah

What to do for the next 3 weeks:

Temporarily remove the top allergenic foods: gluten, eggs, dairy, soy, corn

Remove sugar from your diet.

Take a look at what you consume daily: If you drink 12 cups of coffee a day try to reduce it to half.

What You Can Eat on the Easy Cleanse

• Beans
• Lentils
• Brown Rice
• Quinoa
• Any gluten-free grain: teff, buckwheat, millet, amaranth
• Chicken, Turkey, Poultry
• All fish except shellfish
• Wild game meats or grass-fed meats
• Nuts/seeds (except peanuts or those you are allergic to)
• ALL fruits
• ALL vegetables (except tomatoes)
• Rice based protein powders

How to end your cleanse:

Slowly reintroduce each food you removed every 3 days after a minimum of 3 weeks removal. You know your body well so you’ll know if something is wrong when you reintroduce them.

How do you know if the food bothers you?

Suddenly that migraine returns, or the bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhea, rapid weight gain, foggy brain, joint pain is back.


quinoa recipe sarah

Sweet n’ Spicy Quinoa – serves 12

This just has a little bit of everything. It’s sweet, it can be spicy, there are so many different textures involved it’s like a huge party in your mouth! Everyone knows that Quinoa is higher in protein then a few other starchy counterparts. It also has a natural nutty flavour, as opposed to boring old white rice. It could be a side dish or add a good quality lean protein to it makes it a full meal.
• 3 cups quinoa
• 2 cups low sodium soup stock (or fully use water)
• 2 cups water – more water if necessary
• 3 Tbsp olive oil
• 1 large onion
• 4 medium carrots
• 5 small zucchini
• 3 tsp ground coriander
• 1 tsp cinnamon
• pinch cayenne – omit if avoiding nightshades
• 1 1/2 tsp dried ginger, cumin, paprika, sea salt
• 3/4 cup dried fruit juice sweetened cranberries
• For a full meal – add sunflower seeds, beans, or chicken/turkey
1. Rinse and cook quinoa in 2 cups soup stock and 2 cups water (more water if necessary) for about 15 minutes until no longer crunchy and grains looked “popped”
2. Heat olive oil on medium in a large sauté pan or frying pan
3. Chop Onion, zucchini and carrots
4. Stir fry onion until transparent
5. Add carrots, stir fry five minutes
6. Add zucchini, stir fry one minute
7. Add the spices, except for salt, lower heat and stir until they start to brown
Combine veggies and quinoa – add cranberries and sea salt

Beets n’ Brussels Thyme

• 2 medium sized beets, peeled and quartered
• 12 – 15 brussels sprouts, halved
• 1 sweet onion, peeled and quartered
• 1 – 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted or extra virgin olive oil
• 1 teaspoon of dried thyme
• 2 tbsp sliced almonds (optional)
• Salt and freshly ground pepper
• Secret ingredient – if you have access to turkey or chicken dripping baste it with a bit of it for a nice gloss and crunch

1. Preheat oven to 375F
2. Lightly steam chopped vegetables and onion (about 3 – 4 min)
3. Add to casserole dish and drizzle with coconut oil, trhyme and sea salt and pepper
4. Bake for 20 minutes or until desired texture is reached (soft or crispy) but stir and move them around after 10 minutes.
5. Add almond slivers and roast for another 5 – 10 minutes until they are toasted and golden brown

More recipe ideas from Sarah

Sarah Maughan is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist in Toronto, ON and is one of few Nutritionists in Canada who is also Board Certified in Practical Holistic Nutrition™  


Do you want your child to make healthier food choices?

Are you wanting to get your child onside with making healthier food choices?  Here’s how!

As a parent, how do you begin to get your child onside with making healthier food choices?  I am going to share my method with you that works with children from 18 months old and up. Start by asking your child if they are experiencing any symptoms with which they are not happy?

  • Is your child getting sick frequently?
  • Do they have frequent ear infections?
  • Do the have a bowel movement each day? Are they constipated?
  • Do they have ADD?
  • Do they have asthma?
  • Do they have a skin condition? Eczema?

What we eat affects every aspect of our being!  And what we eat contributes to every symptom, condition and disease.  We eat multiple times a day but we tend to think that what we eat has no effect on how we feel or look, how much energy we have or how well our brains work.  The biggest challenge a nutritionist faces is helping others to see the link between how they are feeling and what they are eating. Now your challenge is to help your child see the link.

If your child is experiencing any of the health challenges mentioned above and is bothered enough by that symptom, he or she may be relieved to know that there is something that can be done to help them!  You could go to a naturopath or nutritionist and have food sensitivity testing done on your child or you could begin your own detective work.  The goal is to determine the food that is your child’s biggest culprit for the symptoms they are experiencing.

I’ll give you two hints on what food might be bothering your child 

  1. The food that your child cannot live without AND/OR the food your child eats the most often
  2. The two biggest culprits in North America, for all symptoms, are DAIRY and WHEAT – it is no coincidence that these are the two food groups of which we eat the most.

Great, you say.  Yes, great! Now we have have a place to begin.

Now, ideas should be forming in your head, as to which foods are the potential culprits for your child.  If you want to test that food on your child to see if it is indeed a culprit, all you need to do is completely remove the particular food(s) from their diet for one week and then reintroduce it.   Easier said than done, I know.  How badly your child’s health challenge is affecting them will determine if your child will be onside with trying this method for improving their health.  Once the week has passed, you will find that when you reintroduce the problematic food, your child will react worse than ever before to that food and you will have found your child’s first culprit food.  I invite you to embark on the journey of discovering the biggest culprit for your child’s specific health challenge and then replace that food with a healthier alternative!

Here are a couple of other articles with ideas and examples

Educating Kids To Make Healthy Food Choices

Dairy – a food we CAN live without

by Meredith Deasley from The Resourceful Mother Pediatric Nutritionist and Life Coach 

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I’d Love To Help You Eat Clean!

We invited Sarah of My Mostly Healthy Life to write a guest post for us and we are so pleased she accepted!

If you’re like any of the rest of us, every now and then you probably find it very hard to stick to a clean diet free of processed foods, fast food and/or prepackaged foods. I definitely find it hard sometimes as well. I’ve thought about ways to help make it easier for you on your clean eating journey, and what I’ve learned so far.

  • If your just starting on your clean eating journey, rid your home off ALL of the “no-no’s!”. Out of sight, out of mind.This is probably one of the hardest things people deal with when they first decide to start eating a clean and healthy diet. Yes, this is going to mean you’re probably going to throw out a bunch of food. No it is not ok for you to “just finish what you have in your pantry and not buy more after that” because this is a vicious cycle and it won’t end. I’m sure if you weigh the pros and cons, there are a lot more pros to throwing out the “franken-foods” in your home and starting your health journey right away.
  • When in the grocery store, stick to the parameter. Grocery stores are smart and know how to make you cave to the expensive, prepackaged foods that provide little to no nutrients. If you’ve never noticed, the outside of the grocery store is where all of the fresh, clean food resides, veggies and fruits, fresh meat, dairy, and frozen veggies and fruits. The only thing you should need to get in the aisle, is cooking oil, nuts, seeds and coffee/tea. Avoid the bread section (gluten does not do anybody any good!), and aim for organic, fresh veggies/fruits.
  • Only buy what you need. It’s better to go to the grocery store 2-3x/week rather than throwing away a ton of produce you didn’t eat and it went bad.
  • Avoid the liquor store! Nothing can put a halt on clean eating like alcohol. Not only is alcohol completely empty in terms of nutrients, but drinking it may make it seem like that pizza isn’t so bad after all! Wrong-o! Just avoid this all together and you’ll be doing your body a wonder of good!

I hope this helped! You can find me over at if you have any questions, or you want to follow my journey!
Yours in fitness & health,