Four Ways To Make Your Holistic Nutritionist The Watson To Your Sherlock

“You know my methods Watson”

Holistic health is often an investigative affair. We are complex and all systems in our body function synergistically, so that when one becomes unbalanced, everything else is affected as a result. This can make getting to the root of the issue a rather tricky enterprise and in order to crack the case, it’s often a matter of some trail and error. When it comes to your health, you are the greatest detective there is but what’s a detective without their faithful accomplice? That, as you may have “suspect”ed, is where we, your holistic practitioners, come in. Pull out your magnifying glass, grab your trusty nutritionist and disprove your own theories until you find the one that clicks!
timr
Sherlock’s role :
  • Your role in the healing process is the most important. Your holistic nutritionist can give you all of the advice in all of 18th century England but it is YOU and only you that can make it happen. When it comes to your health, nobody knows you like you do and in order to decipher the riddle of your body, we rely on you to be attentive to its clues.
Watson’s role :
  • As your holistic health practitioner, it is my job to be your accomplice, to look out for you, and to be your helping hand when getting out of sticky situations. Although I don’t have nearly the same appealing accent or handsome allure of Robert Downey Jr., what I do offer as your Watson, is my knowledge, advice and ability to listen to your body’s evidence of what might be happening within you. From there, we develop our theories to reach the suspected issue at the scene of the crime and then work to heal it.
Here are 4 ways to use your holistic practitioner as the Watson to your Sherlock:
 
1) Pay close attention to detail
 
“It has long been an axiom of mine that the little things are infinitely the most important. ‘There is nothing like first-hand evidence.”
  • Everything counts. Nothing is nothing. From fatigue, to brittle nails, to bloating after a meal, to an itchy nose, your body is constantly sending you clues to your health. Pay close attention so that we can decipher them.
2) Do some digging
“The world is full of obvious things which nobody by any chance ever observes.”
  • Remember that ailment from grade four that caused you to go on antibiotics? What about the root canal  from 5 years ago? As all of our experiences in life shape who we are today, they also shape our health. From the little to the monumental: dig back into those things that others may disregard.
3) You are your own healer
‘My name is Sherlock Holmes.  It is my business to know what other people don’t know.’
  • Nobody knows you like you do. As your Watson, I’m relying on you to communicate everything you can with me. When we pair our personal knowledge with that of our nutritionist, this is where true healing lies.
  • After all…
    ‘Nothing clears up a case so much as stating it to another person.’
4) Trial and error
‘Eliminate all other factors, and the one which remains must be the truth.’
  • Do not be deterred by a little trial and error. No two people are alike and therefore, to experience true healing, a little trial and error is absolutely necessary. This is what detective work is all about.
With your body’s evidence and the combined detective work of both yourself and your practitioner, you are well on your way to closing the case on your health!
In a series of investigative affairs,
Suzanne Eden

My Top 6 Ways To Winterize Your ACTIVE-ist Routine

I’ve been routinely spying on my next door neighbours’ backyard these past fast weeks as their swimming pool of sorts (from our oddly warm weather) solidified into an ice rink waiting eagerly for my blades to edge the surface. But I simply couldn’t wait any longer and so a good friend of mine and I took to the public ice rink to unleash our winter ACTIVE-ists.
go figure
Contrary to popular belief, the winter does not mean you have to hibernate from the great outdoors. Oh, you may have to pack in beach yoga and retire your bikes for the season but there is still plenty to be done outdoors and what’s more: fresh air, sunshine and exercise will boost your mood, control your weight, increase energy and supercharge your immune system during the chilly months!
  • Here are my top ways to winterize your ACTIVEist routine! 

1) Ice Skating! 

  • Go figure 😉 I used to be a competitive figure skater for 9 years and although I’m a little rusty now (even with freshly sharpened blades), there is nothing like the fresh smell of ice to elicit the giddy skater within me. No ice rink in your neighbours’ backyard? No problem! My friend and I try to train at least once a week at our local arena that has cheap public skating every day.

2) Do you want to build a snowman? 

  • This is, in fact, great exercise! Squat to not only protect your back from hunching over but also to work those thighs and have a gluteus maximus as round as the snow balls you’re rolling!

3) Skiing

  • The last time I went skiing I nearly got a foot cramp in my boot (just think about that for a moment) and was thrust down a hill far too advanced for my fresh-off-the-bunny-hill self. I haven’t gone back. But I would love to try it again, with an arsenal of magnesium to avoid foot cramps, and it definitely makes this list of great winterized exercise.

4) Shoveling 

  • There’s a plus! How many of you secretly love shoveling? Oh, we complain alright but really, by the end it’s been your motivation for exercise and you can’t contest against the fact that it does a shovel of a good job! Put some elbow grease into it and work out those pipes!
 SNOWga

5) SNOWga!

  • Another favourite! Made extra challenging in a winter parka, snow boots and slippery snow. So this one is usually a quick pop out, snap a pic, and run back inside to curl up with hot tea. But hey! When else can you get frosty yoga pics?

6) Take a hike! 

  • There was one thing I still wanted after Christmas: hiking boots. I picked up a great pair this week so that I can go follow the deer tracks through the snowy trails. Bonus: snow tracks = more effective than bread crumbs at finding your way out of the woods.
Whatever you choose to do, get out and embrace this winter wonderland in whatever way you can!
Bundling up,
Suzanne Eden

Hara Hashi Bu and You // What We Can Learn From The “Land of Immortals”

Just. One. More. Bite. I thought as my forkful of food circled lethargically around my plate as I contemplated how the last morsel could possible fit into my already expanded stomach. And why, with my feet dangling inches from the floor as child at a dinner table with no dog to sneak food to, was I trying to clean my plate when I was stuffed to the brim? This can be summed up in 5 words:  “Finish your plate before dessert.” The thought of a treat being so tempting that the second compartment of my stomach was sure to open up, just in the nick of time!

Sound familiar? Well this morning, with Aussie (my guinea pig) in my lap, I had all too much fun reading about a little something called hara hashi bu and the Okinawan way of life.
This community based in Japan was once known as the “land of immortals” and a blue zone, a place where residents were recognised for longevity. The Okinawa’s were celebrated and long sought after for their ability to live beyond 100 years. Since fast food and modern lifestyle conveniences have slipped into their culture, life expectancy is beginning to plummet as stated on bluezones.com. However, there is much to learn from the prior generations who knew how to live life right. So what were they doing and how can we do it too?
gardening
  • Plant Based

The traditional Okinawan diet emphasizes:

  • fruits
  • vegetables
  • whole grains
  • legumes
  • fish
  • Their diet is also rich in soy but the form is what is critical. They eat mainly unprocessed soy products. The ones I suggest: miso and tempeh

Lifestyle

  • They grow gardens and reap the benefits both from daily exercise, enjoyment, and nutrient dense foods. According to bluezones.com, mugwort, ginger, and turmeric are staples in their gardens. These all have potent medicinal and cleansing properties in our bodies. Ginger and turmeric are the two that I use vigorously throughout the day utilizing both fresh and powdered forms.

The Hara hashi bu Principle:

eat only to 80% full
  • Eating in accordance with this principle will prevent us from overloading our bodies and burdening it with food it must digest. It will also help to reduce our sluggish feelings after a meal. More energy to digest = less energy for you.
  • Studies show a positive correlation between low caloric diets and longevity. My belief: it is less stress and energy put forth into digesting our food while still providing adequate energy and nutrients needed for that individual. But not so fast, here’s two things to know about calorie restriction: 
  • It is not so much about calories as it is about nutrient density. You can bet that the individual subsisting on a low-calorie diet of highly processed foods is not going to be the thriving individual we’re talking about here.
Prescription for wellness: Count nutrients, not calories
  • Your caloric needs and amount of food intake are specific to you. My grandfather eats ginormous amounts of food and rarely feels stuffed but you wonder where it goes on his slender, muscular physique. The trick: he’s highly active, eats only high quality, nutrient dense foods and has a very high metabolism. Likewise, someone else needs comparatively less food to thrive. Find what works for you.
baskets
Make Hara Hashi Bu Work for You:
The challenge: from years of overriding our body’s natural signals, it can be difficult to determine what 80% feels like. Here are some tips:
  • Turn off your tv, computer etc. Anything that will distract you from the experience of eating and from your internal fullness cues.
  • Shrink your stomach
Nothing to do with weight-loss per say, but when we eat beyond our capacity, we expand our stomach. Therefore, we may eat all the food we need but our stomach will not be as full or feel as full. I read somewhere that it takes 15-20 meals for your stomach muscles to readjust, but I haven’t found any legitimate evidence of this. What it will take is a bit of time.
  • Eat slower.
Give your body time to register the food it is taking in and when you think you may be getting close to 80%, stop. If 20minutes later you still feel you need more food, enjoy.
  • Eat on smaller plates
Holistic life hacks to reducing food intake: eat on smaller plates! It will subconsciously trick you into thinking you’re eating more than you are so you don’t take as much food as you would to load up a large plate.
Taking a cue from hara hashi bu,
Suzanne Eden

A Country Bound Food Diary & Raw Superfood Clusters

This week I packed my things, namely piles of textbooks & notebooks and a few warm sweaters and made for the tranquility of the countryside. My grandparents own a hobby farm along the escarpment with a yellow pine house my grandfather constructed, flower gardens, trails, and my favourite of course; vegetable gardens(!) all blanketed under the winter’s snow.

into the wild

Every new year I find my way here for a couple of days to recharge. It is a time to retreat into the expanse and solitude of their property, to work a few hours with warm tea and spend the evenings chopping salads in my grandparents’ kitchen, hiking the back trails, burying myself in the snow and learning to make a fire to keep warm while teaching my grandfather how to culture sauerkraut. And in the midst of it all was a surplus of fresh produce from their garden, chopped for salads or sliced with nutbutters and a whole slew of delicious food to spoil their guest. If there’s one thing you can rely on with grandparents, it’s that you will never go hungry! And here is a taste of what became of our plates:

With the sunrise: 
  • Each morning we awoke as the sun broke across the horizon of naked trees. The fire having long died out in the night lied peacefully of ash. We first set the kettle to enjoy warm lemon water as we waited for our oats to cook over the stove top. We had set these out the night before to soak which makes them easier to digest and makes the nutrients more available to the body. We topped this with a blend of ground seeds (pumpkin, flax, chia) and spices (cayenne, turmeric, curry, ginger etc.), a splash of flax oil and basmati brown rice milk and this, to my request, was the breakfast to energize us each morning.
In solitude and left to a delicious kitchen…
  • While my grandparents were out at Tai Chi or chiropractic appointments, I would get hungry and scour their kitchen for food, of which there is plenty! Nuts and seeds, vegetables and sprouts, it’s a holistic foodies haven!
Every day I had a protein drink with MSM, L-glutamine, and so forth and mixed in detoxifying beet crystals which turn the vanilla drink a bright pink.
Others:
  • nuts and seeds
  • sprouts
  • banana
  • crackers slathered with coconut oil and nutbutter
  • Raw superfood clusters

 

raw superfood clusters

Raw Superfood Clusters

There is no exact recipe, simply mix ingredients until desired:

  • Almond butter
  • Apple sauce (for sweetness)
  • Coconut oil (to make them solid)
  • Cinnamon
  • Pinch of sea salt

Mix together almond butter, apple sauce and oil until the coconut oil is well mixed in. Then add the bulk ingredients to form clusters. You can use any nuts or seeds here, I used:

  • Unsalted, raw Pumpkin seeds (which we dried out ourselves)
  • Sprouts (my grandfather had sprouted mung beans and green lentils)

Once in little clusters, pop them in the freezer to harden, then enjoy! The healthy fats help to stabilize blood sugar, provide a fantastic source of energy and will assist in keeping you satiated to lunchtime.

Upon their return: 
Lunch time and large appetites where synonymous with my grandparents arrival home. We would set to work in the kitchen right away to prepare vegetable plates served with nut and seed butters.
veggie plate
 
Possible accompaniments:
  • Poached eggs
  • Chicken
  • Sardines (my favourite! A treat we picked up when my grandmother brought me on a special trip for my first time to Goodness Me)
  • Gluten free, dairy free, sugar-free pancakes topped with nutbutters, apple sauce, red currants and a little maple syrup (high quality)
Midday snacks:

 

dates

Dinner 
  • We usually made salads of my grandparents’ vegetables. The root veggies we had were harvested in October and stored to eat through the winter as they do not spoil when kept properly. We shredded these finely which aids digestion and used olive oil and apple cider vinegar as a dressing, topped with sprouts and served with the rest of the meal:
  • Chicken two days
  • One day we ate lightly steamed veggies with rosemary & humus as we sat around the fire

chopping salads

Post dinner: 
  • Green tea which was brewed continuously throughout the day
  • Chia seed cereal pudding from Earthly Choice
  • sprouts
  • a small dried fruit platter

I was sent home with dried apples juuuust in case I should find myself feeling a bit famished on the voyage home and was greeted with a warm hug from mom and a furry little animal (Aussie) who shared a dried apple or two with me before bed. My road trip playlist? A mix of Eddie Vedder and Matthew Good! Though I infinitely love the peace, tranquility, and rather more primitive life of the countryside, it has been wonderful to be reunited with my family, Aussie and my Vitamix once more!

Blending an end to another delicious week,

Suzanne Eden

Your Holistic Guide to Healthy Snacking at the Theatre & my Chocolate, Cashew Drizzled Popcorn

“Sometimes it is the people no one imagines anything of who do the things that no one can imagine.”

~ The Imitation Game

These past few days have found me enchanted by elves and hobbits and mystified by the mind of Alan Turing as all good movies seemed to pop their way into theatres just in time for the winter chill (in which I rather fittingly become much like a hobbit myself).
~*~
Now just think: movie theatre food, and what is likely the first thing to pop into your mind? The beloved popcorn of course! But what is lurking in that seemingly bottomless bag of buttery kernels? I did a little digging and found some sticky facts on one of Canada’s favourite movie treats and created a better than butter alternative to satisfy all of your popcorn popping indulgences.

 

Popping up some facts:
  • Popcorn MUST be purchased organic. Non-organic corn is heavily sprayed in pesticides, insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, and fertilizers which wreak havoc on our health and the health of our environment.
According to the Globe and Mail published in 2011:
  • a large Cineplex popcorn unbuttered is the calorie and fat content equivalent of two McDonald’s Big Macs
  • The same bag having nearly a day’s worth of sodium intake

 

and that’s without butter.

According to Cineplex Entertainment’s Nutrition and Allergen guide, their liquid margarine contains these ingredients (plus a few others):

  • Soybean Oil
  • Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
  • Salt
  • Soy Protein,
  • Soy Lecithin
  • Potassium Sorbate
  • Mono & Diglycerides
  • Artificial Flavour

 

This ingredient list is high in processed soy and oils which alters their chemical composition causing them to be toxic to our bodies. Also present are artificial flavourings, preservatives and, once again, salt. Its shelf life: a minimum of three months! Real food rots. If it does not go bad, what exactly are we eating?

 

A few tips to snacking during a flick:
  • Eat when you are hungry

A movie snack is a cultural habit. Food is meant to be enjoyed when we are hungry. If you are not hungry, skip the snack and just enjoy the film.

 
  • Be a delinquent and bring your own food & drinks
  • Eat mindfully : if eating, eat BEFORE the movies

Eat during the opening credits and pay attention to the taste and flavour. You’ll be satisfied faster, longer and enjoy your food more.

  • Don’t eat during or even before a suspense, thriller or horror film.

The stress you feel in these movies actually puts our body into the “fight or flight” mode. This state activates our
sympathetic nervous system which tells the body to stop digesting so that you have more energy to flee. Of course, you’re not going anywhere but your body doesn’t know that and your digestion is compromised as a result.

  • Make healthier versions.

 A better than butter alternative popped up in my kitchen for Monday night’s movie ventures, though it was admittingly gone before I had even left for the theatre!

popcorn

 
  • Better Than Butter Popcorn:
Organic homepopped Popcorn (NOT microwaveable!)
Coconut oil
Sprinkling of Himalayan salt
Simply mix some coconut oil into your warm popcorn, tossing it around so that it melts and coats your popcorn as would butter. Sprinkle a little sea salt in and enjoy!
~*~
  • Chocolate, Cashew Drizzled Popcorn

Organic, homepopped Popcorn (again, NEVER microwaveable)

Raw, vegan dark chocolate

Raw cashews

Himalayan salt

Simply melt your chocolate in a bowl over a pot of boiling water. This will prevent it from burning and keep the delicate cocoa oils from denaturing. Lay popcorn flat on a sheet of wax paper and drizzle the warm chocolate over top, sprinkle with sea salt and pop into the fridge before enjoying. Keep cool.

Popping out of the hobbit hole for a movie date treat,

Suzanne Eden

Manifest Monday // By Neil Gaiman

“I open at the close” ~ Hp

om sun

Chapter 1, page 1 of 365;

As one year closes, another year opens as the sky explodes above and the path unfolds below. With family & food & stretches of highway with Matthew Good, with windy countryside and tossled manes, with health and ease and flow.

 

~*~

“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.

Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.

So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.

Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it.

Make your mistakes, next year and forever.”
Neil Gaiman

~*~

May we laugh along with life, may we let go and let life flow, may we believe in the good things coming. May we set out and explore, live like a fool, laugh like a madman and make it a damn good adventure ✨ may we L I V E you 2015

With pages wide open,

Suzanne Eden

25 Resolutions for a Holistic Wellness Revolution

In my utterly unbiased opinion, the greatest resolution we can make is to transform our health. To become light and energized, vibrant and thrive in every cell of our being. Afterall, isn’t this what truly living is all about? A healthy body, a fit body, is a body that can take on the year ahead, no matter what 2015 has to offer us!

True health is all encompassing. It is not just the commitment to your body, but the commitment to your mind and soul and so I strongly recommend making resolutions to include all of these. Here are my top, simple resolutions with major impact for the mind, body and soul!

 

reverse warrior

 

Body

Drink more (water)

Eat less, chew more

Cut sugar

Cook more, nuke less

Move more

Drink lemon water

Sleep more : 7-9 hours

Don’t count numbers, count nutrients

Read the ingredient list before the food label

Get upside down every day

~*~

Mind

Clear it – practise meditation

Laugh at the voice in your head

Meet new people

Use your cell phone less

Read more

Smile first thing every morning

 ~*~

Spirit

Keep a gratitude journal

Laugh

Release what no longer serves you

Cherish the journey as much as the destination

Let others choose their own path

Walk barefoot in nature

Let go and let life flow

Play every day

fearLESS, love more

“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language
And next year’s words await another voice.”
T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets

Writing page 3 of 365,

Suzanne Eden