Grills Gone Wild // Burger Bistros To Dining Rooms, How To Holistically Beef Up Your Dinner 

Measuring cups of water, witty puns, gluten-free buns… The works! 

No holistic diet is equipt without a girls’ night out and a juicy burger here and there… one of my favourites! Diets that may restrict these things are for temporary healing but are not sustainable long-term and a holistic lifestyle is about enriching your life, not restricting it. So when my girlfriends asked me to dinner at The Works Burger Bistro, I was instantly on board. Besides, I thoroughly enjoy the challenge of scouring menus and creating a holistic and healthy spin on what’s at hand!

From the witty puns beefing up the menus, the water served in measuring cups, the alternative rock music as the ultimate side dish to a good meal or the loaded burgers themselves, all of it combined “mustard” up a delicious dinning experience. Whether in a diner or your own dining room, this is your guide to get game with red meat!

Burger

Red meat and health

  • Meat products can be incredibly wholesome. They provide a rich source of B vitamins (including B12), iron, healthy fats and are a fantastic source of protein. What’s more, it is a complete protein containing all of the essential amino aids required to manufacture proteins within the body.
  • Optimal portion sizes of meat are about the size of your palm, with the showcase of your meal being a focus on non-starchy vegetables and leafy greens to provide balance. The key to reaping the full health benefits of red meat is both moderation and quality.

As Micheal Pollan once said:

“You are what what you eat eats”

If your beef is injected with antibiotics and hormones and eating food contaminated with pesticides, you are consequently ingesting those too. Excessive antibiotic use in agriculture is significantly contributing to the rise in antibiotic resistance in humans and meat is one of the highest sources of pesticide contamination beyond fruits and vegetables, although those are high as well.

Consuming quality meat products will not only ensure that these concerns are reduced but will  also provide you the must bang for your buck when it comes to nutrient density.

Always look for :

  • Certified grass fed
  • Antibiotic and hormone free
  • Free range (though visiting the farms yourself to review living conditions will always be most beneficial)
  • Organic (it is illegal for it to be genetically modified or irradiated)
  • Local when possible

 

 

the works

 

For a small downtown nook in the city, it is always packed and as we waited for our seats in the rustic booths, we scoured the menus and all of the options at our disposal. Bonus: As a person who has a difficult time deciding between all of the options on the menu, being a health nut makes the job marginally easier and with that, this is your 4 step path to building a holistic burger at The Works:

Step One: The bun

 

  • Steer clear of the gluten. Not only are these buns highly processed but they are also very difficult to digest. Beef in itself is difficult to digest and made increasingly hard with the addition of a wheat bun as carbohydrates and proteins require different digestive enzymes to breakdown. This will leave you feeling tired and stuffed by the end of the meal. 

 

  • The best choice? The naked wrap. Quite simply, this is a lettuce wrap and received my ginormous stamp of approval that this is offered on the menu! However, I decided to treat myself and opted for the  second best option: the gluten-free bun. Though highly processed and far from the optimal choice, it is a definite step up from the gluten.

 

Step 2: Got beef? 

 

  • I upgraded the burger to the lean, local, domestic elk burger which is grass-fed and hormone free, free of fillers and well worth the $1.02 extra. 

 

  • Another fantastic and meat-free option: the Portobello mushroom cap!

 

Step 3 : Fixing overload

  •  My burger of choice? The pesto piazza! A pattie slathered with garlicy pesto, olives and sundried tomato.
  • With the flavour packed pesto and loaded with toppings, you can skip the ketchup and mustard which are heavily processed and high in sugars, food colourings and additives.
  • There is more than enough “cheese” dished out in the menu’s puns to last you the meal. Go dairy free by opting out of the cheese.

 

Step 4; The side 

 

  • This is an easy choice, opt for the weeds! The simple salad with romaine lettuce, grape tomatoes, red peppers and cukes and olive oil with balsamic vinaigrette as the dressing. Opting for greens will assist in buffering the acidic state of the body which occurs as a byproduct of digesting meat. Meat should ALWAYS be paired with greens for this reason. 
  • There is also the choice of celery sticks and cucumbers as non starchy vegetables that will also assist in alkalinizing and balancing the body (potato fries not included)

 

Four seasons

 

Holistic Life Hacks:

 

  • I always sneak in a stack of digestive enzymes in my purse which wil ease the digestive load off your body so that the only thing that will feel stuffed is the loaded burger!

 

Whether sliding into a rustic booth at The Works Burger Bistro or flipping a pattie over at home, with the right quality, moderation and perfect pairings, red meat can be a wholesome dinner 1-2 times a week.

With a holistic burger under gluten-free wraps,

Suzanne Eden

Three Ways To Get Lucky With The Rock Your Shamrock Shake

Happy St. Patrick’s day readers! ūüôā

There is no shame, just shamrocks when you get lucky with this entirely holistic, St. Patties inspired shake!

A cooling blend of fresh mint, creamy bananas, crunchy cacao and a vibrant green shade, it is the glass of gold at the end of this rainy days rainbow, the lucky charm to your St. Patrick’s day and every wellness junkies drink of choice for the occasion!

With today being dedicated to all things green, this shake is sure to satisfy any indulgent craving with no shame to our diets and decked in shiny, detoxifying benefits. No matter how you choose to celebrate on the occasion, this is a blend to rock your shamrocks!

St. Patties

Holistic Highlights – How This Detoxifying Beverage Puts All Other Shakes To Shame

Natural Hue

  • Absent of artificial dyes and colourings, the vibrant green of the shake is courtesy of the sea algae Spirulina and the taste is masked entirely by peppermint. This sea algae is known for its chelating benefits by binding to toxins and heavy medals to help excrete them from our bodies.

 

The Power Of Peppermint

  • In the summer months I use handfuls of mint leaves plucked fresh from the garden but in the winter, the minty flavour is obtained with pure peppermint. Note: for optimal taste and wellness use pure peppermint as regular extracts will have both a strong taste of alcohol and a more potent flavour.
  • Mint is a natural stimulant and detoxifier. The scent alone can be enough to relieve anxiety and increase energy, the opposite of alcohol which is a depressant and will have you feeling run down and sluggish by the end of the night.

 

Sham “Rocks”¬†

  • The rocks of the smoothie are raw cacao nibs. Slightly bitter and a perfect pairing in this shake. Alternatively, you can use some Giddy Yoyo chocolate chunks.¬†
  • Cacao nibs are a rich source of antioxidants which help to neutralize and eliminate free radical toxins from our bodies.

 

Shamrock

 

The Rock Your Shamrock Shake!

 

Recipe: 

1 frozen banana 

1/2 tsp Spirulina 

1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract 

1/4 cup coconut milk 

Pure peppermint extract to taste (alternative: fresh mint leaves) 

Liquid stevia to taste 

1 Tablespoon raw cacao nibs 

 

Instructions:

Simply blend all ingredients together, except the cacao nibs, and adjust flavours as desired. Stir in cacao nibs and enjoy!

Tips and tricks: 

  • The banana makes all the difference! Make sure it is spotted brown and completely frozen for a sweet, creamy blend.¬†
  • Use pure extracts to avoid the bitter alcoholic flavours of conventional brands and to reap the most health benefits
  • Adjust flavours as needed. This smoothie is simple to alter depending on how large your bananas are and how you like the texture and flavour, you can play around to get your perfect shake.

 

Settling in from a brisk mornings walk along the water with this shake, chlorophyll kombuchas, and nothing but green things the whole(some) day through!

Wishing you all the luckiest and greenest of St. Patties days, 

Suzanne Eden 

Surviving Daylight Savings 1:01

Hey, shift happens! But if you’ve been having a difficult time adjusting to the time change, you’re not alone.

I go to sleep roughly around the same time every night and like clockwork, my body promptly wakes me up at the same time each morning. The problem being that my internal body clock (circadian rhythms) was as unaware of daylight savings time as I was this year. This has meant some late nights and sleeping in more into the day. It has also left me feeling a little drowsier than normal. In fact, daylight savings has been proven to significantly affect our wellbeing from reducing productivity to increasing the risk of automobile accidents.

stretch

With the clocks springing forward however, we rest assured that spring is on its way and we have had a beautiful week to prove it. Now we just need to be awake and energized to fully enjoy it!

Here is your survival guide 1:01 with four ways to rock your internal daylight savings clock:

1. Disconnect

  • Cellphones, computers, t.v.s etc. emit blue light which stimulates our brain and inhibits the release of melatonin (our natural sleep hormone). As natural melatonin secretion occurs around 9-10pm, use this time to disconnect from your technology and connect through calming activities such as mediation or yoga that promote a deep, restorative sleep.

2. Don’t fear the dark

  • Optimal melatonin secretion can only happen in complete darkness. This means that even the soft light from the street or the little light from your alarm clock can dampen your penal gland’s melatonin production. Cover the lights, use blackout blinds or a face mask.. anything to get total darkness!

 

melatonin

3. Stimulate with sunlight

  • The best way to optimise our sleep cycles is to use the natural sunlight. Light is what triggers the proper release of melatonin. When it becomes dark, we are naturally stimulated to sleep, when it is light out, we are stimulated for alertness. To make this happen, set an alarm for the time you wish to wake up each morning and open your curtains to let the light shine through. Even if you need to lay back down for a bit, this will help to transition your body into its new schedule.

4. Melatonin

  • The powerful remedy to quickly and efficiently regulate sleep cycles. This will assist in quickly setting your internal clock (it is also my secret weapon to jet lag!). You want to take one every night approximately thirty minutes to one hour before you want to go to sleep.

 

Note:

    Melatonin used infrequently can be a valuable tool in setting your body back on course. However, it should not be used as a band-aid to cover up larger issues. If you find that you are reliant on the pills to get a good night sleep, there are bigger issues that need to be addressed. It is also important to note that supplementing with melatonin for too long may cause your body to stop producing much of this hormone on its own. Moderation is always the key!

 

Hey, shift happens! But though daylight savings can be incredibly taxing on our bodies, it is that step closer to spring and summer and can help to reduce seasonal affective disorder and with these tips, you will be well on your way to a deeper sleep this week!

Clocking up a restful sleep,

Suzanne Eden

Tropical State Of Mind // Five Tropical Foods To Boost Your Mood!

An escape to the tropics may be just what the doctor ordered!
handstand
Vacations have long been shown to optimize mental and physical wellbeing as they improve sleep (provided you aren’t kept up all night by two snoring parents in the bed next to you), significantly reduce stress, increase job productivity and performance, boost creativity and can significantly reduce anxiety and depression!
Though peace of mind and optimal health may very well be a flight away, it may also be just a bite away, no plane ticket needed! Food both directly and indirectly affects our mental health in intricate ways. Some foods can cause chemical reactions to naturally elevate our overall mood, provide relaxation and mental clarity. Others affect our mood by providing energy and high nutrient density delivering the raw materials for our cells to thrive. While others reduce inflammation to ease the “attack” systems of our bodies. Mental health starts from the inside out. It’s a week in Cuba served up on your dinner plate!
Here are 5 tropical foods scientifically proven to powerfully boost your mood:
banana
 
A banana a day keeps the psychiatrist at bay
  • Bananas produce dopamine quinine, a naturally occurring form of dopamine which is a “feel good” neurotransmitter in our brains. Not only are bananas at their ripest and sweetest when they are brown, but the “sweet spots” also contain the highest levels of this dopamine!
  • Bananas are also high in magnesium and B vitamins to calm our nervous system to reduce stress.
  • Complex carbohydrates aid in the absorption of tryptophan along with vitamin B6 helping convert it into the mood-elevating hormone serotonin¬† (one reason low carb diets may increase risk of mood disorders). This also aids in a good sleep with no worries of snoring roommates!
Sea algae
  • ¬†among the most nutritious plant-based organisms, sea algae provides a rich source of nutrients and antioxidants which elevate energy levels to boost your mood. On top of its loaded nutrient density, this is another reason to add sea veggies to your daily green smoothies.
  • Sources: Spirulina, chlorella
 
Coco for coconuts
  • coconuts contain medium chain triglycerides which work fast in the body as brain food to rev our neurological centers and help us to feel more alert and invigorated. The scent of coconut alone has been shown to reduce stress, anxiety, and lower blood pressure just so long as it is not a synthetic fragrance.
Fishing for antidepressants
  • ¬†The essential fatty acids EPA and DHA are crucial for brain health, the root of mental wellbeing on top of being highly anti-inflammatory. The omega 3’s will also assist in serotonin development in the brain to further elevate mood and have been shown to reduce depression as effectively as antidepressants, without the unwanted side effects!
  • Prescription for wellness: I recommend eating well sourced fish 1-2X/week.
Dark chocolate for a sunny disposition
  • Tropical? Heck yes! The cocoa belt (where the large majority is grown) is a narrow band up to 20 degrees of latitude north and south of the equator. Cacao (raw, unprocessed cocoa) is one of the richest sources of magnesium in food which relaxes the body and nervous system for powerful stress reduction.
  • phenylethylamine (PEA) promotes happy, euphoric feelings, and alleviates depression
  • Anandamide (the “bliss” chemical) in raw cacao is a neurotransmitter produced in the brain that can temporarily block feelings of pain and depression and may elevate dopamine levels. Chocolate also contains other chemicals that prolong these “feel-good” effects of anandamide.
  • It also contains tryptophan and serotonin! Bonus, it also has the same effect that love has in our brain without coming home with your vacation boyfriend.
  • Note: not all chocolate nor cacao is created equal. Look for quality sourced cacao and a minimum 70% dark chocolate. My favourite for both quality and taste being Giddy Yoyo ūüôā

 

Your ultimate mood boosting prescription for wellness: add a little dose of the tropics to every meal this week!

In a tropical state of mind,

Suzanne Eden

Your Holistic Survival Guide & Energizing Kale Lemonade Smoothie For A Blended Week On Turbo

To my fellow readers and owners of Vitamix blenders, you are all too familiar I’m sure, of the initiation right that accompanies these powerful blenders. The one that encompasses splattered walls, tie-dyed shirts and dripping ceilings. The reason I am not to be trusted in the hands of a blender with a turbo setting.

This week went a little something like that.

A week on turbo, blended with meetings and clients and Wednesday’s¬† international teleconference to yesterday morning’s workshop. Into the mix came a flurry of lemons and as many green things that could possibly squeeze into my blender to boost energy levels and keep my immune system strong as my sleep dwindled. On these high-speed weeks, it is vital that we keep our lids on to avoid a messy explosion and this article will show you how!

headstand
Now I admit that it was a challenge to pull myself out of bed this morning at 5:30am and last night was spent with considerable time on the couch contemplating how to negotiate my way up the stairs to bed. My body is exhausted but  I have managed to find enough energy until my rejuvenating and long awaited full nights sleep tonight.  Though I hope these weeks for you are few and far between, when they do arise I want you to be able to make it through with energy and without the dreaded sickness that often awaits you at the end.
  • With these hopes, this is your holistic survival guide to your weeks on turbo!
  • 1. Energizing Mornings
  • A proper start to the day is essential for lasting energy. No matter how early, there is always energy to be found in a cleansing warm lemon water with cayenne pepper followed by a green smoothie.
  • Lemon water will boost metabolism, hydrate and improve energy production at a cellular level.
  • Smoothies are easily digestible (less energy for digestion = more energy for you!) and provide a readily available zap of energizing nutrients to the body. My favourite smoothie this week is with thanks to my mystery valentine who left a bouquet for me on Valentine’s Day after this post:¬† https://lifeofeden.com/2015/02/12/10-reasons-every-girl-needs-a-bouquet-of-kale/ – we all thank you!

 

  • 2. Lavender
  • Essentially” the best smelling conference I have ever attended. Yesterday I was in a room diffused with peppermint and smelling essential oils to my heart’s (or nose’s) content. Though peppermint and citrus are next on my list, lavender is my current household favourite and with over 200 constituents it is my top recommendation for anyone looking to experiment with these oils.
  • The aroma has a calming and relaxing effect on the body
  • Apply lavender to the back of the neck and temples to help ease muscle tension
  • A few drops on your pillow case will calm a busy mind & promote a restful sleep

 

  • 3. ACTIVEist

 

  • Of course there was yoga, and lots of it! My mat is permanently sprawled out on my floor waiting for me as soon as I find a work break to ease tension, reduce stress and provide mental clarity.
  • My favourite exercise in the morning, however, is a run on the rebounder. There are few reasons that exercise takes presidence as one of the most important components of energy control. Exercise:
    • Stimulates blood flow for increased energy
    • Increases oxygen flow to the brain for mental stamina
    • Aerobic exercise promotes mitochondrial production in the body

 

  • 4. Adrenal Support

 

  • Cue my international teleconference on adrenal fatigue that I put on for practitioners across the globe on Wednesday! Our adrenal glands need extra support in times of mental and physical stress. A good adrenal support formula includes both adaptogens (herbs that help the body to cope with stress) such as Rhodiola and Ashwaganda and adrenal glandulars. My favourite: AORs Otho Adapt.

 

  • 5. Vitamin C and D

Both essential to support and boost the immune system in times of stress.

  • As stress increases, the need for vitamin C increases to counteract the harmful effects and reduce the release of stress hormones in chronic stress.
  • Vitamin D is especially important to supplement through the winter as we do not get nearly enough sun exposure and it is essential for immunity and stress management.

 

kalesmoothie

Energizing Kale Lemonade Smoothie

  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 organic lemon (peeled)
  • 1 green apple
  • 2 leaves of curly kale
  • 1/4-1/2 C coconut water to desired consistency

 

Blend all ingredients on Turbo… Just be sure the lid is on first!

  • Holistic Life Hacks:
    • By the time I had received my kale it was a frozen ice block, so once it thawed I popped it into the freezer to preserve it and blend it into smoothies. This is the perfect trick to any greens you think might soon go bad.
    • Save the stems! I don’t like to waste any part of food if I can help it. Tough but loaded with nutrients and fibre, I save my stems and steam them later with carrots and broccoli, coconut oil and sea salt.

To keeping our lids on through our blended turbo weeks,

Suzanne Eden