20.5 Reasons Coconut oil is the New Windex (and Weatherman)

I knew something was up when I came downstairs to find my tub of coconut oil solidified in my cabinet. What is normally a runny pool of clear oil in summer becomes a white, solid brick when there’s a temperature drop. Ah yes, it seems October was a little too eager to arrive this year and before August comes along to set it in its rightful place, we decided to roll with it. There is now a large, organic, grass-fed, free range turkey in our oven wafting remnants of Thanksgiving through our house as we prepare to have a family gathering. No dairy free pumpkin pie, however. (We do have our limits).
Though eagerly anticipating the return of summer, I will admit that the oil is far easier to use for many of its functions when it isn’t dripping all over you. Food aside, I’m talking about the benefits you probably haven’t thought to use it for. Like the dad in “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” is with Windex, I am with coconut oil. Point blank: whatever it is, put some coconut oil on it!
Dry, summer skin? Brittle, ocean kissed hair? Stubborn makeup? No problem! Here are 20.5 reasons to make this your new cabinet staple and all-purpose fixer upper no matter what season the weather claims to be in!
coconut
  1. Makeup remover Simply rub over face, leave about 3 minutes and wipe off
  2. Put coconut oil on cuts or burns to speed up healing
  3. Whole body moiturizer – Rule of thumb: don’t put anything on your body that you wouldn’t put into your mouth
  4. Chapstick
  5. Helps to prevent stretch marks
  6. An all natural SPF – The SPF is not overly high but it is there and will also help to build the body’s natural defense against the sun. It’s the SPF that just keeps going!
  7. Not just for protection, it can help to heal sunburns quicker
  8. Anti-frizz cream – Just a drop massaged through hair (Not too much or it will make your hair greasy)
  9. All natural leave in conditioner (see point above)
  10. Deep conditioning treatment – leave in hair overnight and wash out in the morning for silky smooth, shiny hair. You will need to sleep on an easily washable pillow case or sleep in a shower cap as it will get greasy and be sure to wash hair thoroughly  to get all of the oil out.
  11. As your nighttime facial moisturizer (Mine contains a mixture of coconut oil, vitamin E, Calendula, lavender and a few other natural ingredients)
  12. Coupled with apple cider vinegar it is a natural cure for LICE! – This one I’ve been fortunate enough to never have experienced but have read about and it claims to actually work
  13. Antibacterial skin cream to reduce acne – a little goes a long way, you don’t want the skin to be excessively oily
  14. After shave lotion – No red bumps and reduced ingrown hairs!
  15. Put on arthritic joints, its anti-inflammatory properties can help to alleviate the pain
  16. A natural tanning oil – while performing the double duty of protecting you while you tan – this works! And prevents your skin from drying out in the heat
  17. Effective way to sooth the itch of mosquito bites/poison ivy and prevent scaring
  18. Rubbing it on the inside of your nose can be an effective way to alleviate allergy symptoms
  19. A natural lubricant … just saying
  20. An effective way to get gum out of your hair! Not that I advise eating gum but if you ever found yourself in that sticky situation or one similar, this is the way to slid yourself out of it… naturally.

     20.5: Evidently: a temperature gauge 

Solid = cold
Solid/liquid = warm
Liquid = hot
And probably far more accurate than your local weather station.
So as I patiently wait, bundled in sweaters in July, for summer to return from its summer vacation, I will enjoy tonight’s faux Thanksgiving dinner with the family and continue using my coconut oil to tell me what attire to wear in the upcoming weeks.
What can you look forward to come August? August will be ACTIVE-ist month on the blog! From what to eat pre and post workout, to the recipe for my electrolyte elixir, what activities are best for your body type, to the important topics I don’t find many people know, all will be covered throughout this upcoming month!
In a (coco)nutty state of affairs,
Suzanne Eden

Ancient Ayurvedic Secret of the Lymphatic System

There’s an ancient Ayurvedic principle to strive for every day:
~ move your body well
~ move your blood well

beach

The greatest part is that this can be accomplished with one piece of advice: GET MOVING! By doing so, you will be activating a powerful system in your body to detoxify and rejuvenate.

It’s this little thing called the lymphatic system:

  • What it does for you:
  • The lymphatic system removes waste and toxins from every cell in your body – you have more lymphatic fluid than you have blood!
  • It supports all other systems in your body for the optimal health of your  immunity, digestion, detoxification and your nervous system
  • Think of a facet as being your lymphatic system. When turned on, the water flows and any junk is flushed down the drain. Your lymph is like the drainage system of your body. But when the facet is turned off, or the lymph is stagnant, nothing can be flushed out and it can become clogged.

What happens then?

Once stagnant and clogged all sorts of things can go awry:

How your body may first speak to you:

  • Cellulite
  • Acne
  • Appetite loss
  • Swelling of hands and feet (ever felt your rings suddenly tighten on your hands? This could be a factor)
  • Muscle cramping
  • Fatigue
  • Mental fog
  • Worsened allergies and sensitivities
  • Joint pain

and the list, of course, goes on.

When you don’t listen:

  • An unhealthy lymphatic system can lead to serious infections and cancer.

It’s truly the underestimated key to youth and health of the body.

Eight keys to a happy, healthy lymph:

The trick here is to get the lymph flowing so it can do what it’s designed to do – clear out the junk!

  1. Get Moving! You should be moving in some way at least every 40 minutes. So if you’ve been stagnant watching t.v., do jumping jacks at the commercial break or run the stairs, something to get your blood pumping and your lymph flowing.  A rebounder is a great option. It’s a mini trampoline to absorb the shock to your knees and I run on it every day about 10 minutes at a time.
  2. Use a dry brush – 3-4X/week. The circular action will increase blood flow to stimulate the lymph
  3. Drink up – what good is a facet without water flowing through it?!  6-8 glasses of water/day
  4. Eat clean – Reduce the consumption of refined products, sugars and caffeine. Focus your diet on fresh fruits and vegetables and whole foods.
  5. Clean your beauty regime – limit your exposure to toxic substances. The one I see most often is the use of aluminum-based antiperspirants clogging the lymph nodes below the armpit. Antiperspirants block the sweat which is how the body detoxifies. It’s as though you are purposely clogging the drain. Switch to natural deodorants and beauty care products as much as possible.
  6. Breath awareness meditations – this includes the practise of yoga or simply sitting and focusing on your breath. This will not only stimulate the breath to move the lymph but will double as relaxation to reduce your overall stress.
  7. Keep your clothes flowing to keep the lymph flowing – Clothes that are too tight will restrict the lymphatic flow. Particularly for women: never, and I mean never, wear a bra to bed at night!
  8. Examine the mental, spiritual link – lymphatic stagnation may occur when we feel stuck in a particular pattern or situation or unable to fully express ourselves. Examine the areas of your life or emotional thought patterns that feel stagnant. Remember that what happens in the mind will manifest in the body.

The above video shows one of my best friends and I headed out for an early morning bike yesterday, but there’s never an unadventurous moment with us! We went through THREE bikes and an exceptionally sweet neighbor who took pity on our rusty tire pump, to get out for our early morning bike ride, down to the beach for yoga and lunch and errand running (which we oddly LOVE to do together) and back home again.

My typical workout regime:

  •   A headstand as soon as I get out of bed (some days my head hits the floor before my feet do) 😛
  • Yoga for about 20-60mins depending on the day
  • Running on the rebounder
  • Yoga sporadically throughout the day

It’s always different. I love to hike and bike and dance but between school and work, this is what works for me. When I don’t adhere to this, I feel it! And while I’m at school, I run the stairs to the washrooms several floors down on our breaks to wake myself up and get the oxygen to my information overloaded brain 🙂

So my advice as a holistic nutritionist to you: get that miracle lymph system moving every beautiful day!

Suzanne Eden

Your Complete Guide to April’s Spring Cleansing Challenge

The spring equinox is upon us and the perfect time for cleansing and purifying the mind, body and spirit. I recommend a thorough holistic cleanse after winter as low sun exposure, an abundance of heavy, cooked food and often times less than ideal time spent in nature, leaves our bodies heavy with excess toxins. This is natural during the winter but spring, with its crisp air and budding flowers is the fresh start you need to refresh and rejuvenate for the warmer months (they’re coming, I promise!). In fact, our bodies are so in-tune with this natural cycle that it will often attempt to detoxify itself. If not supported, this can be a leading culprit behind the illnesses that surface during this time of year as your body tries to rid itself of toxins. Nature also shows the harmony behind the seasons as spring gives rise to naturally lighter, more cleansing foods. Before doing any extensive detox, it’s important to do a preliminary cleanse to prep the body. This holistic spring challenge is a simple start to cleansing and is catered to you so you can reap the benefits no matter your current diet or lifestyle!

flowerchild

What cleansing can do for you:

  • Renew your energy
  • Increase metabolism
  • Increase focus and mental clarity
  • Look and become more toned
  • Decrease digestive discomfort
  • Improve the look and health of your skin

I decided April first would be my time to get motivated and begin and I want to invite you to do this HOLISTIC SPRING CLEANSE. Are you in? Or in the words of “How I Met Your Mother” (with the finale upon us)… “Challenge accepted?!”
Here it is! And don’t be intimidated, this is your cleanse, you can choose one or all of the following food transformations.

The Challenge

For the month of April I am going sugar-free, dairy free, gluten-free, caffeine free, alcohol free, processed free and soy free. Many of these I already am and so the cleanse may be less dramatic than for some. If eliminating these is a major task for you, pick a few that resonate with you and commit to eliminating those. Here are some practical guides to going “whatever you choose free” and remember, stick to what you can commit to whole heartedly for one month.

Sugar free:

  • Going sugar-free is more than just eliminating white sugar. This means no sugary syrups, no dried fruit, no high glycemic LOAD (not index) foods and so forth. High glycemic load foods will spike blood sugar and should be avoided until the body is more balanced. Don’t be mistaken, bananas and other high glycemic LOAD foods are typically good for you so long as the body is balanced and blood sugar stabilized.
  • For me, sugar elimination also means no stevia and I highly encourage this. Why? Though stevia doesn’t spike blood sugar, these alternative forms of sweetness stimulate your receptors and can cause you to crave sweets. Another benefit of cutting this out is that it gives your body time to rework your taste buds. This takes time but eventually, your taste buds switch to taste sweetness in things you typically wouldn’t find sweet. The receptors are so sensitive that even veggies start tasting sweet! So even when you reintroduce some sweetness, you won’t need nearly the same amount nor crave it in the same way.
  • Another food to avoid? Bread and any simple starches. According to the book wheat belly, bread can spike your blood sugar higher than a chocolate bar! In fact, when you chew bread, you can taste a sweetness if you chew long enough because this starch is converted to glucose in your body. In other words, simple starches are also sugars.

Tips: when avoiding breads and pastas etc: opt for whole grains such as quinoa, steel cut oats and seeds such as chia and flax seeds. When you have a craving for sweets opt for sweet veggies such as red peppers, herbal teas or stevia only if absolutely needed.

Dairy free:

  • This includes products  that contain dairy. Look at labels, you’d be surprised how much dairy creeps into things in the form of powders etc. Also beware of bakes goods, butter is included in the avoidance of dairy as is yogurt etc. Most substitutes such as Daiya cheese are highly processed and full of body clogging ingredients so stick to whole food choices as much as possible.

Tips: opt for coconut milk or almond milk and homemade almond cheeses (you can find the recipes online if you’d like, they are relatively simple).

Gluten free:

  • Another sneaky one. This is great as awareness of the issues with gluten has forced companies to switch to many gluten free products. Just be sure you are not getting sucked into the health traps. Always read labels to see what is in it. Gluten free does not constitute as healthy.

Tips: here are whole food gluten free grains:

  • Quinoa
  • Amaranth
  • Millet
  • Buckwheat
  • Wild rice

Coconut flour, almond meal, quinoa flour, buckwheat flour etc. are all great to work with in baking. You can easily look up their conversions online. As far as cleansing, however, try to stick to whole food choices to reap the benefits of the grain’s nutrients and fibre.
For pastas I am obsessed with raw zucchini noodles or kelp noodles.

What’s the deal with oats? For most people, oats are okay. The problem here is that though they do not naturally contain gluten, there may be a problem with cross contamination. If you have a gluten intolerance or allergy, you may want to avoid these and test them later to see if you have any reaction to them. Otherwise, steel cut oats are a great option for a cleanse as they are high in fibre and great for blood sugar stabilizing.

Caffeine free:

  • This goes for chocolate, green tea, coffee etc. Cut the caffeine.

Tips: opt for herbal teas and herbal coffee substitutes such as Teeccino (there’s even a chocolate mint and a hazelnut flavour!) which alkalizes the body. Here is the link: http://teeccino.com/ as well, some health food stores carry this.
Decaf coffee is usually full of unwanted toxins and should be avoided. As a bonus, by getting away from the taste, you will start to crave it less and as your body stabilizes, you won’t need to rely on it for energy any longer.

Soy free:

  • Another sneaky culprit so be sure to check labels. It is often masked as soy lecithin, soy protein and so forth and is hard to avoid. Miso and tempeh are allowed as they are unprocessed sources. Tofu is not.

Tips: The best way to completely avoid it? Eat whole! And when in doubt, go without.

Processed free:

  • This is huge! It will have you shopping in the aisles of vibrant fruit and exploring the cascade of veggies before you. This is the transformation to a whole food lifestyle. Keep to organic as much as possible to fully reap the benefits, at least for the dirty bakers dozen. This category includes staying clear of bottled fruit and vegetable juices.

Tips: cut up and wash your veggies as soon as you get home from the grocery store to save time later. We make a huge, and I mean huge, container of salad and store it in the fridge.
Always have some cooked whole grains (such as quinoa or millet) on hand to be thrown into a fast stir fry or pasta with your already prepared veggies for a fast meal.

Don’t think in terms of mono meals. When you make a meal, make enough to carry it over to another meal. A stir fry for dinner can be tomorrow’s lunch over a beautiful salad to switch things up. With any meat products, go for whole sources: grass fed, free range, antibiotic and hormone free. Do some quick research ahead of time to see where you can get this.

Must Read:
It is critical to understand that a good cleanse can stir up a great deal of toxins within you. It is important to make sure that your body is eliminating these toxins as they surface so that they are not being absorbed into your blood stream and back into circulation. To manage this, pay attention to how you feel. If you experience headaches, nausea, etc, simply eat some heavier foods such as cooked vegetables or quinoa. These foods will slow the detoxification process so that your body is not overwhelmed. Also, drink more water to help your body flush out the toxins from your system.

Additional cleansing MUSTS:

  • Oils to cook with: grapeseed and coconut oil used in moderation.
  • Drink your body clean!

At least 6-8 glasses of water/day, hydration is critical for digestion and to flush the toxins properly from your system. There is no leeway here: get your 6-8! Stop drinking 30 minutes before eating and refrain until an hour after eating. You can jazz it up with organic cucumber, basil and/or lemon as well for nature’s flavoured water.

  • Lemon water

This deserves its own category. Lemon water first thing in the morning improves digestion, boosts immunity, balances pH, cleanses the liver, reduces inflammation and far more. Drink warm water with 1/2-1 fresh squeezed organic lemon first thing in the morning, 30 minutes before food.

  • Fibre

To help push those toxins right out! 1-2tsbp of ground flax or soaked chia per day is a great way to incorporate more into your diet. You can put ground flax on top of your morning oats, or sprinkle them on salads. Green ands vegetables are another way to increase your fibre intake.

  • Do not eat past 7pm.

Your body cannot digest food properly when you are sleeping. It will not only offset your digestion causing the food in your stomach to ferment and create toxins (of which the point of cleansing is to rid yourself of this) but it will also offset your sleep. It may be hard to sleep or it may simply interrupt the quality of your sleep. Your body goes through certain stages during the night and detoxifying is one of them. If your body is burdened with digesting food, it will skip the detox portion. Going to sleep past 10pm may do this too.

  • Don’t nook the nutrients out of your food

For so many reasons including radiation and altering the composition of your food: this is a must! Microwaves are off limits and should be unplugged.

  • Go green

Greens are critical for an acid alkaline balance and detoxification. They are also light and easily digestible for most people so eat these in abundance.

  • Lighten up

This goes for your diet and mind! For the diet, choose lighter foods and eat only until you are 80% full. For the mind, laugh like a fool. This is no joking matter, laughter is a powerful detoxifier and the movement of a full body, stomach clenching laugh can get the lymph moving and strengthen the flow of oxygen through your body.

  • Get some shut-eye

7-8 hours a night for most people. You need energy in order for your body to properly cleanse. As I mentioned earlier, your body goes through natural cycles during the night including detoxification but in order for this to happen, you need to actually be asleep.

  • Get moving

If you don’t move, everything in your body stays stagnant. In order to get the toxins moving out of your system, you need to move. Yoga for 10 minutes in the morning and night with a strong focus on breath is great. If your stuck at work, do the stairs on your break. If you have a trampoline, bounce for at least 20 minutes a day. Anything to get the lymphatic system in motion.

  • Make breath your secret weapon

Though three deep breaths may not make your fiancé magically appear before you (last HIMYM reference, I promise), it may do even better! If you are feeling a craving coming on, take 5 deep breaths and move along.

Additional cleansing powerhouses:

  • Aim for a diet that is 80% alkaline to 20% acidic
  • Take your daily probiotics
  • Use digestive enzymes with every meal
  • Incorporate chlorella, garlic and ginger into your diet as well as spices such as cayenne pepper, cumin and turmeric
  • Soul reads / movies – I love any books by Eckart Tolle and a peaceful warrior is one of my favourite movies
  • Meditation
  • Keeping a food journal/ journaling
  • Multivitamin, fish oil, b complex

B vitamins support the liver and adrenals especially during times of stress where it is greatly depleted. It’s also important for energy and a critical component of mental health.

A good EFA complex works as an incredible alkalizer in the body and to reduce inflammation. They are important for water balance regulation, to boost immunity and balance sugar.

Proper detoxification happens in a body that provides and is rich in the full spectrum of vitamins and minerals for which the multivitamin is very important.

Talk to your holistic health practitioner about a supplement regime.

  • Sprout into cleansing! Sprouting instantly raises nutritional value and digestibility of a food. The enzyme content can increase up words of 1000%! These can  often be found at your local health food store and if you’re really adventurous, you can look into sprouting your own.
  • Vegan/vegetarian for a week at the end of your cleansing.

Though I do not recommend going vegan or vegetarian for the long term, animal is one of the most difficult things to digest and removing it for a short period of time allows the body a great chance to thoroughly cleanse.

A final note:
Your mind body and spirit are incredibly interconnected. Understand that as sludge is kicked up in your body, mental sludge will often arise too. This could show up as irritability, being overly sensitive etc. No cleanse is complete without incorporating some cleansing of these realms as well, which is why I highly recommend yoga and deep breathing as it will help to ring the toxins from your body while at the same time balance your mind and spirit. If you notice emotions arise, take a few deep breaths wherever you are. If you can, take a walk, do some yoga, read your soul read, journal or just sit and breathe. By the end of the month, you will have noticed such a difference!

I hope you will join me and invite others to as well! Get a group of people to join you that will keep you accountable and motivated and have fun with this challenge. Experiment with new recipes and develop new lifestyle habits. Take these last two days to prepare and organize yourself to stay on track and prepare for a spring of natural health and vitality!

Best of luck on your journey,
Suzanne Eden

When Fruit Becomes Toxic: The One Time To NEVER Eat Fruit

Fruit, in my biased opinion, is one of the most wonderful foods nature has to offer. If I could eat it all day, everyday, believe me, I would! Not only is it delicious but fruit is incredibly nutritious offering a fantastic source of vitamins, minerals, fibre and hydrating water. It is easy for your body to digest, freeing lots of your body’s energy for other functions. Fruit is alkaline and is a fantastic detoxifier. So you can imagine my surprise to find out that when you eat fruit is critical. There is, in fact, a time when this wonder food becomes toxic and very harmful to your body! It’s true, and this is the culprit for that uncomfortable gas, bloating, and other digestive issues after eating fruit. What I am about to share may shock you as it did me. So enjoy the slight jaw dropping experience and reap the benefits, not the toxins, of nature’s vibrant candy!

melon
What time should you avoid fruit?

The truth is, there is really only one time you should be eating fruit: on an empty stomach. This usually means first thing in the morning.

NOTE: If you feel discomfort from eating fruit even on an empty stomach, this is a sign of something more than poor food combining.

Why?
Fruit travels through your system so quickly that if trapped behind other food it will ferment in the high heat if your body. By the time it reaches your digestive tract (where you absorb the nutrients), the fruit will have become a rotting, toxic mess, devoid of nutrients. You won’t get all the good properties of fruit and instead get a whole lot of toxins, exactly what we are trying to avoid!


What does this mean for you?

This means that fruit should only be eaten on an empty stomach. And I know what you may be thinking; what about fruit as a healthy dessert? Turns out that isn’t such a healthy idea after all! But what better way to start your day than with a nice big bowl of delicious fruit? 🙂

fruit

The exceptions!

1) MELONS ARE AN EAT ALONE OR LEAVE ALONE: melons are mostly water and should be eaten away from other fruit. They pass through your system even faster and so they will also become toxic if caught behind other fruit.

2) Bananas, apples, coconut and dried fruit: these are heartier fruits which take a little longer to digest and are therefore typically okay to pair with other food (just not animal protein).
NOTE: dried fruit should be consumed in moderation. It has different properties than most fruit and will easily spike your blood sugar. Make it a special date for those dates 😉

So the order of eating fruit ranks like this:

  • Empty stomach
  • Melons
  • Most other fruit
  • Bananas, apples, coconut, dried fruit

I am still a self confessed fruit-aholic, just refined. Is it any wonder why I’m such a morning person? 😉

WHERE TO BEGIN: BECOME WHOLE

The burning question: “how should I eat?” This usually translates to “what diet should I follow?” Which is usually code for “tell me exactly what to eat, how much to eat, when to eat it, where to eat it…” you get the idea. As nice as it would be to have a precise diet, the “holy grail” of lifestyle diets if you will, one does not exist. You are unique and your body will require different things. Your dietary needs can range based on age, sex, activity level, stress level, the physical health of your body and so forth. I do not encourage any one “diet” and, in fact, always see these to be flawed. Even ones that at first blush seem very promising and “healthy.” Having said that, however, there are some key dietary guidelines that everyone should follow. This article will address some of those basics. The rest of my posts are intended to help you experiment, and educate yourself so that you can build on these basics and begin to design a lifestyle diet that is right for you. So without further adieu, the basics of a holistic diet!

What To Strive For:

1. Become Whole:

  • To become truly whole means to align the mind, body, and spirit. Living a holistic lifestyle embodies all these components. But for now, begin by eating whole. This means cutting out any processed, refined, manufactured products, chemical additives, soy, dairy and minimising your consumption of alcohol and caffeine. Welcome to the outer isles of the supermarket, your new smorgasburg of fresh, vibrant fruits and vegetables! This may already be a huge change for you, as it is for most of us. It means eliminating right down to the dressing you may laden your salad with (would you like some veggies with that dressing? Dont worry, we’ve all been there). If you do not recognise an ingredient as a true “food,” it is not good enough for you. But before you get discouraged let me reassure that this is not an elimination diet. It may take some getting used to at first but trust me, once you’ve experienced full body flavour, feel and look amazing and reap all the benefits that only real food can supply, there is no going back.

2. 80% Alkaline (mainly raw fruits and veggies):

  • Eat 80% alkalizing foods and 20% acidic food. The only true alkaline foods are ripe fruits, raw greens and non-starchy vegetables. Starchy vegetables include sweet potatoes, carrots, beets, and the like. The other twenty percent is attributed to whole grains, starchy vegetables and protein. I like to think of these as my “accessories” to the main attraction: vegetables, which should be consumed at every meal. At least three quarters of every meal of mine is raw fruit or vegetable based. But wait, what about fat? Good, healthy fats are essential to your health. incorporating high quality fats (avocados, raw nuts and seeds, virgin coconut oil, flaxseed oil, and extra virgin olive oil) is essential.  My discretion here is to not cook the fats. If needed, use coconut oil which has a much higher smoking point and is therefore much safer. As well, I consider anything lightly steamed or lightly sautéed to be classified as raw.

3. Bottoms up:

  • Your body is around 66% water! It is no wonder then that water is a vital component to nearly every function of the body. The amount of times you have heard this is not a coincidence, water is vital, it is a necessity. Eating an abundance of raw fruits and vegetables will help to increase your hydration but it is recommended you drink anywhere from 6-8 glasses of water per day. To increase your intake (if you don’t like water) begin by incorporating more herbal tea into your diet or jazzing it up with a little lemon, cucumber and/or mint leaves. A very important note here: it is a common misconception that drinking water with meals will aid in weight loss. The fact is; drinking water dilutes your digestive enzymes. Refrain from drinking 30 minutes before meals and do not resume until about an hour after meals.


4. Eat the way you were designed to eat
:

  • We were not made to consume synthetic, chemical laden, nutrient lacking products. We were meant to eat an abundance of high nutrient rich foods in their natural form. It is critical to make the switch to organic. If you only go organic some of the time, be sure it is with the “dirty bakers dozen:”  Apples, celery, bell pepper, peaches, strawberries, nectarines, grapes, spinach, lettuce, cucumbers,  blueberries, potatoes, green beans, kale/collard greens. Eat locally and in season as best you can. Support your local farmers and businesses. Educate yourself on the treatment of animals where you are buying your meat products. Eating the way you were designed to eat also means that you may have a different “design” than your friend or than that person who lost 100 pounds on any particular diet. Your body is different. It would be like saying “you must eat nuts in order to be healthy” to a person who is allergic. The best way to know is to listen to your body. Pay attention to how you feel. Along with this point I highly recommended keeping a food journal for a while to chart your progress and keep yourself accountable. At the very least, write down right now how you feel the majority of the day. High or low energy, skin troubles, bloating, anything and everything. Be detailed. When progress is gradual it can be easy to forget the way you felt before and is fantastic to look back and see how far you’ve come.

5. Love Thyself!

  • I cannot tell you how essential this is. Love is the foundation of all things and self-love is absolutely critical. There have been studies conducted on water molecules that have found that when exposed to negative talk, the molecule forms contorted. When exposed to positive talk, it forms in beautiful, symmetrical patterns. Positive self talk can affect you right down to the molecules you are composed of! In order for your body to be in true health you MUST be fully aligned mind, body and spirit. Tell yourself how wonderful you are. Be proud of yourself for beginning a transformation to better health and know that whatever step you make is progress. Tell yourself you are beautiful and healthy and becoming healthier every day. A support system is very important. Surround yourself with those who encourage and bring you joy. But you need to be your own best supporter. Holistic health is not yet mainstream and some may try to discourage you. I have faced this a lot in my own  journey but I know what is right for me. You deserve full health, full vitality and beauty. Give your body only that which is deserving of you: food in its purest form! Don’t let anybody stand in your way. Nobody can deny you that right. Health is your birthright!

Where to go from here? One step at a time…

Secret Garden

Your Holistic Journey Step One!

I am so very excited for you to begin!! I am absolutely convinced in the miracles of this lifestyle! Here is a small change to make a world of difference: start your transformation by getting the most bang for your buck! Nutrients are essential to your well-being and raw fruits and vegetables are the cornucopia of nutrients. This week, reconnect to mother earth and make at least half of every meal raw vegetable based (fruit based if eaten only on an empty stomach).

Helpful hint: raw nut butters make for the perfect dip and opt for making your own salad dressings. I make a delicious one with stone ground mustard and apple cider vinegar. Hopefully I’ll be able to bring some recipes to you soon!

How to eat: Before eating anything this week, think of its source (where it came from), and how it is nurturing your body. Be grateful for the beautiful, wholesome food you are nourishing yourself with.

Welcome to a new adventure! Have a lovely week and enjoy the fresh, vibrant colours and flavours of truly live food!

What IS Holistic Nutrition Anyway?

Holistic Nutrition

When asked this, people are usually met with a wandering stare and a rather long, “ummm” as I ponder how to best go about it. Essentially, holistic nutrition is just that: whole-istic. You are viewed as a whole and holistic nutrition aims to align all aspects of your being. It is about reconnecting to nature through eating food in its purest, more natural form  to promote optimum health. Holistic nutrition focuses on providing the body with the best possible nutrients through wholesome food so that it can heal itself and function the way it was designed to.

Another aspect worth sharing is that holistic nutritionists do not abide by the conventional nutrition practises. They challenge what has come to be “common knowledge.”  In this day and age we can now get information at the click of a key in the Google search bar. What is really vital is to be a critical thinker. So as you delve into these articles and this site I ask you to do just that. Think critically and stay open-minded. Think critically of all you have been told before and keep an open mind to the fact that the information may not be correct. Think of smoking for instance. A clear case where the information about the adverse health effects took a long time to surface, even when some people knew and were attempting to spread the truth. This is how society works: it takes a long time for change to occur. Think critically of all I am saying too! If you have questions or comments you can contact me on here or through email. However, even if you are sceptical, I would encourage you to give it a trial run yourself. Make a change, a true, hearty commitment for a good amount of time (3-4 weeks at least) and see what happens. The best evidence there is, is always yourself. I have been my own test of this information for years and I want to share it because I have seen the profound difference it made for me. I want you to have this same experience!

A Holistic Nutritionist

A holistic nutritionist aims to heal your body as a whole, not just in little components. Everything is interconnected and so, when you have a health issue to address, they attempt to get to the source of the issue at hand. They know that illness of any kind is your body’s way of speaking to you, of telling you something is wrong. In order to properly treat the issue at hand, you cannot simply mask the symptoms, you must fix the problem. If you feel low on energy much of the time, battle with your weight, feel bloated after eating, or anything less than ideal, all of these are signs that something needs to be changed. Your body is speaking to you.
Holistic nutritionists are here to help you listen and answer its needs.

Why Seek Holistic Nutrition

Nutrition is severely underrated in our day and age. Give your body the nutrition it needs and it can do what it was designed to do: it can heal itself. Whats more: when you heal your body its energy can be put into your natural, healthy beauty. Stronger, glossier hair, flawless, glowing skin, a healthy weight… that all comes naturally when your body is in a true, natural state of health. Not only this but your body may become resistant to disease and illness. As Hippocrates put it; “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” “You are what you eat,” is more true then you could ever imagine. You truly become what you put on your plate so make it worthy of you. What we put in our bodies is absolutely critical as you’ll learn through this blog, but in order to achieve true health, it doesn’t stop there. As well as your body, you must also feed your soul. In holistic nutrition we delve into the mind: how you think and feel and the spirit: how connected you are with yourself and all that surrounds you. By aligning all aspects of your life you will achieve a radical shift in your health. Dis-ease cannot live within a body that is in a state of harmonious ease. Health is your birthright. You are meant to live a full and abundant life: mind, body and spirit!

A MUST Read Before You Embark On Your Journey

You have, in fact, already begun to embark on your journey by coming here, but hold on just a sec! Allow me a few words of CAUTION if you will:

 

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1) THIS IS NOT A DIET. THIS IS A LIFESTYLE CHANGE.

  • Does that scare you? Fear is what will hold you back. If I sat here and said to you: “do you choose to be healthy or unhealthy? Do you choose to have energy or lack energy? Do you choose to live to the fullest, or be limited by a weighted down body?” Which would you choose? It’s as simple as that. Don’t complicate life. Be fearless! Changing the way you eat also means reforming habits into a new and productive lifestyle. Give yourself plenty of time to form new habits and be fully committed. You will be amazed at how easy healthy eating will become and I have many tips coming your way!

2) IT IS NOT ALL OR NOTHING.

  • If you suddenly happen to find yourself in the state of “did I really just eat that? What have I done…?” all is certainly not lost. Far from it! A slip does not mean that the rest of your day is ruined. Quite the opposite. If you feel guilty over a choice you’ve made, let it go. Use it as an opportunity! Commit to eating the best you can the rest of the day. Which brings me to my next point…

3) TO TREAT YOURSELF IS NOT TO CHEAT YOURSELF.

  • Heave a big sigh. You can afford to treat yourself  and you’ll learn how.  In fact, I believe its critical to treat yourself. Do I travel to Paris without enjoying a croissant or Portugal without indulging in some gelato? Of course not! This lifestyle is about living your fullest life and indulging now and again is essential to that. Everything in moderation.

4) TASTE BUDS CHANGE.

  • If you are used to high fat, sugary, salty “foods”, real food can taste a little… how shall we say…. funny.. bland… what have you, at first. I assure you though, you will not feel deprived. Once you start experiencing the full flavour of whole food, there is no turning back. It is a true miracle how your taste buds change! A few months ago I treated myself to a fast food burger. Gasps over, this was not what I remembered fast food to be. It was flavorless, unsatisfying, and by the time I left, fast food burgers had become very unappealing and I just craved a green smoothie. You’ll start to notice this too!

5) TRANSITIONING IS CRUCIAL.

  • There will be a full post on this alone. CRITICAL! You can’t jump on the band wagon too fast, you’ll fall flat in a pile of.. well.. you get the point. It’s all too possible to become sick if you detox too quickly, and your body will naturally detoxify itself on this diet. This why you should start here on your journey and travel with me!

6) THIS IS NOT A QUICK FIX.

  • If, by just reading this, I could give you full health, I would. Think about this though: whatever you came here for, lose weight, clear your skin, or whatever the case may be, that took time to build up, it will take time to go away as well. Be patient, this is how change should work. Changes that are too quick are often, not always, but often too good to be true. I have had quick and healthy changes eating holistically, but much of the bigger healing came with time. Consider this: your red blood cells are fully replaced about every four months. Skin cells are replaced about every 35 days!  Just about every cell in the body is regenerate  over the span of seven years! Be patient and enjoy the ride.

7) KEEP AN OPEN MIND

  • Last but certainly not least. Some things you read may be new and go completely against all you have been told. I strongly urge you to think critically and keep your mind wide open!

It is more than plausible for you to live a vivacious, thriving life of at least 100 years! On average we currently live around 75. That’s 25 more years of travel! 25 more birthdays, 9,125 more sunrises, and 219,000 more hours to chase all the dreams you could possibly dream, to laugh, kiss, and breath in life!

“The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.”
– Albert Einstein

Welcome to your holistic journey!