Three Healthy Minded Restaurants On The Streets Of Montreal

Home to smoked meat sandwiches and french poutine, Montreal is fit for a foodie. But how does a wellness enthusiast navigate the city of cultural cuisine?

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While I’ve always been one to plan vacations around food, this travel tour was packed with sightseeing and left little in the way of food planning. Thus posing the presumptuous predicament of where a holistic foodie can eat in a city populated by fried potatoes, gravy, and cheese curds.

You can image my relief in happening upon a hub of holistically tailored dinning options in every city that we visited. And for the two days that we spent in the metropolis of Montreal, this is where and what we ate!

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 1. Pizzeria Bros

Location: 13 Rue Notre-Dame O, Montréal, QC

In our quest for lunch, we wandered the streets of local shops and stumbled upon the menu of this popular pizzeria.

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  • This humble nook of Old Montreal has a little something for everyone. Kneading the traditional dough by hand, they also offer gluten-free pizza crusts, homemade tomato sauce, the option to forgo the cheese, and a whole host of unique toppings including anchovies and capers, making this the perfect stop for conventional and holistic foodies alike.

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How to make it holistic:

  • 1) Opt for gluten-free crust:
    • Bypassing the uncomfortable side effects many experience from gluten, this thin crust doesn’t overpower the toppings which enhances the flavour of your pizza.
    • NOTE: Do be aware that there is an additional charge of $1 to do so. For those with celiac disease, there may be a chance of cross-contamination, though the man who made mine was exceptionally careful and diligent not to touch the dough with his floured gloves. Merci monsieur! 🙂
  • 2) Omit the cheese:
    • Cheese stimulates our opiate receptors which induces the post-lunch sleepy sensation. Because it is so difficult for our bodies to breakdown, your energy is directed to digestion and leaves little for you to carry on with your day.
    • NOTE: You can substitute the cheese for an additional topping of your choosing!

Follow these two rules and your delicious pizza will leave you satiated and energized for your adventures ahead!

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2. Délices Érable et Cie

Location: 84 Rue Saint Paul E, Montréal, QC

  • A quaint cafe along one of my favourite streets of Montreal that sings of Europe with its unique french flair. As it was rainy and overcast, I sought after a warm tea.
  • Initially drawn in by the samples, this cute cafe is teaming with the maple syrup staple of Quebec. You can sample it in tapioca balls, crystals, or my personal favourite of whipped maple butter with course sea salt!
  • They also serve dairy-free gelato which I tasted but left for a warmer day. Opting for a peppermint green tea as an antioxidant boost and sweetened with maple syrup crystals. Come rain or shine, this is a must stop shop for all maple syrup enthusiasts!

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3. Reubens Deli

Location : 1116 Rue Sainte-Catherine, Montréal, QC

 How to feel like a fish in a fish bowl: take a window seat at Reubens on the inner city strip with a smoked meat sandwich (hold the bread), vinegar based coleslaw and substitute the french fries for an alkalizing salad with balsamic vinaigrette on the side. A MUST!

This was one of my favourite meals on the trip. So much so that I hardly noticed the attention we drew of passersby through the window. Shy? Ask for an inner table as I guarantee you will have intrigued and envious eyes upon you.

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How to make it holistic:

  • They have an array of salads but if you want to experience Montreal’s staple smoked meat, ask for the basic smoked meat sandwich without the bread. It will come in a stacked pile and is so tender, it disintegrates as you transfer it to garnish your salad.
  • The coleslaw is not based in mayo, but rather vinegar which makes an ideal side.
  • Omit the fried french fries and opt for the salad. This is at an additional cost but well worth it! A light salad balances the meal leaving you feeling full without feeling stuffed.

NOTE: It is a popular joint and for good reason, so check in and enjoy a walk through the neighboring shops while you anticipate a delicious meal.

Bon appeptit,

Suzanne Eden

Seasonal Sundays || Peachy Keen

“An apple is an excellent thing – until you have tasted a peach.”

George du Maurier

~*~

Juicy with tips, tricks and holistic life hacks, this is the guide to one of our most beloved seasonal summer fruits: peaches!

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Life gets even sweeter with these juicy superfoods. But as any peach enthusiast would preach: you haven’t tasted a peach until you’ve tasted one in season and locally grown.

This Monday I did my weekly produce overhaul at Overholt Farms and happened upon a display of perfectly plump peaches freshly picked from the orchard. Sweet and fragrant (and admittedly the golden colour of our yard), these stone fruits are guaranteed to be staples of my counter-top through the upcoming months and sneak their humble way into most of our dishes.

As we dash to our local farmer’s market, here are my top tips and tricks to get the most out of a season that’s just … peachy!

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 Grow/Pick Your Own

  • As a child, we used to have a peach tree in our backyard that one year filled our kitchen, overflowed into the garage and trickled down into the basement with boxes bursting with these sweet fruits. I would run outside, stand on my tip toes and grasp the branch, plucking one loose and take a big, organic, mouthful of the juiciest, most flavourful peaches I have ever tasted!
  •  As with all fruits, they are sweetest when picked ripe off the tree. And though this tree is long gone, we reside in the fruit belt of Niagara which is bursting with local peach trees this time of the year.
  • Holistic Life Hacks: It is wonderful to visit the local farms for peaches, but going to the orchard to pick them yourself is best. Picking them fully ripened means there’s no wait to eat them (the most challenging part of any overhaul) and yields the juiciest, most flavourful and also the most nutritious fruit!

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Opt For Seconds

  • This is not in the sense of treating yourself to a second helping, though I am in full support of that too. “Seconds” are the peaches that don’t make the cut. They may have a small bruise, or indent and therefore won’t be found on display at the fruit stand. However, these peaches are just as juicy and delicious and are sold for much cheaper!
  • HLH: Ask for seconds at the fruit stand. They may be hidden behind the counter or you may have to take a mini drive/walk to pick them up.

Sift Through The Seasons

  • Peaches are my all time favourite fruit, but I won’t dare purchase one in the winter. When consumed in season, as nature intended, these fruits with have significantly higher antioxidant contents, are at their peak of flavour and texture and may have up to three times the nutritional content of their out-of-season counterpart!
  • HLH: The best peaches are found during the middle of peak season. If you do get ones with a taste of texture that seems “off,”(particularly near the beginning or end of the season), don’t toss them! These are perfect to freeze and throw into a shake or make a baked good or peach applesauce.
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Peach Sorbet : Frozen local peaches | Frozen sweet banana | A generous squeeze of lemon juice & blend.

Get Dirty Or Go Clean

  • As part of the dirty dozen, peaches are highly sprayed with chemical pesticides. Though we live in the fruit belt, tracking down a local, organic grower isn’t easy pickings. If your produce is conventional, remove the skins to eliminate the contamination of the outer layers of pesticides that cling to the fuzzy exterior.

What’s In A Label?

  • To become organically certified is an expensive endeavour. For this reason,many small, locally run farms skip the certification, even though they don’t follow conventional practices. Though they cannot say that they are officially organic, you can get around this by asking if they spray their produce with pesticides and if they try to abide by organic standards of growing.

Fast Track The Ripening

  • Though an optimal opportunity to exercise our patience, peaches will ripen quicker in a paper bag. Add an apple which emits ethylene gases and you’re well on your way to a perfectly ripe peach!

To our peachy keen seasonal Sundays,

Suzanne Eden

August Abroad : The World Of Wellness Coastal Tour

Happy August friends!!

I am absolutely thrilled to share that this month, we’re going on a little adventure!

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This August, hold tight as we explore the cuisine of the coast, the wilderness of the east and the World of Wellness abroad!

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~ Coastal Callings ~

I remember our road trips to the East Coast as a child. I remember making friends with the chipmunks of the campgrounds, the little jellyfish that swam up my brother’s swim trunks and stung him (I’m willing to bet he remembers that too!). I remember wading through giant tadpoles to capture frogs with our bare hands, creating motels for the hermit crabs on the beach and naming our lobsters as pets before we ate them. Note to self: never name your dinner.
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I remember coming to face to face with the biggest moose we ever encountered (we saw 14 that trip), whale watching, the endless treks through the forests, the freshest fish for supper, but most importantly : I remember the feeling, that magical feeling that only the East can elicit.

FullSizeRender(17)In just a few weeks, we’ll be cruising our way through the East Coast of North America and taking the World of Wellness Tour with us! Sailing the St. Lawrence through Montreal and Quebec (the Paris of Canada), cruising alongside Nova Scotia and PEI, down to Maine in the US  & disembarking in Boston.

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We’ll be discovering all the health hubs, tasting the provincial super-foods, exploring the health practices and landscapes and oceans and doing all of this in the healthiest, tastiest, and most holistic way possible.

 

The biggest difference: this time I get to take you all along for the ride 🙂
Setting sail to the world of wellness,
Suzanne Eden

The Calm After The Storm : Harnessing The Positive Power Of Negative Ions

“It’s not the light we need, but fire.

It’s not the gentle shower, but thunder.

We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake.”

~ Frederick Douglas ~

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Yesterday morning, everything was lit up.

Just as Sunday’s concert was twinkling with illuminated cell phones in the air, yesterday the skies were lit with lightning.

And while these moody skies may look anguished and turbulent, they are charged with negative ions and laced with the potential to uplift even the stormiest of moods and calm the most overactive of nervous systems.

Electrical Beings

  • Just as lightning is an electrical spark that bursts through the sky, electricity courses continuously throughout our bodies and is vital to our well-being. Electrical and chemical impulses (otherwise known as synapses) are how our cells communicate and send messages from our nervous systems to brains (and vice versa) that control our heartbeats, our movements etc. Without electricity, we couldn’t survive, but optimizing these synapses is what allows us to thrive.

“We are all meant to shine, as children do. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

Expect your life to be full and beautiful. Magnify your own qualities of light and love. You will break free of your own stuckness, with the energetic voltage to electrify possibilities all around you.”

-Marianne Williamson

Positive Feelings With Negative Ions

  •  When it comes to our health, negative ions are anything but negative. These molecules promote a sense of clarity and well-being, have both a stimulating and calming physiological effect, decrease inflammation for pain reduction and increase the oxygen flow to our brains for mental alertness.
  • Think of how you feel near the ocean or standing beneath a waterfall. This same effect can be experienced after a heavy rainfall as negative ions are present in abundance where air molecules are being manipulated in intense circumstances.

Harnessing The Healing

It has been estimated that one in three people are sensitive to the concentrations of negative ions (myself included!). How can you tell? A good indicator is that you feel instantly refreshed and energized upon opening a window or stepping outside and find that spending too much time in enclosed spaces can make you feel sluggish.

But whether you are a particularly ion sensitive individual or not, we can all reap the benefits of these negatively charged molecules and these are a few great ways to do so:

  • Take a walk after the storm
    • Fresh after a heavy rainfall, the concentration of negative ions in the air is at its peak, making it the ideal time to submerse yourself in it.
  • Earthing
    • If you can walk barefoot comfortably, so much the better! Having direct contact between the soles of our feet and the earth allows for the transfer of negative ions from the ground.
  • Open your windows
    • This allows the negative ions to flow into your home (a space with a higher concentration of positive ions) to boost your mood.
  • Meditate
    • With the calming negative ions, meditating during or just after a storm has the potential to heighten our experience.
  • Invest in a salt lamp
    • No storm? No problem! Authentic Himalayan salt lamps produce these negative ions and can be left on all the time to add a continuous flow (and glow) of mood enhancing negative ions.

In light of the lightning,

Suzanne Eden

Five Holistic Reasons To Eat Your Way To Japan

If you ever needed an excuse to lust over the majestic forests and cultural  wonders of Japan, the cuisine would be your golden ticket!

We are getting so excited for our upcoming trip, but in the meantime I have heard and read and seen Japan everywhere lately. Though this isn’t where we are jetting off to, luckily for us, we don’t need to venture far to reap the benefits of these Japanese staples in our diet. If you needed an excuse, “feast” your eyes on my top five!

1. Matcha is to the Japanese what coffee & bacon are to North Americans

  • The Japanese loooove their matcha! It finds its way into just about everything and it’s a good thing too, as this brilliant green powder packs a big nutritional punch.
  • Matcha offers moderate amounts of caffeine balanced with calming l-theanine for an energizing boost without the coffee crash. Utilizing the whole tea leaves by grinding them into a powder, it’s a more potent source of catechins (an antioxidant compound known as polyphenols) than your standard green tea.
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|| Above : Unsweetened matcha tea latte with almond milk||

2. Get cultured

  • Fermented foods such as kimchi are staples in Japan and should ideally be features of every culture. Why? Fermented/cultured foods are rich in wholefood sourced probiotics, energizing B-vitamins and natural enzymes to enhance digestion and promote mental, physical and emotional well-being – no “zen garden” necessary!
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3. Soba Your Pasta

  • Soba buckwheat noodles are roughly the size of your standard spaghetti and made of buckwheat flour. They are commonly used in Japanese pasta dishes, piled high with fresh vegetables and drizzled with a light sauce (as opposed to smothered – the Western way).
  • I LOVE these and you can experiment with traditional pasta sauce, or enjoy the flavour when tossed simply with coconut oil, sea salt and loaded with vegetables or as a tahini based pad Thai as featured below. When savoring Soba at a restaurant, be sure to ask if they are gluten-free.

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4. Authentic sushi (of course!)

  • This goes without saying; you just can’t have a Japanese cuisine post without the mention of sushi. BUT! And this is a big but ; for all of us sushi lovers, we need to be adamant about sourcing. The seafood commonly used in restaurants is high in toxins (particularly mercury), can be contaminated with parasites and utilize inhumane fishing practices. Think: “The Greatest Catch,” documentary.
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  • In Japan (and everywhere), look not to the big sushi houses but small, intimate dinning experiences, often more expensive and not “all-you-can-eat,” that offer sustainably caught seafood and quality sushi. The REAL sushi you deserve to experience!
And on the subject of anti- “all-you-can-eat…”

5. Hara Hashi Bu

  • This is not a food per se, but a WAY to eat that will skip the sushi coma conundrum and keep you feeling healthy, vibrant, and ready for your next meal. Read more here.
To our future Japanese journeys,
Suzanne Eden

Blueberry Acai Parfaits With Slivered Almonds, Fresh Berries & Chocolate Drizzle

Give us a lifestyle that incorporates ice cream for breakfast and we’re on board!

Inspired by this year’s Vegfest, we were all over the blueberry parfaits with layers of crunchy coconut, freshly sliced strawberries, silvered almonds & a few dark chocolate chips snuck in there too.
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Being so simple and easy (just two ingredients!), I had to get my hands on the Vitamix and whip up a spin on this sweet treat. One that features maqui (pronounced “mah-key”) berries, Amazonian acai and a raw cacao sauce. Oh! And being banana based, this ice cream (otherwise known as “nicecream”) can be easily, and holistically indulged in for breakfast and leave you feeling energized and nourished for the day ahead! 100% nutritionist approved 🙂

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HOLISTIC HIGHLIGHTS

  • Acai & maqui berries are both native to central America and are known for being antioxidant powerhouses with acai containing 10 times the antioxidants found in grapes. Though acai has made a household name of itself in the nutrition community, the lesser known maqui berry surpasses the antioxidant content of acai, making it one of the most potent sources in the world!
    • But of course, superfoods don’t have to be foreign and fancy. Some of the best superfoods are found in our gardens and local farmers markets. So if you don’t have these concentrated powders on hand, that’s okay. I have two recipes to accommodate, and of course, you can put your own unique spin on it too!

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THE RECIPES

These parfaits boast the consistency of traditional creamy ice-cream (without any sugar or dairy!), and are layered with fresh berries, slivered almonds and a crunchy cacao drizzle.

BASIC BLUEBERRY BLEND

Adventure level: 1/5

Ingredients:

  • 1 large frozen banana
  • 1/4 cup frozen organic blueberries
  • squeeze of lemon or lime

Toppings:

  • slivered almonds
  • cacao drizzle (below)
  • fresh mint leaves
  • strawberries (in season now!)
  • other fruit such as papaya, pineapple etc.
  • coconut chunks

Directions:

  • Peel and slice banana into a container to freeze overnight.
  • Once frozen, place in blender with blueberries, a squeeze of lemon/lime and blend. This will take some time and you will need to scrape the sides of the blender as you go. The more ingredients in the blender, the easier it is for the blades to grip.
  • Blend until smooth and creamy and layer with your toppings of choice.

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Fully Loaded Blueberry Acai & Maqui Parfaits

Adventure level: 3/5

Featuring antioxidant rich berries to boost the nutrition and depth of flavours in the soft-serve.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large frozen banana
  • 1/4 cup frozen organic blueberries
  • squeeze of lemon or lime
  • 1 tsp acai powder
  • 1 tsp maqui powder

Raw cacao:

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp raw cacao (can substitute carob if sensitive)

 

Directions:

  • Peel and slice banana into a container to freeze overnight.
  • Once frozen, place the banana in your blender with blueberries, a splash of lemon/lime and blend. This will take some time and you will need to scrape the sides of the blender as you go. The more in the blender, the easier it is for the blades to grip.
  • Blend until smooth and creamy.
  • Pop into the freezer as you melt the coconut oil in a pan and stir in the cacao (optional to add stevia for sweetness, but not necessary).
  • Layer the cacao drizzle with your ice cream and toppings (see above) and pop back in the freezer until the cacao sauce hardens (approx. 2 mins). This creates a crunchy topping like a chocolate dipped cone.
  • Once solidified, remove from freezer and enjoy!

Note:

  • The more powerful your blender, the easier and faster it will be to create your ice cream.

 

Sundae

I have been nothing shy of obsessed with this parfait for the past two weeks (as evidenced by instagram) and it is with great thanks that I received more maqui berry powder for my birthday, just as I was running out! It’s bursting with naturally sweet flavours, tastes indulgent, and is loaded with superfoods for an ultra healthy breakfast bowl perfect for summer! You will looove this, I promise 🙂

 

To our Sunday sundaes,

Suzanne Eden

 

 

 

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The Best Holistic Health Advice Our Mothers Ever Gave Us

Moms, we love you!

And though the celebratory Mother’s day is behind us, we know that your duties have you working around the clock, 365 (or 366) days a year and for that, we appreciate you everyday!

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Whether it’s sharing sprouted quinoa burgers amongst the dandelions, binge watching Will And Grace with you on Sunday mornings, or dancing through the kitchen to the likes of Prince while roasting vegetable dishes from chef Micheal Smith’s cookbook. Yes, everyday is an adventure (and on the rare occasion, one that may even find us at the Eiffel Tower)!

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And though not all of your adventurous advice may be tried and true, with these, you were onto a good thing.

In other words, these are 3 reasons (of millions) we thank you!

ADVICE #1: An Apple A Day Keeps The Doctor Away

  • My personal favourite! Thank you moms for solidifying our love of nature’s perfect, nutritious snack on the go.
    • Benefits: Contains immune boosting vitamin C and soluble fibre in the form of pectin for stable blood sugar levels and a healthy digestive system.
    • What mom didn’t tell you: fruit needs to be consumed on an empty stomach, away from most other foods, for proper digestion. Otherwise you may be going to your doctor with complaints of excessive bloating and indigestion. Pairing this fruit with a little spread of pure almond butter, however, is both digestion friendly and equipped with satiating fats and protein to make this a well-rounded snack.

ADVICE #2: Eat Your Carrots For Good Eye Sight

  • Not just an old wives tale! As a part of the doctrine of signatures, a sliced carrot’s resemblance to the human eye, including the pupil and iris, is an indicator of one of its primary functions. How so?
    • Benefits: Carrots are packed with beta-carotene (the component which also gives them their bright colour). This antioxidant is converted into vitamin A in the body and according to The World’s Healthiest Foods, 1 cup of raw carrots translates to 113% of our daily recommended intake of vitamin A!
    • What mom didn’t tell you: Though eating an abundance of carrots may not restore your vision to 20/20, a deficiency of vitamin A may cause symptoms such as: dry/itchy eyes, blurred vision, and difficulty seeing at night. Tip: dip your carrots in avocado for a strangely delicious combo!

ADVICE #3: Have Soup For The Soul (And A Common Cold)

  • Turns out, these comforting soups are medicinal bowls beyond just soup for the soul!
    • Benefits: The warmth of soup can ease congestion to reduce blocked sinuses while the liquids help to clear the congestion and bacteria from the body. You simply can’t drink enough when sick and this is the way to boost it!
    • What your mother didn’t tell you: While your body requires nutrients to support the immune system during this time, it also needs easily digestible foods as digestion drains your body’s energy needed to fight the virus. Highly nutritious broths, such as fermented miso or bone broth, offer both nutrients and involves very little digesting, leaving you more energy to heal!

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Whether she’s dishing out health advice, homemade dinners from Michael Smith, or exploiting her love of fine dinning with Mother’s day lunches at the Stone House (for candied pecan & cranberry salad with carmelized mushrooms, toasted leeks & balsamic reduction!), we’re all along for an appetizing ride ❤

 

Moms: for all of your wise and worldly advice, we thank you!

Suzanne Eden