Meet Your Matcha: Why You Should Start Drinking Matcha Green Tea

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Have you heard of matcha before? Green tea has been revered for better health for centuries, but matcha has become more popular in recent years. Matcha is a type of green tea that is created by taking the young tea leaves, grinding it into a powder, and then whisking it into hot water.

Instead of just drinking water infused with all the goodness of green tea, you are actually
drinking that green tea. That’s the difference between regular green tea and matcha, but there are so many incredible perks for drinking matcha regularly.

Here are some important ones that will have you heading to the tea aisle to pick some up for yourself…

1. Draws out toxins
Matcha produces extra chlorophyll because it’s shade-grown. That means it has stronger detoxifying properties that can help you naturally eliminate heavy metals and other chemicals from your body. We all need regular detoxification, so this is a huge plus!

2. Potent antioxidants
Green tea is an excellent source of antioxidants, but you’ve got to go with matcha to take that to the next level. Matcha has 15 times the antioxidants of superfood fan-favorite blueberries if that helps put it in perspective.

3. Super catechins powers
While we’re discussing antioxidants, catechins are one of the most potent, particularly EGCG. This incredible antioxidant can help with weight loss and keeping your heart and brain healthy. It also destroys oxidative stress and protects against free radicals.

4. Sublime skin
Drink more matcha, and you’ll soon see you have more youthful, glowing skin than ever before. Those catechins are responsible for that. When you finish drinking your cup of matcha, save a little bit and dab it onto your face after washing to get even more of a gorgeous boost.

5. Calmed focus
Need coffee to get things done but find yourself jittery? Give matcha a try. Drinking matcha gives you the ability to stay focused and on task while remaining calm. You’ll notice when you drink it, you feel alert yet clear — a great feeling when you need to get work done.

6. Burns calories
As mentioned with catechins, matcha naturally boosts your metabolism which leads to more calories burned on a regular basis. If you’ve felt a bit stagnant with your weight loss, try drinking matcha each day to burn fat naturally.

7. Better oral hygiene

Matcha is highly antibacterial which means it’s great for keeping your oral hygiene top notch. By inhibiting bacteria, it keeps things cleaner for longer for a healthier smile.
Matcha really does so much more than this. It can boost your immunity and memory, ease your joints, and provides you with loads of vitamins and minerals you might not be getting with the foods you eat. So if matcha isn’t a part of your life already, it’s time to give it a shot and see the positive changes that come as a result.

If you are ready to give it a shot, check out my Matcha Green Tea Latte Recipe, this is a staple in my house!

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5 Ways to Stay Healthy This Fall

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Hi,

Fall is always the time of year when focusing on your health seems to be put on the back burner. You don’t have to let this busy time of year take you off track. There are certain things you can do to have a healthier fall for you and your family.

1. Make the most of seasonal foods
We always think about apples and pumpkins in fall because it’s prime season for them. While pumpkin pie and pumpkin spice lattes aren’t always so good for us, roasted pumpkin, pumpkin soup, or even mashed pumpkin is delicious and nutritious. Apples don’t need to go in pies to be sublime. Slice them up with your favorite nut butter smeared on top. Look for other seasonal foods that will do your health good, and you’ll find you can easily fill your plate with seasonal foods that you’ll love.

2. Prepare and protect from colds
Ideally, you should do this before you notice everyone around you sniffling and sneezing. Keep your hands off your face and keep them clean. Don’t forget good rest and a proper, healthy diet will help you, too. By taking care of yourself, even if everyone else gets sick, you’ll be less likely to succumb to the germs. For my family, I use probiotics, Vitamin C, Vitamin D and Deep Immune by St Francis to help boost our immune systems.

3. Stay out of the candy trap
Admit it. One of your favorite things about fall is Halloween. It’s a blast to decorate for and see all the kids in costume, but the most significant health problem we all face for this holiday is the surplus of candy and especially what is leftover after the trick or treaters are long gone! If you have alot still left in the house either give it away and throw it in the garbage. Your immune system will thank you!

4. Get into the great outdoors
With the colder weather, it’s nice to get outdoors and enjoy the crispness on your cheeks. It’s nice for hiking, biking, or just enjoying the change in the seasons. Staying active during the fall is an excellent way to keep your health in exceptional condition.

5. Make wise celebration choices
Halloween is just the beginning. The holiday season is just about here where it’s an endless buffet of food, sweets, and ever-flowing drinks. You don’t need to miss out on all the fun, but do choose wisely when you’re eating.  At parties, fill your plate up with veggies first before sampling sweets, so you’re too full to eat more than a bite or two. By doing that, you’ll avoid gaining weight by Christmas.

Don’t forget that fall should be fun, but if you fall into any of these fall pitfalls, take care and take steps to get back on track!

To help you stay warm this Fall/Winter, check out my Crockpot Veggie Wild Rice Soup, it’s delicious!

Enjoy

Mel

Simple & Healthy Halloween Recipes

Halloween and a crazy amount of processed sugar seem to go hand-in-hand.  With all of the parties and trick-or-treating in the very near future, you may be scrambling to find some healthier versions of fun & festive Halloween foods and treats.

I have compiled some of my favorite healthy versions of Halloween foods that will look great on your food table for that Halloween party that’s around the corner.  Enjoy!

Tangerine Pumpkins

Simple, healthy and fun — drawing faces on your tangerines is a great addition to your fruit bowl this season.  You can use any fruit with a rind on it for this: oranges, tangerines, grapefruit, even miniature pumpkins.

Tangerine Pumpkins

Halloween Fruit

Creating an entire plate of Halloween goodies is as simple as peeling some fruit.  Cut small pieces of celery stalk, peel a tangerine, and insert the celery piece into the top as a stem.  Peel banana, cut in half and stand each piece up on your plate.  Create a simple ghoul face out of melted dark chocolate.  Guilt-free and festive!

Halloween Fruit

Olive Spiders

This one’s especially simple!  Use a toothpick to poke four holes on each side of your olive.  The easiest “legs” to use are rosemary sprigs.  Pinch individual rosemary leaves off and insert as the legs.  Two other options for legs are small pieces of spaghetti, and small slices of olive.

Olive Spiders

Apple Faces

Core and slice apples.  Cut a chunk of the outside of the apple slice to create a mouth.  Fill with almond butter and a slice of strawberry as a tongue.  You can also use sunflower seeds as teeth, if you wish.

Apple Faces

Pumpkin Peppers

The great thing about Pumpkin Peppers is you can add anything you want for the stuffing.  I’ve seen them stuffed with mini-salads, rice and beans, roasted veggies, or anything you desire.  Cut the top of the pepper off and remove insides, carve your pumpkin face with a knife, and stuff with your desired toppings

Pumpkin Peppers

Frankenstein Pasta

How adorable is this?  You can get creative with this, but a great starting point is using zucchini noodles, a pesto sauce to add green to the dish, and funny face toppings.  Olives are great for the hair, a slice of red pepper for the mouth, celery piece as neck bolts and sliced olives for the eyes.  Have fun with your Frankenstein pasta and come up with your own version, too!

Frankenstein Pasta

Funny Face Toast

Avocado toast is the epitome of simple and delicious — a fan favorite.  Using your favorite Ezekiel bread or gluten-free bread, toast your bread and spread avocado on top.  Using olives, red peppers and radishes, create a funny face on top of the avocado.

Funny Face Toast

If you make any of the above goodies, please share pics with me, I would love to see them.

Happy Halloween!

 

Hidden Health Benefits of Pumpkins

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Every year we go running to the stores to find ourselves anything pumpkin related we can get our hands on. Pumpkins don’t only decorate our porches but they also fill our plates, and it’s good they do, since pumpkin contains a lot of health benefits. So, let’s find out why you need to find reasons to eat pumpkin all season long.

Health Benefit #1 : Enough vitamin A for the entire day

Just one cup of pumpkin gives you enough vitamin A for two days! What is Vitamin A good for, you ask?

It keeps your eyesight healthy, especially in dim lighting. Aside from it’s main job of providing healthy eyesight, Vitamin A is also good for your skin and bones.

Health Benefit #2: They are filled with fiber

Fiber helps keep you satisfied, and can therefore help you control your appetite. Fiber also helps with healthy digestion and elimination. Eating fiber on a regular basis is also great for keeping your heart strong and healthy, so enjoy those pumpkins all you can this season.

Health Benefit #3 : Full of potassium

You might know that bananas are known for their high amounts of potassium, but pumpkins contain even more potassium than bananas do.

Potassium is great to consume after a work-out as it restores the body’s balance and keeps your muscles functioning smoothly. It’s also able to reduce cramps and boost your metabolism.

Health Benefit #4 : You won’t have any trouble sleeping

Pumpkin seeds contain tryptophan, which is an amino acid that assists in making you sleep like a baby. It also helps produce serotonin, a neurotransmitter that’s responsible for making us feel happy and relaxed.

So not only will enjoying pumpkin & pumpkin seeds help you sleep great, it can also boost your mood!

Health Benefit #5 : Keeps your immune system strong

We’ve all heard of vitamin C and the magic it can do when you’re feeling under the  weather. Pumpkin provides a nice dose of Vitamin C, among its other health benefits, so keep finding ways to add pumpkin to your meals to keep your immune system strong.

If you are now hungry for all things pumpkin then come and watch me on Facebook Live 12pm Tuesday (16th October) where I will be making some Pumpkin Protein Balls & Pumpkin Overnight Oats to help satisfy those taste buds.

5 Ways Gratitude Impacts Your Health

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When we think about our health, we think in terms of what we’re eating, what we’re drinking, how much we’re exercising — but we rarely think about our health being related to what we think about.

If this is not something you consider regularly, start really digging deep into the idea that your thoughts, your attitude, and your mental tone have an incredible amount of power over your health.

The best place to start is with gratitude.  We all have something to be grateful for, so it’s the perfect place to begin.  Here’s why gratitude is so essential to your health…

  1. It boosts feelings of satisfaction

Show your gratitude by putting it in writing. Get out your thank you cards and start writing. Write them to your kids’ teachers. Write one to your parents, to your spouse, your best friend. Writing letters of gratitude will ensure you feel good inside and out, and you’ll be spreading those good feelings to those you’re writing to.

  1. It builds relationships

Find ways to weave in expressing gratitude for those things people do for you that you appreciate. Even if it’s just your kids putting the dishes in the dishwasher for you — express your gratitude. It will motivate them to keep doing more, and it will reduce your stress by seeing the good in things.

  1. It helps your mental wellness

Taking a moment to be thankful for the things you have despite the challenges is good for your mental health and well-being. Sometimes it can be hard to see the good things in life, so keep a journal if necessary and write things down. When you feel low, you can flip through it and find something to smile about. As an added bonus, it boosts more than your mood by increasing energy levels too. One of my favourite tools is the Five Minute Journal as this focuses on daily gratitude. It’s available on amazon.ca.

  1. You’ll sleep better

When you find things to be grateful for instead of focusing on the negativity, it allows your mind to relax. This, in turn, leads to better sleep. Try writing a gratitude list before you go to bed to use this power to your advantage so you can fall asleep faster.

  1. It can help you with your exercise too

With recognition for things that you’re grateful for, you feel happier. Feeling happier gives you more energy, and hence, it will keep you feeling good about your workouts too.  Sometimes the only thing we need is the motivation to START the workout, and a positive attitude helps get you there.

Don’t mistake this for feeling like you have to be positive 24/7.  Other emotions are real, necessary, and deserve to be honored. By all means, feel your feelings and healthily work through them — but choosing to practice gratitude daily will positively shift things.

Let’s start practicing now!

Hit reply and let me know one thing you’re grateful for today. It can be as big or as small as you want — nothing is off limits.

Can’t wait to hear from you. If you need help with this and other diet & lifestyle areas in your life. Hit reply and we can set up a free 15 minute discovery call to discuss how I can help you.

Now, if you are one of those people that has lots of leftover turkey, check out my recipe for Leftover Turkey Apple Breakfast Hash although you could eat this delicious meal any time of the day. Enjoy!

What Does a Balanced Meal Look Like?

When i first meet with a client, I ask them to track at least 3 days worth of food intake before they see me. I don’t do this so i can judge what they are eating (i am a 100% judge free zone!) Instead, i do this so i can see whether their meals are balanced.

By balanced, i mean are they giving their body everything it needs to a) survive and b) function optimally?

Firstly, I look at the quality of their food. Where is it coming from? Is the majority coming from a real food source? That is always my #1 Rule – Eat Real Food! For those of you that have seen my office, you will have seen my Real Food Manifesto front and center above my desk. If you don’t eat real food, you are eating chemicals and your body will eventually get sick, it’s as simple as that.

The goal of eating is to nourish your body with nutrients therefore the quality of the food you eat far outweighs how many calories it contains. So many people are just counting calories and not looking at the quality of the food they are eating. A 100 calorie chocolate bar does not nourish your body like 100 calories from almonds would. Eating sweet potato fries is not the same as eating sweet potato chips, although they both come from sweet potatoes. Not only does real food contain more nutrients, but it will fill you up and therefore you won’t need to eat as much.

Secondly, I look at whether they are getting all 3 macro-nutrients in throughout their day. Carbs, fats and protein are all vital for a healthy body so a balanced meal is incorporating all of these together at your meals. Your body can’t tell what specific food you ate i.e. quinoa or sweet potato, all it recognizes is whether it contains carbs, fats or protein.

If you eat a salad with no dressing or protein, you will be hungry again a short while after whereas if you add some chicken, avocado and dressing that will keep you satisfied for alot longer. If you had that 100 calorie chocolate bar we talked about earlier for a snack, your blood sugar will crash in 20 minutes and you will be “hangry” whereas if you had some cashews and a couple of squares of good quality (min 70%) dark chocolate you will be satisfied until your next meal.

Are you eating a balanced diet? If not and you want some help fine-tuning your diet then give me a shout. I’d love to chat with you more.

Now, there is no denying that Fall is here, the leaves are changing, the cooler temperatures have arrived and the farms and grocery stores are full of pumpkins. This means that it’s time for my Pumpkin Spice Elixir to appear. Click here if you are a pumpkin lover and want this recipe. I will have this for breakfast and it will keep me full right through until lunch as it’s packed with fat, fiber and protein to help keep my blood sugar balanced.

Clean Eating at Costco

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The first time i went to Costco was with my husband when i moved to Canada and we walked out spending hundreds of dollars – i was in shock. I didn’t go back for a long time as it was just the 2 of us and we didn’t eat alot of the food there but in the last few years since our family has grown it has become one of my favourite places to shop for groceries.

They have begun to dip their toes in the world of real food and clean eating and so I thought it was time i share my Costco shopping list with you.

Fruits & Vegetables

  • Anything goes here as it is all REAL FOOD!

Meat/Poultry/Seafood

  • They do organic chicken & beef but I still tend to get my meat from local farms in our area.

Cooler Items

  • Fontaine Hummus
  • Happy Planet Soups
  • Dr Brew or GTs Kombucha
  • Plain Greek Yogurt
  • Butter
  • Almond Milk
  • Babybel
  • Cheese
  • Goat Cheese

Freezer Items

  • Frozen Fruit (I love the Nature’s Touch brand)
  • Frozen Vegetables
  • Frozen Edamame
  • Smoked Salmon

Breads

  • Silver Hills Sprouted Grain bread
  • Stonemill bread
  • Ozery Bakery Morning Rounds & Pita

Snack Foods

  • Simply Protein Bars
  • Kind Bars
  • Prana Trail Mix (Kilimanjaro is my favourite!)
  • R W Garcia Beet or Turmeric Crackers
  • Mary’s Organic Crackers
  • Kale Chips
  • Coconut Slices

Dry Goods

  • Tru Roots Ancient Grain Pasta
  • GoGo Quinoa Pasta
  • Quinoa
  • Rice
  • Chickpea or Bean Pasta
  • Bob’s Red Mill Steel Cut Oats
  • Bean Soup Mix
  • Dried Fruit (figs, dates, raisins, apricots)
  • Dutch Processed Baking Cocoa
  • Almond Flour
  • Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
  • Chia Seed
  • Hemp Seed
  • Flaxseed
  • Raw Pumpkin Seeds
  • Raw Cashews
  • Raw Almonds
  • Almond Butter
  • Crofters Jam
  • Unsweetened Applesauce
  • Organic Diced Tomatoes
  • Tomato Paste
  • Tomato Sauce (Passata in the glass jar)
  • Coconut Milk
  • Black Beans
  • Chickpeas
  • Light Tuna
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Avocado Oil
  • Chosen Foods or Primal Mayo
  • San J Tamari Sauce
  • Sea Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Spices

I think that’s it for now, the great thing is that every time i hit Costco, which is normally every 3 months or so, there is always something new. What are your favourite Costco finds? Hit reply and let me know I would love to find out if i’m missing out on something delicious?

Now you guys know by now that peaches are my favourite fruit but apples come a very close second with honeycrisp being at the top of my list! We are right in the middle of apple season so I thought I would share my recipe for Slow Cooker Applesauce, it’s super easy and way tastier than the versions you find in the stores. I’ll be sharing lots of other apple recipes soon, stay tuned!