When you return from the market with all your beautiful fresh vegetables, don't just throw them in your refrigerator and forget about them until they are mush in a plastic bag. Start washing, chopping, and storing in glass containers so they are ready to go. This cuts down on food waste and ensures all your vegetables are ready to eat at any time, It's easier to eat more vegetables if they are already cleaned and prepped.
The above photo features: Organic Romaine lettuce, washed, spun and cut with a plastic knife. Pre-washed organic mixed greens taken out of the clam shell, fluffed up and put in a glass container with paper towel on the bottom and top. These delicate greens turn really quickly so you don't want to keep them in the moisture ridden clamshell. Organic baby carrots rinsed and stored in purified water in glass container. Great for quick snacks with hummus.
Finally, salad vegetables stored separately from the lettuce. This way you can add as much as you want. From bottom to top:
1 cucumber, peeled, split in half, seeds removed by running a spoon down the middle (cucumber seeds make the salad too wet and turn the cucumber faster)
2 carrots, peeled, halved and sliced
2 celery sticks, sliced
1 pepper, diced
2 radishes, sliced
2 green onions, sliced
Part of a holistic kitchen is glass storage containers for fridge and freezer. Plastic storage containers generally contain BPA which can release xenoestrogens into your food. Xeno (meaning foreign) mimics estrogen in the body which can lead to estrogen dominance. Estrogen dominance can have lots of symptoms and conditions such as: accelerating aging, allergies, asthma, hives, rashes, breast tenderness and breast cancer. Switch to glass by using Mason Jars, Anchor containers and Snap Lock. Canadian Tire has a great selection and they are usually on sale.
This fair was a really cool experience. First, I went to see Shirley Shuster. She is an Energy Worker and Angel Card Reader, I have never had my angel cards read so this was pretty cool. We instantly had a good bond. According to Shirley, I need to set parameters for myself or else I'll burn out. Currently, I need to focus on myself to determine my intentions and find personal balance. I also need to be grateful for who I am and what I have accomplished. The cards I drew were Power, Healing and Counselling. (Our photo together didn't turn out)
Next, I got to see Vanesa Vallese. She reads the Tarot and uses Intuition. This was interesting as the deck that she uses is an unconventional one. (You can just see the cards on her table.) She told me that in general my cards were all good and that whatever worries that I have, they are needless and that I should go for my goals. Vanesa is a good reader especially for young people or young at heart.
Then, I went to see Denise Schuetz - Jones who does Psychic Readings. She gives off a really calm presence. She told me some interesting things. She told me that I had a heavy weight on my shoulders like a yoke around my neck. She said that this is a burden that I carry from my mother's side of the family. It is my fate to release this burden and that my relatives that have passed will be supporting me to do this. She told me that I needed to go to the forest and release the burden there. She told me that I will have great success once I clear this burden. (The lady that I had asked to take our picture....didn't.)
Finally, I went to see Stephanie Mead. She is a Certified Usui Reiki Master/Teacher. She operates Loving Light Reiki in Nanaimo. I'd never had Reiki before so I got another new experience. Her hands were so hot with energy. She had three spirit animals for me, the snow owl, (intuition and change) the butterfly (profound transformation) and the snake (more transformation). Sound like big changes are ahead. Anyway, she told me to disregard my negative talk that is holding me back. To move forward with determination with my vision. She also told me to wear bright colors. Perhaps because I was wearing only black today. Stephanie was the best value of the day. She was also promoting a 50% off a full treatment Reiki session. You can contact Stephanie on Facebook at Loving Light Reiki.
Here's another recipe from Food Matters TV. I made mine with apple sauce instead of eggs as I am a vegan. I will give you both options below. I've made this recipe twice now. The first time I made it by grinding my own almonds. It was delicious but was pretty dense. The second time I bought my almond flour (meal) from Thrifty's bulk section at Port Place Mall. They also had it in the health food aisle but since it only requires 1.5 cups it was much cheaper to buy a smaller amount. You can buy the tapioca starch/arrowroot flour at any supermarket that stocks Red Mill products but it's pretty expensive. You can get the tapioca starch and arrowroot flour at health stores as well.
Anyway, the second time it still didn't get much bigger so I am attributing that to using apple sauce instead of eggs. If you do use eggs, remember to buy local, free range, organic eggs. If anyone knows of a good local brand, please leave me a comment below.
Why it's so good for you.
This breakfast/paleo bread is great to have on hand for breakfast, lunch or as a snack! Suitable for the dairy and gluten intolerant, our breakfast/paleo bread is loaded with ingredients that will help you feel satiated and nourished. Rich in protein, vitamins and minerals.
Almond meal (or almond flour) is made from ground up blanched almonds. It is the best tasting gluten free flour and works well in gluten-free baking. This grain-free loaf is much lower in carbs and higher in protein and healthy fats compared to most commercial breads on the market!
(use organic ingredients where possible)
Note: If using whole almonds, place the almonds in the food processor or high speed blender and process until it resembles a fine flour.
Tip: This bread will last 3-4 days in an airtight container. Freeze leftover slices in a Tupperware container.
This recipe is also from FMTV 21-day program. It's vegan, and gluten free. Make sure you buy your nuts and seeds raw. There's a good selection of raw nuts and seeds at health food stores like Pomme Natural and Charlie Brown Health Foods in Nanaimo. Also don't overlook Bulk Barn. They have raw sunflower and pumpkin seeds and also coconut without sulfites. Sulfites are used to dry food and retain their natural color. This is a highly food sensitive additive and can cause severe allergic reactions. This stuff is often found in dried fruit and they don't need to write it on the label so always look for sulfite free on the label when buying these types of products. See www.befoodsafe.com for more information.
Why it's good for you.
Nuts are high in protein and a great source of healthy fats. Soaking or 'activating' increases the nutrient value of the nuts along with breaking down the problematic compounds to help enhance their digestibility. Enjoy this energizing breakfast; thanks to the mix of protein, healthy fats and delicious natural sweetener! *Soak nuts and seeds the night before you plan on preparing this recipe.
(use organic ingredients where possible)
This recipe is super easy to make and is so delicious. It makes about 4 cups and lasts about 2 weeks in the refrigerator. This is a dairy-free yogurt and is a probiotic so super supportive for your gut. I think it is better than yogurt.
Here's what you will need...
**Organic coconut milk is best. Read the ingredients to ensure you are getting the real deal without too many preservatives, etc. I didn't take my own advice as the coconut milk in the picture contains: coconut milk and guar gum (natural thickening and stabilizing agent derived from a bean). But it also contains:
carboxymethyl cellulose - is a fiber which is made from wood pulp or cotton lint. It is found in such foods as: ice cream, dressing, cheese, icing, toppings, gelatinous desserts, infant/baby formula, and cottage cheese. It's used as a thickening agent. It's okay to consume for most people but may cause flatulence. (bonus!)
polysorbate 60 - This is an emulsifier and thickener. It's found in frozen dessert, cake mix, salad dressing, donuts, foods with artificial chocolate coating and whipped topping. This one is really bad. It gets a failing grade on the www.befoodsmart.com website. It is known to be commonly contaminated with 1,4 dioxane, which is known to cause cancer in animals. It is derived from petroleum. Yum.
So....I went out and bought the Western Family Organic Coconut Milk which was about twenty cents more. It contains organic coconut and organic guar gum. It may contain sulphites which get a D rating on the www.befoodsmart.com website but I've got to draw the line somewhere. I will continue searching for a healthy reasonably priced coconut milk. I've paid from $2.50 to $6.00 for a can of coconut milk so I'll keep you posted.
Congratulate me! I just got my bloodwork back and my thyroid is working perfectly! My doctor has been threatening to put me on hypothyroid medication for about a year. My bloodwork has been on the cusp of serious hypothyroidism for some time and I told my doctor that I wanted to try a holistic approach to support my thyroid before starting medication. Above is a picture of my 'healthy thyroid kit' which I will go through momentarily but first I want to go into the signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism as I have experienced them.
You might be hypothyroid if....
What I Did To Support My Thyroid:
1. Drink purified water - Although our island water is awesome and touted as being the best in the world, city water contains chlorine which prevents the uptake of iodine which is critical to thyroid health. (My dog now refuses to drink water from the tap because of the chlorine smell.) So, if you are hypothyroid, don't drink it, try not to swim in chlorinated pools and if you can afford it get a water filter for your shower. Better still, swim in the ocean or sea water pools. MacKenzie Beach Resort in Tofino has a salt water pool which feels awesome.
Brita water filters are far from the best on the market but are the cheapest. This system uses granulated carbon so change your filters often to prevent bacteria from growing in the filter. At CSNN Nanaimo, they use a water filter that hooks up to your faucet and you can also get ones that attach to your shower. They use the Aquasmart system which costs $275+. If you are interested in this type of system, check out Aquarius Pure Water 2010 website or call Cody at 250-240-6012. He is located near Parksville. At the Lifehouse they have a Santevia water cooler and filtration system that makes the most delicious mineral rich water.
2. Use Fluoride Free Toothpaste - Fluoride also blocks the uptake of iodine in the body. JASON Powersmile is one of the many fluoride free toothpastes that you can buy at any supermarket or health food store. This company is located in Toronto, Canada. The price is comparable to other brands and tastes great. When you go to your dental hygienist, don't get a fluoride treatment and opt for the free toothbrush over any toothpaste or mouthwash containing fluoride. Island municipal water doesn't contain fluoride. I think that's an American thing.
3. Buy salt-free canned goods and add your own sea salt instead of cheap table salt. This way you are boosting your minerals naturally.
4. Use Himalayan pink salt and/or sea salt for cooking. As said above this boosts the amount of minerals you are getting and since you are getting it from a natural source, your ability to absorb them is much better.
5. Add sea weed and sea vegetables to your meals often. I have a post for Miso Soup which contains kombu, kelp powder and sea salt. It's delicious and your thyroid will thank you. A few dashes of kelp powder to any soup or salad dressing adds some depth of flavour and nutrition. Sushi, which is wrapped in nori seaweed, is a good source of iodine.
6. Supplement with iodine if necessary. I'm a vegan and I can't eat miso soup every day. I add four drops of iodine to a tablespoon of purified water and take it with my morning supplements. Iodine is found most commonly, and in the highest concentration, in the ocean. Iodine is critical in the production of the thyroid hormone T4.
7. Supplement with selenium. Concentrations of selenium are higher in the thyroid gland than almost any other tissues in the body and are important to activate the thyroid hormones in conjunction with iodine. If you are deficient in selenium and iodine and don't supplement them together, iodine supplementation is required in conjunction with selenium supplementation in order to prevent thyroid damage from iodine supplementation alone. Good levels of selenium are needed to convert the hormone T4 to T3 the more active form of the hormone.
8. Avoid goitrogenic foods - Soy and raw goitrogenic vegetables block the absorption and utilization of iodine. The goitrogenic vegetables are broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage and cauliflower. If these vegetables are cooked in any way they are fine to eat. Soy in all forms are goitrogenic but the jury is still out in regards to fermented soy such as miso. It won't stop me from enjoying miso soup but it is advisable to avoid all forms of soy in hypothyroidism.
9. Consume organic foods as much as possible. - Some pesticides can interfere with iodine uptake by the thyroid. This means the ability of the thyroid to use the iodine is blocked by the pesticides. Shop with a list of the 'dirty dozen'. These fruits and vegetables should always be purchased organic unless the price is so high that you avoid buying and eating them all together.
10. Maintain daily exercise like walking - Exercise increases thyroid hormone levels and energy levels and therefore is essential for hypothyroidism.
Although FMTV has a quick miso recipe, I prefer this one as it has kombu seaweed in it which is good for my thyroid. This recipe is from Eating Alive by Dr. John Matsen. This book is a required book in the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition and as a bonus Dr. Matsen practises in North Vancouver! You can buy his book at bookstores and I have even found copies at Value Village.
Miso is a fermented food which contains probiotics. The kombu, kelp powder and sea salt provide plenty of minerals and iodine which is critical to thyroid health.
Miso Soup (Serves 4-6)
(use organic where possible)
6 cups purified water or stock
4-6 oz. seaweed (wakame or kombu are best)
1 large onion, chopped
2 carrots, sliced thin
2-3 stalks celery - chopped
1-2 vegetable bouillon cubes OR 1-2 tsp. vegetable broth powder
1-2 Tbsp. oil
1 tsp. parsley
1/2 tsp. sea salt
Several dashes kelp powder
1/3 cup dark miso
Saute the onions and vegetables in the oil in a large pot. Use a pot big enough to hold all the soup. When the vegetables are tender and slightly transparent, add the water, seaweed and all the rest of the soup ingredients except the miso. Let the soup cook on low heat and keep it covered and hot. *Remove 1 cup of broth from the soup and mix it with the miso. When the miso is dissolved into the broth, mix it with the rest of the soup and let the soup sit covered about 5-10 minutes so the flavours can mingle. Do not cook the miso; that would destroy valuable vitamins and enzymes. Serve the soup immediately when ready. Leftover soup can be reheated slightly, but never let the soup come to a boil.
*I have amended this part when I make it. I remove 2-3 cups into a big Pyrex measuring cup. I let it cool, add the miso, then blend the soup with a hand blender so it adds some body to the soup. I return this to the pot and waiting for the mingling.... Here's some a picture and comments about some ingredients that may be new to you.
I opened up the cupboard this morning to get a glass for my morning water and said, "Holy Crap! Are my glasses ever shiny!" I said this in my head as it was pretty early and didn't want to wake my husband or the dog. I'm not sure if the picture does them justice. It's like taking a picture of a sunset and later realize you should have bought the postcard.
Anyway, the reason I was so excited was I just bought this new dishwasher detergent that is natural and safe in an effort to detoxify my home. The dishwasher cubes were one of the last things I have reluctantly changed over as I was afraid I wouldn't get clean enough dishes. This is probably due to all those TV commercials where an evening can be ruined with spotty glasses. Below is a picture of what I am using now.
I bought this second pack yesterday from Save On Foods for $8.99 for 25 tablets but I think I got them cheaper at Country Grocer for around $6.99. Unfortunately, this is not a Canadian product. It is manufactured for Ecover in San Francisco and produced in Denmark. The symbols on the front and back indicate the following:
This recipe is from FMTV and serves 4. This warming bean stew is hearty, comforting and only takes moments to prepare.
(use organic ingredients where possible)
1 cup of cooked rice pasta. (I don't bother with the pasta, but I'm sure it's good.)
Go here to print this recipe: recipe_warming_bean_stew_with_sauted_kale.docx
This recipe is from FMTV. Check out the site, there are lots of great healthy recipes that are absolutely delicious. Store-bought versions of Satay Sauce are typically full of unwanted additives, including highly processed sugars, trans fats, and loads of sodium. I use Island Nut Roastery Peanut Butter which contain only peanuts and is made in Sydney, BC. You can buy it at Country Grocer on Bowen Road, Nanaimo
(use organic ingredients where possible)
In a small saucepan, heat the coconut milk on low, add the nut butter and the rest of the ingredients and stir until combined. Once heated and a creamy consistency has been reached, the sauce is ready.
1 cup steamed vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots)
1 cup soaked and cooked quinoa. Soak quinoa in water for at least 4 hours or overnight then strain and cook in boiling water for 12-15 minutes. Drain and serve.
If you have any leftover sauce, place in an airtight container in the fridge. Good for veggie dipping.
Don't use a microwave to heat up leftovers. Just place some water in a pot, put in a steamer and pack on the leftovers. Turn the stove on medium and cover with lid. The steam heats it through in less than 6 minutes and doesn't kill off all the goodness left in the food. Yummy.
I am a registered holistic nutritionist, open-minded vegan and cooking enthusiast.