Warren Buffet Diet

Don’t listen to Warren Buffet. Well, maybe consider his wealth management strategies, but please, for the love of your long-term health, ignore anything this man has to say about your diet. On Monday, the 85-year old Chairman of Berkshire-Hathaway, a principle investor in Coca-Cola, shared that his happiness from drinking soda outweighs his enjoyment from consuming fruits and vegetables. “I elect to get my 2600 or 2700 calories per day from foods that makes me feel good” said the renowned tycoon at his company’s annual meeting. Buffet’s comments were echoed by his 92 year-old vice chairman, Charles Munger. Munger suggested that people are making a “ghastly error” in avoiding cola as a significant and helpful source of hydration. God help us. Munger went on to say, ‘people have to drink eight or more glasses of water per day, and adding flavor to some of those drinks is a benefit.’ No Charles Munger, that is not in fact correct. Refined sugar, colouring and artificial flavouring agents have been implicated in the perpetuation of chronic disease such as diabetes and cancer. Nice try though.

At 85, Buffet’s genetic jackpot is akin to a trust fund recipient frivolously spending through their inheritance. They may look like they are worth a Billion bucks, but it doesn’t mean they earned it. Buffet’s recent comments are not the first time he has acknowledged his love of junk food. In response to a Forbes article in 2015, blogger Molly Fitzpatrick tried her hand at what she coined, Buffet’s 6-year-old diet. While her account was amusing, her own physiological limitations were clearly noted. A similar experiment was documented in Eric Schlosser’s New York Times bestseller, Fast Food Nation. (Spoiler alert, the average person simply cannot eat like Warren Buffet). 

My practices focus on entrepreneurs and go-getters. They come to see me because they universally understand that their ability to perform, to achieve and to lead, is proportional to the quality of their health. The unfair advantage of these people is not a genetic predisposition; it is a deliberate and consistent investment in their health, their body and their life. Recently, a friend, and owner of a high-end clothing store in Toronto, was telling me about the spending practices of her clients. She was perplexed by my surprise that a significant proportion of her cliental divide their purchases among various credit cards and bank accounts. In some cases she noted that they return a few days later to ‘complete their outfit’ once their credit card cycle had renewed. Surprise was an understatement, I was shocked, but I shouldn’t have been. Routinely I see new clients who have been managing their lifestyle choices through medication. Metformin for diabetes, Uloric for gout and statins to control their high cholesterol. They don’t consider themselves unhealthy; in fact many of these patients come in because they are looking to optimize their energy or libido. There is a blissful ignorance about the connection between how they want to feel and the choices they are making. They are expecting superhuman performance, while holding onto their Kryptonite.

At the end of the day, we all control what we eat and how we live. If the consequences of this mindset were really that insular, I couldn’t care less about Buffet’s preponderance for a Coca-Cola cleanse. The reality however, is that just as irresponsible investment structures can lead to systemic economic collapse, lifestyle choices, temporarily spared through pharmacological support, are simply delaying the inevitable bankruptcy of our entire healthcare infrastructure.

I respect Buffet’s intelligence, strategic vision and financial acumen, but I implore him to end his diatribe related to diet and soda. Perhaps if his net worth were more closely aligned the preventative health, we would hear him espousing a different dietary discourse.

“There is nothing wrong with a ‘know nothing’ investor who realizes it. The problem is when you are a ‘know nothing’ investor but you think you know something.” Warren Buffet

You may choose to follow Buffet’s investment and nutritional advice, but in an attempt to manage your expectations, I think it goes without saying, that his results on both fronts are not typical.

Dr.MegsSignature

 

Spring cleaning bad habits

For the majority of us, our New Year’s resolutions are a distant memory. Approximately 92% of people who make resolutions fail with their intention to kick a nasty habit, eat better or exercise by the time spring comes around.  So if you’re one of the 8% who have succeeded, way to go!!!! And for the rest of you, I’m here to help. 

Our habits have a major impact on our lives and we often associate them as being negative, but with a little extra effort and consistency, you can make your habits work for you. When we repeatedly perform a specific task, a neurological pathway is formed in our brain. This allows us to easily navigate situations without having to think creatively about a solution. It’s like riding a bike. It’s hard in the beginning but eventually with enough practice it becomes second nature. 

So in order to help you make your habits work for you we’ve got some spring cleaning to do first. Out with the old, in with the new!  Here are 3 tips to help you conquer any bad habits that are holding you back from being your most awesome self.

1) Get To Know Your Habit

The first step is acknowledging that it exists. The next step is getting to know it and it’s deepest darkest secrets. Find out what triggers it and the ways it negatively effects you. Understanding your relationship with your habit will help to empower you in conquering it. For example: Let’s say that every time you find yourself super stressed out you find comfort in polishing off a bag of chips (you’re not alone, it happens). A habit that only leaves you feeling guilty with a bad case of gut rot. Acknowledging this trigger and becoming aware of the consequences will help you make a better decision next time you find yourself in that situation.

2) Slow & Steady Wins the Race

Don’t try and overhaul your entire life at once. Focus on one habit at a time. Keeping it simple leads to small victories that create a momentum that will grow into big results! If you set the goal too big, your lazy brain will rebel in order to save energy (it really hates change, even if it’s the best thing for it). Creating changes so small that they seem trivial helps avoid a rebellious brain. To your brain, it’s all about perception. Classic example: If you want to start going to bed earlier because your 2 am bedtime leaves you with a sloth-like energy in the morning, start with setting your bedtime 15 minutes earlier to start off and increase by an additional 15 minutes each week until you’re hitting the sack at your ideal bedtime. If you are a 2:00am Netflix grinder and your ideal bedtime is 10:00pm, your brain isn’t going to be too keen on a 4 hours transition right off the bat. Ease into it.

3) Create Accountability

Once you’ve chosen the simple habit that you want to ditch, you have to commit to changing it. Some people are great at holding themselves accountable, but if you’re not one of them, don’t fret. Here’s a few creative ways to create accountability: 

– Share your goals with friends, family or co-workers. Perhaps they will want to join in, but even just talking about your goals can sometimes make them more “real”.

– Join a community or facebook group.

– Recruit an accountability buddy who wants to rock this with you. You can keep each other on track.

– Reward yourself. Pay yourself each time you achieve your goal or avoid falling into your bad habit. The money will add up, the pounds will fall off and you’ll have saved enough cash to take a trip to a sunny beach to show off your hot new body!

– Invest in yourself by seeking out a professional to keep you on track and support you along the way.

– Write yourself a contract. Outline the details of your goals, how you plan on achieving them and set dates. Get a loved-one to witness and sign it with you.

Spring is a perfect time to clean out what we no longer have use for, in our lives and our homes. Making simple changes can have huge impacts on our lives. 

” We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit” – Aristotle

In health & good habits, 

Heather

 

 

Gorgeous young Women preparing dinner in a kitchen concept cooki

You’re busy. I get it. You might even be too busy to read this, so I’ll get straight to the point. Being unhealthy is one of the fastest ways to derail your productivity which can spell disaster if combined with a jam-packed schedule. So to help you out, I’ve created these 5 meal planning hacks to help you stay healthy with a busy schedule.

1. Cook One, Eat Three

My “Cook one, Eat 3″ rule is all about working smarter, not harder. It involves cooking dinner, eating some of the leftovers for lunch the next day and then freezing the rest for quick meals later on in the week (or the following week). Start cooking as if your family is twice the size it is to ensure you’ve got leftovers to fuel you on those long, crazy days when time gets tight. Planning ahead is a game changer. If your schedule is going to get crazy mid-week but you have a little window of time on sunday night, make a double batch of your sunday dinner and keep those leftovers handy. In short, you need to befriend batch cooking.

2. Lunch thy leftovers

As part of the “Cook One, Eat 3″ rule, get into the routine of packing up your lunch as you plate up your dinner. This creates no-brainer lunches that are ready to rock when you jet out the door in the morning. Not a fan of leftovers? Make it a whole new dish by adding a new ingredient to jazz it up! Tossing in a little goat cheese, pesto, olives or fresh herbs will put some life back into even the lamest leftovers.

3. Arm Yourself with 5 Go-To Recipes

Sometimes half the battle is simply knowing what to make. Remove the guesswork by having 5 recipes on hand that you can whip up in under 20 minutes. Bookmark them in your favourite cookbook, write down the classic dishes you know by heart, make a note in your phone, write them out in a list and post it on your fridge or make a pinterest board. Whichever way you choose to do it, keep it simple and easy to reference. I’m talking super simple meals like my go-to eggs and greens, grilled fish with a side of sauteed kale, brain boosting salad nicoise or sliced avocado on toast and a side of vegetables with hummus.

4. Banish Barriers

If the thought of having to wash, chop, measure and cook leaves you dialling for delivery, get that stuff out of the way before hand. Pencil these tasks into your weekly grocery run to ensure that these barriers are eliminated well before you turn into a hangry monster after a long day. Pre-wash and chop your fruits & veggies, combine any spice mixtures needed for your 5 go-to recipes and portion out your proteins ahead of time. This will help put dinner on your table faster than it would take that pizza to get to your door. 

5. Dial Delivery

If cooking your own meals simply isn’t realistic or you’re just not that into it, be real about it. Accept the fact that taking on these tasks just isn’t going to happen. That’s absolutely fine! Don’t feel guilty about it and then continue to make unhealthy food choices while telling yourself that ‘next week’ you’ll do a better job. My motto: if you dread it, outsource it. But let’s be clear, I’m not telling you to order up a triple cheese pizza. There are lots of options for having fresh & nutritious foods delivered right to your door. If you truly can’t do it on your own, consider ordering wholesome pre-made meals or getting your groceries delivered (it’s cheaper and easier than you think). Some companies even offer recipe cards with all the ingredients included, for those of you who still want to throw on your chef hat from time to time.

Here are a few of my favourite places that are dishing up the healthiest (and tastiest) eats in Toronto:

Pre-made meals: Kupfert & Kim, The Goods, Impact Kitchen, Fresh & The Green Zebra Kitchen.

Grocery Delivery: Fresh City Farms, Momma Earth Organics & The Healthy Butcher

Planning is your best defence against meal-time stress. Sometimes life throws you a curveball and your schedule gets the best of you, but a little bit of pre-planning can make all the difference when it comes to keeping your health goals on track. 

In health & happy meal planning, 

Heather

Foolproof Smoothie Guide

My name is Heather Allen. I am a Holistic Nutritionist and a terrible smoothie maker. I always feel like a big time failure when I confess that to people. It just seems like such a crucial skills to have as a Nutritionist. But it turns out I just wasn’t born to blend (or so I thought). After years of admiring my fellow nutritionists sipping away on their blended masterpieces, I made it my mission to make peace with my blender. Because if there is one motto I live by, it’s that sometimes you just have to try a little bit harder.

So after much trial and error (mugs of mud or gritty glasses of goop) I have crafted the perfect formula for making your smoothies awesome! So if you’ve banished smoothies from your routine because of their less than perfect texture, flavour or colour, it’s time to dust off your blender and try again. 

Fool Proof Smoothie Formula:

Liquid + Fruit + Greens + Protein + Fat = Awesome

Liquid: 1-2 Cups

Water, coconut water, dairy-free milks (almond, hemp, rice, coconut etc.) or chilled tea.

Why? Because you need a liquid- obviously
*Pop in a few ice cubes if you want it thicker.

Fruit (fresh or frozen) ½-1 Cup

Raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, all the berries, banana, mango, orange, kiwi, pineapple, pear, peaches, grapes etc…

Why? Fruit is a great source of vitamins, carbohydrates and antioxidant goodness. Bonus: the natural sweetness is going to make it super tasty.

*Want it creamy? Toss in mango, banana or avocado.

Greens (1-2 Cups)

Kale, spinach, romaine lettuce, mixed greens.

Why? Greens provide you with a variety of vitamins, fibre to regulate digestion and alkalizing minerals for optimal health.

Protein (1 serving or 1-2 Tbsp)

Protein powder (plant-based or grass-fed whey), pumpkin, hemp or chia seeds, almonds or almond butter, sesame seeds or tahini paste.

Why? Protein helps to balance blood sugar, keep you fuller longer and provides you with some other awesome benefits that you can read about here.

Fats (1-2 tbsp)

Avocado, coconut oil, ghee, flax or hemp oil, hemp seeds or walnuts.

Why? Fats are awesome for brain health, reducing inflammation and keeping you full. Not to mention they make things taste awesome!

*Bonus Superfoods (1 tsp – 1 Tbsp)

Goji berries, maca, spirulina, chlorella, bee pollen, cacao powder etc.

Why? These foods pack a serious nutritional punch! So if you’ve conquered the basics and you’re ready to take your smoothie to the next level, toss in one of these guys. Bee pollen is one of my favourites!

Now everyone has different tastes so it could take a few tries to find something that tickles your fancy. But if you follow these guidelines, I have no doubt you’re going to be sipping awesome smoothies in no time! Not sure where to start? I’ve got you covered. Here’s one of my go-to recipes to get your smoothie party started:

Creamy Raspberry Chiller
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Ingredients
  1. 2/3 Cup of Frozen Raspberries
  2. ½ Banana
  3. 2 handfuls of spinach (or other greens)
  4. 1 Cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
  5. 1 Tbsp Hemp Seeds
  6. 1 Scoop of Protein Powder
  7. 2+ ice cubes (to desired consistency)
Instructions
  1. Toss everything in the blender, give it a whirl and enjoy!
Meghan Walker, ND http://www.meghanwalker.com/
 

I am back. After a much needed mini mat-leave, I am back in the office and ready for action. Life is busy and we are taking it day by day. If there is one thing I have learned since starting back, it is that this one thing can make the difference between making it or breaking it. Here is my secret to staying healthy, balancing work and staying present for my family (or at least trying to).

Momentum.Screenshot

Check out my secret sauce here.

Health & hustle,

Dr.MegsSignature

 

 

5 Roles of Protein

We often associate protein with beefy muscle-men who spend their days in the gym pumping iron, but protein is an essential component to our overall health for a variety of reasons. It is the 2nd most abundant molecule in the body (second only to water) and makes up for approximately 20% of our body weight as a primary component of hair, skin, nails, eyes, muscles and internal organs. But since you’re a smart gluten-free cookie and you probably already knew that, I wanted to share with you 5 things you may not know about protein.

Immunity
Your body uses the amino acids that make up proteins to create antibodies. And antibodies kick ass. Literally. These Y shaped proteins attach themselves to invaders (bacteria, viruses, etc…) and either destroys them itself or sends a message for back-up to get the job done and protect you from getting sick. So if you are constantly a sniffling Sally, you may want to boost you protein intake.

Baby Making
If you are expecting: A) congrats & B) eat some protein. The amino acids from protein are the building blocks of human tissue. So if you’re creating a human, you need the raw materials. Welcome to your role of contractor, Momma!

Hormonal Balance
Proteins are used in the formation of certain hormones. Think of your physical body as an orchestra where hormones are the conductors. These conductors influence our physical, mental and emotional well-being by controlling how our cells function the same way a conductor instructs musicians. Lack of protein in ones diet can lead to hormonal imbalances causing our beautiful symphony to turn into a disorganized, ear bleeding mess. Things like appetite, metabolism, stress, sleep and even our ability to be happy is regulated by hormones so do yourself a favour and feed your conductors.

Happiness
Eating in general makes me pretty happy, but protein has a serious biological effect on your mood. Serotonin and dopamine, the hormones that regulate your mood, are made from the amino acids found in protein. Without these essential building blocks, you may find yourself feeling like a bit of a Debbie downer. And that’s cool. We all have our days but maybe try boosting your protein intake a wee bit if it becomes a routine.

Weight Loss
Studies have found that protein has the ability to support weight loss in a few different ways. It has been shown to increase the release of a gut hormone called Peptide YY. This hormone makes you feel fuller, longer therefore reducing caloric intake and also helps to reduce adiposity (fancy word for body fat). Studies have also shown that a high protein meal helps to suppress levels of Grehlin (the hunger hormone) longer than a high carbohydrate meal.

So basically:
High levels of Grehlin = Hungry bear

Low levels Grehlin = No hungry Bear

But keep in mind that you don’t need to chow down on Fred Flinstone sized T-bone steaks to have a diet rich in protein. Focus on high quality foods from a variety of sources such as nuts, seeds, veggies, beans, rice, quinoa, lentils, meats, tempeh and of course one of my favourites, eggs. And as always, keep it balanced!

Here’s my favourite protein packed recipe for my Garden Party Crustless Quiche. It’s versatile for a quick and easy breakfast, lunch or dinner when time is tight.

In health & happy eats,
Heather

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With approximately 120,000 new cases diagnosed in Canada every year, Irritable Bowel Syndrome has become the most common diagnosis handed out by Gastroenterologists. But just as the condition is becoming more and more common, so are the misconceptions about this elusive condition.

Here are the 4 Most Common Misconceptions about IBS.

Misconception #1: IBS defines a specific condition

By definition, IBS is a chronic functional disorder of the colon that is of unknown etiology. It is often associated with abnormal intestinal motility and increased sensitivity to visceral pain that is characterized by symptoms of bloating, passage of mucous in stools, abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation or both. Because the etiology is unknown, a diagnosis of IBS is a diagnosis of the symptoms, not the cause. Being diagnosed with ISB should be viewed as a starting point as it requires further investigation into the root cause of the symptoms in order to determine the proper course of treatment.

Misconception #2: There is one specific cause of IBS

There are many and often multiple issues that contribute to the symptoms of IBS. Some examples include SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth), food sensitivities, infections, medications and visceral hypersensitivity. These factors can disrupt the gastrointestinal tract and cause very similar symptoms. Because of these overlapping symptoms, pinpointing the root cause can be difficult and often requires multiple tests and the support of a qualified health practitioner.

Misconception #3: There’s a test for that

Just as there is no single cause, there is no single test for IBS. Because there are no physical signs to definitively diagnose IBS, diagnosis typically occurs through the process of elimination and a checklist of symptoms. With IBS, the bowels appear normal but do not function normally, leaving biopsies and imagery tests, such as colonoscopies or ultrasounds, useful only in ruling out conditions with visual distinctions such as Celiac disease, polyps or tumors. Each patient’s IBS is as unique as his or her fingerprints, requiring a very personalized approach to testing based on symptoms and triggers.

Misconception #4: There’s a diet for that

This common misconception is actually partially true. There is a diet for those suffering from IBS but there is not a single diet for everyone. Foods commonly known to trigger IBS symptoms include dairy, gluten, legumes and foods high in fermentable carbohydrates called FODMAPs. Much promise has been shown in those who have eliminated these common triggers, but what works for one person, may not work for others. Each individual must cater to their unique situation and determine which foods work best for them through elimination and provocation or food sensitivity testing.

It can all seem pretty frustrating but there is good news. Working with a qualified health practitioner who will take the time to evaluate your unique health history, can help you determine the root cause of YOUR IBS and create a customized treatment plan to help you get your life back. In recent years, nutritional research has grown leaps and bounds to support those suffering from IBS and help them not only in managing their symptoms but also in healing their digestive system.

If you’d like to learn more about this and the nutritional strategies I use to support clients suffering from IBS, join me on Tuesday March 1 @ 8:00pm EST for a free webinar.

 

Roasted Rosemary Holidays Veggies

The Holidays: They bring us together with family and friends, allow us to take a break from our regular 9 to 5’s to sit back, relax and dream about all the amazing things we are going to accomplish in the coming new year. But if there is one thing that the holidays don’t typically bring, it’s colour. I’m not talking about the reds, greens and golds we decorate our homes and Christmas trees with. I’m talking about the colours that are often missing from our holiday dinner plates. It’s something I like to call “The Holiday Hues of Beige”.

Take a minute and envision a typical holiday dinner. Turkey (beige), mashed potatoes (white/beige), gravy (brown/beige), stuffing (golden beige), buns (beige/white) and so on. Now sometimes there is a vegetable dish, but it’s typically something underwhelming that people put on their plate, simply to be polite. And then they poke at it and push it to the side before heading for a second helping of those homemade dinner buns. Now as much as I like holiday traditions, this is one we can all do without. 

This recipe for Rosemary Roasted Holiday Veggies brings a punch of colour and phytonutrients to your nap-inducing plate of beige. In this recipe, I give you permission to get creative and add your favourite veggies. Let loose and toss in your favourite root veggies, brussels sprouts, carrots, fennel or parsnips. Get colourful and get creative. However, I will say beets are a must in this dish. They are one of my favourite veggies. I juice them, shred them on salads, add them to soups and use them as a natural food dye to make pretty red/pink hummus, dips, smoothies and even desserts like my Coconut Amaretto Love Bites.

I’m not asking you to ditch all the beige, I’m simply suggesting you try to balance out that visually and nutritionally bland plate by loading up on some colourful veggies. After all, the holiday season only comes around once a year. Enjoy it.

In health & love, 

Heather Allen, CNP, RNCP

Heather_Allen.RNCP

 

 

 

Roasted Rosemary Holiday Vegetables
Serves 6
Add a punch of colour and phytonutrients to your holiday's dinner plate with this super simple and crowd-pleasing side dish.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. 3 Cups Cubed Beets
  2. 3 Cups of Cubed Carrots (or your favourite holiday veggies- Brussels sprouts, Fennel, Parsnip etc...)
  3. 3 Tbsp Coconut oil
  4. 1 Tsp of Dried rosemary
  5. 2-3 Cloves of Garlic, minced
  6. 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
  7. 1/2 tsp Cracked Pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Place coconut oil in small heat-safe bowl and place on top of stove to melt from the heat of the preheating oven.
  3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, add beets and carrots.
  5. Once the coconut oil has melted, pour over beet and carrots.
  6. Add garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper and toss until coated.
  7. Spread evenly over parchment lined baking sheet and place in oven.
  8. Roast for approximately 45 minutes, stirring once half-way through.
Notes
  1. *Cooking times may vary, once you see a nice crisp on the corners and the beets are easily pierced with a fork, you're ready to eat!
Meghan Walker, ND http://www.meghanwalker.com/

 

 

 

 

Chocolate Orange Pistachio Bark

The Holiday season is synonymous with over-indulgence and diet derailing treats, dinners and desserts. But who says that your ‘treats’ can’t be just as health promoting as your salads? The key to keeping our health goals on track (during the Holidays and beyond) isn’t about eliminating all the fun, it’s about choosing the right ingredients and indulging wisely.

To touch on this, let’s have a look at the ingredients of one of the most popular smackable holiday chocolate treats, Terry’s Chocolate Orange. 

Ingredients:
Sugar, Cocoa Butter, Cocoa Mass, Dried Skimmed Milk, Dried Whey (from Milk), Milk Fat, Vegetable Fats (Palm, Shea), Emulsifier (Soya Lecithin), Flavourings (Orange Oil, Vanillin), Milk Solids 14% minimum, Cocoa Solids 25% minimum, Contains Vegetable Fats in addition to Cocoa Butter.

Honest to Betsy, I have no idea why they have to make something as simple as chocolate, so complicated. Here’s a little rundown on why these ingredients make my tummy turn:

Vegetable fats: Sounds healthy because vegetables are good for you, right? Not so much. These fats are typically coming from GMO crops like soybean, palm, canola, corn or cotton seed oils. These oils are highly refined/processed (hello, trans-fats) and contain high amounts of Omega 6 fatty acids which become inflammatory when consumed in excess. And believe me, we get an excess. These cheaply manufactured oils are hiding in everything. Steer clear of this on your ingredient labels.

Dried Skim Milk, Dried Whey, Milk Fat, Milk Solids: This sounds like a science experiment gone way wrong. It seems as though milk was deconstructed in a lab, processed, then put back together in weird concentrations until food scientists decided it was tasty enough to sell. It’s like Franken-dairy! Besides the fact that this is just creepy, dairy itself can be highly inflammatory and wreak havoc on your system by disrupting hormonal balance, digestion and creating a boat load of troubles for your ability to control appetite. One study found that dairy created a higher insulin response than white bread! Having high levels of insulin circulating in the bloodstream leads to an inability to regulate appetite (constant carb cravings sound familiar?), increased fat storage around the mid-section and an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes and fatty liver disease. Turns out, dairy doesn’t do the body good. 

Vanillin: This artificial vanilla flavouring has been known to cause headache, nausea and allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. My recommendation: Keep it real and stick to Mother Natures version, the vanilla bean.

But don’t fret my friends, if you love the seasonal combination of orange & chocolate as much as I do, I’ve got you covered with this dairy-free, refined sugar-free & junk free recipe. Not only is this recipe free of creepy ingredients, it also has some health promoting superfoods like mineral rich raw-cacao, brain boosting coconut oil and blood sugar balancing nuts and seeds.

Chocolate Orange Holiday Bark
Serves 15
This recipe is so simple! It's got all the crunch, chew, sweet and savoury needed to satisfy whatever you're in the mood for.
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Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 Cup Raw Cacao Powder
  2. 1/2 Cup Coconut Oil
  3. 1/4 Cup Maple Syrup
  4. 1/4 Cup Pistachios
  5. 1/4 Cup Pumpkin Seeds
  6. 1/4 Cup Dried Mulberries or Cranberries
  7. 1 Heaping Tbsp of Orange Zest
  8. Pinch of Sea Salt
Instructions
  1. Line baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Add coconut oil to medium saucepan and melt over low heat.
  3. Remove from heat and whisk in maple syrup and cocao powder until well combined.
  4. Stir in HALF of the remaining ingredients. (Pistachios, Pumpkin seeds, Mulberries, Orange zest)
  5. Pour mixture over the parchment lined baking sheet and use a spatula to spread it out evenly to a 1/2-1/4 inch thickness.
  6. Sprinkle remaining ingredients on top.
  7. Place the baking sheet in the freezer for approx. 15 minutes until the chocolate is hard.
  8. Once the chocolate has set, remove from baking sheet, break into chunks and enjoy!
  9. Store in an airtight container in the fridge/freezer until ready to eat.
Notes
  1. Need a nut-free version? Omit the pistachios and substitute hemp seeds, sunflower seeds or additional add in pumpkin seeds or mulberries.
  2. Can't do cacao? Swap out the cacao for carob powder for a stimulant-free treat.
Meghan Walker, ND http://www.meghanwalker.com/

 

 

 

Nicoise Salad

When we eat unhealthy foods, we know exactly what types of gastrointestinal symptoms to expect. The gas, bloating, cramps and other bathroom woes come as no surprise after an indulgent meal with a triple helping of overconsumption. But we often forget to consider the effects our food choices have on other bodily system, such as our brains.

Mental clarity is one of those things that often goes unappreciated until we have one of those frustrating days when feel as though we would lose our head if it wasn’t attached. But it’s important to understand that brain fog, mood swings and a decline in cognitive function can be a direct result of poor nutrition. In fact, the rapidly developing field of nutritional psychiatry, is finding promise in taking a nutritional approach in the prevention and treatment of mental health issues. 

Our brains work overtime, all day, everyday until death do us part. Weighing in at a mere 3 lbs, this hard working organ is responsible for burning approximately 20% of our daily caloric intake. If you expect it to work properly, you have to fuel it properly. So to help you support your little mastermind, I’ve created this super simple brain boosting Nicoise Salad. If you can hard-boil an egg, you’ve got all the skills needed to pull off this recipe. Even my junk-food junkie partner can tackle this one.

Here are a few reasons why your thinker is really going to love it:

Both fish & eggs are great sources of complete proteins. They provide the body with the necessary amino acids for the production of neurotransmitters, the chemical messengers that send signals from one brain cell to another.

Egg yolks rank as one of the highest dietary sources of the important brain boosting nutrient, choline. It supports brain function by maintaining healthy cell membranes and as a precursor for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, responsible for memory and concentration.

Salmon (anchovies or sardines) is also a great sources of Omega 3 fatty acids, which are an essential component of cell membranes and play a vital role in cognitive function. If you want your brain to run like a well oiled machine, be sure to lubricate it with these beautiful healthy fats. 

This salad is a great combination of carbohydrates, fats, protein and is packed with nutrients thanks to all those vibrant colors. The best part: you can enjoy it in under 20 minutes and even make it ahead for fuss-free lunches.

Salad Nicoise
Serves 2
This super simple salad is a breeze to create and has some major brain boosting nutrients to keep you on top of your game. It's a perfect balance of carbohydrates, fats and protein to help you beat the mid-day slump.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 head of romaine lettuce (or greens of choice)
  2. 1 handful of green beans (approx.20 beans)
  3. 2 eggs
  4. 1/2 cup shredded purple cabbage
  5. 10 cherry tomatoes, sliced
  6. 10 Olives
  7. 1/4 cup red onion, sliced
  8. 1 Can of Salmon, anchovies or sardines
For the dressing
  1. 2 Tbsp Olive oil
  2. 2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  3. 1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
  4. Pinch of salt & pepper to taste.
Instructions
  1. In medium saucepan, bring 4 cups of water to a boil over high heat
  2. Add green beans and quickly blanche until tender (approx. 3 minutes)
  3. Remove green beans, run under cool water and set aside
  4. In the same pot, add eggs and reduce heat to medium-low
  5. Hard-boil eggs for 5-7 minutes (or longer to reach desired doneness)
  6. Once cooked, run eggs under cold water and set aside to cool
  7. Combine all other ingredients into a large salad bowl
  8. Once cooled, peel the eggs, slice into quarters and add to the bowl
For the Dressing
  1. Whisk all ingredients in a small bowl and drizzle over salad
  2. Enjoy!
Meghan Walker, ND http://www.meghanwalker.com/