Archive for detox

chia fresca may

chia fresca

It’s that time of the month again…no, not that one…resolution time! May’s resolution is extra special because it involves our very first product giveaway. You can enter to win one of my favorite wholesome breakfasts Chia Goodness Cereal by:

  1. Liking nu roots nutrition on Facebook (and hey why not twitter while you’re at it)
  2. Liking Ruth’s Hemp Foods on Facebook (maker of Chia Goodness Cereal)
  3. Telling me why you love chia seed or what type of recipe you love to use it in. Post it in the comments section below (on this blog post &/or on the Ruth’s Hemp Foods Facebook Page)

Please note that you must be in North America to enter (sorry to any of my new Euro followers).

May’s resolution is designed for your digestive system. It will keep you regular, (combating both constipation or diarrhea) boost your digestive system and provide a mild form of detoxification through the bowels. Hey, you might even shed some weight too! Just drink 1 glass (or jar) of chia fresca everyday!

Chia Fresca

Chia fresca is a Mexican beverage traditionally made with water, citrus, chia seed and a little sweetener (if needed).
As mentioned many times previously on my blog, chia seeds are my #1 fave source of fiber! A must for all, especially those of us who are pregnant and suffering the woes of a slowed digestive system…

Why it’s so amazing

First off, the sourness of the lemon will jump start the whole digestive process, just think about tasting it and you will start to salivate. This sets off a chain reaction of increased stomach acid, higher enzymatic output, and more bile purged from the liver – just trust me when I say this all translates to “better digestion and elimination”.

Secondly the chia seeds, an incredible source of water soluble fiber, cruise through the digestive tract sweeping up all the bile and giving it a first class ticket to the toilet where it belongs. Bile is our liver’s way of getting rid of toxins, old hormones and cholesterol – without enough water soluble fiber we just reabsorb all that gunk and it continues to circulate, yuck! This is why fiber is always recommended for those with high cholesterol. Also, it is great for weight loss because of many are carrying around a bunch of old poop in the bowels (as lovely as that sounds). I believe this chronic constipation may be due to the high gluten and dairy diet of North Americans, both of which can be extremely congesting on the gut.

And finally, superfood chia seed themselves get digested for all their amazing nutritional properties like anti-inflammatory, blood pressure reducing omega 3 fats. They also have more calcium than milk, more iron than spinach and a whole array of other essential nutrients like potassium, copper and zinc.

How to make chia fresca

  • 1 L pure water (ideally spring or filtered)
  • 2 tsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 to whole lemon, freshly juiced
  • few drops of liquid steva to sweeten (optional)

Mix all ingredients together in a 1 L jar or other container with a lid (so you can shake it). Let sit for 15 minutes, shaking occasionally and the chia will develop a gelatinous layer around it, so it slides down your throat nice and smooth. Drink throughout the day, though this is best enjoyed in the morning for maximum benefit.

I look forward to hearing all about your favorite uses for this amazing superfood in the comments below. Feel free to post a link to your favorite recipe if you have one! Don’t forget to follow all the contest rules and enter to win Chia Goodness Cereal!

Happy chia fresca May!!!

Here are the rules again. You can enter to win one of my favorite wholesome breakfasts Chia Goodness Cereal by:

  1. Liking nu roots nutrition on Facebook (and hey why not twitter while you’re at it)
  2. Liking Ruth’s Hemp Foods on Facebook (maker of Chia Goodness Cereal)
  3. Telling me why you love chia seed or what type of recipe you love to use it in. Post it in the comments section below (on this blog post &/or on the Ruth’s Hemp Foods Facebook Page)

Please note that you must be in North America to enter (sorry to any of my new Euro followers).

 

going organic

iStock_000016864235XSmall

Health savvy moms have you gone organic? Have you felt unsure of why or what it is that you actually get when you purchase something organic? Well you are not alone so we thought we should enlighten you on the matter.  The definition of organic foods are foods that are produced using methods that do not involve modern synthetic inputs such as pesticides and chemical fertilizers, they do not contain genetically modified organisms (GMO’s) and are not processed using irradiation, industrial solvents, or chemical food additives (Wikipedia).  Meaning that there is less ‘stuff’ in your produce, they typically contain more nutrients and taste a whole lot better. Plus did you know 60% of herbicides, 90% of fungicides, and 30% of insecticides are known carcinogens (cancer causing)?

Genetically modified foods are becoming more and more prevalent in our grocery stores.  The definition of a genetically modified food is organism whose genetic material has been modified by genetic engineering. For example it’s like inserting a gene from Arctic Char (a fish) into a strawberry so that it doesn’t freeze in the winter (hmm, our bodies aren’t used to fish with our strawberries, perhaps this isn’t such a good idea!). Common foods that predominately come GMO are corn, soy, canola, rice and cotton seed oil and unless otherwise specified (ie: labelled organic or non GMO) are probably GMO. Going organic is a way to ensure that what you are eating has not been genetically modified in any way. If the thought of this makes you uneasy, perhaps it is time to contact your MP and start demanding mandatory GMO labeling.

So what are the Canadian standards on what is considered at Organic product or produce? Here is an outline on organic product from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency:

  • Only products with organic content that is greater than or equal to 95% may be labelled as: “Organic” or bear the organic logo.
  • Multi-ingredient products with 70-95% organic content may have the declaration: “contains x% organic ingredients.” These products may not use the organic logo and/or the claim “Organic”.
  • Multi-ingredient products with less than 70% organic content may only contain organic claims in the product’s ingredient list. These products may not use the organic logo.

The fact of the matter is that organic farms have stricter guidelines then non-organic which ensure that health remains a top priority.  Organic farms are also far more sustainable making this an environmentally friendly decision. Protecting the quality, and volume of our top soil means protecting our life on this earth. Sadly, soil is diminishing at an alarming rate and we must do all we can to prevent this situation from getting worse. Eating organic also usually means we are helping to support smaller, local farms, and protecting the health of our farmers.

So what are the benefits? Organic produce tends to be higher in nutrients due to the quality of the soil they are grown. Most chemical fertilizers contain only nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. The elemental composition of the human body contains 26 minerals and unless we are taking supplements we need to get these minerals from food! Organics also tend to have higher anti-oxidant content such as flavonoids and polyphenols.  We need high levels of antioxidants in our diets to help combat all the free radical stress that our body endures, thus organic food helps our body heal more effectively.  Not only that, but organic produce tastes better, those nutrients give the food we eat flavour.

A study conducted looking at children who consumed a higher diet of non-organic versus organic that they had six times higher amounts of Organophosphorus (OP).  It has been indicated in other studies that chronic exposure to this pesticide may affect neurological functioning, neurodevelopment, and growth in children.

For those who want to go organic but feel it may be expensive here are a few rules for you to ease into the organic food world:

  • Follow the dirty dozen and clean fifteen rule.  These are lists that have been developed to identify which fruits and veggies are the safest to buy non-organic and those that absolutely should be organic as they are susceptible to the most contamination.  We have included these lists for you in case you were unaware however a good rule of thumb is that if you eat the skin or the produce in its entirety then it should probably be organic.  If it has a hard or thick casing then the chemical agents are less likely to penetrate the food making them a safer non- organic purchase.
  • If there are certain foods that you and your family eat all the time then these are the ones that you should consider making organic first.
  • If it is good enough for your children it’s good enough for you.  We have had so many moms tell us that they have a separate menu then that of their children because they are so passionate about giving their children the very best but fail to do that for themselves.  Lead by example of what a healthy diet is, they are watching what you are eating and how you are treating yourself.  Eat well, you deserve it!

Here are the dirty dozen, our additional “must buy organics” and pretty clean fifteen:

Dirty Dozen

  • Apples
  • Celery
  • Strawberries
  • Peaches
  • Spinach
  • Imported Nectarines
  • Imported Grapes
  • Sweet bell peppers
  • Blueberries
  • Domestic Potatoes
  • Lettuce
  • Kale/ Collard greens

Our important additions to the dirty dozen

  • Animal meats, eggs and dairy products – Organic meats are free from antibiotics, pesticides and hormones.  The animal is not fed genetically modified grain and are never fed animal by-products.  Also these animals have freedom to be outside making this a more humane (and cleanly) practice.
  • Baby food – Infants are more sensitive to pesticides due to the vulnerability of their nervous and immune systems.
  • Coffee – It is one of the most heavily pesticided crops on the planet, buy fair trade & organic if possible.
  • Tomatoes – As many as 30 different chemicals are sprayed on tomatoes, not to mention they are often genetically modified as well.
  • Soybeans & other soy products (milk, tempeh, tofu, miso, lecithin) – Almost always genetically modified.
  • Wheat – Often genetically modified. Also note that up to 75% of the germ may be removed from items labeled as “whole wheat” in Canada.
  • Canola – Often genetically modified.
  • Peanuts & Peanut butter – Peanuts absorb a large amount of toxins from the soil and can contain a mold called aflatoxin, a dangerous carcinogen (Goodbye Kraft, Jiffy and any other non-organic PB’s, plus these usually contain sugar and hydrogenated fats, the worst of the worst!!)
  • Bananas – Try to find fair trade organic bananas instead, as they are often shipped from long distances and sprayed with chemicals along the way to help them ripen.
  • Rice – Since many tend to eat so much of it, it is important to buy rice organically grown. Buy in bulk at health foods stores to save on packaging and cost.

Pretty Clean 15

  • Onions
  • Sweet corn
  • Pineapple
  • Avocado
  • Asparagus
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Sweet peas
  • Mangoes
  • Eggplants
  • Domestic Cantaloupe
  • Kiwi
  • Cabbage
  • Watermelon
  • Grapefruit
  • Mushrooms

Going organic is an important step in improving our health and food quality.  The food that we eat can be healing, as food is medicine, but we need to ensure that the food we eat is what nature intended.  We know that a common concern is its cost, but if you look around the grocery stores these days a growing number of organic foods available are very close in price to the non-organic option.  Furthermore, their are other costs that one must factor in such as your health, and the health of the planet. “Those who do not make health a priority now will have to make time for disease tomorrow” ~Unknown.  Food is healthy or harmful and small changes that you make today can impact your health and well-being positively in the years to come.

In great health & happiness,

Dr. Michelle Peris ND and Samantha Peris, Holistic Nutritionist

sam’s fave superfoods

goji, maca root, raw cacao, spirulina

Let’s face it, nearly every superfood is my “favorite” something or other…I may be a little over enthusiastic about them, but honestly, they are in fact really super. In general they are all known for their high antioxidant content, their ability to aid in detoxification, boost metabolism and help us maintain a healthy body weight. Note: some of these are what I would call “hardcore food nerd” superfoods, you are going to have to find these bad boys at health food & superfood shops…I may however post an “everyday grocery store superfoods” post soon though!

It was hard to narrow it down, but here we go:

  • Raw cacao(chocolate): Ok this one was obvious if you know me. Raw cacao has not been heat treated like commercial cacao powders, and therefore retains WAY more nutrition. It is the highest natural source of anti-stress mineral Magnesium, and a source of iron. You can get it as nibs (the whole bean crushed), a powder, or raw cacao butter for your skin or chocolate making. I can go on and on about this one (and I do in my 2 hour raw chocolate making class), but you really cant go wrong with raw cacao (sounds like kuh-kow):
    • most delicious food ever – check
    • 30x more antioxidants than blueberries – check
    • wonderful to add to smoothies, breakfasts, desserts or nearly every meal or snack – check
    • brings me joy like no other food on the planet – check
    • ‘nuff said!
  • Spirulina, chlorella, or other blue green algae: I call these my “whole food multivitamins” they are so nutrient packed that one tsp is like 2-3 servings of veggies for antioxidant content. I put 1 tbsp in my smoothie daily (you can start with less if the bright green colour freaks you out, but once you feel the energy this food provides, you will get over the alien-like appearance).
  • Coconuts: Young coconut water, raw coconut flakes and/or virgin coconut oil tend to make their way into my diet on a daily basis. Ok so maybe it is no where near “local” for us Canadians, but it sure is one of the healthiest foods on the planet. It is true that coconut oil is primarily saturated fat, but this kind of saturated fat is actually good for us! It is great for cooking as it can take more heat than polyunsaturated fats. It also boosts metabolism and kills yeast in the body. Young coconut water is a perfect electrolyte drink, so perfect it has been used for blood transfusions!
  • Hempseed: A fab source of our ever so important essential fatty acids (omega 3’s & 6‘s). Omega 3’s are anti-inflammatory, immune boosting, blood pressure reducing and hormone balancing. We need more 3‘s North America, so eat up! Use hemp seed on your breakfast, in smoothies, drink hemp milk or sprinkle on salads. They are an excelled vegetarian source of protein with loads of fibre to boot.
  • Chia seed:Yep, the same seed we used to plaster on ceramic animals and stick in the window sill (ch-ch-ch-chia). One word says it all – REGULAR. Seriously my fave source of fibre, the good kind that helps pull toxins out the body and well, ensures a regular morning visit to the can. Another fabulous benefit of chia is that it helps to regulate blood sugar (type 2 diabetes is on the rise every year). Try it in smoothies, on breaky or in water with fresh squeezed lemon (just shake it up before you swig).

    hemp, chia and flax seed

  • Unpasteurized honey: Loaded in B-Vitamins, our energy spark plugs, raw enzymes to help us digest and the taste is unsurpassed by any other sweetener (in my opinion). Use as a sugar sub by using 1/2 to 3/4 cup honey per 1 cup of sugar in your recipe, and reduce other liquids in the recipe by 1/2 cup per 1 cup of honey. It is also a natural anti-microbial and is great for coughs & colds. Please don’t feed to kids under 1 for risk of botulism.
  • Goji berries: They look like little red raisins, but pack a nutritional punch. Again, crazy high in antioxidants and for this reason have been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for thousands of years. I eat them by the handful, in trail mixes, in my breakfast porridge, or even throw them in my water or tea.
  • Golden berries (Incan berries): The highest protein berry (16%). They are tart yet sweet, making them the best healthy substitute for sour candies. I prefer to eat them solo, but many others enjoy them in a trail mix or with other dried superfood berries.
  • Maca root powder: A fabulous hormone balancer, libido booster, fertility enhancer, also used for strength and endurance for athletes (or the Incas back in the day). It comes from the cruciferous veggie family, a root similar to a radish that is dried, then ground to a powder. Again I would throw 1 tsp – 1tbsp in a smoothie, or add to raw chocolate bars.
  • Kelp: Seaweeds are our highest source of iodine, which runs the thyroid and boosts our metabolism. They also help to pull heavy metals like mercury out of the body. I find the easiest way to integrate seaweeds into my diet is by sprinkling a little kelp powder into savory sauces, dressings and soups. We only need a little bit every day.
  • Matcha green tea powder: I was only going to do 10, but I couldn’t leave out the all mighty matcha. Matcha is powdered green tea leaves, with TONS more antioxidants than regular steeped green tea. It also boosts metabolism, keeps cholesterol in check, regulates blood sugar, detoxes and alkalizes the body. I try and start nearly every day with a delicious nut milk (usually almond) matcha green tea latte, add a few drops of french vanilla liquid stevia (a zero calorie, all natural sweeter)…deeeee-lish!

Stay tuned for more ideas and recipes on how to use these glorious foods.

Also check out David Wolfe, superfood guru, for additional info via videos and books.

I’d love to hear about how you use your fave superfoods below :)

pre-preggers detox

couple in bed

If you are fortunate enough to have the time to plan prior to baby making, I would seriously consider taking a year to get your body in ship-shape. Yes, 1 year of eating clean, doing a detox or two and really stocking up on nutrition before the lil ones start to steal the goods from you.

We all know that our world is growing ever more toxic and with cancer moving up to the #1 killer of Canadians (yikes!) it is time to start seriously thinking about how our bodies are able to deal with the thousands of chemicals we are exposed to daily. Therefore, detox really is important to us all (whether you are makin’ babies or not).

Detoxification can seem like a scary term to those who think it means all you can consume is water with lemon and cayenne. There are sooo many different kinds of detoxs and cleanses and if you have not attempted any in the past, here are a few really gentle ways to start:

  • Eat as “clean” as you can. Eat organic and avoid as much packaged and refined food as possible. Try to avoid congesting foods like sugar, flour (especially gluten containing) and large quantities of dairy.
  • Buy organic body care products and green cleaners for around the house.
  • Deep breathing and yoga can be extremely cleansing. Try breathing in for a count of 4, holding for a count of 7 and breathing out slowly for a count of 8, 4 times in a row, 2x/day.
  • Dry skin brushing to stimulate the lymphatic system. This has the added benefit of decreasing cellulite as well. Check out this video to see how it is done.
  • Support the liver with herbs, try some herbal teas like milk thistle or dandelion root. Careful as some herbs can interact with prescription med’s.
  • Eat superfoods like seaweeds (try kelp powder on savory foods), spirulina and chlorella or liquid chlorophyll.
  • Add lemon to your water. This helps the liver purge bile, our body’s way of getting rid  of toxins
  • Increase your consumption of fibre using superfoods like chia seeds to pull those toxins out through the bowels. You definitely want to ensure you are pooping to detox effectively (to put it bluntly).
  • Infrared saunas can be a great way of sweating out toxins. Make sure to avoid wearing antiperspirants that contain aluminum and prevent this process. This has been said to be a contributing factor to breast cancer, so please natural deodorants (or none) only.

A word of caution: Please consult a natural healthcare practitioner prior to starting a detoxification protocol, there is no doubt detoxes can do more harm then good if they are not done properly or if your body is unable to handle it due to an existing health condition. I highly recommend seeing a qualified holistic nutritionist (I happen to know a good one ;)) or a Naturopathic Doctor. Also do not start detoxifying while you are actively trying to get pregnant (or are breast feeding). The last thing we want to do is stir up toxins only to be “dumped” on the poor lil babe.

If you however were not so fortunate to have a year to prep, no worries, this post is by no means meant to make you feel guilty. It is never too late to start making little changes that will effect the health of your whole family. Like eating real food – that comes from the earth!