Nourishing Cup of No-Jo

As you may know I have a reaction every time I have coffee and so now have sworn to not have it for a very long time (never say never). So to fill that void of a comforting warm cup of Jo, I have found the wonderful Kickstart formula by Harmonic Arts made on Vancouver Island which is pretty awesome!! Kickstart has a medley of cacao, chaga mushroom, maca, dandelion root and more! I was skeptical but it is actually much tastier than other coffee subs I have tried.


Here I wanted to share my favourite way of enjoying this magical coffee  replacement when I have some extra time, this is also good to replace a traditional hot chocolate, or make it a latte by adding more heated frothy almond milk!


What you’ll want:

  • 2-3 dates with pits removed ( I like these ones pictured the best, found them at fairways if you’re in victoria)
  • 1/4 – 1/3 cup of organic unsweetened almond milk or nondairy milk
  • 1 tsp organic virgin coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp organic cinnamon
  • 2 tsp of kickstart by harmonic arts
  • 1 tsp cacao powder
  • 1.5-2 cups of boiled water


Place ingredients into a blender ( put some of the liquid in before you put in the powders! ) and blend for a few seconds until it’s well mixed and enjoy!

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Healthy Eating: ‘Keep it Simple Stupid’

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All too often I hear from people who want to make healthy changes to their diet, but they are lost. They are bombarded with information on the internet, from television ads, magazines and even their doctors. The key is to make small, simple changes, that one can follow not just for a few weeks but as part of a maintainable, healthy lifestyle. So the theme of this post is going back to the K.I.S.S. principle we all learnt back in school: ‘Keep It Simple Stupid”. I have broken down 5 simple steps to implement to begin the journey of healthier eating.

 

#1) Drink more water. Water is THE most important tool for your bodily functions. You can live longer without food than you can water for a reason. In today’s world, we seem to overconsume food and under consume water. The human body is very good at adapting to decreased water consumption, but these adaptations are merely for survival and are not optimal for long periods. Unfortunately, most people are chronically dehydrated without even knowing, leading them to symptoms such as have poor energy, increased hunger, poor elimination, dry skin, and toxic build up to name a few. One easy way to know whether you are well hydrated or not is to check out the colour of your urine, that’s right, look before you flush! If your urine is NOT clear and virtually colourless, you need to drink more water. So if you are well hydrated, you should be seeing minimal amounts of yellow in your urine if at all (keep in mind if you take a supplement or vitamin that can make urine yellow because of excess vit B’s and C in the urine). Avoid soda’s, pops, commercial juices, fancy starbuck’s drinks, and energy drinks. Stick to water, and herbal teas are great as well!

#2) Eat more fresh food. This is super simple, we all know fresh homemade food is better than the drive-thru. Try to minimize and eliminate foods that come from a drive by window, or that only require the microwave. The most nourishing food is freshly cooked or prepared to eat. This will include food that is raw, but also food that is cooked, steamed, baked, roasted or sauteed but not fried in oil or destroyed in a microwave! (I hate microwaves…). Just think, what would you rather eat, your grandma’s lasagna made from scratch OR a frozen lasagna? Let’s just say neither will help you fit into your skinny jeans but grandma’s will be much more wholesome.

#3) Eat local and seasonal produce. This is not only good for your health, but also good for the planet, local economy and your pocket! Fruits and vegetables that are in season offer the most nutrients and they actually help your body adapt to that current season. Plus, the less distance a fruit or vegetable has to travel before it gets to your plate, the more of its original nutrients will be intact. This also helps keep variety in your diet which is very important! Berries are great but they do not grow all year round, same goes for apples, enjoy each while they are in season in abundance. Aim to be eating atleast one fruit or vegetable at every meal/snack. 5-8 servings is the goal! (one serving is a handful).

#4) Be careful with your condiments. Read your ingredients! The most typically used condiments that are not great for our health are commercial soy sauce, relish, mayonnaise, table salt, margarine, and sour cream to name a few. Rather than using these items to flavour your food, opt for the healthier options such as spices which can offer a variety of actual health benefits (ie. garlic is great for fighting colds and flus). Opt for wheat free or organic soy sauce (Bragg’s is the best!) which has no additives or preservatives. Sea salt is good in moderation, cracked pepper is also great for seasoning without consequences. Opt for healthier fats to flavour your food such as extra virgin coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, avocado, nuts and seeds. And keep in mind if you are using good quality, fresh in season foods, your meals will always taste better!

#5) Don’t overeat. Although you may be in denial, obesity is a major issue for so many of our health concerns and costs our health care system a lot of money! This suggestion not necessarily just for people who want to lose weight, even if you are happy with your weight, it is best to make sure you do not eat too much at once for optimal health. Eating past your body’s satiation point can leave you feeling sluggish but can also wreak havoc on your digestive tract and cause inflammation in the body. It’s best to eat just until you are satisfied, but not stuffed, and simply save your leftovers for another meal. Eat when you are hungry and stop when you’re full, it’s so simple it’s stupid!

There you have it! 5 simple ways to start eating better and improve your health without doing anything crazy! I hope you find this helpful and please share this with anyone you know who may be feeling overwhelmed but would like to start eating healthier.

Thank you for reading!

-Holistic Hayley 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mineral rich Avocado Cacao pudding

Decided to experiment with a nutrient rich and decadent breakfast this morning. My secret ingredient is organic molasses to add a mineral kick, as well as cacao and dates which are all great sources of minerals including potassium, magnesium, iron, calcium and more!

  
Here’s what I used:

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • Dash of sea salt
  • About a teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • Tablespoon of organic molasses
  • 5 small raw dates
  • 1/4 cup of organic cacao powder
  • Splash of non dairy milk (unsweetened) to blend- I used almond but coconut would be great too!

You may have to scrap the sides of the blender down a few times but be patient! And enjoy!


I topped mine with some homemade granola for a crunch!

Letting go of Negative Self Talk and Opinions

I think even the most open-minded, spiritual, and healthy people will tell you that it is hard to not care what anyone else thinks about you. Ever since high school I always thought “Who cares what anyone else thinks, what do you think of yourself?” But what if you think you’re ugly? What if you think you’re not good enough? What if all this bullsh*t is just in our heads!?

Our society puts a large emphasis on doing certain things to impress others, such as buying new clothes for school every summer so kids notice you, wearing makeup to cover our blemishes so we can pretend to be perfect, or winning the basketball game to impress a girl. Why do we do this?

I’ve been really working on self-love for the last few years, but it’s a long journey that doesn’t happen overnight. Some things are easier to let go of than others, for instance I was able to let go of doing my hair everyday. I now embrace my natural hair, I wash it once or twice a week, and it’s usually thrown into a bun at work. On the other hand, I am constantly stressed about my skin not being perfect and people thinking I’m not the spitting image of health that I ought to be. What the hell kind of thinking is that? No one has ever said to me that I shouldn’t be a personal trainer or holistic nutritionist because I have pimples, but for some reason I seem to think that it’s not good enough.

And then there is our body image. I can tell you that I have had distorted body image in the past and this also takes time to heal. I’ve thought I was too skinny, not muscular enough, and too fat all in the same day. On the other hand there are days where I love my body and am grateful for all it can do. Why is that?

I know that the Internet, social media, magazines, and all of the perfectionist society that we live in have a lot to do with this. We keep holding ourselves up to these perfect images of edited people and it’s just not real, it’s not possible to be perfect. I think it’s very good for us to take a break from looking in mirrors occasionally as well. I noticed that when I go camping or travelling and I don’t have a full-length mirror to look in I don’t over think it at all.

Social Media focuses a lot on what healthy looks like artificially, when really healthy does not mean perfect, it means physical, mental, psychological aspects of a person are balanced and well-functioning. So if you think you need to lose weight or gain more muscle or be more toned to be healthy, you’re probably wrong. You need to love yourself, you’re body, and respect it to do what is good for it. Sometimes you’ll need to cry, that’s fine. Sometimes you’ll need to skip the gym, that’s fine. Sometimes you’ll need to have a cookie, that’s fine.

Letting go of opinions also means we need to stop judging others for how they may appear, how they dress, what their body looks like, or whatever. No one can ever know exactly what another person is going through, so how can we make assumptions such as: “Oh that girl has really bad skin, she must not eat very well.” Or “That girl has really large thighs and shouldn’t wear those tights”. Let’s stop judging! It may be hard to do this at first mentally, because I know we all have bad thoughts, but it is important to not perpetuate it by talking about it.

Once we stop putting so much pressure on our selves to always be perfect, have nice skin, be thin, and eat salads everyday we can just let go and start being ourselves doing what we love and what makes us feel good! So for our mental health and well-being, let’s all focus on loving ourselves, enjoying our journey, and not caring what anyone else thinks! And let this extend beyond our health journey and bodies, but also our careers, our education, our possessions or our housing situations. Let’s stop feeling ashamed of where we are in this journey we call life and start feeling grateful to be alive. Namaste!

 

Thank you for reading 🙂 IMG_0848.JPG

Plant based products I use regularly

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I’ve had some people ask me what I use since I don’t use any cosmetics or personal care products that are tested on animals or have animal ingredients in them, So here’s some of my favourites!

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I try to wear as little makeup as possible, but when I do wear makeup I always use Arbonne, they’re company is vegan certified, all cruelty free, really good quality and they aren’t owned by any other animal testing company. Their products are only sold in Canada, US, Great Britain, and Australia, and soon Poland I think? You have to get them from an independent consultant which I signed up to be cause you get 35% off! Doesn’t hurt right?

Pictured here is their creamy concealer in medium (its not very dark), makeup primer, mascara, and eye liner in cocoa.

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Again I don’t always wear perfume because wear I work we’re not supposed to, but when I want to smell extra fruity I roll on some of this Pacific Perfume! This brand is based in Portland and so obviously it is vegan and cruelty free! PS to those that live in Portland, you are freakin lucky! They have a bunch of other products and different scents as well. 

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I’ve always struggled with my face. I have oily skin and acne-prone skin, its great. Although I find my diet makes a big difference in my skin condition, I still like to treat it right on the outside. I love Arbonne’s Calm moisturizer because its gentle,soothing, not oily at all, doesn’t have SPF (which makes my skin oilier), and its non-comegenic (wont aggravate acne). Also from Arbonne is the SeaSource Detoxifying Rescue Wash, this product is pretty cool because you can use it on your face, body and hair even!! And its perfect for acne prone skin! I especially love using it after a really sweaty day. Now, the middle product in this picture is one made in my city (Victoria BC) called Nezza Naturals, and I use their Facial Cleansing Scrub once a day and its freakin awesome, its organic, all natural, plant based, and keeps my skin clear and smooth. 

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You should know that I wash my hair with shampoo only about once a week, thats right, you should try it! Once you do you won’t go back. Anyways, again another Arbonne product featured here, the Sea Source Fortifying Hair Mask is something I use a few times a month to keep the ends of my hair healthy and smooth. The Loma Nourishing Oil Treatment is something my hair dresser got me hooked on, it used to be called Peratin in a gold bottle. Its perfect for the ends of your hair, especially if your prone to frizz and such, and you can use it on your skin, it also smells divine and is made with organic plant oils! 

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Jojoba oil! I use this as a deep moisturizer for my face, chest, legs, and arms when I feel its needed, it soaks in better than coconut oil and is rich in Vitamin E. You can also put it in your hair but I would be very careful!

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I don’t usually paint my nails but I got excited about this colour because its neutral and totally cute but work appropriate. Its by Gabriel and is vegan and cruelty free, this colour is called sand castle. It also is Formaldehyde, Toluene, and DBP free! I think most other nail polish’s contain those chemicals… ew. 

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Lastly, I like to put all my essentials for the day in my cute Stella & Dot make up bag! Its made with faux-leather and the perfect size, fits my glasses case, tooth crush, makeup, contacts, etc. 🙂 

 

Post any questions or comments below! Thanks for reading 🙂

 

Healing inflammation naturally with herbs and food

Whether you’re simply health conscious, healing from surgery, or recovering from an injury, these things are easy essentials to include into a healthy diet.

Anti-inflammatory nutrients and herbs:

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Bromelain – an enzyme found in fresh, raw pineapple

Carotenoids and Flavonoids – both found in fresh fruits and vegetables, especially citrus fruits, carrots, apricots, cherries, kale, chard, etc.

Aloe Vera – commonly used to reducing the redness and swelling of a sun burn, aloe vera can actually have the same soothing effects inside your body! You can find it in pure, liquid form at health food stores.

Echinacea – commonly used to fight infections, some of its other benefits are fighting inflammation and immune system support.

Garlic – load up on that garlic! It is most effective if eaten raw, but cooked lightly is good as well.

Ginger – another spicy herb that helps with not only nausea but also inflammation. Ginger can be drunken as a tea or added to foods. May also help reduce joint pain and inflammation.

Licorice – not everyone loves licorice as much as I do, but it has so many health benefits whats not to love? Not only an anti-inflammatory agent, licorice is also wonderful for digestion and detoxification. Get yourself some licorice tea and enjoy its mildly sweet flavour!

Turmeric – One of the spices in curries that give it the yellow or orange hue, it has fantastic anti-inflammatory properties. You can add even just a little bit to any meal and you won’t taste it too much if you’re careful, but having vegetable curries is a good way to go 🙂

Thanks for reading!

6 tips to make healthy eating cheaper

 

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Scope it out: Always look at flyers from the different grocery stores in your area, check out which one has the best deal on the foods you want/ like.

 

Plan Ahead: Always make a list, because just like going to the gym, if you go without a plan, you’re going to waste a lot of time and maybe even money on things you don’t need.

 

Stock up: If there is something that you eat a lot of and it goes on sale, buy lots! For example, peanut butter or canned chickpeas, these things can last awhile in your cupboard so why not buy a bunch when they are on sale, and save money in the long run, rather than buying them every week over and over at the standard price. You can also do this with fruit and freeze it.

 

Keep it Simple: You do not need to eat expensive raw cacao, goji berries and organic kale chips all the time to be healthy, YOU JUST DON’T! Don’t fall for all the superfood gimics, you can get more nutritional value for your money from making your own food and eating seasonal fruits and veggies, grains, nuts and seeds. Those typical “health food” items are nice to have but are not affordable on a regular basis.

 

Eat Seasonally: It is tempting to buy strawberries and grapes in the winter, but they are not cheap, nor are they high in nutrients! And for a good reason, because they are not in season! Eating seasonally is one of the best things you can do for your health and your wallet. You do not need to eat the same fruits and vegetables everyday year round. Aim for variety in your diet on a yearly basis.

 

Make your own food: Don’t complain you have no time, because at some point in your day you probably sit on the couch and watch TV or sit on the computer not really doing anything productive. It is so much cheaper and healthier for you to create your own meals from the basics than it is to buy packaged, pre-prepared food. You can easily make your own cereal and granola with oats, seeds, and nuts. You can make your own trail mix with your favorite nuts and dried fruits. You can make your own salad dressing with your choice of vegetable oil, lemon, vinegar and herbs. Eventually once you have made it a habit, preparing food is no different than brushing your teeth everyday, its just something you do! Preparing your own food is also very rewarding. 

The Thigh Gap: an Unhealthy Ideal and My Personal Story

 

Im going to share with you a very personal story, not a lot of people have heard this story, in fact probably none have heard it ever in full, so here it goes. Not even my family and close friends, because I have always been scared of being judged, until now. To family and friends please don’t be offended that I never told you about this sooner. Im putting myself out there now, hoping it may help others and shed some light.

 In my studies of holistic nutrition the topic of eating disorders has come up a number of times. There is a large stereotype and misconception with eating disorders. For example, in my sport nutrition text book the section on eating disorders in athletes is in the Female athlete section…

I will stop there and now begin my personal experience with disorder eating, or whatever you want to label it…

So my unhealthy obsession with food and exercise began in grade 6. I was very active, played basketball, danced, and ran in track and cross country and was going through a growth spurt (about the same height I am now). Being in puberty and being young I had a lot in my head, and one of those was my ideal body image. I had no problem with my tummy (it was very flat already) or arms, what I wanted was thinner thighs, and essentially I wanted a thigh gap.

I taught myself how to read and understand food labels and that’s when the problem started. I used to simply eat whatever I wanted when I was hungry, and my parents were good about keeping nutritious, healthy food in the house. I began to obsess over the amount of fat or calories in foods, I would rarely eat pizza, chocolate, other junk foods my friends ate in fear of gaining weight. If I did happen to eat more or eat something I didn’t think I should have, I would make up for it by doing exercise, usually via going for a run. I also started weighing myself… every day. I started having berries, granola and non fat yogurt for breakfast and wouldn’t bring any lunch to school except an apple and granola bar. My only nutritious meal was dinner, which my mom would cook. I started losing weight pretty quickly, because I was so active, and clearly I wasn’t getting the nutrients I needed.

The thigh gap started to show but I wanted to be even thinner still. Clearly because I was athletic I had quite a bit of leg muscle which I did not think about at the time, I just wanted lose fat and get super skinny thighs.

I had only recently started getting my monthly female reminder, and pretty soon after my period had started, it stopped. At first I didn’t care/ I was excited because who wants to get their period! Little did I know this was a red light that I was underweight and had such low body fat my body was not producing the amount hormones it should have been anymore: Amenorrhoea is the name for this condition. This can cause lower than normal bone density, and increase the risk for stress factures (which I did not know at the time).

I was more active than I had ever been. I think it was around grade 7 when I started to get knee pain during and after running, which I did a lot of! This frustrated me because I couldn’t do as much exercise as I wanted! This started to affect my performance in sports, dance, and gym class. I never saw a physio or anything for it because I just wanted to stay active and was afraid of having to rest it, and I didn’t think it was a big deal. I started also doing some pilates videos at home when I couldn’t run. ( I am not saying that my eating disorder caused my knee problem, but I think it was one of the main reasons it started, along with my high activity level and lack of adequate rest).

The obsession with food became worse when I felt good feeling hungry. Feeling hungry and having an empty stomach was an accomplishment for me, and I would often skip breakfast and lunch. Never mind having low blood sugar, I felt good about being starved.

 Obviously because I was curious about weight loss and health I started reading books and magazines on the topic, I remember reading somewhere that when women have such a low body fat percentage it can actually be unhealthy and one of the main signs is that they lose their period/ stop menstruating. At first I just thought it was just because I’m so active and young, no big deal right? Wrong.

At my lowest I think I weighed 95-97 lbs, which may not seem very low, but I am the same height now, with a little more muscle mind you, and weigh 130 lbs. 

Whats strange is I never looked like the typical girls you see in pictures in articles about eating disorders, I looked like your typical pre-teen, skinny, athletic girl. Although my nick name at school was skeletor, my thinness never alarmed anyone, because it didn’t look like those pictures or girls with supposed “eating disorders”.

I began to slowly realize I had a problem, and it wasn’t healthy to continue. I was deprived.

It took awhile to start eating normally again without being paranoid about the calories or fat in food. But I did this all without telling anyone, by myself. I think it was the summer of grade 8 that I got my period back and was a healthy weight again. It was in grade 8 also that I cut out dairy because it gave me stomach aches and gas.

So now, when I hear people talking about others and saying “Oh she must have an eating disorder she’s so skinny!” it makes me mad. Im not sure why, maybe its because no one thought I had an eating disorder when I did, and the fact that people are judging others, without knowing them at all.

I have learnt a lot from this experience, and it is one of the things that lead me into my passion for health, nutrition, and fitness. From an unhealthy obsession with food and exercise I now have a healthy balance of the two.

By sharing this I am not looking for sympathy, because I don’t need or want that, what I am hoping is that we will stop judging others based on their body composition. And know that not all people with an eating disorder or disordered eating are extremely thin like the models we see in fashion magazines. And that eating disorders don’t only affect women, they affect men too. Guys are equally as self conscious as girls about their bodies, but they don’t show it the way we do. One of the things I never did was complain to others about how I wanted to lose weight, I just did it. I was stubborn. I think that may be why no one ever thought I had an eating disorder, because I didn’t complain about my body to friends or family. 

I guess my point is that everyone is different, and if you think a loved one may be dealing with an eating disorder or have an unhealthy relationship with exercise, approach them and don’t assume anything, and please don’t go telling others what you think and spreading gossip.

And to all the girls out there who think they want a thigh gap or want to be super thin, please focus on your health. By being active and eating healthy we can look our best and be a healthy weight, and not look like some unrealistic version of skinny whose thighs have been trimmed down with a photo editing software. Everyone always tells us those photos are edited, but I think we keep forgetting.

The road to loving yourself is a long and windy one but it is oh so important that we find peace with our bodies and strive to treat them well by being healthy: eating well, being active, and feeling good.

 

If you read this all, thank you.

 

 

 

 

we need MO PREVENTION!

Hey folks so November is officially the month of prostate cancer awareness, which is one of the leading cancers that kill men.

This is crap! So its all well and good if you grow a moustache this month, but what is that going to do?

Lets think about how we can prevent ourselves and family and loved ones from getting this awful cancer.

Prostate cancer doesn’t provide symptoms until it is advanced and likely too late to overcome, but symptoms include slow urinary stream, urinary hesitancy, and incomplete bladder emptying.

First of all, these are the risk factors for Prostate Cancer:

– males over 65 are at higher risk ( get your package checked dudes!!)

– diet high in saturated fats, those are the fats most prevalent in animals forms like red meat and dairy… yuck

– parents or siblings with a history of prostate cancer

 

 

Ways to reduce your risk! :

– eat a whole food diet, high in fruit, vegetables, omega 3’s (fish, walnuts, chia, hemp, and flax seeds)

– eating organic soy products which inhibit an enzyme (5-alpha reductase) that causes prostate tissue enlargement. 

– eating lots of garlic and onions, known to have anti-cancer benefits

– taking a high potency multi vitamin and mineral supplement and an omega-3 supplement

– limiting your intake of trans fatty acids, sugar, salt, alcohol, cigarettes, and fried foods.

– any organic greens supplement will also be beneficial in providing more vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants 

– and living an active lifestyle