Friday, June 27, 2008

Butcher by Nature - Philosophy 101

Yesterday morning I popped up to Annette and Runnymede to an organic butcher shop. I always run by the shop in the mornings but have never stopped in as it's closed before 10 am. So yesterday on a quest for bison meat I remembered about the shop and decided to go check it out.

What a wonderful place and owner! The owner was super friendly and helpful, the shop was spotless and had a great little selection of organic meats, game meats, gluten-free goodies, and some spelt pastas and crackers.

The owner mentioned the hours of operation and said a few clients had commented on not being open on Sundays and Mondays. He then eloquently said that he has 3 kids and wants to have a great work-life balance, so even if he is a small business owner he wants to live a happy and fulfilled life!

Something you have to constantly remind yourself of whether you are a small business owner, a farmer, a lawyer or a politician....

Friday, June 20, 2008

Arugula and Beet Salad

Dinner tonight: Salmon steaks with some lemon pepper, olive oil, and of course fresh dill from my herb garden, AND a little salad I just created in my head!

First I roasted 4 beets in a balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and grated shallot dressing for 20 minutes. In the meantime I washed the arugula and diced an avocado, toasted some walnuts, and found some dried cranberries and threw it all together in a salad bowl. I added some goat cheese and then added the roasted beets on top and then drizzled the remaining vinagrette throughout.


Morning Glory Spelt and Brown Rice Muffins

My mother would be so proud of me today. Growing up she was always cooking delicious feasts and baking coffee cake, after coffee cake for everyone on the farm (including the 10 St.Lucian seasonal offshore workers!!). Every creation, whether following a recipe, or completely making it up along the way, was delicious.

So today I pulled a Sophie, mixing 2 different muffin recipes to create something I knew I (and maybe Chris) would like and be healthy.

First I mixed together all the dry ingredients - 1 cup spelt flour, 1 cup brown rice flour, 1 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp baking powder, 2 Tbsp ground flaxseed, 1/2 tsp of sea salt, 1 tsp cinnamon, and 1 tsp nutmeg. The wet ingredients included 2 eggs, 2/3 sunflower oil, 1/3 cup evapourated cane sugar, 1/3 cup light brown sugar and 2 tsp vanilla. I whisked the wet ingredients quickly for one minute and then added the combined dry ingredients to the wet.

Now for the morning glory part of the muffin recipe - I grated 1 red delicious apple, 3 medium carrots, 1 small zucchini and added them in. I then toasted some slivered almonds and some coconut I had around and threw that in as well. This is the beauty of the morning glory - anything really goes! Lastly I added 1/4 cup ground almonds and mixed everything together. I spooned everything into the muffin cups and put it in the preheated 350 degree oven for 25 minutes.

I was shocked - delicious!!!!! And more importantly they looked beautiful.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Even the shower isn't safe!

New study came out today regarding the off-gassing of shower curtains made of PVC. Can't say I'm surprised ...

"A new report says vinyl curtains off-gas a slew of chemicals - more than 100 - known as volatile organic compounds, which are a major contributor to indoor air pollution. The curtains also contain traces of metals such as lead, cadmium and mercury and high levels of phthalates, including one variety that Health Canada has recommended be prohibited in children's toys." (from Globe and Mail)

I had a couple of patients say how concerned they were that nothing is safe anymore. I realize it may seem that way, but you have to be confident that you are making smart consumer choices and keeping your lifestyle as clean as possible. No one can be perfect, but everyone has the power to make the best food choices, and the best lifestyle choices to properly support their health, regardless of everything else that is going on around them.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Food at Seminars?!

Just got back from a really good seminar on women's health. Tori Hudson, an ND who is probably the leading naturopathic women's health practitioner in North America, is the speaker for this 2 day integrative health seminar.

From 9 am to 5 pm today she discussed the scientific research behind why we as NDs prescribe what we do for PMS, dysmenorrhea, interstitial cystitis, and PCOS, among other concerns. It was a good review of the research that has been done on many nutraceuticals and the mechanism of action of the supplements, that I use in my daily practice with many of my patients. It was also surprising and refreshing to see a couple of medical doctors and nurse practitioners at the seminar. Hopefully they relay information back to their colleagues that our medicine is actually very well researched and there's a method to our madness!

HOWEVER.... I along with many of the other attendees were surprised to see what breakfast and lunch entailed. Usually when I attend naturopathic seminars and conferences the food is very much catered to our healthy, nutritional ways i.e. soymilk is provided for tea and coffee, lots of fruit at breakfast, many different vegetable options, tofu or beans are usually an option etc. Today's breakfast was an interesting array of croissants and bagels, while lunch was a variety of deli sandwiches on white bread or baguettes. WOW.... we spent all day discussing how diet has such a huge impact on PMS, and dysmenorrhea... discussing how a highly refined sugar diet and high carbohydrate diet can contribute to many of the women's health concerns that we treat....

Note to self: eat breakfast before leaving home tomorrow and bring my own walnuts and fruit for snacks.