Sunday, May 31, 2009

Hello Sunshine!

What a cute store.....

Chris and I were visiting friends and new babies today so we went to check out this children's store near us called Hello Sunshine. It's right across from High Park on the ground floor of a building at the corner of Bloor and High Park. What a great store filled with clothing, puzzles, eco-friendly toys, and of course Sophie, the teething giraffe that many of my patients have bought for their infants. This giraffe is around $20 and is hand-made in the French Alps, natural rubber (phthlate-free), and food-quality paints.

We just finished dinner and I'm just making my lunch for a few days. Butternut squash, adzuki beans, and kale, all sauteed together with some olive oil, shallots, Bragg's, and basil. Oh and we may have a little strawberry rhubarb crisp leftovers while we watch some tv (The Hills season finale - my guilty pleasure!) before going to bed!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Entertaining Tonight!

What a nice Saturday! We went for an early bike ride along the Humber River and then started our chores. Chris and I are having another couple over for dinner tonight so we planned our menu this morning, cleaned the house, bought most of the ingredients, and now I'm looking for a new strawberry rhubarb crumble or pie or square recipe while watching the French Open (Federer is playing - my favourite!)

I've done Emeril's crumble several times substituting the 10 TBSP OF BUTTER for sunflower oil. It has a touch of grand marnier and orange zest that makes it slightly more interesting than your average crumble. You can google strawberry rhubarb crumble and emeril and his recipe will pop up.

Chris always makes fun of me when we having people over because it's an all-day affair for me, planning the menu, buying everything, organizing all the ingredients on the counter, planning the order of cooking things, prepping the food .... we also always end up making way too much food (maybe that's the Polish in me!). It gives me a chance to try out new recipes or perfect old ones. I'm definitely doing some kind of arugula salad as the arugula I planted is finally ready! I'm also doing something I never do for guests - perogies!!!! No not mine but my mom's. We usually have a batch of hers in the freezer.... Ok off to start prepping!!

Friday, May 29, 2009

How Much Weight Should I Gain in Pregnancy?

I get asked this question all the time. I've always answered conservatively and usually answered around 25 lbs unless the woman is overweight then less is safer.

So it was nice to hear yesterday on the radio and this morning in the Globe and Mail's Life section that new guidelines were released giving more specific guidelines for women that are overweight (BMI of 25-30) and obese (BMI over 30).

Overweight women should aim for between 15-25 lbs while obese women should aim for 11- 20 lbs. Overweight and obese women are at a higher risk of developing gestational diabetes and preeclampsia and they have higher rates of miscarriage and c-section. The babies of these women are more likely to be a lower birth weight which can in turn cause problems for the baby.

I think one of the important things about these new guidelines is that it should put more emphasis on women trying to get healthy and be an optimal weight before pregnancy. And of course not to put the onus only on women ... it is equally important for men to be at an optimal health as well prior to conception to increase sperm quality and numbers!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Anti-Aging and Resveratrol

Sunday night on 60 minutes there was a segment on a couple of biochemical researchers that are studying the effects of resveratrol on the aging cycle among other things. I think their company is called Sirtris Pharmaceuticals.

It was a fascinating story on how resveratrol (the antioxidant found in grape skins or red wine for you lushes!) may turn on a survival gene in the body increasing the life span and decreasing the chance of any chronic disease like diabetes, cancer, or heart disease. Now as an ND I know the benefits of resveratrol but for a supplement to come out that is equivalent of drinking 1000 bottles of red wine daily that actually promotes longevity is potentially amazing.

They are starting on human trials right now but the trials done on mice are significant. Not only do mice on resveratrol keep slim while being fed extra calories, but their organs upon autopsy are pristine, young looking!

I thought there was resveratrol in the greens I do every morning and sure enough there is! Greens First by Doctors for Nutrition contains 100mg of a ResveraMax Proprietary Blend, 25% of which is trans-Resveratrol from a Polygonium Cuspidatrum extract, as well as acerola cherry powder anda concord grape powder.

Interesting look at where not only science but pharma companies are possibly going...

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Busy Weekend - Friends, Tears, Family, and Spring Foods

We just got back from Waterloo. We went for a quick Saturday afternoon trip to Kitchener to see a friend who is battling brain cancer. She is unbelievably positive and doing well. It was nice to see so many of her friends in one spot to celebrate her. Alyson is a highschool friend of one my best friends, Anna, as well as Chris. Chris and Alyson were actually co-presidents in highschool! As some of you know that's how I met Chris - Anna and I became friends in naturopathic school (CCNM) and she introduced us.

Since we were in the area we decided to spend the night at Chris' parents and as usual had a great time chatting and eating. Jane had all the local seasonal fruits and veg and some mennonite maple syrup from Lucknow for us. Of course local asparagus, some rhubarb (she made some stewed rhubarb with fresh strawberries for breakfast), and had a cherry tomato seedling ready for me to plant in a planter on the balcony all came back with us! So this afternoon, after yoga, I want to try to find a new rhubarb recipe for the few stalks we took home. The usual is strawberry rhubarb crisp but I think I should venture out and try something different. I'll let you know what ends up happening!

Friday, May 22, 2009

CCNM Convocation

Ahhhh memories....

Today the class of 2009 graduated from CCNM, at Convocation Hall at U of T. 6 years ago I was there, in their shoes, nervous, excited, and exhausted. I was also there today but this time in my gown and hood on the stage, as an invited guest as a member of the Board of Governors of CCNM. I'm on month 6 of a 3 year term of sitting on BOG and have loved my experience thus far.

Being there today reminded me of how lucky I am to be part of such a compassionate profession. There may have even been some 'welling up' when reciting the naturopathic oath again.

"I dedicate myself to the service of humanity as a practitioner of the art and science of naturopathic medicine. By precept, education, and example, I will assist and encourage others to strengthen their health, reduce risks for disease, and preserve the health of our planet for ourselves and future generations. I will continually endeavour to improve my abilities. I will conduct my life and practice of naturopathic medicine with integrity and freedom from prejudice. I will keep confident what should not be divulged. I will honour the principles of naturopathic medicine:
First, do no harm.
To cooperate with the healing power of nature.
To address the fundamental causes of disease.
To heal the whole person through individualized treatment.
To teach the principles of healthy living and preventive medicine.

With my whole heart, before these witnesses, as a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine, I pledge to remain true to this oath."

After convocation was over I walked over to Kensington market (around College and Spadina) for a spelt muffin at Urban Herbivore and a matcha green tea soy latte at Moon Bean. When Chris lived around there that used to be a standard trip on a Sunday afternoon for us. I was thinking about that spelt muffin all day!!!! The apple cranberry is delicious and is what I usually get, but sometimes I'll grab the sweet potato and date spelt muffin.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

New Gluten-Free Blog

Alexis, my new receptionist pointed me towards a blog she's been following for a while, (since she's religiously gluten-free).....

I've been looking at it for the last 2 weeks and tried a couple of things... it's worthy for me to add to my following list! Karina does a good job explaining how to become gluten-free and has some good resources.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Stratus Wine

We had a wonderful weekend! We went to Niagara for the weekend to visit my parents and do an early anniversary hello to Stratus - the winery we had our wedding reception at! It was great to do a tasting of their new releases - 2007 Reisling, and the 2006 Red and White. Oh and we did the white and red icewines as well....

If you have never been to Stratus in Niagara-on-the-lake it's worth the trip up there. I may be a bit bias but the building is beautifully designed and it is LEED certified. We had our dinner in the tasting room overlooking the vineyards by Tony deLuca - also worth a trip to Niagara if you've never had his food before!

On our way home we also stopped at Southbrook winery because someone had told Chris that they do wood oven pizzas and he was determined to have that for lunch. Southbrook is also LEED certified, not as stunning as Stratus, but their big purple wall does make you stop and look. Their pizza dough is made from the grapeskins adding valuable antioxidants, iron, and fiber so it has a slight purple tinge to it. The pizza guy told us that Anna Olson makes the pizza dough.... it was funny because we visited her new food store/cafe at Ravine Vineyards earlier in the morning.

Thanks to Hayley for our trip to Stratus today!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Global - Alternative Medicine and Children's Health

A few of you have asked for the link to the global news story that aired on Wednesday night. Here it is! If you are a fan of Zawada Health on facebook then you've already seen this!

Have a great long weekend! We're off to Niagara to visit my parents, hopefully play some golf, and visit Stratus, the winery we got married at 2 years ago (May 25th!!!).

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Naturopathic Medicine and Children's Health on Global

A few weeks ago Global TV came into the clinic again to shoot another story for their health segment.

This time it wasn't hangover cures and natural remedies it was alternative medicine and children's health. The segment is airing tomorrow (Wednesday) on Global at 6 pm. I think the health segment is on around 6:15.

We chatted about what kinds of things naturopathic medicine can do with kids. It was great because over the last couple of years I've noticed a huge increase in parents bringing in their kids for alternative options whether it's for the eczema, ear infections, asthma or their colds and flus. Kids are so vital; they respond so well to simple, natural things. The solution may not always be as quick as a conventional route but at least we're working with the body to stimulate healing instead of just blocking processes and in the long run making the child healthier and stronger. Sometimes it's a quick homeopathic remedy for a fever or rash, sometimes it's a herbal infusion for diarrhea or eczema, or sometimes it's a probiotic and fish oil!

A quick thank you to Leona and Joshua who helped out with the story!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Halibut with Artichokes and Capers

Last night our friends Steph and Doug came over for dinner. I know you shouldn't try new recipes when entertaining but I figured I've cooked enough fish in my life that it shouldn't be a disaster.

And it wasn't a disaster .... it was delicious! I found this recipe in the this month's issue of Food and Drink.

2 tsp olive oil in a large saute pan on medium-high heat. Halibut flesh side down in the pan for 6 minutes. Took the fillets off the pan and put on baking dish in a preheated 350 degree oven for 12 minutes. Meanwhile I sauteed (in the same pan as the fillets) 2 cups quartered cooked artichoke hearts and 2 tbsp capers for 3 minutes then added 8 thin slices of lemon, 2 tsp freshly chopped oregano and some more olive oil. I cooked this for another 5 minutes and then put on top of the fillets when they were done cooking. It was a wonderful combination of flavours.

Chris made some red quinoa and then I added some previously sauteed shallots and kale to finish it off; we also had asparagus and my arugula salad with beets!

Dessert was quite as virtuous I'm afraid.... Molten chocolate lava cake .... mmmmmmm...

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Moroccan Quinoa

Sunday night is a great night for me to try different recipes out. A couple weeks ago I got the new Clean Eating magazine issue and put this recipe aside as I knew I wanted to give it a try. If you like flavour and have a good spice collection or have a bulk store with all the spices nearby give this one a try.

Of course I put my own spin on it and made it 'detox friendly'......

• 3 tsp olive oil
• 3 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 tbsp Ras El Hanout (recipe below)
• 1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
• 2 small turnips, peeled and diced
• 1 medium zucchini, diced
• 2 carrots, peeled and diced
• ¼ head cabbage, diced (I used preshredded colesaw from the grocery store!)
• ½ red pepper, cut into chunks
• ½ tsp salt
• 1 16oz can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
• 2 cups of quinoa
• ½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Ras El Hanout
• 11/2 tsp cinnamon
• 1 tsp ginger
• 1 tsp turmeric
• ½ tsp pepper
• ½ tsp all spice
• 11/2 tsp ground cumin
• ½ tsp coriander

Combine spices in a small bowl.

Heat oil in large stockpot over med high heat, add garlic and Ras El Hanout stir until brown. Then add next 5 ingredients. Pour in enough water to cover veg. Cover and cook 25-30 minutes or until veg are soft but not fully cooked.

Ladle out 3 cups of broth and veg (11/2 cups each) Puree in blender until thick. Add back to stew. I originally didn't measure and made it too watery :(

Mix in chickpeas and bring to a simmer. Cook covered for 10-15 minutes.

While stew is cooking boil 4 cups of water in a sauce pan over high heat. When water comes to a boil add quinoa cover and reduce heat to medium cook for 12 minutes. After 12 minutes remover from heat and let stand 15 minutes. Fluff with fork.

To serve, place ½ cup of quinoa in a bowl. Pour 1 cup of vegetable mixture over quinoa and sprinkle with cilantro.

Of course it makes a huge pot so I froze a couple of jars and had it for lunch all this week so far!!!!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Cookies for Dessert

Last night when we went for dinner to our friends house I brought dessert. I brought the raw avocado pie (key lime pie) and a few of the cosmic cookies that I was busy baking this weekend to bring to the clinic for naturopathic medicine week.

Kevin also baked cookies for dessert. They were great so I asked for the recipe. He had found the recipe on a blog and now I'm sharing it with you! Such a simple recipe! Kevin said sometimes he grabs a few for breakfast or a snack before the gym!

Thanks Kevin and Aaron!!!

2 cups oats
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
4 medium overripe bananas
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup chopped dates

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment and spray with nonstick spray.

Use a good blender to blend the oats into fine flour. Pour the oat flour into a mixing bowl and add the baking soda and cinnamon.

Put the peeled, overripe bananas into the blender and blend until completely smooth. Add to the oat mixture along with the sunflower seeds and dates, and mix until well combined.

Use a 1-ounce cookie scoop to place spoonfuls of the cookie dough on the baking sheet.

Bake for 12 minutes. Cool cookies on a wire rack and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.


Last night we went over to our friends for dinner. It was a great meal with some nice surprises including fresh from Ontario fiddleheads!

We started with a mixed green salad with cherry tomatoes and sunflower sprouts and then moved on to the main course which was beautifully served. Tilapia on a bed of steamed kale and fiddleheads on top of quinoa! Now as most of you know quinoa and kale our staples in our house but the fiddleheads were a great surprise and a good reminder to try things out of the hum drum routine.

Fiddleheads have a short harvest season - approximately 3 weeks in Spring. They are part of traditional diets in Asia and Australia and New Zealand. Fiddleheads are actually ferns. They can be used in any way similar to other hard green veggies like asparagus and broccoli. Here are some ideas: