Saturday, December 4, 2010

Hamilton Day!

I'm just about to go on CHML 900 Hamilton radio to chat about detox. (8-8:30 am)....

Later today I'm super excited to go to Hamilton's Goodness Me on the mountain to do a cooking demo from 1-3 pm.

Of course I'll have to find some time to drive through McMaster University and Westdale, and swing my old running trails in Cootes Paradise.

Oh the memories!! Gotta run!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Delicious Detox on Amazon

Yippeee! I can't believe I'm on Amazon!!

Holidays are around the corner and more people are scooping up Delicious Detox here at the clinic as stocking stuffers, hostess gifts, and more. The love and support from my patients and friends has been wonderful!! Thank you!!!!

To check out the cookbook on Amazon, write a review, tell family or friends far and away where to purchase the book or whatever.... check out and search Delicious Detox or follow this direct link:

And to my wonderful designer, Kerri Kenny: I can look at those lemons and pomengranates all day!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Telomeres and Longevity!

I was chatting with someone at a meeting on Thursday about anti-aging and she mentioned there was something on CNN that morning about how doing certain things can increase the length of your telomeres (part of your chromosomes) to increase health and longevity.

Here's the list from author Thea Singer:

1. Don't diet (increases cortisol) but eat wisely.
2. Bust belly fat.
3. Eat pistachio nuts.
4. Take Omega 3s.
5. Do exercise you enjoy and do it regularly.
6. Meditate.
7. Be optimistic.
8. Hang out with friends.
9. Sleep.
10. Dance.

Surprise, surprise.... good diet and lifestyle are key.
Here's the link to the story:

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Whole Person Cancer Care Center

One of my colleagues, Dugald Seely, in conjuction with CCNM and the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation has applied for some funding from Aviva in a competition. My other colleague Shelley Gibbs recently blogged about it... here is the link. I think this a fabulous idea and if you have a chance to vote in the competition take a couple of minutes and follow the aviva link.

Coconut Oil and Detox Day .....

We just had Blueberry Buckwheat Pancakes from Delicious Detox. I think it's day 12 of our detox ... few more days....

I usually use sunflower oil in the cast iron pan to cook the pancakes but today I wanted to use coconut oil and it was delicious. It made the pancakes crisp up nicely on the outside and made the pancakes just a little bit sweeter.

If you have never used coconut oil in your cooking or baking go out and buy some expeller pressed organic coconut oil (I'm using Spectrum right now). It will be solid at room temperature unless your house is a sauna and then the oil will turn more into a liquid. Coconut oil is a medium chain triglyceride (fancy name for fat) and is super high in lauric acid, which is naturally found in high amounts in breastmilk. It is because of lauric acid that coconut oil has a multitude of benefits including weight loss, heart disease prevention, and immunity, as it is anti-viral and anti-bacterial.

Love using coconut oil with my athletes as well. By incorporating coconut oil into their diets, athletes are able to train harder and longer without decreasing their immune system as typically happens with peak training.

So use it for stir-fries, cooking pancakes, spreading on your beets when roasting them in the oven, in baking as a replacement for butter or just buy Artisana's Coconut Goji Bliss and eat it by the spoonful as a dessert... Mmmmmmmmmm....

Thai Yoga Massage

Yesterday we were sitting reading all the papers as is our Saturday mornings, and I happened upon a little 'musthave' in the National Post's Toronto section about Thai yoga massage.

At Zawada Health we currently have 6 massage therapists(2 currently on mat leave), and 1 specifically that does Thai yoga massage. Kelly Yutronkie has been a registered massage therapist for 7 years and has additional certification in Thai yoga massage. The first time I had it done, I wasn't sure what to expect as there were no oils and had my yoga clothes on. It wasn't nap-inducing like a regular massage, it was actually energizing with a twist of relaxation. Kelly stretched me through several rhythmic movements and applied pressure on certain acupressure points or meridians. She guided my body using her own body weight, with arms and legs to enhance the stretch.

It's a great cross between massage and yoga AND because it's done by a registered massage therapist at Zawada Health, your benefits will cover it!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Cold Wet Socks

Quick reminder on cold wet sock technique to decrease nasal and chest congestion and get the circulation moving when you are feeling under the weather. First take a 5 minute hot foot bath. Next dip cotton socks in ice cold water and wring them out. Place them on your feet and then put warm woolly socks on top of the cold wet socks. Go to bed and in the morning your congestion will be at least 80% better and the socks will be completely dry. I know it sounds crazy but just try it. It's based on the principles of hydrotherapy and works every time.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Boosting Immunity on Global TV

Last week Global TV came to the clinic again to quickly chat about some key things to remember this cold and flu season. It aired last night on the Family Health segment with Beatrice Politi!

Here's the link to the video clip from last night.

Sunday, October 24, 2010


Another busy weekend! Yesterday I drove up to the Five Tibetans Boutique in Kitchener to do a detox seminar and chat about Delicious Detox. Had a great time with a wonderful group of women and then looking at all the nice yoga clothing, handmade jewellery and other books at the boutique.

Today after a rainy walk in High Park this morning I went to the Canadian Health Food Association expo east at the Metro Convention Centre here in Toronto. It was a great opportunity to chat with different health food distributors, see what was new and exciting in the world of gluten or dairy food food and check out the new trends in the health food industry.

My top (new and exciting) 5 booths this year were:

1. Ecoqol Inc. - I already sell the OJA body compress at Zawada Health but they have come out with a few more compresses that I think are wonderful including large and small joint (for concerns like carpal tunnel, or arthritis) and the baby compress, wonderful for colic and constipation. I ordered some for the clinic so look for them this week! And they had a cool mannequin at their booth covered with the different castor oil compresses!

2. Oregon Ice Cream Co. - WOW. I had the most delicious Julie's Organic Ice Cream bar made of coconut milk covered in chocolate and almonds. Can't wait for this to come to Canada. So creamy.

3. Ever Bamboo - Bamboo charcoal deodorizers totally caught my attention. It was a small little booth with not too many people or gimmicks but what I saw I thought was great. The fridge and freezer deodorizer (instead of baking soda!) was great - made of moso bamboo in sachets. They even had a sport deodorizer for gym bags or sneakers. After their strength dies out you can recycle them and put them in your garden or compost.

4. Tea Aura - I tried a shortbread cookie in the shape of a leaf made with no artificial colours or flavours and made with rooibos chai and another one made with matcha green tea. Not the healthiest thing there but at least it was real ingredients and when I bit into the rooibos chai cookie and really chewed the chai was lovely.

5. Beanitos Black Bean Chips - gluten, soy and corn free... made with whole black beans and some rice, oil, and sea salt. Simple chip/cracker that was tasty. I would totally serve these to entertain... Although I guess most people expect something a little different when they come over here for dinner! 10 chips are 140 calories and actually have 4 grams of protein.

When I got home we did some prep for our upcoming detox.... Yup it's that time. Chris has run out of excuses and I'm ready to go. Just finished making the parsley pesto and hummus from Delicious Detox and I boiled some beets so they are ready in the fridge. Thankfully I still have some soup in the freezer so I don't have to prep too much tonight. Amazing Race is on tonight as is the finale of SYTYCD..... I'm off!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Five Tibetans Boutique

I'm super excited about going to Kitchener this weekend. Of course it's always nice to see my in-laws in Waterloo .... but this weekend I'm going to be in their neighbourhood at the Five Tibetans Boutique doing a detox seminar from 10-12.

I'll be chatting about my cookbook, Delicious Detox of course, but also answering questions, and dispeling myths about detoxification. I'll talk about the importance of detoxification and the many ways to safely do it!

If you would like to attend you can call the studio to see if there is any spots available.
(519) 585-7564

See you there!

Boosting Your Immunity

Global TV just left the clinic! They were doing a Family Health segment on boosting your immune system and they came by to get some tips.

Funny enough my last post was about immunity.... couple of other thoughts .... whey protein! I don't usually recommend whey protein as I'm a fan of the cleaner and easier to digest brown rice protein or hemp protein. However if I have a cancer patient or someone whose immunity isn't fantastic I usually recommend whey protein powders because they are high in an amino acid, cysteine, which actually increases glutathione, a potent antioxidant that can help increase immunity.

I'll blog again when I know when it will be airing....

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Cold and Flu Time

Wow last week was nutso with patients coming into the clinic that were sniffling. I said that to a patient and she replied with 'what do you expect you are a doctor?' It was funny.... guess I shouldn't have been so surprised!

Few little tips:
1. Wash your hands.
2. Stay hydrated - keep your throat and nose as moist as possible.
3. Watch your sugar intake as sugar decreases the ability of your white blood cells (your immune system) to work energetically to find those viruses. Sugar makes white blood cells seem drunk and slow.
4. Throw garlic in all of your dishes - natures antibiotic.
5. Up your vitamin C - 1000 - 3000 mg extra during the cold and flu season can be a great thing.
6. Manage stress - cortisol (stress hormone) also decreases your immunity. Exercise, laugh, pet your dog, talk to a loved one.... you get the picture!
7. Come in to Zawada Health to get your immune booster homeopathic flu shot. We've been doing it for the last 5 years and its helped many decrease their susceptibility and/or decrease the intensity and duration of their symptoms if they do get sick. I usually recommend one a month starting now to get your through the season!

Pumpkin Seeds

What a wonderful Fall day! When Chris and I woke up this morning we knew we had to start the day with a walk through the park (High Park). We both had crazy busy Saturdays with work and we even went out Gorgeous colours changing on the trees and so many people were out enjoying the sunshine. Toronto was buzzing with runners as it was the Toronto Marathon weekend as well.

We walked and picked up some more 'nuts' (little acorns) for our Fall dining table centerpiece (it's the only Martha Stewart type thing I've done in months!) and then decided to walk up to Bloor for breakfast at Dr. Generosity. We're usually up way too early to eat there but it was already 10 am so we went for some tasty eggs.

On our way back we saw so many pumpkins and kids excited about carving pumpkins for Halloween. So of course the first thing I think of is that delicious loaf I made a couple of weeks ago and how nutritious pumpkin seeds are. Sooooo this year don't throw out the pumpkin seeds when carving your jack-o-lanterns!

The seeds are a great source of zinc, a mineral that is super important for your immune system and the prostate gland. The seeds are also a great source of magnesium which helps blood vessels relax which is great for high blood pressure. Great little afternoon snack especially if you are stressed or want to relax before bedtime!

If buying them at a store look for raw and unsalted and unroasted. When eating them from your pumpkin, wash and dry them and put on a baking sheet with a touch of olive oil and sea salt. Even better then the sea salt (if you are feeling adventurous) is to toss with cayenne or curry powder.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

I have a lot to be thankful for ... I have spent the last 5 days surrounded by family and lots of love. My sister Ang came home from Edmonton for a visit - one of my receptionists, Sabrina, was in cahoots with Chris and Ang and had moved around my busy schedule without me knowing! My brother-in-law, David was also in town (from Winnipeg) so we had a full house filled with fun and laughs.

Of course Ang coming to town, meant more yoga! Thursday night we checked out a new Moksha studio that opened in Hamilton ( and did an evening class. BEAUTIFUL studio. Amy and Nicole have done a wonderful job in creating a space that flows perfectly and is elegant with clean lines. No trip to Hamilton ends without a McMaster tour and drive through memory lane. We were starving after yoga so we went to The Bean Bar in Westdale, a restaurant my parents would take me to once in awhile when they came to visit. Same menu, same vibe as YEARS ago.... loved it. Always a great feeling to drive through the area and remember all the great spots including Cootes Paradise, where I used to run.

Friday morning we got up and checked out another new studio - Power Yoga Canada's Liberty Village studio. Cool spot on Liberty Street with exposed brick inside! We did a 90 minute power yoga class and I got to see Ang attempt a headstand which was great. Glad it wasn't super hot in there as my scapulas and my gluts were starting to seize due to the class the night before!

Friday night the 4 siblings made a big feast including two Delicious Detox faves - the halibut and the crunchy broccoli. It was great for all of us to spend the night together and it finished with the Morley's favourite Baskin Robbins, World Class Chocolate ice cream.

Saturday was spent in Waterloo, for a luncheon wedding (congrats Laurie and Jason!) and then a great evening with my in-laws. Sunday we were off to Niagara to visit my parents and of course more food. I'm grateful the weather was so nice as it enabled us to go for a walk a couple of times during the day, after lunch and after dinner.

Today we dropped Ang off at the airport ..... booooo.... and then we went home to do some work and organize ourselves for the week. I had picked up a recent copy of Tonic magazine at the Cheese Boutique on Friday but didn't have a chance to read through it until today. I was pleasantly surprised to see a short little book review on Delicious Detox. Tonic says `Dr.Morley explains the basics of detox programs and provides an incredible array of mouth-watering recipes that will make you want to detox permanently.`

This line was so amazing to read as this last part of the sentence is exactly what I wanted to accomplish with the book. You can eat like this more than just for 3 weeks, twice a year. The recipes are also easy to make so you don`t have to be a chef and they are fairly quick to make with most dishes on the table in less than 30 minutes.

I also was opening mail and opened up my Alumni magazine from McMaster, McMaster Times. They mentioned on their author page my name and book! Crazy!!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and had a chance to share some food and love with their loved ones. AND if you ate too much, that`s ok. Tomorrow is a new day, start over, and remember to get back on track for either the xmas party season or all-inclusive bikini season or just plain ole` good health.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Root Vegetable Time!!!

I love Autumn - for turtlenecks and boots, for big magazine issues of InStyle and Elle, for beautiful leaves turning colours, for soups, and for root vegetables!

Friday I bought the October issue of Bon Appetit magazine... the apple torte with breadcrumb-hazelnut crust grabbed my attention as did the headline 'easy fall dinners'. Any kind of apple cake or coffee cake reminds me of all those coffee cakes mom used to make for the workers for coffee break on the farm. We never had dessert after dinner at our house but now that I think about it there were always coffee cakes sitting on the counter. Thank goodness I was active and involved in sports, otherwise I would have been an obese child with the amount of food that was in our house growing up.

Anyway.... I did my first pass of the magazine on Friday night and picked out a few recipes that I wanted to try right away. One being on page 93, the Root Vegetable Tagine with Sweet Potatoes,Carrots, Turnips, and Spice-Roasted Chickpeas.... as I write this Chris is making the quinoa (instead of the recommended couscous) while the tagine (moroccan for 'stew') sits and the flavours blend. We both keep 'testing' the flavours.... not sure if we'll even be hungry for dinner - the flavours are amazing. I don't cook with olives too often so that was a change and the other thing I had to prep beforehand was to make preserved lemon slices. Bam! These flavours are soooo good. The recipe is too long to write out here but you can pick up the issue or check out their website

The Spice Roasted Chickpeas are similar to the ones in Delicious Detox that I made in the snack section. So you spoon the couscous (or in our case quinoa) into a bowl and then spoon the vegetable tagine into the center and then sprinkle the chickpeas over it.

While I was making the tagine, I was also making a banana, pumpkin walnut loaf.... I got the recipe from a facebook friend that has this amazing food album on her page. She was kind enough to share the recipe (thanks KLC!) and I decided to of course shake it up and substitute! Here's the recipe with my substitutions in brackets where done! Turned out delicious but when I do it again I would add a bit more ginger and nutmeg or actually get pumpkin spice. Great!

2 ripe bananas, mashed
2 eggs (2 tbsp ground flaxseed mixed with 6 tbsp water)
1/3 cup vegetable oil (coconut oil)
1 1/3 cups canned pumpkin puree
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup white sugar (1/3 cup raw cane sugar)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (blend of spelt and quinoa flour, same amount)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (didn't have so I did 1 tsp ginger and 1 tsp nutmeg)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease an 9x5 inch loaf pan.
In a large bowl, stir together the mashed banana, eggs, oil, pumpkin, honey and sugar. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, pie spice and cinnamon, stir into the banana mixture until just combined. Fold in the walnuts. Pour batter into the prepared pan.
Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Cool loaf in the pan for 10 minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.

Off to eat!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Back to Cooking

The last month has been so random with both my schedule and Chris' that I haven't been doing a lot of prep work on the weekends for our weekday meals. We have been buying the minimum on the weekend to get by because there just happened to be only two nights that we would be eating together. The dinners we did have at home together we had quick 'big salad' nights with tons of veggies, and a can of tuna or beans for some protein or a quick veggie stirfry on quinoa. Things that took minimum thinking and time.

Last week I was reminded what it was like to cook for one .... I was so tired one night I just sauteed some zucchini and a tomato, threw in some sundried tomatoes in oil, and leftover brown rice pasta and then cracked in 2 eggs. So random but tasty and it only took me 10 minutes total.

Its also been super busy with Delicious Detox attending health fairs and book signings, including one last weekend at The Apple Market in Mississauga and yesterday at Maya Health in Woodstock. The drive in SW Ontario yesterday and to Uxbridge on Friday also inspired my activities for today....

Today was a beautiful September morning so Chris and I went for a walk through High Park and then had breakfast on Bloor before walking through the Ukrainian festival booths and then home. All the fruit and veggie stands and perogies (even though Ukrainian, not Polish) inspired me to cook this afternoon. So I made parsley pesto, hummus, roasted beets, and a curried lentil stew for the week. It felt good to have a full fridge again!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Back to School - Pizza Pizza?

This morning driving to work I saw something that almost made me cry. This little boy, clearly his first day of school ever, had a spiderman backpack and was waiting at the corner for a bus with his mom. It was 8:40 so I thought it was kind of late... so there was a problem.

A bus stopped at the lights and I saw the mom walk over to the bus and start talking to the driver. A few minutes later the bus drove off and the little boy threw his backpack on the ground and started crying. Oh boy!!! Poor little guy!!! Hopefully he got to school.

Interesting story about Pizza Pizza in the Toronto Sun today. The company has apparently revamped its recipe and portion size ahead of time to meet the stricter healthy guidelines the Ontario government is putting into place for next September: 80% of food sold in schools must be healthy. To achieve the healthiest rating food must have lower levels of salt, sugar and fat, and contain more essential nutrients... and apparently Pizza Pizza has. Great policy. Healthier living and examples of healthy living has to start early!!

Still don't like the idea of pizza day or pizza at schools, but if it has to be, then a healthier version is better.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Nellie's Dryer Balls and Natures Emporium

Love these things...

I'm never in the Newmarket area but last weekend on my way back from my cooking classes in Port Carling I decided to drive through. Something caught my eye driving down Yonge Street - this huge sign - Natures Emporium. Always up for an adventure and actually having time to wander, I veered off. So impressed! Everything is organic. I walked in and straight ahead was a huge produce section with beautiful dark green leafies - oh the kale and swiss chard!! Off to the right was a prepared section with alot of raw food (surprise!) including a nice looking pizza.

I wandered through the bulk section and all the other aisles and came to the cleaning section. The usuals were all there and then I saw dryer balls. I've wanted to try these balls instead of using fabric softener and tried something similar in the past but wasn't impressed. The cute packaging caught my eye (sucker!) so for $19.99 I was the new owner of 2 green funny looking dryer balls. Nellies is a line of non-toxic, hypoallergenic, environmentally friendly cleaning products. The idea behind these pvc-free dryerballs is they lift and separate clothes, moving air efficiently through the dryer. This reduces drying by 15-25%. And because the clothes are not all balled up in a bunch, 10 minutes on medium heat will also push wrinkles right out and help eliminate lint buildup on your clothes.

This is from their CUTE website: Dryerballs do not eliminate static; they only help to prevent it. Climate and over drying are the main causes for static. Additional things you can do to help reduce static are:

- Decrease drying time
- Use less detergent
- Separate synthetics from the rest of your clothes

I've used them in 6 loads of laundry so far and so far so good - I love them!

Berry Red Rooibos Cooler

nourishtea is a great brand of loose leaf teas. I was flipping through the September issue of tonic magazine this afternoon and came across a Sobeys ad for a Rooibos cooler that caught my eye.

Chris, one of the owners of nourishtea, has impressed me with his development of nourishtea and his commitment to charity.

Here's the recipe.... AND I just happened to have fresh raspberries in my fridge! The recipe serves 4. I halved the recipe but kept the raspberry amount the same ... nice little afternoon treat! Kind of like the mojitos I used to make when I worked at The Keg!!! Well except for the rum....

2 tbsp Rooibos nourishtea
1/2 cup raspberries, crushed
1 tsp honey
f1 sprig of fresh mint leaves
4 cups of water
1 cup of ice

Steep the tea in 2 cups of hot water for 15 minutes. Add the two other cups of water, crushed raspberries, and honey. Place in the fridge and chill for 2 hours. add 1 cup of ice to the liquid and garnish with fresh mint.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Cooking Class in Port Carling

I had so much fun last weekend. Wellpath Clinic Muskoka hosted a wonderful interactive cooking class and detox seminar, led by ME!

We had a fantastic group of ladies help chop up all the veggies and prep for the Warm Spicy Sweet Potato Salad, Quinoa Tabbouleh, and the Almond Chicken. The group munched on the Hummus and Crispbread while I chatted about the importance of detoxification and healthy eating.

Wellpath had a great little kitchen for us to cook in and set up work stations and provided wine and beverages for a couple of hours. We all sat down at the end of the class and enjoyed a lovely meal together.

Thanks to everyone who made the trip up to Port Carling and to Chelsey and Richard for setting up a lovely space.

Michelle Obama Needs Delicious Detox

Well the First Lady does a little cleansing apparently - she needs a copy of Delicious Detox!

In an interview in September's Ladies' Home Journal, Michelle Obama mentions that she occasionally takes part in a cleanse. She meant, according to her press office, that she eats as much fruit and vegetables as possible and cuts out fats and oils, dairy, meat, caffeine, sugar and starch for a short period of time. Doing so, she told the magazine, helps "clean out my palate."

Well hopefully she has a licenced Naturopathic Doctor looking after her and she is doing these cleanses safely. There are a lot of myths around detoxification. The goal is to decrease the burden on the body. We're surrounded by toxins in today's society - in our food, in our water, in our air, in our cleaning products, etc.... Our bodies can only take so much.

I'm a huge fan of giving your body a break - for some this may mean no coffee and alcohol for a weekend, for some it might mean no sugar and coffee and alcohol for a week.... cleaning up shop for a week or two rejuvenates your body, boosts energy, and improves digestion. It is also a great way to kick start new healthy eating habits; and for some it can help in identifying food sensitivities.

Detox does not mean calorie restriction - it's about eating clean. The liver needs protein and certain nutrients for the process of detoxification to occur. This isn't for everyone. But what is for everyone is embarking on healthy eating to keep your body working optimally.

So Michelle Obama if you are reading this, have your people send me a note and I'll send you a copy of my cookbook, Delicious Detox. 80 recipes that are cleanse-friendly, easy to make and most important - delicious!!!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies

Last night there was a desire for something sweet after dinner .... so as usual I starting perusing my cupboards to see if I could make something to satisfy and surprise Chris with.

I ended up randomly putting some things together -- I didn't hold out much hope for my concoction but it seriously ended up working out. Typically with baking its pretty important to follow instructions and quantities. I had a bag of chocolate chips with a cookie recipe on the back but I only had 3 of the ingredients so I, the master of substitutions, did the following:

Instead of 2/3 cup melted butter I used 2/3 cup softened coconut oil (it wasn't oil and it was too warm in our house for it to be solid); instead of 2 eggs I used 2 tbsp ground flaxseed simmered in 6 tbsp water; instead of 2 2/3 cup white flour I used 2 cups spelt flour and 2/3 cup quinoa flour.

I creamed the coconut oil and flaxseed egg replacement with a little less than 2/3 cup dark brown sugar (I wanted to use agave nectar or honey but thought it would be too liquidy) and then added the flour, a little baking powder and baking soda and a pinch of salt and mixed well. I then added the chocolate chips and I threw in 1/2 cup of shredded coconut.

I was really surprised when they came out of the oven - they didn't spread all over the baking sheet, they rose a little and were delicious. You couldn't tell they were wheat-free, egg-free, and dairy-free, well other than the chocolate chips :)

I love using coconut oil lately - it's wonderful in baking and I'm using it more and more in stir-frying and roasting veggies. Yes it is a saturated fat but one that is mostly medium chain triglycerides, meaning that it it chock-full of health benefits: anti-microbial, immune-enhancing, and weight-loss.

Friday, August 13, 2010

"Researching" Turkish Hammam Spa

Last week I was in Winnipeg and decided it was my duty as a Naturopathic Doctor to do some research on a turkish hammam spa. Hydrotherapy is in my scope of practice and detox is definitely one of my specialities. The Hammam at the Ten Spa is a modern reinterpretation of the Turkish Roman hot air bathing ritual. Amazing experience. Turkey is now on my travel list.

When my name was called I sat in a robe and pestemal (a large tea towel that is dress code in the hammam) in a tiled heated room to acclimatize to the heat. I was served a traditional bitter and sweet treat that serves to sustain me through my treatment. I had a cup of moroccan mint tea and a turkish delight sweet. After 10 minutes or so I had a quick shower in the heated spa before I proceeded to the aromatic salting area where I self applied salts while seated on a heated bench. I really started sweating now and the salts were very rough at the same time being rejuvenating.

Then the fun began. There was a huge heated communal marble slab in the middle of the heated room where I laid down while the hammam attendant rinsed me off with different temperatures of water for the next 60 minutes. During this time there was also a foot and scalp massage ..... ridiculous.... now if this wasn't enough I then proceeded to a private room where I had a traditional soap scrub treatment.

For the first 20 minutes I was 'gommaged' - a full body exfoliation with kese, a rough cloth mitt that scoured my pores. I couldn't believe all the dead skin cells!! After the gommage a pure olive oil soap, in some sort of pillowcase that lathered up like crazy, was massaged into my skin. It felt like a feather and I was covered in bubbles. Warm, cool, and then cold water was then used to rinse me off for the next 20 minutes.

I then proceeded to the acclimatization room again where I self applied aloe vera gel, and drank and ayran - a salty yogurt drink to replenish.

Wow. I was in a daze the rest of the day and will never forget this experience at The Fort Garry Hotel in Winnipeg. (

Fish Friday Change-Up

Fridays usually means fish in our house. Today I went to see Tony at Snappers as I do every Friday to pick up some treats. The salmon steaks looked great today so I picked 2 up as well as some fresh Ontario tomatoes, and some broccoli that looked nice and crisp at Fresh and Wild next door.
I usually do dill, olive oil, and a touch of sea salt and pepper or lemom pepper and a quick broil for the fish. Today I wanted to shake things up a little and do a quick sauce instead. I did 1 tbsp dijon mustard, 1 tbsp honey, 1 tbsp olive oil and a pinch of sea salt and pepper on the salmon steaks. I put it the oven on broil and wham bam a nice saucy fish dinner.
We're also having crunchy broccoli (from Delicious Detox, page 75)and a fresh tomatoe salad (touch of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and lots of fresh basil).

Took me 5 minutes to prepare everything and in 15 minutes we were sitting at the table eating. YUM.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Chatelaine Online

Totally forgot I did this piece for the online version of Chatelaine. It's a little interview I did on weekend detoxes.

If you haven't checked out the online version of Chatelaine before, toot around the site. I was really impressed with how concise and clean the information is. It's super easy to read, the style blog is great as its short and sweet, and the health section has a couple of good tools including a BMI calculator.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Mark Your Calendars!

Mark your calendars for the most up-to-date list of media and appearances for the me and Delicious Detox (

1. On Thursday August 5th in the morning I will be chatting detox with Billie Jo and Jay from 102 ClearFM in Winnipeg.
2. On Thursday August 19th (6 pm), Friday August 20th (noon and 6 pm), and Saturday August 21st (noon) I will be in Port Carling at Wellpath Clinic for a detox seminar and cooking demo. more information.
3. Saturday September 11th I will be at the annual health fair for The Apple Market here in Mississauga to chat and sign books. For more information:
4. Saturday October 23rd I will be at The Five Tibetans Boutique in Kitchener for a 2 hour detox seminar and book signing. For more information:

I'll keep you all posted when new appearances are booked. All the best... I'm off to Winnipeg!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Mangoes, Mangoes, Mangoes! AND Pumpkin Seed Crusted Shrimp

One of my patients brought me a box of mangoes this week! Sooooo thoughtful AND delicious. Thanks NA!

I love mangoes. Not only because they are delicious and sweet but also because they evoke great childhood memories. Every year my parents would bring around 10 guys from St. Lucia to work on the tobacco farm and every year a couple of them would bring a couple of boxes of mangoes for us. We would keep them in the fridge and almost every night after dinner mom would peel and slice a few mangoes for us. Oh how I wish mom would peel and slice my mangoes now! Ha! They are slippery to peel and of course that pit in the middle doesn't make it easy but they are worth it.

I usually just peel the whole mango and slice and eat but if I'm making a salad or need the mangoes to look good I slice in half around the pit, score the mango half into squares and then edge the knife underneath to release the squares.

Since I have a box of mangoes, Chris and I are having a mango salad for dinner tonight, along with my favourite way to eat shrimp. Sometimes when we're entertaining I'll do Pumpkin Seed Crusted shrimp as one of the appetizers as they are quick and tasty. We're also starting with the Fresh Salad Rolls that are in my cookbook, Delicious Detox ( on page 54.

The mango salad is featured in this August's Zawada Health newsletter which will be available on the website on Wednesday ( under Newsletters) and below is the recipe for the Pumpkin Seed Crusted Shrimp.

1/4 cup unsalted and raw pumpkin seeds, chopped coarsely
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste
12 medium shrimp, peeled

Preheat the oven to 350 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Butterfly the shrimp by cutting down the center back of the shrimp, being careful not to cut all of the way through. Open the shrimp and flatten the two halves so that it resembles a butterfly. Remove the vein. Season shrimp with a sprinkling of salt and pepper and brush the tops of the shrimp with Dijon. Dredge the shrimp in the coarsely chopped seeds to create a coating on one side. Transfer the shrimp to the baking sheet and bake until cooked through, about 12 minutes.

This recipe is from an old Christine Cushing tv episode on the Food network. I wrote it quickly down while it was on tv and still have this tattered piece of paper in my recipes folder.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Surprise Visit and Injury TLC

Friday morning my sister Angela surprised me with a visit. She lives in Edmonton and I just went there to visit her 3 weeks ago but she needed some TLC so decided to come home.

She has been active her whole life, playing volleyball at the university level and then doing pro beach volleyball for a few years before yoga became the center of her world. She now owns a couple of Moksha studios in Edmonton and is seriously the best instructor ever! :)

Anyway she was missing beach volleyball so decided to start up again only to re-injure her back. She has a herniated disk that WAS under control. Her body wasn't dynamic anymore because she had been so focused on yoga - long stretchy muscles - which is the opposite of volleyball muscles - short, quick, dynamic. So even though she is super strong and lean, her body was not ready to quickly transition to volleyball.

We had such a great weekend. In between a shopping trip, some good food and drink, and lectures on healthy eating, I used a couple of homeopathic remedies with her to get some of the inflammation down and did some acupuncture. RICE was also key - rest, ice, compression, elevation. She leaves tonight... short but sweet visit.

Oh and she loves animals and being outside so Sunday morning we walked through High Park because I wanted to show her the petting zoo. A cute little zoo (FREE!) with bison, peacocks, wallaby's, sheep, etc. If anyone is looking for something to do (with or without kids) High Park in the west end of Toronto is fabulous. Huge pond with tons of geese, lots of green space to have a picnic, free zoo, HUGE childrens playground, lots of off-leash areas for dogs, and some nice running and cycling loops. A Dream in High Park is also playing again this year - Romeo and Juliet is the play they are putting on this year. It's pay what you can for a couple of hours of Shakespeare outdoors. Chris and I did this a couple of years ago with another couple to see As You Like It. We packed a picnic and sat on the lawn watching the play. Lots of great options.

Love you Ang!!!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

It's Hot and Humid.... Let's Not Turn the Oven On

Delicious raw berry crisp recipe..... It's hot outside. It's humid. I love it. This is what summer used to be! All the hot summer days growing up on a tobacco farm... this would be the time of the year that dad would be starting to get out the irrigation pipes and start setting up to water those plants! What a fun time of year it used to be. Ah to be a kid again (or a teacher!) with no cares and enjoying those hot summer days.

In the midst of this beautiful weather the last thing most people want to do is turn on the oven. Here's a quick (REALLY QUICK) dessert you can whip together right after dinner or if company is coming!

6 cups mixed berries, such as blackberries, blueberries, raspberries and sliced strawberries
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup, more or less to taste depending on sweetness of berries
1 cup raw pecans
1/2 cup raw walnuts
1/2 cup pitted dates, roughly chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

In a (7- x 11-inch) dish, toss berries with maple syrup. Put pecans, walnuts, dates and cinnamon into a food processor and pulse until coarsely ground. Scatter nut mixture over berries and serve immediately, or chill until ready to serve.

I got this from the Whole Foods website. Great idea. Stay cool.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Ginkgo Biloba

Last year when we went to Portugal we went to this town called Sintra that had a beautiful castle (at the top of VERY STEEP MOUNTAIN) and adjoining herb garden. I distinctly remember wandering through the garden and seeing a Ginkgo tree. I got so excited because I remembered learning about all the health benefits, interactions and side effects AND from time to time I currently prescribe Ginkgo to my patients. I took many pictures of this random tree and of course pictures of Chris rubbing his temples next to the tree, trying to increase his memory and cognitive function (well actually him making fun of me because of how excited I got about seeing this tree!)

Anyway I just read a very interesting fact about Ginkgo Biloba. It is an extremely hardy tree that is resistant to pollution and as a result is commonly found in major cities such as New York and Tokyo. So incredibly strong is Ginkgo, that one Ginkgo tree was the only tree to survive at the atomic blast at Hiroshima, Japan.

The original therapeutic focus of Ginkgo was on improving circulation to the legs and brain. Later, the neuroprotective effects of Ginkgo were recognized and it became useful for improving cognitive (brain) function in both healthy adults and the elderly. New research indicates that Ginkgo could be of benefit in a wide range of issues such as cardiovascular health, longevity, mood and stress, antioxidant support, eye health, and memory support.

It does thin the blood so one must be careful if taking aspirin or warfarin.

Great herb.Great herb.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Banana Ice Cream Pops

Although today is grey and rainy outside this recipe on a blog that I follow (Gluten-Free Goddess), caught my eye because of its simplicity. How great to make a few of these and have them in the freezer instead of those heavily artifically flavoured and sugar-laden popsicles or pops.

These pops are dairy-free! The recipe uses xantham gum which boosts viscosity and improves the texture of non-dairy ice cream. I prefer not using xantham gum and keeping the pops as simple and "clean" as possible and I used the vanilla rice milk but I'm sure the coconut milk would be divine.

1 1/2 cups frozen sliced bananas
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1 cup ice cold vanilla rice milk or coconut milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
(1/4 teaspoon xantham gum)

Combine all of the ingredients in a Vita-Mix or blender and whip until creamy smooth.

Spoon the banana mixture into six large frozen pop molds (or whatever Popsicle style molds you have on hand). Insert sticks. Freeze overnight for best results.

To remove a pop from the mold, run warm water over the mold to loosen the pop- or follow the mold manufacturer's gentle instructions.

Makes six large pops.

Smoked Mackerel Tortilla

Friday I was watching Chuck's Day Off, a show on the Food Network and was intrigued with a recipe for a tortilla - which is essentially a Spanish omelette that traditionally has potatoes and onions. I was also curious because it had smoked mackerel and I've always wanted to look into the health pros and cons of these tasty treat.

I know that mackerel, not smoked, is very healthy as it is a fantastic source of omega 3's. When I prescribe an omega 3 supplement to a patient or when I'm critiquing one I always look for one that is made with mackerel, sardine, and/or herring.

Smoked mackerel is another story. Smoking fish is a way to preserve fish and keep it as fresh as possible. Smoking fish does not have to be done, but many people like it for the unique flavor it gives fish. Smoked salmon and mackerel are two of the top purchased smoked fish in the country. Smoking fish started years ago when they would preserve the fish in winter to have over a long period of time. Native Americans also believed that if someone handled the salmon the wrong way, it would drive the salmon away from the waters and they would not be able to catch anymore. They would have it served only at their lavish festivals since it was such a delicacy to them. Salmon was highly respected by the Native Americans, Romans, and Greeks.

There are a variety of ways salmon can be smoked for example, cold-smoking and hot-smoking. Cold-smoking is cooked slowly for about 24 hours at a low temperature and hot-smoking is cooked at a hotter temperature for less time. Before starting either smoking technique the fish is cured with salt for minutes up to hours. This allows for the fish to let salt in and to kill bacteria while letting some moisture out. After curing the meat it will need to be rinsed off before the smoking process begins. Hot smoked fish can not be cut thin as it will fall apart and crumble.

Because of the smoking process the omega 3 content does decrease and there have been studies done that confirms the content of certain carcinogenic (cancer-causing) compounds after smoking fish. One time this was reported was in the September 2004 issue of the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture (vol. 84, no. 12,pp. 1545-1552(8)).

Consumption of smoked foods and similarly carcinogenic deli meats should be kept to a minimum. Nevertheless here is the recipe of Chuck's Mackerel Tortilla which was delicious and would be a great brunch entertaining centerpiece.


* 6 potatoes, scrubbed but not peeled
* 1 ½ tablespoon olive oil (1 tablespoon for the onions and ½ for the tortilla assembly) (25 ml)
* 2 large onions, peeled, thinly sliced
* 4 cloves garlic, peeled, minced
* 9 eggs
* 1/4 cup 35% cream (65 ml)
* A pinch of coarse salt and cracked black pepper
* 3 small fillets of smoked mackerel, broken apart in chunks


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. (177 C)
2. Place whole potatoes in saucepan of cold water. Bring to the boil, add a good pinch of salt and cook for about 12 minutes or until just tender. Drain, allow to cool completely and thinly slice.
3. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a 20cm non-stick (oven proof) frying pan over medium heat. Add onion and cook till soft and translucent. About 3- 5 minutes.
4. Add garlic and cook a further 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Continue cooking till onions become a little caramelized and are reduced to ¼ in volume. You don’t want to let anything get too brown. Remove from pan, set aside.
5. Prepare mackerel by peeling the skin off one side and breaking into smallish pieces with your hands.
6. Add the remaining oil to the pan and layer up potato slices, onions and mackerel chunks. Aim for at least 3 or 4 layers.
7. Whisk eggs, cream, salt and pepper in a bowl and pour over the potato, lifting the bottom a little to encourage even distribution. Let cook 2 minutes or so on the burner to get a nice base and start to cook the sides.
8. Place pan in the oven for 25-35 minutes or until browned and cooked through. When it’s ready the edges will be browning, and the top will be puffed up with no signs of runny egg.
9. Placing your serving platter on top, flip the tortilla over, and turn out onto a large round platter and slice into wedges.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

CFL and Moksha Yoga

As many of you know my sister Angela owns Moksha Yoga Edmonton (MYE) and Moksha Yoga South Edmonton (opens Monday!!! Yay Ang!!!) and is a fabulous yoga instructor. CTV recently did a story on how the Edmonton Eskimos are going to MYE for some tough love in the yoga studio.

Here's a clip of the piece that was recently posted by TSN. Ang is instructing the class. Way to make them sweat Ang!!! - If you look to the right column, the story is called "Hitting the Mat".

If you've never tried Moksha I urge you to give it a try. I've been doing it since its 'birth' around 2004 and prior to that I was doing Bikram Yoga, which is also a yoga sequence done in the heat. It's improved my running, my overall health and energy, and most of all it has given me the gift of learning how to relax and finding calm in my hectic life. Namaste.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


Every year I get the same questions right about now about sunscreens. More and more people are hearing about the chemicals in most sunscreens and are more reluctant to be applying them on themselves, AND even more so their kids.

My husband burns very quickly. He's like a beacon of red light after a short walk outside but has always been very good with applying sunscreen and wearing a hat. I don't burn too quickly but have noticed over the years that the sun is way more intense than it ever has been. I remember the good ole' days on the farm, hoeing the rows of tobacco in a bathing suit, no hat, no sunscreen, or sitting on the riding lawn mower, again with no sunscreen .... my how things have changed. I wish I knew back then what I know now about how dangerous the sun is (other than the vitamin D it supplies!) AND more importantly how it ages you!

Now with wrinkles slowly starting to appear my sun protection has increased dramatically. When I'm out for a run or if I'm golfing a hat and sunglasses are my best friends. Now is the time to take a look at your sun protection habits ... here are some quick tips courtesy of :

Avoid these ingredients: Oxybenzone, Vitamin A, Added insect repellent
Look for these ingredients: Zinc, Titanium dioxide, Avobenzone or Mexoryl SX

Avoid these products: Sprays, Powders, SPF above 50+
Look for these products: Cream, Broad spectrum protection, Water resistant for beach, pool & exercise, SPF 30+ for beach & pool

Look for more information on these tips in the Zawada Health June newsletter which will be posted on the website ( later this afternoon!

Sunday, May 30, 2010


This week has been one of those crazy crazy crazy weeks. After a short but amazing weekend getaway to NYC, and a long LONG flight home (we left 12 hours late because American Airlines oversold the flight), it was a week of catch-up. An intense schedule of patients, a board of governors meeting and CCNM graduation on Friday (congratulations Claire!), all made me so grateful the weekend came quick. Thank goodness for some frozen soup in the freezer (thanks mom!) and a wonderful husband who did some key fruit and veggie groceries!

It was also one of those weeks where I heard or read the same story 4 or 5 times which of course made me want to blog about it. I had a new patient this week that was referred by another one of my patients (SM) who has really embraced healthy living. She told me about an eco-party that my patient hosted earlier this year that really taught her a lot and opened her eyes to options.

8 friends all went to Toronto's Green Living Show for the day and then went to SM's place where she made quinoa (no one had tried it!), they then made all-natural cleaning supplies and soap, and then everyone got a little goody bag with some ground flaxseed and information about healthy living. How amazing! This is truly an inspiring party that anyone can imitate!

I also picked up the June issue of Tonic, a healthy monthly paper always filled with great tips and stories. One of the stories was how to throw a green party. Their tips were a little different - most of the tips being about how to throw a eco-friendly party like sending evites instead of paper, using veggie or herbs to decorate, using soy and beeswax candles instead of paraffin and planning a local and organic menu.

Happy party planning!

Sunday, May 16, 2010


Too scared to try eating ferns? The fiddleheads in grocery stores right now are still fresh. Buy and eat them soon as the season is closing up.

Friday night I wanted to make some pesto (Parsley Pesto from page 88 in Delicious Detox) but didn't have quite enough parsley. The only other green thing I had in my fridge that was a potential addition was a bag of fiddleheads that I bought a few days earlier. So I carefully washed the fiddleheads, brought a pot of salted water to a boil and then cooked the fiddleheads for 10 minutes. I dumped them in ice cold water afterwards so they would preserve their beautiful green colour and set them aside. I then turned my attention to the parsley pesto. I processed the garlic, sea salt, and walnuts and then added the parsley I had and half of the fiddleheads (1 cup) I just cooked. I whizzed it around and then slowly added the olive oil. Beautiful.

I ended up putting the pesto on 2 fillets of rainbow trout (yes it's fish fridays at our house!) and then sauteing the rest of the fiddleheads with a red pepper and leftover broccoli, added some dried thyme and parsley and bam - dinner was done and was a hit!

Fiddleheads need to be thoroughly washed and cooked completely before eating. They can be used in any recipe where asparagus is used as they are quite similar.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Spinning into Electricity Grid

Love this. I love this because I used to be a spinning instructor and can appreciate how difficult it is to motivate people to get on those bikes and keep spinning hard to get a great workout.

I read about this in the Globe and Mail earlier in the week and just remembered I wanted to check it out. So this company, Green Revolution Inc., has created this technology to attach to spinning bikes that creates electricity to feed back into the spinning facility! The company's mission is to involve people in the process of creating clean renewable energy from human activity. Now while people are getting a great workout, they can also have a positive impact on the environment by creating clean electricity that reduces greenhouse gas emissions and helps to connect a healthy body with a healthy planet.

Can you imagine if the class participants weren't working hard enough during the workout and the lights started to flicker and shut off? Ha!

You can always check out the following link for more info:

Wellpath Clinic - Muskoka Location and Delicious Detox

There is a clinic in Toronto (Avenue and Bloor) that opened up in September 2008 that just opened up a new location in Port Carling that I had to share. The website is great... very informative, simple and easy to read and professional. Two naturopathic doctors are available for a variety of services - Dr. Porter and Dr. Campitelli.

If you scroll down the events in Port Carling you'll see that I'll be doing an appearance in Port Carling with my new healthy cookbook - Delicious Detox. The date is still tba but keep checking!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Misdiagnosed Food Allergies and Global TV

My home page on my laptop is the NY Times Health section. So every morning I get to the clinic, make my green tea, and turn on my laptop to take a quick glance at the health headlines. (Yes I love routine!)

Yesterday I glanced at the following headline on a study that came out saying alot of food allergies are misdiagnosed:

Funny enough Global did a story on it so came to the clinic to get a few thoughts:

Essentially I agreed with the story. I do find a lot of people come in and say they are allergic to milk or wheat or corn etc... however in reality these people probably have food intolerances or sensitivities. If a food allergy occurs, symptoms would be swollen lips, or itchy throat or lips, or a feeling of throat closing - an anaphylactic response. Food intolerances or sensitivities express themselves in a variety of ways that may include: heartburn, bloating, headaches, joint pain, etc.

Sometimes I will do a IgG Blood Spot test at the clinic to see what foods the person is reacting to, causing a food sensitivity. This just involves a quick finger prick test and 96 potential foods are tested. Alternately I will do a food challenge or elimination diet to see which foods may be causing a problem.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

New Blog to Follow: Shelley Gibbs

Last night my colleague and good friend Shelley Gibbs, went out for dinner to Raw Aura in Mississauga. The raw restaurant catered my Christmas Zawada Health party and I've been a couple times on my own and have never been disappointed. Last night was no exception.

Normally on a restaurant menu I wouldn't even dare look at a 'mac n'cheese' item but since the 'mac' was zucchini and yams and 'cheese' was a cashew nut concoction I decided to go for it! Shelley had the lasagna which was mostly zucchini noodles with the same cashew 'cheese' and a walnut pesto on top. The lasagna is one of my faves. We finished off the meal with a lemon avocado cheesecake which was nice and light.

We were talking about tweeting and I told Shelley I would be an awful tweeter because I am so long winded but I thought she would be great because she always has something smart to say or sarcastic and has some great little one-liners. Anyway she informed me she's been doing a blog... so I just checked it out and of course I'm not surprised that it is wonderful. Great info Shelley!

Check it out:

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

I Love My Sister and This is Why!

This is going to be a strange blog post but I had to share. If anything I'm sure anyone reading this will get a good laugh. This is an email copy and pasted straight from my sister Angela. I sent her a copy of my cookbook, Delicious Detox a few weeks ago and she has finally set aside the time to do the exact detox outlined in the book. She was determined to follow the 14 day meal planner and the accompanying grocery list.

We talked on the phone earlier today and she was excited about going to the grocery store. So I asked for her to email or call me after her grocery shopping so I could get her thoughts on the way I organized the shopping list and to see if there were any difficulties. Ang has probably done 3 or 4 detoxes in the last 5 years under my guidance but being a busy busy woman she usually defaults to plain brown rice and quinoa, basic chicken and fish, and easy stir-frys.

So here's the email... it is her running commentary at a grocery store out in Edmonton with my cookbook in hand and some of her suggestions.....

"Start time - 3:10pm- started with veggies and fresh herbs. Felt all over the map in the grocery store :) Wondered where I should start. I should've brought a pen to check things off the shopping list (mental note for next time) Oh and suggestion Carol- please make a tear out list next time!!

Hhhhmmmm what does a ripe acorn squash look like? There's some really green and some
with lots of yellow?!?

3:20pm and I'm in produce isle... Wondering if Delicious Detox is going to make me
broke? Good I just got paid but maybe I should've went grocery shopping before my
lululemon adventure at the mall today! I feel like I'm on a scavenger hunt hahaha.

What's the difference between english cucumber and non english?

3:30pm - veggies and fresh herbs complete and my shopping cart is full... Should've
started with heavier stuff first so I don't squish my spinach, maybe put that as a
side note in your book hee hee! Moving onto fruits! I'll skip
lemons as I have a lot at home. Oh no... No fresh blueberries... Blackberries are in season so I'm getting those instead - a little modification!

3:40pm - done fruits moving onto nuts! Raw vs blanched? I don't know u tell me?!?!?
I'm stressed I don't want to mess up! Yes! I have flaxseeds at home! Save money
and time ... Check!

Oh whoa.... I almost picked up a jar of nutella instead of tahini. Ha! Gotta watch that... Carol wouldn't approve.

Whole black pepper vs whole black peppercorns? Is there a difference? Don't worry I got peppercorns but just want to know!

3:55pm- pantry done now all that's left is proteins and whole grains! What's
amaranth? I'm going to have to ask someone. I should've went to the other grocery store because they have a health food section and this one doesn't -- this isn't going to be a one stop shop for this detox ...Mental note that too!

The lady now tells me that rainbow trout doesn't come in fillets because their so small ... Really? I told her my sister made this cookbook so she should know!

Ok so I asked and they don't carry adzuki beans or amaranth ... the guy has never
even heard of them ... hmmm and this is a big grocery store wow ... I wasn't going
crazy but not a fan of this not being a one stop shop!

4:20pm- Ok I'm done and now to the check out! Stay tuned! Would've taken my a lot less time but I had to email going through the aisles!

oh wow surprise surprise I picked the correct day to come because it's 10% tuesday
YES YES YES this is the greatest news ever! Ok that's all for now. Hope you enjoyed my play by play."

Hilarious. I love it. She has such an amazing zest for life and has kept me laughing over the years. I could feel her stress going through the grocery store. Doing a detox isn't easy and it does take a lot of preparation. But this short term pain in getting proper groceries and having a stocked pantry and prepping some foods will bring such great rewards. Doing this will save her the daily stress of not having foods around or meals prepped or being hungry. Ang has set herself up for success! This was a great reminder for me on what the majority of people go through when I put them on a detox. Love you Ang!!!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Delicious Detox Back at Me!

Oh wow Saturday night was fun and surprising! Chris and I went over to our friends Anne-Marie and Dave's house for dinner (Nor and Kris joined us as well!) on Saturday. The 6 of us always have a great time together and this time was no different.

As we sat down for dinner and the first course - a soup - was being served I was impressed. This soup was delicious... very familiar.... Hmmmmm.... it was my Squash Soup recipe from the cookbook I realized!! How fantastic! Anne-Marie and Dave decided to cook us a feast from Delicious Detox.

They did a wonderful job - the main course was the Sesame-Lime Chicken, Crunchy Broccoli, and Sweet Potato Fries - it was so strange being served my food, yet so flattering. Thanks guys! :)

I'm attaching the Crunchy Broccoli recipe straight from the cookbook, as it is definitely a fan favourite among many patients (and practitioners at the clinic).

Crunchy Broccoli

Yield: 2 servings

Mom was always right in making you eat your broccoli! It truly is a super food, filled with vitamins C and A and folic acid. A serving of broccoli contains almost as much calcium as a glass of milk! You can save the broccoli stalks trimmed from the florets in this recipe and use them in a soup or stock.

1 head of broccoli
2 tablespoons (30 mL) ground flaxseed
2 tablespoons (30 mL) sesame seeds
3 tablespoons (45 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon (2 mL) sea salt
½ teaspoon (2 mL) freshly ground pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C).
2. Cut the broccoli into bite-sized florets and soak in a bowl of water for 5 minutes.
3. Drain the water from the bowl and add the flaxseed, sesame seeds, olive oil, salt, and pepper and mix thoroughly.
4. Place the mixture on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 15 minutes.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Beautiful Book

On my way home today (after a lovely country drive) I stopped at Indigo to pick up a few books and get inspired to bake something special for a dinner that we are going to tomorrow night. I was rummaging through the cooking section and stumbled upon this beautiful book: Wholefood For Children by Jude Blereau: Nourishing Young Children with Whole and Organic Foods. I just got home and have been noodling around the web to get some more information on this natural food chef. Here's her blog:

Looks like she's from Australia. Anyway just leafing through I was really impressed and haven't seen a resource like this.

Oh and if you haven't had a chance to pick up my cookbook yet, Delicious Detox is on sale now! You can come to the clinic to pick it up, or buy it online on our shop online section at I'll post something when the cookbook's official website goes live. Bookmark

Drive Through SW Ontario

What a beautiful day. I have to always remind myself that I did not grow up in the city and that I have to return to my roots more often and take in the country air. With my parents not living in Tillsonburg anymore there is really no reason for me to drive out that way very often.

Today I went to visit a few friends and colleagues (Armstrong Clinic for Naturopathic Medicine) and also just to get out of the city and relax. There is no work to do during a 2 hour car ride and thanks to the Ontario government I can't really talk on the phone either! :)

Beautiful sky and sun, the rolling green hills driving back roads through Hamilton, Brantford, Oakland, Scotland, and Otterville was amazing. Seeing all the old tobacco fields and my old home.... ahhhhh. It was the first time I had been back since my parents sold the farm and saw some of the changes the new owner has made. The new owner really changed alot so it was a bit of a shock driving by. A flood of memories ....

I love the Spring air in the country, with the tractors out, getting the fields ready for planting ... it nourished my soul.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Gallbladder Season!

My colleague and friend Auromira Banga is a naturopathic doctor and busy mom in the UK. Here is an interesting post from her blog today that may give you a better sense of all the things running around in our heads as naturopathic doctors.

Yes we are primary care practitioners and we can do physical exams and pap smears and prostate exams and in British Columbia our scope has increased to be able to prescribe a list of pharmaceuticals like antibiotics.... but we also are always looking at the whole person and everything that is going on in their life that could be contributing to their health concerns. We have a lot of different tools in our tool belt including herbs, homeopathy, nutrition, and of course Chinese medicine to treat an individual. In Chinese medicine each season has a different organ associated with it and Spring is associated with the liver and gallbladder. And this is where Auromira's blog post comes into play.

So when I'm looking at someone and trying to figure out (like a detective!) what is going on, not only do I look at their physical symptoms from a conventional perspective I'm also looking at their personality and characteristics and how they react to stress..... It really truly is a holistic approach. Love it.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Food Inc. and Cheap Healthy Food

Last night we watched Food Inc. on CBC. I had seen parts of it in the past but never the whole thing at once. Definitely worthwhile to take a look where our food really comes from and how the big food companies shape how the majority of society eats.

What made me really sad was an interview with a family that was eating $1.00 burgers for dinner because they couldn't afford much more. They were pictured in the grocery store, wanting to buy fruits and vegetables but foregoing them because they were too expensive. I really wanted to call them up and say you can eat healthy on a budget.

At least once a week at the clinic I have patients that say they can't afford to eat healthy. I think a lot of people think it is expensive to eat healthy because they associate healthy with organic. Eating healthy can mean a lot of different things to different people but it comes down to eating clean and as close to the original food as possible i.e. the grain instead of bread or an apple instead of a 'fruit-to-go'. Yes I know that some fruits and vegetables are pricey, especially out of season, but some are very affordable. Cabbage, carrots, apples are just some examples of less expensive yet healthy foods. What about rice? What about beans?

As a society we want convenience so packaged foods are easy to buy for many people. "Organic" packaged foods are ridiculously expensive... these aren't necessarily healthy. Still in a box! If we all attempted to cook more, making creative meals out of basic food staples that aren't expensive, eating healthy on a budget becomes a reality.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Ear Infections

After the excitement of having my cookbook (Delicious Detox) finally in my hands on Friday, I went to a wonderful seminar on Saturday and Sunday on common pediatric or childhood health concerns.

It was a good review of my third year pediatrics course but introducing some new concepts on treating childhood ailments with drainage remedies and homeopathy.

One concern that I see at least once a week is chronic ear infections in children. Parents will bring their little ones in because they've had a few ear infections in a short amount of time and their medical doctor wants to put tubes in their ears. So I'm usually the last option before this stage. It's wonderful because naturopathic medicine has so much to offer when it comes to treating ear infections acutely or if the child has a chronic problem.

The first thing I usually do is take the child off dairy for at least a month along with some other tricks of the trade like probiotics. Any naturopathic doctor will usually eliminate one of four common food allergens - dairy, wheat, sugar or soy.

The one thing that surprised me the most in the discussion of this topic was that even the American Pediatric Association knows otitis media (ear infections) is an immune reaction of the body typically to a food intolerance. There was an article in their journal in 1995. Elimination of these foods addresses about 90% of ear infections! So why do pediatricians or family medical doctors never mention this to parents as a first line?

Evidenced-based medicine eh?

Monday, April 5, 2010

Fiber for Weight Loss

Fiber, fiber, fiber.... what do you most people think of when they hear the word fiber?
Good bowels so decreased constipation! Decrease in risk of colon cancer and diabetes! Lowers risk of heart disease!

Why fiber for weight loss?

Fiber helps you feel full sooner, while it also slows down your rate of digestion, keeping you feeling full longer. It also moves fat through your digestive system faster, which means less fat is absorbed.

Women should try to get over 20 grams of fiber in their diet a day, while men should strive for over 30 grams. Just to give you an idea... an medium sized apple with the skin on has about 4 grams of fiber as does a cup of cooked spinach while 100 grams of cooked black eyed beans has 7 grams of fiber.

Once in a while try to write down what you had during a day and check with the many different fiber charts online to see how much fiber you are getting! Alternatively give me your diet diary and I'll check your fiber levels as well as calcium and iron and protein in your typical day... most people are pretty surprised how little their levels of these nutrients they are consuming!

Lack of Breastfeeding Saves Lives and Lots of Dollars

A study in the Journal of Pediatrics published on Monday revealed that breastfeeding exclusively in the first 6 months of life would save 1000 lives and billions of dollars. Specifically in the US, 911 preventable deaths and $13 billion dollars. Researchers included the cost of health care as well as parents time away from work.

The World Health Organization says infants should be exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life "to achieve optimal growth, development and health." The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Family Physicians and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention all agree that breast milk alone is sufficient for newborns and infants until they are 6 months old.

Nearly 95% are due to premature deaths because of SIDs (sudden infant death syndrome), lower respiratory infections like pneumonia, and necrotizing enterolitis (intestinal walls die). Breastfeeding has been shown to decrease the risk of these illnesses as well as 7 other.

A lot of contributing factors were discussed by the researchers such as lack of education in hospitals, pressure from grandparents and parents to stop breastfeeding when it's not going well (because they grew up in a 'formula' time), and a delay in immediate skin-to-skin contact between mother and baby making it harder for the baby to develop its sucking instinct.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Enjoying the Beautiful Weather and Quick Exercise Tip

What a beautiful weekend! I went for a run yesterday morning and then Chris and I walked through High Park to enjoy the mid-day sun. Today we went to some of our favourite places in Toronto including St. Lawrence market and Kensington market to pick up some things for Easter! I had to stop in to Urban Herbivore for a apple cranberry spelt muffin too.... delicious.... some weekends I think of ways how I can incorporate a trip there with other errands I have to do.

This afternoon I went for another run followed by a great little 20 minute yoga session in my room. Some mornings I`m crunched for time to get to moksha or it`s raining outside so I`ll listen to one of the 15 or so yoga downloads I have from either itunes or my sister, the best yoga teacher ever :) and do an hour session in my room or a quick 20 minute power yoga. This is a great little tip for those crunched for time in the morning or those looking for little ways to get some exercise into their daily life. Now if you`ve never done yoga before this isn`t going to work for you as I recommend that you start off in a studio until you feel comfortable with the postures. You could also work on a yoga dvd to get into the flow of things before you work your way into an audio version.

I remember there was a time when I thought the longer I spent in the gym the better. Oh those McMaster days..... As I get older, I`m wiser, (and busier), and realize that even if I do something small everyday I can stay on track and be fit. Of course this doesn`t work great if you are training for something, but for general health and wellness this is perfect. Whether it`s getting up 5 minutes earlier and skipping rope, or doing 5 minutes of jumping jacks and pushups, every little bit counts!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Activity Before Studying

Love this. Researchers from the University of Illinois recently found that brain cognition significantly improved after 20 minutes of brisk walking in pre-adolescent children.

Taking frequent short breaks while studying or focusing on a project is important for everyone. So next time your kids (or you!) want help studying for a big test at school urge them to grab their sneakers and go for a short walk!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Folic Acid and Cervical Dysplasia

Pleasantly surprised by a patient yesterday who told me their MD(medical doctor) told them to take folic acid and vitamin D for their cervical dysplasia before returning for a follow-up Pap smear!

Of course as an ND (naturopathic doctor), that would be at the top of my list when a woman comes to me with an irregular Pap smear result, along with nutrition and lifestyle changes.

What exactly is dysplasia and what does a Pap smear do? A Pap smear takes a sampling the cells on an area of the cervix and then these cells are looked at with a microscope to determine their abnormality or if it is cancer. Dysplasia just means cellular changes.

Dysplasia is a great example of what preventative medicine can do, because in almost all cases it is a preventable disease. The HPV (human papillomavirus) causes virtually all cases and this virus is sexually transmitted. Many co-factors serve as 'co-carcinogens' in the development of the cellular changes such as smoking, nutrient deficiencies, oral contraceptive use, and immune deficiency. This is where ND's are fabulous. We can advise patients about what they can do about these cofactors.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Not So Polish Beets

I went to visit my parents this past Sunday for a quick lunch and some shopping. It was great to see them as usual and of course come back with some food for the week!

I was really surprised at the beets mom made for lunch. Instead of the standard, she sauteed some onions and then added cumin, cinnamon, and nutmeg before adding the beets, horseradish, and lemon juice. She cooked it all together for half an hour or so and then bam... done... it was delicious. Of course in true mom style, when I asked her for the recipe she stared at me blankly and just said, "oh you know, to taste."

Anyway... just had some leftover beets for lunch and they were even better today then they were on Sunday!

The next trick will be Easter Sunday when I will attempt to make mom's borscht. My parents are off to Edmonton for a little road trip to visit my sister so it's just going to be Chris and I for Easter this year! She refused to write down the recipe of course so quickly explained and I'm supposed to go from there! We'll see how it goes.... I will not be reporting on this however as it this meal will not be suitable for a naturopathic blog. Can anyone say kielbasa?

Friday, March 19, 2010

Kale for My Friends

I'm just about to leave to visit with a group of university friends. We're all meeting at Lisa's house and each of us offered to bring a side dish or dessert to make up the meal.

I'm bringing kale. Not sure if Noreen, Lisa, Cindy, or Stacey has ever had kale but this will be a good opportunity for them to try it.... I was downtown today so I went to Whole Foods to buy some beautiful organic kale. They had 4 or 5 varieties so I went with the dinosaur kale which is thinner, darker, and not as leafy as the other variety I bought. I washed and cut the kale into strips and then steamed it for 3 minutes. While it was steaming I quickly blended 2 tbsp of tahini, 2 tbsp braggs (pure soy sauce), and 1 1/2 tbsp of honey. It seemed a bit thick today so I added a tsp of water to thin it out a bit and then poured it on top of the kale and mixed it all together. I sprinkled 2 tbsp of sesame seeds and did a final quick mix.

Off I go!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Vegan Paella and Garlic Aioli

We made a delicious vegan paella tonight for dinner. The recipe is from Voluptous Vegan, a fantastic cookbook that caters to entertaining vegan. It is organized in full menus with side dishes and everything. The recipes are not quick, as they involve a few steps but are definitely rewarding. I think I've blogged about this before as I've made this recipe a few times.

Traditional paella usually has shrimp, and/or chicken, and/or sausage and is usually made in a wide shallow pan. We've done a traditional version a few times that we love as well but this vegan paella is even more flavour packed... especially because of the tasty tofu-roasted garlic aioli that tops the dish. (Chris yearning for the paella with sausage kept asking when the chorizio sausage was going in the paella tonight!)

Aioli is a garlicky mayonnaise that contains eggs. In this version, tofu is the base. Sometimes I make this aioli as a dipping sauce for sweet potato fries instead of using mayo.

1 small head of garlic, unpeeled, plus 1 garlic clove, peeled
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
sea salt
1 box silken tofu
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Roast the garlic in the oven for 30 minutes at 375 F drizzing some olive oil and sea salt on the garlic before wrapping it up in foil. Afterwards in a food processor, combine the other ingredients and pulse. Squeeze the roasted garlic out of the skins and then add to the tofu mixture and puree until creamy.

Delicious and pretty easy.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Junk Food in Pregnancy

For all you moms to be... new research:

Eating junk food during pregnancy may raise the chance of having obese children who are more susceptible to diabetes.

Researchers at Royal Veterinary College fed female rats doughnuts, muffins, chocolate, potato chips, cheese, cookies and candy during pregnancy, and noted that the offspring of these rats were fatter, had more muscle waste, and showed signs of insulin resistance -- a precursor to type 2 diabetes -- when compared to control groups.

Another interesting tidbit I heard on 680 AM news (but I haven't been able to find the study) is that eating junk food prior to conceiving increases the chances of having a boy versus a girl. Huh? Really?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

My Lifestyle

Ok let me just put this out there to all my patients or patients-to-be.... You won't win the diet and lifestyle questioning with me. Try it with your medical doctor or your friends or anyone else that tells you to 'eat more veggies' or 'exercise more' for better health.

This week I've had 3 new patients that have turned the tables on me and I had to chuckle inside. Every month there are always a couple that ask the same thing. The conversation goes like this:

me: how many times a week do you do any formal exercise?
patient: not much
me: like once or twice?
patient: well I'm not consistent but... do YOU exercise every week?
me: actually I do; I try for everyday but definitely 5x/week I do something formal.

Or then the conversation turns to food so I inevitably get asked: Do YOU eat this way? Do YOU eat kale? So YOU NEVER have sandwiches for lunch? or YOU NEVER have deli meat?

And so this week, after 7 years I finally said to a patient that these questions will never work with me because I actually practise what I preach and I value each and every thing that I suggest to a patient. It's not just about treating a health concern like high blood pressure or high cholesterol but it's just good preventative medicine to eat well and exercise.

DISCLAIMER: I'm not perfect. And if my husband Chris reads this then I risk him commenting on this blog about the martini I had last weekend or the ice cream scoops that are sneaked in here and there or my mom's perogies that found their way out of the freezer and onto my plate for lunch on Sunday.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Fountain of Youth

Gotta love McMaster! Ok maybe I'm a bit biased because I spent 4 wonderful years there but their research teams are really amazing. Just read about an interesting study they are doing with supplements - including green tea extract, melatonin and a bunch more - that might be able to stave off old age.

The supplements are being found to tackle the key mechanisms of aging when combined (not individually), at least for some lucky mice in the study. The idea is to slow down aging and therefore slow down some degenerative conditions, not prevent them. These lucky mice on the 'anti-aging cocktail' were young and spry like 20 year olds instead of their true '80 year old' age. The researchers found that the supplements were actually affecting their mitochondria (energy production centers), producing fewer free radicals. There was even a cricket that died after 257 days instead of living the usual 120 days! David Rollo, the chief researcher, said they are seeing a 10% life extension in mice which would mean 10-15 years in a human.

The supplement cocktails includes: vitamins B1,B3,B6,B12,C,D,E, and chromium and folic acid, garlic, ginger, green tea extract, l-glutathione, melatonin, selenium, cod liver oil, coenzyme Q10, and flaxseed oil among about 15 others!

More and more reasons to take care of yourself, eat well, and take some key supplements, which have been individually prescribed by your Naturopathic Doctor.

Friday, February 26, 2010

An Apple a Day....

Yes an apple a day may keep the doctor away because of its vitamin C content, antioxidants, and fibre. But did you know that apples may protect human skin cells and combat aging?

Apple extracts have been used in cosmeceuticals for a while now, as they are a source of various vitamins and amino acids with long-proven tonic and antiseptic properties. However a team of Swiss scientists is taking this even further using cutting-edge technology to create an apple-stem-cell-derived ingredient that may have anti-aging potential. They have been able to extract it and protect it in a medium that delivers it into the skin, where it stimulates adult stem cells to continue their repair work. A study has even evaluated how it can prolong skin cells' self-rejuvenating cycles after exposure to stressors such as UV light.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Global TV News Link!

If you missed me on Global earlier this week chatting about agave and stevia, check out the link that is now active!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Raw Lunch

Today has been a bit of a mish mash day... running around doing a few errands... the highlight was my lunch.

Bright and early I took our car in for an oil change and a car wash (Dad taught me well!), then did a quick spin through Yorkdale to pick up a few things (a pair of new shoes randomly found their way into my bag!), and then swung by a raw food restaurant called Rawlicious in the Junction for lunch before ending up at Starbucks.

I don't usually go out for lunch as I have lots of things at home that I could have easily made a meal out of AND obviously it isn't as expensive. However today I had to finish up an article that I'm co-writing for Naturopathic Doctor News & Review, a monthly paper that provides relevant information to naturopathic doctors and provides a forum to share information. It's for their anti-aging issue and I'm writing about cosmetic acupuncture, and skincare.

Anyway ... because of my 'obsession' with the Olympics I haven't been able to focus at home long enough to finish this article, so today I decided I was not going to go home after my errands and instead work at Starbucks. Because of timing I realized I needed to buy lunch out. I remembered Rawlicious was on Dundas and that I've always wanted to try it. It was delicious... cute place (I did take out though).... I had the spaghetti bolognese! The 'noodles' were thin strings of zucchini and the sauce was a blend of pesto and tomato sauce AND it had 'neatballs' that were amazing. It tasted so creamy and delicious. So this place is raw, vegan, and gluten-free and has a small but specialized menu. If you haven't tried making something 'raw' at home or tried a raw food restaurant, give it a try. Nothing is cooked above 118F,so you get all the vitamins, minerals and natural enzymes of the food. Delicious and healthy - my favourite combination!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Agave? Stevia? Watch Global TV Tonight!

Watch Global TV's Family Health with Beatrice Politi tonight around 6:15 pm to hear a few different thoughts (including mine!) on agave nectar, and stevia, two natural sweeteners that have recently received alot of press.

Agave nectar is a sap from the agave plant that looks like and is processed very similar to maple syrup. I've used it in a few raw food baked good recipes which I've posted on my blog before. It is natural but is not calorie-free. Sugar is sugar. Empty calories are empty calories.

There are a few good things and a few concerns about agave nectar. One great thing is that it is a low glycemic food so it doesn't spike blood sugar like white sugar or brown sugar or honey. However long term it may decrease the sensitivity of insulin receptors, possibly not making it a great choice for diabetics.

It is mostly (90%) fructose though which has been implicated in rising blood triglyceride levels, and increased uric acid (what contributes to gout). Since it is mostly fructose it has to be metabolized by the liver which converts it to fat much easier and quicker than with sugar.

Tune in for more information and I'll also post the link tomorrow as usual!

Friday, February 12, 2010

I Love the Olympics

How amazing! I've had the torch relay on CTV in the background all day while writing an article on anti-aging and skincare and I've officially been sucked in. The torch is just about to get into a dragonboat off Granville Island. Love it!

There is something so special about this torch relay. It truly has ignited a wonderful Canadian spirit across the nation. I've been wearing my red mittens and chuckle everytime I pass someone on the sidewalk or in the parking lot with the same mittens.

A great 2 weeks ahead! Sooooo glad we didn't end up cancelling our cable!!! :)

Friday, February 5, 2010

Superbowl Snacks on Global TV

Yesterday Beatrice Politi of Global TV came to the clinic to chat about Superbowl snacks, calorie counts, and healthier options.

The typical superbowl party usually includes chili, nachoes, pizza, and of course beer. All of which can quickly add up on the calorie count for the day, causing the scales to tip and possibly derail some of those new years resolutions. I'm not here to take away all the pleasures of life but there are definitely little things you can do to decrease the damage done in a few short hours.

Try chicken breast strips rolled in cornflakes or rice crackers and baked instead of chicken wings; a homemade yogurt dip instead of those nasty ranch dips; ground chicken or turkey instead of ground beef; adding a few more vegetables on to that pizza or maybe ordering thin crust instead of thick; and of course pacing yourself with the beers, having water in between.

Check out the global link to learn a bit more:

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Secret Weapon

Mmmmmm... This afternoon, as most Sunday afternoons, we were on Bloor in our neighbourhood picking up some groceries for the week. Since this past August, the Sunday outing has more often than not included a tea from David's Tea. If you've never been and live in the GTA, check it out.

There are stainless steel tins behind the counter filled with different kinds of tea. You always get a sample of their tea of the day and you can smell as many different kinds of green, white, black, oolong, mate, herbal, or aruyvedic teas as you would like.

I used to always get some kind of tasty green or white tea but this winter I've been on a rooibus kick. Understandable as green is a pretty cooling tea while rooibus is more of a warming tea. Rooibus is actually caffeine-free but it has more antioxidants than green tea! I bought a couple of my favourites for the clinic - leafjumper (rooibus with caramel bits) and tiramisu (rooibus with yogurt and coffee bits).

Today however I sampled the Secret Weapon and decided to go with that. It is a white tea with almonds, licorice, and goji berries! Delicious. Enjoyed it while I cleaned the kitchen this afternoon!

Rats, No Tahini

This is a good reminder to look for all your ingredients before you start cooking. However I am the queen of substitutions so more often than not it turns out ok like today!

After breakfast this morning I had a bit of time before going out and about, so decided to make tofu frittata for Tuesday night dinner and hummus for the week to snack on after we get home from work. I opened the can of chickpeas and put it in the food processor with a clove of garlic, the juice of half a lemon, some sea salt and pepper and some parsley and paprika. THEN I REALIZED.... I had no tahini! I usually put in about a tablespoon of tahini and then blend together with some olive oil but today I was in a bind. Now I've left out the tahini before and it's just not the same, so today I put in a teaspoon of almond butter and a teaspoon of peanut butter. Turned out great! Thicker and creamier than usual.

Next time I have to remember to look for all the ingredients before whipping things into the food processor!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Agave Nectar Sweetened Lemonade

Last night Chris and I went out to Juice for Life (JFL) for dinner. We were meeting up with a friend who is vegan so JFL was the natural pick. I had my usual - the Mega Life Salad - but was adventurous trying a new dressing. I usually get the Green dressing but last night I ordered the Tahini dressing.

Our friend ordered a lemonade and I was pleasantly surprised when I found out it was sweetened with agave nectar! It was pure lemon juice, water and agave nectar!For those that read my blog or are a Zawada Health facebook fan or read my monthly newsletters, you have definitely seen the ingredient agave nectar before. Maybe you've glanced over it thinking 'here's another crazy health-food that I'll never be able to find!'

Agave nectar is a sweetener made in Mexico from the agave plant - yes that's right - the tequila plant! It is sweeter than sugar or honey and commonly used to replace sugar in baking. Vegans commonly use agave nectar instead of honey as honey comes from bees. 1 cup of honey equals 1 cup agave when doing substitutions. For each cup of white sugar, use 2/3 of a cup of agave and reduce other liquids by 1/4 to 1/3 cup. This substitution will also work for Demerara Sugar, Turbinado Sugar, Evaporated Cane Juice, or Sucanat.

The best thing about agave nectar is that it does raise blood sugar levels as quickly as other forms of sugar. No crazy blood sugar rush!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Meditation and Goop

Goop is a weekly newsletter from Gwyneth Paltrow that I subscribe to. She has a pretty cool website with little tips and sights from her travels and adventures and people and places that have inspired her.

Last week the newsletter showcased this detox that she's done from a place in NYC called Organic Avenue. This week was on meditation. I thought I'd share a paragraph from the newsletter:

"The Buddha was more like a therapist than the founder of a religion. He saw, from his own experience, that self-awareness makes self-control possible. If we want to change what we become, the Buddha taught, we have to change the way we think. “A disciplined mind is the road to Nirvana."

For all of my patients and friends that are doing detoxes right now or have been struggling to lose weight remember this little paragraph. A lot of the time we are not aware of what we are thinking so we can't be in control. We just live through our immediate reactions: if we eat something sweet, we want more of it even though we are full. Anyway that's enough deep thoughts for tonight.

Memories of Cutting Green Beans

Childhood memories!

I'm making a quinoa chickpea pilaf for dinner. This is definitely one of those standard dinners at our house. Chris likes it because he doesn't feel like he's just having beans and quinoa - it's more hearty and casserole like.... and since I don't do creamy casseroles this is a hit for both of us.

It has steamed green beans in it and if my sister Angela is reading this I can see her cringe already. Our childhood was filled with picking the green beans from mom's ridiculously large garden every summer in big baskets. The green beans would then get dumped on a picnic table where Ang and I would sit and cut the ends off the beans and then cut them in half for what seemed like hours on end. Mom would then blanche and freeze the green beans.

Here's the recipe:
1 ½ cups quinoa
3 cups vegetable or chicken stock
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp red chili flakes
1, 19-ounce can of chickpeas
1 large sweet potato, diced
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
½ tsp sea salt
1 cup green beans, steamed
¼ cup sunflower seeds
½ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley or 1 Tbsp dried parsley
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 450 F.
2. Rinse the quinoa to get rid of soapy outer covering, drain and set aside.
3. Drizzle the diced sweet potato with olive oil and sea salt and roast in oven on a baking sheet for 30 minutes.
4. Bring the stock to the boil in a large saucepan or stockpot, add the quinoa and garlic and red chili flakes, cover and let simmer for approximately 15 minutes until most of the water is absorbed and the quinoa is soft but a little ‘al dente’.
5. Uncover and add in the chickpeas, green beans, sweet potato, and sunflower seeds, and stir through until heated well, approximately 5 minutes.
6. Stir the parsley and freshly ground black pepper through just before serving.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Nutrition Action Health Letter

I'm impressed. Several patients have told me in the last year about this little newsletter and how I should get a subscription for the clinic. I remember checking it out and putting it on my never-ending to-do list for the clinic but never got around to subscribing. A nice little surprise after the holidays was waiting for me - one of my patients purchased the subscription for me as a gift! Thanks SS!

So in the Dec 2009 issue there was a comparison on movie popcorn - Cineplex, Empire, and AMC. Quick fact: cineplex pops in non-hydrogenated canola oil and a regular size has 780 calories and a large size has 1120 calories (half of what most people should consume in a day!).

There was also a page devoted to a summary of a few studies. One recent study concluded people with higher blood levels of vitamin B6 had a lower risk of colorectal cancer. Healthy foods that are rich in B6 include beans, bananas, avocados, and sunflower seeds.

The special feature was entitled "Seven facts you may not know about Exercise". Each fact was backed by at least one research study that was referenced.

Definitely a winning publication - good work CSPI (Centre for Science in the Public Interest)!