Saturday, January 29, 2011

Sparks Nutrition Talk

Growing up I never did Sparks or Girl Guides or anything like that. Let's be honest.... I wasn't allowed. Mom and Dad thought what life skills I needed to learn I was going to learn at home on the farm. Ditto for summer camps.... So when I was asked to do a nutrition talk for a group of 4-6 year old girls I was thrilled.

I try to prepare by asking my friends with children that age what I was getting myself into. I had so much fun! They were trying to get their 'being healthy badge' so I prepared some games matching fruits and vegetables to their names and then matching those vegetables to the body part that it helps! So for example carrots are good for the eyes and blueberries are good for the brain, etc....

The girls were wonderful and we ended the session using my stethoscope so everyone could listen to their hearts!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

fRed Chat with Premier McGuinty

A few weeks ago I was invited to be on a webchat chatting Nutrition 101 on, a website for Ontario Liberals. I had a ton of fun frantically typing answers to questions about Naturopathic Medicine, nutrition, cooking healthy for families, and snack ideas from engaging Ontarians.

Tonight the fRed website hosted the Premier and I popped on afterwards to see what kind of questions he was answering. My eyes were immediately drawn to the word 'kale'.

He was asked about the agri business. He's a snip of the chat:

Larry: Agriculture. Can it be the main economic driver of the future?

Dalton McGuinty:
Hi Larry, it can certainly be a powerful driver. Consumer demand for healthy, local foods is skyrocketing. We can't even begin to meet local demand for organic foods, for example.

Dalton McGuinty:
The agri-food business is one of the top 5 in Ontario. We will always need to eat and there are great opportunities in satisfying our growing desire for healthier and more varied foods.

Dalton McGuinty:
Terri has me eating weird stuff like kale. And I have a feeling more and more families are trying to eat healthier.

Way to go Premier! Everyone should be adding dark green leafies into their diet. Great source of calcium and magnesium.


Friday, January 21, 2011

Cinnamon Heart Pu'erh Tea

Most of my patients know I'm nutso about Davids Tea. My fave right now is Cinnamon Heart Pu'erh. I had never heard of Pu'erh so I did some research. Apparently it is a wonder tea: it aids in digestion (as it is fermented), cleanses the blood and helps with weight loss. Some studies even say it decreases cholesterol.
I couldn't nail down how much caffeine it has in comparison to green or white tea though.... If it is similar to oolong in its oxidation it's possible that it is between black and green tea in caffeine content.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

ZH Wellness Day - January 18th, 11-3

Zawada Health Information Session

Tuesday January 18th, 11am-3pm
Location: Building Lobby
Address: 201 City Centre Drive

A great opportunity to learn about Naturopathic Medicine! Find out how a Naturopathic Doctor can help you with health issues such as diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol, weight loss, back pain, infertility, flu prevention, etc. Also learn about the many other services available at Zawada Health, a multidisciplinary health clinic in the heart of Mississauga. A great way to meet and chat with the practitioners of Zawada Health, including our newest Naturopathic Doctor at the clinic, Claire Girgis, ND. Drop in any time between 11 and 3, bring your family and friends and all of your questions! Draws for Delicious Detox and Unlimited Monthly Sauna Packages!

Coconut Maple Granola

I'm forever trying new granola recipes. I used to make my own granola when I lived on my own but got off track somewhere along the way. This weekend I tried another new concotion but tried to keep it simple with all the additions. Turned out to be great! Not too sweet - which was my focus this time. I wanted to see what was the least amount of 'sweetness' that I could add to my usual amount of dried ingredients without sacrificing fun factor (as my sister would say!).

My base is usually 4 cups of grain. This time it was a bit of a smorgasboard as I had a little of everything in my cupboards.

2 cups quinoa flakes
1 cup spelt flakes
1 cup rolled oats
2 cups shredded coconut
1 cup hemp seeds

I mixed all of this together and then in a separate bowl I mixed 1/2 cup coconut oil and 1/3 cup maple syrup and 1 tsp pure vanilla extract. Mixed everything together and spread it all on one baking sheet. I put it in a preheated oven of 350 and baked it for 40 minutes stirring around a few times. I let it cool for a couple of hours before storing.

Simple and so quick and I'm sure a lot cheaper than buying granola and for sure less sugar!

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center Has The Right Idea

Love these Sunday mornings when I can relax a little and take my time with the papers. This morning Chris and I went out for breakfast and decided to buy the NY Sunday Times to peruse through while eating.

There was an article that caught my attention in the front section (not the SundayStyles section as usual!) for 2 reasons. One because it was about Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and one of my good friends works there as a plastic surgeon, and two because it was about an executive chef that works there that caters to the needs of young patients. "Goodbye, neon Jell-O and watery broth!"

From my perspective healthy eating is a necessity all the time but especially in times of sickness and disease. It never made sense to me that patients in hospitals were being fed garbage. Nothing nutritious to actually give them strength and support. Even though a long time ago, I still remember my grandma and great-aunts and uncles in hospitals and seeing mashed potatoes and gravy and Jell-O. What the....????

The article says that Sloan-Kettering patients can actually order meals from one of 75 room-service menus - kosher, halal, vegan, low-sodium, etc. One of the pediatric oncologists even noted that eating well can speed recovery and keep patients off intravenous nutrition.

Cancers and chemotherapy can often result in mouth sores, nausea and vomiting and difficulty swallowing. Having certain dietary restrictions is also pretty normal in these situations. The chef will meet with pediatric patients and their parents to discuss food preferences. How wonderful to be able to make a child with cancer happy because the hospital could provide a meal that was not only suitable nutritionally but also something like his/her mom would make at home.

Love it.