Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Quinoa for Breakfast

Underline the fast part in breakfast; most mornings are a race out the door.  So let’s make a detour this morning from the donut or bagel shop and grab a few ingredients including quinoa to make a healthy breakfast.  


·  1 cup of Quinoa cooked
·  1 medium to large apple
·  1 teaspoon of cinnamon
·  1 tablespoon of agave or maple syrup

Cooking Directions

·  Precook the Quinoa the night before
·  Cut the apple and add the cinnamon and agave or maple syrup the morning of.
·  You can add different nuts like walnuts.
·  Mix together and enjoy

You can add any fruit or combination you would like this is just a starting point, add banana’s, or fresh berries.

Recipe by Kimberly Ignas CNP, NNCP adapted from Hayley Shwaizer CNP recipe.

Quinoa 'keen wah', what the heck is that?

→A 3 way with QUINOA←

I personally believe…or hope… that Quinoa is becoming more common in homes these days even compared to just two years ago. This is solely based on the fact that I did not know what it was at that time and now I tell everyone about it. Before I started on my path to become a Holistic Nutritionist I did not know such a thing existed, I was only familiar with common grains such as oats, rice, wheat and whatever came out of a cereal box.

But as I discovered quinoa, I discovered it could be more than just a side it can be a whole yummy meal. You can have a 3 way with quinoa, breakfast, lunch and dinner. Oh yes sweet quinoa, or should I say fluffy, creamy, slightly crunchy texture and a somewhat nutty flavor when cooked… quinoa.

A little background on this hard to pronounce and spell grain. Most commonly considered a grain, quinoa is actually a relative of leafy green vegetables like spinach and Swiss chard. It is a recently rediscovered ancient "grain" once considered "the gold of the Incas."

Quinoa is also a great source of protein, a complete protein I might add, meaning it has all the essential amino acids in it. This is also a good choice for vegans or people that just want a complete meal all in one. It is high in manganese and well-endowed in magnesium, iron, copper and phosphorus. Quinoa is also gluten free, helping it be an easily digested form of complex carbohydrates that will give you long lasting energy.

Purchasing →
There are different ways to purchase Quinoa with organic being the best compared to a huge open bulk bin. If you do buy it in bulk, buy in small bins with a lid this will help keep the quinoa fresher with a higher turn over rate and sealed from outside germs.  You can also buy it in packages by the pound from brands like Bob Red Mills and not only is this sealed but pre-washed, which could be more convenient for some. Also if you see moisture stay away from it but if it’s in a sealed container it can last 3-6 months in the refrigerator.

Cooking and Preparing →
Most times you boil quinoa for about 15 minutes until you notice that the grains have become translucent and it appears to look like a white-spiraled tail. When you boil it, it is 1 part grain to 2 parts liquid. If you would like it to have a nuttier taste then dry roast it for about 5 minutes in a skillet before cooking it. The Red Mill brand is pre-washed unlike most quinoa you will buy in bulk. Meaning there is some soapy saponins that coats quinoa seeds left on the quinoa after it is processed. The best way to remove this is wash the seeds in cold water thoroughly and a few times if they still taste bitter do it again. The work is really worth it!

Three ways with Quinoa means it is so versatile; you can have it for breakfast, lunch or as a dinner side. You can have some cooked up in your refrigerator and you can add to it whatever you want as a quick, well-rounded wholesome meal. Try something new, feel light and full all at once. 

By Kimberly Ignas C.N.P, NCCP
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Friday, December 24, 2010

Gluten-Free Apple Cranberry Stuffing

The holidays are the time to let lose and cheat a little on those diet restrictions you have stuck to so well all year. However, with all the drinks, sweets and hors d'ouvres, you may want to try to limit some of those faux pas' at the dinner table (especially if you are saving yourself for dessert;). 
Here is a wonderful healthy new idea for an old family tradition. Stuffing; a must have on the Christmas dinner table, minus the gluten and refined grains that we can all certainly do without.
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp butter (olive oil for vegans)
  • 1 ½ cups celery, finely chopped
  • 1 apple, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 Tbsp fresh sage
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp fresh rosemary
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
1.       Rinse the quinoa and put in a saucepan. Cover with water. Bring to the boil and  
     cook for about 15 minutes or until the grain is soft. Drain.
2.       While quinoa is cooking, fry the onions in the butter until soft.
3.       Add the celery and walnuts and continue cooking for 5 minutes.
4.       Mix the rest of the ingredients together in a bowl.
5.       Use to stuff the neck cavity of the turkey. For vegans/vegetarians - keep in separate 
     casserole dish and cook for 30-40 minutes at 325 degrees F.

Recipe by Kimberly Davidson C.N.P

Thursday, December 23, 2010

D-fending in Winter

Finally in the year 2010 there is an ongoing dialogue between the masses in regards to vitamin D. Unfortunately, what is lacking in this conversation is a clear concise message as to the optimal dosage for those living north of the 43rd parallel. Scientists, researchers, doctors and Health Canada are all over the board when it comes to a standard intake of vitamin D. With doses ranging from 400 to 2,000 IU, it is no wonder that nutritionists (designated ROHPs) are watching their clients jaws drop to the floor with recommendations of anywhere from 5,000 to 10,000 IU daily for adults during the winter months.
     Proclaimed the sunshine vitamin, its role includes vitamin action and also that of a hormone because sunlight on the skin can be converted into D3 by the body. D3 is the most active form and is acknowledged to be the natural form of vitamin D. This fat soluble vitamin has many required and necessary uses and has protective and preventative qualities.  Specifically, vitamin D is crucial in activating immune defences, hence the importance for usage in colder climates.
     The immune system is akin to an army with soldiers and platoon leaders, captains and majors, lieutenants and generals all working together to stop the enemy. When a bacteria or a virus invade, a specific immune system cell (T cell) needs to be activated and triggered from powerless into an active ‘killer’ cell. This triggering needs sufficient vitamin D in order to fight off infection.
     What is fascinating is that sitting on these T cells are antennas if you will, which sends out a Mayday, searching for vitamin D. If these vitamin D receptors are not filled due to low values of vitamin D in the blood then the army does not even begin to mobilize.  
     So what do you do?  Consider that 10 to 15 minutes in the sun around noon in the summer months leads to the production of 10,000 IU of vitamin D. Now consider why the standard set dosage is only 1,000 IU for winter months? Dr. John Cannell, head of the Vitamin D council in the United States, “is concerned that people aren’t getting enough of the vitamin, especially when they are advised to avoid the mid day sun.”  This doctor is personally taking 5,000 IU of vitamin D daily during winter months.
     Fish, liver, egg yolk, shrimp and dried shitake mushrooms, are the only whole foods or naturally rich foods that contain vitamin D, all other vitamin D containing foods such as milk are fortified with vitamin D2, the synthetic form of vitamin D. 
     Ask your doctor to check vitamin D levels (25(OH)D) and arm yourself with the information that levels should be between 40-80- ng/ml for general health, 55 being optimal. Check with a nutritionist for optimum or therapeutic levels for more serious diseases as well as to make sure other vitamins are in balance with vitamin D intake. If suffering from chronic renal failure, check with a doctor for dosage and come up with a plan that is appropriate for the patient. Interference with the absorption of this vitamin can range from heredity issues to intestinal disorders to liver or gallbladder impairment, certain drugs, steroid hormones and even antacids.   
*A recent publication updating vitamin D guidelines requested by the Canadian and U.S governments concluded that North Americans are getting enough vitamin D.  A committee brought together by an “independent, non-profit organization that works outside the government...”, has stated such even when others are reporting vitamin D deficiencies.  It is no secret that big pharmaceutical companies have an incestuous relationship with government agencies, (just look what happened with the Great Swine Flu Caper of 2009).  So, the question is can we really trust a government study?
January’s blog will show that this committee focused solely on bone health disregarding thousands of studies which demonstrated the many health benefits of higher vitamin D values. 

Yvette Rochelle Pritchard
Yvette Rochelle Nutrition
Holistic Nutritionist, CNP, NNCP

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Superhero Vitamin: C to the Rescue

When trying to make decisions that support a healthy lifestyle, it seems that healthy food advice is everywhere. But, when it comes to supplements, it not uncommon to draw a complete blank. I mean, where do you even begin when it comes to the absolute plethora of supplements and products out there? Well, let me give you a great starting point: Vitamin C. Now, you may be thinking, hold on hold on, you’re cheating me out of some really sophisticated and long-winded names that I can’t even pronounce. But let me tell you, this magic vitamin does WAY more than just protect against the common cold, it helps protect against pretty much anything your body is trying to fight off. Vitamin C is a powerful immune boost, helping the body fight off foreign invaders. It’s also one of the antioxidant ‘key players’, protecting your body against nasty free radical damage that can contribute to every degenerative disease in the proverbial book.

But, my favourite fact about Vitamin C is the role it plays in stress relief. When stresses are high, our bodies burn through large amounts of this amazing nutrient, leaving us vulnerable to illness. See the connection there? We need lots of Vitamin C so we don’t get sick, but it’s when we’re stressed that it’s naturally the lowest.

So, how do you know how much you need? Well, Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin, which means that the body uses what it needs, and gets rid of the rest. That’s right folks, you pee it out. When are bodies are under a lot of stress, Vitamin C tolerance can be a lot higher than you think. The daily recommended dose for Vitamin C is between 200-400mg, but cancer patients can take up to 15,000 daily with no damage to the body. So, there is definitely nothing wrong with upping your dose when tension is high and the immune system is low. 2000mg is a good standard dose during a stressful time.

If you want to test your tolerance, increase your intake by a 1000mg a day until your bowel tolerance (when your tummy gets mildly upset), and that’s your physical limit. But bare in mind, it’s constantly changing with your needs. I can regularly ingest 6000-8000mg/day without flinching. So, what’s your limit?

 By: Lisa Batson, CNP

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Veggnog (Vegan Eggnog)

Posted By: Hayley Shwaizer, CNP
I was gutted I had to give up eggnog upon discovering I was lactose intolerant. Then I found a soy brand and thought “hurray” until I perused the ingredients list to discover many things I did not want to consume such as the use of non-organic GMO soybeans, carrageenan (an uncertain ingredient currently on the FDA list for cancer study since it is a carcinogen in animals) and natural flavours (an umbrella term for who knows what – please companies tell us so we can decide for ourselves if we think it’s safe)... I decided it was time to make my own, and it was way easier than I had imagined!
Indulge in this delicious and easy-to-make creamy holiday classic sans problematic ingredients like eggs, dairy and sugar. As another bonus you’ll be adding some raw foods, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals that will make your skin glow! This treat gets me right into the holiday spirit.
1 ripe avocado
2 cups almond milk (preferably homemade)
¼ cup maple syrup
½ tsp turmeric
4 tsp vanilla extract
½  cup of rum/brandy (optional)
A few pinches of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and sea salt

Step one – Blend all the ingredients together until smooth
Step two – Pour into glasses, sprinkle extra nutmeg and cinnamon on top
Step three – Try not to glug it all down in one go ;)
Serves 4
Recipe by: Hayley Shwaizer, CNP



When it comes to osteoporosis the public has been fooled over the years to think dairy consumption is the answer to building and keeping healthy bone.   The fact is North American’s have the highest consumption of dairy products along with the highest rate of Osteoporosis. We also have the highest consumption of meat.  In countries where dairy and meat are rarely consumed, they have the lowest rates of Osteoporosis.  How can this be?  Well for one thing, dairy is not the most bioavailable form of calcium.  Our bodies can obtain calcium far easier from a plant-based diet.  Also, meat is acidic, so when we consume large amounts of meat, calcium is often leached from our bones in an attempt to alkalinize it.   

Age is also another factor that affects the balance of tearing down and the rebuilding of bone.  Normally old bones are torn down and reabsorbed by cells called osteoclasts while osteoblasts build new bone tissue to replace it.  When we age, this balance is disrupted, especially for women during menopause due to the reduction of estrogen which can slow down the tearing and building process.  What does this mean?  The bone quality is lacking causing brittle bones. 

To help with underlying causes of low bone mass and quality, there needs to be a component that not only slows bone resorption, but has the ability to create new bone as well.  That’s where Strontium comes to the rescue.  This wonderful trace mineral is a vital component of the skeletal system and where 99% of this mineral is found.  New research confirms that Strontium not only slows down the breakdown of existing bone, but it boosts the body’s ability to build new bone as it causes an increase in the area covered by bone building osteoblasts, and decreases the number of bone dissolving osteoclasts in bone tissue, and the amount of surface they occupy. 

A study was conducted where 1649 postmenopausal osteoporosis women were divided in two groups.  One group took a placebo with calcium and vitamin D3, and the other group took 680 milligrams of elemental strontium for 3 years along with calcium and D3.  The results were amazing!  The placebo group unfortunately lost 1.3% of their lower spinal bone, but the group receiving Strontium and D3 & Calcium increased their bone mass by 14.4%!  To put this in perspective, Fosamax one of the most powerful osteoporosis drugs, increased the body mass index no more than 5.5% even combined with other therapies.


Strontium is not effective without Calcium but they cannot be taken at the same time because Strontium and Calcium use the same pathways for absorption in the intestinal tract.  So taking these two minerals at the same time would reduce absorption.  Strontium can however be taken with vitamin D3. 

The recommended dosage for Strontium per day is 600-700 milligrams.  Strontium should be taken either
1-hour before breakfast or 3 hours after your last meal

The recommended dosage for Calcium per day (including diet) is 1000 milligrams for young adults, and 1200 milligrams for people over the age of 50.  Some evidence even suggests 1300-1600 milligrams of Calcium to lower the fracture risk in the elderly.

Until recently, the drug companies only help for osteoporotic women and others with bone health concerns, were drugs that slow down the resorption of bone, but they did not create new bone tissue, and these drugs had their share of side effects.  Strontium on the other hand, is part of our genetic makeup, and research has shown it has powerful bone structure and function properties with no side effects.  So when it comes to bone health, Strontium is definitely an important mineral to consider.

Susan J Morton
Second Chance Nutrition
905 995-4791

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Thieves Oil Recipe

            First, a brief description of what this is.  It is a combination of essential oils with antibacterial, antiviral and antiseptic properties.  In practice this concoction should be able to ward off all flu and cold symptoms.

            To use the oil in the home (in a pot of boiling water or directly on the wall or carpet) the oils can be undiluted.  To put the oil on your body, it will have to be mixed with a carrier oil.  This mixture is unsafe to consume internally, as it’s ingredients can be toxic.

The basic recipe is:

1 tablespoon of clove oil (Syzygium aromaticum)
1 tablespoon of lemon oil (Citrus limon)
2 ½ teaspoons of cinnamon oil (Cinnamomum verum)
2 teaspoons of rosemary oil (Rosmarinus officinalis)
2 teaspoons of eucalyptus oil (Eucalyuptus radiate)

For bodily application, add 1 cup of jojoba oil or another carrier.


1)    Measure the ingredients in a glass container.
2)    Store in a dark glass container, out of sunlight to retain it’s potency.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Your alarm rings. You hop out of bed, put the coffee on and jump in the shower. You wash your body, shampoo & conditioner your hair, scrub your face with some face wash. You get out of the shower, dry off, slap on some moisturizer, apply some deodorant, make-up for the ladies, maybe some hair gel for the guys, brush your teeth, get dressed, grab your coffee and head out the door. This is a typical routine for many in the morning. What’s also typical for most of us is the exposure to hundreds of toxic, health-hazardous chemicals even before we leave the house in the morning!

Yes, the bottles may say ‘contains natural ingredients’, ‘vitamin enriched’ or ‘hair-strengthening’ and come in all sorts of heavenly scents and pretty colors but for most of these products, there is nothing pretty about what’s really inside.

I love the irony that the ingredients found in the products we use to make ourselves look beautiful are also used in some of the dirtiest industries around. For instance, the chemical used by construction workers to soften concrete can be found in nail polish. Or degreasers that are used by mechanics on automotive parts are also found in your shampoo. Or my favorite – formaldehyde, yes the same kind that is used to embalm dead bodies is found in your anti-bacterial soap. How on earth can chemicals such as these make us look better??

More and more studies today are showing connections between health issues and commonly used cosmetics. For instance, there is a large connection between certain chemicals f/und in #osmetics and endocrine disruption. Endocrine disruptors interfere with the synthesis of our natural hormones, which can have detrimental effects on our reproductive system (birth defects), nervous systems (mental illness), as well as our natural development (onset of early puberty). Fragrance ingredients, often listed as ‘Parfum’, have shown to increase asthma symptoms and allergies. And of course, the big ‘C’. It is more than likely if you are not using  certified organic products, than at least one ingredient in each of the products you use on a daily basis is linked to cancer. Considering the gravity of these side effects, is shiny hair and smooth skin really worth it?

Unfortunately we cannot count on our government to protect us either. There is presently no safety testing done by the FDA on any existing cosmetic product. Instead, the FDA leaves the responsibility of showing a product is safe entirely to the person or company selling/making the product. The FDA cannot even recall a product that is suspected to be harmful as a recall is a voluntary act by the company selling the product. Now let me ask: do you really think a company trying to make a profit would voluntarily recall a product, banishing their name to the public and ruining any future chances of success if they were not obliged to? That is why you never hear about recalls on cosmetics, certainly not because they are all safe.

As listed on the David Suzuki Foundation website, here is a list of the ‘Dirty Dozen’, commonly used ingredients to be aware of: 

Coal tar dyes (listed as p-phenylenediamine and ‘Cl’ followed by a number) 
Dibutyl phthalate 
Formaldehyde-releasing preservatives (listed as DMDM hydantoin, diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, methenamine and quarternium-15) 
Parfum (fragrance) 
PEG compound
Siloxanes (also listed as methicone) 
Sodium laureth sulfate

Fortunately we can have our cake and look gorgeous too! Cosmetics have been used for hundreds of years by once again, looking no further then to the wonderful gifts from our Mother Earth. Making your own personal care products is not only easy but fun too! With the holidays right around the corner, here are some great gift ideas you can make with your own 2 hands and a little bit of love. 

Bath Bombs 
1 cup Sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) 
½ cup Citric acid (fine) 
½ cup Epson salts 
Witch Hazel Essential oils 

1. Mix sodium bicarbonate, citric acid and Epson salts really well in a bowl. 
2. Add in your essential oils for scent. Tangerine, lavender, eucalyptus are good ones. 
3. Using a spray bottle, spray witch hazel into the mixture while blending continuously. As soon as the mixture starts to stick together when you press down on it, you need to get it into your mold. Ice cube trays, rubber molds. Be sure to firmly pack the mixture into the molds. 
4. After a few minutes, gently tap the bombs out of the molds and allow bath bombs to dry on a towel for at least a few hours, but preferably overnight. Wrap bath bombs in plain tissue paper and store in a plastic, airtight container until you're ready to use them. Soak & enjoy! 

Vanilla Lip Gloss  
1 tablespoon grated beeswax 
1 tablespoon coconut oil 
1/8 teaspoon vitamin E oil 
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract 

1. Place the beeswax, coconut oil and vitamin E oil in a saucepan. Heat gently until the wax and oils are melted. 
2. Stir in the vanilla extract and mix well. 
3. Pour the mixture into a clean container and allow to cool completely before using.

For those of you lacking in time, check out for some of the cleanest beauty products on the market.

Posted by Kimberly Davidson C.N.P 


Monday, December 6, 2010

Thai Tofu & Vermicelli Salad

1 cup cubed tofu
2 medium carrots, grated
1 cup shredded cabbage
¼ cup green onions
½ cup chopped cilantro
2tbsp sesame seeds
¼ sunflower seeds
2 cups uncooked brown-rice vermicelli
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
juice from 1 lime
¼ tsp sea salt
Boil water; then cooked vermicelli for 5-8 min until tender, rinse and drain
In saucepan, cook tofu in 1 tbsp olive oil until golden brown
Mix soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, lime juice and sea salt & shake well
In mixing boil, mix noodles, tofu, peppers, cabbage, onions and cashews
Add dressing, mix well and serve warm or chilled
Recipe by Lisa Batson, CNP

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Why Do We Need Nutritional Supplements?

By Maria E. Roldan, RNCP, ROHP, NNCP
A common complaint I get from clients, family and friends to whom I recommend nutritional supplements is that they don’t like taking “pills”. They think the pills are too big, too many and too expensive. I wish I had a short answer for the “Why do we need nutritional supplements?” question.  That’s why I decided that my first blog post for “Healthy Hotties” would be about this subject.
Let me start by saying that I am a Holistic Nutritionist that truly believes in a “Foods First” approach. Which means….yes, you guessed it: eat your vegetables, cut down on junk food, drink plenty of water and eat a lot of fiber-rich foods among other things. This is a very simplistic recommendation but a great starting point for anybody that wants to begin a healthier lifestyle.
Unfortunately, due to the hectic/modern/stressful lives we live, it is almost impossible to get all the nutrients you need from food alone. Here are some reasons why:
Most foods are harvested before they are ripe, that is, before they have developed their full nutrient potential.
Foods grow in soils exhausted of their essential elements.  If the minerals are not in the soil, they will not be in our food. Most of Canada’s soil is deficient in minerals – especially iodine, selenium, iron, zinc and chromium. Furthermore, synthetic fertilizers deplete minerals.
Highly processed foods that are depleted of nutrient content. Food companies are only worried about making their foods taste good and long lasting (shelf life). What does that mean? Adding preservatives and flavour enhancers, in other words: chemicals!
Genetically modified foods (GMO). Foods bred to resist disease or to retard decay and improve appearance but not for nutritional content[i].
Stress increases our demand for nutrients and if our nutrient level is low, it will deplete the body’s stores of vitamins and minerals.
Drugs deplete nutrients. Both socially accepted drugs (e.g. alcohol, caffeine, nicotine) and pharmaceutical drugs interfere with our bodily utilization of many vitamins, minerals and trace nutrients. Pharmaceutical drugs are the worst. They block metabolic pathways which prevent nutrients from being fully utilized. The most commonly used nutrient-depleted drugs are laxatives, antacids, painkillers, antibiotics and the birth control pill.[ii]
Lack of exercise. Inactivity contributes to poor circulation and inadequate lymphatic drainage. This affects the rate at which nutrients are delivered and toxins are removed.
Biochemical Individuality. We are all biochemically different, thus, certain organs may be genetically weak or different in size, shape or ability. Such differences result in specific nutrient needs.
Lastly, as Dr. David Rowland says, “Perhaps we could get all the nutrients we need from food alone some 100 years ago, before the dominance of “agribusiness” and processed foods. Nowadays this is becoming an increasingly naïve notion. Food supplements are no substitute for eating correctly, but they can be a wonderful enhancement to it”.
I hope you found this information helpful. If you have further questions please do not hesitate to contact me ( And remember: the key to a successful supplementation plan is to use it as a supplement to a healthy diet and having a health professional help you re-evaluate it at least every 6 months because your nutrient needs are in constant change.

[i] Vanderhaeghe, Lorna and Bouic, Patrick. The Immune System Cure. Viking Canada. Toronto, ON. 1999.
[ii] Rowland, David. Food Alone is Not Enough. Rowland Publications Inc.  Parry Sound, ON. 1996