- In breakfast: add spinach to your eggs... tomatoes, carrots, broccoli, mushrooms, oregano, rosemary, tarragon, basil...
- In sandwiches: add fresh herbs, romaine lettuce, leafy greens, fresh or sundried tomatoes, cucumber, carrots, roasted veggies like zucchini and eggplant...
- In pasta & noodles: add herbs to the sauce (like oregano, thyme, rosemary, basil, peppermint…), or veggies like colored pepper, tomatoes, spinach, mushrooms, grated carrots, grated zucchini...
- In rice: cook with vegetable stock, add nuts & seeds on the top during serving (not exactly vegetables but still very healthy addition), add peas, carrots, colored pepper or mushrooms during cooking
- Add veggies to stir fried meat and chicken. Try broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, peas, green beans, non-GMO sweet corn, colored pepper, grated cabbage, herbs
- Grill or roast root vegetables and non-GMO sweet corn with roasted meat and chicken
- Offer oven roasted veggies as side dish. Try eggplant, pumpkin, zucchini, sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, fennel, bok choy…
- Make a big bowel of salad with every meal
- Add lots of veggies to your soups. Try minestrone, mushroom, beans, asparagus, broccoli, peas, mixed vegetables soups.
- Prepare dips using veggies. I love adding chopped spinach and peppermint to my yogurt dip; avocados, roasted beet or pepper to beans and hummus dip. You can also try Mexican salsa dip or baba ganoush eggplant dip. Eat them with vegetable crudité like celery, carrots, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower...
- Start your day with green smoothies. Use almond or coconut milk as your base, add wheat grass or barley grass, fresh baby spinach, kale, mixed green and lots of berries. you can also add peach, mangoes or pine apples.
- Juicing. If you are new to vegetable juice start light with 2:1 fruit to vegetable ratio, then increase your veggies till you have 2:1 vegetable to fruit ratio. Good fruit choice: berries, apple, mangoes, banana, pineapple. Good vegetable choices: any green leafy vegetables like spinach, kale, collard, lettuce… Other vegetables you can try are fennel, celery, bok choy, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, beet…
Salad Jars are one of my best tip to get a healthy lunch every day at work in minimum time. If you use mason jars with their tightly fit lid, your salad could be prepared up to 5 days ahead of time taken freshly to work, college or school everyday.
Layering here is very crucial for the salad to remain fresh.
At time of serving you can just put the jar upside down for 2 minutes for the dressing to infuse the whole salad. Then eat straight from the jar. Or, you can empty the whole thing in a big bowl. Mix and serve.
Do you know that you can protect your brain with simple diet and lifestyle changes?
January is Alzheimer Awareness month...
In 1997, 678 nuns participated in a study for mental power and function at old age. One nun’s story stood out, Sister Mary.
Sister Mary taught thousands of students during a career that spanned over nearly 70 years. When she retired from the classroom at age 84, she continued her mission as an educator until her death 17 years later. “In her "retirement" she continued to be active in her community and concerned about world events. She was an avid reader and was often seen poring over newspapers and books with her magnifying glass.” During her last functional assessment at the age of 101, sister Mary was mentally alert, aware and her memory, reasoning and knowledge were perfectly intact.
But, this is not the most important finding of the study. The most fascinating thing was sister Mary's brain scan. When scientists scanned her brain after she passed away, the scan showed the presence of lots of Alzheimer's lesions. Sister Mary’s brain actually had all manifestation of an Alzheimer’s patient brain, yet she showed no degenerative symptoms at all. She lived to a very ripe age with perfectly intact brain function, good memory, excellent orientation to her surroundings and awareness of current events.
Sister Mary was different from the rest of the nuns. She had a mission, a life meaning, and a passion. She remained passionate learner. She continued to be active in her community till her last days in life. She was known for her joyful spirit and laugh that boomed out of her room at all hours of the day and night.
Were these the characteristics that saved her brain? Scientists truly believe so.
You Diet Is Also Important
When we talk chronic degenerative diseases, prevention is always better that treatment. Alzheimer is now known as type III diabetes. It is a case of brain starvation where brain cells are unable to use glucose efficiently to generate the energy they need. This results in gradual brain degeneration.
Scientists believe that Alzheimer can be avoided years before it starts by balancing blood sugar levels, avoiding refined sugars and integrating healthy anti-inflammatory, brain boosting herbs and spices into our diet. Five herbs stand out here:
Coconut oil is another amazing addition to your diet. Try integrating it into your daily recipes. It is great in cooking, baking, sandwich spread instead of butter, salad dressing mixed with olive oil and your favorite herbs… Studies show that the medium chain fatty acid content of coconut oil provides brain cells with the needed energy when they lost their ability to use glucose efficiently.
Are you up to a food challenge... There are 5 foods that you MUST add to your diet... Let's start 2017 on a healthy tone... I will post one every week on our women community on Facebook and your challenge is to eat this one at least 3 times this week...
You can join the conversation with our women community on Facebook here
This week's addition: LEAFY GREENS & CABBAGE FAMILY!
You can find some of my favorite broccoli recipes here.
And, this is my favorite cauliflower recipe:
- 2 tsp. lemon juice
- 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
- ½ tsp. cumin powder
- Salt, pepper to taste
To learn more about the 4 other 'Must Have' healthy food you can join our FREE Heal your body Nurture your soul 2 week health challenge HERE
Hormonal issues are among the main complaints I see with my clients… And a major one is hot flashes… I see it starting at earlier and earlier ages of women life cycles… I even see it in young non-menopausal women non-surprisingly giving the high levels of environmental toxins and xenoextrogens (synthetic harmful estrogens) we are subjected to on a daily basis from plastics, cosmetics and aerosols…
But, in my humble opinion, this is not the main reason for hot flashes… Yes… I will say it again… Your body is whispering… you need to listen! Your body is trying to deliver a message and no one can decode this message for you… you need to listen!
Emotional root of hormonal imbalance:
Emotionally, sex hormonal imbalances signal the need for more pleasures, joy, intimacy, sensuality and creativity in your life.
Hot flashes, in particular, are signs of bottled anger and resentment over how your life has unfolded and where it is heading.
They signal a hidden feeling of being oppressed, unable to express your true feelings, your high functioning anxiety… an anxiety hidden under a perfect fake smile, under piles of achievements, long to-do lists, perfect cardboard image and an un-ending busyness
They signal a desperate desire to be nurtured, cared-for, appreciated and recognized… a desperate desire to be seen and heard…
Top 5 foods that help with hot flashes
5 lab tests to ask your doctor for
If you suffer from hot flashes, menopausal or PMS symptoms you need to ask you family doctor for these lab tests:
Did you ever find yourself asking, why don't I get better?
I get this question a lot in my practice... "I am doing everything 'right'... why am I not getting better?"Chronic diseases, depression, anxiety, fatigue and depletions are on the rise and most treatments are just masking symptoms with drugs, they are not providing real healing.
In this 20 minutes video I share with you how your everyday life and food choices can compromise your health. And, why your genes are not to blame. I also discuss how emotions and thinking patterns are ‘data’ stored in every cell of your body and how to choose which data to store. This is my revolutionary approach to healing chronic ailment and restoring health and vitality... Enjoy!
A couple of weeks ago, I attended “Discover the World Within’ conference by the Canadian Digestive Health Foundation.
It was fascinating to delve deep into the new amazing scientific discoveries about the trillions of tiny bacteria that live within us. The main focus of the conference was shedding the light on how our health and wellbeing are tightly dependent on the health and wellbeing of those tiny fellow travellers that we carry along with us.
Why do we need them?
As we are still in November, Crohn’s and colitis awareness month, talking about our friendly gut flora is very important. A healthy gut flora is essential to lower inflammation, not only in the gut but also all over the body. It helps regulate the response of the immune system and heal the lining of the intestine.
Our friendly gut flora help us produce vitamins like vitamin K and folate (B9), they regulate body fat storage, gut mobility, epithelial (gut lining) repair, absorption of essential minerals like magnesium and calcium, production of short chain fatty acids, controlling blood sugar levels and boosting immunity.
They play major role in preventing and/or lowering the risk of obesity, metabolic disease, depression, high cholesterol, asthma, allergies, autoimmune disease, IBS, and colon cancer.
In short, we need them to not only survive, but to also thrive.
How to support your gut flora?
Everyday choice you make in food and lifestyle could boost or compromise the health of those friendly organism and thus boost or compromise your health.
Your tiny friends need food… your choice of fresh vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats help them grow over their harmful competitors who feed on sugars and refined carbs.
Synthetic chemicals, antibiotics, pesticides, herbicides and GMO kill not only the bad guys but also the good ones.
To make sure you keep a healthy gut flora you need:
Top 5 Probiotic foods:
Top 10 Prebiotic-containing foods:
One question I get a lot from clients: Do I have to be gluten-free to be healthy? Well a simple answer to this complicated question is of course not. Not everybody has to be on a gluten free diet. But, since I moved here to Canada, I started seeing client after client (myself included) with symptoms improving or even totally disappearing just by giving up gluten. So, what was going on here?
November is Crohn’s & Colitis awareness month. According to Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of Canada, 1 in 150 Canadians are living with these life-challenging autoimmune diseases. This ratio is scary! I am seeing more and more suffering clients and students in my consultation and nutritional teaching practice every day.
To develop an autoimmune disease, three factors need to be present:
1. Genetic susceptibility
2. A trigger
3. Increased intestinal permeability, or what is known as leaky gut.
Science has proven that having a gene that pre-disposes you to certain disease does not mean you will get it. The environment you live in, the food you eat and the lifestyle you lead play major roles in disease development. So, let’s look at the other 2 factors, then.
Aside from Celiac disease that is triggered by gluten in the diet, science know very little -if any- about the trigger in other autoimmune diseases. And, although not all autoimmune diseases are triggered by gluten, it is well worth the try. So, if you suffer from any autoimmune disease like Crohn, Ulcerative Colitis, rheumatoid arthritis, Lupus, Hashimoto or multiple sclerosis try to get completely off gluten for at least 2 months and see if your symptoms improve. This may be the key to your healing or at least one step forward.
Other common triggers I see in my practice are corn, soy and dairy and needless to say all synthetic chemicals, preservative, additives, GMO crops, pesticides and herbicides that are present in our food. These can turn on the autoimmune switch in susceptible individuals.
The best way to get to the bottom of it is to go on a well-balanced elimination diet that completely remove those triggers from your diet for 2 months then gradually re-introduce them while monitoring your symptoms. The diet should be very well balanced and designed by your nutritionist or your health care provider to avoid any deficiencies.
The third factor involved in autoimmune disease is leaky gut or increased intestinal permeability. This means that the tight junctions in the lining of your intestine get compromised so they let little molecules leak into the blood stream triggering your immune system. The exact causes behind why they mal-function is not well-known but some of the reasons could be:
So, my advice to any of you who suffer from autoimmune disease work with a qualified health professional to start an elimination diet and ask him/her to help you dig for the root causes that triggered the gut inflammation and permeability.
And, above all, please know that your body has an amazing power to heal… Don’t fall under any ‘label’ they gave you and never ever give up hope… I have seen miracle recoveries over and over again in my 10 years of practice… Take back responsibility of your health and start your healing journey today.
Herbs are magic healers… but they do not work like pharmaceutical medications… for them to do their magic they need time, they need patience, they need consistency… They need to be part of your everyday life… they need to be integrated into your everyday cooking…
Most people I meet underestimate the power of their kitchen herbs… this is because they basically expect the herbs to work like pharmaceuticals… they expect their symptoms to vanish with 1 or 2 ‘doses’… Unfortunately herbs do not work this way… herbs heal your body from inside out…
I can’t say that taking an herbal tea or an infusion can deal with a fever or joints aches for instance as quick as an NSAID or cortisol tablet. No they don’t. Herbal remedies and natural healing in general do not tackle the symptoms as much as they deal with the root cause to achieve total body healing and this takes some time to restore your health, your energy, strengthen your power to fight disease, heal your wound or turn off the inflammation furnace…
Many people find it easier to swallow a pill or pop up a capsule than rest and take some hot broth or tea. It’s your choice certainly. Sometimes we need it to be fast to control our symptoms or ease our pains, but we still need to work on the healing power of the body… And, here comes the magic of our kitchen herbs…
By adding herbs to your daily life, I certainly don’t mean the sprinkle of oregano hidden under the pile mozzarella on your pizza or the spring of parsley that decorate your dinner steak… For them to work you need way more than that… Here are my 5 most essential ways to add herbs to your daily diet:
1.Add herbs into your Soups and stews.
2.Try herbal teas.
You can also have cold herbal teas:
3. Add herbal powders or dried herbs to muffins, pancakes, paratha, focaccia and breads.
4. Prepare herbal vinegars and use them in your salad dressing or meat and chicken marinade
To prepare herbal vinegar
Add 1 to 4 ounce of herb (30-120 g) to 8 ounce (240 ml) apple cider vinegar. Steep for 2-6 weeks, then filter and store in dark container at room temp.
Some great herb vinegars to experiment with are:
5. Herbs can also be added to rice, pasta sauces, stir fired vegetables and bean recipes
These are just few ways you can integrate herbs in your everyday life… start experimenting, be creative, try new recipes… the sky is the limit… the more you add them the better your food will taste and the more healthful it gets.
About the Author
Hi, Welcome to my blog. I am Amira. I'm first of all a wife and mother. I have been married for 16 years. I have 2 wonderful teenagers ages 14 and 16. My family is my greatest joy in life. For 17 years, I have been in health education career. I started as teaching assistant in the faculty of pharmacy. Then, I turned towards the natural health sector. I help women and teenage girls in their search for health, success, and happiness. My practice focuses on balancing Body, Mind, Heart and Soul.