Category Archives: How To’s

Categories Free Resources, How To’s, Wellness

How to Maintain a Healthy Relationship with Food

We often talk about our body using the car analogy – “Fuel your body”, “treat your body as if it was a luxury car”, “you can’t run on an empty tank” etc.
While these are great analogies, still a car is a machine. We have emotions and we do not just eat food for energy.
Now more than ever, we consume foods that nourish an emotional, social or psychological aspect of our life, and that’s okay. It may become a bit of an issue when these are the main, or only, motivators to eat.
Creating a healthy relationship with food takes a conscious effort. Whether you have been feeling a bit out of touch with your personal relationship with food, or need a boost to make some improvements, here are 5 practices to consider:

1. And the prize goes to...

As a kid, did your parents promise you dessert only if you finished your broccoli? Alongside the good intentions, this innocent sentence may have instilled in our brain that sweets and desserts are a reward. So now that we are all grown up, we can put in some work and gradually erase that message, while making our own rules which support a healthier approach to foods.

2. A relaxed approach.

A relaxed approach to eating does not mean you can eat whatever you want any time and throw away all your health goals. A less restrictive approach enables you to eat when you are hungry, enjoy some birthday cake if you want to, and not to beat yourself up for deviating from your eating pattern. It allows you to see food both as an energy source and as pleasure. Imagine a long road with little stops on the way where we get to take a break and once we’re ready, go back to our main road.

3. What are you craving?

The media and some health professionals tell us it is beneficial to replace the “real thing” with alternatives or “healthier” options to what we really crave. Cravings are caused by a variety of reasons. Some may be physical, emotional, psychological or a combination of these. Yet, it is okay to crave a chocolate chip cookie and eat exactly that, instead of going for a more nourishing choice which may or may not fullfill that craving. We may end up consuming more foods which do not satisfy the craving because we really wanted a chocolate chip cookie. If we consciously practice listening to our body and removing guilt, we can find that place where we can eat the cookie, enjoy it and move on with our life.

4. That hungry feeling.

Our magnificent body communicates with us regularly. Sometimes in more than one way. We would highly benefit from listening and embracing what it tells us. Being in tune with our hunger cues can help us eat when we are hungry and stop eating when we are satisfied. However, how many times have we eaten because of social pressure, something smelled really good or it was lunchtime but we were not really hungry yet? Or, maybe the opposite – have we suppress our appetite because we were busy, it was too early or too late, we just had a snack etc. Reconnecting to the feeling of subtle hunger and satiety is something we need to mindfully practice and accept as the cues to help us decide whether to eat or not.

5. Allow flexibility.

There are so many different weight-loss diets out there, of which the majority are too restrictive, making them unsustainable. Some may cause us to put back the weight, and some affect us in a negative way to the point we develop unhealthy relationships with food. Being flexible with food choices allows us to maintain a certain way of eating while permitting ourselves to deviate from it when we want to. A romantic dinner that involves a scrumptious dessert, a glass of wine with girlfriends once in a while, or occasionally replacing a healthy meal with a take-out order because we are too exhausted to cook. Allowing flexibility in our way of eating will support a less strict approach to eating and will assist with a healthier relationship with food, long-term.

Categories Free Resources, How To’s, Wellness

7 important things to know about protein intake

How much protein do we really need? How do we get enough of it? Should we follow a high-protein diet?
Protein is found in every cell of our body and has many functions. It is involved in many chemical reactions and is an important macronutrient for putting some meat on our bones, making blood, skin, hair, enzymes and more.
To keep our body in a healthy state, the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) per day for an adult is 0.8 grams of protein for each kilogram of body weight. However, depending on our sex, age, lifestyle, frequency and intensity of physical activity, goals and other factors, an individual may need more than that. Let’s look at some important points to consider:

1. Too much of a good thing

Although protein is an important macronutrient, the expression “the more, the better” does not apply to its daily intake. A healthy diet should consist of all 3 macronutrients which are properly balanced and designed to the individual and their personal goal.

2. Remember your personal goal

Different people may have different goals when it comes to weight management, health and fitness. If someone is a bodybuilder, while your lifestyle is sedentary, the amount of protein requirements will be substantially different for the two of you. Your protein intake should be matching your goals, life choices, biology and other factors. Remember we are not all the same.

3. Consider the source of protein

Protein can come from animal and plant foods. When choosing your protein, remember it comes in a package that normally includes other macronutrients or other characteristics. For example, animal protein such as beef, chicken, fish, dairy and eggs, will also include some fats. While fats are an important macronutrient, some animal protein provide high amounts of saturated fats aside from protein. Saturated fats should be consumed in moderation.
On the other hand, protein from plant sources may have a reduced bioavailability. Being aware of that and incorporating cooked veggies and grains into our food intake can help increase bioavailability.

4. Adjust the total food intake

When our goal is to maintain or lose bodyweight, whenever we increase the intake of a certain macronutrient, we should make adjustments so we do not consume more food than we require. Meaning, if you have not changed anything in your diet except increase your protein intake, you may experience some weight gain due to overconsmption of calories. Swapping foods can be a good solution in this case. For example, instead of snacking on a couple fruits, swap with a few carrot sticks and hummus dip, while maintaining a similar caloric amount.

5. Get to know your protein powder

Some people may choose to incorporate protein powder into their food intake. While such powders are a great way to supplement our diet with protein and a great solution when you are in a hurry or on the go, we should learn what is really in our powder. Such powders may come from different sources (dairy, eggs, plant-based) and can often contain other ingredients such as vitamins and minerals, thickeners, added sugars or other sweeteners, as well as artificial flavouring. When choosing a protein powder, make sure to read the nutrition and ingredient labels first and see if you are okay with the final product.

6. High-protein diets

A very high-protein diet normally encourages an extremely low carb intake which may translate into overall minimal consumption of fruits and vegetables. While high-protein diets may offer certain benefits to certain people for a limited time period and under clinical supervision, studies have shown over and over again that daily consumption of enough fruits and vegetables contributes to our health in many ways and can be helpful and even preventative for many diseases.

7. Protein for vegetarians and vegans

Getting enough protein from non-animal sources is possible. Although a bit more planning may be required, achieving the protein intake requirements only through plant protein can be done. While vegetarians who eat dairy, eggs or fish can meet their protein intake requirements quite easily, vegans need to plan a bit more but can still get enough protein regularly. A common concern in some vegetarian diets or a vegan lifestyle is unintentionally creating a deficiency in certain vitamins and minerals. If you plan to become a vegetarian or vegan, a professional nutritional guidance or in-depth planning should be done to avoid such deficiencies.

Categories Free Resources, Health Boosters, How To’s, Wellness

How to Make Healthier Choices on a Budget

A common misconception is that a healthy lifestyle is expensive and only a minority can afford it. Often, when picturing a healthy lifestyle, images of expensive gym memberships, pricey organic produce and some high-cost environmentally-conscious products. While there is definitely a lot of money in the health industry, the wonderful news is that living a healthier lifestyle can be done with little financial investment. In fact, you will find the investment is more of a time & effort one, rather than financial.

The important thing is to be willing to make small changes, start making them and keep consistent. With time, these can help you improve your current situation. It is the little changes we do that slowly and gradually impact our own lives for the better, our community and if we are patient enough, the environment we live in.

I came up with a list for you to have. You are more than welcome to adopt one or multiple suggestions. Please share this with people you think could benefit from it.

1. Cook more at home.

This will save you a lot of money and will provide you with more control over what goes into your food. Eating out or ordering take-out can add up in both money and less healthy choices.

2. Buy seasonal produce.

No one has to have grapes in the winter or oranges in the summer. Imported produce can be pricier and sometimes less nutritious due to longer storage and travel time. Someone has to pay the price of travel and storage and that would be you.

3. Make your own protein/granola/energy bars.

Most recipes available online are easy to follow and most bars freeze well. Most recipes use products that are available at home or can be found in any superstore. Keep a stash in the freezer for you to grab & go.

4. Try frozen veggies & fruits.

There are times throughout the year where the variety of fresh produce is small, or what is available is pricey. Frozen options can often be as nutritious as fresh, and it is better to choose frozen than to not have any fruits and veggies at all.

5. Go for daily walks.

Whether it is a long stroll or a short fast walk, with or without added weights, the benefits of walking are frequently underestimated. It is a great exercise, can be adjusted to any fitness level and can be done by most people year-round.

6. Reduce intake of expensive meats.

Instead of having beef, chicken, turkey or fish daily, consider replacing a few meals per week with a vegetarian option such as lentils and beans dishes, eggs or tofu.

7. At-home cosmetics.

Consider using good quality olive oil or coconut oil to replace some cosmetic products such as hair masks, makeup removers, lip balm and lotions. Often these oils are available at home and are a much cheaper and healthier option than chemically-heavy cosmetics.

8. Double up on your favourite dishes.

When cooking your own meal, consider doubling a recipe to freeze and enjoy later. It will save you time and effort and maybe even help you refrain from ordering take-out.

9. Online exercises library.

Search online for some safe, at-home exercises that require no special equipment or conditions, and use body weight and a small space. There are many completely free options out there that can fit any style and fitness level.

10. Relax for free.

Instead of going to an expensive spa or for pricey massages, try relaxation methods at home, such as meditation, listening to calming music, stretching and/or breathing techniques.

Categories Free PDFs, Free Resources, How To’s

10 Ways to Manage Waist Size After 40!

10 Ways to Manage Waist Size After 40!

For some reason our 40’s and 50’s end up showing around our belly. Here is how to take better care of this stubborn area.
Get your copy to learn about 10 ways you can manage your waistline.


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    Categories Free Resources, Health Boosters, How To’s

    Smoothies – Why, what and how

    You may have tried a smoothie in the past. Maybe smoothies are a big part of your food intake. You may have experienced the texture, the variety of flavours, colours and even gone further and bought a blender to prepare these at home. Whether you enjoy these frequently or once in a while – let’s chat about smoothies – Should we have smoothies? How often? Why? And what should they be made of to maximize their benefits?
    A smoothie is a blended drink that normally contains a combination of fruits, vegetables, a preferred liquid (such as milk, water, etc.) and sometimes other ingredients.
    To clarify, in this blog I will be referring to the smoothies that are made of wholesome products, as opposed to smoothies made of ice cream, or the ones containing high amounts of processed sugars or even alcohol.

    Why - the reasons to have a smoothie

    1. Convenience

    You may have found yourself on a hot summer day wanting a cold slushy beverage while nurturing your body with some good nutrients, so you proceed to the next smoothie establishment and in minutes you have a cold, creamy, satisfying drink in your hand that you can take along with you on your walk, errands or while waiting for your child to finish their sports event.

    2. Fibre

    Fibre is a very important part of a healthy food intake. We need enough fibre daily for healthy bowel movement, nutrient absorption and to feel fuller and satisfied. While juicing has many great benefits, it removes the fibre content of the produce we are using. Smoothies keep the fibre intact and can help us reach our daily fibre intake goal.

    3. Nutrition in a cup

    Not everyone meets the minimum recommended number of fruits and veggies we should consume daily. Throw into your blender your favourite combo of fruits, veggies and greens, and you just got yourself closer to the daily quota.

    4. Grab & go

    Busy schedule? No time to sit down and have a proper meal? A smoothie to the rescue! A few pieces of frozen fruits, maybe a handful of greens, a scoop of protein powder and you basically have a meal in a cup.

    5. A healthier alternative

    Can you really compare a sweet & slushy, artificially coloured and full of chemicals drink from a fast food or convenience store to a homemade smoothie? And maybe there are times for the not-so-good-for-us option. However, depending on the ingredients, you can make your own smoothie that can satisfy any sweet tooth. Kids and adults alike can enjoy a cup full a slushy drink made entirely of fruits! Better? Absolutely.

    6. Versatile

    Chocolate? Vanilla? Fruity? Peanut butter? What is your favourite flavour? Smoothies can be made to fit our craving while nourishing and feeding our growling belly.

    What - What makes a good, nourishing smoothie?

    Smoothies are so versatile, we can make them taste however we want, or have them serve a different purpose each time. Need extra protein for the day? Add a scoop of protein powder to your smoothie. Didn’t have enough healthy fats today? Throw into your smoothie ½ an avocado, maybe a couple of walnuts or a teaspoon of coconut oil. No time for greens today? Toss a handful of spinach into your banana-pineapple mix and you’re good to go. The choices are endless.
    While fruit smoothies are great, I personally see smoothies as an opportunity to give our body extra nutrients and maybe even add in some extra veggies to our daily intake.
    We can easily make a smoothie extra nutritious by decreasing the number of fruits and replacing part of them with vegetables or leafy greens. The reason behind it is to allow our taste buds a break from overly sweet stimulation and to provide our body with extra nutrients from other ingredients than fruit.

    How - should we incorporate more veggies into our smoothie?

    There are a few ways to introduce more veggies and/or leafy greens into your smoothie:

    1. Start small

    There is no need to add 2 big handfuls of spinach to your smoothie and never have it again because it did not taste good. We should allow enough time for our taste buds to adjust to the new flavours. After all, we want to maintain a positive experience when drinking a smoothie. Start with a few leafy greens, ½ a cucumber or 1 stalk of celery and slowly increase the quantity when you feel ready.

    2. Experiment

    You may not be a fan of some veggies but when they are “hidden” in a smoothie, you may not know they are there. For example, you will not be able to tell the difference if you add 1-2 frozen florets of cauliflower to your smoothie.

    3. An acquired taste

    Sometimes you can do everything right and you still do not like the taste. Give it a couple more times and see if you can tolerate the new flavours as you have that smoothie again and again.

    4. Think positive

    by adding more veggies or leafy greens to your smoothies, you are adding tons of great benefits and nutrients too. Remember that as you sip.

    Ready to experiment? Click here for some delicious and nutritious smoothies ideas.
    Want to learn how to create your own smoothie from scratch? Click here for my blog ‘The 7 Pillars of a Healthy & Nourishing Smoothie’

    Categories Free PDFs, Free Resources, Health Boosters, How To’s

    The 7 Pillars of Smoothie Making

    7 Pillars of Smoothie Making

    Overwhelmed with what to put in your smoothie? I get it. With so many options, where do you begin? Get your copy to learn the basic pillars of smoothie making. Save time & hassle when you are looking for a healthy choice on the go.


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      Categories Free PDFs, Free Resources, How To’s

      Holiday Season Without the Extra Pounds

      Celebrate the Holidays
      Without the Extra Pounds

      Food is a part of most celebrations. Gathering loved ones, sharing some delicious food and indulging together. But it may come with a price. Here are some ways to enjoy the holidays without the extra pounds.


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        Categories Free PDFs, Free Resources, How To’s, Wellness

        10 ways to reduce hair loss

        10 Ways to
        Reduce Hairloss After Our 40’s

        As we advance in our age, many of us experience changes to our hair. Whether it is hormonal changes, stress, lifestyle and other choices, some have an impact on our hair. Here are a few ways to reduce hair loss and have beautiful hair.


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          Categories Free PDFs, Free Resources, How To’s, Wellness

          6 Steps to Better Skin

          6 Steps to Better Skin

          Do you find yourself investing in cosmetics but not seeing the results you hoped for? Great looking, healthier skin starts from within. Here are 6 simple ways to practice regularly for more supple, radiant and glowing skin.


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