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Posts Tagged ‘Health’

Ten Films Worth Watching

In Food For Thought on March 7, 2018 at 9:48 pm

There are so many reasons why people choose to change their diet.

Heart of FruitsIt’s always a great day when someone shares their happy health stories with me. Sometimes the conversation will start with food or a health tip. Then the person will continue to detail how they’ve gone vegetarian or vegan, and list the benefits they’ve experienced or ask how to share this info with family and friends.

I love watching films so, I’m often surprised when I mention many of the great documentaries I’ve seen that many people haven’t heard of them. Since people seem to love top 10 lists, I thought I’d compile a list of great health resources.

  1. What the Health
  2. Forks Over Knives
  3. Cowspiracy
  4. An Inconvenient Truth
  5. May I Be Frank
  6. Burzynski: Cancer Is Serious Business
  7. Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead
  8. Food, Inc.
  9. Supersize Me
  10. Hungry For Change

Happy viewing! I’d love to hear if you have a favourite film to share.


Disclosure Notice: We participate in the Amazon Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program, which earns fees by linking to Amazon and affiliated sites. Our participation does not influence our content decisions but helps to offset the costs involved in maintaining this website.

Crazy for Kombucha

In Good Eats, Recently Reviewed on January 6, 2017 at 6:31 pm

There’s been a bad flu bug going around. Particularly during this past holiday season when most of us were getting together with family and friends. If the flu didn’t get you, perhaps the drinking, overeating, rich foods or sugary treats all took their toll.

While I was out shopping one day, I noticed a woman grabbing this item from the fridge section and was intrigued. Ginger remedies tend to be my go-to when I have stomach upset or cold symptoms. So I thought it might be a good one to try as something different while we had holiday guests. I’m sure glad I did!

kombucha

Kombucha Gingerade by GT’s. I’ve never seen this line before but the fact it was organic, non-GMO, vegan and gluten free made it appealing. As you know, I am always eager to try new organic and vegan products. PRODUCT NOTES In a nutshell, it’s probably the strongest ginger ale you will ever try – with real bits of raw ginger in it. My mother didn’t like it at all but the rest of us really enjoyed drinking it. BOTTOM LINE Both my sister and cousin had a bit of stomach flu and found it helped them to recover. Plus, there was a day or two when I was also feeling a bit queasy and it immediately made me feel better! I’ll have to keep my eye out for the other flavours. If they are as good as the gingerade, it will definitely be worth the search.

Try Something Vegan

In Food For Thought on January 4, 2017 at 5:25 pm

It’s a new year, so why not try something new, something vegan? If you live across the pond, no doubt you’ve heard of the annual Veganuary event that takes place in January or seen their cute animal ads.

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Launched in the U.K. in 2014, Veganuary is a global charity dedicated to changing public attitudes, while providing information and practical support on making the transition to veganism. The campaign encourages people around the world to try vegan in January.

If you’ve ever entertained the idea, now is the perfect time as a host of international celebrities have shared their favourite vegan meals and recipes in a brand-new e-cookbook. The cookbook is free, to everyone who registers to take part in Veganuary online at www.veganuary.com, and includes fellow Canadians Pamela Anderson’s Gluten-free Pizza, and an Artichoke Salad, Fennel Salad and Blitzed Broccoli Salad from Bryan Adams. Once registered, participants will be sent information, advice and more yummy recipes.

Believe it or not, it’s true: vegans save lives – animal lives of course and perhaps our own human lives. Veganism is one of the most effective choices a person can make to reduce the suffering of animalshelp the planet, and improve personal health.

Last year 23,000 people from 142 countries took part in Veganuary worldwide, including almost 1,000 Canadians who ate no animal products in January. The move to meat-free foods in Canada has been extraordinary, with eight per cent now saying they are vegetarian or mostly vegetarian, while another 25 per cent are moving away from meat-centred meals to plant-based recipes and products. This dramatic change has seen stores and restaurants respond with 100 per cent vegan restaurants opening while others have added vegan options or created full vegan menus.

Says Clea Grady, Marketing Manager at Veganuary: “The rise in veganism may be influenced by celebrities but the number one reason that people give for taking part in Veganuary is to protect animals. Farming is a brutal business. Male chicks are killed at a day old because they aren’t able to lay eggs, unwanted calves are shot, and pigs are locked in crates and treated like breeding machines.”

Something to think about before you tuck into your next meal.

Happy New Year!

In Food, Glorious Food on January 1, 2017 at 4:03 pm

It’s that annual celebration day – for 2017…a day of feasting and connecting with family and friends.

My three-tiered bento box is ready to go, tied in a festive red furoshiki. I’ve made (clockwise from top) red rice, chap chae, green beans and sengiri daikon. For dessert, which tastes better than it looks, I’ve made a plum cake topped with minced candied ginger. Akemashite omedetou gozaimasu!

Happy Holidays!

In Food For Thought on December 30, 2016 at 7:18 pm

Christmas Lights Evergreen Background Frame

Thanks for visiting and liking my posts. I am grateful to have this opportunity to reach out to you and let you know that I appreciate having you share my journey.

It’s easy to forget sometimes how lucky we are – surrounded as many of us are with relative abundance and the distraction of our first-world problems when there are so many others who are not as fortunate

As the year comes to an end, I’d like to wish you all the best for 2017. Health, wealth, happiness and all good things for the coming new year!

The Herbal Goddess Within

In Book Reviews, In the Garden, Recently Reviewed on June 5, 2016 at 9:57 pm

UnknownNow that the warmer weather is upon us and our gardens are beginning to awaken and explode with life Herbal Goddess, by master herbalist and yoga instructor Amy Jirsa, reminds readers how the earth provides us with everything we need. While many of us have forgotten the once common wisdom that knew which plants were used for specific medicines, according to Jirsa, “herbalism is our cultural heritage.” And she believes we all still carry this instinctual insight on how to heal our selves – we only need to find the path back to that knowledge.

Jirsa makes it easy – she’s plowed through the plant world’s overwhelming amount of information and culled the vast array down to 12 of her favourite healing herbs. No home apothecary should be without these select go-to herbs for day-to-day living. No doubt, most of us will recognize popular herbs such as chamomile, rose and lavender, which made the list for their well-known calming properties. And stay the spade: those dandelions and nettles you thought were weeds are also included! You might be surprised to learn that both plants provide valuable nutrients, and can serve as amazing detoxifiers.

While the book can be read in any order, it’s divided into individual sections. Each short chapter focuses on one of the 12 herbs, and includes beautiful photographs so you’ll be able to identify the herb when you come across it. Also provided is basic herb terminology, details on what part of the herb is used, how to harvest it, and preparations such as drying blossoms. There are featured recipes in every section for making teas, body care products, and special dishes plus themed yoga poses.

Whether you’re a total novice or an experienced herbalist, Herbal Goddess inspires you to dig deeper into the world of herbs. Jirsa suggests starting slowly and simply. Her advice is to take about a month’s time, and get to know each plant, one by one. With this type of close examination, you’ll really begin to understand the natural properties and effects of each herb. With these valuable tools firmly rooted, we may once again be able to take charge of our mental, physical, and spiritual health. Unleash the herbal goddess within yourself!


Disclosure Notice: We participate in the Amazon Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program, which earns fees by linking to Amazon and affiliated sites. Our participation does not influence our content decisions but helps to offset the costs involved in maintaining this website.

A different perspective…

In Animal Kingdom, Food For Thought on July 9, 2015 at 9:50 pm

lucianfootFor Lucian, it’s no big deal if you put your foot in your mouth. In fact, it’s just another day in the life of a rabbit. No regrets, no worries.

Our lives could be so straightforward and uncomplicated…if we would only take a moment to embrace a different perspective on things, we’d see issues in a whole new light!

Tour Top-Rated Vegan Restaurants

In Book Reviews, Recently Reviewed on May 19, 2015 at 9:58 am

TheHappyCow_webThink you’re a picky eater? Try being a vegetarian or vegan, if just for a meal or two, and you’ll discover a host of difficulties served with a side of limited options when eating out. Add travel to the mix, where you’re not familiar navigating the local customs, language or terrain, and you might as well prepare for a culinary crisis. But wait – vegans everywhere can now rejoice! Let The HappyCow Cookbook, by Eric Brent and Glen Merzer, take you on a guided tour of top-rated vegan restaurants around the world. As the title suggests, even if you’re not leaving the comforts of home to jaunt off somewhere in the near future and are only venturing as far as your kitchen, this fabulous resource contains recipes from far and wide that will have you going back for seconds.

In the foreword, actress and fellow vegan Emily Deschanel cites many different reasons why people choose to become vegan, and stresses the need for like-minded individuals to reach out to one another in their common purpose. She credits the HappyCow website for helping to establish an international veg community to which she is happy to be part of. If you’re not familiar with HappyCow, it’s an online resource started in 1999 by founder and director Eric Brent, who is also co-editor and author of the book. Back in the 80s Brent, then a vegetarian, discovered first-hand how hard it was to find places to eat as he backpacked throughout Europe. By 1999 the avid traveller had become vegan, and had grown so frustrated, and practically starved in his search while abroad that he was inspired if not compelled to start HappyCow.com as a handy site to help other travellers find “safe food.” Today it is fueled by user-generated content, whereby once you’ve signed on to become part of their community you can post reviews and recommendations, however sweet or sour, of the places you’ve eaten and shopped. It’s refreshing to see so many successful vegan venues taking root among the vast plains of mainstream restaurants, diners, eateries and markets.

If you’re one of those people who avoid animal products, it no longer matters where you plant yourself. With just a few clicks of a mouse, you can easily find a variety of places that will not only welcome you but also share in your views. Unlike standard restaurateurs, these are people are enlightened to the cost and cruelty involved in consuming livestock, and are committed to making changes into what we enjoy when we sit down at the table – one meal at a time. As Dave Loan, owner of ZenKitchen, points out: “Diners are becoming more health-conscious and aware of factory farming and other cruelty issues while demanding more flavorful food. It’s up to us to step up to the plate –- the dinner plate — and offer our supporters the full dining experience while still respecting our values.”

Thanks to the book’s selection of go-to places you can now travel the world and dine on international cuisine from haute cuisine to fast food simply by flipping through a few pages. Each listing features photographs of the establishment, so you’ll know what to look out for if you’re visiting, plus a brief interview with the proprietor and one or more of their popular recipes.

Heading down south? Plan to make a pit stop at Cornbread Café in Eugene, Oregon and enjoy some southern-style hospitality. What started out in a parked food trailer has since grown into the present day diner thanks to their ever-popular Chicken Fried Tempeh topped with cashew gravy, Skillet Cornbread and Frozen Peanut Butter Pie. Not only does a local gardener pick up their food scraps, driven in a car fueled by their used cooking oil, but the café also offers discounts to patrons who walk or ride the bus when they drop in for a bite.

Should you find yourself across the pond in York, England or Malaga, Spain and are craving a bit of Spanish flair, head over to one of El Piano’s locations and tuck into some Peruvian Leftovers Pie and Granada Chai. Taking a trip to our own Canadian capital? Raise the flag for Ottawa’s ZenKitchen, an upscale and award-winning gourmet vegan restaurant known for its Polenta Fries and Eggplant Parmesan. Fancy salad? Prepare for a salad showcase as their Tasting of Beets celebrates the root vegetable with its selection of boiled, roasted and pickled beets.

If you’re up for something more substantial, Coox and Candy in Stuttgart, Germany should hit the spot. Owner and chef, Kathrin Friedrich, shares one of the lessons she’s learned: “It’s so much easier to explain the vegan lifestyle if you offer somebody a delicious meal, a sweet dessert, and good coffee, instead of talking to a person in the street showing him bloody pictures of dead animals.” Well said, indeed, as the latter certainly doesn’t do much to whet the appetite. For goodness sake, give them the dinner, the coffee and cake. As a popular chef who keeps customers coming back for more, Friedrich knows a thing or two about good food. Fans of hearty German fare will find themselves right at home enjoying her creative reinterpretations of time-honoured classics like schnitzel with dishes such as Celery-Breaded Cutlet With Wild Rice and Mixed Vegetables. It’s also one of the few places where you can find a traditional homemade vegan Schwarzwälder-Kirschtorte (Black Forest Cake) to satisfy your sweet tooth. Sounds like a wonderful meal that you can really sink your teeth into. Bon appétit!


Disclosure Notice: We participate in the Amazon Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program, which earns fees by linking to Amazon and affiliated sites. Our participation does not influence our content decisions but helps to offset the costs involved in maintaining this website.

Hooray for Hemp!

In Good Eats, Recently Reviewed on May 28, 2014 at 10:01 am

In case you’ve missed the news on the super foods front, hemp has long been touted for its amazing nutritive value and countless benefits. There are so many products available now — from the original hemp hearts, hemp cereals, hemp milks and many things more. If you’ve been reluctant to try hemp, here’s an easy entry into healthy eating.

hempbars
True to Nature bars made by Shandiz Natural Foods.
My daughter was the first to spot these bars in the snack aisles at Costco. Since we love anything hemp in our household and we’re big eaters of organic granola bars — we snapped them up to try right away. PRODUCT NOTES It’s hard to believe that something that tastes this good can also be good for you and so rich in protein! With yummy flavours like Peanut & Peanut Butter; Mango Coconut; and Chocolate Banana – who can resist such decadence? BOTTOM LINE Words of warning: can’t stop eating these. Once you try them, you’ll be hooked, too.

Muffin Madness

In Food For Thought, Food, Glorious Food, Recipes on August 6, 2013 at 9:36 am

Recently I submitted a muffin recipe to a national competition that claimed to be looking for new and innovative products. Ironically, the moment I mentioned to the taster that my muffins were organic and vegan, he glazed over and quickly became dismissive. “People want full fat, full sugar indulgences.” Seriously? His words are still ringing in my ears.

It was clear he wasn’t the least bit interested. Guess he wasn’t accustomed to tasting anything made from whole wheat flour! Despite this competition being hosted by a major grocery chain with their own line of organics, he obviously didn’t get the memo that some people are actually interested in healthy living. Sadly though, I think the majority of large grocers are more about making a profit from enlightened shoppers than being committed to offering consumers better food choices. Why else would they continue to sell GM foods and all the other processed junk you find disguised as food? Until consumers speak out, we’ll continue to be told what we want and what we can buy.

But I digress. Be your own judge and try these vegan muffins. They’re quick and easy to make plus you can substitute different fruit or fruit-and-nut combinations to suit depending on what’s in season.

Caramelized Apple-Blackberry and Sunflower Seed Muffins

Caramelized Apple-Blackberry and Sunflower Seed Muffins

 

 

 

Caramelized Apple-Blackberry and Sunflower Seed Muffins

Ingredients

To caramelize fruit, sauté on low heat

2 tbsp each                        coconut oil and coconut sugar

2 cups                                  apples peeled, cored and chopped

½ cup                                   blackberries

Mix together

1 cup                                    whole wheat flour

1 cup                                    rolled oats

1 cup                                    sunflower seeds

½ cup                                   coconut sugar

3 ½ tsp                                 baking powder

½ tsp                                    salt

1 tsp                                     cinnamon

pinch                                    fresh ground nutmeg

Whisk together

1 tbsp                                  ground flaxseed

3 tbsp                                  water

Add

1 cup                                    hemp milk (almond or soy can also be used)

¼ cup                                   safflower oil (or other vegetable oil)

1 tsp                                    vanilla

Method

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line 12 medium-size muffin cups. To caramelize fruit, melt coconut oil and sugar over low heat until they become liquid. Add apples and berries cooking until soft. Remove from heat and let cool. Can be made ahead of time. Mix dry ingredients. Whisk together flaxseed and water to create egg substitute then add remaining liquid ingredients. Add liquid mixture to dry stirring until just combined. Fold in fruit. Fill muffin cups and bake in preheated oven until golden, about 20 to 25 minutes. Makes 12 muffins.