Dangers Of Vaping

E-Cigarettes Found to Have 10 times More Cancer Causing Ingredients than Regular Cigarettes

Recently the dangers of vaping has been all over the news and social media. Vocalizing the hidden risks after reports of numerous deaths and illness that incurred to seemingly healthy individuals.

Where It All Started

There have been many products developed over the years to help people quit smoking.  In fact, vaping was initially introduced for that exact reason. However, recent reports are stating that;

e-cigarettes will impose similar long-term cardiovascular and pulmonary risks as those associated with conventional cigarettes.

How Vaping Works

E-cigarettes are designed to deliver nicotine to a user in the form of vapour. Typically via a rechargeable battery-operated heating element. Hence where the word vaping came from.

The cartridges filled with nicotine and chemicals inhaled by the user are replaceable. However, the FDA has not evaluated e-cigarettes for their safety.

Dangers Of Vaping

Originally, E-Cigarettes became popular because of their ability to provide a hit of nicotine. Supposedly without the worry of added chemicals and toxins found in regular cigarettes. However, vaping cannot be considered risk free.  Reports are now surfacing stating that vaping can cause harm to the lungs and attribute to disease including COPD.

Furthermore,  there was a CDC study published in the journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research;

“More than a quarter of a million youth who had never smoked a cigarette used electronic cigarettes in 2013. This is a three-fold increase from 79,000 in 2011 to more than 263,000 in 2013.”

Here at Family Health Advocacy, we’re all about living the most healthy lifestyle that you can. Eating well. Enjoying movement. And eliminating toxins.

vaping

Are You Ready To Quit Smoking & Vaping?

Follow these tips:

1. Stop Buying Them!

They are harder to get your hands on if they’re not in the house. Also, the inconvenience of going to purchase them may allow you enough time to convince yourself not to buy them!

2. Load Up On Fruit & Vegetables

I know this sounds lame.  However the vitamins and minerals your body has lost from smoking must be replenished.  Helping yourself to reduce cravings.

For further information, click here to read, “Nutrition and Smoking: Foods to Help You Quit!”

3. Antioxidant Diet

According to research, eating a diet high in antioxidants, especially those found in tomatoes can help to repair lung damage caused by smoking.

4. Talk To Your Natural Health Practitioner

Your natural health practitioner can put together solutions customized specifically for you. There are many herbs and natural remedies that can support your body through this difficult transition.  Although natural, they are also very powerful to help you quit smoking.

Try these solutions for yourself.  Avoid the dangers of vaping, smoking, JUULing. QUIT TODAY!

How To Encourage Children To Eat Vegetables

Getting your kids to eat their vegetables can be one of the greatest daily struggles for parents.  Building healthy eating habits takes a lot of effort for parents to sometimes battle it out with their children.

Start Small & Tackle One Meal At A Time

First, start off with breakfast and work on getting sugary cereals, pastries, and dairy off the menu.  Substitute cereals for oatmeal and fruit.  Pastries for homemade muffins (recipe below), and dairy milk for almond or coconut milk to use in smoothies.

First and foremost, parents need to set the example to their children on how to eat properly.

Children easily pick up on the habits of their parents and will gravitate towards the eating style presented at home.  Take a minute and think about the kind of example you are setting for your children.  Ask yourself the following;

  • Do you make meal time a priority?  Preparing regular healthy meals as a family?  Or are you picking up takeout on the way home from work because you are exhausted?
  • What is your attitude towards food and your body image?
  • What messages are you consciously or unconsciously sending your children?
Encouraging your children to take care of their health is one of the greatest acts of love a parent can give their child.

Mindset around meals and snacks can easily be shifted to a more positive experience.  Involve the family in weekly meal planning and grocery shopping for the ingredients that will be needed for those meals.

Older children and teens can also take part in meal prep by washing vegetables and helping to prepare dinner.  Giving children a voice around their meal choices will help with encouraging healthier eating habits.  Provide your children with a choice of what vegetables they are going to eat each day.  In addition, add one wild card vegetable to the menu each week that they may not like, but are willing to try.

Click here to read, “Are You Eating Enough Colour?”

Tips & Tricks To Add Vegetables To Every Day Meals

green pineapple smoothie
  1.  Throw a handful of spinach or kale into smoothies.  Yes, the smoothie will be green, but the flavour and texture of the spinach is masked by all the fruit.

For a a fantastic green pineapple smoothie, click here to read, “Happy St. Patrick’s Day Recipes”.

cauliflower rice

2. Use the food processor to turn cauliflower into the texture of rice.  Sauté the cauliflower “rice” in a tablespoon of olive oil and season to taste.

zucchini noodles

3. Use a spiral slicing tool to turn zucchini into noodles.  It will resemble pasta and can be topped with your favourite sauce and veggies.

Grilled spaghetti squash

4. Use spaghetti squash instead of pasta to make traditional spaghetti with meatballs (remember to use grass fed beef for the meatballs).

Click here for “The Ultimate Guide For How to Cook Spaghetti Squash”.

fruit salad ideas

5. Rather than ice cream for dessert, serve a plate of fresh fruit.

Almond-Berry Muffin Recipe

As promised, below is a recipe for healthy muffins that freeze well and are easy to serve as part of a healthy breakfast.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups raw almonds, ground
  • 2 free-range eggs
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt (optional)
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen berries (raspberries, blueberries)
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 12 muffin liners

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Grind raw almonds until fine.
  3. Mix eggs, coconut oil maple syrup, vanilla and apple cider vinegar in a bowl. Add ground almonds and baking soda. Mix thoroughly.
  4. Fold in berries and sprinkle with chocolate chips.
  5. Evenly distribute batter between 12 muffin cups.
  6. Bake at 350F for 20-25 minutes.
  7. ENJOY!!

Also, try this recipe breakfast muffins. It’s another great healthy breakfast idea that you can prepare in advance!

Simple And Healthy Yogurt Parfait

yogurt parfait

Make breakfast special with this appealing Breakfast Yogurt Parfait.  This is a very easy, yet effective way to impress the family or house guests.

As a child, an Ice-cream or Yogurt Parfait were our special treat if we behaved well enough while eating out in a restaurant.

I decided to recreate this childhood memory as a healthy breakfast option by using yogurt, fresh fruit, nuts, and seeds to create the same beautiful eye-catching layers.

A good quality, nutty granola can also be used for the crunchy layer.  Use any of your favourite seasonal fruits for the fruit layers.  I especially like seeded cherries or lychees, or chopped up peaches or apricots in my yogurt parfait.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 cup plain dairy or coconut yogurt
  • 1/4 cup fresh berries of your choice
  • 1/2 small mango, cubed
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped nuts and/or seeds

DIRECTIONS:

Simply start with your yogurt layer then add a layer of your fruits, nuts and/or seeds, followed again by another layer of yogurt.  Then repeat.  Decorate the top with extra fruit, nuts and/or seeds.  You can also add a drizzle of raw honey or maple syrup to add some extra sweetness.

Looking for another breakfast idea?   Click here for an amazing breakfast egg muffin!

Is It Time To Stop Eating Fruit?

fruit

I was asked an excellent question by a member of a private facebook community I started for people dealing with chronic pain and fibromyalgia.   She was working through an online course that I put together for our members so that they could take the proper action steps and move towards better health.  She had completed the unit on sugar which raised the following question; could she consume ANY sugar at all, which included fruit!

This was important for her to know as she has been dealing with chronic pain for years and was now in the midst of a major flare up of symptoms.  She starts her day each morning with a smoothie containing lots of fruit.  As many others in our facebook community are experiencing similar symptoms, this was important to address with our followers.

Important Points About Sugar

Firstly, we aren’t just talking about white table sugar or high fructose corn syrup.  There are many additional hidden sources of sugar (breads, crackers, pasta, rice and other grains that are all converted to sugar) contributing to this over-consumption problem.  It’s just plain bad for our bodies and creates an even bigger problem for those suffering in chronic pain or have conditions like fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome.  For this reason, it would be wise to eliminate sugar as much as possible from her daily diet or cut it out altogether!

How Sugar Impacts Our Health

Thankfully the sugar industry has finally started to come under fire.  The research demonstrating the numerous negative impacts sugar has on overall health is mounting.  It’s not just diabetes.  It’s a major factor in developing conditions like chronic fatigue, obesity, cancer, heart disease, alzheimer’s disease, immune system deficiency, metabolic syndrome, and all sorts of inflammatory conditions.

Sugar’s direct relationship to inflammation is of huge significance.  Inflammation is the underlying process of most diseases in North America.

The Hidden Truth

Some of you reading this may be thinking “well I can eat sugar because I’m not dealing with a disease process”.  But these disease processes sit quietly beneath the surface without you knowing.  This process can go on for many months or even years.

That is until your body can’t take it anymore and starts to manifest symptoms.  Don’t wait for this to happen.  Make changes now!

If you find yourself in a disease state, make the decision to heal your body!  When going through the healing process, the first thing to go away will be the symptoms.  But the underlying problem is still there.  So, if you are reducing or eliminating sugar from your life, and you’re feeling better and experiencing more energy, you may think it’s ok to slide back to your old food habits.  Don’t! The underlying disease process is likely still there. Keep pushing your health needle in the right direction!

Sugar Crisis

The reality is that the average North American is consuming the equivalent of 22 teaspoons of sugar every single day.  This is astounding!  It’s no wonder we are amidst a healthcare crisis!  The American Heart Association  suggests restricting your sugar consumption to 6-9 teaspoons per day.  Family Health Advocacy suggests eliminating it altogether.

Start by getting rid your table sugar.  Avoid high fructose corn syrup like the plague!  Read the ingredients list on products while in the grocery store before even bringing them into your home.  This way these products won’t even be an option for you should you get cravings.  Continuing to consume sugar in excess through its various forms leads to insulin resistance.  The cells in your body actually start to ignore your body’s insulin!  Like that annoying neighbor that keeps coming over to your house, insulin keeps knocking at the doors (receptors) of your cells but the cells won’t answer.  This creates inflammation and oxidative stress in your body.  Two processes that are big contributors to the development of disease, not to mention worsens the symptoms of chronic pain and fibromyalgia.

Sugar can also sabotage your healthy nutritional decisions as well.  Sugar affects the absorption of the nutrients of other foods.  It can also have a damaging effect on your liver, not allowing your body to properly break down and process fat.  This creates the inability to lose weight.  Hello obesity epidemic!

So What About Fruit?

So, back to the original question.  What about fruit?  Well in this particular case, where a person is dealing with a condition like chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia or chronic pain, and you’re having a really bad flare up, it may be time to even cut out fruit.

It’s time to consider a sugar fast.  And not just the table sugar or high fructose corn syrup, but all grains and yes fruit.  Fruit is great for all of its nutrients and vitamins and should be a portion of everyone’s healthy diet.

But when eating that typical North American diet with all those grains and sugars it all adds up and it’s time to allow your body to heal. Can you really keep sugar cravings at bay? Click here to find out!

And when your body does heal, you can start to slowly re-introduce fruit.  Start with organic blueberries, strawberries, rasberries, and blackberries.  These berries are high in anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-aging phytonutrients.  They are low in sugar content, best to be taken in the morning and taste great in a smoothie.  Click here for a great smoothie recipe.  The best part is that the sugar is in its natural form.  This means there is a higher fiber content and lower glycemic index.  This allows your body the opportunity to better process the natural sugars.

If you are someone who is dealing with chronic pain issues or fibromyalgia, I encourage you to  join my private facebook community by clicking here.  Once in the group, complete the course unit on sugar to learn more about how it can affect your chronic condition and overall health.

You’re one step closer!

Victoria Day BBQ Recipes

Victoria Day BBQ Recipes

It’s that time of year! Summer Barbecue season is here and it’s time to fire up the grill!! But with so many choices of what to cook, it’s easy to get stuck in a hot dogs and hamburgers rut that don’t offer many nutrients.

Here are some taste-bud blowing recipes that will make your mouth water, but are also packed with nutrients to fuel your body for summer fun!

Zucchini halves stuffed with minced meat and vegetable

Zucchini Boats

Find the largest zucchinis that you can. Slice longways down the middle and scoop out the largest seeds.

Cook hamburger meat in skillet.

Cook onions, garlic, peppers and mushrooms in another skillet and add 2 handfuls of spinach when it’s almost done cooking. Add hamburger meat to skillet once it is cooked and mix together.

Fill zucchini boats with mixture and barbecue until the zucchinis are softened. Top with your favourite herbs and spices.

Chicken Kabobs

Chicken Kabobs

Slice free range, organic (if possible) chicken breast into chunks fit for a kabob skewer. Keep them fairly small so they don’t take a lot longer to cook than the vegetables also on the grill. Slide the chunks onto the skewer and sprinkle with pepper.

To other skewers, add a mixture of fresh mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, chunks of pepper, celery, zucchini, onion and pineapple. Add a very light brushing of extra virgin olive oil before they go on the grill to help them get a bit crispy.

(I like to keep the meat and veggie skewers separate due to raw meat juice contamination, and they tend to cook at different speeds).

Grill and Enjoy!

Grilled Corn on the Cob

Grilled Corn on the Cob

There are two ways to do this, so experiment and see what you like best…

#1 – Grill with the husk on – just throw it on the barbecue and turn it often. The result is more of a steamed corn and just a little grilled-ness. Should be cooked in 10-15 minutes, or when you feel that a knife easily pierces the kernels.

#2 – Husk the Corn and then grill it. This creates a much more grilled effect, where the kernels become darkened and absorb more of the grilled flavour. Turn them often, and they are cooked in about 10 minutes.

You can drizzle with a little bit of garlic butter and salt for added flavour. Or lime and hot sauce. Or your favourite topping!

Refreshing LemonadeRefreshing Lemonade

Grab your high speed blender and fill with 1 L of water.

Cut the rind off of a lemon, leaving the white pith. Put the whole lemon into the blender and blend until smooth.

Strain the lemon-water mixture with tiny mesh strainer into a pitcher. This will catch the small pieces of seeds, etc that didn’t break down in the blender.

You don’t need to add anything to sweeten it, it is not sour, just pure flavour! Serve over ice and enjoy! 

Detox Now: 287 Industrial Chemicals Found in Umbilical Cord Blood

Detoxify or Die

I was 22 years old, wearing a white lab coat in Colombo, Sri Lanka, with an acupuncture needle in my hand, I was trying to steady my hand because it was shaking a lot!  I was about to stick this needle into a patient’s eye!!  Ok, not really their eye, but just below their eye, but above the eye socket bone.  You may be asking, Why?  Because this was one of the acupuncture points that I had to needle for this patient, who apparently had a tumour in her brain that was putting pressure on one of the nerves in her brain that was affecting her vision.  Who told me to use this acupuncture point?  It was the great Dr. Anton Jayasuriya, who was by far the greatest and smartest person that I had ever met by that point of my life.  I was a second year chiropractic student and had come to Sri Lanka with some fellow classmates to learn acupuncture from this famous Dr., who was a Board Certified Medical Doctor and Rheumatologist as well as a Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture Master.  We would come to his class every morning to learn about acupuncture and in the afternoon, we gained experience treating patients in his clinic.  And there was no shortage of patients!  They were lining up to see him from the early morning until late at night and they would come from all parts of the country!  It was an amazing experience!

The reason I tell this story is that there is one thing he said to us while we were learning there that I still remember today.  During one of our classes, we asked him to predict the future of medicine and to guide us by telling us what to focus on in terms of patient care.  He said the next major shift in medicine would be towards something called “Environmental Medicine”.  We all looked at each other and wondered what he meant.  He explained that the world today (and this was back in 1994) was full of toxic chemicals and pollution and that it would cause an epidemic of health problems and diseases that would be impossible to treat. 

Since then I have thought about what this great man said and looked at my own life to see how I could eliminate toxins. 

• I changed my toothpaste to a natural one without fluoride
• I changed my under arm deodorant to one without aluminum (and yes, I still smell ok!)
• my family and I invested in a home water filtration system that helps to remove chlorine from the water (it’s been found that we can absorb a lot of chlorine through our skin when we take a shower!!)
• we buy organic produce to avoid the harmful pesticides sprayed on our vegetables and fruit
• we switched to organic and grass fed meats to avoid meat from animals that eat genetically modified grains that are heavily sprayed with an especially toxic herbicide called Glyphosate as well as to avoid meat from animals that were given hormones and antibiotics during their life.

From the book, Detoxify or Die by Sherry A. Rogers, M.D., I read something really scary, it was the results of a research study by the Environmental Working Group that looked at blood taken from the umbilical cord of 10 babies born in the US in 2004 which found 287 industrial chemicals and environmental pollutants including pesticides, mercury, fire retardants, consumer product ingredients, teflon chemicals and waste from burning coal, gasoline and garbage!!! 

Of the 287 chemicals found, 180 of them have been found to cause cancer in humans or animals!! 

I thought to myself, if all these chemicals are found in the blood of newborn babies, who knows how many chemicals are found in you and me!! Dr. Rogers also wrote about how industrial smokestacks disseminate into the air chemicals like dioxins and PCBs (the most potent cancer triggers known to man) and then clouds carry these chemicals to every continent and every body of water around the world!! 

As I think back to my time in Sri Lanka, treating that woman with cancer and remembering what Dr. Anton said about “Environmental Medicine”, I can’t help but think he had a magical crystal ball because we are living in a world where diseases like Cancer are so prevalent and even childhood cancers are at an all- time high as it is the number one cause of death by disease in kids ages 1-15!!

So as a Chiropractor, you may ask, why do I talk about toxins and the need to detoxify?  Well if you look back to the founders of our profession over a 100 years ago, they discussed the concept of removing subluxations from the spine so the body can get well.  They also discussed 3 causes of subluxation which are emotional thoughts, physical traumas and chemical toxins!!  That is amazing that more than 100 years ago they mentioned chemical toxins!  So let me ask you, what are you doing to detoxify???

_________________________________

Guest Blog by Dr. Suhill Samji, D.C. DABCN

Dr. Suhill Samji DC, DABCNDr. Samji has been in practice for over 20 years. He completed 2 years of his undergraduate degree at the University of British Columbia, after which, based on his academic performance was bestowed the honor of admission to the prestigious Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College (Canada’s only English speaking Chiropractic college). Dr. Samji is a member in good standing with the B.C. College of Chiropractors which is the sole regulatory authority in British Columbia. Dr. Samji further expanded on his thirst for knowledge and higher education by immersing himself in a 3-year postgraduate study of the subspecialty of Chiropractic Neurology.

Dr. Samji is a Diplomate of the American Chiropractic Neurology Board (www.acnb.org) having studied under Professor Carrick of the Carrick Institute in the USA (www.carrickinstitute.org). The DACNB designation (although not recognized by the B.C. College of Chiropractors) earned by Dr. Samji, is one he shares with only 600 professionals worldwide. Dr. Samji has also undergone extensive training for the treatment of children and expecting mothers (www.ICPA.com) and can skillfully adjust the spine with his hands or gently with the use of an instrument. Dr. Samji’s office is conveniently located on the northwest corner of East Broadway and Commercial Drive. His clinic offers Chiropractic, Physiotherapy, Registered Massage Therapy, Acupuncture, and also has a Pain Medicine Specialist M.D. When not at the clinic, Dr. Samji can be found spending quality time with his wife and young son, and of course the 2 dogs, or playing soccer in North Vancouver’s Men’s League or practicing Yoga.

Find Dr. Samji at:

[email protected]

www.physiomedvancouver.ca

www.physiomed.ca

The Mindset Game – Set yourself up to Win

mindset

We’re almost 4 months into the year. How is it going so far? Are you accomplishing some of the tasks you had thought of around the new year that you would love to complete by now?

Do you even remember what your resolutions were? Or if you think resolutions are ridiculous because they only last 2 days, did you make goals instead? Or did you forget about your goals 2 weeks later?

Where is your mindset? What do you want? What are you doing every single day to move toward what it is that you want?

In the blink of an eye, it will be 6 months into the year and unless you start now to really decide what you want and begin implementing a plan to reach your goals, it will soon be December and you won’t have anything to show for it.

So what do you want?

Do you want to quit your corporate job that is sucking the life out of you to start your dream business? If so, have you taken a course in business? Or taken some online marketing classes? Or laid out your business plan? Started saving like it’s your full time job so that you can fund your project and your life while it gets going?

Every single day you need to take the next right step toward what you want to achieve. It is the accumulation of these small steps that will lead you toward brilliant success.

So think about it… what do YOU want?

Do you want to lose weight? Get your health back? Start buying more fruit and vegetables. And actually eat them before they go bad! Simply let fruit and vegetables crowd out everything else. And move that body! You are meant to enjoy movement, so find something you love to do and do it often. You don’t have to go to the gym and spend hours like a hamster on a treadmill. You can do high intensity interval training for just a few minutes per day – which allows your body to kick itself into a high-fat-burning-machine and burn fat for hours after you are finished exercising.

Are you still thinking about it…..what do you WANT???

Do you want a better relationship with your spouse? Carve out specific times during the week that are yours – that have no distractions, no phones, no tv, no computers. And just be together and enjoy each other’s company.

Marianne Williamson has an amazing book that will completely transform the way you stay in love – called Enchanted Love. Basically she says that as we’re falling in love, we see our new partner as perfection, through rose coloured glasses. Everything they do is absolutely perfect, and we are so smitten that it creates joyful expression throughout the other facets of our life. But over time, we begin to take the rose-coloured glasses off and begin to see your significant other as they are – imperfect, messy and usually late for dinner.

But Marianne says that the true state of someone is actually perfection – and it’s during the first moments of a relationship when you are wearing the rose-coloured glasses – that this is actually reality!! That is the truth of each person, and for a moment in time you are able to see their true soul perfection. But then society and our generational conditioning causes our true sight to become blurred – and the glasses fall off.

So let’s start to put those rose coloured glasses on more often and see our significant others for what they are – perfection! And make sure they have theirs on when they’re looking at you!!

Soooo… what do you want?

Make a list of the things you want to accomplish and create an action plan to start making them happen!! Create a vision board and this will also help to keep you on track, with the universe conspiring to help you make it happen!

How To Throw A Sugar Free Kids Birthday Party

Sugar Free Kids Birthday Party

What do you get when you mix a group of children with too much cake, junk food, candy and party games? A recipe for overtired, cranky, and overstimulated children.

The excitement of a birthday party can be enough to trigger emotional behaviour in children. The tradition of eating pizza and cake, followed by presents and games just doesn’t make sense anymore.

Children are sensitive to what they eat, and because they don’t have the same emotion regulation that adults have developed, hosting a birthday party for your child could be more than you had bargained for.

Below are some tips to host a kid-friendly party, that considers their health. Trust me, other parents are going to thank you!

The Cake

Food colouring and dyes that are used in cake icing have been linked to hyperactivity and allergic reactions. Ultimately, cake icing is a mixture of sugar, unhealthy fats, and chemicals. The cake itself is not much healthier being high in sugar, gluten and is likely high in fat as well. Opt for a homemade cake that is lower in sugar and fat and free of harmful food dyes. To avoid the traditional cake altogether, there are plenty of ideas on the internet to make a beautiful cake out of fruit. The base is a large watermelon and other fruits are used to decorate the “cake.” 

The Drinks

Avoid high-sugar drinks like pop and juice that can cause children to be on a sugar-high. Create a buffet of chopped strawberries, raspberries, orange slices, lemon slices, and cucumber slices to add to water. Children will be excited to make their own flavoured drinks and they can experiment with different combinations.

The Food

Serving a group of children a meal that they all like can be the largest obstacle of any birthday party. It’s pretty safe to say that most children like pizza and chicken nuggets and French fries. So, rather than buying these highly processed options at the grocery store, make your own at home so you have control of the ingredients. Make individual pizzas on pita bread so each child can select the ingredients they want on their pizza. Homemade chicken fingers and baked French fries are also a fast and convenient solution.

The Goodie Bag

Most parents can agree that the junk that comes home in a goodie bag from a child’s birthday party is ready for the garbage. Candy, chocolates, and little plastic toys do not offer any health benefit for the child. Instead, opt for activities like painting a picture or a craft that children can take home with them in place of a goodie bag. Alternatively, have children decorate a picture frame and take a group photo and print a copy for each child to put in their picture frame.

The Activities

The key to a fun birthday party is to be prepared with more activities than you think you might need to fill the time of the birthday party. Create a dance party and have kids be creative in making a music video. Have a scavenger hunt where children have to work together to find clues and a prize.

Top Items to Buy in Bulk

Bulk Foods Discount

Feeding a growing family can seem like a never ending marathon sometimes.

Just as one meal clean up is complete, the next meal is on the horizon. It can be exhausting to maintain a steady stream of healthy, nutrient dense meals to nourish your family. 

It can also be a financial challenge to purchase high quality ingredients. That’s why buying certain items in bulk can add up to huge savings and will keep your fridge and pantry stocked for easy meal prep.

1. Organic greens are one of the most important staples that you can have in your fridge. Salads are perfect for work and school lunches or they can be turned into a quick week night meal by adding a protein like chicken, fish, nuts, or beans. Be sure to purchase the bag or container of fresh greens with the furthest expiry date to ensure freshness.

2. Small bags of frozen fruit are expensive and they just don’t last long enough in our households. A morning smoothie is a fantastic way to get the day started so be sure your freezer is always stocked with extra large bags of frozen pineapple, strawberries and blueberries. This can also the most economical way of buying organic fruit when it is not in season.

Expert tip: Buy pineapples when they are on sale, and chop them up yourself and freeze them in medium sized freezer bags. You can find pineapples on sale for $2 each some weeks, so stock up! That is a lot of fruit to receive for just $2. This way is cheaper than if you were buying already frozen pineapple in the frozen fruit department.

3. Raw nuts and seeds like almonds, walnuts, hemp hearts, chia have a long shelf life and can be stored in the freezer to keep them fresh even longer. A small bag of hemp hearts or chia seeds at the health food store can cost almost as much as a bag double the size at Costco.  Add chia and hemp to smoothies and salads. Almonds and walnuts are a great snack to carry in your purse or car.

4. Quinoa and brown rice can help to add substance and protein to meals and add variety to the menu. Both have a long shelf life and are perfect to buy in bulk to keep the price point down.

5. Purchasing oils such as organic extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil and avocado oil in bulk allows for a significant cost savings. Be sure to store oils in a dark, cool location.

Avocado oil is best stored in the fridge and is a great oil to use to make homemade salad dressings.

Coconut oil can be used for sautéing and in homemade baked goods.

Extra virgin olive oil can be used for cooking at low temperature but is best used as a salad dressing or drizzled over vegetables.

Tips to stay on budget:

  1. Determine what your budget is, make a list that complies with the budget and stick to it. No exceptions.
  2. Know your family’s eating habits and only purchase foods in bulk that you know will be eaten before the expiry date.

3.  Stay focused on your shopping list and don’t get drawn in by displays or seasonal items.

4.  Eat before you shop. Shopping on an empty stomach can cause you to have less self-control   

     and you may end up with a huge box of chocolates or a giant bag of potato chips in your 

     cart.

Healthy Salad Dressing Recipes

salad dressings

How is it possible that when you order a salad at many restaurants, you end up eating more fat, calories and preservatives than if you’d just ordered the hamburger?  Think salad dressing from the grocery store are any better?  No way! Most salad dressing are filled with nastiness – so let’s make our own!

But first, let’s talk about how to make a real salad as your whole meal. It’s not just a few sad pieces of romaine lettuce with some croutons anymore!

Rainbow Salad

Salads are all about colour. Throw as many colours in there as possible. Start with a huge bowl because you know it’s going to grow outta control!  To learn more about why ‘eating colour’ is so important, click here to read “Are You Eating Enough Colour?”

1/2 head of Red Leaf Lettuce
2 handfuls spinach
1/2 of red, orange and yellow peppers
15 chopped purple grapes
1/3 chopped cucumber
10 chopped cherry tomatoes
and any other colourful ingredients you like! Raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, celery, broccoli, cauliflower and sprouts!

Chunky Mango-Avocado Dream

Into a bowl, chop…

2 roma tomatoes
1 soft, ripe mango
1 soft, ripe avocado
1/2 red onion

Add a few pinches of salt and the juice of 1/2 a lemon. Stir it up and pour over your salad. Mmm!! This recipe can also be used as a dip for your vegetables or eaten with a spoon. So delicious!

Caesar Dressing

Soak 1/3 cup raw cashews for 30 minutes
Then add to blender with…
1/4 cup water
juice from 1/2 lemon
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 pinches salt
4 shakes pepper
1 tsp dijon mustard.

Blend and enjoy!

Raspberry Basil Drizzle

To a high speed blender, add…

1/2 cup raspberries (or strawberries)
2 pitted dates
6 leaves fresh basil
splash of water for blending

Vegan Cheesey Sauce

Soak 10 raw cashews for 10 minutes
Then add to blender with…
1 pitted date
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 large red bell pepper
3 tbsp nutritional yeast (Bragg’s is a good brand – find it at Health Food Store)
6 shakes cayenne pepper (more or less if you like it spicy or not!)
pinch salt

Blend this up and pour over your salad. It’s also a delicious dip for your veggies or if you make kale chips.

Easy Fruit Dressing

To a blender, add…
1/2 cup raspberries
1/2 cup strawberries
2 pitted dates
juice of 1/2 lemon
pinch salt

Blend and pour over your rainbow salad.

Sesame Salad Dressing

To a blender, add…
1 tsp extra virgin coconut oil
1 tbsp of organic peanut or almond butter
2 tbsp hulled sesame seeds
splash water

Blend together and then add 1 tbsp of hulled sesame seeds before drizzling over your salad.