The Awesome Life Detox Returns!

The Awesome Life Detox Returns!

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I love this program, and I adore its facilitator, Meghan Telpner. I own several of her ebooks, both of her published books (physical copies!) and have done several of her programs. I went to some of her live workshops when she still held them. I always feel better after I do her programs and I constantly learn from her. She's an inspiration.

After more than a year, the Awesome Life Detox program is returning as a group challenge.

This isn't your regular green juice chugging detox. The focus of the detox is your health, your happiness and ultimately, how to live the most fulfilling, best (awesome) life possible! It's an overhaul of your life with a holistic approach rather than a simplified program that only deals with diet.

Here is a breakdown of the Awesome Life Detox:

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Genuine Health fermented Greek yogurt proteins+

Genuine Health fermented Greek yogurt proteins+

OPA header

Genuine Health fermented Greek yogurt proteins+  is my new favourite product, from one of my favourite companies in the wellness industry.

Let me back up a few months…

In January, I attended an event that promoted Greens+ Extra Energy. My inner nutrition nerd was stimulated. While I was already an occasional Greens+ user, I fell in love with the company. I subsequently begged them to hire me. They haven't yet, but they still might when the right opportunity comes along. The post I wrote about that event is one of my favourite pieces of writing. I've since quoted this part to other people, regarding the taste of Greens+:

Your entire life you’ve been eating or drinking stuff that’s not delicious simply because it’s good for you. As an adult, you do it because you’re taking responsibility for your own health. Ideally, you’d like it, but if you can tolerate it without hating it, that’s good enough. You suck it up and you do it because it’s part of “adulting”.

I continue to be impressed with the scientific research that goes into Genuine Health products and how conscious they are to combine specific ingredients and specific formats. It's easy for companies to put together a bunch of inferior ingredients, or inferior parts of an ingredient (say, a less effective part of a plant) and call it a healthy formula, but quality matters.

And so, when I got the invitation for the launch of a new product, I didn't hesitate to say yes. I knew that I would be educated and fed. I got up early to go to a breakfast event promoting fermented Greek yogurt proteins+ at Mamakas Taverna (80 Ossington Ave, Toronto).

Here's a snippet of the information I got from Genuine Health's publicity company:

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It’s springtime: Try Fiddleheads

It’s springtime: Try Fiddleheads

Fiddleheads

Recognize those? Those are fiddleheads, in the wild. Along with

Those are fiddleheads, in the wild. Along with ramps/wild leeks, fiddleheads  – also referred to as “fiddlehead ferns” – mark the start of spring and have a very short edible season.

Fiddleheads are the unfurled frond of the ostrich fern. They're so-called because they resemble the curled ornamentation (scroll) on the head (end) of a fiddle. Fiddle head.

Fiddleheads are harvested for use as a vegetable. They're valued because they're beautiful, they have a delicate flavour and because of their brief availability. The psychology of “scarcity” drives people to them – the idea of “It's spring! Fiddleheads are here! Better eat them before they're gone!” Unlike other vegetables, you can't really eat imports because they're so delicate. Fiddleheads are also a score if you can find them while foraging. You must find them before they unfurl. Once they unfurl it's too late.

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It’s Springtime. Ramp It Up With Wild Leeks!

It’s Springtime. Ramp It Up With Wild Leeks!

It's springtime here in Ontario. According to the calendar been springtime for nearly two months, but the weather finally feels like spring. I get really excited with the warmer weather and not just because I'm not a fan of the cold. Sure, March brings maple syrup, and I look forward to that every year, but his time of year, May, is when the new cycle of vegetables begins. Next month we'll start to see fruit and in a month and a half the strawberries will be out. However, I'm getting ahead of myself. This post is about the start of spring vegetables! Over the next few days, I'm going to profile a few of these.

It's been awhile since I blogged regularly and I'm trying to get into a new routine – blogging first thing in the morning – and getting back to what I used to do well, in blog posts and newsletters for the CSA program I was part of. That is, research and present my research. After all, this website is about curating content and educating. My blogging mission statement for the past several years and through several blogs has been “writes to educate”.

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May is Celiac Awareness Month

May is Celiac Awareness Month

Category: Diet

This post was originally published on May 8, 2014, to my previous website, canadianfoodiegirl.com. Other, more recent posts on this topic will follow.

On Monday while watching Breakfast Television I learned from Mairlyn Smith that May is Celiac Awareness Month.

To borrow from a Huffington Post article about Celiac Awareness Month:

May is Celiac Awareness Month. It's a prime time for those with celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity (“gluten sensitivity”) to pull together and rise above the noise of the gluten-free fad diet. And while Celiac Awareness Month is an exciting time for our community, it's not just about us. It's about the 83 percent of you out there living with celiac disease and not even knowing it.

In the article, Alice Bast raises some amazing points.

#1:

“The biggest barrier to celiac disease diagnosis is its very treatment — the gluten-free diet…. Casually experimenting with the gluten-free diet could prevent you from receiving an accurate diagnosis as people must be on a regular, gluten-containing diet in order to be accurately tested for celiac disease. “

This is one of the reasons celiac disease (defined below) is under-diagnosed professionally. I've seen friends put off getting testing done because they don't want to experience the pain that gluten causes, just to get a diagnosis. I believe that if you feel better not eating gluten, don't eat it. It's a simple elimination diet. I'm not saying that you shouldn't get tested, but you don't need a professional diagnosis to label you and you don't need to label yourself. You don't need to say “I'm celiac” or “I'm gluten intolerant”, just “I feel better when I don't consume gluten.”

That said you might want to get tested because 1) celiac disease is hereditary, 2) to rule out other ailments that might have similar symptoms, 3) to know for sure. Sometimes confirmation provides peace of mind.

#2:

gluten isn't some fattening ingredient or the golden ticket to weight loss

Two responses here:

1. Processed food is still processed food and junk food is still junk food, even if it's gluten free. Follow the rule of not eating crap. I don't care if those chocolate cookies are made gluten free, they're still chocolate cookies. Enjoy them for what they are, but don't fool yourself into thinking that they're healthy.

2. I've ranted before about people who go gluten free not because it makes them feel better, but because they've been told it will make them lose weight, or because they've heard that gluten is “bad”. Those people tend to not know what gluten is, just that it's the new evil. I suspect there's a placebo effect to avoiding gluten too. That is, the positive effect comes from the belief. This isn't a bad thing. Feeling better is feeling better. The bandwagon-jumping gluten avoiders piss off true celiacs and gluten intolerants who would eat gluten if it didn't make them feel like crap. Or so many of them have told me. In a way, then, the bandwagon jumpers are taking some of the perceived credibility away from those who are suffering from the disease (or, if undiagnosed, those who truly feel awful after consuming gluten) and turning the whole concept of “gluten free” into something not taken seriously when it is serious to those who get sick from it. I've heard tales from people who are truly celiac or gluten intolerant or sensitive sometimes who find themselves telling wait staff, “No really…” and trying to distinguish themselves from people who treat it casually.

On that note, let's look at what celiac disease is and what gluten is:

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A Non-Vegan Meat Replacer Showcased at The Green Living Show

A Non-Vegan Meat Replacer Showcased at The Green Living Show

This weekend in Toronto: The Green Living Show

I stopped by yesterday morning before it opened for a media preview. I didn't get to see everything, because not every booth was set up and I had a long to-do list outside of the show, but I did take particular interest in a food startup company called C-FU Foods/One Hop Kitchen. I'm a sucker for startups. I'm currently working for my third. Here's a description from the C-FU Foods website:

Through our innovative process we’ve created a healthy meat replacement that helps you create culinary staples like burgers, schnitzel or nuggets. It can also act as an alternative to eggs or butter, making it as adaptable as it is sustainable. It’s even a protein powder that you can whip it into a morning shake.

If you think that this refers to soy or wheat gluten or something else vegan, you're wrong.

OneHopKitchen

I thought I got a photo of the sauce on pasta but I can't find it.

It's insects.

There are an estimated 1,462 species of recorded edible insects

The company has two branches. One Hop Kitchen makes their sustainable Bolognese sauces made with crickets & mealworms.

Here are some facts about cricket meal/flour:

  • It contains 10x the amount of B12 as salmon* (Source: Cricket Flours – though one of the lads from C-Fu Foods mentioned high B12 too, and so that's the first thing I googled for this post.)
  • It contains 5.9mg of iron per 100 grams, which is almost TWICE more than the amount you get from spinach, 3.5mg per 100 grams. (Source: Cricket Flours)
  • By dry weight, a single cricket ranges between 65% – 70% pure protein. Beef is between 17% – 40% protein, with the rest being primarily fat (Source: Cricket Flours)
  • 100 grams of cricket contains: 121 calories, 12.9 grams of protein, 5.5 g. of fat, 5.1 g. of carbohydrates, 75.8 mg. calcium, 185.3 mg. of phosphorous, 9.5 mg. of iron, 0.36 mg. of thiamin, 1.09 mg. of riboflavin, 3.10 mg. of niacin and .05% fat. 

 (source: Insects are food)

Mealworms

  • 53% protein, 28% fat

I didn't flinch when I found out about the sauces. I'd been to a bug-tasting dinner before and listened to presentations about eating insects for environmental sustainability and health. My exact phrase to the lads at the table, the first time this phrase has ever left my lips, “It's a psychological mind fuck.”

I did a blind taste test of three sauces. One meat, one mealworm, one cricket. I got them all wrong.

If you're at the Green Living Show this weekend, look for the booth. Can make it this weekend? They'll have a booth at The Gladstone Hotel's Grow Op event on April 22.

Further reading:

 

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