Is Food Your Superpower? (+ Healthy Dessert Recipe)

 

Something is happening.
I’ve been so inspired to see how many of you in our cherished community are discovering the power of food in your life. I didn’t think I could appreciate food even more than I already did as a naturopath and natural food lover (for decades!)….but in the past few weeks my adoration and respect for the power of food has increased 100 fold because of YOU!
Since spring, I’ve launched cleanse workshops at the clinic, put 21 patients on our signature 3-Week Cleanse Program, and had another 15 couples complete my new 21-Day Fertility Cleanse Program. And I’ve cleansed right along with you, too!
When you make a decision to eat in the way that’s right for you, everything you thought you’d have to accept about your health changes.
You get insights. You go deeper. You feel better.
You’ve realized that although you may be literally addicted to sugar, you’ve regained control over your choices so you feel empowered…You’ve lost weight, so you feel inspired and proud of yourself as your self-care has led to a deeper sense of self-esteem….You’ve boosted your energy, started sleeping more deeply, clarified your mind and evened out your mood. You’ve had easier periods and no PMS for the first time in a very long time.  You’ve drawn closer to your partner as you work out all this food prep together and enjoyed experimenting with new healthy foods. You’ve experienced less pain and fewer headaches.
You may have even become pregnant after months or years of trying as two of my clients did the very first time I ran my 21-Day Fertility Cleanse Program.
Eating the right food for you breaks through layers of inflammation that creates the root of your symptoms…from bad moods to weight gain to skin problems to infertility.
In fact, getting a handle on eating healthy is the #1 way my clients step into their self-healing power.
Superman superpower
So WELL done!! The privilege of witnessing your results makes me feel absolutely thrilled for you.
You’ve also told me about obstacles you’re facing as you try to make healthy changes in your life. This is work that I really enjoy helping you with because the breakthroughs you experience in your lives are unique to you and move you into the next stage of you living your highest potential.
The best part of all of this is that you get to take all this wisdom with you for the rest of your life. Like I often say….
Once you see truth, you can’t un-see it!
In the spirit of living life to the fullest, and using healthy food to fuel your body to wellness, I have two questions for you:
1. Where do you want to be in 1 year?
2. What’s stopping you from going for it?
Think on this, and let me know what you come up with. It’s really important to share with someone (could be me, or could be anyone else you trust :))
Once you name your obstacle, you can start to overcome it.
As a little treat from our 3-Week Cleanse Program comes straight to you for all this hard work, here’s my Mango Sorbet recipe you can enjoy 100% guiltlessly, all weekend long.
Bon appetit (and feel free to share this totally healthy treat!)
Dr. Liz
P.S. Don’t miss out on a thing – register for my email updates and receive my free guide to women’s health home remedies right here.
Dr. Liz’s Coconut Mango Sorbet
1 cup frozen mango pieces
1 cup coconut milk
½ tsp real vanilla extract
½ to 1 tsp honey (if desired)
Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
Enjoy immediately. Makes 2 servings.

Recipe: Winter Sunshine Smoothie

We discuss food and recipe ideas often enough in the clinic that I thought it would be fun to offer a monthly recipe that’s both “naturopath-approved”, makes you feel great after you’ve eaten it and is delicious!! Protein has been a common theme since the new year as it helps us to balance our blood sugars and calm insulin levels so that we avoid crashes and cravings, and burn fat faster. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day to include more protein. I don’t always think of smoothies as winter fare, but this one hit the spot with plenty of protein and wasn’t too cold as I let the frozen fruit thaw overnight. Try it out and let me know how you like it!

Coconut mango protein smoothie

Blend together until smooth:

1/2 cup frozen mango pieces (thawed)

1/2 cup coconut milk

1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk

1 scoop vegan vanilla protein powder (I used VegaOne)

1 scoop BioClinic DetoxiCleanse powder (you could also double up on any vanilla protein powder)

1 miniature banana (these are super cute and have great flavour! You could also substitute 1/2 a regular banana)

1/4 tsp natural vanilla extract

1/4 tsp raw local honey

Garnish with a slice of fresh orange to add a little winter sunshine and bring out the flavours nicely.

Make your Hot Chocolate Healthy

Whether you’re on a cleanse or detox, a weight loss or low-carb program, or just plain want to live healthier, it may come as no surprise that conventional hot chocolate can really set you back! Hot chocolate mixes can contain up to 20 grams (wowza!!) of refined sugar or high-fructose corn syrup (a.k. glucose-fructose) which is a recognized risk factor for type 2 diabetes and obesity. When you consider that 1 tsp of white sugar is equivalent to 4 g of sugar, that warm, sweetly manufactured cup of hot chocolate comes at a cost of 5 tsp of sugar. Most of us wouldn’t even consider adding 5 tsp of sugar to our morning coffee or tea (let alone giving it to our kids). What’s worse, sugar (and the insulin that follows sugar intake) are two of the most inflammatory substances that can flow through our arteries. Hot chocolate mixes may also contain trans or hydrogenated fats, artificial flavourings and other additives. As I am ALL FOR recipes that give us our warm, chocolatey fix in a healthier way, while reducing risk for inflammation (the root of all chronic disease!) I wanted to share this simple spin on the conventional hot chocolate.

You will need:

1-1.5 scoops Chocolate Pea Protein (Genestra/Seroyal) – now available in our clinic dispensary

1/4 tsp natural vanilla extract

2-5 drops liquid stevia extract

250 mL boiling water

In your favourite mug, pour a small amount of the hot water over your chocolate pea protein and mix to make a paste. Slowly add more hot water to fill your mug, stirring well so that the mixture stays smooth. Add vanilla and stevia (to taste). Voila! Wrap your hands around this healthy treat without compromising your health. It’s nice and thick because of the guar gum (no trans or saturated fats). Fully qualifies as a low-carb snack, providing 7.5-11.25 g protein and no sugar, plus 100-150 mcg chromium for improved blood sugar regulation and a little boost of antioxidants.

Hope you like it!

Tips for Increasing Breastmilk Supply

The primary reason why women discontinue breastfeeding in the first few months is inadequate supply of breastmilk. With breastfeeding being so important, the more we can do to provide breastfeeding moms with the supports they need, the better for individual and community health! As long as baby is growing and developing normally, and has normal patterns of urination and stool frequency, the concern as to whether mom is producing enough milk often arises from baby being fussy or wanting to nurse frequently. Often, fussiness has to do with other issues, such as imbalanced intestinal flora, sensitivity to foods in mom’s diet, or a growth spurt that signals the need for increased feedings. Well-meaning advice from a physician, relative or friend who may not fully understand where the infant’s fussiness is coming from may trigger anxious feelings or self-doubt for breastfeeding moms who may not wish (or need) to introduce supplemental formula or solid foods just yet.  Babies who have difficulties with positioning or sucking should have their latch assessed and be screened for “tongue tie” by a lactation consultant or doctor. Your child’s naturopathic doctor is a resource for dealing with low milk supply, failure to thrive, and other concerns in infants and breastfeeding moms.

From a naturopathic perspective, I always consider both nourishment and relaxation/ stress management to be really important in helping moms with breastfeeding. Consider these self-care tips for breastfeeding support:

  • Nursing and infant care are activities that use up nutrients from mom’s body that need to be replaced. Moms need to stay well-nourished and hydrated. Try whole grain oatmeal, barley stews, nettle tea, alfalfa tea and extra protein with meals and snacks. Apricots, green beans, asparagus, carrots, sweet potatoes, peas, pecans and leafy greens including parsely and watercress are all considered to be helpful foods in supporting lactation. Emphasize cooked foods (soups, stews, casseroles) over raw as they are easier to digest and absorb.
  • Remember the rule of supply & demand: supply increases with increased sucking (by baby or breast pump).
  • Wear your baby: being skin-to-skin as much as possible can increase breastfeeding success.
  • Breastfeeding and caring for your infant is a new experience (even if you’ve nursed older children) and stress or even feeling “watched” can inhibit the milk let-down reflex.
  • Encourage the relaxation response: experiment with some deep breathing, visualization or meditation (tip: visit fragrantheart.com for some brief, free guided meditations), get a massage, enjoy some relaxing herbal tea (see below).
  • Herbs from your kitchen can be safely and effectively used to support breastmilk production. Some herbs increase milk production, and others promote relaxation and milk let-down.  Make a simple tea using a ratio of 2 tsp (dried) of any of these herbs that you may already have in your spice rack: dill seed, fenugreek, caraway, fennel seed and/or anise seed (not star anise); combine with another 2 tsp (or 1 tea bag) of chamomile flowers, hops, or lavender flowers and pour 1 cup boiling water over the herbs, cover and steep for 15 minutes and enjoy a few cups daily. Herbs are like foods for specific systems of the body, and the extra fluid intake from herbal teas can be helpful.

Dr. Cherevaty attends births as a naturopathic doctor & doula, and is a member of the Association of Perinatal Naturopathic Doctors (APND) and the Pediatric Association of Naturopathic Physicians (PedANP). Naturopathic care can help you with preconception, pregnancy and postpartum health. For more information visit www. guelphnaturopathic.ca

References:

Romm A. Botanical medicine for women’s health. Churchill Livingstone Elsevier 2010.

Weed S. Wise woman herbal for the childbearing year. Ash Tree Publishing 1986.

Let’s Get Soupy

Soups and stews are a mainstay for fall and winter meals. Easy on the digestion, warming, hydrating and oh-so-nourishing, soups and stews are also a great way to get a quick and healthy mid-week supper made with the help of leftover veggies, beans, lentils, meats and grains you’ve got in the fridge.
Great soup begins with great stock. Tonight, I’m making homemade chicken stock with a bone-in, skin-on quarter chicken (including the neck). Bones are key for great stock, as they add alkalinizing, easy-to-absorb minerals and collagen, a protein that supports the immune system as well as younger-looking skin – and makes for a richer tasting broth.Here’s how I make my super-easy homemade chicken stock:
1. Rub raw chicken with 2-3 tsp sea salt.
2. In large soup pot, heat 2 tbsp grapeseed oil over medium-high heat.
3. Place chicken in pot and sear for 30-60 seconds per side.
4. Add 2 peeled, whole onions* to the pot and cover chicken with filtered water. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 1-2 hours.
*Additional veggies, herbs and spices are optional: try simmering in some black peppercorns, garlic, sliced ginger root, marjoram, or a few immune-boosting shiitake mushrooms.

You can use the stock and cooked chicken to make tonight’s soup right away, and freeze what’s left. This stock will cool to that gel-like consistency that tells you you’ve got a good, nourishing broth. Freeze the leftover stock into ice cube trays then add a few to your next soup or stew recipe for enhanced nutrition and flavour.

Yummy, Caffeine-Free Chai

Today I begin a new role as a Peer Review Board member for the peer-reviewed publication, IHP (Integrated Health Practitioners) magazine. Gearing up for an afternoon/evening session of reviewing citations, I decided to consider my home office “my favourite internet cafe” and that a nice, warming, zingy-sweet chai would be the perfect complement to my pursuits.  However, I’m all out of black tea, and don’t feel like a caffeine jolt at this time of day anyway (I REALLY value my deep, refreshing, quality sleep and having caffeine noticeably interferes with it). So I got resourceful and made my own, caffeine-free version. It turned out really yummy, and I believe it’s “chai time” I shared it with you!

RECIPE: Caffeine-Free Rooibos Chai

In a 1 litre glass teapot or mason jar put 2 thin slices of ginger root, 2 cinnamon sticks, 4 cardamom pods, 1 pinch of ground cloves (alternative: 2-3 whole cloves), 2 tbsp maple syrup, 1/2 tsp real vanilla extract and 2 ROOIBOS tea bags. Fill to brim with boiling water. Wrap a tea towel around your teapot to keep it nice and hot while the brew steeps for at least 20-25 minutes. The longer it steeps, the more flavours from the spices come through. Serve in your favourite mug with a splash of rice, almond or regular milk. 

Black peppercorns would be another nice addition to this chai – add 3-4 peppercorns to the teapot or jar before steeping. 

THE NATUROPATHIC SPIN:
Rooibos needles are found in bright reds and yellows and give this caffeine-free chai that traditional deep red-brown glow that actually corresponds to its high antioxidant content. In general with edible plants, the brighter the better, as brightness reflects antioxidant content and freshness. This antioxidant-rich chai is a lovely warm stimulatory blend that evokes the energy and spirit i experienced while visiting India and I shall enjoy its warming, mind-refreshing benefits during this afternoon’s academic pursuits.