Glebe Health House

164 Second Avenue

Ottawa, Ontario K1S 2H7

www.glebehealthhouse.com

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© 2017 by Kristin Jillian Shropshire.

Blog

August 27, 2019

Anyone who has spent more than five minutes in my company likely knows that I am an avid chocoholic. Long heralded as "The Food of the Gods," chocolate has held a special--perhaps even a sacred--place in many of our hearts for time immemorial. Yet, unlike so many other foods that elevate our spirits and tantalize our taste buds, chocolate has been dubbed a superfood (i.e. a nutrient-rich food considered to be especially beneficial for health and well-being) by nutrition experts around the globe.

Here is what I love about dark chocolate:

ANTIOXIDANTS--Dark chocolate (especially raw chocolate high in cacao solids) is virtually bursting at the seams with antioxidants, substances believed to protect cells from damage (which many believe bestow anti-aging benefits ;-)) and help prevent numerous diseases.

MAGNESIUM--Dark chocolate is very rich in magnesium, a nutrient required for over 300 chemical reactions in the body, ranging from helping to lower high blood pressure to easing menstrual cram...

January 19, 2019

I think that most of us have things that we feel embarrassed about. We might even have things that we feel ashamed of. Are there things about yourself that you would rather other people not know? Things that you would far prefer not come up in conversation?

One thing that has made me very uncomfortable for a great many years is my discomfort driving. Yes, that’s right. Driving freaks me out.

As some of you might know, I suffered with agoraphobia and panic attacks as a teenager. As such, it likely comes as no surprise that I didn’t rush out to the MTO on my sweet sixteen as many independence-seeking teenagers do. Instead, I waited. And waited. And then waited some more.

There always seemed to be a reason why it wasn’t a good time to start driving. In my early 20s, I had a strong emotional reaction to having my vision corrected to 20/20. How, I reasoned, could I safely drive with less than perfect vision—even though an 18/20 correction would have been deemed legally appropriate. Following t...

November 18, 2018

The other day, I found myself craving peanut butter cookies. The only problem with this is that I don't eat peanuts. In fact, I haven't eaten peanuts or peanut-containing products in over 15 years. So what's a girl to do? I put on my culinary thinking cap and decided to get creative!

Over the years, I have discovered that roasted sunflower butter has a flavour profile reminiscent of peanut butter. So, naturally, that's the food that first came to mind for my cookie-making experiment. And I wasn't to be disappointed! The result was a cookie that satisfied both my taste buds and my nutritional quality standards. Since these cookies are nut-free, they also have the bonus of being school safe.

Ingredients

Adapted from Kraft Canada's Super-Easy Peanut Butter Cookies

1 cup sunflower butter, smooth, unsweetened 

1/2 cup unrefined cane sugar*

1 egg, lightly beaten (organic, free range preferred)

A pinch of Himalayan sea salt (optional)

*Unrefined cane sugar is sometimes labelled as sucanat, muscavado,...

September 15, 2018

A few months ago, a friend of mine gifted my husband and I with an AirGO. I have had lots of fun in the kitchen playing with it ever since.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with AirGO, it was developed as an easy-to-use kitchen tool that combines 5 different cooking functions into one simple appliance for optimal culinary convenience. It can be used as an Air Fryer, Grill, Crepe/Naan Maker, Mini Oven, Robotic Stir Fryer, and Broil (top or bottom heating). While I have yet to unlock all of its secrets, I have been very impressed with it so far. Some of my favourite creations include Organic BBQ Chicken Wings, Caramelized Onions & Wilted Greens, and Stir Fried Zucchini.

But what has been my favourite thing about the AirGO? Hands down, it has been the magical Robotic Stir Fry function. And just why would I call this magical? Because I can throw in my veggies, set the timer, and let it do its thing. I don’t have to stir or monitor anything. I do my prep, turn to other tasks, et voila...

August 24, 2018

I’m a real sucker for symbolism. That’s why I couldn’t resist this gorgeous puzzle piece necklace. Every time I look at it, it reminds me how the fabric of our lives fit together like puzzle pieces. We might not always realize how our life experiences will fit together but, eventually, we will collect all the required pieces and see the beautiful picture that we’ve created.

I love my life, but it took me time to get here. Like many other people, some of the “puzzle pieces” that make up the story of my life were hard won. 

As some of you may know, just under 20 years ago, I had a horrible reaction to Tetracycline, a standard antibiotic. It played around with my brain chemistry (a rare side effect) and triggered a severe anxiety/panic disorder that left me virtually housebound. For years. More or less overnight, I went from being a very social, high-achieving student to someone who had no idea how they were going to come out on the other side of an unforeseen disaster unscathed.

I was...

July 12, 2018

I have discovered an excellent new snack bar: Wild Zora.

I don’t know about you, but I’m always looking for convenient, high quality snack options. While it might be ideal to take the time to sit down for full, balanced meals—breakfast, lunch, and dinner—life happens and even the most prepared person will have occasions where they are scrambling to find something nutritious to eat between meetings, appointments, and other life events. Enter the snack bar option.

When my husband and I went to Greece a few months ago, I didn’t prepare as well as I usually do with greens powders, snack bars, and the like. Instead, I packed a few organic dark chocolate bars (a Kristin staple) and adopted an “It will be fine” attitude. All I have to say is, “Oops.” Lesson learned.

Greece was a beautiful country, but it wasn’t nearly as easy to find healthy gluten free meal options as I might have liked. While I found some eventually (and benefited greatly from the Greek gluten free meal card I printed off of t...

June 5, 2018

No matter how much we prize health and nutrition, taste buds are a thing--an inescapable reality of life. While there certainly might be times in our lives where it could be appropriate to be incredibly strict about the foods that we consume, it is my observation that most people enjoy their best health--mind, body, and spirit--when they find a middle ground in which they prioritize real, healthy, nutrient-dense foods, but also give themselves permission to indulge in the occasional health-optimized treat. 

I am a big fan of what I like to call "Quality Upgrades." Do I recommend that we go out and buy processed baked goods made with bleached white flour, refined white sugar, hydrogenated oils, and food colouring? Absolutely not. Personally, I strive to avoid these ingredients whenever possible--with no exceptions. That said, just because we might chose to avoid certain substances that are known not to do our bodies good doesn't mean that we shouldn't be able to indulge in...

March 30, 2018

Every so often, I just crave fudge. While I do love a good organic dark chocolate bar (my usual source of chocolate-y goodness), there is just something about the melt-in-your-mouth texture of fudge that takes me to an extra happy place. The trouble is that most fudge contains ingredients I would really rather not eat. So I don't. At least, I didn't until I whipped up these little beauties... 

Ingredients

Adapted from Coconut Mama

1 cup organic coconut oil, melted* 

1 cup organic cocoa powder

1/4 cup pure maple syrup

1/4 cup maple sugar**

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

pinch of sea salt

Garnish: maple flakes (optional)

Garnish: fleur de sel (optional)

*Look for "virgin" coconut oil if you desire a more pronounced coconut flavour. 

**In the absence of maple sugar, substitute another unrefined granular sugar, such as coconut sugar, muscavodo, or sucanat. 

Directions

In a food processor, blend liquid coconut oil, cocoa powder, maple syrup, maple sugar, vanilla, and sea salt until smooth.  

Sp...

March 7, 2018

Healthy, weight-supportive chocolate cake for breakfast? Me, please!

According to a research article making the rounds on social media in recent weeks, not only can we have our chocolate cake (for breakfast!) and eat it, too, in so doing, it would appear that we can expect to not only shed unwanted pounds, but improve our cognition as well. 

As avid a chocoholic as I am, I’m sorry, but I have to take exception to this unqualified pronouncement. While it is certainly true that good quality dark chocolate has significant quantities of research supporting its potential benefits to our health, including weight optimization and improvements to our mental faculties, quality and quantity count. For instance, in your opinion, would your body respond equally well to these two chocolate-y items?

A POPULAR MAINSTREAM CHOCOLATE CAKE

Ingredients: Sugar, wheat flour, margarine [vegetable oil, water, salt, milk solids, emulsifiers (vegetable – 471, 472c), natural flavour, natural colour (carotene)], egg,...

February 10, 2018

Everywhere we look, literature is filled with odes to love and romance. Whether it’s feminist and social theorist Simone de Beauvoir espousing that, “She was ready to deny the existence of space and time rather than admit that love might not be eternal” or famed children’s author Dr. Seuss telling us that, “You know you're in love when you can't fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams,” between the pages of literature old and new, poetic or prosaic, targeted towards adults or children, we find evidence of love’s driving force.

While most of us love Love, at no time is our cultural fixation on this emotion more poignant and deeply felt than on Valentine's Day. We dress in festive shades of red and pink, decorate with hearts and cupids, and gift each other with flowers, chocolates, and love notes. Essentially, we immerse ourselves in the celebration of love and romance.

It is said that true love stories never have an ending. For many couples, this sentiment takes the...

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