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...
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...
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.
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?
I didn't always aspire to become a nutritionist and an acupuncturist. In fact, I had a different career path mapped out for myself from an early age. But life is funny sometimes. Life events can lead us down roads we never imagined we would travel...
When the winter season takes up nearly half of the year in Ottawa, most of us are more than ready to welcome spring by the time it finally rolls around. As the snow melts, the days get warmer and brighter, and beautiful, multi-coloured flowers take bloom, we experience a profound sense of renewal. Everything feels fresh and new and ripe with possibilities. We feel invigorated and ready to take on new challenges. At least, that is how many of us feel when we aren’t plagued by seasonal allergies, otherwise known as hay fever.
The Canadian Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Foundation estimates that between twenty and twenty-five percent of Canadians suffer from seasonal allergies. This means that, over the course of the year, more than seven million Canadians are laid low by the symptoms of seasonal allergies, which can include runny, watery, itchy eyes; sneezing and coughing attacks; dark circles under the eyes that don’t go away with sleep; a sore, irritated throat; fatigue; headache; and a...
As a nutritionist and unrepentant foodie, I am often asked whether a particular food is “good” or “bad.” Frequent queries involve the Pros and Cons of chocolate, coffee, dairy, meat, and carbohydrate-rich foods, such as grains and potatoes. Essentially, anything that people can't imagine a fulfilling culinary experience without.
From a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) point of view, there is no such thing as an absolutely definitive "good” food or "bad” food. Since we are all unique individuals, we must ask ourselves these vital questions:
Who is eating the food?
How much are they eating?
How frequently are they consuming it?
Under what conditions are they consuming it (e.g. season, climate, emotional state, etc.)?
TCM theory asserts that foods have particular values, qualities, actions, and energies. Whether or not they are good for us is dependent on the answers to the aforementioned questions. To quote a famous Chinese proverb, "Illnesses may be the same, but the persons suffering from...
Over the years, different cultures have adopted different methods of helping to support immune health and stave off the pesky colds and flus that become all the more common as the temperatures dip--as they have already started to do. A popular one amongst Jewish households is "Jewish Penicillin," more commonly known as chicken broth. While I am not Jewish myself, this is one of my favourite food-based immune system supports. One reason for this is that properly-prepared chicken broth doesn't require "a spoonful of sugar to make the medicine go down." It is so tasty and flavourful that I would happily consume it for gastronomique pleasure alone.
The health-promoting benefits of chicken broth are more than an old wives' tale. According to a 2000 study published in the Journal of the American College of Chest Physicians, researchers found that chicken soup could help reduce upper-respiratory inflammation, which commonly manifests in hateful symptoms, such as runny nose, nasal congestion,...
Acupuncture is one of the oldest, most commonly used medical practices in the world. From a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) perspective, the purpose of acupuncture is to balance body energy by increasing or decreasing the flow of Qi, or Vital Energy, through judicious selection of appropriate acupuncture points. By puncturing the skin with extremely thin needles at strategic locations on the body, TCM practitioners seek to promote optimal health and relieve specific symptoms associated with many diseases.
Acupuncture has a long history of use for treating a plethora of health conditions ranging from musculoskeletal problems, such as pains and sprains, to anxiety, depression, insomnia, and infertility. While many people are familiar with acupuncture’s ability to reduce stress and pain, did you know that acupuncture can also be used for facial rejuvenation?
As TCM evolved, practitioners discovered that many meridians, or energy pathways, either begin or end on the face. Others have int...