The Super Guide to Superfoods

The saying “you are what you eat” has never been more true; what we eat affects every cell of our body, and as a holistic nutritionist AND chef my mission with The Vitality Kitchen is to show people how to harness the power of real, whole food.

This info graphic is all about super foods, because superfoods are just that, SUPER!

Enjoy the info graphic and have fun infusing your summer meals with these wonderful superfoods!

Bianca

superfoods

Summer Heat Relief with Raw Food

raw food

It’s summer in Edmonton and she’s still sweatin’ hard- like too hot for clothes hot; but I know that in 5 months time when we are in a deep freeze I will long for these days, so I’m keeping my kvetching to a minimum.

This morning I woke up at the crack of dawn to extol the virtues of raw food on Breakfast Television Edmonton, because when it’s hot out cooking is the last thing on my mind- and I’m sure it’s the last thing you want to do too.

I covered all the basics of raw food basics, because despite what you may think, raw food isn’t just rabbit food that lacks flavour and depth- oh no! Raw food is dynamic, flavourful and healthy when done right.

Housekeeping
It’s important to note that eating raw food comes with some housekeeping rules. Because raw food generally is a plant based way of eating, it’s important that you meet your protein requirements, so foods like hemp seeds, chia seeds and nuts are an essential part of a raw diet; and FYI fruits and vegetables do bear a little bit of protein, so if you consume a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, in addition to seeds and nuts, then you’re good!

The idea behind raw food is that eating cooked food means that we are eating nutritionally inferior food than if it was raw; because the heat of cooking kills off vitamins and nutrients. I will, however, refute some of that logic, because foods like tomatoes are best eaten cooked, when the lycopene can be released and absorbed by the body; but alas, there are sacrifices to be made.

What is Raw Food?
Well, to be considered raw food nothing can be heated above 118F, so food can still be warm but not piping hot; so raw foodies must become SUPER familiar with blending, dehydrating and food processing. So, yes, raw food can be simple, but in a great many ways it requires more work from you- but at least you aren’t heating up the house.

Pregnant? Consider Cooking Your Food
It’s also of utmost importance that food is washed thoroughly because no heat is being applied and tasked with killing some foodborne pathogens; washing food and being sure that cross contamination hasn’t occurred is key. This is also why I don’t suggest pregnant women do solely raw food; I have other reasons why I believe pregnant women should avoid a 100% raw food diet, but potential pathogens is number one.

My Opinion
I believe that a raw food diet has a place and time. In 30+ degree weather raw food is welcome to most, because the diet is cooling and hydrating, due to the large volume of fruits and vegetables. However, in the winter when temperatures dip significantly, I think cooked food offers a level of grounding in the system; which is why I believe that everyone must listen to their bodies. Trying new things is always a suggestion of mine, but don’t be pigeon held into a certain way of eating; mix and match certain principles and find what works for you.

She’s Sweatin’- Let’s Have Salad!
Today I prepared a lovely summer salad that is raw, cooling and oh so delicious. If you’re a hot child in the city like me, then this salad is for you.

 

Green Salad with Sesame Miso Dressing

  • Cucumber, washed and peeled with vegetable peeler
  • Arugula, washed

Dressing

  • 1 tbsp miso paste
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 3 tbsp tahini (or soaked and sprouted raw sesame seeds)
  • 1 ½ tsp tamari sauce
  • water, as needed

Combine the cucumber and arugula in a bowl and set aside.

In a blender, combine all the ingredients for the dressing; blend until smooth and toss with the salad. Enjoy!

Postpartum Nutrition

postpartum
Today I celebrated my birthday by waking up at the crack of dawn to share what I know about postpartum nutrition and wellness on CTV Edmonton.

Having a baby is a HUGE effort that must be carried out by the female body and with this large task comes extra nutritional requirements.By neglecting nutrition, new moms can feel tired, listless and even increase their chances of postpartum depression; besides, who would pass up an opportunity to eat MORE food?

New mothers are healing from labour and delivery and breastfeeding mothers are not only healing, but making nourishment for their babies; and an undernourished mother cannot fully nourish her baby.

The following information is for the mama’s to be and new mama’s out there!

  • Protein

Protein is essential to all cellular development, it’s what our bodies use to regenerate and rebuild cells; and since you are building a human being at the cellular level, taking in adequate sources of protein is essential.

  • Complex Carbohydrates

Complex carbohydrates are the body’s energy source; as we burn calories retrieved from complex carbohydrates we give our bodies the energy it needs to thrive. And as you enter into your third trimester and beyond, energy is ever so important

  • Healthy Fats

There was once a time when all fat was labeled bad, but now we are coming to understand that not all fat is made equal; high quality sources of fat, such as avocado, coconut oil and olive oil, help with the development of cells

Healthy fats are also important for brain development, and as your baby is growing a brain inside of you, giving your unborn baby the tools to effectively develop is essential.

  • Water

Water is important for everyone, not just those gestating; and when we are dehydrated our blood gets thick and viscous; making it far more challenging to carry nutrients and oxygen throughout the body. You blood is carry life giving nutrients to your baby and if you are under hydrated then your body isn’t able to effectively transport the nutrients your baby needs. Drink water, and lots of it- end of story.

Smoothies are the best because they are a fantastic way to infuse lots of nutrients into your body without a whole lot of effort. PLUS smoothies can boast all the aforementioned nutritional components; such as healthy fats, protein, complex carbohydrates and water.

Man, woman, child- regardless of where you are at in life, cool down, and fuel up with smoothies this summer:)

Avocado Berry Smoothie
Serves 1

1/2 cup strawberries
1/2 cup blueberries
1/2 small avocado
1 tbsp hemp seeds
1 handful spinach
1 1/3 cup almond milk (or coconut water)

Blend all ingredients till smooth, and serve.

Boost Your Vitality with Organic Living

The subject of organics and examination of the foods we eat have taken centre stage; from the cover of Time Magazine to the inside your favourite glossy magazine, what we put in our mouths has become relevant water cooler conversation.

Todays guest post highlights the benefits of organic living, and how you can embark down your, very own, path to wellness!

Enjoy:)

organic

Boost Your Vitality with Organic Living

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Love Your Liver with Lemon Juice

lemon juice

Liver health is SO important in the conversation about ultimate vitality. Everything we eat, drink, inhale and slather on our bodies must be cleansed by the liver for our protection- just think of this task and what our livers are asked to do for us every moment of the day; so you can imagine that our livers need some love too.

Drink Lemon and Water
This is becoming a fairly well known technique for liver detoxification, and it’s because it works! Each and every morning when you wake up, before anything passes your lips, drink 2 cups of water with the juice of 1 lemon. You want the water to be room temperature, so that the body doesn’t have to warm it up or cool it down; this way this morning elixir can get down to the business of cleansing.

“But I hate lemon water”

Apple cider vinegar- organic- works just as well. And if you are concerned about tooth enamel, ingest through a straw; I don’t care how you do it, as long as you are doing it!

WHY?

Total Body Cleanse
Lemon juice cleanses and detoxifies the liver by increasing it’s own detoxifying enzymes. The liver is an essential piece of the health and vitality puzzle, with over 500 functions, many directly related to detox; the adage “a healthy liver is a healthy body” rings very true.

Increased Bile
Gross, yes. Beneficial, 100%!

Bile in addition to fibre help remove toxins from the body; so when you go number two stimulated by lemon juice, you removed more waste products from the system.

Alkalinize
An acidic body is a sick body; and lemon juice is acidic, it creates an alkaline response in the body. Lemon juice enhances the digestive secretion, meaning that acidic waste is eliminated more effectively.

Keeps Things Moving in the Right Direction
Constipation sucks- just ask anyone who is. Lemon juice stimulates the gut naturally and more gently than coffee. I can guarantee your bowel movements will improve dramatically by doing this one small daily habit.

You Glow Girl…or Boy!
Initially if your liver is taxed, you will break out on your skin; this is a sign that the liver is starting to effectively remove toxins. But after a few weeks of lemon juice and water your skin will be brighter and the blemishes you experience will be nonexistent. Skin health and digestive/liver health are directly correlated. Skip the lotions and potions and start with real food!

Ensuring that you adopt this habit will have wonderful results in your overall feeling of vitality. But you can meet your lemon quota in other ways too:

Make a lemon vinaigrette- 1 tbsp lemon juice, 1 tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Whisk until combined and enjoy on your favourite salad.

Infuse a Green Juice with lemons- kale lemonade is a summer favourite of mine. Juice 4 leaves of kale, 3 lemons, ½ cucumber and 2 granny smith apples for a power boost of green liver love!

I can promise you will astonished at how good you feel after drinking lemon water in as little as 7 days.

Until next time, bottoms up!