Triathlon Training Tips

This summer I have been hard at work training for multiple triathlons. This comes with lots of planning, preparation, and perseverance. Have you considered a triathlon for yourself? Here are my tips to keep you on track:

1. Weight Train. There is no question that weight training has really added to my strength during my endurance training and during races. I have more power when I really need it. I have been working with Danielle at Catalyst Health who developed a great plan for me.

2. Electrolytes. Sometimes us doctors make the worst patients. I noticed that during a few of my workouts I was starting to become dizzy and feeling very drained. I realized I had not been supplementing with enough electrolytes. I really love this Endurlyte product from Genestra. I've also been using Honey Stinger gels for energy.

3. Epsom Salts, Magnesium & Arnica. I don't have a bath tub in my tiny Toronto condo, but I do love a good epsom salts bath when I can get it. I've actually taken to soaking washcloths in the salty water and wrapping around my achy muscles. I've been taking magnesium bis-glycinate internally as well for enhanced muscle relaxation. After my first race I took 3 pellets of homeopathic Arnica montana every few hours. I bounced back pretty quickly!

4. Yoga & Rest Days. It can be hard to rest when you're so focused on training, but it's absolutely crucial. Yoga has been absolutely wonderful, as well as good old days of nothing!

5. Countdown Calendar. I have a calendar on my fridge with my training schedule. I get to check off each day I complete and work my way toward race day. It keeps me motivated and on track.

I competed a few years ago and created a Triathlon Packing List for you to use, too.

Now it's your turn to tell me about your favourite tips and tricks to make it through long days and months of training.

DIY Household Cleaning Recipes

Making the choice to green up your home is certainly a wise one, especially given the amount of chemical whoknowswhat present in conventionally available cleaning products. Think endocrine disruptors and neurotoxins – Yikes! But where to begin? It can be very overwhelming to figure out how best to green our homes inside and out. In fact, most of us likely stand in the cleaning aisle scratching our head and wondering what to buy (trust me, we’ve been these people). It’s taken us a long time to become well-versed on better options and to avoid greenwashing, but we've finally figure it out. Best of all, some of these can be made at home by YOU! We're sharing DIY household cleaning recipes for 3 common items used in the home. Enjoy & please share your tried-and-true DIY household cleaning recipes in the comments below.

1. All-Purpose Cleaner

Ingredients:

1 part white vinegar

Juice of 1 lemon

1 part water

Baking soda

Method:

Combine vinegar, lemon and water in a spray bottle. If you'd like a little extra oomph to your clean, sprinkle down some baking soda before your spray and scrub away.

2. Laundry Soap

Ingredients:

1 cup soap flakes

1/2 cup washing soda

1/2 cup Borax

Method:

Combine all ingredients. Use 1 Tbsp per load of laundry. If you need a little extra cleaning power you can go for 2 Tbsp.

3. Floor Cleaner

Ingredients:

¼ cup liquid castile soap (like Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap)

Juice of 3 lemons

2 gallons warm water

***Add ¼ cup distilled white vinegar to the bucket for greasy floors

Method:

Combine all ingredients in a bucket and wash away!

So there you have it! You can get started on greening up your home with these DIY household cleaning recipes. We modified these recipes from one of our favourite authors (P.S. she's Canadian, too) Miss Adria Vasil. We highly recommend her Ecoholic series including Ecoholic Home.

Now, greening up the home is certainly one thing, but don't forget the importance of greening up your health. This is where I come in. Chat with me about how I can better your health from the inside out.

Thanks for stopping by, and, as always, I'd be thrilled if you'd share this with someone in need.

Time to scrub the floor now!

The Wedding Workout 2

You seemed to love my first Wedding Workout, so I thought I would hit you with Wedding Workout 2. My wedding is a mere 7 weeks away, and that means it's crunch time in the gym. This workout session even applied during a recent jaunt to the cottage!

The Wedding Workout 2:

Repeat this circuit 3 times to feel the burn!

  1. Jump Rope x 1 minutes
  2. Push Ups (full or modified) X 20
  3. Jump Squats x 1 minute
  4. Bench Dips x 20 (I did these off the edge of a Muskoka chair while at the cottage)
  5. Jump Rope x 1 minute
  6. Walking Lunges x 20 per leg
  7. Bench Bunnies x 1 minute
  8. Mountain Climbers x 40
  9. Jump Rope x 1 minutes

Incorporate it into your exercise schedule once or twice each week. It fits perfectly into the original Wedding Workout schedule, too.

P.S. Don’t forget that exercise can’t undo bad nutritional habits.

How are you getting prepped for your wedding? Comment below.

Like this workout? I’d be grateful if you shared it with your friends and family using the links below

Canadian Iced Tea Mocktail Recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes Cooking Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 8

It’s the Canada Day long weekend, and that means hot weather and cold drinks. Thankfully, there are alternatives to beer, wine coolers, and the other alcoholic beverages that seem to dominate during summer holidays. This Canadian Iced Tea mocktail is a perfect choice. Complete with black tea’s antioxidant power, lemon’s liver cleansing effects, and maple syrup’s satisfying sweetness, you’ve got a super summer sipper. What makes it Canadian? The maple syrup, of course! Happy Canada Day!

How does this mocktail fit into a healthy diet? Since it contains sugar in the form of maple syrup, and dehydrating black tea, it’s best to limit this to occasional enjoyment. Save it for long weekends and the odd patio evening. It shouldn’t be a part of a daily diet.

INGREDIENTS 3 litres of water 2 litres sparkling water, chilled 4-5 black tea bags of your choice 3/4 cup maple syrup 2 tsp pure vanilla extract 2 lemons, juiced 1 lemon, sliced for garnish

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a saucepan over high heat, bring 1 cup water and maple syrup to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-high and let simmer for 5 minutes. Note: It doesn't need to reduce to the point of being an actual syrup. Remove saucepan from heat and set aside.
  2. Boil the remaining water in a large pot. Add tea bags to the pot. Let steep for 15 minutes, or longer for stronger tea.
  3. Remove the pot from the heat. Then scoop out the teabags. Add maple syrup-water combination, a splash of vanilla, and the juice of 2 lemons. Stir.
  4. Pour into a serving jug and add chilled sparkling water.
  5. Serve over ice with a lemon garnish.

3 Ways to Stay Healthy While Traveling

My mom and sister were packing for their business trip to Australia when they asked me how they should stay healthy while away for so long. I made a few suggestions based on a few common trouble areas.

Here are 3 ways to stay healthy while traveling:

  1. Sleep: Melatonin is a traveler's best friend. Using it before bedtime after changing time zones will help your body readjust its sleep cycle and ward off jet lag. Magnesium can also be used as a natural muscle relaxant to help encourage sleep, too.
  2. Digestion: Tummy troubles can be a scary thing while on holidays. They can easily put a damper on anybody's good time. I tend to be a bit too adventurous on holidays and have wound up with food poisoning too many times. Aside from encouraging you to play it safe, I will also let you in on a few secrets: Gentiana lutea is one of my favourite herbs and just a few small drops 15-20 minutes before a meal will get your digestive juices flowing to improve resilience and digestion. Magnesium (as mentioned above) not only helps you sleep, it also relaxes the bowels to ease the discomfort of constipation that often occurs when traveling. Shelf-stable probiotics are also extremely helpful for balancing gut flora so your tummy can fight off the bad.
  3. Immunity: A simple increase in Vitamin C with Emergen-C or Sisu to Go can help manage exposure to viruses while you're away on travels. Don't forget to wash your hands, too. But my favorite thing to have in my carry on is a bottle of St. Francis Deep Immune packed full of herbs to keep your immune system chugging along even in the face of travel.

What are your favourite ways to stay healthy while on vacation?

You can find more travel tips here.

 

Sleep Soundly

What the heck is going on these days? No matter where I turn I have a patient walking in my door who just can't sleep soundly. Certainly daylight savings time can throw a wrench into normal sleeping patterns, but this should clear up after a few nights. If it's persisting there might be something else going on.

I'm here to remind that you it's not normal to not sleep. Sleep is a vital to life as food and water.

I'm sure you know most of the reasons why sleep is so crucial, from better energy to better hormone balance to better weight control and more. So let's investigate a few ways to improve your sleep hygiene (which means preparing for sleep):


  1. Turn off the Technology. The backlighting from your screen (whether it be iPad, computer or TV) messes with your brains understanding of night time. It won't produce as much melatonin, which means you won't stay asleep.
  2. Turn off the Lights. For the same reasons as above, it's best to turn off all lights, even the ones flashing from your alarm clock, and turn down the blinds. Things like black-out screens or eye masks can be helpful in brightly lit cities.
  3. Turn off your Brain.  Yet another reason to turn off the TV, computer and iPad is to avoid reading stressful things like news headlines before bed. Put yourself in a better state of mind with a light read.
  4. Turn Down your Temperature. Turn down the temperature of your room to a cool 68 degrees Celsius, and change duvets according to summer and winter temperatures. These will all help to encourage a restful sleep.
  5. Turn Up the Mood. Prepare for sleep with a restful routine including calming teas, proper supplements and even hydrotherapy treatments like Warming Socks. Botanicals like Chamomile, Hops, Oats, and Valerian can all be helpful, as can supplements like melatonin, 5HTP, GABA, and magnesium glycinate, but it's best to speak to your physician about the best options and doses for you. Even meditations, like this one from Andrew Johnson, can be helpful for preparing for sleeping.

In my opinion, the bedroom should undergo a name change to the S-room. Only Sleeping, Sex and Snuggling should happen in this room. Nothing else!

If things aren't getting better, it's time to consider visiting your physician. Things like waking up withs pains in the night, persistent night sweats, constant night terrors, and persistent insomnia all require a visit to the doctor to figure out what else could be going on.

Perfect Raw Brownies

Yep! You heard me - brownies. Yum! But these raw brownies are healthy with brain-beneficial cacao, heart-healthy nuts and coconut oil, and poo-friendly dates. Believe me - they taste just as good as the real thing. I wouldn't lie about that as I am a brownie lover!

I have spent the past week trying out recipes to come up with the perfect, no-bake, chocolatey, gooey treat so I could share it with all of you.

And here it is - Enjoy!


Ingredients:

  • 12 Medjool dates, soaked (soak them by covering them in water for 10 minutes)
  • 3/4 cup almonds
  • 3/4 cup hazelnuts
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 4 Tbsp raw cacoa powder (I really like this one from Organic Traditions)
  • 2 tsp melted coconut butter
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup (leave out if your diet is sugar-free)

Method:

  1. I like to start out by grinding the dates into a paste. They can be tricky to deal with so add them into the processor 2 at a time until a paste has formed. Now, use a spatula to scrape out the paste into a bowl and set it aside.
  2. Grind the hazelnuts and almonds on high until they have formed a nut flour.
  3. Add in the sea salt and cacao powder. You'll begin to notice the chocolately flavor now.
  4. Gradually add in coconut butter, almond butter and dates allowing the food processor time to catch up with the thick mixture. If you need to, use the pulse setting until well mixed.
  5. Use a spatula to scrape this mixture either into an 8"x8" square baking dish or roll the mixture into tablespoon-sized balls. Serve & enjoy. Any leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days.

NOTE: I recommend a really good food processor for this recipe!

Grain-Free "Corn" Bread Recipe

It's a hot summer day and I'm busy preparing a delicious meal for me and my significant other. Spicy, barbeque chicken is on the menu along with roasted sweet potatoes and a vibrant green salad. But something is missing from this mid-August meal. Something - warm and soft. Southern. Sweet. Corn bread!

I sigh as I remember I've been following a grain-free diet for the past 2 months, and treats like corn bread fall right into that category - corn and all.

Then I remember almond flour makes a pretty fantastic replacement for grain flours in most baked goods. There must be a recipe out there. I search, and indeed there are a few. I meld them together into my own little creation and here's what happened...


Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups almond flour (try JK Gourmet or Bob's Red Mill)
  • 1 tsp baking power
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • Coconut butter (for greasing the pan)

Methods:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 6" round pan or 8" square pan with coconut butter.
  2. Combine all ingredient in a large bowl and mix at until fluffy for about 2 minutes.
  3. Pour into your baking pan. Bake for 30 minutes or until the edges are golden brown, the center is springy and a knife comes out clean.
  4. Spoon out hot and steamy and enjoy with your meal.

30-Day Alcohol-Free Challenge

You  may think I am completely nuts for having gone alcohol free in the middle of the summer months, but it was an excellent challenge which I am glad I accepted. Leading up to this challenge I was given some perspective by my patients. As a primary care provider it is crucial to ask my patients about alcohol intake. I noticed that a majority of them had a lower intake than me. This realization certainly got me thinking.

I knew I had come to rely on alcohol during challenging times while heavily studying and dealing with lots of family matters that had cropped up this year. A glass of wine or 2 at the end of the day just seemed to ease my worries. But 14 drinks a week is right on the borderline of healthy and not-so-healthy... and somehow this (future) naturopathic doctor wasn't taking a dose of her own medicine.

In comes trainer, Rita Catolino, who has been helping me get back into the shape I lost during some of my most challenging times. She encouraged me to ditch alcohol for 1 month.

Hmmm... I thought she was crazy, too. But why not give it a try.

It all began on July 15th. I spoke to my significant other about the changes, and he fully supported me & even decided to join in the fun by cutting out alcohol during the week. I made it through a bachelorette party, a wedding, and 5 days at the cottage all without indulging.

Amazingly enough, going cold turkey has made me desire alcohol much less, and it certainly left a lot more room in the budget for... shoes... I mean, um, not shoes.

Alcohol is a sugar that often has no benefits. In days gone by beer was considered a food and was extremely nutritive, but with today's heavy processing this isn't the case. And even though red wine has heart-healthy antioxidant powers like those from resveratrol it should still be enjoyed in moderation.

What is moderation? Less than 7 drinks/week for women and less than 14 drinks/week for men.

Now, I am thrilled to say I am done the challenge (see my countdown calendar above). I celebrated with 2 glasses of sparkling wine. And I won't have another drop until the weekend.

Care to try it yourself? Try alternatives like Rise Kombucha, my Sparkling Kombucha Iced Green Tea, or anything with soda water, lemon, lime and mint to give your water a kick.

Packing for a Triathlon

Obviously travel is a large part of my life - and adventure travel is certainly one of the best ways to accomplish my desire to GO GO GO! So why not race & travel at the same time. This weekend I will be travelling to Michigan to compete in the He Tried/She Tried triathlon. This is a couple's event & I will be joined by my significant other, Mat (poor guy - he was kinda' forced into it). My Aunt Tammy will also be racing (she's an Iron Woman) & we'll be cheered along by my uncle and cousins. How fun!

Mat & I will be able to race together and our times will be combined to determine the winning team. This is great since it is Mat's 1st triathlon (and my 3rd). We've chosen the Sprint Distance length - approximately 800m swim, 20k bike, 5k run.

Of course, like any other travel event - this requires a lot of packing.

Here's my list of must-haves for triathlon success:


Swim:

  • Goggles
  • Swimcap (it will be provided to us to separate our waves)

Bike:

  • Bike (I'm borrowing my mom's lovely Kuota & Mat is using my dad's Specialized)
  • Helmet (they won't let us race without it!)
  • Glasses (otherwise bugs fly in your eyes) - I like Oakley's

Run:

Overall:

  • Tri Suit (I chose this cute one from Craft) - it has padding in all the right places & it dries quickly so I can wear it swimming, biking & running without having to change
  • Tri Bag - love my TYR bag - it has nooks and crannies for everything!
  • Shammy for quick drying
  • Old towel for laying out my transition area
  • Water bottle in transition area & on bike full of Sisu Ester-C To Go Energy water (the race course will also have HEED)
  • Clothes to change into after the race (no one likes to hang around in wet clothes)

Nutrition: I am hoping to be done the race in 1.5 hours. Since it isn't too long I won't need a lot of fuel during the race, but I will need a good shake before. I've packed my trusty shake mix in my tri bag: SunWarrior Warrior Blend vanilla protein powder, Greens+ & Thorne L-Glutamine. I'll combine this with berries, almond milk and a scoop of almond butter a few hours before the race.

Recovery: I'll dose up on 30CH of homeopathic Arnica montana for accelerated recovery before & after the race & slather myself in Traumeel after a warm Epsom salts bath.


Interested in more race info? Check out this informative post.

Keep your eyes peeled for Team Tough Love!

I'll post next week with the results!

Sparkling Kombucha Iced Green Tea

Nothing says summer like iced tea and boy does my significant other make a good one!

I have embarked on a 30-day no alcohol challenge this summer and in light of this Mat decided to make me a fun summer drink - Sparkling Kombucha Iced Green Tea.

It's a perfect after-dinner drink for sipping on the balcony, porch, beachside or on the dock. Lemon stimulates liver detoxification, spearmint aids digestion and cools, lemongrass & kombucha aid immunity & green tea boasts major antioxidant properties.

Here's how to whip up this delicious, refreshing drink in no time:


Ingredients

Methods 

  1. Brew 8 tea bags in 2 cups of boiling water. This may seem like an odd ratio, but iced tea has a tendency to lose strength of flavour so using more teabags is crucial. Add honey. Let cool for 1 hour.
  2. Combine brewed tea and honey and sparkling water.
  3. Cut lemon in half crosswise. Squeeze the juice of 1/2 the lemon into the iced tea. Cut the remaining lemon into thin wheels for garnish. Top with mint & enjoy.

Tip: Replace the sparkling water with ice to make a slushy iced tea instead.

5 Healthy Travel Tips

Finally, vacation is upon me. I have 1  more shift in clinic and then I am off to Portland and Santa Monica for my summer vacation. I'll certainly be missing my patients, but 1 week of vacation is definitely what the doctor ordered for this tired intern! I'll be packing my things tonight and wanted to share with you a couple of my favourite, healthy travel tips.


  1. BYOP. Bring your own protein, that is. I purchased a new bag of Sun Warrior Chocolate Warrior Blend just for the trip. This will help me stay on track during my travels. I never want to wind up hungry!
  2. Double Up on C. I'm sure to get 1000mg of vitamin C each day, but with travel on the horizon I will be sure to double that dose. Little travel packets, like these by Sisu, are the perfect solution. They even include other important vitamins and minerals and taste yummy without added sugary junk.
  3. BYOO. As in - Bring Your Own Oatmeal. Once again, you don't want to get stuck hungry so bringing your own little oatmeal bags is a sure-fire way to make sure you've always got something on hand. Just mix with water & you're set.
  4. Boost your Immunity. Concerned about catching something while you're away? Take an adrenal support along with you. This will help you manage your sleep, better handle stressful travel situations (they're inevitable), and stay healthy. I like Deep Immune by St. Francis. They even have a travel-size bottle.
  5. Watch your Portions. Somehow vacation becomes an excuse to eat whatever, whenever, however. I see no harm in trying new foods (trust me, food-truck fish tacos will be on the menu in Santa Monica), but watch your portion sizes. Do your best to stick to your healthy eating plan and your system will thank you!

Interested in more ways to travel well? Check out this post on long flights and travel.

Bon voyage!

How to Manage Long Flights and Travel

My journey just so happens to involve a lot of travel. In fact, today as I write this post I am sitting on a plane on my way to Atlanta to accompany my mother, Tosca Reno, to one of her many speaking engagements around North America. My job as a student and future physician is to teach you how to travel through the journey of health with all of the tools of a naturopathic lifestyle. Today's topic? Early morning, long flights. It's the reality of our world these days - early flights to business destinations, conferences, vacations, etc so how can you make the most of the experience without damaging your health? Here are my tips.


  • First of all, pack the night before.
  • Get as much sleep as you can.
  • Nix the coffee for 1 liter of water or a hot cup of water with lemon.
  • Pack snacks. If you're traveling domestic you can bring nuts, seeds, and fruit along the way. If not, stick to oatmeal.
  • Long flight? Take some melatonin to knock you out.
  • My most naturopathic tip? If you're changing time zones you can prevent jet lag by lying on the ground for 10-30 minutes after arrival. Sounds crazy, but it works. Trust me!

The Link Between Resting and Digesting

Feeling a little indigestion lately? You’re not alone. It’s a common complaint amongst the rat-race crew making up our society. There are many reasons indigestion inflicts us, but here’s one way to tackle the problem... Who doesn’t love a good Italian café. Better yet, a healthy one. I discovered Pane e Vino in 2010 while working in the Heartland area of Mississauga, Ontario. It’s a beautiful little café nestled amongst a commercial hot bed. You’d miss it if you blinked. Yet, its bright and friendly atmosphere invites you inside for a delicious meal.

Pane e Vino has taught me the importance of sitting down to enjoy a delicious meal. During hectic days at the office, it was always a treat to take an hour and indulge on hearty salads, warming soups and gourmet sandwiches. It’s difficult these days to sit down and enjoy a meal. We eat at our desks, we shovel food as we drive, or we race out the door with a smoothie on our way to the next activity. Food was never meant to be consumed on the run.

Here’s a little anatomy lesson for those less in the know. In order to digest, your body must be in a parasympathetic state. This means it must be relaxed.

Have you heard the term “fight or flight”? That is an example of a sympathetic state - running away from danger or racing to the finish line. Blood flow is rooted away from our stomachs during these events because it is needed by our muscles, eyes, and ears. The other term you may have heard is “rest & digest”. This is the state you must be in to properly break down and utilize your food.

My task for you is to implement at least one sit-down meal each day. Whether it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner – take the time to enjoy your meal with another person. Turn off the TV, turn off the computer, and turn off your phone. Just sit and eat.

Your tummy will thank you!

Resting & digesting – just what the (future) doctor ordered.

5 Tips for Sugar Substitutes

Sugar, sugar, sugar, sugar, sugar, sugar, sugar! We love the stuff and it’s practically everywhere. In fact, it’s hard to find a processed food without sugar in it. Even salt and cigarettes contain sugar. Wow! One of top things a naturopathic doctor will likely include in your treatment plan at one point or another is cutting out sugar. It’s damaging for hormone balance, weight management, blood vessel health, energy levels and more.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine excess sugar intake is considered to be damaging to the Spleen – the organ that builds Blood.

I could go on forever with all of the bad things it can do to you, but what I really want to share is how to cut down your intake.

Here are my top tips:

  1. Get it out of the house. Remove all sugar products from your home – white sugar, brown sugar, sugar-laden peanut butter, ice cream, cereal, yogurt, etc.
  2. Replace it with sweet vegetables. Carrots, peas and sweet potatoes are some of the sweetest vegetables out there. Include one of these in your meal to satisfy a need for sweet without reaching for the sugar bowl.
  3. Use replacements in moderation. Options like honey, molasses, and maple syrup have their place, but they should not be a direct replacement for white sugar. Try to limit this to once per day.
  4. Choose herbs. Herbs can help reduce your sugar cravings.
  5. Get to the root. Sugar cravings can also be rooted in deeper emotional, nutritional or energetic issues.

You’ll be amazed how your taste buds will adjust. Nature’s most natural sweetness will prevail on your tongue and you’ll reach for the sugar-bowl much less often.

Sugar-free habits are just what the naturopathic doctor ordered.

P.S. Check out this funny video I did with my sisters and mom all about getting sugar out of your diet.

The Importance of a Support Network

When I consider the reasons why I have come so far in my life, I can only attribute it to the support networks I have created wherever I go. These include family members, friends, coworkers, teammates, pets, online communities and more. As a patient experiencing a health concern or major illness, support groups can be the glue that keeps you together as you navigate the murky waters of ill health. Websites like Patients Like Me can act as support networks to help get through tough challenges.

These supports help us through our journeys. They love us unconditionally and they allow us to grow and change.

Finding supports that allow you to feel comfortable is incredibly important for your personal growth and development.

Band together your support systems whenever you are embarking on a tough challenge. Whether it’s changing your diet to achieve better health, running a 10K race, moving to a new city, or starting a new job - we are here to help each other get through life. Each supportive individual in your network makes your load a little easier to carry.

Your healthcare professional should be part of that team. They should listen, provide advice and resources, and empower you to make smart decisions about your health. Is this how your doctor makes you feel?

Support – it’s just what the doctor ordered!

Portable Exercises for Those on the Go

On-the-go is the way most people describe their days in our crazy, supercharged society. This often involves business trips to any number of locales throughout North America and beyond. Traveling like this can throw a wrench into many a burgeoning activity schedule. If you’re training for a specific event, like a marathon, triathlon or fitness competition, you have special adjustments to make, but for the average person just trying to stay fit, portable exercises are the way to go. Here are a couple of things to try while you are on your next trip:

  1. Morning Workouts. I think this rule applies to most activity routines, but it especially applies on business. Most evenings on business trips are filled with dinners out or late meetings. Don’t miss your workout by scheduling it in the morning.
  2. No gym? If a gym doesn’t exist be sure to bring along your therabands for quick resistance training in your room. They don’t take up much room in your bag and they provide a great work out.
  3. No excuses. Always remember that travel isn’t an excuse to indulge and get lazy. It’s a great time to try something new, enjoy new sites, and stay energized and healthy during your trip.

Vegetarian Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Kisses

Vegetarianism a hot topic! I assume most people out there think that all naturopathic doctors are vegetarian when in fact many of us aren’t. I myself am not a vegetarian, however, I do believe in incorporating meat-free meals into my omnivore diet. That is why I am so excited to have a fabulous resource for you. New York Times best-selling author, Tosca Reno, has finally debuted her Eat-Clean Diet Vegetarian Cookbook. It is full of healthy, clean, and tasty vegetarian recipes as well as informational pages covering many aspects of vegetarian health. Tosca has generously shared one of her recipes here with us:

Ingredients:

  • 1⁄2 cup (120 ml) old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1⁄4 cup (60 ml) vegan unsweetened protein powder, as natural as possible
  • 2 Tbsp (30 ml) hulled hemp seeds
  • 2 Tbsp (30 ml) flaxseed, cracked
  • 1⁄4 cup (60 ml) unsweetened dried cranberries
  • 1⁄4 cup (60 ml) vegan semisweet natural chocolate chips
  • Pinch sea salt
  • 1 cup (240 ml) all-natural peanut butter, sugar and salt free
  • 2 Tbsp (30 ml) brown-rice syrup, yacon syrup or pure honey

Directions:

In a large bowl, mix together oats, protein powder, hemp seeds, flaxseed, dried cranberries, chocolate chips and sea salt. Add peanut butter and syrup or honey and mix together. Using your hands, knead mixture together thoroughly. Drop by rounded teaspoonful onto a baking sheet, or use a mini ice-cream scoop. Using your hands, roll into balls. Wrap kisses in squares of aluminum foil, twisting tops to seal, or store them unwrapped in an airtight container.

Most importantly, enjoy!

Should you choose to be vegetarian just remember that it requires a lot of education and diligence about one's health. Vegetarians need to be extra cautious about iron levels, vitamin B12 levels, protein intake and carbohydrate selection. It’s easy to be a bad vegetarian who relies solely on fats and sugars. Oh my!

Meat-free meals are just what the doctor ordered!

How to Navigate the Grocery Store

Shopping for groceries isn’t my favourite thing to do, but I do love to cook and bake, which makes it a necessity. Navigating the aisles of your typical big-box, grocery store location doesn’t do it for me. I much prefer to peruse the stalls of a local farmers market. But when necessity calls I have no choice. This is when I have to call upon my trusted grocery navigation tools.

  1.  Make a list. Check out your cupboards and fridge before heading to the store so you know what you need. I keep a list on my fridge and on my phone.
  2. Start in produce. Fill your cart with the freshest local and in-season produce available at your grocery. Here you can learn about Ontario’s local options. Stick to the Clean 15, Dirty Dozen list to help you avoid harmful pesticides while also minding your costs. Sticking to the remainder of the perimeter of the grocery is a good rule of thumb, given that the freshest, least-processed foods are located here. 
  3. Venture in if you must. Should you need to gather oats, grains, oils, vinegars and seasonings do so quickly. Just don’t get tempted by the cereal, cracker, or junk aisle where the really evil ingredients reside.

And last but not least, always remember to pick up a few cans to drop off in the food-donation bins at the exit of the store.