Here I am, still kickin’, after my busy week of travel & teaching and then the catch up of recorded school lectures including 2 tests this week, Phew!! Then teaching yesterday at Cook Culture, now I can enjoy the weekend with my family, but not before I share a quick recipe and some of the highlights of this whirlwind and what I learned in holistic nutrition school this week.
Firstly, I want to thank you for dropping in, without your support and presence I wouldn’t be nearly as passionate to share consistently every week-even though I’m a bit late–I’ve been thinking about You and figuring out how to sneak some time in to create a post for you. I appreciate your readership very much.
So…. St. Paul was an inspiring week, once I got there–US customs has a way of messing up people’s plans so I was delayed a night, but fixed the problem with a visit to the spa and a really great hotel whilst I was delayed! There’s no problem a spa visit won’t cure, right? Anyways, I met Mary Jane Butter’s of Mary Jane’s Farm and her lovely daughter, delightfully healthy gals that’s for sure! Also chatted at length with Terry Walter’s, Author of Clean Food which was also a pleasure, love her book! We were mesmerized by the keynote speakers, my dear friend, Holly Becker of Decor8 who was fabulous BTW and Christina Ferarra, of Oprah’s Network. Jo Packham, co-founder of this convention, The Creative Connection and editor of Where Women Cook, and her team created, a nurturing conference for creative types to inspire one another and be moved to create even more fulfilling lives thru their passions for craft and food. Inspiring my students was the highlight for me. If they only learned one thing about how to lean into a healthier lifestyle, then it was all worthwhile. Oh and I can’t forget to mention that it was sooo nice to meet an avid follower of this blog who picked me out of the crowd like Where’s Waldo! Ivy of Inspirations by Ivy is such a doll and we were instant kindred spirits, as mothers, bloggers and creative spirits. She nutures FOUR children!–I was some impressed that she was brave enough to take time for herself and leave her dedicated hubby to hold up the fort-right in the middle of potty training! You go girl!
As for my week back in school, after only attending 2 classes and then wisking off to St Paul, was a bit intense but I luuuved every second of it!! I studied my brains out all week and I think I did okay on my tests. The content is right up my alley and I am thrilled that you are interested in learning a bit each week as I work my way thru 10 months of class time.
But first the recipe…. to inspire some yumminess that you might just want to run to the kitchen and make cuz I got a unanimous thumbs up this morning when I made it for my class! Chia seeds are seriously action packed with amazing nutrients, and combined with avocado, blueberries and then topped with buckwheat, this pudding is a power house of energy for breakfast or a really great dessert, especially for those that would be shocked to know how good it is for you.
Chia, Blueberry, Avocado & Buckwheat Breakfast Pudding
Yield- 2 cups- double for a crowd
1/2 cup unsweetened organic almond milk
2 tbsp chia seeds
2 tbsp organic sulphite free raisins
1 dried organic date, pit removed, chopped
1/2 tsp alcohol free vanilla
generous sprinkle of organic cinnamon
dried stevia herb powder
1 cup frozen organic blueberries
1 organic avocado
2 tbsp more almond milk for blending
1 cup raw organic buckwheat groats, soaked w/ filtered water for 30-60 mins- rinse well and drain
juice of 1/2 organic lime
1/2 tsp grated fresh organic ginger
Combine 1/2 c almond milk, chia, raisins, cinnamon, vanilla and let stand for 5-10 mins til thickens up. Meanwhile place avocado & blueberries in blender. Then add chia mixture and blend well adding almond milk for consistency. Test to see if chia seeds are smooth. A vitamix will make these disappear, other blenders may not. Pour into serving dishes. Combine buckwheat with lime and ginger and spoon on top of pudding, garnish with mint and enjoy!
Chia seeds have been enjoyed by the Aztecs 7 Mayans forever- they are chalk full of natures perfectly balanced omega 3-6-9’s, fiber and vitamins A,C, & minerals such as Calcium, Iron and Magnesium. They are also gluten free.
Raw Buck wheat seeds( also known as kasha or kashi) needs to be soaked to aid digestion. It is gluten free, is a seed not a grain, and is an excellent source of protein (with the 8 essential amino acids), very high in fiber, Vitamin B, phorphorus, iron, folate, zinc, copper & maganese.
Buckwheat, chia seeds and avocados are great sources of ALA –alpha linolenic acid– that strengthens cell membrane integrity, helps to repair cellular and tissue damage, helps with brain function, can improve heart and circulatory function and assist in producing supple, moist skin. Most of us do not get ample ALA in our diet so this is a great way to get a good dose, especially if you have this for a dessert in place of some other unhealthy choice that might end up on the table-and you can surprise your guests with the health facts, after they have enjoyed it and oooohed and aaaawed! Buck wheat also has a relaxing effect due to it’s high magnesium content. It lowers glucose levels with it’s fiber content, as well as blood pressure & cholesterol and has anti-tumor effects as well!
I’m feel honoured to be a student of Preet Marwaha, owner & founder of Organic Lives, one of my very favourite raw restaurants in Vancouver. He’s such an inspiration for me and I’d like to think of him as a mentor for how I would like to share and inspire others with the very important knowledge of why we need to think about our food choices and the effects of our choices on our health and our environment. Being surrounded by like minded individuals at this school is so incredibly inspiring for me. I feel like I belong.
In these first two weeks of school we’ve been discussing nutrition and the environment alongside learning about Ayurveda which is quite fascinating–I’ll share on this course next week. I have to be honest, I’ve been fairly awake with regard to diet and harmful substances in our food and environment for the last few years but I realize now that I really didn’t know the half of it. I plan to be as honest as I can with out being judgmental because this is a learning journey for all of us and a very difficult world to navigate when it comes to the industry of food.
Below are some facts that I’d like to share that might alarm you, lead you to choose not to follow my posts or inspire you to slowly make some changes that will remove a whole lot of risk of disease from your diet and your family’s. My honest intention is to create awareness that will lead to change in your choices and change in how our world operates, so here it goes!
The top five GM crops are rice, soy, canola, wheat & corn–96% of all corn is GMO and 92% of all soy is GMO, that is genetically modified to resist pests and also improve crop yields, but with disastrous damage to soil and future crops
Dangers of GM foods
-nutrient deficiencies as our body doesn’t recognize these modified crops as food yet one would think they are gaining nutrient value but don’t realize that it is vacant since GMO foods do not have to be labelled as such.
-genetically modified foods also provoke immune dysregulation associated with asthma, allergies and inflammation which is the root of most diseases.
-allergies are misguided since GMO foods incorporate cell structure from other foods that contribute to allergy reactions but are invisible as the genetic make up is disguised
-when sheep grazed on GM crops in India thousands died with severe irritation and black spots in both intestines due to toxicity.
–Worst of all, GM toxins remain inside of us. The GM soy gene is transferred into the DNA of the bacteria living inside our intestines and continues to function. This means that long after we stop eating GMO’s we have a factory of intestinal bacteria transforming to a pesticide factory inside our gut. This explains the huge increase in gastrointestinal problems among patients over the last decade as GM foods may be colonizing our gut flora! And GM soy is in so many things even if you are not a soy eater- soy lecithin and many soy derivatives are in practically most processed food and if not it’s GM corn that you will find. You can’t get away from it as 76% of grocery store items contain it and many are not labelled as such. Speaking with some farmers, believe it or not, many of them do not even know if their seed is GM or not!! It’s sooo well disguised by the money making, controlling conglomerates, who are spoiling our planet and our population.
Compared to 1984 we use 10x’s more pesticides yet we lose 2x’s more crops to pesticide damage. Currently, 2.2 million lbs of pesticides are used annually. And believe it or not, many of the banned pesticides like DDT are still showing up in 99% of the random blood samples from 54 different locations around the world. This is very alarming since these carcinogens are known to cause acute (headaches, nosebleeds, memory loss etc ) to chronic effects such as low birth weights, poor brain development, reproductive issues, liver damage, depression of the immune system, and paralysis of the parasympathetic nervous system to mention a few.
Dioxins that are serious pollutants & carcinogens are ending up in our air, soil, water and lodged in our bodies. Recycled chlorine that originates in pesticides and manufacturing processes concentrates as dioxins in the fatty tissues in humans and animals. When any animal fats including fresh water fish are consumed, especially cheese–a highly concentrated animal fat product, we are subject to these concentrated toxins that settle into our bodies and they do NOT leave. The only way women dismiss dioxin toxins from their body is thru childbirth via the placenta or thru breast feeding via the fatty milk particles but unfortunately the baby receives these toxin, thus resulting in cancer for young babies and children, which as you know is ever increasing.
The 10 most contaminated foods -in no order-are:
Choose organic for theses crops or don’t choose them at all! Find other alternatives. Make your choices be noticed and heard in your grocery store.
Between the GM crops and the pesticides our soil is being ruined. “Our soil is the foundation of human health and the quality of the food we eat relies ultimately on the vitality of the soil in which it is raised.”
Now this is really scary! I’ve been so focused on how our diet and lifestyle affect our health but this is the whole other side of why we also become ill and die, untimely, painful deaths. But listen to this; Europe has enforced labeling of GM foods but here in Canada and the US we have no way of knowing we are ingesting them. In Belgium another positive movement is happening, as farmers are no longer allowed to grow Non-organic produce. Yay!! So change IS happening!
As students, we all sat in class quite astonished, listening to our instructor as he shared the deep, dark, doom and gloom of the food industry that most North Americans are completely unawares or oblivious to. What’s happened? Well to get a better understanding if you watch a few documentaries, especially one called The Future of Food, or Food Inc. you’ll get the picture. Choosing organic, in which the produce has 25% more measurable nutrients, compared to conventionally grown crops, is the way to avoid this mess and reduce your exposure but there is still obvious residue in our air, water and soil so you need to do what you can to eliminate that which you can control.
Go organic and eat a vegan diet! It’s the only safe way to avoid these toxins especially for small children or seniors. I know this sounds harsh but really, as clean as I eat I still feel exposed to all these nasty chemicals. They infiltrate our environment so the cleaner you eat the less build up you will have in your system.
Now don’t just take my word for it, do some due diligence yourself and see what you come up with. I haven’t covered a fraction of what we learned and why our governments continue to approve these lethal chemicals but I’ll continue to share and provide links for you to explore.
As I sit here thinking about my week I am reflecting on my intention, my purpose of my new journey and I feel a little teary eyed and ever so grateful to be following my passion as I realize that a) I am setting an inspiring example for my children who will witness their mother following her dream and b) the powerful changes that I am making and inspiring, that will keep my innocent children safe and mostly free of the chemical dangers that our world is becoming smothered in and c) that I can be a part of making a difference in many peoples lives by helping to bring about change and awareness for our health and our environment for the future of our children and their children and all those that follow. I hope that you too will be a part of this journey and help to heal our planet for the sake our our future generations. I believe there IS hope. We can save our precious loved ones and our planet. We just need to believe and then show that we care thru the choices that we make everyday and in every aspect of our lives.
So there you have it, an outline of what I learned in my first two weeks of Holistic Nutrition. Again my intention is to just simply share and create awareness that will lead to change. We all need to assess where we are with our choices and our level of awareness and decide for ourselves how we wish to proceed and at what pace. It’s a personal journey that requires education, exploration, growth and understanding that will lead to eventual change over time. If you have any questions, suggestions or ideas I’d love to hear from you.
See you next week:)