Tag Archives: healthy eating

More Herbs, Less Salt Day: The Benefits of Eating Less Salt

We’ve all been there; “this sauce needs just a little extra… something.” This conundrum usually results in a generous sprinkling of salt. While salt is usually able to provide that ‘je ne sais quoi’, too much of it can wreak havoc on our bodies. Overconsumption of salt can result in a plethora of negative side effects, including high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, and even obesity. LiveScience states that an approximate 50-70 million people in the United States alone suffer from high blood pressure and hypertension. High blood pressure is often referred to as a silent killer, as many people aren’t even aware that they suffer from the affliction. Many times we don’t realize how much salt we’re consuming, since 75% of sodium consumed is by way of processed or prepared foods. Based on this, we certainly do not need to be adding extra salt to our diets! So what’s the alternative? How can we get that extra dose of flavor without damaging our health? It’s easier than you may think – herbs and spices! Here are a few scrumptious spices that will keep your recipes heavy on the flavour, and low on salt.


Oregano: One of the most commonly used herbs, oregano is a great way to add flavor and seasoning to most vegetables and meats (especially lamb). Oregano is easy to keep on hand in dried format and pairs well with other herbs such as thyme, basil, and garlic.

Rosemary: Traditionally added to sauces and marinades, rosemary also makes a great addition to meat rubs in lieu of salt. Although rosemary is most fragrant when fresh, it’s also great to keep on hand in dried format.

Ginger: Add a fragrant burst to a stir-fry or vegetables with some fresh ginger. Although grating fresh ginger can be tiresome, there are inexpensive and organic minced ginger options available for purchase in a jar! Ginger packs a strong punch in small doses and adds an exotic kick to most vegetable dishes.

Basil: Just like rosemary, basil is best used fresh! However, basil is still great to use in sauces and salad dressings to increase the flavour. Basil is also great to mix with pine nuts and olive oil in a quick pesto to top pizzas, fish, and meat.

Cilantro: Fresh cilantro packs a potent punch. If you’re looking to add a kick to rice or noodle dishes, then cilantro is the perfect mate. Whether fresh or dried, the unmistakable flavor will ensure you’re not missing the taste of salt!

Citrus: While herbs and spices are an incredible way to amp up the flavor in your dishes, citrus will also do the trick! Adding lime juice, lemon juice, or even zest from the rind will help create complex flavors. Don’t underestimate what a squeeze of lemon over your poultry or pasta can do!

On your next adventure in the kitchen, don’t be afraid to skimp on the salt and experiment with spices! This will help tremendously in lowering your sodium intake and increasing your overall health. What are your favorite spices? Share them with us on Facebook!

The Paleo Diet: What You Need to Know

It seems like every week there are new fads, detoxes and diet trends. One of the most buzzworthy as of lately is the Paleo diet. Haven’t heard of it? Here’s what you need to know! pLEO

The ‘Paleo’ diet is short for Palaeolithic diet and is based on food that our ancient ancestors would have eaten. Sometimes the diet is referred to as the caveman diet having the foods included in its regimen consisting of meat, nuts, berries and other things our ancestors may have hunted and or gathered. The Palaeolithic era that the diet is based on occurred approximately 10,000 years ago. The logic behind this diet suggests that the drastic change in diet from the Palaeolithic era until now have been responsible for modern disease such as type 2 diabetes, most autoimmune diseases, heart disease, and obesity in general. Advocates say that during this era humans were at their most healthy and fit and thus we should be eating the food that our genes evolved with. Furthermore, it is believed that even today, humans are maladapted to eating food items such as dairy, processed sugars, refined oils, grains, legumes, and even corn. The Paleo diet stipulates you must refrain from eating:

  • Dairy

  • Grains

  • Corn

  • White potatoes

  • Legumes

  • Refined sugar

  • Refined oils

  • Processed foods

  • Alcohol


So what can you eat on the Paleo diet? The diet revolves around healthy fats from natural sources, natural carbohydrates derived from fruits and vegetables. Compared to many other diet plans, the Paleo diet incorporates more protein as a staple. Approximately 20-35% of the Paleo diet revolves around meat and seafood. The diet also calls for a reduction in carbohydrate intake and starchy fruits and vegetables. Many proponents of the Paleo diet boast that unlike many other fad diets, it’s much more sustainable for long-term adherence. This is because unlike other fad diets that have the end goal of weight loss, the Paleo diet promotes an actual lifestylechange. Now this doesn’t mean going to your local supermarket and picking up any meat from the butcher and assume you’re accommodating a Paleo lifestyle. The idea is that you’re sourcing free range, hormone free, naturally fed animals. For example, bacon has had a bad rep for being greasy and fatty. In actuality, bacon is high in healthy, saturated fats that aid in the functionality of the brain, bones and almost every cell in your body. What the diet doescondone a lot of is: fresh, organic fruits, vegetables, meat, seafood, eggs, nuts (excluding peanuts which are technically legumes), seeds, animal fat, avocado oil, olive oil, coconut oil, unrefined seed and nut oil, honey, and last but not least, maple syrup.


Here are some helpful guidelines to follow for developing a Paleo lifestyle:

o   Accept that fat is not a bad thing. Animal fats and saturated fats are healthyand actually good for you. Just make sure they come from well treated, grass or grain fed animals.

o   Protein, protein, protein! Make sure your diet includes plentyof organic chicken, beef, pork (especially the fatty cuts), eggs, and wild caught seafood. Bonus: the bones can make an excellent broth!

o   High starch vegetables such as yams and sweet potatoes are an excellent source of good carbohydrates.

o   While eating in this manner is healthy for the human body, the key to this diet is portion control. Especially regarding items like nuts; eating too many can result in calorie and fat overload. Exercise self-control in snacking and portion size!

o   No. Added. Sugar. Perhaps one of the hardest parts of being Paleo is cutting out sugary fruit juices, soft drinks, and pre-packaged sweets.

o   Cut out dairy! Except butter.

o   Get used to cooking big batches of food. Take the time consuming effort out of cooking Paleo meals by making big batches of breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks on Sundays. This will save you time and money throughout the week while also preventing cheat meals and overeating!

o   Easy rule of thumb, if it comes in a box don’t eat it! To ensure you stick to your diet guidelines it’s often easier to prepare meals and snacks yourself.


Do you have any must-try Paleo recipes? Share them with us below!


The Most Versatile Veggie: 7 Scintillating Cauliflower Recipes

You may have avoided this veggie as a kid, but it’s time to give it a second chance. That’s right, we’re talking about cauliflower! There are so many other ways to prepare cauliflower aside from simply steaming or eating raw. Don’t believe us? Check out these 7 mouth-watering recipes!

  1. Roasted Sweet Potato and Cauliflower Rice Collard Wraps

Step up your lunch game! This delicious low-cab option will have you satisfied until dinner. Check out the recipe, here.


  1. Cheesy Vegan Broccoli Cauliflower Rice

The perfect side dish is here. Warm, healthy and filled with (vegan) cheesy goodness! Why not make some for dinner tonight? Find the recipe here.


  1. Cauliflower Buffalo Bites

Who doesn’tlove Buffalo wings? This is a much healthier option! All of the spicy, yummy crunch without the deep fried calories! Want to make these? Here’s the recipe.


  1. Beet Pesto Cauliflower Pizza with Greens

Cauliflower can be more than a side dish; it also makes a great crust. If you’re a pizza lover and are looking for a healthier option, look no further! Check out this awesome recipe here.

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  1. Cauliflower Breadsticks Recipe

Make pasta night a little bit less heavy. We all love dunking gooey breadsticks in our pasta and sauce, but it can be a carb overload. To enjoy a lighter version of breadsticks, check out this recipe!


  1. Cauliflower Crust Pizza Bagels

Everyone knows the only thing better than a bagel is a pizzabagel. These make the perfect snack or appetizer while watching the game! Find the recipe here.


  1. Vegan Cauliflower Tacos with Creamy Vegan Slaw

If you thought you tried every kind of taco – think again! Cauliflowertacos. That’s right, a delicious new twist on classic. Interested in trying out the recipe? Check it out here.


Have you tried any creative cauliflower recipes lately? Share with us on our Facebook page!

Diet Tips for Cold Prevention

As the winter season is upon us, it is no secret that cold and flu season is upon us as well. While we may think we know all there is about cold prevention, here are a few tips to ensure you stay in tip-top shape throughout the winter months!

winter diet tips

1)      Eat Phytochemical Rich Foods

Phyto means ‘plant’ and this natural chemical in plants gives vitamins found in food a super charge! This means don’t sub in vitamins or supplements – go for the real deal. Lots of dark green, leafy veggies this winter!

2)    Cut down on alcohol intake!

Alcohol effectively suppresses the immune system and dehydrates the body. Neither of these things make it likely that your body will be able to fend off cold and flu attacks. Cut back and improve your chances of staying healthy!

3)    Garlic, garlic, garlic!

Garlic is well known to boost your immune system and increases resistance to infection. Bryan Rade, a naturopathic doctor based in Halifax. “If you happen to come in contact with a flu virus, [garlic] can help destroy it before it becomes a full-blown flu in the body.” Cooking Tip: Make sure when using garlic in your cooking to crush with the side of your knife in order to release the immune boosting juices into your cooking! An alternative, if you’re brave enough, is to chew a raw clove of garlic every 3-4 hours to get the maximum benefits of garlic!

4)    Lots of Liquids

Any (decaffeinated) liquid will keep your mucous membranes moist, whereas dry nasal passages and throat can be a breeding ground for cold and flu bugs. When your mucous membranes are moist, they are then able to trap the cold and flu viruses. Another tip, when choosing a juice, make sure to choose unsweetened or low-sugar juices!

5)      Honey

If you start to feel a cold coming on, skip the usual cough medicine and try some old fashioned honey! It is suggested that one to two tablespoons straight from the jar mixed into a cup of tea can be just as (if not more) effective!

6)      Don’t Cut Calories
A study in mice showed that mice who were on low calorie diets took longer to recover from cold and flu symptoms than those not, so skip the diet until after flu season!

7)      Vitamin D
For people who are not deficient in vitamin D, it can be a great prevention tool, but for the 40% of people in Canada  and the US who are deficient, it can be nothing short of miraculous in terms of preventing cold, flu and respiratory infections. The winter months are short on the sunshine, and therefore leave us low on vitamin D. In order to ensure you’re getting enough, eat lots of oily fish such as trout, salmon and tuna!

8)      Spice it up!
People tend to forget that spices are a treasure trove of health benefits. In terms of cold and flu, there are numerous spices (maybe in your kitchen right now!) that can keep cold and flu symptoms at bay. Doctors suggest that adding spices such as oregano, mustard and thyme to your everyday cooking can actually help to boost your immune system!

9)      More fruit!
In the winter months, people tend to neglect their fruits and veggies, which is the exact opposite of what you should be doing! Studies suggest, “People who ate three or more servings daily had 25% fewer days with respiratory symptoms during cold-and-flu season than those who ate one or fewer. The vitamin C content may provide part of the punch, but fruit also contains polyphenols, which have antiviral properties.”

10)  Protein!
The less protein you intake the more of an effect it will have on your immune system! Protein is the building blocks of infection fighting antibodies, so it’s an important factor in cold and flu prevention. Fish and yogurt are all relatively high in protein and make a great supplement to your existing diet.

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Healthy Anti-Aging Eating

5 Great Foods That Will Help You Stay Young

When it comes to feeling and looking younger, what you eat has more of an impact than you think. A proper diet is crucial to maintaining and improving your health as you get older. By including more of these delicious anti-aging foods into your diet, you’ll find yourself feeling more refreshed than ever! Rejuvenate your body and mind with our guide to the best foods that will keep you feeling young.


These tasty, snack-sized berries are well known for their ability to sharpen your mind by improving your memory. They also contain anthocyanins, which work to reverse the weakening of cognitive and motor functions that occur over time. Throw these guys into a morning smoothie or have them as a healthy dessert after dinner!

Olive Oil

This popular cooking oil contains special nutrients called polyphenols – antioxidants which play a part in preventing age-related diseases. Olive oil can also regulate inflammation in your body, relieving joint pain and leaving you feeling more relaxed. The next time you’re cooking up dinner, use olive oil! It even makes a great, health-conscious dip for crusty bread.


One of your favorite things to wake up to in the morning is also a great way to feel younger every day! Coffee can give you a youthful bounce by stimulating your muscles and starting your day off on the right foot. Caffeine has also recently been shown to contain powerful antioxidants which can reduce the possibility of age-related eye diseases and the degeneration of eyesight.


Calcium is awesome for bone health, and cheese is a great source of this fortifying nutrient! Cheese and crackers makes for a perfect evening snack or a fantastic appetizer to serve at parties. Living cheesy is more fun – you’ll feel so much better!


Looking for a satisfying way to improve your eye health? Salmon is a fantastic source of omega-3 fatty acids – nutrients which can prevent a wide range of eye issues. The possibility of macular degeneration, dry eye syndrome, high eye pressure, and glaucoma can be reduced by having this hearty and tasty fish for dinner. Omega-3 fatty acids have even been shown to lower your cholesterol and reduce inflammation. Bake it with a little lemon, garlic, and dill for a clean meal that will have you feeling full and young!

Have any more questions about how your diet can make you feel younger? Ask us on Twitter!