Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Winter Warmers

It's Snowing Again!!!! I hate to be the one to say it But, we live in Canada! For some reason everyone is surprised or angry when the first snow fall comes. It's comparative to every Monday morning the world needs to groan collectively about getting there week started.
As someone who has taken great care and effort to change the way I think about life and how I live my life. I have actively thought out positive thoughts about the changing weather, that I can share with you.
  • I now can wear layers and layers and never get hot!
  • I can cuddle up with my boyfriend without being told that it is too hot.
  • I can always find a funky scarf or hat to wear to keep warm (my latest obsession, have to stop buying every warm cozy hat and scarf I see)
  • Taking the time to just stand in Nature in all it's glory, take a deep breath and feel the awesomeness that is Nature.
  • Dress up warm and take a long leisure walk with my dog when the weather isn't gross out, it gets you in touch with nature and you appreciating the nice days, not dwelling on the cold / grey days of winter.
  • making more soups and stews for dinner and home made biscuits for dipping is always a family warmer and pleases the appetite.
  • Just taking a few minutes to appreciate the day whatever the weather.
The reason I shared this way of thinking and not engaging in the "bad weather" talk on a daily basis is because you are the creator of your own reality. If you focus on you lack of enthusiasm of the weather changing then that's all your going to focus on. Not the beauty around you, not the potential for today being the best day of your life even without the Sun shining.
When I started out on my weight loss journey I started by changing one bad habit at a time. I started by not eating commercial chocolate, then not buying something at Tim Horton's every time I got a coffee, then stopped having sugar...etc... I just got on habit under control and each week I would expand on it until I was moving daily and choosing to eat healthier food all on my own, and not to get a number on the scale to say a certain number so i would feel good.
We need to focus on our mood at this time of year too, you might not feel like going outside much and cuddling up on the couch to watch the countless shows we have access too, And that is fine too, but remember if your feeling low and not motivated that a hike will help balance your mood, just make a move once per week.... that will keep things going until March hits and then we can focus on the sun and rain that follows a snowy winter.
I am doing a work shop this Sunday from Louise Hay, "The totality of possibilities" this is an introduction of Louise's work based on her Heal Your life book from way back... Come check me out on my Facebook Page or on Being in Balance Facebook page or email me!! Hope to see you on Sunday.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Going out for a great dinner can be apart of a healthy lifestyle!


Dining out tips...

Eating out has a bad rap! It's so easy to choose wisely and feel good about your choices. If you plan for eating out and stop the negative food talk that we have going on in our can easily go out this holiday season and not feel guilty. Start by calling the locally owned restaurants in your area and getting to know what they have to offer. Most restaurants are using fresh local ingredients and that is a great question to ask when enquiring about the menu! Plus just asking around your community if a restaurant is worth the money, you will find out quickly by word of mouth. Many restaurants located in the downtown core of most cities and towns will have local owners and likely are making all there own recipes. This is the best kind of food for staying healthy and on track. 

The local fair is abundant where I live and I am very fortunate to live where there are Farmers market almost everyday of the week, either down the street from my condo or in the next small town. The availability and convenience is amazing. Now that winter is coming and we won't have the markets for fresh salads and local meat for grilling, we are starting to think about eating more dinners in our homes and in restaurants for those holiday parties and getting together with friends.

I love the freedom of being able to go out for dinner and eat healthy and feeling great about my choices.... (if you tend to drink which can lead to some over indulgence on the extras, but be careful and aware of the alcohol intake and you should be able to manage a simple dinner out). Alcohol tends to put the bill higher so this is a great way of keeping the drinking to a minimum.

Here are some great tips to choosing a restaurant that will fill your nutritional needs and give your taste buds what it needs to feel satisfied.
  • Choose locally owned restaurants that are using natural ingredients and preparing in house from scratch, nothing Pre-made.. this way the kitchen can customize your dinner to your liking and it is made fresh for you. Plus you are staying away from fast food which is nutrient deficient food. 
  • Stay away from chain food restaurants. These restaurants don't have control over what food they are being shipped from the warehouse. Most of the products are frozen and pre-packaged foods, which will have preservatives and additives and most likely frozen. These foods and meats are from factory farms that are using growth hormones and antibiotics, and spraying the food for better yield of crops. Round up ready seeds only grow a chemically derived product that is killing our immune systems. This kind of food isn't really food, it has chemicals disguising the nutritional benefits. This is why when you eat at chain food restaurants your usually hungry within an hour of eating.
  • Order appetizer's to share. If your ordering appetizer's then I suggest sharing, this way your not eating too much before your main meal, or start with a salad this will help get your vegetable intake for the day.
  • Skip the Bread basket, or ask for the bread to come with main meal so that you won't fill up on fast burning Carbohydrates,which will fill you up but you then will feel hungry again before bed. Ask for multi-grain if possible.
  • Dessert: if your not a regular dessert eater then I recommend ordering dessert, either to share or to enjoy fully on your own. Please enjoy fully, how often do you feel guilt when eating something delicious. How often do you at Dessert? If you feel guilt or shame while eating you put your body into fight or flight. This shuts your digestion down and then you have just wasted your dinner out.
  • Listen to your body : if your listening then you should be in sync with your bodies needs and when you have eaten just enough.
  • Eat slowly and take time to look at the presentation of the food. Most restaurants want the presentation to be as good as the food. They take time to plate it for you, you should take time to enjoy there handy work. 
  • Keep eating out to a minimum it can be expensive, Plus preparing and eating your meals energetically is better for you. The time and energy that is used in buying and preparing your meals at home for your family is prove to be a natural weight stabilizer.
 So if maintaining your weight is a priority or just stabilizing your health, eating out is possible but not necessarily the worst thing you can do. Choosing wisely and doing your research on the local restaurants around you will prepare you for that night out to be successful.
  • If Travelling- go off the highway. Going into the local town off of the busy highways, which are usually full of chain fast food. Going into the town you can support the local restaurants, and usually get a great meal with less additives and preservatives then on the highway.
Over the summer I have been studying more on the "mind/body" connection and focusing on listening to my body. If I just slow down and take a few minutes to hear what I am wanting with no judgement most of the time it will choose exactly what I need to sustain life. I was introduced to a wonderful program that really intrigued me, using meditation and the idea of listening to my body's needs. I don't think I had thought about giving myself the freedom to choose the food I eat. I wouldn't even consider eating what I wanted. I ate everything I am suppose to and always 2-3 hours apart and would be very regimental with my eating habits....Being someone who has struggled with weight loss in the past and I am in constant awareness of not let the "negative food talk" seep into my daily life..Just by listening to my body and using meditation to appreciate my body for where it is and how it is right now. I have noticed a change in my body, my clothes are fitting better and I am sleeping more soundly at night. Just a little change in my thinking has made subtle enough changes in my body to make a difference. More about this program in my next blog. One of the reasons I have been so successful in keeping my weight off is by being conscious of my eating habits and what I allow into my thought pattern about food.

I have the pleasure of being able to work in the food industry, I work at two local restaurants who focus on conscious choices of what they are serving their patrons. Eating out doesn't have to be on the bad list if you choose wisely. I tend to not go to the fast food joints but even with those places, if you are eating 80 percent of the time healthy and whole foods your body is going to be healthy enough to take the abuse of one or two meals of unhealthy fast food. Everything has its place in life and if we are off balance in anything, it will show up in our life one way or another.

The Restaurant industry has taken a change in direction, most are now focusing on natural whole foods and local. Eating seasonal is also important to remember, being in Canada we are needing foods that are warming for our bodies. Soups, stews and hearty meats for our bodies temperature to rise and keep us warm over the winter.  Eating root vegetables gives us different nutrients and minerals we didn't get over the summer months, Not to mention the Immune building properties of these precious veggies. 
So get out and eat in a Great locally owned restaurant and support your community.
Happy Eating

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Spring is coming! It's time to Clean out the Old and Bring in the New!

Cleansing Time !

Should you cleanse?
   We know that spring and summer are coming, but we are all asking the question "Will it Truly come?"
   With each spring comes the shedding of another winter season and layers of clothing and weight that we have been putting on over this very cold winter.  It's normal to put weight on over the winter to insulate yourself. I've noticed I have put on some extra pounds over the winter months.  Some of my spring clothes aren't fitting like they did last spring, but I'm not too worried about it.  I know that once the sun is shining again I will be outside walking, getting more of the sun's energy, eating lighter, and enjoying the much needed freedom of SPRING. 
   Our bodies are supposed to insulate us over winter.  Our metabolism slows down on purpose.  The days are shorter and we are indoors more of the time.  We eat hearty meals like root vegetable soups and stews.  We should be getting more sleep because our bodies are working overtime, but we fight this by going to the gym every night after work.  We fight the lack of sunlight and stay awake like we do in the summer and fall.  This behavior puts our body into fight or flight, which shuts down our digestion, speeds up our circulation, and in general makes us inflamed.  This creates a breeding ground for disease.  Over the winter isn't a good time for our digestion to be compromised (70% of our immune system is in our digestion tract) which leaves us vulnerable to colds and flu. 
If you had a cold or flu this winter and had to take any medication from antibiotics or over the counter drugs you should look into a CLEANSE.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms:
  • lack of energy even after a full night sleep
  • brain fog
  • afternoon slump
  • yeast infections
  • bloating/gas after meals (any symptoms here could mean your intestinal tract is toxic)
  • memory loss
  • headaches
  • constipation / diarrhea
You should look into a CLEANSE.

   I am not suggesting that you should do something that doesn't feel good to you.  When you are thinking about cleaning out closets and re-arranging your wardrobe for spring and summer you need to consider cleaning out your intestinal tract to keep things rolling in the right direction.

10 benefits you can expect from doing a gentle ‘spring cleanse’:
1. Weight Loss Happens! Toxins are stored in fat cells. When toxins are eliminated so are fat cells.
2. Beautiful Skin is healthy skin. Toxins in the body can destroy our skin with pimples, etc.
3. Digestion Works! A clogged digestive system stops doing its job efficiently.
4. More Energy! As toxic waste leaves the body there is increased energy.
5. Breathing is easier because your respiratory system becomes free and unclogged.
6. Helps prevent disease. Dr. Elson Haas states “By regularly purging the body of unhealthy toxins and waste, you can assist the body’s natural defenses and help to prevent disease before it starts.”
7. Your brain is clearer. You will start to see improved concentration and mental focus–the results of a cleaner system!
8. Your Joints are more flexible.
9. A feeling of rejuvenation as the body is renewed.
10. Being filled with motivation and creativity as you feel lighter and freer.

What we need is a detox program designed to fit into our life. Too often, people go to Cleansing Retreats or on a detox diet at home and end up returning to their old, unhealthy eating and drinking habits and lifestyles. That does not work!
I recommend doing a gentle springtime liver cleanse which is easy on the body and you can still continue with your life.

8 Simple things you can do to cleanse your body in two days:

1. Drink more water: start your day with 2 – 3 cups of water every morning.
2. Eat fresh fruits daily: eat a breakfast of fresh juicy fruits (not sweet ones like bananas).
3. Eat lots of vegetables and their juices: for lunch have a big salad and for a snack have fresh vegetable juice.
4. Leave out all cooked food. That means no grains, starches or proteins for these two days.
5. Soak toxins away in a bath: have an epsom salt bath nightly.
6. Exercise creates sweating: walk up a lot of stairs or hills.
7. Breathe fully and deeply: this is something to always do.
8. Sleep deeply.

    Many of these points you can incorporate into your everyday routine.  Also to help cleanse: No overeating and No junk food.
There you go!!  A very simple way to do a spring cleanse, at any time of the year!

CHECK this out!

This website has put together a Gentle Spring/Liver Cleanse Training.
This offers an online supportive structure for people who know they should be doing something for their health but need the some extra knowledge, inspiration, focus, and perhaps hand-holding.

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Boost your Immune System with Vitamin C naturally..

Getting Your Vitamin "C" Naturally

The summer is coming to an end and we are watching the leaves and temperatures change daily. This is when we need to be boosting our Immune systems for the next Cold and Flu season. Fall is preparing our bodies for the colder winter months and this takes its toll on our Immune systems we all need to be getting our bodies working at its optimal health.Vitamin C will help us have an enjoyable holiday season. Keep reading if your interested in some recipes and some general knowledge on how to get started on consuming enough Vitamin C to help you achieve your health goals this season. **see warning for men at bottom

The  Recommended Daily Amount of Vitamin C is 70-90 milligrams, But in recent studies published in Preventive and Alternative medicine revealed a growing list of benefits of Vitamin C and in Higher amounts then the RDA suggests. The recent studies recommend 500 mg, daily in addition to eating 5-10 fruits and Vegetables a day. This would suggest that taking at least 1000mg daily in times of sickness would help the healing process. Most cold and flu preventive medicines like Cold FX have high doses of Vitamin C and other Immune boosting Vitamins to help achieve this.
Sometimes its just not practical for people to consume the required serving of Fruit and Vegetable on a constant basis to achieve the health benefits, so taking a supplement once in a while is something I would recommend plus it is useful for when you feel a cold coming on. Doubling up to get the maximum protection is advised. The maximum dose is 2000mg daily- there are no pose risks in taking this upper level of Vitamin C (If you get the diarrhea you should back off by 500mg's).

I can assist you in achieving your Vitamin C goals naturally by just adding a few extra things to your days menu planning.

I assure you that it is possible to achieve this just by eating a Fruit smoothie in the morning, or Juicing before breakfast - that would provide at least 2-3 servings, if you add a Vegetable to your smoothie that would be at least 4 servings. I have a great smoothie recipe for you to try

 Green Goddess                                                                Vitamin C amounts
1/2 cup Greek yogurt = protein                  
1-1/2 banana  = fruit                                                                     -10 mg
1/2 cup 100% juice - OJ, (apple/cranberries)= fruit                          -69mg
1/2 avocado- veg/good fat                                                              -14mg
1/4 cup hemp seed = protein
3-4 kale leaves                                                                               -53mg
or 1 cup spinach leaves = Veg  ALSO -Calcium/ Vit C                      -17mg
**look at the fruit and Veg count in this smoothie.= 4      Total Vit C =163mg
your already half way there for your daily intake of 5 fruits and Veg.....

If you prefer a heartier breakfast and need a grain then I Recommend doing a fresh Juice...followed by one of the following choices.

In juicer      -                     Vitamin C amount.
1- orange                                     69mg
1/4- pineapple                              78mg
2- carrots                                     14.20mg
= 2 fruits and 1 veg-   total Vit C =161 mg
 followed by grains
steel cut oats with Fruit and nuts = fruit and protein
12 grain or Ezechiel bread w nut butter or eggs = carbohydrate and protein
 (a live grain or something that has the germ)
Greek yogurt w homemade granola, fresh fruit. (preferably the ones high in Vit C = carbohydrate and fruit
ie: strawberries, papaya, kiwi, raspberries,pineapple etc....  )

 ***These recipes are just the beginning and I can help you figure out other meal options for the rest of the day and show you how simple it is to get your Vitamin C and its not just your traditional orange Juice.

What can high-vitamin C foods do for you?
  • Help protect cells from free radical damage
  • Lower your cancer risk
  • Regenerate your Vitamin E supplies
  • Improve iron absorption
What events can indicate a need for more high-vitamin C foods? 
  • Poor wound healing
  • Frequent colds or infections
  • Lung-related problems
What health conditions require special emphasis on vitamin C?

Most forms of cardiovascular disease, joint disease, cancer, eye disease, thyroid disease, liver disease, and lung disease require special attention on vitamin C intake. The process of aging itself requires special attention to vitamin C. There are other health conditions that require Vitamin C to help in the healing process.
These specific health conditions include: 
  •   Acne
  • Alcoholism
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Asthma
  • Autism
  • Depression
  • Diabetes
  • Irritable bowel disease
  • Parkinson's disease
Here is a list of natural sources of Vitamin C: These are the best fruit and Vegetables that are quite high in Vitamin C.
  • parsley
  • bell pepper
  • strawberries
  • oranges
  • lemon juice
  • papaya
  • cauliflower
  • kale
  • mustard greens
  • brussels sprouts
*** There is a warning for Men:  there has been findings from a large Swedish study suggest that men who take high-dose Vitamin C supplements may be at added risk of developing kidney stones. Data for the study was from middle-aged and elderly men who had not had kidney stones.
Researchers found that the men who took Vitamin C supplements were twice as likely to develop kidney stones as were men who didn’t take any vitamin supplements and got there vitamin C naturally.

Would love to help you reach your health goals this fall drop me a line and we can chat
Best in health


Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Grilling on the BBQ this season? You might want to read this!

Barbecue and summer are like a match made in Heaven, but did you know that the black grill marks on your beautiful meats and vegetables are actually carcinogenic? It contains a compound called HCA and it has been linked to cancer. Most of us don't know this but if we are consuming a large number of grilled meats and veg at this time of year and it raises our risk of cancer. But there is something we can do to prevent and cut down on our exposure to this harmful compound.
We can start by using marinades and rub's that contain yogurt, beer, wine, honey, herbs, garlic, fruits, and even olive oil. There are studies showing that these foods used in marinades and rub cuts down the exposure of this HCA compound to our bodies... so this is great news we can use marinades and rubs and know we are doing good for our bodies.
Oh yes another combination to help our bodies fight cancer is ..... RED Wine and Garlic... Great paring for the summer grill....
Thought I would share some of my go to marinade and rub for those of you who love to eat on the Barbi.
 I also always recommend eating consciously. Know where your beef comes from, eat organically when possible and if you can't do either please just enjoy your food, nothing is worse for you then eating in distress or not enjoying your food.
Best in Health Brenda Beattie-Gray R.H.N
***Recipes are from Company is Coming- Everyday BBQ (Jean Pare) 
*** the ingredients used in both recipes are organic

Marinade #1 for chicken, lamb or pork 
 (either way it taste great on the BBQ with Nann bread and roasted potatoes packs with curry powder shaken onto potato's..... so good for you and it brings a little east Indian to your grill.)
  1. Greek yogurt- 1 cup
  2. lime juice       - 2 tbsp
  3. paprika          - 2 tbsp
  4. curry powder - 1 tbsp or more if you really like it
  5. salt/pepper      
marinade over night or for at least 2 hours before grilling
OUT of time? No time not to worry- I have thrown this together and put on chicken and left in fridge while I started the grill, prepare the potato and then put chicken on right away and it was great, no need to worry about how long it soaks in marinade)
*2 tbsp: 16 calories; 0.1g total fat (trace mono, trace poly, trace sat.); 1 mg cholesterol; 3 g carbohydrates; trace fibre; 2g protein; 256 mg sodium

Marinade # 2 for Steakhouse spice rub
I don't always rub my steak but if I have a cheaper cut of meat then it adds to the taste. (all organic of coarse.)  the ingredients used in both recipes are organic
  1. Brown sugar     1-  tbsp 
  2. garlic powder    1 - tbsp
  3. lemon pepper    1-  tbsp
  4. onion powder    1 - tbsp
  5.  salt/pepper       1- tsp
  6. ground cumin     1- tsp
  7. cayenne pepper 1 - tsp
combine all ingredients in small bowl. store in airtight container for up to 3 months makes about 1/3 cup
*1 tsp; 8 calories; 0.1g total fat; 0mg cholesterol; 2g carbohydrate; trace fibre; trace protein, 490 mg sodium

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Winter Blues? Try the "Sunshine" Vitamin...

      Well, this is the time of year that we are all feeling a bit tired from the Holidays and having too much of everything including food, alcohol, and Family. Not to mention keeping up on some exercise and getting to the gym. I'm sure you have struggled as I have in finding balance. What ever your faced with the main goal is to get back to feeling our optimal best.
 In these winter months with the lack of sunlight we need to increase the amount of Vitamin D we are getting in our diets. Vitamin D is stored in our livers for the months we lack getting sunlight. SAD or Seasonal affective disorder is common in Canada because of our long winter months, 30 minutes of sun exposure makes Vitamin D on your skin. A lot of people don't go outside at all in daylight hours and working in buildings with artificial lighting, going to and from work in darkness and most don't think to just go outside for 20 minutes per day, is one of many factors we are low in Vitamin D. 
By eating certain foods containing Vitamin D we can stop depleting our stored quantity of Vitamin D and have less "Winter Blues" and more active happy Canadians in the winter months.
Vitamin D has two main Functions; first it will increase the absorption of calcium and phosphorus in your intestinal tract. Second; it helps regulate the calcification and mineralization of the bones.
To keep your vitamin D levels at a healthy range eating foods that contain vitamin D such as ;
   Seeds: They are a great source of Vit D - sunflower seeds, sesame seeds and pumpkin seeds
you can use them on soups and salads for extra crunch. All of these seeds are beneficial for  intestinal health, cleansing digestive system and preventing constipation. Seeds contain an anti-oxidant zinc which has a powerful skin boosting properties.
   Bio-yogurt: This yogurt not only contains vitamin D but the friendly bacteria called Lactobacillus acidohilus that support your intestinal function, also has an excellent source of Vit B and other immune building minerals.
    Proteins that have a source of Vitamin D are; Oysters, shrimp, tuna, sardine, egg yolks, mackerel, Salmon and liver as well as cod liver oil. You should make these proteins part of your shopping lists for at least 2-3 meals per week.
This is the season for more cold and flues and less sunlight and we will feel the difference in another month if we don't take some precautions with our food as part of our balanced lifestyle. A healthy intestinal tract plus proper abortion of vitamin D and Calcium is a great way to build a natural defence against colds and flues this season.
If you want more ways to boost your Vitamin D intake or interested in feeling better and need a support system, give me chance to make a difference in the way you look at Food.
Brenda Beattie-Gray RHN