My Passion

This is my favourite time of the year as we start to see all sorts of fresh and local produce at the farmers’ markets.

Wild leeks, asparagus and, soon, fresh berries – to name a few.

 

Buying local has become a religion, I cannot bring myself to buying any of these items,if they come from lands far and beyond, at any other time of year. They just don’t have the same taste, texture or nutritive value.

As a mid-20th century child, born in Baghdad, fresh and local was the only way to eat. For example, I did not taste celery or mushrooms until we moved to Canada.

When we moved to Canada in 1966 most of the fresh food my mother bought, from various markets, was local.

But as farmlands were turned into suburban subdivisions (my parents bought a house in one of those subdivisions), and transportation networks increased, more and more of our foods came from further and further away. 

When I went to live in Paris I was reintroduced to the concept of buying local. There were regular farmers’ markets held in specific locations on any day of the week. I loved the idea of buying vegetables that had just been picked the day before or that morning, directly from the farmer that grew them. Going to the farmer’s markets was also a social outing, as I got several marriage proposals from farmers … but I digress.

Now in 2018 I still strive to buy local produce – as you will see if you take a look at my previous posts. 

We in Southern Ontario are lucky to live near the some of Canada’s best farmlands and many small farms have cropped up (excuse the pun), producing great organic produce. These endeavours, like those located in other provinces and even the territories, are working very hard to produce good quality vegetables, meats and dairy and we need to support them.

How about you?

Are you as passionate as I am about where your food comes from? 

Asparagus is a good source of: 

Beta carotene (pro vitamin. A), Folic acid, Fibre and Potassium and has a low glycemic index.

Wild leeks are a good source of:

Pro- Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Selenium and Chromium

Improve your community and your nutrition with local produce!

 

Physical and Spiritual Renewal through Ayurveda

January is a time for renewal.

After having gone through the hectic year-end period, it is good to take time to reflect on our well-being – be it physical or spiritual.

Waiting for the days to get longer, minute by minute, gives us a great opportunity for self-care and self-reflection.

The best approach for this is, in my opinion, through Ayurveda.

When I first learned about Ayurveda, at the Institute of Holistic Nutrition, it resonated with me immediately because it married beauty and health so seamlessly.

I have since incorporated Ayurvedic concepts into all of the treatments I offer, whether I am choosing types of body work to recommend or the herbs, spices or oils I use in my personalized treatments.

spices

This is Ayurveda in a nutshell:

Ayurveda means “science of life”. It is an ancient healing system, dating back thousands of years, based on the  concept that, to be healthy, one must be in balance physically, mentally and spiritually.

An Ayurvedic practitioner/doctor determines an individual’s “Dosha” constitution and makes appropriate recommendations.

Ayurveda body types 01

The Doshas:

  • Govern physical and mental Function.
  • Effect our personality, temperament and intellectual capacity.
  • Are active in everyone; our Uniqueness lies in the balance of doshas we are born with

The Balance is achieved by:

  • Lowering the intake of what we have in excess.
  • Increasing the intake of what we don’t have.

When the Doshas are balanced we are healthier and happier.

body mind spirit balance

Ayurvedic recommendations encompass:

  • Nutrition – using appropriate herbs and spices and food preparation techniques.
  • Exercise – using those yoga positions which are best for you
  • Body care – having massage and skin treatments that suit you.

So that is where I come in!

I am offering an Ayurvadic Marma Facial for the month of January and to mid-February.

marma-001

Marma points are where the physical and spiritual worlds meet. Massaging them stimulates (even though it is a very gentle manipulation) the organs and body systems that they correspond to.

This treatment is the ultimate in relaxation.

You get the full, customized facial including a hand and foot massage.

With meditative music playing throughout, the treatment starts with a warming foot bath and ends with a mask – rejuvenating your soul as well as your body, by giving you time for meditation and reflection.

Vitamins and Mineral Supplements – Myth Buster No. 4

“We don’t need to take vitamin and mineral supplements.”

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Sheldon Cooper believes taking vitamins simply produces expensive urine. But should we accept the opinion of a young man who eats only take-out unless his cola addicted mother is in town?

 

 

RDA’s ( Recommended Daily Allowances) were established in the 1940s. Now we have the DRI ( Dietary Reference Intake) system which, broadening the existing guidelines, provides daily recommendations for all of the nutrients, such as vitamins and minerals, healthy individuals need.

One key word here is “healthy”.

A few considerations that are neglected by this system are:

  • What is your stress level?
  • How do you handle stress?
  • What is your energy level?Unknown copy
  • How are your skin/hair/nails?
  • Do you have illnesses or conditions now or in the past.
  • Do you exercise?
  • Do you live a hectic lifestyle?
  • What do you put in your body?
  • What are your eating habits – what kinds of food do you eat?
  • How was your food grown: Organically/GMO/Pesticide laden?
  • How far has it traveled – was it picked ripe?
  • How long has it been sitting in the grocery store?
  • How long has it been sitting in your fridge?
  • Do you smoke and/or drink alcohol?

To only name a few.

So let’s say, based on your lifestyle and health situation, you decide you need to take supplements.

What should you take?

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  • I would suggest you not only look at the levels of nutrients in the supplement but also the list of ingredients.
  • Avoid supplements that contain sweeteners and colouring.
  • I prefer capsules to caplets because caplets often contain unnecessary binders and capsules are easier to digest so their contents are more readily absorbed.

How much?

Only a natural health practitioner such as a naturopath or a holistic nutritionist, can really help you determine how much supplementation you need.

A holistic nutritionist will provide an individualized assessment to determine your deficiencies and not only recommend supplements if they are necessary but also help you make better food choices.

I would also recommend buying supplements from a health food store. Most (but not all) attendants will have graduated from either a naturopathic college or a holistic nutrition school. Although they cannot take the time to do as thorough an individualized assessment as one can do in a clinic, these attendants are very knowledgeable.

So! Do you want a professional nutritional assessment? I am a phone call or an email away.