3 Ways and Reasons To Keep a Routine During Times of Change and Crisis

3 Ways and Reasons To Keep a Routine During Times of Change and Crisis

Us humans are creatures of habit. The structure and discipline of a routine helps to reduce stress, because we know what is coming next, day after day. A routine around bed time, also known as sleep hygiene, is proven to promote better sleep.. Children and pets crave routine, as it creates a safe, comfortable and familiar environment that they can trust.

According to NorthwestMedicine.org, a lack of routine can result in poor sleep, poor diet, increased stress and ineffective use of time. All of these can then accumulate to result in weight gain, nutrient deficiencies, sugar cravings, and lack of motivation.

So, during a crisis, like the world being on isolation during the Covid-19 outbreak, we are forced to be home. We are trying to work from home, care for our kids, pets, and ourselves, while maintaining our normal routine. As a work-at-home mother for many years, I realized the importance of creating a routine around work/life/motherhood, just so I could have some balance and not end up working around the clock. For me, this meant getting dressed for work, even though I was at home, and setting work hours. It was important to I know when my work day began and when it ended.

While we are at home during this social isolation period, which is for an indefinite amount of time at this moment, we must try to create routine so we can ease back into our old routine once we are given the ok, and so we can stay calm, healthy and feel a sense of normalcy while we are in isolation.

  1. Creating a routine might look like you literally writing out a schedule for yourself. What do you want your day to look like? Include wake/sleep times, meals, exercise, socializing (via FaceTime or phone), work time, and self care rituals like meditation, deep breathing and reflection.
  2. Set an alarm to wake up and go to bed at the same time you would normally wake and sleep pre-covid days. Sleeping the day away, or staying up till the wee hours, might result in boredom, ineffective use of time, and maybe even depression. It might feel like you have all the time in the world right now, but think about all the things you could be doing to stay healthy (mentally and physically) if you had more hours in the day to be productive. Think of how many days it takes to shift your sleep cycle in and out of daylight savings twice a year, and that’s just a one hour difference!
  3. Meal plan as usual. We have all run out to stock our shelves and freezers with all the things we think we might need for weeks or months during this isolation period. The problem is that, because we have all these amazing snacks in our house, we eat them. Most of this is related to stress eating and boredom. Write out your plan for your meals and snacks and try to stick just to those each day. I went through my pantry, fridge and freezer and wrote out all the meals and snacks I could possibly make with the groceries I have purchased. As I run out of those items, I cross that meal off my list. It gives a bit of control over eating habits and patterns, plus I see what items I need to replace instead of buying random carts of groceries.

Above all, embrace this time to care for yourself. Use this time to strengthen relationships, have gratitude for what really matters, and focus on keeping yourself, and your loved ones, safe.

Virtual Visits ~ Nutrition Consultations During #socialdistancing

Virtual Visits ~ Nutrition Consultations During #socialdistancing

During this time of social distancing, or physical distancing, all of my appointments have been moved to an online format. Book in for our usual 1 hour consults, and choose how you would like to visit. Options are Skype, Zoom, FaceTime or phone call.

60 mins, $95 / 5 sessions, $450

Meet you there!

or join me every Friday on Zoom for short nutrition conversations and an all-levels workout. Sign up here 

Quick and Easy 5 Ingredient Meals

Quick and Easy 5 Ingredient Meals

When I work with clients who deal with digestive issues, my first recommendation is to simplify. By this, I mean keep the ingredients in your meals to a minimum. This makes a little less work for your enzymes when breaking down food, and it also allows you to pinpoint any trigger ingredients that might be causing your tummy troubles.

Another fabulous reason to simplify is ease of stress! Cooking can be alot, and if your pantry doesn’t look like a grocery store, then you have to get creative. Some of my favourite meals are ones that I happen to have all the ingredients for, on hand. Here are some of my go-to, 5 ingredient recipes. The best part is many of these you can substitute different veggies and protein for, depending on what you have on hand, or simply prefer.

Thai noodle soup with salmon: calls for rice noodles, salmon, coconut milk, curry paste, bok choy

Vegan creamy mushroom pasta: calls for nutritional yeast, pasta, mushrooms, garlic, cashews

Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili: calls for black beans, salsa, veggie stock, sweet potato, onion

Lentil Lasagna: calls for a can of lentils, tomato soup, lasagna noodles, cheese, pesto

Peanut butter and jelly smoothie: calls for peanut butter, almond milk, protein powder, strawberries, raspberries

What Will Your Next Bite Be?

What Will Your Next Bite Be?

I have put all of my favourite gluten-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free snack recipes into one beautiful place: an ebook!

In it, you will find recipes for:

Avocado Brownie Muffins

Chickpea Blondies

Artichoke Hummus

Salted Almond Brownie Bites

No Bake Granola Bars

Homemade Granola

Bliss Balls

Chocolate Avocado Pudding

Toasted Cashew Chocolate Chip Cookies

and more!

Available for instant download here. Enjoy!

Support independent publishing: Buy this e-book on Lulu.

Weekly Meal Plan #5 (plant-based)

Weekly Meal Plan #5 (plant-based)

Meal 1: I like to roast a big tray of veggies once a week and use them in dishes like this easy Curry. Chickpeas, spinach, sweet potato, cauliflower and tomatoes are some of my faves. I added in tofu and served it all in coconut rice with lime and cilantro. Oh my. Leftovers usually end up in a wrap the next day!

Meal 2: I made a triple batch of these Gluten-free Oat Flour Waffles and froze them for the week. When you’re ready for one, just pop it into the toaster, add your berries, shredded coconut, and all the delicious maple syrup.

Meal 3: This decadent vegan lasagna had me at cashew cream sauce.

Snack 1: I made these Feel Good Zucchini Muffins last week and I promised I would post the link. I couldn’t wait to share this recipe with you because you whip up the batter in a blender, the muffins are packed with fibre, and they’re super moist. I absolutely LOVE this recipe.

Snack 2: My favourite Maple Walnut Chickpea Blondies made it on to this week’s meal plan, this time I sprinkled in some dairy-free chocolate chips for good measure.

Weekly Meal Plan #4 {plant-based}

Weekly Meal Plan #4 {plant-based}

I decided to go completely plant-based for the month of February. I don’t usually label my way of eating, other than to call it “intuitive eating”. If I want some lean, organic chicken, fish or sharp cheddar, I will have some…in moderation. If my body cries out after eating certain foods, I listen.

My reasons for going plant-based for month include PH balancing my body, improving my gut flora, supporting my genetic make up, boosting my immunity to better fight off the strange viruses and cancer that seems to being hitting many of my family members. Others might prefer a more plant forward way of eating to save the planet, clear up skin, lower blood cholesterol, and even save a dollar.

These delicious meals and healthy snacks are ones I have personally created or tried. Always refer to the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen list, which helps you decide which fruits and veggies should be purchased organic. When you are incorporating more plants and veggies into your diet, expect to feel more full (yes! plants contain fibre), expect your sugar cravings to dwindle, expect to have more energy and feel lighter.

Meal 1: Thai Rainbow Salad with Sweet Honey Peanut Dressing: I chose a rainbow of veggies (purple cabbage, lettuce, cucumber, cilantro, grape tomatoes, bell peppers), and chopped them all up. In a measuring cup, mix together 2 Tbsp peanut butter, 1 Tbsp tahini, 2 Tbsp honey, 2 Tbsp tamari or soya sauce, a sprinkle of chili flakes, and a splash of hot water. Stir until creamy, adding more hot water, if needed. Toss the chopped veggies with the dressing when ready to eat.

Meal 2: Farmer’s Market Pasta with Walnut Pesto by Pinch of Yum. This dish lets you customize your veggies, and the walnut pesto really couldn’t be easier to make…plus it is some serious brain food with all those walnuts.

Meal 3: One pan Curried Sweet Potato Chickpeas by Minimalist Baker. Who doesn’t appreciate cleaning up only one pan? This dish is hearty and will not leave you feeling hungry. The flavours marry beautifully and the colours!

Snack 1: Banana Zucchini Muffins by Ambitious Kitchen (sub eggs for flax eggs for a vegan option)

Snack 2: The Easiest #dairyfree Oat Milk. This makes a great base and is delicious on it’s own, but feel free to add cacao powder or strawberries for a different flavour. As it’s a month of plant-based eating, it is important to have a good alternative milk for cereals, coffee and cookies 😉

My suggestion: Put these 5 dishes on rotation for the week. Take a day to prep one or more, or as much as you can. Make double, divide it into single serving sizes, and you’ve just mastered meal prep. Have a great week!

Weekly Meal Plan #3

Weekly Meal Plan #3

I tell my clients all the time that they must get in at least 25g fibre each day. Whether they are looking to lower blood sugar, lower cholesterol, lose weight, manage a disease, ease constipation, clear skin, or banish sugar cravings…fibre is your best friend.

We don’t digest fibre and we only get it from plant sources. It acts like a broom through our body, collecting excess cholesterol and other hormones and toxins that we don’t need, sends them to our liver for processing, then elimination.

This week I am dedicating to fibre for personal reasons. After the Holiday season, I was bloated and had chronic abdominal pain. My daughter was complaining of skin issues from all the sugar she ate, and my favourite jeans didn’t fit. I knew our symptoms were directly related to what we had been eating over the last few weeks, so this is where I took a stand. I went plant-based for 3 days. Normally, I eat primarily a plant-based diet, however, I still might have some lean chicken, cheese or eggs here or there. Like most, when I overindulge in these foods, it shows. By simply cutting them out for a few days, I managed to lose a few pounds, my bloating had significantly reduced, my daughter’s skin had improved, and my jeans are out of the closet.

Day 1:

Wake: 1 glass of water and 1 probiotic

1 coffee with coconut cream

Smoothie with 1 C almond milk, 3/4 C blueberries, 2 Tbsp raw cashews, 1/2 tsp maca powder

1 Milk Thistle supplement, 2 bliss balls for a snack

Salad with crispy tofu fried in coconut oil, roasted brussel sprouts and yam

1 Milk Thistle supplement, Coconut cauliflower and garlic soup (Roast 1 head cauliflower, 2 cloves garlic, 3 carrots until tender. Add to a pot with a can of coconut milk, 1-2 C vegetable broth (depending on how thick or thin you like your soup), 1/2 tsp turmeric, 1/4 tsp cumin, sea salt and pepper to taste. Puree it all with a hand blender or in a blender until smooth), served with black bean and guacamole quesadilla on a brown rice tortilla

Day 2:

Wake: 1 glass of water and 1 probiotic

1 coffee with coconut cream

Smoothie with 1 C oat milk, 3 inches of raw zucchini with skin, 1 Tbsp almond butter, 1/2 C blueberries, a splash of water

1 Milk Thistle supplement, 1 C leftover Coconut cauliflower soup

2 bliss balls

1 Milk Thistle supplement, Halibut fish tacos on brown rice tortilla with guacamole and shredded cabbage

Day 3:

Wake: 1 glass of water and 1 probiotic

1 coffee with coconut cream

Smoothie with 1 C oat milk, 1/2 banana, 1/2 C blueberries, 1 handful spinach, 1 Tbsp almond butter, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp raw cacao

1 Milk Thistle supplement, Healing Veggie Buddha Bowl (with roasted acorn squash, asparagus, brussel sprouts, red onion and cauliflower tossed in turmeric, 1/2 C quinoa or brown rice, handful spinach, pumpkin seeds, drizzle with olive oil)

1 C carrot sticks and 2 Tbsp hummus

1 Milk Thistle supplement, baked halibut, asparagus and cauliflower mash

All of these ingredients were chosen to help the liver break down toxins in the body and prepare them for elimination. I also included antioxidants to help boost immunity because, when you are cleansing, your body needs to be able to fight of the conjugated toxins. Probiotics help to populate the gut with good bacteria, and Milk Thistle supports the liver by creating new cells and clearing toxins. These might not be right for you, your digestion or with other medications you might be taking. Always seek professional advice before adding herbs and supplements to your routine.

The most important part of these 3 days was the preparation. Even just a short period calls for meal planning and prep, especially if you have been over-indulging and you are trying to break the sugar habit.

Simply have a look in your pantry and fridge, make a grocery list, prep as much as you can for three days of meals and snacks, and be prepared to feel better each day.