A nice tall glass of cucumber water, garnished with a cucumber slice, featuring my glass straw

My Favourite Summer Health Products

Monthly Favourites, Product Review

Bonjour, lovely people! If, like me, you live in the GTA, you may have been subject to some wet and chilly weather over the past weekend. Oddly, I quite enjoy a nice rainy weekend, during which I enjoy putting my feet up, drinking a butt ton of tea, and binge reading. Here’s to hoping you all spent your weekend enjoying similar comfort! I’m off to work for the rest of the afternoon and before I depart, I want to leave you with my Summer Favourites, a list of the health related tidbits that I’ve been enjoying over the past couple months. I haven’t done one since last November! You may notice that all of my favourite things are food related. I guess it’s pretty clear where my priorities lie.

1) Joyous Health: Eat and Live Well Without Dieting

I am in love with this book. About the first two-thirds of the book is dedicated to advice for improving your digestion and lifestyle over the course of several weeks. The final third is full of amazing recipes complete with a 10-day meal plan to help get you started on your wellness journey. I’m planning on posting a full review within the next week or two, so stay tuned for that!

Cover shot of the "Joyous Health" cookbook by Joy McCarthy

2) Chai Rooibos Organic Tea by Yogi

I can never stay faithful to any one kind of tea for very long, but this tea is the one I am loving right now. It is spicy, sweet, and feels a bit like dessert when you get smacked with late night cravings. I enjoy mine with a splash of almond milk. My kitty, Sonny Wa, was desperate to be in every shot I took of this tea, so I decided to just leave him to it.

Chai Rooibos tea by Yogi (my tabby cat is lounging in the background)

3) Genuine Health Proteins+ vanilla whey protein powder

So, this is my favourite protein powder ever. It makes EVERYTHING I put it in taste like a vanilla milkshake! My dear friend Saar hooked me up with a container for my birthday at the end of June, and I probably only have half a serving left, if I’m lucky. My only advice would be, if you add this protein powder to your smoothies, to drink it right away (which you should do anyway for maximum nutrient density) as I find it becomes weirdly sweet if left for too long.

Genuine Health Proteins+ Vanilla Whey Protein Powder

4) My glass straw

Every morning, I have a cup of warm water with half a lemon squeezed into it. This amazing practice aids in detoxifying the liver, and cleansing the digestive tract. All that acid, however, can be quite harsh on the teeth, so I picked up a glass straw to help out with that. I wouldn’t advise using a glass straw for a smoothie unless you have a straw cleaning brush (which I don’t) because I imagine all those little berry seeds and fibres can get stuck to the inside of the straw. But it is super fun for drinking everything else!

A nice tall glass of cucumber water, garnished with a cucumber slice, featuring my glass straw

5) Styrian Gold Austrian pumpkin seed oil

I first discovered this oil at the Raw Vegan Festival last summer. I tried it at their stall and right away, I knew I had to take home a bottle. It was gone SO fast. It has such a lovely nutty flavour and tastes good drizzled on all things savoury (I have yet to try it on sweet things, so I’ll have to give that a shot soon). I don’t know where you can find it in stores, but if you come across it in your travels, be sure to sample!

Beautiful dark green glass bottle of Styrian Gold Austrian pumpkin seed oil

November 2013: A Few of My Favourite Things

Monthly Favourites

Hi everyone! I’m hoping to start putting together a monthly list of my favourite products, books, documentaries, foods, and anything else that catches my fancy. I know, its practically halfway through December, but here are some things that I really enjoyed over the last month!

1) Dr. Bronner’s Lavender Liquid Soap: Dr. Bronner’s has been my go to body wash for a while now, because it has so many awesome qualities. Not only is it fair trade and against animal testing, its got a pretty stellar ingredient list (Water, Organic Coconut Oil, Potassium Hydroxide, Lavandin Extract, Organic Olive Oil, Organic Hemp Oil, Organic Jojoba Oil, Lavender Extract, Citric Acid, Tocopherol). It can also be used for just about any cleaning job you can think of including shampooing your hair, as a laundry detergent, or for scrubbing all that porcelain in you bathroom. I even used the almond scented kind to brush my teeth with once, in a desperate situation, though I recommend not doing this because, as amazing as its ingredients are, it still tasted like licking a bar of soap.

I’ve been loving my before-bedtime showers lately, because the lavender scent is so soothing. Lavender is known for its calming, sedative effect which may be beneficial for anxiety and depression, headaches, and insomnia. When applied topically, it is also antiseptic which makes it great for speeding up the healing time of scrapes and cuts, in decreasing the appearance of scars, and helping to treat skin problems (eg. dry and itchy skin, eczema, acne, burns, etc).

bottle of Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap in lavender scent

2) Blackfish: My boyfriend and I sat down to watch this documentary sometime last week, and loved it. Its about the psychological damage done to whales held in captivity, the effects of that damage, and how frustrating, cruel, and horrifying their lives are. It was heartbreaking, but definitely a must-watch. You can find the trailer HERE

3) Algonquin Tea Company – Sacred Blend (Vision Community Clarity): The list of ingredients in this tea is short and sweet – white pine, sweet grass, and sage. In a world where most tea blends contain fillers, GMOs, pesticides, and other nasty ingredients, Algonquin Tea Company is an amazing find. All of their ingredients are “handpicked, organic, and ethically wildcrafted in the Canadian wilderness”. How flipping cool is that? This specific blend is meant to be used for meditation, but I’ve mostly been enjoying it before bedtime since its naturally caffeine-free and promotes nice, tranquil feelings.

box of Sacred Blend tea for vision, community, and clarity from The Algonquin Tea Company

4) Giddy Yoyo Raw Chocolate: Good quality cacao is a serious superfood, my friends. Some of its super powers include:

  • improving cardiovascular and digestive health
  • lowering blood pressure
  • protecting the body from free radical damage
  • improving mental and physical well-being

Giddy Yoyo cacao is impeccably sourced, and their chocolate is a heavenly thing to behold. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting the creators of Giddy Yoyo on a couple of different occasions, and the love and care that goes into creating their product is pretty darn inspiring. If you ever have the chance to hear them speak, you should go for it. They always seem to have tons of free chocolate for their audience to sample. I managed to score one of their chocolate bars in orange flavour (though I think I’ve tried all of them by now) at one of their recent talks and it was SO good, I forgot to take a picture for you. But here is the link to their website in case you wanted to track down a local distributor. 

5) Green Eggs and Yams: Including a good quality source of protein in your breakfast is essential for balancing blood sugar, curbing those cravings that tend to come up later in the day, and keeping you full and energized until lunch time. This recipe also makes a great winter breakfast because it helps you get your veggies in early in the day without having to resort to chillier options (Ahem, green smoothie, I am looking at you. Not to say that I don’t love a green smoothie, of course). You’ll find the recipe down below. 

green scrambled eggs on a plate with discs of roasted sweet potato

Green Eggs and Yams
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Ingredients
  1. 4 organic, free-run eggs
  2. 1 cup of your favourite greens (eg. spinach, kale, swiss chard)
  3. 1/2 an onion, roughly chopped
  4. 1/4 cup of organic goat cheese
  5. sea salt and pepper to taste
  6. 1 tbsp of coconut oil
Instructions
  1. Throw the first 5 ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Preheat a pan over medium-low heat. Add coconut oil.
  3. Once coconut oil is melted, pour in the egg and vegetable mixture.
  4. As the eggs begin to solidify in the pan, stir until they've reached your favourite scrambled egg consistency.
  5. Serve with a side of roasted sweet potato, or any other favourite veggie!
Annemarie Dixon http://annemariedixon.com/