Holistic Nutritionist sharing women's health tips, vegan recipes, and online nutrition services.

Tag: healthy

Sesame Baked Maple Miso Tofu

Sesame Baked Maple Miso Tofu

Asian cuisine is my absolute favourite international food, and this Sesame Baked Maple Miso tofu embodies delicious Asian flavours. This is the perfect accompaniment to any stir fry or grain bowl, and it’s also great as a side. The sweetness from the maple, tang from […]

Advertisements
My Best Tips For An Easy Period

My Best Tips For An Easy Period

Let’s face it, your period might not ever be effortless, but it can certainly be much easier than you think! Why suffer from painful, debilitating periods when you can take matters into your own hands to improve your experience? I personally enjoy knowing my cycle […]

Chickpea Salad Sandwiches 2 Ways

Chickpea Salad Sandwiches 2 Ways

This recipe will make you want to pack a basket with your favourite snacks and head out to the park for a picnic. Chickpea Salad Sandwiches are so hearty and flavourful. They’re like a vegan version of a chicken or a tuna salad sandwich. I’ve taken my classic recipe with avocado dressing and added a cashew dressing option as well, so there is 1 nut free option, and both options are oil free and made of whole foods! This is an excellent alternative to recipes that contain mayonnaise and refined oils. The proportions for each one are slightly different, but the taste for both are quite similar.  Enjoy!

 

IMG_7848

 

Cashew Dressing Option

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups + 1/4 cup cooked chickpeas
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1⁄3 cup dill pickle, finely chopped
  • 1⁄2 cup red, yellow, or orange bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup packed fresh dill, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp mustard
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

 

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, mash chickpeas with a potato masher. Mash until you have a mixture of creamy chickpeas with some larger pieces.
  2. Add the celery, green onion, pickle, red pepper, garlic, and dill, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine.
  3. Using a high powered blender, blend the cashews, water, lemon juice, mustard, salt, and pepper until completely smooth.
  4. Pour the dressing over the chickpea mixture and stir to combine.
  5. Serve on bread, on a wrap, lettuce wrap, etc. Enjoy!

 

Avocado Dressing Option

Serves: 3

Ingredients:

  • 1 15oz can cooked chickpeas, or 1.5 cups
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1⁄3 cup dill pickle, finely chopped
  • 1⁄2 cup red, yellow, or orange bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup packed fresh dill, chopped
  • 1 1/2 large ripe avocados
  • 2 teaspoons yellow mustard
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice, or to taste
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • pinch of pepper

 

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, mash chickpeas with a potato masher. Mash until you have a mixture of creamy chickpeas with some larger pieces.
  2. Add the celery, green onion, pickle, red pepper, garlic, and dill, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine.
  3. In a small bowl, mash the avocado with the mustard and lemon juice.
  4. Pour the dressing over the chickpea mixture and stir to combine.
  5. Serve on bread, on a wrap, lettuce wrap, etc. Enjoy!

 

IMG_7870

 

For personal meal plans or nutrition advice from a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, you can contact me at kathyrhn@gmail.com

Coconut Pancakes

Coconut Pancakes

Pancakes are one of my favourite foods because I’m obsessed with maple syrup. These pancakes are crispy, fluffy, and coconuty! They’re super easy to make and you can use a variety of flours. Serves: 2 Ingredients: 1 cup light spelt flour (or all-purpose flour) 3/4 […]

Cheesy Black Bean Taquitos

Cheesy Black Bean Taquitos

These vegan Cheesy Black Bean Taquitos are made of whole food, plant-based ingredients. It’s a super simple and quick recipe that is perfect as an appetizer for sharing, or as a main! Serves: 2 Ingredients: Cheese Sauce 3/4 cups yellow potato, diced into small chunks […]

Natural Beauty And Body Care Products

Natural Beauty And Body Care Products

A personal care product survey conducted by the Environmental Working Group on 2300 people revealed that the average adult uses 9 personal care products exposing themselves to 126 chemical ingredients daily. More than a quarter of the women surveyed reported that they used at least 15 products daily, so chemical exposure is much higher for some. Numbers like this often come as a shock to most. Most of us don’t intentionally expose ourselves to these chemicals. In a perfect world we could walk the aisles of the local grocery store or drug store and be confident that the products on the shelf are safe. Each year our government phases out more and more ingredients for use in personal care products, but unfortunately there is still an enormous list of chemicals that are allowed in our products. Unless you put the effort into reading labels on personal care products, the chemicals add up. Europe is more proactive and has banned far more ingredients than North America, which indicates that there is a lot more work to be done and we still need to be cautious.

 

Why Should We Worry?

The skin is the body’s largest and thinnest organ, being less than one-tenth of an inch thick. Skin is highly permeable, and anything that our skin comes into contact with is absorbed into the blood stream. If you put 1 drop of peppermint essential oil on the bottom of your foot, you can actually taste it in your mouth in about a minute! Years of exposure to chemical-laden products creates a toxic buildup in the body. These chemicals interfere with our hormones, fill the liver with toxins, and even negatively affect gut microbiota. Many ingredients can be classified as xenoestrogens which increase the estrogen levels in the body, affecting both men and women negatively.

Even baby products have chemical ingredients in them! For example, talcum used in conventional baby powder has been linked to cancer. Consider how we use baby powder on our precious little ones in such sensitive areas of the body. In 2017, Johnson and Johnson was ordered to pay $417 million dollars to a women who’s ovarian cancer was linked to baby powder use. We simply must take matters into our own hands to protect ourselves and the one’s we love.

And it doesn’t just stop at personal care. Items like laundry detergent, fabric softeners, bleaching products, dryer sheets, dish detergents, and more are also filled with these chemicals. These ingredients still absorb into the body since they get on our clothes.

 

Ingredients To Avoid

There are several ingredients that are unsafe and chemically derived in personal care products, and it can be overwhelming knowing which ones are good and bad. Here are the top offenders when it comes to chemical ingredients to avoid.

Parabens

Parabens are very common in conventional personal care products. Parabens are estrogen mimicking, and have been found in breast cancer tissue. Studies show it may interfere with male reproductive functions.

Fragrances

Synthetic fragrances contain several unwanted chemicals that are often hormone disrupters, carcinogens, and asthma/allergy triggering. They often irritate the skin causing rashes and redness, and can also cause headaches. Look for the words fragrance, perfume, or parfum on labels, as this is what you should avoid. Natural beauty care products almost always use pure essential oil as a fragrance. Pure essential oils are completely natural and safe for the body. They smell so pure and delicious, and far better than chemical fragrance. You will absolutely notice how much better essential oils smell than artificial perfumes!

Formaldehyde and Formaldehyde Releasing Preservatives

Formaldehyde is a strong preservative that is carcinogenic and allergy causing. It is restricted in Europe but not in North America and it is a very common ingredient, especially in nail polish.

Phthalates

You usually won’t find this ingredient listed as “phthalate” on a label, but you will find “phthalate free” on many products. They used to be a common ingredient in kids toys and are now banned, but they are not yet restricted in personal care products, except for in Europe.

Sodium Laureth Sulphate

This common foaming agent in shampoos and body washes is often contaminated with a carcinogenic ingredient. It is also known to irritate the skin and eyes.

Here is a complete list of Adria Vasil’s “Mean 15” chemicals to avoid, from her book Ecoholic Body.

I recommend bookmarking this link or taking a screenshot on your phone for easy access to this list.

 

Organic, Natural, and “Natural”

“Organic”, “Natural”, and “Plant Derived Ingredients” are all words you can find on various body care products. Even when a product has the world “natural” on it, you should still be suspicious and investigate. The word “natural” is not a regulated term and can really be used on any product if it contains some sort of plant ingredient. I still encourage you to read the ingredients on labels even if a product is deemed as natural. There is a lot of “greenwashing” out there and big corporations recognize the public’s new demand for healthy products. They aren’t afraid to use word-play to sell their products, even if they aren’t truly clean.

Purchasing products that are Certified Organic is a great way to ensure that what you are buying is clean. The organic certification means that a high percentage of the ingredients are grown without pesticides and that the products don’t use chemicals. It can be difficult and expensive to purchase every single product organic. Reading labels to ensure you the ingredients are clean and derived from mother nature is great too.

james-cousins-385610-unsplash

 

Minimize Your Exposure

It may seem like it can be overwhelming to constantly read labels and watch ingredients, but it really isn’t that hard. It becomes a habit once you do it regularly. Here are my best tips for minimizing your exposure to chemicals.

Phase Out Products One By One

Telling somebody to go pitch all of their personal care items is definitely impractical. We’re all on some kind of budget and you shouldn’t have to drop a few hundred dollars right now to live clean. My best advice is to phase out products one by one. When you finish that bottle of shampoo, replace it with a new natural shampoo. Then do the same as you finish all of your other products. Before you know it you’ll be well-stocked on healthy personal care items.

Shop At Your Local Health Food Store

Conventional grocery stores and drug stores are carrying more and more natural items, but it can take a lot longer to filter through these items and find what is really clean. Not to mention the fact that a lot of the big box stores will carry many of the “greenwashing” items. It is definitely helpful to shop at your local health food or vitamin store. You can ensure that these stores will carry items with clean ingredients, and reading labels will be much quicker.

I also suggest supporting small, local companies when possible. If you find a small company that handcrafts natural body care items, you can be confident knowing that the items were made with true intentions and they are usually the cleanest. You can also feel good about supporting local/small businesses.

Use The Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Website

The EWG has a fantastic resource called Skin Deep, where you can find thousands of beauty products and see if they are clean. They use a rating system to make it very easy to determine if a product is really natural or just greenwashing. You can find that resource here!

Always Read Labels

It is hard to memorize which ingredients are bad. Not every ingredient that you can’t pronounce is a bad one, but use common sense to know that when an ingredient sounds like a chemical, it most likely is one. Instead, look for items that have ingredients you can recognize such as oils, herbs, plant extracts, etc… If the majority of the ingredients list are recognizable items, then the product is likely a great one!

Make Your Own Products!

This option isn’t feasible for everyone, but for the people who love to DIY, it can be super easy to make your own personal care items. From lip balms, to deodorants, to body butters, and more. Pinterest is filled with recipes and DIYs for making your own products out of natural ingredients, and you’ll save money too!

katherine-hanlon-242211-unsplash (1)

 

Natural Is Beautiful

For Your Body

Remember that natural skin care and hair care is beautiful! Not only are the ingredients more pure, but they will actually make your skin, hair, nails, etc… more beautiful. First because they don’t contain harsh irritants, but second because pure botanical ingredients like plant extracts, essential oils, etc… contain tons of nutrients that feed your skin and make it look radiant!

For The Earth

Conventional body care items are not good for the planet. The chemicals are not only bad for our skin and bodies, but of course they are also bad for the environment. Harsh chemical use is never good for the earth or our waterways. Using natural and clean ingredients keep our planet beautiful too.

For The Animals

Last but definitely not least, most conventional body products usually test on animals, which nobody loves. From makeup to shampoos, and even to tampons! Thousands of brands test on animals which is completely unnecessary. Look for products that say “Cruelty Free”, “Not Tested On Animals”, and even better, look for items that are Leaping Bunny Certified.

Image result for leaping bunny

My Favourite Products

I don’t want to spend too long dedicating a portion of this blog to the products I use because I don’t actually use that many items. But I do use a few brands that I consistently buy and love and thought I’d mention.

Makeup

I fell in love with Jane Iredale makeup a few years ago and I honestly don’t think I’ll ever switch back to anything else. I never really wore a lot of makeup before discovering Jane, but I wear a full face almost every day because it is so clean and looks so natural. It enhances your natural beauty rather than covers up your face. It is on the pricier side, and there are so many more natural brands that are also affordable too. I just don’t have any experience with using them. But if you are looking for a professional line with serious wear and incredible ingredients, this is the one I couldn’t recommend enough.

Vegans, please keep in mind this line is not 100% vegan, however they are still Leaping Bunny Certified and PETA approved. A few of their products contain beeswax and carmine. The Jane website is fantastic though because there is a page that lists all of the non-vegan items, which is only a few from their extensive line.

Deodorant

Hola deodorant is THE BEST DEODORANT! It seriously WORKS. It still allows you to sweat as it isn’t an antiperspirant (your body is supposed to sweat and it is a very natural process), but it eliminates all smell. I have tested this against many other brands and this one has even beaten the previous deodorant I wore for 4 years. It is a Canadian brand and it is fairly new, so I don’t believe it is available in many stores, but you can purchase it online here.

That’s pretty much it. I don’t use a whole lot of products or other lines that I rave about. I hope this blog has encouraged you to take a look at your beauty care routine and make positive changes!

photo-1503236823255-94609f598e71

 

References:

https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-causes/talcum-powder-and-cancer.html

https://www.thestar.com/business/2017/08/21/johnson-johnson-ordered-to-pay-417-million-in-lawsuit-linking-baby-powder-to-cancer.html

https://davidsuzuki.org/queen-of-green/dirty-dozen-sodium-laureth-sulfate/

Ecoholic Body, Adria Vasil

 

For personal nutrition advice or any questions on this article, you can contact me at kathyrhn@gmail.com

Carrot Cake Bites

Carrot Cake Bites

These Carrot Cake Bites are great for dessert, but healthy enough to be a snack too. They’re a great make-ahead recipe and they store well in the fridge. Simple whole food ingredients and the perfect balance of spices will have you enjoying the flavours of […]

Coconut Rawnola

Coconut Rawnola

Rawnola is a raw version of granola that has very simple ingredients and can me made in a food processor in under 5 minutes. It is very versatile and can be added to smoothie bowls, eaten with milk and fruit, topped onto desserts, and more! […]

Smoky Tofu Curry Sandwiches

Smoky Tofu Curry Sandwiches

To me this sandwich is like an Indian take on a classic Banh Mi. It uses my Creamy Curry Sauce and it’s ready in less than 20 minutes!

IMG_6404

IMG_6402

Makes: 2 Sandwiches

Ingredients:

  • 2 of your favourite sandwich buns or bread
  • 4 slices of extra firm tofu (about a 1/2 inch thick)
  • 2 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 small tomato, sliced into thin pieces
  • 8 thin slices of cucumber
  • A small handful of cilantro
  • Creamy Curry Sauce
  • Pinch of pepper

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Cut the tofu width-wise into 4 slices that are about a 1/2 inch thick.
  3. Pour the liquid smoke and paprika into a shallow dish and mix to combine.
  4. Dredge each piece of tofu into the liquid and coat completely. If there is any remaining liquid you can pour it on the tofu.
  5. Place the tofu on a small baking pan lined with parchment. Bake for 15 minutes and flip halfway through the baking time.
  6. While the tofu is baking, prepare your ingredients. Make the Creamy Curry Sauce. Slice the tomato and cucumber thinly. Cut up some cilantro. You can toast the bread in the oven if you desire.
  7. When the tofu is finished, remove it from the oven.
  8. Spread the curry sauce onto each side of the bun. Place 2 slices of tofu on the bottom of each sandwich. Top the tofu with the tomato cucumber slices and cilantro. Add a crack of pepper and put on the top bun. Serve and enjoy!

 

For personal meal plans or nutrition advice from a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, you can contact me at kathyrhn@gmail.com

 

 

Chocolate Mousse (Vegan + Gluten Free)

Chocolate Mousse (Vegan + Gluten Free)

This Chocolate Mousse is the REAL DEAL. Once again aquafaba works it’s magic and creates a chocolate mousse with real bubbles! Enjoy this easy to make recipe! Makes 2 large or 4 small servings Ingredients: 1 cup dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa) 3/4 cup aquafaba […]

Roasted Red Pepper Pasta (Vegan + Oil Free + Gluten Free)

Roasted Red Pepper Pasta (Vegan + Oil Free + Gluten Free)

This Roasted Red Pepper Pasta is the perfect dish to whip up for your valentine. Or make it on your average Tuesday night, it’s simple and quick, and easy! Makes: 4 Servings Ready In 35 Minutes Ingredients: 5 red bell peppers, cut in half, cored, […]

Hearty Kale Salad With Sweet Potatoes & Chickpeas

Hearty Kale Salad With Sweet Potatoes & Chickpeas

Ingredients:

Salad

  • 2 cups sweet potato, diced into small chunks
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 large head of black kale (or other type of kale)
  • 1 15oz can chickpeas
  • 1 cup cucumber, sliced into small pieces
  • 1 large avocado, diced into small chunks
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds

Dressing

  • 1 cup cashews
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 3″ piece of ginger (or to taste)
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • pinch of salt

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and line a small tray with parchment paper. Dice the sweet potatoes into small chunks and add the salt and pepper on top. Toss to coat and bake the sweet potato chunks for about 30 minutes, or until fully cooked.
  2. While the sweet potato is baking, combine the rest of the salad ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. In a blender, blend all of the dressing ingredients until smooth. If you like more ginger flavour, you can add more ginger until it suits your taste.
  4. When the sweet potato is done cooking, add it to the salad. Add about half of the dressing or more and toss to combine. Serve immediately or refrigerate for later.

 

For personal meal plans or nutrition advice from a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, you can contact me at kathyrhn@gmail.com

 

Green Detox Juice

Green Detox Juice

Makes approximately 1 16oz Juice Ingredients: 2 apples 4 stalks of kale 2 stalks of celery 1/4 cup parsley   Directions: First prep your produce. Cut up all of the items so they are small enough to fit in your juicer. De-seed the apples. Process […]

Beet Lemon Ginger Juice

Beet Lemon Ginger Juice

Makes approximately 1 16oz Juice Ingredients: 2 apples 2 medium beets 1 lemon 2 inch chunk of ginger   Directions: First prep your produce. Cut up all of the items so they are small enough to fit in your juicer. De-seed the apples. Process all […]

Pineapple Mint Juice

Pineapple Mint Juice

Makes approximately 1 16oz Juice

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups pineapple
  • 1 1/2 apples
  • 1 cup cucumber
  • 1/4 cup mint

 

Directions:

  1. First prep your produce. Cut up all of the items so they are small enough to fit in your juicer. De-seed the apples and de-stem the mint.
  2. Process all of the ingredients in your juicer. Consume right away or store in the fridge.

 

For personal meal plans or nutrition advice from a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, you can contact me at kathyrhn@gmail.com

 

Chia Pudding Parfait

Chia Pudding Parfait

This Chia Parfait is a healthy alternative to traditional parfaits filled with dairy, sugar, and gluten! Ingredients: 1 14oz can full fat coconut milk 1 tbsp maple syrup 1/2 tsp vanilla extract 1/3 cup chia seeds Serve with granola, fresh berries, etc…   Directions: In […]

Easy Granola (Gluten Free + Vegan)

Easy Granola (Gluten Free + Vegan)

This is a basic, super quick granola recipe. You can add any flavours you like to make it your own! Ingredients: 2 cups rolled oats (certified gluten free if needed) 1 1/2 cups mixed nuts/seeds, roughly chopped into small pieces (I used hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds, […]

Ginger Green Detox Smoothie

Ginger Green Detox Smoothie

Makes: 1 Serving

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup frozen mango
  • 1 medium banana
  • 1/2 cup packed spinach
  • 2 medjool dates
  • 1 tsp fresh grated ginger
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • 3/4 cup water

 

Directions:

  1. Blend all of the ingredients in a blender until smooth. If you use frozen banana, you may need to add a little bit more water to get the blender going.
  2. Serve and enjoy!

 

For personal meal plans or nutrition advice from a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, you can contact me at kathyrhn@gmail.com

DIY Vegan Cheese Board

DIY Vegan Cheese Board

A Charcuterie board is sure to impress your guests this holiday season. There are so many incredible vegan cheeses that your family and friends will absoloutely adore and not even know that they’re vegan. Here are the basic components of a cheese board and how you […]

Holiday Cranberry Kale Salad

Holiday Cranberry Kale Salad

A festive salad perfect for the holidays! The star ingredient in this salad is vegan feta cheese. It pairs perfectly with the cranberries and toasted walnuts. You can make this recipe 2 ways. You can make everything fresh and toss it all together and eat […]