During the cold winter months, dry skin becomes a lot more common. If you have trouble fighting this issue during the winter season, check out these tips below to see how you can protect your skin from losing its moisture during the winter months.
Health Tips for Dry Winter Skin
Drink Water (and limit caffeine)!
Always stay hydrated. By drinking enough water each day, you can see a great benefit to fighting dry skin. Water helps to hydrate each cell and organ in the body, including the biggest organ in our system: our skin. Aim to drink about two litres of water each day, including herbal teas. Add freshly squeezed lemon for some extra vitamin C. Fresh fruits and vegetables also contain water, and can contribute to your total water intake.
Alternatively, caffeine is a diuretic, which will pull water and the nutrients from the body and contribute to dehydration. As a general rule, drink 1 glass of water for every cup of coffee.
Take Colder Showers
It might seem impossible to do during the winter, but by reducing the amount of heat in the shower, you can protect your skin from losing its moisture. With super high heat, the lipid barriers on your skin can actually begin to break, causing flakiness and dry spots.
Limit Conventional Products + Opt for Natural Beauty Products
Many products on the store shelves today have ingredients that can dry out the skin. To minimize the effect of this, you can try minimal, natural oils and butters like shea butter, cacao butter, argon oil, or jojoba oil. You can apply these natural oils to your face, lips, body and hair. We suggest trying these at night, before bed, to allow the oils to really sink into the skin. We also know that skincare is individualized, and not everyone benefits from the same product.
If you are looking for natural skincare, some brands that we love are: Dr. Bronners, Green Beaver, Carina Organics, Wild Craft Care and Province Apothecary.
Moisturize + Face Masks
Treat your skin to a nourishing facemask at least once a week. My favourite facemask includes one teaspoon of raw honey and one tablespoon of coconut oil. When you mix these two together and apply them on your face, leave it there for a few minutes, and then rinse it off with a lukewarm cloth. You can also add some other nutrient dense ingredients like aloe, spirulina or cacao.
Of course, skin health starts from within. So make sure that you are eating a well-balanced diet with enough healthy fats and colourful vegetables to support skin health. Include healthy fats like avocados, nuts, seeds and oils, as well as vitamin C-rich foods like berries, citrus and green vegetables is a great way to nourish from within!
I hope you can find these tips helpful this winter, and that you skin stays a bit more hydrated!
Comment below and let us know some of your healthy skin tips. Stay warm!
Happy New Year!
I hope everyone has been having a great start to 2018! It is time for January Monthly Nourish, and this month we have highlighted almonds, apple cider vinegar and cauliflower. Read below to learn about the health benefits of these three foods, with ways to enjoy them. Don’t forget to check out our Monthly Nourish board on Pinterest for recipe inspiration.
Almonds provide fibre, healthy fat, protein and notably high in vitamin E, B2, magnesium, biotin and manganese. They are a great snack, to help balance blood sugar and promote sustained energy throughout the day.
Almonds are great to eat all year round, and they are best had in their natural raw form. Look for raw almonds, as they can often be roasted in unhealthy oils and loaded with salt. You can enjoy these in a trail mix, on their own, in baked goods, in a smoothie, or even as a spread!
APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
Apple cider vinegar may seem like a strange food to feature, but it is a great one to include and enjoy. Apple cider vinegar (ACV) has been known as a bit of a cure-all in the natural health world, however it does have real benefits for the digestive system. Apple cider vinegar can aid in better digestion as it can stimulate digestive enzymes, while also contains live beneficial bacteria culture for that probiotic boost. Apple cider vinegar may also have immune boosting properties, which makes it extra great to include during cold and flu season.
Apple cider vinegar can be enjoyed in salad dressings. You can also include apple cider vinegar in water, which can be used to stimulate digestion, or even as a remedy if you are are feeling bloated.
Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable and an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, pantothenic acid, and vitamin B6. Cauliflower also contains DIM (diindoleylmehtane), which is a phytonutrient studied for cancer prevention and for it’s anti-estrogenic properties for ovarian, cervical and breast cancers. Cauliflower has not been studied on it’s own, but cauliflower containing diets have been studied for cancer prevention, cholesterol management and for it’s potential cardio-protective properties.
Cauliflowers quite versatile and can be added as a side to your dish enjoyed roasted, or mashed (instead of potato). Cauliflower rice and adding cauliflower to smoothies is another trendy new way to include this awesome vegetable.
I hope you enjoyed learning about these three ingredients, and that you try a few new recipes! Tag us on Instagram and use the hashtag #monthlynourish with your monthly experiments!
Today I am sharing a recipe for a split pea soup, a perfect option for this COLD winter we are having in Toronto!
Soup is a great, easy and affordable way to get a lot of nutrition in one meal. This soup recipe is simple, tasty, cost-effective and adaptable. It takes under 30 minutes to make, costs under $10 total and you can use any type of split pea, cooked beans or lentils- whatever you have on hand!
Nutritionally, peas are a great source of vegetarian protein and fibre. They are great to add to your diet for a variety of protein, and the fibre content helps to stabilize blood sugar and keep you full! Peas are also a good source of minerals manganese, potassium and copper, and B vitamins (B1, B5 and folate).
SPLIT PEA SOUP
1 cup split peas
3 cups water, or broth
1 soup cube ( if you do not use broth)
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 small onion, chopped finely
3 carrots, chopped finely
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 can coconut milk
Optional: add spinach or chopped kale
1. Finely chop onions. Add to soup pot with coconut oil. Sauté for a few minutes.
2. Add chopped carrots and sauté for a few more minutes. Add turmeric.
3. Add peas with water/broth or cube. Bring to boil and simmer until cooked.
4. When cooked, add coconut milk and handful of greens.
5. Serve warm with cilantro.
I hope you enjoy this recipe and that you stay warm out there!
On those cold, winter days, our favourite way to warm up is by grabbing a hot drink from one of our go-to cafes. There’s a café on every corner in Toronto, so grabbing a drink isn’t hard, but finding a favourite might take a few stops.
Here are some of my favourite warm drinks to grab in Toronto!
Think real, rich, ceremonial grade matcha tea- that’s exactly what you’ll taste while you sip on Light Café’s matcha lattes. It’s made with traditional Uji matcha powder, almond milk and sweetener of your choice, you can choose whether you prefer yours iced or hot. Not to mention, the atmosphere in this café is stunning and it’s plant filled wall definitely had be intrigued. If you are in the Baldwin area, I highly recommend checking out their latte and lunch menu!
Then there’s Jimmy’s Coffee. This cozy café all throughout Toronto is beloved for its blissful java and welcoming staff. Although, I tend to go for a warm cup of their coffee each time I enter, I have instantly fallen in love with their chili hot chocolate! It is an absolutely must. It’s prepared with 70% Dominican dark chocolate from Soul (no added sugar) and water mixed together until a syrupy consistency forms, then they mix in whatever milk you wish, and fresh chili syrup. The house made syrup contains hot red chilies, dried ancho chilies and cinnamon. It’s not too sweet, and not to spicy- the perfect balance.
Pilot Coffee Roasters
Sugar, chai spice and everything nice! I was never a chai tea fan, until I started sipping on Pilot Coffee Roasters’ chai latte. It’s made from real spices, milk and sweetener of choice. Since they use the actual loose spices instead of a tea bag or natural flavouring, you really get a taste of each spice coming together. It’s definitely a go-to drink on a cold, winter day.
Kupfert & Kim
I’m sure by now, many of us have tried a turmeric latte, but Kupfert & Kim’s turmeric latte is a serious must. It’s created with just turmeric, nut milk, a little bit of pepper and a lot of froth. I will occasionally ask for some ginger in mine, to make it a little spicy. Sometimes I make my way to Kupfert & Kim just for the turmeric latte because of its authentic flavour. To me, this is exactly what a turmeric latte should taste like: simple, strong, and traditional.
Lastly, my favourite place to grab a coffee is from Good Neighbour Coffee. This place is home to the loyal locals in the Junction and its pretty obvious why! The coffee here is organic, fair trade, direct trade, local and freshly roasted, what’s not to love? All proceeds are also shared with over 200 workers in Honduras and Neighbourhood Life. Its impossible not to love a place that carries so much value and makes such quality coffee. If you’re looking for a place to grab a warm drink, and get some work done- I definitely recommend making your way over to Good Neighbour Coffee.
Of course, there are so many more and we are always on the look out for new places to check out! What are some of your favourite warm drinks in the city on a cold day? Let us know in the comments!
This year, I partnered with Jule’s Baskets, to create two gift baskets that I think will make a wonderful gift.
Wellness Lifestyle Basket
This basket includes:
Merben Body Dry Brush
ChaiWala All-Natural Local Chai
Nud Fud Raw & Organic Cacao Banana Crisps
Alter Eco Milk Velvet Truffles
Chocosol Raw & Organic Vanilla Sea Salt Chocolate Bar
LoveFresh All-Natural Vanilla Sugar Scrub
Kaia Juicy Bamboo All-Natural Facial Wipes
BKR Glass Water Bottle
Nagi Raw & Organic Vanilla Almond Macaroons
Pretty Skin Organics Chamomile Dream Bath Fizz
To purchase this gift basket, click here!
A Host/Hostess Gift Basket
This basket includes:
Bean Head Organic Whole Bean Coffee
Martin’s Organic Apple Chips
Gaga for Gluten-Free Simply Shortbread Cookies
Tutti Gourmet Gluten-Free Almond Cacao Biscotti
Prana Organic Amandine Maple Nuts
Giddy Yoyo Raw & Organic Mint Chocolate Bar
Giddy Yoyo Raw & Organic Dark Chocolate Bar
Pukka Organic Three Mint Tea
Beekeeper’s Naturals Local Honey
Nagi Raw & Organic Chocolate Almond Coconut Energy Bar
To purchase this gift basket, click here!
Both gift baskets come with a 20% discount for any service from my site.
I wanted to officially announce that now a portion of my work and business will be in support of Sistering, a wonderful organization helping women in Toronto.
Sistering is a multi-service agency for at-risk, socially isolated women in Toronto who are homeless or precariously housed. Sistering offers various services including a 24/7 safe drop-in centre, a kitchen with served nutritious meals, harm reduction, support services including housing referrals, shelter/hostel referrals and income support, as well as various programs and social enterprise initiatives. Sistering is a low barrier agency, meaning that they make it as easy as possible for women to get a wide range of support. You can read more about their impact in their annual report.
Starting January 1st, $10.00 from EVERY service booked will be donated to Sistering, in a tangible way. This means that for every appointment, I will use $10.00 to purchase an item that is needed by the centre or provided within a quarterly donation. You can have a say in what I use the $10.00 towards if you would like, and I will show you what I provide using the donation.
My office will also be a drop-off centre for donations, so that you may drop off items when you come in for your appointments. If you are interested to donate items, the list below shows you what this organization needs at this time :)
Personal Care Items
(travel/sample sizes are ideal but we gladly accept regular size as well)
Gift cards (Tim’s, McDonald’s – $5.00 denominations)
Grocery gift cards – any denomination
Walmart gift cards – any denomination
If you have any questions about my services, or Sistering, please do not hesitate to reach out!
Hello friends and Happy December!
A new month means a new Monthly Nourish post. Here are this months top foods to enjoy and include as part of a healthy diet. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #monthlynourish when you enjoy a meal with any of these foods ( from this month, or previous months, too!)
Lemons may not be your go-to fruit, but they are a great one to consider! They contain antioxidants, like vitamin C and other phytonutrients. They are also great for our digestive system, as they can stimulate stomach acid and enzyme production.
We like enjoying lemon with water, to stimulate our digestion. As well, we use lemon instead of vinegar in a salad. It is also great to add in to baked fish, chicken or even vegetables!
Check out our Monthly Nourish board on Pinterest for recipe inspiration like this fresh lemon ginger tea featured above by the Yummy Supper
Flaxseeds are a great source of omega 3 essential fatty acids, along with many other nutrients. Flaxseeds are both anti-inflammatory and a powerful antioxidant. Flaxseeds can be included into your diet to help with heart disease, high cholesterol, diabetes, menopause, constipation + more.
In order to get the full benefit from flaxseeds, we suggest eating them ground. That way we absorb the healthy fat and nutrients, as well as the fibre. Add ground flax seeds to oatmeal or smoothies and store them in the freezer to keep them from going rancid.
Check out our Monthly Nourish board on Pinterest to find recipe inspiration like this healthy honey flax tahini banana bread by the Ambitious Kitchen
3. SWEET POTATOES
Sweet potatoes are well known for this bright orange or deep purple pigment. This colour is what is so nutritious! Sweet potatoes are a great source of antioxidants, especially beta-carotene. They are also anti-inflammatory, good for the skin, heart healthy and lower glycemic than white potatoes. Sweet potatoes also carry a lot of fibre, which makes them a perfect side to any dish.
When shopping for sweet potatoes, choose ones that are firm and without bruises or cracks. Refrain from buying ones that are stored in a fridge.
The nutrients from sweet potatoes come out best when they are steamed or lightly cooked. Add sweet potatoes as an alternative to fries or mash potatoes. Add them into salads, or make a sweet potato oatmeal bowl!
Visit our Monthly Nourish board on Pinterest to check out recipes like this sweet potato and coconut milk soup with brown rice and lentils from Katie and the Kitchen Door
We hope this post inspired you to enjoy lemons, flaxseeds and sweet potatoes. We are going to include them regularly this month, and hope you will too!
-Sarah + Jass
This month, we focused on earthier foods to help nourish and ground our body for the cold weather. This salad has to be one of our favourites- it’s bright, sweet, warm and makes for a delicious lunch or dinner. What’s great about this salad is that the taste of the roasted vegetables gets better the next day, so it’s the perfect salad to make extras! The dressing has to be one of the best parts of this salad because it is made with only real, whole foods. It’s the perfect dressing for any salad.
Here is the recipe!
For the salad:
A handful of kale (massaged with olive oil)
2-3 medium sized red beets, chopped
1-2 medium sized yellow beet, chopped
2 large carrots, chopped
2 medium sized sweet potatoes, chopped
1 cup cooked quinoa
1 cup cook lentils
1 tbsp avocado oil|
2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
½ tsp cinnamon
1 tsp raw honey
1 tsp sea salt
For the dressing:
1/3 cup raw cashews
2 tbsp tahini
½ tsp grated ginger (more if you’d like)
½ tsp sea salt
1 tsp juice from fresh lime
3 tbsp water
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mix beets and carrots in avocado oil, cinnamon, raw honey and ½ tsp of sea salt and add to a baking sheet. Similarly, mix sweet potatoes in avocado oil and the left over salt. Add to baking sheet.
3. Bake vegetables for 20 minutes, and flip. Bake for another 15 minutes, or until desired tenderness is achieved.
4. For the dressing, add all ingredients into the blender and mix on high for 2 minutes.
5. Add kale, quinoa and lentils as the base to your plate. Once the vegetables have cooled down a bit, add these to the plate and top it off with pumpkin seeds and your fresh cashew ginger dressing.
6. Store the dressing in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Let us know if you try out this deliciously warming salad!
Use the hashtag #monthlynourish on Instagram to share your monthly creations and look out for December’s new foods!
One of the best things about Toronto is the food scene. I love checking out new places and trying new trends. The healthy food scene is great, and there are many great options for grabbing healthy lunch. Today, I am focusing on the Financial District in Toronto , and all of the healthy lunch spots with some of my favourite dishes!
Top 5 Healthy Lunch Spots in the Financial District, Toronto
Kupfert and Kim
Kupfert and Kim is wheatless, meatless and totally delicious. From colourful smoothie bowls, to blissful salads, this place has it all. What makes Kupfert and Kim different, is that they really work hard to make sure that all of the produce they use are fresh and follow the Dirty Dozen, Clean Fifteen chart. All of their meals are filled with good fats, protein, complex carbs, fibre and load of nutrients- meaning it will keep you feeling satiated and ready to take on the rest of the day. Plus, you can get kombucha on tap! Who doesn’t love that? If you check out this place, I highly recommend the Oaxaca bowl!
Crave Healthy Habits
If you haven’t been to Crave Healthy Habits yet, I strongly recommend you make this your next lunch stop. At Crave Healthy Habits, you can choose from culturally cool or steamed lunch boxed, which are both just as nutrient dense. This is the perfect spot for those super busy days at work. Place your order ahead of time, so you can pick it up and head straight to the office to enjoy a flavourful meal.
Flock Rotisserie + Greens
Why Flock Rotisserie + Greens? The salads here will even impress those who would never grab a salad as their main meal. With each bite, you can taste the quality and work that has been put into making this personal meal. This place is perfect for a quick grab and go, or lunch break with the coworkers. Naturally raised rotisserie, greens, nourishing soups and sweets- you can get it all in one modern stop. You can also customize your salads to be anything you crave.
Then there Hopscotch, another must for a weekly lunch spot. Hopscotch is a healthy restaurant that cares more about the way we eat. All produce is source locally and in season when possible. Hopscotch also cares deeply for the environment, making sure that all of their packaging is 100% recyclable or totally compostable. If you’re stopping by at this trendy spot, make sure to try out their Sweet Potato Zen. It’s pretty impossible not to love.
Freshii is another one of my favourite places to eat in the financial district. I love how you can customize your meals to whatever you want: Burrito, lettuce wrap, salad, smoothie, soup- to name a few. They’re protein is all grass fed and local when possible. What’s most impressive is how little energy they use to run the place and how everything that your meal comes in is completely biodegradable. Call in and order your meal in advance, and it’ll be just as fresh as you would expect when you pick it up.
*photos from Kupfert and Kim Facebook page + Freshii Facebook page
Let us know if you get the chance to try any of these places out!
What are your favourite healthy lunch spots in the financial district? Comment below and let us know!
Here is another post from my friend Kelly Boaz. Her latest post all about Emotional Eating was a great success and we received wonderful feedback. I wanted her to write more about this topic, so here she is for another post writing about why all food is good food!
All Food Is Good Food
When I was first recovering from anorexia, I would only eat food that I cooked. I wasn’t counting calories anymore, but I needed control over every ingredient I ate. It got to the point where I actually took my own food in Tupperware containers to Christmas dinner. While everyone else ate turkey and stuffing, I ate quinoa salad and chickpeas. Sure, I was eating enough, but I certainly wasn’t free. I had just traded anorexia for orthorexia – a preoccupation with healthy eating.
I know, I know – that doesn’t sound too bad. Doesn’t everyone want to eat healthier? But when healthy eating becomes an obsession, it can actually have the opposite effect.
Tell me if any of this sounds familiar:
“Oh, I’m so bad. I shouldn’t have had that second helping of mashed potatoes.”
“I’m having a cheat day today. Back to the diet tomorrow!”
“I’ve been so good all week. I think I’ve earned this piece of pie!”
These phrases all seem harmless enough. I mean, they’re commonplace enough. We hear them at work, at school, on the bus, and from the people we love. But when we talk like this, we’re turning food into something it was never meant to be – a religion.
When we use phrases like “clean eating”, we are creating moral connotations around food. If these foods over here are clean and pure and good and right, then those foods over there are dirty and tainted and bad and wrong. Then, by extension, we feel dirty and wrong when we eat those foods.
To avoid feeling that way, we start to build rules and ideologies around food, and segregate ourselves. Without even realizing it, we’re shaming those around us who don’t practice our new food religion, and shaming ourselves when we “fall off the wagon”. The stress caused by that shame is worse for us than any “unclean” food we could have eaten.
And then what happens? When we fall off the wagon, we fall HARD. Because we’ve been depriving ourselves of the (quite frankly DELICIOUS) “bad” foods for so long, we don’t just eat one cookie, we eat the whole box. Or, we eat far more of the “healthy” substitute than we would have eaten if we’d just had the damn cookie we wanted in the first place. We start to believe that we just can’t trust ourselves around food, because we’ve never learned to live in balance.
Look, there is nothing wrong with wanting to eat foods that make our bodies feel good. In fact, it’s an imperative for our survival. The problem comes when we sacrifice our mental health in the name of physical health. We can never be truly healthy if our mental health is suffering.
If you find yourself struggling to break the rules you’ve created around food, you may have developed an eating disorder without realizing it. Challenge yourself to grab a cookie at a local bakery where you DON’T know all the ingredients. And, as always, if you’re struggling, reach out for help. You don’t have to be a slave to your food rules forever.
Some food is good for our physical health, and some food is good for our mental health. All food is good food.