Sibo and me

Yesterday I received the test results back from a breath test I took for an illness called SIBO a few weeks ago. In short, I went to the naturopath and described to him my physical health condition…

Source: Sibo and me

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Green Juice: Is it worth the hype?

Ok, so I know Green juices are the new thing. Especially where I live in Vancouver British Columbia. Vancouverites are known for being “health obsessed” to put it lightly and are often caught with a green juice in one hand and a water bottle in the other. Juices in general are described as nutrient dense elixirs that we can drink to increase our daily vitamin intake, decrease inflammation is some cases, aid in digestion and revitalize us after a long busy day or week.

Juicing cleanses and diets have actually been around for centuries, However the millennia’s have taken health awareness to a new level. Everything now has kale in it, including select items from McDonalds of all places. So the question is: Are these juices worth the hype or the money?

The average cold pressed juice varies in price and size. As an example here are a few vancouver juice places that I frequent price ranges:

 

Glory Juice Company: 473 ml bottle will run you 10.95, my fave is the number 3.

Anchor Eatery: 16 ounces (473 ml) will run you 6.99, my fave is green machine.

Buddah-ful Café:  16 ounces (473 ml) will run you 10.00 even, my fave is Ganesha’s Green’s.

 

I have tried a lot of other juices but these three in specific I have repurchased over 5 times each so I can go ahead and say they are good. Keep in mind that  there are vast price differences for the same claim to fame. Also keep in mind the first place is walking distance from my work and the other two are on the north shore. This is about half an hour from my place but really close to my friends place. Long story short I obviously would chose the cheaper one more often if it were nearer by.

Back to the party line here, are they worth the hype? Well the question is really up for debate, let’s do a benefits/cons list.

Benefits:

Placebo: It makes me feel good. When I drink a green juice I feel like I am helping myself, doing something nice to my body and that is something I don’t take lightly.

Nutrients: If you actually get a green juice, the like #1 at Glory that is mainly vegetable base, you are drinking vitamins. You are drinking the calcium  and the iron from the spinach if you get a spinach based juice and this is good for you.

Cons:

The price tag: okay let’s be real, who has 10.95 to spare ? I know I don’t. 6.99 okay maybe sometimes, but the average place is approximately 10.00 a juice and I mean that’s a lot more than I have to spare.

Fiber: Ok so yes juice is delicious and nutrient dense, However when you Juice the fruit and vegetables you are actually extracting all of the fiber. Fiber is actually an essential part of a balanced diet and can be extremely beneficial in digestion. I find if you are needing a meal in-between snack to hold you over, I highly suggest a green smoothie instead. A lot of these places I listed also sell smoothies and yes they are pricier but they are also packed with more fruits and vegetables as well as things like nut butters which help for your daily protein intake.

Take away message: Although they taste amazing and can really provide a perspective make over green juices are kind of pricey and not a daily affordable supplement.

 

Until next time

-Hannah

Goal Plan for August

Happy Monday Everyone!

Hope you all had a good weekend. I’m back at it this week with goal setting, specifically dietary goal setting.

Interestingly enough, July is normally a very good month for me in terms of eating clean. I normally find I eat extremely clean this month for a few reasons. I live in Canada and summer is our produce/berry season.

I normally unintentionally eat fully raw vegan this entire month. Secondly, the heat tends to make me want to eat cold, fresh salads in favor of hot and warming meals that are more carb based. However, this year has been different. I have been trying to be a bit more of a social person as I have natural tendencies to be a bit of an introvert.

I prefer to eat at home alone and that makes it easy for me to follow a very precise eating plan.

This fell by the wayside recently when I began eating out more socially and I am paying the ultimate price. Gut inflammation, acne, and general weight gain. So needless to say I feel I need a bit of a body intervention. A summer cleanse to start my next semester off on the right track.

So I am going to make my own challenge: Vegan June: Low carb, low sodium.

What will this look like?

I will only eat out one meal a week and this meal can have meat in it but no dairy.

6 days a week I will prepare all of my meals at home using plant based salads and trying new recipes.

I will drink only two cups of coffee max a day.

I will drink 4-5 Liters of water a day.

I will always eat my vitamins every single day.

This is of course a guide line. I am not a believer in self punishing. I am a believer in goals though and this is my goal. Please join me or comment if you have any really good cleanse or food suggestions! I’d love to hear about your personal eating goals.

If there are any people out there that want me to document this either video wise or on this blog please let me know!

Until next time,

-Hannah

Photo credit:

How to Build a Salad You Actually Want to Eat

Long time , No post?

Hey there…

 

So I realize the last time I posted was all the way back in December 2015 (yikes).

So what happened? Well, a few things ill be honest.

 

  1. Motivation left me. I started a new job in January, as well as two courses (including calculus). My plate was just over flowing with stress and I just couldn’t deal with my everyday proceedings, let alone blog. I felt awful all the time, I ate out a lot. I just lost my motivation all together. I just ate to feel full.
  2. I ate out. A lot. I began just eating anything I felt like, a brownie? Sure. A pasta dish? Absolutely! The result? My skin is awful, my hair became greasy and my cardio went right out the window. I stopped running. I just lifted and bulked up. It wasn’t my ideal me.

 

Where I stand now: It’s time for a change! I am going to post way more often, I am going to eat my plant based meals as much as possible, and I am not going to over work myself.

 

A huge part of our external health is how you are feeling on the inside. So that’s what I have been working on these past few months, and will be working on in the future. Making myself happy, doing things I love. I want to hike, I want to eat healthy plant based foods, and I want to live my life to the fullest.

Please follow me along this journey, let’s help each other remind ourselves to be the happiest, healthiest versions of ourselves

Until next time,

-Hannah

Photo credit: Lisa Snow, my insanely talented mom.

 

Holiday Woe’s

Eating healthy through the holidays isn’t easy. It’s a social thing eating in the twenty first century; you want to catch up with old friends? Drinks and appies. You want to see a grandparent or parent and catch up? Dinner and dessert. It’s a wonderful way to share a good amount of time and let’s face it everyone needs to eat. However sometimes it can be a bit daunting to those of us with health restrictions.

 

I decided to share a few of my tips on how to eat a little easier at restraunts or at family dinners to avoid feeling guilty and still find plant based options.

 

My top 5 Tips of how to stay plant based during the holidays:

 

  1. Restraunts: It’s obvious that a salad is an easy go-to-classic to avoid feeling gross after eating out. However sometimes we go to restraunts who don’t exactly offer meal sized salads, and if they do they aren’t exactly healthy. They are often covered in bread or deep fried additives to make them seem “more appealing” totally defeating the purpose of eating something that won’t make you feel sick or guilty. In this scenario I like to order teriyaki bowls at restraunts and ask for the sauce on the side. Majority of restraunts have hopped on the reality train and often serve brown rice or quinoa based teriyaki bowls. They often offer meat or an alternative tofu topping, but if the tofu option doesn’t exist I just ask for no meat and request they just add more steamed vegetables on the bowl. I know this isn’t a crazy excited dish but at least you know it’s something you can eat and feel well after eating.

 

  1. Bring it yourself: A lot of the time when going to family dinners they are of a potluck kind of fashion. If you bring your own version of a vegan stuffing or a vegan casserole, odds are it will be a hit. People will want to try because it’s something different. You can then just load your plate with your own dish and not have to worry about the mystery ingredients in the other wonderful yet surely dairy and meat-full dishes.

 

  1. Have in moderation: Sometimes my mom makes Christmas cookies, okay she makes the every night I’ll be honest. They smell amazing. I can just smell the buttery goodness through the crack under my bedroom door as they seep towards me. I also know how good they are. What I sometimes do is I’ll make a plate of fruit, like an apple and a persimmon or some grapes and I’ll add a cookie to the plate. I find if I fill up on the natural sugars and plant-based foods, that one cookie satisfied my craving. If however I just sat down and had one cookie, I know myself; I’d go back for two or three more, because I was still hungry. If however you fill yourself, that one small treat will do the trick.

 

  1. Portion Control: Sometimes making your own dish isn’t realistic; many of us don’t have a ton of spare time lying around during the holidays, understandably. When we are faced with this issue we often just have what our families have brought or bought to choose from. In this scenario I highly urge just building your plate properly. If there is a salad or a vegetable side, load up on it. If you want some of your grandma’s mashed potatoes, grab some. Just make sure to have a lot more of the vegetables than potatoes. Make sure you tailor your plate to what you can eat. If you prefer to low grain, grab the least amount of grains. If you aren’t a big fan of eating meat, grab none. Sides are the best part anyways if you ask me.

 

  1. Don’t Freak Out: Sometimes we are our own worst critics. We chastise ourselves for eating that piece of lasagna and that builds a negative mindset. The best advice I have for this is treat everyday like it’s a brand new start. Yes, yesterday I might have had Greek food and pizza, but today I can make a conscious choice to make sure my food options are what best aligns with my values and personal beliefs. It’s about being forgiving and knowing when to let yourself breath, not treating yourself poorly and building a bad mindset.

 

I hope some of these tips helped, and I also hope everyone is kind to himself or herself this holiday season. Try your best, that’s all you can do.

 

Until next time,

 

-Hannah

 

Photo credit: http://www.redappleapartments.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/A-traditional-Christmas-d-007.jpghttp://www.redappleapartments.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/A-traditional-Christmas-d-007.jpg

How to start the day right

Starting the day off by eating something heavy or bad can set the tone for the entire day. It can make you feel sluggish or badly about yourself and encourage more poor eating and the “screw it” mentality to set in. This is something that happens a lot easier in the winter months. Its cold in the mornings, and the motivation can be lacking to eat something healthy and go to the gym when its still pitch black out. However I use the winter months as an extra little push to force myself to go to the gym as early as possible.

 

I say to myself, am I really going to want to go at night when it’s dark and cold and rainy? Probably not. I’m going to want to curl up and watch Netflix. It’s reality. So I make sure to wake up at 5:50 am every second day and do my resistance training. Not because I’m cruel and hate myself, but because I then free myself for a much more realaxing and warm evening.

Now let’s talk about breakfast. I know I am the opposite of what a lot of people tend to think, but I believe a cold winter breakfast of something atrociously healthy is the best way to start the day off right. Let’s be real here, when you get home and it’s a cold day, you often feel like something warm and cooked which is usually something heavy. These dishes tend to be less healthy, even if they are of the vegan variety. I like to make myself a raw smoothie protein bowl in the winter months for two reasons.

  • Produce is less fresh and the best way to get it in the winter is often in frozen form
  • Starting the day with a green energy boost makes me feel amazing and makes sure that at least one of my meals is packed full of veggies and fruits

The type of smoothies I have been enjoying lately:

Green Smoothie Recipe: adapted from the book Vegan Everyday: 500 Delicious Recipes by Douglas Mcnish.

2 Cups black dinosaur kale frozen

1/2 almond milk

1/2 scoop vegan protein (vanilla preferably but I bought chocolate recently because it was on sale)

1/4 frozen organic mango

1 whole frozen banana

Add small amounts of water if it doesn’t budge in the blender. I like to make my smoothies extremely thick, so that when I sprinkle to toppings on they actually sit on top of the smoothie, not sink to the bottom like the titanic.

 

Toppings I love:

Terra Breads small batch granola (but only a small handful, this stuff can get pretty sugary)

Frozen Blueberries

Toasted coconut

Cashews or pecans.

Those are just my favorite but honestly you could toss whatever you wanted on there, any fruit cut up, chia seeds, flax seeds, and any nut really. Customize to what you prefer.

 

Second Smoothie of choice:

 

Gym rat Smoothie: adapted from Oh She Glows the cookbook written by Angela Liddon

1/2 cup almond milk

2 tbsp. gluten free rolled oats

2-3 medjool dates

1 tbsp. chia seeds

1 tablespoon almond butter

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 vanilla extract

2 heaping handfuls of spinach

4-5 ice cubes.

I tend to make this one when I just need that extra boost of energy for on the go and really want something filling. I often toss  2 handfuls of spinach in here as well for something more nutritious.

The best advice I have is challenge yourself. Tell yourself yea it is a lot harder in the winter months, it’s colder and wetter out, it’ll be freezing in your car and its dark out. I then tell myself If you can go everyday in the mornings, you can accomplish anything today.

I hope this helps,

Until next time!

 

-Hannah

 

Photo credit:

Feature Image: http://runtosucceed.com/running-tips-staying-motivated-run-winter-run-succeed/

 

Dining out at Restaurant

 

Vegan/Sibo edition

So I must admit I don’t cook every evening, nor do I even know anyone that does. It’s time consuming, and it has to be done at home, which is a place I hardly ever am. I spend most of my time at work, school, or various other places and find myself needing to eat out every once in a while, usually just for dinner.

So where do I eat? What can I eat with so many intolerances?

1. Sushi. I eat sushi twice a week for dinner. I have been eating it since I was small, and although it isn’t vegan (there are often fish in some of the rolls) I never feel sick after eating it. I tend to get spicy salmon sashimi, Alaska rolls ( raw salmon with avocado and a salad dressing topping) California rolls, yam rolls, honestly I’m pretty wide open as long as it has minimal to no sauces with mayonnaise added, which a lot of the good ones do (like this one in the image). I just can’t get enough of sushi and I never get sick from it. It’s my go to. If you live in the Vancouver area, Sushi California is by far my favorite place, they have one in Burnaby, and Mount Pleasant area.

2. Vegan Restaurants. I am lucky, Vancouver is a fairly enlightened modern city and there ae a fair share of these kind of choices around. I love the NAAM in Kitsalano and Meet on Main. The dragon bowls at Meet and the rice bowls at the NAAM will just blow your socks off. They are chalk full of delicious veggies, tofu’s and the best? Vegan gravy’s. Miso gravy from the NAAM can be bought at whole foods and save on foods, and it is heaven on earth. Meet on main has a cashew gravy that I swear is better than the regular kind you get at thanksgiving.

3. Greek food. This isn’t easy for me to do but I do eat it out sometimes. I am of Greek heritage and can’t help but love it. I often order a prawn souvlaki with no rice, one potato and extra salad hold the cheese. This is a delicious alternative and the lack of gluten and sauces makes this meal doable. Not often though.

4. Brown’s Social House. There is a dish called the Tahitian Tuna spa bowl, which is a delicious salad with dates, nuts and corn, pickled beets and goats cheese and ahi seared tuna. I order this dish my all the sauces on the side as they come with wasabi mayonnaise and salad dressing, and just eat them basically plain. It’s honestly one of my all time favorite eats ever.

 

Until next time,
-Hannah