Month: January 2013

Fruit Popsicles

Fruit Popsicles

Homemade popsicles are really easy to make and good to eat. Basically, just make a smoothie and freeze it!

Combine all desired fruits in a blender with a little bit of water to make pouring smoother. Pour into popsicle tray, add handles and freeze.

Run under warm water to unstick them from the tray when serving. Enjoy!

 

For more info on detox or other health concerns, contact me at:

Shawna Clark, ND. Forces of Nature Wellness & Naturopathic Clinic

2447 Yonge St., 2nd floor Toronto ON M4P 2E7

416-481-0222

SClarkND@ForcesOfNature.ca

info@ShawnaClarkND.com

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Naturopathic Detox Days 8 & 9

Naturopathic Detox Day 8 & 9

 Question: What is sweet, melts easily, is sometimes burned on purpose, is found in most foods, is added to almost all foods, feeds our bodies, brains and bacteria and just may top the list for most popular addiction?

Answer: Sugar! Sugar is almost everywhere. It can be found in many forms and under many names, but is essentially always the same thing and in my opinion, likely forms the world’s largest addiction. It may be called sugar, cane sugar, raw cane sugar, white sugar, brown sugar, yellow sugar, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) glucose, sucrose, fructose, maltose, galactose, lactose (basically any chemical word ending in –ose). More natural sugars are found in honey, maple syrup, agave nectars, molasses, brown rice syrup, rice syrup, table syrup, corn syrup (basically almost all syrups). Also, all simple carbohydrates are essentially just sugar –white flours found in white breads, crackers, cereals, pastas and potatoes.

Sugar is found in most edible products. It is the hardest to avoid because of its many forms. It is found in most natural foods as well, but the difference is in its absorption. Sugar is extremely easy to absorb and when found in its simple forms (like the ones mentioned above), it is absorbed very rapidly which causes a spike in blood sugar. This leads to a spike in insulin production and release that then causes a large drop in blood sugar, more commonly called a sugar crash. You may feel very tired and lethargic, moody, irritable or depressed. The consumption of large amounts of sugar over time and the resulting peaks and valleys of blood sugar levels eventually leads the body to become resistant to insulin and increases the risk for Diabetes.

The body uses sugar for energy. In fact, the brain’s preferred fuel is glucose. Our body needs to maintain a specific amount of sugar in the blood to function normally. However, it wants a steady amount, not highs and lows. The absorption of sugar becomes important here. Glycemic Indexes tell us how fast glucose is absorbed from specific foods. Glycemic Loads tells us how much absorbable glucose is in a specific serving of a food. The faster the absorption of sugar, the more detrimental the effects are. To slow the absorption of sugar, you can combine it with fats, fibers and proteins. They help to stabilize blood sugar.  Sugar that is naturally found in food is absorbed slower than sugar additives because it is bound to other substances like fat, fiber and protein. The extra time and energy it takes to break it down, slows the absorption.

Challenge: try to go 1 week, 1 day or even 1 meal without any added sugar, natural sugar or simple carbohydrate.

Detox Diet Day 8

Breakfast:

2 slices of Silver Springs gluten-free flax bread, double toasted, open-faced, covered with hummus, avocado slices, grape tomatoes

1 cup of Jade Snow Green Tea

Lunch:

Leftover veggie casserole

1 cup of Tazo Zen Tea

Dinner:

1 bowl of Carrot and Coriander soup

Greek salad without the feta cheese

Dessert:

Apple and Cherry sauce

Supportive Behaviours:

Exercise: 20 minutes on Rowing Machine + 100 abdominals + 10 minutes stretching

Sauna: 45 minutes in Far Infrared Sauna

Water: 3 liters

 

Detox Diet Day 9

Breakfast:

2 slices of Silver Springs gluten-free flax bread, double toasted, open-faced, covered with hummus, avocado slices, grape tomatoes

1 cup of Jade Snow Green Tea

Lunch:

Leftover veggie casserole

Dinner:

1 bowl of Sunflower Kitchen Yellow Split Pea and Squash Soup with yellow split peas, carrots, butternut squash, onion, celery, garlic, sea salt, sunflower oil, spices and herbs

Salad of mixed greens, grated carrot, grated beet, snow peas, green beans, grape tomatoes, bosc pear, walnuts and ground flax seed

Homemade dressing with flax seed oil, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, beet, pear, walnuts and flax seeds

 

Supportive Behaviours:

Exercise: 20 minutes of weight bearing floor exercises for the core (abdominals, leg & gluteal muscles) + 10 minutes stretching

Sauna: 45 minutes in Far Infrared Sauna

Water: 3 liters

 

For more info on detox or other health concerns, contact me at:

Shawna Clark, ND. Forces of Nature Wellness & Naturopathic Clinic

2447 Yonge St., 2nd floor Toronto ON M4P 2E7

416-481-0222

SClarkND@ForcesOfNature.ca

info@ShawnaClarkND.com

Fruit Crisp

Fruit Crisp

 I don’t generally follow a recipe for crisps, but here’s the general idea. You can use whatever fruits you like, but I’ve only ever tried it with apples, pears, peaches, berries etc. You can precook the fruits by placing in a pot in a bit of water and let them simmer into a nice sauce. Stir frequently. The sauce makes an excellent dessert on its own, or a nice topping for pancakes, waffles, tarts etc. The topping is also variable.  You can use almost any kind of flour. The last one I made, I used a mix of almond flour, soy flour and brown rice flour. I substituted tapioca flour for arrowroot.

Fruit

  1. Thinly slice about 3-4 medium sized fruits (apples, pears, peaches)
  2. Add about a cup of berries, sliced if larger
  3. Mix all the fruit together with
    1. 2 tbsp. of lemon juice
    2. 2 tbsp. of arrowroot or tapioca powder/flour
    3. 2 tsp of cinnamon
    4. ¼ tsp of nutmeg
    5. ½ cup of chopped or sliced nuts (walnuts, almonds, pecans, hazelnuts, brazil nuts)
    6. Spread evenly in baking dish

Topping

  1. Mix the following:
    1. 1 cup of gluten-free oats
    2. ¼ cup of brown rice flour
    3. ¼ cup of arrowroot powder
    4. ¼ cup of olive oil or coconut oil
    5. ½ cup of sliced nuts if desired
    6. 1 tsp cinnamon
    7. Pour evenly over fruit mixture
    8. Bake in pre-heated oven at 375° for 25-30 minutes or until bubbly.

 

For more info on detox or other health concerns, contact me at:

Shawna Clark, ND. Forces of Nature Wellness & Naturopathic Clinic

2447 Yonge St., 2nd floor Toronto ON M4P 2E7

416-481-0222

SClarkND@ForcesOfNature.ca

info@ShawnaClarkND.com

Baked Tofu

Baked Tofu

For optimal results, use extra firm organic tofu and press it beforehand: slice the tofu into slabs and place between 2 clean cloths, load something heavy onto the cloth over the tofu and leave it for a few hours. This will take out extra water in the tofu and allow it to absorb the sauce more.

1 package of Organic extra-firm tofu, cut into slabs and ideally pre-pressed. Will still be delicious without pressing.

Sauce:

4 tbsp sesame oil

4 tbsp soy sauce (I used Bragg’s for my detox)

2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

2 cloves of garlic

2 tbsp of chopped onion

2 tsp of ginger

6 tbsp of water

1 tsp of chili powder

Combine all the ingredients, blend, and pour over slabs of tofu placed side by side in baking dish.  Try not to overlap tofu slabs.  Bake in pre-heated oven at 350°C.  I like to cook it until the sauce is almost gone and cooked into the tofu.

 

For more info on detox or other health concerns, contact me at:

Shawna Clark, ND. Forces of Nature Wellness & Naturopathic Clinic

2447 Yonge St., 2nd floor Toronto ON M4P 2E7

416-481-0222

SClarkND@ForcesOfNature.ca

info@ShawnaClarkND.com

Naturopathic Detox Days 4-7

Naturopathic Detox Days 4-7

Day 4 followed suit with days 1-3. No major challenges or adverse effects. Day 5 was rough. Everything that could go wrong, did go wrong. I had a long list of things to do, but my home phone wasn’t working (yes I still have a landline), my text app wasn’t working, I ran out of easy to grab detox foods, I was tired from the week and the half bag of salt and vinegar Kettle chips from before I started my detox insisted on harassing me all day.  It was a struggle to find my motivation and stick to the plan; I slipped once and had a cup of Orange Peko tea, but with the help of my support network, I got to Saturday…and then to Sunday.

This past weekend, I was really craving a treat. I made a delicious and nutritious apple and raspberry crisp, but still wanted something chocolate. Without chocolate, only cocoa, and without sweeteners of any sort, dried fruits or eggs, I tried to make some healthy, homemade treats. Well, I failed miserably and in the process, wasted a lot of good health food items. You can imagine my defeat. I ended up settling for some organic apple and cherry sauce.

Any type of lifestyle change has its challenges – whether it is exercise, diet, overcoming addictions or trying to get to bed earlier, there are going to be obstacles to your success. Having a plan in place and utilizing your resources becomes so important when faced with these hurdles. It may sound simple, but having your options laid out for you and asking for help can make a world of difference to help you to reach your goals.

 

Day 4 Diet

Breakfast:

2 pieces of Silver Springs bread, double toasted, open-faced covered with hazelnut butter, a sliced banana and topped with no sugar added raspberry jam

1 cup of Jade Snow Green tea

Lunch:

Veggie Delight tofu croquettes, 8 pieces. I skipped the sauce it came with and dipped them in homemade hummus

Dinner:

4 slices of Quesadilla made on brown rice wraps with spiced black beans, onions, garlic, mushrooms, string green beans, red pepper, grape tomatoes, avocado and Daiya gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free fake cheddar style cheese

Side of homemade hummus for dipping

1 bowl of carrot and coriander soup

Supportive Behaviours:

45 minutes in Far Infrared Sauna

Water:  at least 3 liters

 

Day 5 Diet

Breakfast:

2 slices of Queen St. White Bean and Millet Seed gluten-free bread, double toasted, covered with avocado and mixed greens

Amande raspberry creamy cultured almond (fake yogurt)

1 cup of Orange Pekoe tea -I actually never claimed to go caffeine free, since Green Tea has caffeine in it, I didn’t want to be misleading; but I did cut back on black teas for the detox and this was the first one I had, with no adverse effects noted.

Lunch:

2 slices of leftover Quesadilla from last night with hummus for dipping

Dinner:

Baked tofu in homemade sauce (recipe to be posted shortly)

Steam-fried mixed vegetables –onions, carrots, zucchini, string green beans with slices of avocado and ground flax seeds over the whole thing

Quinoa made in water and concentrated carrot and coriander soup (I accidentally left the soup on the night before and lost a lot of water. I used it to flavour the quinoa instead of regular broth and it turned out quite nice).

Dessert:

Yes, I said dessert!

Homemade apple and raspberry crisp with cinnamon, nutmeg, tapioca flour, almond flour, soy flour, ground walnuts, olive oil, stevia

Supportive Behaviours:

Exercise: 20 minutes on rowing machine + 100 abdominals + 15 minutes stretching

45 minutes in Far Infrared Sauna

Water:  at least 3 liters

 

Day 6 Diet

Breakfast:

2 pieces of Queen St. White bean and Millet seed bread, double toasted, open-faced covered with hazelnut butter, a sliced banana and topped with no sugar added raspberry jam

1 cup of Jade Snow Green tea

Lunch:

Leftover rice and veggie pasta from a few nights ago

Dinner:

Powerhouse Rice Bowl from Fresh (brown basmati rice with avocado, chick peas, grilled tofu steaks, sunflower sprouts, toasted nut and seed mix, tomatoes, red onion and spicy tahini sauce.  The meal and the sauce are both gluten-free, although Fresh cannot guarantee no contamination from gluten-containing foods.

Dessert:

Homemade apple and raspberry crisp

Homemade fruit popsicle

Supportive Behaviours:

35 minutes in Far Infrared Sauna

Water:  at least 3 liters

 

Day 7 Diet

Breakfast:

1 bowl of Bob Red Mill’s Tasty Hot Cereal with cinnamon, apple slices, raspberries, stevia with flax seed milk and topped with ground flax seeds

1 cup of Jade Snow Tea

Lunch:

Late Sunday breakfast today and wasn’t hungry for lunch.

Organic Apple and Cherry Sauce

Dinner:

Tofu and veggie casserole-type dish topped with avocado

Dessert:

Homemade apple and raspberry crisp

Air-popped popcorn with olive oil and sea salt

Supportive Behaviours:

45 minutes in Far Infrared Sauna

Water:  at least 3 liters

 

For more info on detox or other health concerns, contact me at:

Shawna Clark, ND. Forces of Nature Wellness & Naturopathic Clinic

2447 Yonge St., 2nd floor Toronto ON M4P 2E7

416-481-0222

SClarkND@ForcesOfNature.ca

info@ShawnaClarkND.com

 

Naturopathic Detox Day 3

Naturopathic Detox Day 3

By Shawna Clark

It’s day 3 today and all is going well.  I took my supplements with dinner last night, had plenty of water before bed and had no issues with headaches today.  I didn’t have time to make my lunch today, so I opted for some vegetarian brown rice sushi and used Bragg’s gluten-free, non-fermented soy sauce instead of the provided package.  The ingredients for the sushi are well within my diet plans. Vegetarian sushi made with brown rice is a great option when eating out, provided the cooking surfaces are cleaned properly between dishes.  If there has been meat, fish, dairy, nuts, gluten from breading or other undesirable ingredients on the counters or cooking surfaces, they can contaminate yours.  Seaweed is full of wholesome nutrients, brown rice is considered hypo-allergenic and a healthy serving of vegetables.  Bragg’s is available at most health food stores and even some grocery stores.  It has a distinct, but pleasant flavour and is a good alternative to traditional soy sauce that can contain gluten, sugar and preservatives.

Other options that may suit special diets are many vegetarian based restaurants like Fresh or Kale.  They tend to be more health conscious and often list all the ingredients in their menus.  Watch for fried foods and fake meats.  They may be delicious but carry consequences like hydrogenated oils, trans-fats and preservatives.  Curries and Indian foods are an alternative, but watch for dairy and fried foods.  Other Asian foods also provide choices, but can also come with a lot of preservatives.  If you’re concerned about specific meats, fish, seafood, oyster or fish sauces or anything of the sort, be prepared to ask for each ingredient individually and be certain to directly specify your needs.  Many people don’t consider fish or seafood meat products, so if you’re trying to avoid them, you must make it clear.  There have also been a lot of burrito places popping up.  Chipolte claims to use whole, fresh ingredients, you can specify your condiments and get your rice and beans and veggies alone, in a salad or a taco to avoid gluten.  Traditional Canadian restaurants and Italian restaurants usually have a variety of salads on their menus.  Try combining a few side dishes to feel satisfied and avoid the pastas and breads.

 Today’s diet:

 Breakfast:

Bob’s Red Mill Tasty Hot cereal with cinnamon, berries, ground flax seeds, flax seed milk and a touch of stevia

One cup of jade snow green tea

 Lunch:

Pre-made brown rice vegetarian sushi with Bragg’s soy sauce

One cup of mixed green tea

 Dinner:

Taco Night!! Corn tacos (no preservatives) filled with non-dairy, non-soy fake cheese (no preservatives) spiced black beans, sautéed onions, mushrooms, red pepper plus raw avocado, tomatoes and green onion.

Supportive Behaviours:

Evening Sauna:  20-35 minutes in the Far-Infrared Sauna

Water:  at least 3 liters

For more info on detox or other health concerns, contact me at:

Shawna Clark, ND. Forces of Nature Wellness & Naturopathic Clinic

2447 Yonge St., 2nd floor Toronto ON M4P 2E7

416-481-0222

SClarkND@ForcesOfNature.ca

info@ShawnaClarkND.com

Naturopathic Detox Day 2

Naturopathic Detox Day 2

 By Shawna Clark, ND

I started day 2 of my detox with a slight headache, but it resolved once I drank some water.  I took some detox supplements before bed last night and a long night’s sleep without water could cause a small build-up of toxins, resulting in a mild headache.  Detox protocols always run the risk of some small side effects including headache, increased fatigue, irritability and many others that cover a wide spectrum of symptoms.  Each person has their own unique experience depending on how their body reacts and what imbalances they are dealing with.  Although many people, don’t experience any negative effects at all.

Drinking lots of water can help reduce the risk of effects.  The body eliminates waste through 4 ways:  urination, bowel movements, breathing and sweating.  Encouraging these elimination pathways helps to ensure that toxins are being removed from the body rather than reabsorbed.

Another way to reduce the risk of side effects is the increased use of anti-oxidants.  This can be in the form of foods and teas, but supplements carry larger doses.  The anti-oxidant support should complement the detox protocol.  The stronger the detox, the higher the doses of anti-oxidants desired.

The word anti-oxidant refers to a chemical behaviour certain substances have.  All molecules aim for a neutral charge and to get there, they exchange or share electrons or atoms like hydrogen.  This starts a chain reaction not unlike musical chairs. There is always 1 leftover that has no chair to couple with. These are called free radicals.  As one molecule steals electrons from another, that molecule follows suit and so on.  These are oxidation reactions and they cause damage to our bodies. Anti-oxidants stop the chain by neutralizing the free radicals and thereby reducing the damage they cause.  Common anti-oxidants are Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin A, green tea, alpha-lipoic acid, glutathione and many others.  They are abundant in our whole, fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts and legumes.  Another important reason to eat healthy!

Speaking of eating healthy, here’s my diet plan for today:

 Breakfast:

Bob’s Red Mill Tasty Hot cereal with cinnamon, berries, apples, ground flax seeds, flax seed milk and a touch of stevia

One cup of jade snow green tea

Lunch:

Sandwich on Silver Springs gluten-free flax bread, double toasted with hummus, avocado, lettuce, cucumber and tomato. (I find most gluten-free breads need to be double toasted to be ‘toasted’)

Various veggies and hummus on rice crackers

One cup of herbal tea

Dinner:

Rice and vegetable pasta & homemade tomato sauce with onions, garlic, mushrooms, red peppers and green onions

Tip for non-wheat pastas: boil in double the water you would normally use, moderate carefully to ensure its not overcooked, rinse with a little cold water and spin in a salad spinner to eliminate excess water.

Supportive Behaviours:

Exercise:  25 minutes on the rowing machine + 20 minutes stretching

Evening Sauna:  20-35 minutes in the Far-Infrared Sauna

Water:  at least 3 liters

For more info on detox or other health concerns, contact me at:

Shawna Clark, ND. Forces of Nature Wellness & Naturopathic Clinic

2447 Yonge St., 2nd floor Toronto ON M4P 2E7

416-481-0222

SClarkND@ForcesOfNature.ca

info@ShawnaClarkND.com

Pureed Carrot Soup

Pureed Carrot Soup

Serves 6

Ingredients

2 tbsp. olive oil

2 large onions

6 cloves garlic

2 tbsp. marjoram

3 tbsp. ground coriander

3 large carrots

1 medium sweet potato

8 cups of vegetable stock – I used organic vegetarian bouillon cubes with no preservatives to make the stock

¼ cup cilantro

cayenne pepper to taste.

Method

  1. Chop all the vegetables and set aside
  2. Toast the coriander until it browns
  3. Heat oil, add onions and cook until translucent
  4. Add the coriander, garlic and marjoram to the onions and mix for a minute
  5. Add the carrots and sweet potato to the rest and mix for a minute
  6. Add vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are soft. Add the cilantro and cayenne
  7. Puree and serve.

Naturopathic Detox

Naturopathic Detox

by Shawna Clark, ND

Detox, detox, detox!!! The word has become a commonplace term in all things health related, but what does it really mean? In essence, it means a good internal clean-up.

Waste removal is done through a series of complex processes to help separate waste products and remove them. Whatever gets left behind gets stored. It’s important to “spring clean” these storage sites every so often. This is my quest for the next few weeks. Specifically, I’m going to clear out my liver.

The liver performs a ton of duties for the body, including detox. When the liver detoxifies, it does so in 2 stages: the first stage helps to pull those toxins out of storage and the second stage helps to neutralize and eliminate them. Over the next few weeks, I’m going to encourage and optimize these processes with some liver support herbs for the first stage (dandelion, artichoke, false bupleurum, milk thistle and fringe tree) and antioxidants for the second stage (NAC, vitamin C, quercetin, ALA, grape seed extract, Vitamin E, B6, B12, folic acid, zinc and Vitamin D). I’m also continuing my daily multivitamin and a B complex.

I’ve found that any good diet needs a plan and so I’ve planned out my meals for the week and shopped accordingly. Having healthy foods and snacks on hand is essential for success.

Over the last few days, I started prepping: a trip to my local health food store for some specialized foods and a big grocery shop to fill my refrigerator and cupboards with whole, healthy foods that are gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free and chemical-free.  It seems daunting at first, but with the selections available these days, it is really not so bad.

What am I eating then? Today’s meal plan is:

Breakfast:

Bob’s Red Mill Tasty Hot cereal (gluten-free), with cinnamon, berries and flax seed milk

One cup of jade snow green tea

Lunch:

Gluten free bread with all natural hazelnut butter (no additives or preservatives) with a banana and sliced berries on top

Carrots and celery with homemade hummus

One cup of herbal tea

Dinner:

Homemade carrot and coriander soup. (I made a giant batch on Sunday and will freeze much of it for later this week or next)

Rice crackers, in the soup and with more hummus

Protein powder smoothie with more berries and ground flax seeds

Supportive Behaviours:

Morning Exercise: 25 minutes on the rowing machine + 20 minutes stretching

Evening Sauna: 20-35 minutes in the Far-Infrared Sauna

Water: lots and lots and lots of water. At least 3 liters/day, some with lemon and/or lime slices

That’s it! Over the next few weeks, I’ll be posting about what I’m doing, eating and drinking, and various aspects surrounding my detox. I’ll be honest about any challenges I face, the solutions or compromises I made and any tips I find useful. I will also post recipes for specific meals.  In all, I want to show how you can improve your own health in real-life circumstances.

 

For more info on detox or other health concerns, contact me at:

Shawna Clark, ND. Forces of Nature Wellness & Naturopathic Clinic

2447 Yonge St., 2nd floor Toronto ON M4P 2E7

416-481-0222

SClarkND@ForcesOfNature.ca

info@ShawnaClarkND.com