It’s breakfast time! What’s in your bowl?

Your Crackberry had just about enough of Johnny’s late night drunk texts, your hand hit the snooze button one too many times, you’re being punished today for choosing martini night over laundry (no, your “pick me up” shirt won’t work at the office) annnd to top it off you’re supposed to worry about…breakfast? Sigh.

Well actually, the answer is YES! I’m sure you’ve heard this more than enough but I’m here to set you straight… breakfast is in fact the most important start to your day. Why you ask?

Let’s get rid of the crap first. Lucky charms won’t make you so lucky when you’re trying to fit into that sexy black dress, Captain Crunch won’t keep your boat afloat and Special K, well let’s just say it ain’t that special. Starting your morning off with high sugar cereals, white/processed grains, artificial or prepackaged nastiness (this includes those “healthy” parfaits) will put a damper on your day. Sure, you may experience a pretty good lift but believe me when I say the crash isn’t worth it.

Now.. to the good stuff.

Try starting your morning off with a bowl of good ol’ fashioned oats. Steel Cut Oats (also referred to as Scottish or Irish Oats) are raw, unprocessed, whole oats (unlike many of the individual prepackaged oatmeal). This way, you will be starting the day off by lowering cholesterol, stabilizing your blood sugar, packing yourself with nutrients and left feeling satisfied. Amen. Remember to drink lots of water throughout the day or it’s quite possible you may feel like your mixing a bag of cement in your stomach!

Fun fact: your oatmeal does not need to be boring! Spice it up and boost the nutritional value by adding nuts (almonds, walnuts, pecans), seeds (flax, chia), cinnamon, sweetener (maple syrup, honey, agave), vanilla, fruit (blueberries, bananas), cacao nibs and top it off with a splash of almond or rice milk. De-lish.

SPEAKING OF BREAKFAST…

As I can’t stress enough the importance of incorporating a healthy breakfast in your everyday lifestyle, it is equally important for the little monkeys who are going off to school everyday. Breakfast for Learning is a wonderful organization which ensures no child starts off their day hungry. Their mission is to help empower communities to start and sustain child nutrition programs to enhance learning and healthy development of children and youth. In addition, BFL supports ongoing research and child nutrition education that demonstrates the link between nutrition and learning.

On Wednesday October 5th, I joined forces with two of my gals and together we organized a fundraiser in support of Breakfast for Learning. The event was held at Caesar Martini’s in Waterloo where we had live music performed by Juneyt Yetkiner, a fashion show, silent auction and DJ J Hillis. It was a fabulous evening and I would like to thank everyone who came out and donated and a special thanks to the models and the clothing stores who put on a fabulous show.

Here are some highlights from the evening! Great pictures by Mykhaylo Ryechkin

Clothing provided by: Core Clothing, Denim Bar, Loop Clothing, Unit 5 and Gloss. awesomesauce.

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“Skinny Bitch” said it best…would you suck your mothers tits?

Proud moment: humans are the only species that will drink another species milk or drink milk as an adult. Give yourself a pat on the back.

By design, milk will nourish a 9 pound baby to grow into a 25 pound toddler or better yet, nourish a 90 pound calf to grow into a 2000 pound cow. Talk about bulking up (and I’m not referring to an Arnold-kinda-bulk). According to mother nature, humans are not designed to consume milk past the early age of growth and development. Allow me to elaborate…

Our body requires the enzyme “lactase” to break down “lactose” which is the sugar found in milk. As we get older (18 months to 4 years old to be exact), 90-95% of this enzyme is depleted. Now, we are unable to properly digest the milk and it opens the door for a wide range of issues. Undigested milk = mucous, acidity, allergies and much much more. Just what you were looking for, right?

It does the body good? Well my friends, despite what you’ve been told, many of us have been fooled by the multi-billion dollar corporation! In fact, calcium surprisingly enough has one of the lowest absorption rates compared to all other calcium sources.
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Brussels Sprouts: 63.8%
Broccoli: 52.6%
Kale: 50%
Milk: 2%
According to Vivian Goldschmidt, founder of Save Our Bones, a large myth surrounding milk consumption is that drinking milk will prevent osteoporosis. This is actually quite the opposite as the animal protein found in milk has the tendency to leach calcium from the body causing a decrease in bone density. Need more proof? Along with a similar study carried out by Yale University, The Harvard Nurses Health Study followed more than 72,000 women over 12 years and believe it or not, milk was NOT shown to have a preventative role on protecting our bones. Although women are more susceptible to osteoporosis, 2 million men have it and 12 million men are at risk. Do the math.

Besides the known issues of milk containing hormones (Bovine Growth Hormone known as “Posilac”), chemicals (dioxin, PCBs, BFRs) and antibiotics, a few conditions which may be associated with dairy consumption include: diabetes; kidney stones; acne; heart disease; osteoporosis; multiple sclerosis; stroke; arthritis; asthma; allergies; digestive upset; cataracts; macular degeneration; anemia; anxiety; ADD and ADHD; headaches; heartburn; indigestion; IBS; joint pain; impaired immune function; ovarian cancer; Alzheimer’s; prostate, colon and rectum cancer. Found in Cliff’s Notes of the China Study: Dr. Campbell discovered that casein, which makes up 85% of cow’s milk protein, promoted all three stages of cancer growth. Case Closed.

I could go on and on about the risks of sucking back dairy but instead of doing that, let’s talk about the goods. Below is a list of my favourite milk alternatives (and no, I did NOT forget to add soy to the list Y.U.C.K).

Rice Milk: low fat, lactose-free and generally fortified with the same amount of calcium as a serving of cow’s milk. Rice milk is also often fortified with niacin, vitamin B12, vitamin A, vitamin D and iron. Vegan friendly!

Almond Milk: low fat, lactose-free and PACKED with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. As it is clearly made from almonds, the milk contains the same benefits for your skin, heart health, balancing blood sugar, eye health, muscle power, bone health and weight management. Did I mention you can make it yourself? SCORE! See below for a delicious recipe

More alternatives: hemp milk, coconut milk, sheep milk and organic cows milk (..if you must)

Almond Milk

  • 1/2 cup almonds (soaked overnight)
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 tsp honey or 1-2 pitted dates or 1 tsp vanilla extract (optional sweetener)
  • flax seeds, chia seeds, sesame seeds (optional for additional nutrient value)
  1. Soak almonds overnight in 1 cup of water.
  2. After 12 hours, drain the additional water and rinse
  3. Pour almonds and 1 cup of water into a blender and blend until smooth (add sweetener if you would like)
  4. Lay a strainer over a bowl and pour nut mixture through the strainer. Press the mixture until the milk has drained through
  5. Put mixture back in the blender with additional cup of water, blend until smooth
  6. Lay a strainer over a bowl and pour nut mixture through the strainer. Press the mixture until the milk has drained through
  7. Pour milk into jar and store in the fridge for up to a weekENJOY!

Energizing Power Smoothie

Whether you’re just waking up, coming from the gym or just need a little boost of energy.. try this power smoothie to kick start your day.

1/2 banana
2 medjool dates
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup coconut water
1/2 cup rice or almond milk
1 tsp. nut butter (almond, cashew, pumpkin seed butter, etc.)
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tbsp. chia seeds
1 scoop protein (sun warrior)
about 1 1/2 cups of ice
1/4 cup kefir (or organic yogurt)
5 organic coffee beans (optional)

Mix in blender until smooth and enjoy!