Boobs, hips, thighs and tummy, bring it on baby!

After 9 months of morning sickness, mood swings and late night cravings for oyster rockefeller (only a pregnant gal would understand)… To top it off, you now have to worry about whether or not you have been blessed with a stretch mark!  Boobs, hips, thighs and tummy, bring it on baby! 

Just when you thought you were taking every precaution to stay away from toxins, you missed one itty bitty memo.. your “natural” stretch mark ointment. As you all know, a large majority of skin care products contain ingredients which are harmful to our bodies. Unfortunately, sometimes pulling out the magnifying glass and playing the role of Sherlock Holmes is necessary to detect these toxic products. I get it, trying to pick apart the foreign language of chemicals on a label is difficult …I don’t entirely understand either (can you sayP-Phenylenediamine?). For this reason, the wonderful Environmental Working Group (EWG) has come up with a database which contains over 69,000 products to give people like you and me the power to know what the hell we’re absorbing into our system! Hallelujah.

Skin Deep is a database which informs the consumer with the hazard/concern rating as well as the data availability. Both of Skin Deep’s rating factors are calculated from information drawn from the nearly 60 integrated toxicity, regulatory, and study availability databases. They have divided these databases into 260 individual categories ranging from “known human carcinogen according to EPA” to “skin irritant identified by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review panel.” Then, they mapped each of these categories into one of 205 “score categories”. Each category is ranked with a scare according to a subjective assessment of its relative importance to public health or regulatory compliance, and then assigned a weight to each score category, also described in tables below. Huh?? Better yet, Check it out  yourself!

Take a look what Skin Deep has to say about the popular stretch mark ointment “Bio Oil”! Rating: 7! (0 being the least harmful, 10 being the most)

What’s a prego lady to do? 

Try doubling the recipe so it will last you through your pregnancy.

1/ 2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup aloe vera gel (common, buy the plant yourself and put your hubby to work!)
liquid from 6 capsules of Vitamin E (with the extra vitamin E, use it as a preservative/antioxidant in your oils!)
liquid from 4 capsules of vitamin A
Mix all ingredients in a blender and store in refrigerator.  

Aloe Vera Gel grows in arid climates and is widely distributed in Africa, India, Nepal and other arid areas. Aside from its many healing attributes, aloe vera gel is known to be an immune system stimulant and most importantly its ability to heal the skin. This medicinal plant is able to reduce stretch marks by moisturizing and rejuvinating the skin. This is primarily done by stimulating the synthesis of elastin and collagen.
Caution: avoid external use during pregnancy

According to over 700 published studies, Vitamin A, also known as retinol, is proven to be necessary for healthy skin. A lack or deficiency of Vitamin A can cause dry, rough and damaged skin along with many other problems.

Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin which contains tocopherols and tocotrienols. It is a powerful antioxidant which protects the skin against free radical damage. Free radicals are detrimental to the skin and specifically stretch marks as they break down collagen and elastin in the skin.

When purchasing Olive Oil, it is important to look for “extra virgin” and “cold pressed” to ensure the beneficial properties have not be damage from the heat during the pasteurization of the oil. Olive oil is a good source of Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids. Apply to your belly and it will function as a softening agent, lubricant and along with Vitamin E, it has been known to replace tissue.

Advertisements

Better than Narnia Banana Bread

Oh by George. Being a nutritionista, I can’t believe I’ve gone this long without posting a delicious recipe! My apologies. 

I came home last week and was craving something tasty. I found myself staring in the freezer as if it had turned into Narnia and something mystical was about to happen. Instead, something better happened…I came across 6 brown frozen bananas. SCORE! The rest is history.

Better than Narnia Banana Bread

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a medium-sized loaf pan or a preferred pan and set aside.

1 cup bananas, mashed
2 organic eggs
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup ghee, melted (can substitute with organic butter or coconut oil)
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup apple sauce

Mix the above ingredients in a large bowl and set aside.

1 cup brown rice flour
1/4 cup buckwheat flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 cup shredded coconut (optional)
1 tsp. aluminum-free

Mix the above ingredients in a separate bowl. Combine both dry and wet ingredients and mix well. Pour mixture into pan and bake for 20 minutes or until cooked through. (I took it out juuuust slightly before and it finished while cooling)

OPTIONAL:
1/4 cup chocolate chips (I use carob)
1/4 cup cacao nibs

PS – I am WELL aware that I am NOT a photographer! The wonders of a cell phone camera without flash! 🙂

For all the Hippies in Heels

Well my beauties, I’m creating a new category on my blog.. “hippies in heels”. This is my way of providing you with all the product information my lovely readers are looking for..au natural. Why you ask? ..because I truly understand the struggle of finding a good, natural beauty products, that not only does the job, but doesn’t drain the wallet. Once you’ve found this wonderful product, you open it up and it smells like… well let’s just say it wasn’t the smell you were hoping for. What’s a “hippie in heels” gotta do to stay feeling fresh, fashionable, fabulous and free of chemicals?

Hippies.. a word that is commonly used to describe holistic nutritionists. Do I mind? Not one bit! Am I actually a hippie? No. That being said, I secretly admire the days of rebellion and revolution.

What really distinguishes this generation. . . is its determination to act, its joy in action, the assurance of being able to change things by one’s own efforts. 
Hannah Arendt (1972)

Aside from the war, there is so much to love about the fifties all the way through to the seventies. This was a time of change, development, acts of freedom, music and movements. This is a time before blackberries, androids and iphones,  ipads, laptops, HD television, facebook and twitter, tooney tuesdays and most of all the luxuries we have become dependent on today. Sure, it’s handy and evolution is wonderful but let’s not forget about going back to the basics once and a while. Home cooked meals, hand writing and mailing a letter (right), meeting up with a friend to gossip rather than texting (sometimes the wrong person, uh huh), tuning into rad hits, and simply taking time for yourself. Can you blame a girl for loving the sixties?

My revolution..

To not only take a stand for my own personal health and well-being but to preach to all you health sinners and new beginners! Discover what is in your beauty products and understand how it is effecting your bod. Pucker your bright red lips, flip your smooth, luscious hair and flirt wearing your favourite fragrance. Do it with class, do it with sass but do it naturally.

Say no to GMO! But why?

How would you feel if I gave you an unlabelled bottle and told you to drink it? Wouldja, couldja? For those of you who said yes… game on! For the smarties who said no, it’s time for a little eye opener. Sigh. Where to begin..

While you were in the park playing cops and robbers, the scientists were in the lab playing the risky game of genetic roulette.

GMO’s are genetically modified organisms in which the genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques. In other words, they take a gene from one organism and transfer it to another organism to enhance desired traits.

October is non-GMO month so I’m here to give you the low down on these little nasties wrongfully injected in our food.

According to recent research, below are 10 reasons why you should say no to GMO’s.

1. GM foods won’t solve the food crisis

In 2008, the world bank report concluded that increased biofuel production is the major cause of the increase in food prices. GM-loving Monsanto has been at the heart of the lobbying for biofuels.
2. GM crops do not increase yield potential
Studies have actually shown quite the opposite, (suprise!) especially when referring to the most widely grown GM crop – soya.
3. GM crops increase pesticide use
Data shows that GM crops in fact use an increased amount of pesticides compared to regular conventional farming (which also uses pesticides). Complete avoidance would be organic.
4. There are better ways to feed the world
A sponsered report compiled by 400 scientists concluded that GM crops have very little to offer global agriculture in respect to the challenges of poverty, hunger and climate change.
5. Other farm technologies are more sucessful
Pest management and organic methods for controlling pests and boosting yields are highly effective.
6. GM foods have NOT shown to be safe!
Who woulda guessed that putting an altered/mutated gene in your body was unsafe? Health effects which have been linked to GMO’s include a rise in allergies, food intolerances, infertility and auto immune disease.
7. Stealth GMOs are in animal feed without consumers consent
Studies have shown that animals raised on GM feed indeed differ from those who are not.
8. GM crops are long-term economical disasters for farmers.
Someones gotta say it! 2009 report showed that GM seed prices have increased dramatically compared to non-GM seeds. What happens when all of the non-GM seeds are gone? Which brings me to my next point..
9. GMO and non-GMO cannot co-exist
Contamination between GM seeds and organic/conventional seeds are increasing.
10. We can’t trust GM companies
Story time! In several cases, large biotech companies have taken to harassing and intimidating farmers for the crime of “stealing” patened genes even if it happened through contaimination. There’s no happy ending to this story!

Read your labels!

There is still no requirment for labelling GMO products. Go figure. Foods which are well-known to contain GMO’s are: corn, soy, fish, tomatoes, alfalfa, cotton, flax, papaya, rice, sugar beets, zucchini and yellow squash.

Whatcha gunna do?

Be an informed shopper. Send a letter to the manager at your local grocery store explaining your concerns.

Look for a “Certified Organic” (USDA) sticker or a “Non-GMO” project label.

If you don’t see one of these labels, chances are you don’t know what the hell you’re putting in your mouth. Use your noggin’ and shop responsibily.

Click to sign the petition!

www.nongmoproject.org

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.