Posts Tagged ‘free-range’

Have you ever wondered why you get that re-occurring phlegm or coated feeling in the back of your throat after eating dairy? Why you feel bloated and lethargic after eating bread or pasta? Or maybe what’s causing that chronic constipation or diarrhea? Our bodies are like cars; if we take good care of them by keeping them oiled, fueled up and perform regular maintenance, they function far more optimally.

Note to anyone looking to embark on this worthwhile mission: timing is everything!

I have done several different body cleanses over the past 8 years ranging from liver, kidney, candida, parasite and colon. Cleansing, in simple terms, means cutting out things in our diet that can cause sensitivities, put internal stress on our organs and lead to overall poor health. The more we know about the foods we eat and understand their impact on our bodies, the better equipped we are to make sound meal choices.

Cleansing can be a life changing experience for some and for others, a way to get their healthy eating back on track, learn a new recipe or two and just feel a lot better.

Here’s a basic run down on how to approach a cleanse:

1- Pick a date. I usually plan a cleanse around what food I have at home that I should finish and when it makes the most sense (I have often found Monday is a good day to start). Cleansing is best tolerated by the body in the spring and fall, because not only are these “shoulder” seasons naturally conducive to change, but they also provide an abundance of fresh produce, which is necessary while cleansing. Trying to do a cleanse during the Christmas holidays or summer BBQ season is not the best plan!

2- Get a cleanse kit from your local health food store. I would start with either a 7 or 14 day cleanse, especially if you’re a first timer. Some easy to follow starter cleanses are: “The Wild Rose 12-day”, “The Herbal Cleanse 7-day” or the “Floressence Daily Tea Detox”. Cleanse kits are special formulations of herbs (pills, tinctures or teas) that when taken in conjunction with a proper diet, aid the body in excreting toxins and helping your organs function more optimally.

3- Make a meal plan. Look online or purchase a cleanse cookbook (you can buy a “Wild Rose” Cookbook at most health food stores) to help you decide the best things to eat during your cleansing period. In order to make the most of a cleanse you should avoid the following: all types sugar (except in some cases whole fruit), all types of flour, dairy (except plain yogurt), alcohol and excessive amounts of caffeine. You’re free to eat as many vegetables as you like (cooked and raw), good quality meats (organic or free range), fish, whole grains, herbal tea, tons of spices and lots of water. Don’t be alarmed- it sounds more intimidating than it really is!

4- Complete the program to the best of your abilities and feel better! One of the first things many people notice is how much clear-headed and less anxious they feel. A cleanse is a great way to lose unwanted weight in the healthiest possible way. It can also help you get out of an negative ‘eating rut’, away from highly addictive and allergenic foods and on track to better health.

Cleansing is like quitting a bad habit or starting a new routine. It means more than just good meal planning and preparation, it’s about your mind set and your will power to stick with the plan! I have always found that completing a successful cleanse requires organization and setting an attainable goal that makes it worth it.

Best of luck with your future cleanses, and please feel free to share your stories. 🙂


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Autumn is one of my favourite times of the year.  I like the fall colours, the cooler weather, and the abundance of fresh vegetables. With Thanksgiving quickly approaching and harvest season in full swing, it is a good time of year to reflect on what we’re grateful for in our lives. I’m thankful for spending time with family and friends, enjoying nature and good, healthy food.

Our local farmer’s market here in Vancouver has everything to prepare a delightful feast with a wide variety of squash, yams, potatoes, green beans, brussel sprouts and fresh salad greens. What better time to talk about the difference between organic and non-organic food.

Many people are unaware of the difference between organic and non-organic foods.  If it is something that you have never given much thought to, I hope after reading this blog, you will.



The term organic refers to foods that are produced without using synthetic pesticides, chemical fertilizers or genetically modified organisms (GMO).  Organic can also refer to foods that are free of irradiation (no exposure to radiation), industrial solvents and chemical food additives.  Organically produced foods are better for our bodies and the environment around us.  When farmers add pesticides to their fields in hopes of eliminating infestation by insects, they in turn produce an extremely harmful by-product.    Not only do these harmful pesticides and fertilizers affect the food we ingest but also our water systems, soil and surrounding wildlife.  The effects are detrimental to the entire life cycle within the local ecosystem. Food transportation, flooding, and even wind can cause harm to areas farther away that you wouldn’t expect to be affected.

Non-organic on the other hand, is the exact opposite.  Non-organic foods are those that have been sprayed or genetically modified.  The also often have additives or use irradiation to enhance growth.   Have you ever noticed the size, perfect shape and often shiny exterior of  some of your favourite fruits and vegetables in the produce department?  Pesticides and genetically modified seeds are often a major culprit, as well as fruit spray-on wax.  Compare the non-organic foods to the organic ones and see the difference for yourself.

The top ten foods to buy organically whenever possible:

1- Apples

2- Bell peppers

3- Spinach

4- Celery

5- Grapes

6- Pears

7- All berries

8- Peaches

9- Potatoes

10- Animal products

Another healthy and ethical alternative is free-range.  Free-range refers to farming practices where animals treated kindly and are given greater access to move around.  Often a farm can be authentically free-range before getting Organic Certification, which takes years of paperwork and government licensing to achieve. If you find that organic meat and dairy are too highly priced for your grocery budget,  free-range is a good middle ground and is a much better choice than your regular mass produced animal products.  Animals that are treated with care are more likely to be free of disease and less likely contaminated with antibiotics than battery cage chickens,and terrorized cattle and pigs.

I hope when you head out to your local market or grocer this Thanksgiving weekend that you consider purchasing some free-range or organic options for your family.  Your body, the environment, and the animals will thank you.

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