December 30, 2016

Weekly Workout Challenge: December 30, 2016


It's Friday which means it's time for your Weekly Workout Challenge. The last workout challenge of 2016. Crazy hey? I can't believe another year has already come and gone...

2016 was a big year for me.  I finished residency (finally!), started my medical practice, bought a house, got 2 new puppies, travelled to Florida and Bali, started my Beautycounter consultant business (best move ever when it has come to earning more money and getting to work with amazing women!) and continued to grow this little blog of mine.




However, it wasn't all sunshine and roses in 2016. There were definitely some low points throughout the year as well. My grandmother passing away, the stress of my rheumatology exams, an emotional end to a long-term relationship (and then later reconciliation) and dealing with a back injury that doesn't seem to want to fully heal. But, you guys know that I don't like focusing on the negatives, and like to view challenges in a positive light. Because some of the greatest learning and healing that we do comes from the challenges and hardships that we face. I firmly believe that.

But let's focus on the task at hand shall we? Getting sweaty! Because fitness is such am important part of overall health, and way too many people neglect this aspect of their health. So I am trying to make it easier for all of you to incorporate regular exercise into your routines by providing you with workouts that are not only challenging, but won't take you hours to do.  This Weekly Workout Challenge takes 30 minutes to do. It's a little longer than some of the other challenges I have posted in the past but you need to continue to challenge your body in order to get results when it comes to fitness. Just do what you can. Modify the weight (or use none) if you need to. Or take extra rest if you need it. We are all at different levels when it comes to fitness, the point is that we are all trying to get better. So listen to your body and do what you can.

Equipment Needed:




Weekly Workout Challenge: December 30, 2016

Set your timer to 10 and 50 second intervals. (The Gymboss timer can do this) 

3 rounds going 50 seconds on, 10 seconds rest of:





  • High knees skipping
  • Clean and jerk with dumbbells (I used 15 lb dumbbells) 
  • High knees skipping 
  • Thrusters with dumbbells (I used 15 lb dumbbells)
  • High knees skipping
  • Crunches with dumbbell in hand (I used one 15 lb dumbbell)
  • High knees skipping
  • 2 jumping lunges followed by 2 strict press using a dumbbell (I used one 15lb dumbbell) 
  • High knees skipping
  • Rest (this is optional - if you want to make it more challenging then don't take the rest between rounds) 

That's it! Wasn't that fun?

Now, please make sure that you warm up and cool down before and after every workout you do. This will help you prevent injuries and perform better during your workouts.







DISCLAIMERS: The statements made on this website have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration or Health Canada. The information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. You assume full responsibility for how you use this information. Always consult with your physician or other health professionals before making any diet or lifestyle changes. 


This post may contain affiliate links whereby if you purchase these products I receive a small percentage of the sale price. This allows me to keep the blog running and I thank you for allowing me to do that!

December 26, 2016

Slow Cooker Pineapple Pork Ribs (Paleo, low FODMAP, SCD, GAPS, Whole 30, Gluten Free)



Another Christmas has come and gone. And on the day after Christmas, I am sure the last thing you are thinking about is slaving away in the kitchen. So I have just the recipe for you. Slow Cooker Pineapple Pork Ribs. These are so easy to make and taste so good! The meat literally falls off the bone with these ribs. It was actually really hard for me to take photos of them for this very reason. I had to be very careful with these babies.







What did you get for Christmas? Anything special? I actually didn't ask for anything this Christmas other than things for the house. So my presents included things like tool kits, sheets, pillows, kitchen gadgets, towels, shower rods and step ladders. Yep very exciting things my friends. However, I would much rather receive those things as gifts than have to buy them myself. 

I did receive a couple exciting things though: a new camera lens (eek!) and dehydrator! I got this 24-70 Tamron lens, which I had had on my wishlist for ages. I have heard amazing things about this lens so I can't wait to start playing with it. Because if there is one thing I want to keep working on is my photography skills. I think my next upgrade will be a new camera. Right now I am using the Nikon D3200, which has been great, but I think it might be time to step it up one more notch. I am thinking of investing in the Nikon D7200. But I am open to suggestions. So all you photography buffs out there pipe up! What would you suggest I upgrade to? 




Do you have any boxing day plans? Are you hitting the malls for some great deals? Or hibernating at home, avoiding the crowds at all costs? Now I know I have a lot of American readers here, so for those of you that don't know, Boxing day, or December 26, is the equivalent of your Black Friday for us Canadians. Think crazy good deals and sales. I didn't realize this wasn't common knowledge until recently. So there you go, maybe I taught you something new today? 

But whatever your plans are today, if you don't have dinner plans yet, you might want to consider adding these Slow Cooker Pineapple Pork Ribs to your menu. Not only do these taste amazing but they are so, so easy to make. Simply throw everything in your slow cooker and leave it alone for the day. And ta da - fall of the bone tender ribs for you to enjoy! Just like that. Plus these ribs are compatible for a gluten free, Paleo, Low FODMAP, GAPS, SCD and Whole 30 diet. Yes friends, almost everyone will be able to enjoy these. 

Or maybe you are planning on starting a Whole 30 as part of your new years resolution? Or just simply planning to eat better in the new year? Why not add these ribs to your meal planning? I promise you and your family will not be disappointed. Because who doesn't love ribs? Seriously who? And it's like I always say, eating healthy shouldn't be complicated or difficult. And these Slow Cooker Pineapple Pork Ribs are definitely the opposite of complicated or difficult. We all have better things to do than spend hours slaving away in the kitchen right? Right! 




As always I would be thrilled if you tried these ribs. And even more thrilled if you left me your feedback. I always want to know what you think of my recipes. 

Enjoy friends!

And as always I would be thrilled if you followed me on my social media pages on  Instagram, FacebookPinterest and  Twitter.

Until next time, happy eating! 



Slow Cooker Pineapple Pork Ribs Recipe


Ingredients

~3 lbs baby back pork ribs (ethically raised ideally) 

6 medium sized tomatoes, chopped
4 heaping cups chopped, fresh pineapple
1 cup chopped green onion, or sub 1 chopped white onion (use the green onion for low FODMAP)
2 TBSP dried basil (This is the brand I use) 
2 TBSP dried rosemary (I use this kind
2 TBSP italian seasoning (This brand is SCD legal) 
1 tsp sea salt
Optional: 2 cloves of garlic, minced (Omit for low FODMAP) 

Directions

1. Turn your slow cooker onto low heat (I have this slow cooker and love it) 
2. Add all of the ingredients to your slow cooker
3. Cook for 7-8 hours (if you can, stir them every few hours to distribute the sauce more evenly) 
4. Serve and enjoy!

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December 19, 2016

Spiced Carrot and Parsnip Soup (Paleo, Whole 30, Vegan, Vegetables)


Spiced Carrot and Parsnip Soup. That's what we're making today. Because it's been like minus a billion here and all I want to eat is soups and stews. Okay, I may be exaggerating slightly. I think it's only -25 today, but -32 with the windchill. However you put it, it's freaking cold! Like want to hibernate by the fire kind of cold. Drink hot coffee and hide under a heated blanket all day kind of cold. Wear flannel pyjamas and fuzzy slippers all day kind of cold... (I think you get the idea). 

Unfortunately, even when mother nature likes to play her evil tricks on us, life still must go on. Dogs don't take -30 as an excuse not to go for their walks it turns out. Funny isn't it? They don't want to go out in the backyard to go to the bathroom but they are more than happy to put those leashes on and go out for an adventure. Oh well I am sure all that crisp, fresh air must somehow be good for me right? What doesn't kill you makes you stronger? 






You know what's amazing? Cooking on a gas stove! I have never had one until we moved into our new house. I have been shocked at how much of a difference it makes. So, so much better than the induction elements I was using on the stove we had before. Plus, having to buy those special pans that only worked on the induction elements was the biggest pain. Seriously, they were so hard to find! If you are ever thinking of buying an oven that has induction elements I urge you to think twice. Totally not worth it if you ask me. 

Now, this Spiced Carrot and Parsnip Soup was not created on my new gas stove. I made this recipe weeks ago, when the weather first started turning colder. I actually haven't made any new recipes in the new house yet. I have been relying on my old faithfuls like 10 Minute Blueberry Pork Chops and Slowcooker Apple Rosemary Pork Roast. We have just been too busy getting unpacked and organized. But we should be more settled soon and I can't wait to start taking food photos in my new pretty kitchen. The light in our new home is amazing. So bright and fresh. Just ask any food blogger and they will tell you that good, natural light is key to getting those beautiful photographs. 




This Spiced Carrot and Parsnip Soup is full of nourishing ingredients like carrots, parsnips, coconut oil, coconut milk and so many flavourful spices like cinnamon, ginger and tumeric.

I have been using tumeric in almost everything since we got back from Bali. It is such a common ingredient in Balinese dishes, I fell in love with this spice while I was there.  Not only does it have an amazing flavour, but it is packed full of health benefits. Did you know that studies have even shown tumeric to be just as effective as NSAIDs (medications like Aspirin, Advil, Motrin etc.) when it comes to reducing pain and inflammation? I kid you not friends. I actually plan on doing a whole post about this topic in the future. I am thinking of calling it "natural alternatives to NSAIDs". Would a post like that interest you? I have patients asking all the time about other options when it comes to pain relief so I figured it was time I really dug into the literature. Because the scientist in me always likes to find evidence if I can.

But for those of you who don't come here to hear my science babble, and only come for the recipes I will move on. Beyond tasting great this soup is also safe for those on the paleo diet, a gluten free diet, vegan diet, or Whole 30 diet. And since I know at least a few of you will have plans to overhaul your eating habits in the new year, you can bookmark this recipe for later. You still need to get through a few more days of holiday feasts first! I actually can't believe that Christmas is only 6 days away. Are you ready? I am totally not. Moving in the middle of December has kind of taken a toll on my Christmas plans. We don't even have a tree up. I know, it's so sad! I did manage to get out and get us some stockings the other day though. And a few poinsettias. So it's not total grinchville at our house anymore. Now if only I could find some pretty stocking hooks to hang our stockings I would be golden. Why are they so hard to find? You'd think that everyone who sells stockings would also sell the hooks to hang them from your fireplace. Apparently that is just too logical. Who knew...


Please let me know if you try this one.

And as always I would be thrilled if you followed me on my social media pages on  Instagram, FacebookPinterest and  Twitter.

Happy eating friends! 



Spiced Carrot and Parsnip Soup Recipe


Ingredients

2 lbs parsnips, peeled and diced
2 lbs carrots, peeled and diced
2 cups coconut milk
4 cups of water (this yields a very thick soup - if you want it to be thinner add an extra 1-2 cups)
3/4 cup chopped green onion (or substitute 1 small white onion, chopped)
1/3 cup organic coconut oil (this brand is my favourite
1/3 cup coconut manna (buy here

2 TBSP ground cinnamon (I use this brand)
2 tsp ground ginger (I use this brand
2 tsp ground turmeric (I used this one)
1 tsp ground cumin (buy here
1 tsp ground nutmeg (This is the brand I use
1 tsp sea salt (or more to taste)  

Directions

1. Place a large pot onto the stove on medium heat
2. Add all of the ingredients
3. Bring to a boil
4. Turn down the heat and let simmer for ~45 minutes, or until the carrots and parsnips are soft
5. Turn off the heat and let cool for 5-10 minute
6. Using your immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth
7. Serve and enjoy! 

NOTE: This yields a very large batch of soup. I normally freeze half of it but feel free to half the recipe if you want less.

Topping ideas: Cilantro, pomegranate seeds, chopped nuts or seeds

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DISCLAIMERS: The statements made on this website have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. The information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. You assume full responsibility for how you use this information. Always consult with your physician or other health professionals before making any diet or lifestyle changes. 


This post may contain affiliate links whereby if you purchase these products I receive a small percentage of the sale price. This allows me to keep the blog running and I thank you for allowing me to do that!

December 12, 2016

15 Scary Skincare Facts


When I completely overhauled my diet over five years ago to a grain-free/paleo style of eating I thought that was enough to improve my health. I was eating healthy, exercising, studying hard to become a doctor, and enjoying life. And I definitely noticed a huge improvement in so many of my health problems. My chronic diarrhea resolved, my headaches stopped, I no longer got heat rashes, I started sleeping better and had more energy. However, I still struggled with severe keratosis pilaris (KP) and adult acne. So I started doing more and more research into these skin conditions, and the underlying factors that can cause them. Because I don't believe in simply putting bandaid solutions on these issues. I believe in getting to the root cause and treating those.




Through my research I started to learn just how significant the effects that our environmental exposures can be on our bodies. In the past I never thought that what I was putting on my skin could actually be making my skin conditions worse or potentially causing even more devastating health consequences. I followed my doctor's advice for treatments but neither of my skin conditions really improved. That's when I really started researching just what I was putting on my skin. And the information I found was not pretty. Actually pretty scary, if not terrifying. Since then I have been on a mission to clean up my skin care and beauty routine and to educate others about this topic as well. I have completely healed my keratosis pilaris in doing so (you can read how I did that in this post) and my acne is slowly healing as well. So I decided it was finally time that I share some of these scary skincare facts with you as well. Because knowledge is power. And this knowledge is particularly horrifying.



1. The last time a law was passed regulating the personal care industry in the United States was in 1938 (Yes that is almost 100 years ago!). 

2. The laws in the US do not provide the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) with the power to ask cosmetic companies for safety data or to issue recalls of cosmetics found to be unsafe. In other words, the FDA really has no power to regulate the skincare industry at all, which means that you really can’t trust “FDA approved” products.

3. Only 20% of the skincare ingredients that are used today have actually been tested for safety. 






4. in Canada, the Auditor General recently announced that Health Canada does not regularly test cosmetic products to verify the accuracy of product labels, or to check for the presence of prohibited substances, contaminants, or heavy metals.” 

5. Companies are not required to disclose all of the ingredients in their skincare or beauty products on the labels.

6. Terms like "fragrance" and "scent" are considered to be trade secrets, meaning that companies don’t have to tell you what these ingredients contain, and it's known that there are over 3000 chemicals that can be used to make a fragrance. 


7. The European Union has banned 1400 ingredients from their skincare products while the US has banned only 11 and Canada only 600. 





8. There are no regulations for using the terms “natural,” “organic,” or “botanical” on product labels.

9. Many chemicals used in the skincare industry can cause hormone imbalances, and these ingredients are often not listed on labels. Phthalates and parabens are some of the most common hormone disrupting ingredients, and they are also linked to cancers as well as birth defects and infertility. 

10. Ingredients that are known to cause cancer, neurological problems, behavioral problems, allergies, and infertility are all allowed in products marketed to children and babies. 

11. The rates of cancer continue to rise, and it’s known that 1 in 5 skincare and beauty products on the market contain ingredients that are linked to cancer.





12. Our newborns are already being contaminated with toxic chemicals before they are even born. It has been shown that the umbilical cord blood of new born babies contains over 200 industrial chemicals at the time of birth. 

13 Women use an average of 12 personal care products containing 168 ingredients daily; men use an average of 6 personal care products containing 85 unique ingredients daily, and teenage girls use an average of 17 personal care products daily. 

14. In Canada, if a company wants to introduce a new skincare or beauty product, it doesn’t need to inform Health Canada until 10 days AFTER that product has been on the market.

15. 95% of lipsticks on the market contain lead, and companies are not required to test for this contaminant, or to disclose it on the label. Lead is a known neurotoxin and has been banned from almost every other industry because it is so dangerous to human health. 





Aren't those facts horrifying? When I first learned about those statistics I wanted to be sick. We are basically being used as one giant science experiment. It's no wonder we are becoming sicker and sicker as a society. The rates of obesity, diabetes, asthma, allergies, cancers, skin conditions, autoimmune diseases etc. continue to rise each day. And our genetics cannot explain it. This increased prevalence of disease is all due to environmental exposures, with our skincare and beauty products being just one piece of that puzzle. And while we can't control many of the things we are exposed to on a daily basis, you can control what you are putting on your body. So why not choose brands that only use ingredients that are known to be safe? I personally have switched all of my skincare and beauty products to safer brands. It took some time, but over the past year I have rid my bathroom of all my old toxin containing products. So far, the best brands that I have discovered, and that I personally use include Beautycounter, 100 Percent Pure and Neal's Yard Remedies

If you would like some specific skincare recommendations please send me a message and I will do my best to try and help. Or if you use and love other brands please let me know what they are. I am always looking for new products and brands to try. 

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DISCLAIMERS: The statements made on this website have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. The information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. You assume full responsibility for how you use this information. Always consult with your physician or other health professionals before making any diet or lifestyle changes. 

This post may contain affiliate links whereby if you purchase these products I receive a small percentage of the sale price. This allows me to keep the blog running and I thank you for allowing me to do that!