Kim Banting

Spring Cleaning for Your Home

By Kim Banting,

Spring is a time when we naturally want to let go of extra stuff cluttering our homes, get in behind the furniture we haven’t moved for a while and really give our living space a good cleaning.  It feels so good and afterward there is a powerful feeling of satisfaction!

But what if the cleaning supplies we are using are actually bringing harmful chemicals into our homes and hurting our health or the health of our families? Unfortunately, most of the common cleaners available to us are filled with ingredients that are known carcinogens (cancer-causing), disrupt our hormones and can even affect our fertility, as well as irritate our skin.   Have you heard that the air inside our homes can be many times more toxic than the air outdoors??!!  Did you know that more than 80,000 chemicals have been introduced into our environment in the past 50 years and many of these have been untested for safety.  Of those that have been tested, many have been found to be toxic, irritating to skin and eyes, cause tumors in laboratory animals and cause reproductive issues.  Parabens, pthalates, sodium laurel (laureth) sulfate, VOC’s, fragrances, triclosan, and the list goes on.

So what do we do?  One of the simplest things you can do is to open your windows daily for a little while, but of course, we also need to clean our homes and there are lots of great products and simple ingredients in your pantry you can use right now.  Baking soda is a great scouring agent.  Vinegar kills salmonella, E coli and may other bacteria and leaves a nice shine on windows, mirrors and chrome.  Dr. Bronner’s castille soap can be used to create your own cleaning solution and can be used as a body wash and shampoo as well!  Essential oils can be used to create a nice scent that won’t harm you or your loved ones and many have antimicrobial properties.  Also, there are great products on the market that we can buy from companies like Norwex that are environmentally friendly and safe for your family.

Here are a few of the recipes that I use in my home:

Cutting boards:  Wooden cutting boards harbour a lot of bacteria!  They can get deep into the wood and come out when moisture is present.  How to get them clean?  First, give your board a good scrub with hot, soapy water.  Lay it flat and sprinkle the surface generously with salt and scrub, rubbing the salt into the board.  Allow it to sit for 30 minutes and rinse well.  I also like to give it a final spray with white vinegar and allow it to sit again for a few minutes before wiping it with a clean, dry cloth.

All purpose cleaner:  Combine 1 tsp castille soap and 2 cups of water to a spray bottle.  You can also add a few drops of pure, organic, high quality essential oil like tea tree oil, oregano oil, lemon oil or even Thieves.  I use oils from Young Living which are certified organic therapeutic grade essential oils.

Floor cleaner:   To cut through tough dirt, use 2 tbsp liquid castille soap to 1 gallon hot water.  For shine combine 1 cup white vinegar to 1 gallon hot water.

Scrubbing paste:  To cut through soap scum in your bathtub, shower or sink, combine 5 tbsp baking soda with enough castille soap to make a paste (about 3 tsp).  Dip a cleaning cloth in this paste and rub into your surface and rinse clean.  You can also prevent soap build up in the shower by spraying down the walls with vinegar after showering.

Mold and mildew in your towels:  No one likes the smell of mildew in their towels and we all know that simple washing in regular detergent won’t get rid of this.  You will need to run your washing machine for two cycles.  Round 1, use 1 cup white vinegar and no soap for a full cycle.  Next, run the same load again with 1 cup of baking soda, no soap.  In the dryer, I love using dryer balls and you can even scent them with a few drops of essential oil from lavender, lemon or any scent you like!

One last idea:  Get some green, living plants in your home.  They help to clean the air while bringing some life into your surroundings.  Two of the best plants to buy are spider plants and Boston ferns.

Have fun with these ideas and feel great that you aren’t just cleaning your home, you are also helping to protect your health!

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Healthy Gut, Healthy Life

By Kim Banting,

The importance of your gut flora and it’s influence on your health cannot be overstated.  Your digestive tract is home to countless bacteria, both good and bad; these microbes outnumber your body cells 10:1!

Over the past years, more and more scientific research has been looking at our gut health and how it relates to virtually all illness and disease.  What we have learned is gut bacteria is the largest part of our immune system, it affects our entire body and that maintaining a balance of good and bad microbes (aka microbiome) forms the foundation of our physical, mental and emotional health.    Scientists estimate that 95% of our gene expression is determined by our gut bacteria!

There are many things that affect our microbiome:

  • vaginal birth vs caesarian
  • breast fed vs formula fed
  • condition of mother’s digestive tract during and after pregnancy
  • food fed to baby during first two years of life
  • quality and diversity of diet
  • lack of exposure to bad bacteria to develop a healthy gut
  • antibacterial products (soaps, handsanitizers)
  • environmental toxins- glyphotsate (pesticides), food additives
  • stress
  • antibiotics
  • other drugs (esp corticosteroids and birth control pill)
  • junk foods
  • alcohol
  • excess exercise or too little exercise
  • lack of sleep; poor quality sleep
  • radiation from x-rays, airline flights, cell phones, computers, etc

It’s kind of overwhelming, right?  So many things on this list that you have probably been affected by, but it’s ok!  The cells lining your digestive tract live for 2-3 days, then they die, shed off and get replaced with new, healthy cells.   Because of this cell regeneration, we have the opportunity to really heal and seal a damaged gut lining.  For this, we need 2 things:

  1. Building blocks; protein, essentials fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, enzymes
  2. Good bacteria, yeasts and fungi to repopulate the gut

Poor nutrition can prevent your gut lining from healing, causes problems in the first place and when we eat junky foods, it feeds the bad microbes.  Eating a healthful diet, low in sugar and refined foods is an important first step in bringing our gut back into balance, but we also need to repopulate, and this is where fermented foods comes into play.

  • fermented foods help to draw out toxins and heavy metals from the body
  • bring good microbes to your digestive tract in an affordable way (high quality probiotic can be costly)
  • they help you to absorb food better because bacteria assist in breaking down food allowing the release of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients so our bodies can utilize them
  • fermented foods make other, tough to digest foods like legumes and cabbage, easier to digest
  • help to make vitamin K2 which is important for blood clotting and bone health

So you can see that incorporating fermented foods as a regular part of your eating routine is an excellent strategy to help optimize your gut flora, creating a balanced, symbiotic relationship where they nourish you, help you fight disease and improve your overall health.  In fact, you are probably already eating some fermented foods without even knowing it!

  • tamari, miso, tempeh, natto, soy sauce and fish sauce
  • yogurt, kefir, creme fraiche
  • kombucha, kvass
  • pickles, sauerkraut, kimchee
  • yeast free, sourdough breads
  • wine and beer

If you are looking for real pickles and sauerkraut, you will need to look in the refrigerator section and usually the health food aisle to find the real stuff.  The ingredient list will be simple: vegetable, sea salt, lactic bacteria.  You will not find vinegar or sugar in the list and it will have to be chilled.  These foods are really easy to make yourself as well.  Check out my recipe blog for my Basic Sauerkraut recipe.

Enjoy!

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Start 2017 Out With Healthier Habits!

By Kim Banting,

I am offering a SPECIAL PRICE on my 30 Day Clean Eating Program for January!  I want you to start 2017 out inspired to create your healthiest year yet, and I am hosting a free information evening on Wednesday, December 7th from 6:30-7:30 to give you all the details.  This special price is for the month of January only, so you don’t want to miss out.

Space is limited, so please RSVP to 647-202-7649 or kim@flourish-nutrition.com  

Most of us have some unhealthy habits that we would like to change, but it can feel so hard to follow through!  Not knowing where to start or how to make these changes happen can be really stressful and it might mean that we don’t even try at all.  Experts say that it takes about 21 days (or 3 weeks) to break a bad habit or implement a new one.  I am offering a program that I call the 30 Day Clean Eating Challenge.  It includes:

  1. An initial assessment where we will discuss your current challenges, concerns and health goals 
  2. A Nutri-Body Analysis (covers more than 200 different body imbalances) to show you where to focus on the details of your personal nutrition requirements 
  3. Learn which foods help to boost metabolism, build lean muscle, shed unwanted weight and heal your body to keep it at Optimal Health
  4. Weekly check-ins to get your questions answered and discuss your struggles and successes
  5. A follow up appointment at the end of the 30 days to re-evaluate the Nutri-Body Analysis to see how much you have improved!  

You will receive lots of support and opportunities for you to get your questions answered.  When you are finished, I will teach how you can continue to move forward and keep reaching your health goals.

I know that some people just need that little nudge to get them on the right path, and that is what I am offering.  Are you feeling inspired?   Call me (647-202-7649 or kim@flourish-nutrition.com) today to ask how you can get started on the 30 Day Clean Eating Challenge!

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Stop the Sugar Addiction Cycle

By Kim Banting,

Sugar is an insidious part of our daily lives. It is in almost every packaged food we buy from granola bars and cereal to tomato sauce and yogurt. It isn’t just in candy and pastries; it is in foods that are marketed to us as being healthy! It’s no wonder that so many people who are trying to lose weight and make healthier choices aren’t getting results.

You may be surprised to learn that in Canada, the average person is eating 45 tsp of sugar a day! As incredible as that may sound, it really isn’t difficult to reach that number even when making an effort to eat well. Consider that 1 serving of strawberry yogurt contains 20g of sugar! That’s 5 tsp. A Fibre One bar has 7 g of sugar, or 2 tsp. So here you go, with 27 g of sugar just for a so called healthy breakfast. When you eat a salad with premade dressing, it has sugar in it. Any sauce that might be added to your meal has sugar in it. When you go to a fast food restaurant, but order the salad, all the dried fruit and candied nuts they add are loaded with sugar! Breads, pitas, buns…most have added sugar in them unless they are homemade.

We need to learn to read the ingredient list on all packaged foods. Actually, we need to stop eating packaged foods…but in the meantime, it is important to know that there are more than 55 names for sugar. Cane sugar, molasses, evaporated cane syrup, dextrose, sucrose, juice concentrate, honey, maple syrup, sorbitol, corn syrup, dates, and the list goes on. We have been told that if sugar isn’t in the first 5 ingredients of the list, then it’s ok. But what about the fact that companies almost always use several forms of sugar? The different forms appear all through the list, making a product like a granola bar very misleading. We have all thought of granola bars as a healthy snack, but the truth is they aren’t much healthier than a chocolate bar.

What else is problematic with this? Well, the food industry understands that we humans have a weakness when it comes to sugar. When we eat sweet foods, a chemical reaction occurs in our brains that creates a dopamine response. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that makes us repeat behaviours that make us feel good. Sex, drugs, alcohol and food are all things that can drive us to seek more pleasure and possibly lead to an addiction. Have you ever tried to resist eating a piece of candy or a butter tart? How difficult was it? Scientists know that if we can see a food that we like, we will almost certainly eat it. Have you ever seen an add for fast food or ice cream and wanted to eat it? Have you ever acted on that urge? That’s what advertising is meant to do to you. Compel you to buy the thing you see. PET scans show that obese people have a lower dopamine sensitivity that leads them to eat more of the offending food to get the same reward. This is similar to drug addicts and alcoholics, but it seems that sugar has an even stronger pull on people.

When you eat a sweet food that comes from nature, like an apple, there is fibre and vitamins, minerals, and other plant chemicals that send signals to the brain that tell you “enough”, but packaged, processed foods don’t contain these nutrients, so the message doesn’t get sent to tell you to stop eating. That’s why you would never eat 8 apples in a sitting, but you might eat a whole pizza or tub of ice cream.

What to do? Well, the solution isn’t easy, but it is possible. We need to quit eating processed foods and replace them with natural foods that we prepare ourselves. There is no other way.  It isn’t enough to slowly phase out junk food.  We really need to do it cold turkey, because even a little sugar will drive you to eat more sugar.  The first few days are really tough.  This is a psychological game.  Have you ever seen someone coming off drugs or alcohol?  The detox symptoms are severe.  With sugar detox you will feel angry and emotional.  You may even feel nauseated and have headaches.  This passes when you are eating whole, fresh foods.  And I can help.  

Try my 30 Day Clean Eating Program.  I offer lots of information, strategies and support to help you reach your health goals.  I will teach you how to plan, how to unprocess your pantry, and shop strategically.  Anyone can be successful on this program.  I have never once heard anyone tell me they wished they hadn’t eaten that healthy meal.  No one feels guilty for taking care of their health.

30 Day Clean Eating Program includes:

  1. an initial assessment where we will discuss your current challenges, concerns and health goals 
  2. a Nutri-Body Analysis (covers more than 200 different body imbalances) to show you where to focus on the details of your personal nutrition requirements 
  3. weekly email check-ins to get your questions answered and discuss your struggles and successes
  4. a follow up appointment at the end of the 30 days to re-evaluate the Nutri-Body Analysis to see how much you have improved!  
Call me today for a free 15 minute consultation.  You are worth the effort and you won’t ever regret it.
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30 Days to a Healthier You!

By Kim Banting,

I don’t know about you, but I love September!  The nights are getting cooler, the trees are exploding with their beautiful fall colours and I am back into my routine!  Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE the excitement and spontaneity of summer.  All of the weekends away and day trips here and there;  but I always look forward to the consistency and routine of fall and winter.  This is when I do a re-evaluation of my current lifestyle habits and decide what is working and if there is anything I want to change up.  It’s a great time to focus on starting a new, healthier habit or bring back an old one that has fallen to the wayside.

Most of us have some unhealthy habits that we would like to change, but it can feel so hard to follow through!  Not knowing where to start or how to make these changes happen can be really stressful and it might mean that we don’t even try at all.  Experts say that it takes about 21 days (or 3 weeks) to break a bad habit or implement a new one.  I am offering a program that I call the 30 Day Clean Eating Challenge.  It includes:

  1. an initial assessment where we will discuss your current challenges, concerns and health goals 
  2. a Nutri-Body Analysis (covers more than 200 different body imbalances) to show you where to focus on the details of your personal nutrition requirements 
  3. weekly email check-ins to get your questions answered and discuss your struggles and successes
  4. a follow up appointment at the end of the 30 days to re-evaluate the Nutri-Body Analysis to see how much you have improved!  

I offer lots of support and opportunities for you to get your questions answered and when you are finished, we discuss how you can continue to move forward and keep reaching your health goals.

I know that some people just need that little nudge to get them on the right path, and that is what I am offering.  Are you feeling inspired?   Call me today to ask how you can get started on the 30 Day Clean Eating Challenge!

 

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Perspective

By Kim Banting,

I recently lost my grandmother.  She was 84 years old and her health had been seriously failing for the past 2 years.  She had osteoporosis, COPD and over 80% blockage in her arteries.  She had a chronic cough for as long as I can remember.  She smoked for more than 65 years!  It got me to thinking:  it took 65 years for smoking to kill my grandma.  She definitely died as a result of the effects of smoking and she lived with poor health for a very long time because she was a smoker.  Even as a child, I remember her coughing and coughing and coughing!  This deep, wracking cough that shook her whole body….and I have been asking myself, “How long did she smoke before the chronic, life-long health problems started to show?”  Initially, when someone begins to smoke, the body sets about it’s protective mechanisms and creates lots of mucus to coat the lining of the esophagus and lungs.   This causes tightness in the chest and wheezing.  People cough as the lungs try to rid themselves of the chemicals that are irritating and harmful.  The cilia that line the small airways become paralyzed and die off, increasing your risk of infections and respiratory illness.  These are the initial consequences of smoking, but the truly debilitating and life threatening diseases of cancer, heart disease, emphysema, vision deterioration, and so on take years to develop.  There is no doubt that smoking is a terrible habit that will eventually kill us, and the body goes right into protective mode as soon as you begin to smoke.

 

Then I started thinking about how poor food choices affect our health.  You know, to put this into perspective.  We are all in agreement that smoking kills, but we are not all in agreement that poor food choices kill us.  Yet, there is no doubt that food has the greatest impact on our health and is the strongest factor in our ability to prevent chronic diseases.  The greatest threats to our health today are Diabetes, Cardiovascular Disease and Obesity.  These are 100% diseases caused by poor dietary choices and sedentary lifestyle.  100 years ago, our greatest threat to dying from disease was from infections, but we have learned to wash our hands and cover our mouths when we cough and we have grown powerful antibiotics to fight the worst infections…We are brilliant at pinpointing our threats and defeating them, so what’s the hold up on defeating lifestyle diseases?

 

In the documentary Supersize Me, Morgan Spurlock (documentary film maker) meets with a team of doctors before setting out on his mission to determine if fast food is truly harmful to our health.  Before beginning this experiment, he is found to be in a state of perfect medical health.  He is 6 foot 2 inches and 185 lbs with 11% body fat.  Cholesterol levels are a healthy 168, triglycerides 87 and his liver and kidneys are in perfect working order.  His doctors hypothesize that during this next month, his cholesterol and triglycerides will likely increase a little and if heart disease is in his family he may be at risk of developing issues.

 

10 days into his experiment Morgan is at his weekly check in with his doctors and it’s found that he has gained 18 lbs, his cholesterol has jumped to 225, his liver enzymes are now 14 times higher and Morgan reports that he feels lethargic, numb and is experiencing chest pain.  He is always exhausted, he is depressed and has powerful mood swings.  His cravings for more of the same junk food are uncontrollable.  His doctors strongly urge him to stop this experiment immediately because his liver has turned to fat and he is developing kidney stones and risking gout.

10 DAYS into this experiment, Morgan Spurlock’s health has completely changed to a disease state!  10 DAYS!!!  Can anyone deny that junk food is at least as big a risk factor of death as cigarettes?  Probably even a higher risk!  And if this is indisputable, which it seems to me that it is without a doubt, indisputable, then why are we not doing something about this????

 

McDonald’s is the “restaurant” that Spurlock chooses for his experiment.  He eats 3 meals a day there for 30 days.  Now, I know that most people aren’t eating at McDonald’s 3 times a day, everyday.  However, I do know that many people are eating fast food of some type everyday.  I know that few people cook for themselves anymore and almost everyone I speak with admits to relying on convenience foods because they are so busy.  Finally, I know that very few people are eating the recommended 10 servings of fruits and vegetables a day.  Fruits and vegetables contain the essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that help the body repair damage that is done day to day.  Our precious liver is the hard-working organ that helps to filter out toxins and remove them from our bodies.  If we are constantly exposing our bodies to harmful substances and never providing the necessary antidote, how on Earth can we expect it to stay in perfect working order?  Think of it like taking your car in for a tune up.  Over time, the oil gets old and thick and the air filter gets clogged up and you need to flush out the gunk or your engine will stop working.  Why don’t we take care to clean the gunk out of our cells?  I dream of a day when fast food and processed junk in the grocery store is as taboo as cigarettes, however I understand that is not going to happen anytime soon.  In the meantime, my hope is to share my message and inspire more people to eat clean more often.  Find the time to prepare food for yourself and try to eat a big salad every day or drink a vegetable smoothie!  This one small change can have a big impact and who knows, maybe it will even be the beginning of whole new lifestyle!

 

We don’t often think of this when we are out and just need to find something to eat, but when you spend your money on something, you are casting a vote and telling the company you are buying from that you support their product.  If we all took just a little time to plan ahead and spend our money on foods that we know are more nourishing for us, these companies would have to rise to the challenge of providing those foods!  Over the past winter, McDonald’s saw an all-time low income earning for their first quarter sales.  All of a sudden, they were promoting a line of new salads for their customers!  If we want better food, it is up to us to demand it!

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March Promotion!

By Kim Banting,

Spring is fast approaching and it’s a great time to think about cleaning up your diet and cleaning out your body.  Over the winter, we are bundled up in warm clothing and eating heavier, more comforting foods.  This can weigh down the body and cause you to feel sluggish and lazy.  Once the snow melts and the sun starts shining, it’s time to get moving again and start eating foods that will help you feel lighter and more energetic.

Book an appointment with me for a Food Journal Analysis.  Keep a 7 Day Food Journal and I will review it with you and show you where you can make simple improvements to your current habits that will help you to reach your health goals.

This is a 1 hour appointment that I normally charge $100 for, but for the month of March, you can get my help for only $20!

Whether you are looking to shed a couple of pounds, improve your health or just want to get motivated, this is a great tool that will help you to feel vibrant and refreshed!

Email me at info@flourish-nutrition.com or call me at 647-202-7649 to book your appointment!

Don’t wait, this offer is only available for the month of March.

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Is Your Stress-Release Backfiring On You?

By Kim Banting,

It’s Friday afternoon and so many of us are looking forward to the weekend.  It’s been a busy week at work and your stress levels may be soaring. For some of us, a trip to the pub with co-workers is on the table to blow off some steam; but are after work drinks helping to lower your stress levels?

Having a couple of drinks can promote the neurotransmitter GABA, which helps to lower adrenaline and make you feel relaxed.  So after a stressful work week, we can feel sociable and far less serious, at least for a little while.  However, after about an hour or so, GABA levels lower which causes us to feel irritable, so maybe we have another drink, and another…The problem arises because too many drinks will suppress your GABA levels.  We don’t always notice this because after a session of drinking, we go to sleep while still under the effects of the alcohol.

Alcohol also disturbs your normal sleep cycles and interrupts dreaming.  Dreaming helps to refresh the brain.  You wake in the morning to find you are mentally tired and grouchy because of low GABA levels and dehydration.  You also feel sluggish as your body detoxifies from the alcohol you drank the night before.

The bottom line is, that 1 drink will help you to relax, but too many drinks will leave you more stressed in the long run.

 

It’s Promo Time!

For the month of March only, I am offering Food Journal assessments for only $20!!  Send me a message at info@flourish-nutrition.com and we can book your appointment!   This service has a value of $100, so you really want to take advantage of this now!

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Our Emotional Connection to Food

By Kim Banting,

I would like to offer you a different perspective of the phrase “you are what you eat”.

 

Our five senses deliver an emotional response.  Have you ever smelled fresh cut grass and been reminded of the first time you ever noticed it?  or felt a soft, warm rain on your skin and recalled a specific time and place?  or picked up a photograph of a loved one and were immediately taken back in time with that person?  We carry memories in our senses that bring up very strong emotions.  When we see a table spread with a family meal, hear the sound of onions sizzling, smell a freshly cut apple, touch the leafy greens of a salad we are tossing or taste something we carefully prepared, we are sending signals to our body that prepares it to receive this food.  We are also exchanging energy between our body and the food that affects how it will nourish us!  It may sound crazy, but it’s absolutely true.

 

Imagine this:

You are having a terrible day.  You feel miserable and just want to get home and shut yourself away from everything and everyone.  On your way home, you are walking through a park and come across an apple tree.  Hanging right at eye level is the most perfect apple you have ever seen.  You pick it and take a moment to inhale the sweetness of it’s skin.  You feel it’s warmth from hanging in the bright sun.  You take a bite and it is crisp and juicy and the perfect balance of tart and sweet, and it floods your taste buds.  You take a deep, cleansing breath and find a patch of grass to sit on and enjoy your apple while breathing in the fresh air and feeling the sun on your skin.   How do you feel now?

On the other hand; you are having a terrible day and simply make your way home through busy city traffic.  You get home and find a bag of chips which you promptly open and grab a handful.  They are crispy, greasy and absolutely satisfying!  You take the bag of chips to the sofa and sit down to watch TV while you continue to eat chips until they are gone.  You don’t really recall eating the chips because you were focused on your program.  You didn’t mean  to eat the entire bag……How does this make you feel?

 

These two scenarios show that our emotions can influence what we eat, but also, that what we eat can influence our emotions.  Since the food you eat contains the necessary building blocks for your cells and tissues, consider how the emotion you feel while eating will impact these building blocks, cells and tissues.  Therefore, how we eat is just as important as what we eat.  Taking the time to create a calm, relaxed environment, and noticing your food: look at it, smell it, touch it and then taste it; putting your fork down between bites and chewing slowly while noticing all the flavours and textures that come up; being aware of your food and feeling gratitude for your meal…all of this creates our mindset so that while you are eating you are charging your food with energy as well as aiding in a smooth and efficient digestive process.

 

When we eat in a relaxed manner, when we feel calm and are enjoying our food, our body prepares for digestion by secreting saliva and hydrochloric acid , both of which affect activity in the intestines and our microbacteria (probiotics) which further assist in the breakdown of our food.  Feeling joyful while eating helps to promote more healthy bacteria in the gut which aids digestion and boosts our immunity.  Feeling stressed, fearful or angry while eating reduces numbers of good bacteria and allows pathogens to flourish which is detrimental to digestion as well as your entire health.

 

Another part of our emotional connection to food lies with how we identify ourselves through our food choices:  I’m a vegan, I only eat raw foods, I’m a meat eater, I’m gluten-free, dairy-free, an omnivore, only eat organic, vegetables are rabbit food, etc.  We associate an image with each of these labels that cause us, and others to draw conclusions about the other choices we make.  If you are a healthy eater, do you also make your own hemp clothing and live off the grid?  Are carnivores violent, insensitive people?  No, of course not.  However, our associations with our food choices does, to some extent affect our molecular function as well as impacts how others will treat us.  When I say this affects our molecular function, I’m referring to how our emotions can affect our physical bodies and our health.  Remember my earlier imagery of the bad day and finding the apple.  A very simple experience can have a powerful result on your well being.

 

So the next time you are having a meal, take the time to sit down and take a few deep breaths before eating.  Look at your food.  Smell your food.  Feel grateful for your meal.  Set your fork down between bites and chew each bite thoroughly before swallowing.  I guarantee that this experience will change the way you feel after your meal.

 

 

 

 

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Cooking Beans and Lentils

By Kim Banting,

Earlier this week, I had just suggested that beans and lentils are a really great plant based protein for vegetarians, and then someone in the group asked me about….GAS!  So here I am to give some tips and much needed pointers about how certain cooking methods may help to alleviate this unfortunate problem.

Beans and lentils belong to the legume family, which includes beans, lentils, soy and peanuts.  Legumes contain starches that are referred to as galactans which are short chain fermentable carbohydrates or FODMAPs (Fermentable Oligosaccharies Disaccharides Monosaccharides And Polyols).  Quite the mouthful!  Let’s just call them legumes and understand that they contain starches that can cause bloating and flatulence.

The good news is that there are cooking methods that will help break down these starches, making them much easier to digest.

1.  Try buying sprouted lentils and beans.  You can find them in many grocery stores now, although only a few varieties are available.  However, you can sprout your own by buying ORGANIC beans and soaking them overnight in water.  After soaking for 12 hours, drain and leave them in a mason jar or sprouting tray.  Every 12 hours, soak them again and drain until you see small tails sprouting from them.  This usually takes about 3 days.  At this point, you can now cook the legumes.  You have cut the cooking time in half by soaking for so long.  For example, green lentils which normally take 25 minutes to cook, will now cook in 10 minutes!

2.  If you haven’t planned 3 days ahead, worry not, because you can still soak your beans for 8-12 hours and you will still break down some of the starches that cause bloating.  Be sure to drain and rinse well, then add to a pot and cover with water.  Bring to a boil, then drain and rinse well again.  One last time, add to a pot and cover with 3 inches of water.  Add one or two pieces of seaweed like kombu or dulse.  Seaweeds contain all 56 essential minerals and during the cooking time, they will dissolve and enrich the beans.  Bring the beans to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until tender.  This time is different for all beans and lentils.  Lentils cook quicker; between 15-40 minutes and beans anywhere between 1-2 1/2 hours.

For some people, lentils are easier to digest than dense beans.  However, for some people, no amount of careful cooking will make them comfortable to digest and they should be avoided.  Don’t worry if you are a vegetarian though, because there are plenty of plant based protein foods to choose from: hemp hearts, quinoa, wild rice, brown rice and leafy green veggies are just a few of my favorites.

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