80-percent-of-us-packaged-foods-may-contain-dangerous-chemicalsProceeded, chemical foods are everywhere! They are the most common foods you will find and they are no friend to your body.

Most of us are aware of the major offenders like fast foods from chains like KFC and McDonalds and all the junk at the grocery stores, cookies, cakes, frozen dinners and pizzas..etc.

I grew up on lots of fast foods, junk foods, processed foods, candy, pop…etc. So I know how hard it can be so make changes when that is what you are used to!

First of all I know I used to love the taste and they were my comfort foods. Secondly, they were what I knew how to make. Thirdly, they were what my family and most of my friends ate. And last but not lease, they were my FAVOURITE foods.

Well, here is the good news for all of you out there who can relate to what I just said but want to feel better by eating better, your tastes adapt and change over time. Your habits can change too, and you can meet awesome new people by trying new things. On top of all that, eating better really does make a HUGE difference in how you feel. It affects everything, your mood, your energy levels, your feeling of self-esteem and self-worth, your desires, your ambitions,…

I can tell you after a decade of working on my diet and building up my vitality, when I have any kind of crisis in my life one of the first places I go is to the kitchen!! I know now that whatever I am facing in life, my journey will be easier and clearer if I am well fed and well supported by my nutrition!

So with all of that said, I want to talk about how to begin to make diet changes if you are starting off with addictions, poor quality nutrition and you have the intention to want to change but just don’t know how!

I will tell you first. I did it the wrong ways a lot. Perhaps, from a higher perspective, there are no ‘wrong’ ways really, I did learn a lot from my mistakes, but I sure went through a lot more pain and discomfort than I think I needed to!

I tried to change my whole diet overnight. I started reading tons of books and doing strict diets, I was afraid as I learned about what I had been putting in my body, and I was determined to whip myself into shape. I did some intense cleanses, freaked out my friends and family and I really didn’t get very far with it despite all the effort and struggle.

If I could go back and talk to myself at the beginning of my journey getting off of processed foods I would probably tell myself the following things. I hope these suggestions are helpful to you reader, as well, and that you have a more pleasant and shorter road to your goals.

PS. Even though my journey was rough, it was still worth it!! And yours will be too. The benefits of reclaiming your vitality can’t be beat

eat-right

How to switch your diet!

1. Find healthy whole foods you like and just eat them.

This is just so simple, it must sound almost silly! But it’s easy to get caught up in eating what we think we ‘should’ eat and miss this simple approach. If you like apples, buy some, and eat them. If you like carrots, buy some and eat them. You only eat so much food in one day, and you only have so much money for groceries, so simply start by buying and eating healthy whole foods that you like. STAY AWAY from the packaged foods as much as possible and that can help you stick to true whole and healthy foods. Packages foods often are made to trick you into thinking they are healthy. They will say they are made with this, or that, free of this or that…but a lot of times changes have been made or junk has been added. It really easiest just to buy fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, beans, legumes,… in their most natural state possible. If you need to throw a bit of cheese on top of something go ahead. If you need to sweeten something a bit, do it with a natural sweetener like honey, stevia or maple syrup. Make sure you enjoy what you eat, or you will just go back to your junk food.

 

hyrdogenated-oils2. Avoid toxic fats and processed sugar as a starting point.

Anything with Hydrogenated fats, modified fats, canola oil, cottonseed oil, or any oils that have been heated to high temperatures are not your friends. These oils are very toxic to your body and they are one of the things you should become aware of.

Yes, this means french fries, and all those fast fried foods, a lot of nuts and seeds, are coated in these oils as well. Check for them before you buy. However, don’t avoid fat! You need fat, You will feel better if you get enough of it. It can help prevent cravings for junk too. One of the most important fuel sources for your brain is fat, if you don’t get enough of the right kinds you will always be trying to fill that gap! Organic/Free range Eggs with runny yolks, raw nuts, and seeds , becuase beans and avocados are all good sources. Keep nuts and seeds in the fridge so the oils don’t go rancid.

As for sugar, it can make you feel so gross and terrible it’s just not worth it. Find other ways to appease your sweet tooth. Artificial sweeteners are even worse than sugar so don’t substitute with those! Stevia is best because it will not spike your blood sugar and if it is unrefined and proceeded it’s sooo good for you. It may take you a bit to get used to the taste but it’s worth it. Small amounts of maple syrup and raw honey are fine too. And you can use apple sauce, and dates in recipes to sweeten things up. There are so many health raw chocolate recipes out there and whole food desserts. If you have a sweet tooth, I would get to work learning some of these recipes. Find some that you like and make a few each week to have on hand so that you don’t get into the rut of sugar addiction. A bit more about sugar, it feeds cancer cells, suppresses the immune system, feeds unhealthy bacterias and you will always feel like you need more, more, more. It’s no way to live!!

photo-on-2014-10-19-at-19-353. Give yourself one goal each week or month to move your vitality forward.

This could be a recipe, a topic you want to research, a trip to a healthy restaurant, a hike with a friend… make time for your vitality. Trust me, you won’t make changes if you don’t decide to make time for the work required. Set aside some vitality time each week. Once you take the first step in any direction it gets easier. The first time you make a recipe it can be challenging. The first time you go to a new class or group, same thing. But after you have done anything once or twice, you will know if you like and if you want to do it again it’s SOOOO much easier. So make a date for your vitality goals and get cracking! A fuller life, more happiness and more fulfillment are just around the corner.

Those are my tips to you if you are just starting out! Keep in mind, consistent small efforts are soooo powerful. Your body will slowly adapt to the changes and efforts you make. Your body changes every minute, every hour every day. You start taking baby steps and consistently make small changes and over the course of a few months they add up! They make a big difference. So if you start to feel overwhelmed, just ask yourself, what’s my next best step?? Keep it simple, keep it joyful and get your friends involved! It’s more fun when you can share the journey.

Blessings and happy new year everyone!

Here are a few tips to help you enjoy eating a whole food, plant-based diet every day. It takes a bit of planning and extra work to get off of processed foods and junk foods but these tips will help make it easier and tastier!

saladOrganic Delivery Service

Eating more whole foods means making more food from scratch. Getting fresh produce delivered to your door saves time and ensures that you will always have fresh ingredients! The fresher and healthier the plants are the tastier they will be!

Try: Organics Live (In the Hamilton and Toronto Area) or search for an organic delivery service in your area. 

 

IMAG4429Always have a Grain and a Soup Made Ahead of Time

Spend a few hours one or two days a week cooking and you will find that the other days can be very productive and relaxed because you will be able to grab meals from your fridge or freezer. I like to have a grain and a soup made at all times. It’s easy to quickly add a can of beans and stir fry some veggies in about 10 minutes and have a meal when rice or quinoa is already cooked. And a hearty soup with beans, rice and veggies or a lentil based dhal soup is a great lunch or dinner.

Try: Veggie Chili, Black or Brown Rice, Quinoa, Dhal Soup, Black Bean Soup (see our Whole Foods Challenge Page for some simple recipes.)

green smoothie in teacupGet Good a Making Smoothies and Sauces

Smoothies and sauces make a whole food diet tasty, easy and satisfying. Take a few minutes to look up fun smoothie recipes and sauces. You can usually make these kinds of recipes in 5 minutes or less. If you make a sauce up ahead of time and have it in the fridge for the week you can add it on to veggies or rice to make your meal a bit tastier and more interesting. Sauces made with almond butter, beans, sunflower seeds or tahini are also very filling and nutritionally dense. They are great to use as a snack as well with some raw chopped veggies.

Try: Green Smoothies, Hummus, Tahini Thai Sauce

you can find some of these recipes on my recipe page!

I hope these tips are helpful to you! Be in touch with me if you have any questions. I’d love to hear from you.

Green Smoothies for Beginners

Posted by Meaghan Beattie | Vitality Tips

green-smoothie1Green smoothies are a fabulous way to boost your vitality and simplify nutritious meals. You can get a wide variety of vitamins and minerals in a delicious, travel-friendly recipe in just a matter of minutes! It’s the perfect way to start a morning, balance out a meal or make a healthy snack.

If you have not tried making one before here are some tips and information to get you started.

Firstly, don’t be put off by the colour. Even if you are a picky eater, even if you hate salad, I can guarantee you, you will still be able to make a green smoothie that you like. Basically, if you can handle a fruit smoothie, you can handle a green smoothie. As long as you use the right greens, you will taste the fruit and not the greens that you make it with.

Stick with soft and mild greens. Baby spinach is the easiest to work with and one of the best tasting options. (buy organic, find out why here)

You will also want to be aware of your blender and know what it handles well. Some blenders are able to chew up tougher greens like kale and collards (like the Vitamix, it will liquefy anything) but lower grade blenders won’t and you could end up with a very chunky smoothie (not so delicious.) If you don’t have a blender designed for making smoothies, try sticking with softer greens like spinach or lettuce that are easier for the machine to chew up and liquify.

If you don’t have a blender designed for making smoothies, try sticking with softer greens like spinach or lettuce that are easier for the machine to chew up and liquefy.

You might also be wondering, ‘how can I make sure my green smoothing will taste good?.’ Two words: Frozen banana. Frozen bananas make most people happy smoothie consumers because they help make the smoothie creamier, colder and sweeter- three very good qualities in a smoothie. Its a good idea to peel bananas ahead of time and put them in a freezer bag so that they are convenient for you when you go to make your smoothie.

Aside from a frozen banana, the other trick to making a green smoothie you will love is to think of flavours you love and make it suit your taste. Don’t worry about the greens consider them a filler. As long as you use mild flavoured greens like spinach, or lettuce you will hardly notice it (kale is good too but a bit stronger tasting.)

Here’s a few great flavour combinations:

Strawberry Banana

Peach Mango

Chocolate Peanut Butter- use natural/organic peanuts or peanut butter and raw cacao powder

Orange Coconut

Pineapple Coconut

As you can see it is easy to come up with combinations of ingredients and flavours. So just think of the flavours you like most and choose the best natural ingredients you can get!

Have a ratio of about 1/2 and 1/2 greens and fruit. If you want your smoothie extra sweet and creamy add a frozen banana as mentioned above.

And if you want to make your smoothie truly spectacular add some herbal concentrates. They will really take it to the next level.

I encourage you to keep your smoothies clean. No dairy, no refined sugars, no whey protein or other food supplements where nutrients have been isolated. Your body does not recognise and use isolated nutrients the same way it uses whole foods. Stick with whole food ingredients, and plant-based milk (almond, coconut, rice…etc) Your body will thank you!

And that’s it! Experiment, have fun, and enjoy!

 

 

Natural Lemon-Aid

Posted by Meaghan Beattie | Recipes, Vitality Tips

Photo on 2013-01-28 at 22.43

Natural Lemon-aid

1 lemon

4 cups of filtered water

2 big pinches of powdered stevia

Makes 4 cups

This recipe is so simple and has so many benefits. It is a nice alternative to juice, pop or other sugary beverages and works for just about everyone since most people like lemon-aid.If you enjoy carbonation, you can make it with sparkling mineral water for a fun twist.

This recipe is helpful to drink first thing in the morning since it is a good source of vitamin C, stimulates digestive juices and supports the liver to cleanse toxins. If you do not like the flavour of stevia (some people don’t), you can sweeten this recipe with some  honey instead. Raw, unpasteurized honey has more minerals, enzymes and anti-bacterial properties then pasteurized honey.

Instructions:

Fill a container with 4 cups of filtered water. Juice a lemon by squeezing it directly into the container (look out for seeds) or use a lemon juicer. You could also use a lemon juicer and then add the lemon juice to your water. Add stevia (or honey) to taste; stir and enjoy.Feel free to add more lemon if you like it stronger.

soil depletion

These are the essential bits of information I wish someone had shared with me a long time ago! On this page, you will get overviews of a variety of topics and links to more detailed information.

 

1) Depression, anxiety and addictions are all linked to blood sugar imbalances

Click the link below to read about the signs your body gives when your blood sugar is out of wack. You are going to want to know this stuff, it can and will change your life.

How you feel is data

2) Start slow with diet and lifestyle changes and have fun

Change that is positively motivated is sustainable. Push yourself too hard and you will end up backtracking later. Trust me. Been there, done it, bought the t-shirt!

3) Green Smoothies Rock and they don’t taste as bad as they look.

This can be your whole food multivitamin. It’s easy, it’s yummy and it’s a great way to start eating more whole natural foods. click here for instructions.

4) Concentrated Nutrition is a gift from Heaven

I can’t say enough about herbal concentrates. The speed up the healing process and help the body regenerate, They are easy to grab and run out the door with, they taste good and they actually deliver what they promise- pure living nutrition. That is surprisingly hard to get these days unless you grow food for yourself. Find out more here. 

5) When fats get modified they become toxic, they damage your cells and they damage you. Eat good fats. It matters.

Check out this fun little video it will entertain you and educate you about fats. Check food labels for hydrogenated oils or modified oils/fats. Steer clear of those, and stay away from most fried foods. Eat nuts, seeds, avocados and healthy oils like olive oil and coconut oil.

6) Equip yourself

A decent blender, a crock pot and a water filtration system will help you, a lot. Try craigslist or Kijiji for appliances. Try Santevia water filters or buy spring water and a ceramic crock. You might even be able to find a spring near you for fresh water.

7) Plan meals cook ahead of time

It’s hard to figure out what you want when you are hungry? Right? And it’s no fun cooking when you are starving and tired. Cook ahead of time. Buddy up, cook with others. Freeze meals. You will thank yourself for it. You will save money and time during the week. Check our recipe page and links page for ideas. Get the Flipp app on your smartphone to find sales!

8) Get to know spices and natural flavours

As you start to clean up your diet you will want to avoid using most bottled sauces, salad dressings, and seasonings. Most of them have junk you won’t want like sugar, modified oils/fats, or chemicals of some kind. It’s better to make your own. Herbamare is a sea salt-based herbal seasoning that you can use on just about anything when you want a savoury flavour.  Lemons and limes can be used on salads, to add zing to soups and grains.Just slice and squeeze. Olive oil and coconut oils are two of the best oils for your pantry. They both have great flavours. And as far as spices go, get to know them one at a time. Try them out on fried potatoes or in oatmeal. It’s amazing how a little bit of spice can make something simple like potatoes or oatmeal into a much more delicious recipe. 🙂

9) Soil Depletion has led to a lack of nutrients even in healthy, natural foods

Modern farming methods have led to soil depletion reduced levels of vitamins and minerals in our food supply. This is important to understand and is one of the reasons why I recommend herbal concentrates. We have to eat a lot more healthy foods to get the same kind of nutrition our grandparent’s generation did.

10) Foods with pesticides are dangerous and should be avoided

Hopefully, by now you have heard of the dirty dozen if not read up on it. Exposure to pesticide residue on a regular basis is bad news for your health and can disrupt your hormones and immune systems. They are poisons!

11) You are not what you eat, you are what you absorb

A healthy gut and digestion are the ticket to good health and vitality. Two of the most ancient forms of healing base their treatments on this principal- Ayurveda and Chinese Medicine. Taking care of your digestion means avoiding things that are hard on the stomach and eating foods that are enzyme rich and promote healthy gut flora.

 

 

Contact Us to get Nuplus, Calli, Fortune Delight, Quinary and many other herbal foods to support great digestion!

12) Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

Are you hungry or are you thirsty? You need water and hydration far more than food. You can go weeks without dying by hunger but only a few days without water. So consider that as you go about your day. Most people need to be drinking a lot more water or hydrating beverages than they are. Pops, coffees, caffeinated teas, bottled juices, dairy, dessert drinks and energy drinks do not hydrate the body! Vitamin water and Gatorade are full of chemicals and isolated which are not properly absorbed by the body. If you want hydration stick with pure water or hydrating herbal beverages like those in our Hydration Pack. You will feel so much more energized, alert and happy when you start hydrating yourself properly with water and herbal drink. Get off the caffeine and sugar crashes caused by so many other popular beverages, you’ll be glad you did.

 

 

 

Most people realize that eating Mcdonald’s hamburgers and doughnuts three times will have an effect on your health and not give you enough of the nutrition you need to feel good. However, many people do not realize that over the past couple decades due to soil depletion from modern farming practices, even healthy foods like fruits and vegetables are not as healthy they once were compared to about a hundred years ago!

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This is vitally important for us to understand if we are going to start to take better care of our bodies. We need a certain amount of nutrition on a daily basis in order for our bodies to function well and our bodies thrive off of nutrition delivered by whole plant foods. We need to replenish our systems with high-quality, plant-based nutrition in order from them to function optimally.

When we understand the reality of our depleted food supply it becomes obvious that people these days are dealing with more stress, more work and less nutrition then the human body is equipped to handle. Is it any wonder we are seeing so many degenerative diseases such as cancer, diabetes, chronic mental health problems, digestive disorders, heart disease and chronic fatigue?

This is why Ecstatic Vitality recommends Whole Food Concentrates. It would be wonderful if we could all start growing our own food in perfect soil and follow an organic raw food diet, but the reality is, that doesn’t work for everyone! However, everyone does need the nutrition provided by a plant-rich diet.

Below you will find a few quotes about soil depletion. If you would like to learn about concentrated whole food products which are designed to make up for the nutrition lacking in our diets, Contact Us for a consultation.

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Quotes About Soil Depletion

Depleted soils produce deficient foods an deficient foods bring us ill health. Two food items may look alike, but one may have everything that a food should have because it was grown on healthy soil while the other is worth no more than a glass of water if grown on sick soil.

Dr. Wm. A. Albercht former Chairman of the Department of Soils at the University of  Missouri

The staple foods may not contain the same nutritive substances as in former times…Chemical fertilizers, by increasing the abundance of the crops without replacing all the exhausted elements of the soil, have indirectly contributed to change the nutritive value of cereal grains and vegetables.

– Dr. Alexis Carrel, Nobel Prize winner

The impoverished soil of America no longer provides plant foods with the mineral elements essential to human nourishment and health.

Laboratory tests prove that the fruits, vegetables, the grains, the eggs and even the milk and meats of today are not what they were a few generations ago.

No man today can eat enough fruits and vegetables to supply his system with the minerals he requires of perfect health because his stomach is not big enough to hold them.

Physical, mental and moral fitness depends largely upon an ample supply and a proper proportion of the minerals in our foods.

Artificial manures inevitability lead to artificial nutrition, artificial food, artificial animals, and finally to artificial men and women.

    – Excerpts from Senate Document #264 as adopted and ordered reprinted by the second session of the 74th Congress of the United States of America.

Ecstatic Vitality promotes and sells herbal foods from plants that are grown in wild or organic conditions, without the use of genetic modification or harmful pesticides. Manufacturers of these products oversee the growing conditions, test  soils for mineral content and test the purity of the plants used in all their products. The products we promote come from one of the only businesses who owns and operates all their manufacturing facilities, a standard rarely and maintained in the health food industry. We believe that concentrated, pure, expertly formulated herbal nutrition helps to meet the needs of a nutrient deficient modern world. To find out more about high-quality herbal foods contact us.

 

The Dirty Dozen

Posted by Meaghan Beattie | Harm Reducation, Vitality Tips

EgyptianFruitsAnd_Veggies_PhotoByWaelNawara

This is a short post with some information about the “Dirty Dozen” For those of you who have not heard this term before, it refers to certain produce items which commonly have the highest amount of chemical residue from harmful pesticides. To avoid consuming these harmful substances, it is best to buy these items from organic producers or to at least be washing them thoroughly with a fruit and veggie rinse of some kind. We have some you can buy on our site if you are interested please click here 🙂

The following list comes from www.organic.org If you visit their page you can download a copy of their dirty dozen wallet guide for free for easy reference.

12 Most Contaminated

  • Peaches
  • Apples
  • Sweet Bell Peppers
  • Celery
  • Nectarines
  • Strawberries
  • Cherries
  • Pears
  • Grapes (Imported)
  • Spinach
  • Lettuce
  • Potatoes

12 Least Contaminated

  • Onions
  • Avocado
  • Sweet Corn (Frozen)
  • Pineapples
  • Mango
  • Asparagus
  • Sweet Peas (Frozen)
  • Kiwi Fruit
  • Bananas
  • Cabbage
  • Broccoli
  • Papaya

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Hope is like the sun, which, as we journey toward it, casts the shadow of our burden behind us.-Samuel Smiles

Wellness and healing begin with a positive and willing mindset. It’s a daunting task to start to change life habits, and if we are just beginning we might not know where to start. That is ok. Life is all about change. Being willing to take a step in a new direction is all that is needed to set out on the road to success.

Being curious and being excited about the endless possibilities that the future is able to bring are also assets to anyone taking first steps in a new direction. If you are able to look at your life as an adventure and see each day as an opportunity to learn and create new things you will be stepping into a landscape of rich opportunities for positive change.

If you are at a point where you know you would like to make changes to your diet and add more health and wellness into your life, congratulations! You’ve got your mind focused on a positive goal and that is half the battle won already!

I have four tips for anyone who is just beginning to set out on a wellness journey:

1) Love yourself where you are. Change is most positive when it is motivated by love. It can be self-defeating to get down on yourself in any way just because you are not experiencing your ‘peak’ health or wellness goals. Love and appreciate who you are and what you have in your life as a starting point to any kind of goal setting or wellness plans you make. Remember that no matter what you do you will never be perfect, but you can make changes that will help you feel more complete and fulfilled in your life. Embrace who you are and when you set goals, let them be motivated by joy and your inspiration to be the best you can be.

2) Be Gentle and Be Flexible- Our bodies are constantly changing, moment to moment and day to day. Don’t try to force strict diets on yourself or starve yourself. Go with the flow and learn what works for you. The best thing you can do if you want to experience true wellness is get to know your body and start to read it’s signals. Your body will tell you what it needs, especially as you get healthier. You will start to notice what feels good and what doesn’t. Pay attention to your body and don’t get caught up in what other people say you should do if you instincts tell you otherwise.

3) Be Curious- Our bodies are really amazing and the way that whole foods support us to be healthy is a really neat topic. The more you learn about the nutritional values of different foods and your own body, the more you can start to read your bodies signals and its ways of asking you for what it needs to stay healthy and balanced. Check out our links page for a few educational videos to get you started.

4) Enjoy and Celebrate- There’s a reason that we salivate when we anticipate eating something we enjoy, our saliva contains enzymes which help to break down our foods. It’s a good thing to drool over your food. Eating is designed to be enjoyed, we digest our food better when we find it tasty and appealing. So enjoy what you eat! When you are starting to eat healthier you may have to start to use new condiments and ingredients, but that doesn’t mean your food should be any less tasty. In fact, fresh foods can be wonderfully satisfying if you learn how to combine flavours and spices. There is no reason to think that healthy eating should mean no longer enjoying food. Quite the opposite. Healthy eating can give you the opportunity to learn more about food and flavours and enjoy eating in new ways while you become more nutritionally balanced! 😉

And finally celebration is an important part of any kind of change you make in your life. Notice and celebrate any small changes you make. If you chose to eat an apple and a salad one day instead of a half a pizza, be excited! That is awesome. If you join a walking group or a class at your community centre tell a friend. Be excited about each choice you make to add more wellness into your life and celebrate the results even if you don’t notice them yet. Know that every time you make a healthy change it is affecting you in positive ways. A lot of little positive changes over the course of a long period of time is what brings lasting results and stability to your health.

Be proud! Be Inspired! And walk on! Success is just around the corner. 🙂