Mulled Cider

Do you use spices in your kitchen?

They are a great way to add flavour without added sugars, salts and fillers. In the winter I can’t get enough homemade mulling spices with the cold pressed apple juice we made from our orchard. These warming spices when bought organic and not irradiated are a very beneficial to add our diet.

The Ceylon Cinnamon is loaded with vitamin K and E giving it strong anti-oxidant, antibacterial and antiviral properties. The perfect combination to help avoid the seasonal flu going around or that pesky head cold. Ceylon cinnamon is also known to help balance blood sugars and has been used since 2000BC for joint pain and digestive troubles. The adequate amounts of manganese and calcium can be beneficial to peoples with type 2 diabetes and hypertension. You can add cinnamon to oatmeal, smoothies, or roasted vegetables.

Nutmeg is another component of my mulling spices brings warmth. In Chinese and East Indian cultures it is used as an aphrodisiac. These features are due to the nutrients potassium, manganese and zinc supporting the cardiovascular system. Phytochemical’s in nutmeg also calm the mind while they can also stimulate other parts of the brain acting like an antidepressant. Nutmeg goes well with sweet vegetables or squash, also great with chicken or turkey and curry.

 

Star Anise is reported to yield a fair amount of Shikimic Acid, which used in medications for treatment of influenza. It is also loaded with the B vitamins; niacin(b3), pyridoxine(b6), pantothenic acid(b5)and riboflavin(b2). B vitamins help with in energy metabolism improving the way oxygen is used by he body. Star anise seed has a sweet licorice-like flavour and can be used to infused soups and stews.

 

Cloves in small amounts is known to have many beneficial properties. It contains eugenol having local anesthetic and antiseptic properties. Vitamin A, beta carotene, vitamin C, vitamin K act as the  anti-inflammatory factors. The cloves properties together increase gut motility and improve gastrointestinal enzyme secretions. Cloves are used in many recipes and taste great with pork brines, seasonal winter drinks and curry’s.

 

                                                                    I usually make a batch of spices to last me through the season, but not more than that. Spices start to oxidate causing them to lose flavour and nutritional benefits. 

What to look for in the store!

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Though this symbol may look friendly and clean this means the product labeled has been irradiated

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Here in Canada to
avoid pesticides and herbicides grow your own or look for this symbol.

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Support fairtrade farming practice to ensure labor was done with fair pay and work conditions.

Almost all spices on the market, unless specifically stated as “nonirradiated” have undergone a process of ionized radiation in order to increase shelf life and kill any possible bacteria existing on the herb or spice. 

 

Where they take one of three types of radiation; gamma, x-ray or electron beam and blast away bacteria or insects to extend self life. Except not all bacteria are bad for us, we have now proven that bacteria that there is more bacteria DNA in our Bodies than our own. The radiation also damages the nutrient value of the food rendering somethings useless for our health.

We sourced out a local juice company to cold press 140 pounds of apples and 10 pounds of pears into a rich textured nectar that has been oh so hard to moderate until next harvest. We ended up with about 70 litres of cold press juice full of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Once pressed and bottled we froze it to preserve it.

 

 

Mulled spices will work in store purchased apple juice if fresh cold pressed juice is not an option. Many also like to make mulled wine for special occasions with a similar recipe of spices. 

 

                                                  Mulling Spice Recipe 

 

Yield 15 servings

Total Time: 15 minutes  Prep Time: 5 mintes


Ingredients:

8 ceylon cinnamon sticks

6 whole nutmeg

1/3 cup dried orange peel

1/3 cup dried lemon peel

1/3 cup star anise seed

1/4 cup whole clove 

1/4 cup all spice berries

Diced ginger


Directions:

With a mortar and pestle or ziplock and rolling pin grind up the cinnamon sticks and put into a bowl. After crush and grind up the whole nutmeg, add it to the same bowl. Chop the orange and lemon peel into small pieces. All other spices can remain whole and be mixed in. I store in glass mason jars in my spice cupboard.


Mulling spices are so flexible and can easily be changed by adding and removing other herbs and spices. Don’t be afraid to add in cayenne or peppercorns to your mulling spices for more depth. 

 

 

 

Soil is more than just dirt…the state of our soil impacts everything from human health to climate change.


It’s a New Year

As 2018 has come to an end and we all take a look back on the last year, let’s try to also think of the positive events. It’s a good habit not only to list the things we want to resolve or change in the new year but also list the things and experiences that we are grateful for. 

 

My immediate thoughts about New Years resolutions are that I don’t like the focus on “I failed last year, here’s to a new start” surrounding the goals we seem to make. I don’t like to focus on the negative; what I did not achieve. I’d like to think that I have only learned how to better succeed the next time I try. And in most cases I will try again.

 

So this year I changed my mind and tried something new compared to last year while carrying over the things I am still working on. If I had followed suit after looking at my resolutions written for 2018 I would have seen that though I tried for a few weeks to train I did not complete in a triathlon, nor did I run a 10km event race. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t a great year. 

What I accomplished in 2018!

 

-I graduated from the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition as I Registered Holistic Nutritionist!

-I hiked 30 km of Manning Parks incredible Heather Trail opening weekend with my husband where I injured my Achilles tendon then had to hike 17km with a 35lbs pack and a limp.

-Due to my injury I was able to focus in on my career goals where I planned and launched my new business – Athyrium Wellness, as a health and wellness consultant.

-I got better with communicating in my relationship (still a work in progress)

 

It was a big year for me, with many stumbles along the way but I learned how to create a business plan and proposal. I learned about some financial planning and projections (which I cannot say is a strong suit of mine). I have learned that it takes lots of self encouragement and organization to stay on track. I have learned that things don’t usually turn out the way you plan but if you don’t plan it will never be anything but a dream. 

 

This next year is going to be a year for rebuilding my boundaries and self confidence. After a rough few years dealing with grief I am ready to turn inward and step out of my comfort zone.

 

2019! Another year for growth, change and learning 🙂

 I have chosen a few things that are most important to me and a feeling that I wanted as a result of those most important. Previous to this year I always had relationship or financial goals that ended up at the top of my list but this year I wanted to try something different

 

Self-care was at the top of my list this year and the feeling I wanted to come out with is acceptance. 2018 was a year with anxiety, shame and feelings of self doubt. To change that I am going to work on being present with the moment without disturbing my inner peace or trying changing the outcome. I want to wake up earlier, eat a colourful breakfast, and spend more time brushing my hair. I am going to work on being more organized with plans while not struggling to accept what is handed to me. Failing to accept reality has a way of creating additional suffering where there is already pain and that is something I have been to familiar with. I am going to work on my physical activity and keep involved with my yoga and meditation practices to find grounding in my always active mind.  

 

Relationship resolutions were second on my list for 2019 and the feeling I am wanting to work on is Vibrance. When I think of my relationships I feel strength and balance. When thinking of family and friends I see a vibrant love. I want to inspire those in my life and leave them feeling energized and empowered. This year was hard on my husband and I with our busy schedules and stressful lifestyle which made it hard for time together without distractions. When there is so much going on balance slowly took the back seat and by the end of the year I think we have both realized the discomfort we placed on each other when we weren’t putting energy into our own self care. I am going to change the words I am using when in confrontations to be more positive and constructive rather than negative and pointing fingers. I am wanting to reduce my anxiety and put more effort and time into those who love and support me.

 

My Business resolutions are connected with my self care resolutions but the feeling that I have chosen to work on is courageous. While working on being my most authentic self living in the moment without self-doubt or fear. I will be capturing moments along the way to inspire growth in others in their own journey. With more self confidence and with new learning opportunities Athyrium Wellness will be taken to a whole new level of mental health and self-care with new Yoga and Meditation services being offered starting summer 19’. I can’t wait to be working with and supporting so many loving, alive with spirit, bad ass women back to optimal health so we can all check off our goals for 2019!

 

7 Ways to De-bloat After The Holidays

7 Ways to Reduce Bloat After the Holidays

By Georgina Hendsbee

Drinking a cup of warm water and fresh lemon juice. The acids in the lemon combined with warm water will kickstart your digestive system ensuring ideal production of digestive enzymes and HCL. This can be done half an hour prior to every meal to assist in digestion and assimilation of ingested foods. You can also have a warm green tea or ginger tea and lemon to also add in other beneficial factors. Ginger will calm upset stomach and enforce enzyme production.  Green tea will add antioxidants to reduce free radical damage caused by disbiosis and an acidic environment. 

 

Skip the sugar and also “sugar free” products – sugar lowers metabolism and disturbs the immune system. Sugar alcohols not quite the same as some of the zero calorie sweetners out there but it has a lower calories per gram. On food labels sugar alcohol looks like Xylitol, Erythritol, Sorbitol, and Mannitol, these are known to cause stomach upset and acid reflux. Artificial sweeteners like sucrose, sucralose, and aspartame in particular have been associated with mood changes, diarrhea, painful gas and bloating, inflammation, and exacerbate IBS symptoms.

 

Reduce dairy and simple carbs – cheese, milk, yogurt, breads, and pastas, as these processed foods have many additives and fillers. Dairy and wheat are the two most common foods people in western society are intolerant for. Dairy is an inflammatory food causing systemic inflammation throughout the body even in people who are able to tolerate it.  Wheat naturally has a chemical in it called zonulin which opens the tight junctions within the intestinal tract letting undigested proteins into the blood stream. Once an undigested protein comes across our bodies immune system it tends to create an antibody to fight that particular external protein. The next time that protein gets past the tight junctions and the antibody is activated our body sends out little chemical messengers called which initiate a physical reaction. Some of these messengers will create a physical reaction where the allergen makes contact the second time this can look like a rash, swelling, inflammation, redness, pain or itching. Internally this can cause gas, bloating, acidic environment, diarrhea, constipation, bacteria overgrowth, chronic infection, weight gain or if it is significant enough it can become anaphylactic. The Government of Canada recognizes the most common food allergens as: peanuts, tree nuts, seafood (fish, shellfish, crustaceans), egg, milk, sesame, soy, mustard, and wheat. Sulphite, an additive, is also recognized by the Government of Canada

 

 

Make the basis of your diet dark leafy greens and vegetables, healthy fats, proteins, and other complex carbohydrates. Vegetables will be full of vitamins and minerals to promote good health, good fats are important for your brain function and structure of all your cells, protein from plants and animals both carry vital amino acids required for cell growth and repair. You are what you eat may just be a saying but it is right on the dot. If you have goals for 2019 that include growth and health, take a look at your food. When you are choosing your meals think further than… “will this taste good?”. Look at the make up of each piece of food, think about what it took that plant to grow, animal to flourish and how that growth will improve your health. This is called ‘The Food Story’. It’s the energy, time, location, and the people who where involved in creating that product and how they all affect the final story. 

Don’t believe me? Look up food energetics. It is the study of how the energy put on the food effects the energy we take in as we consume it then how that energy effects how we assimilate that piece of food. Sooo cool. 

 

Reduce added salts and processed foods. Processed foods not only are loaded with chemicals and fillers, they are full of salt. These added salts can create an imbalance of electrolytes causing your body to retain water, raising your blood pressure. When your body has high blood pressure for an extended amount of time if puts strain on your heart and arteries. When your heart and muscles are working harder they then to build muscle. In the case of your arms and leg getting larger muscles may be a good thing but with the cardiovascular system the heart muscles getting bigger reduces space for blood. This increases the change of heart attack, stroke, dementia and kidney disease.  

 

Take a probiotic supplement – humans carry about 5-10lbs of bacteria in our football field size intestinal tract.  A diet high in sugars, rancid fats (canola & palm oils in cooking oil & processed foods), and alcohol paired with overeating and stress makes for the perfect environment for disbiosis (bad bacteria). The thing with good intestinal bacteria is that is passes through us easily and quickly, which is why it is so important that we create the best environment for the good bacteria to flourish. We have already discussed the importance of vegetables and they have more of a benefit than being the carrier for vitamins and minerals. Vegetables also act as prebiotics. A prebiotic is a food that is high in insoluble fibre, fibre that doesn’t get digested by stomach acids. These fibres feed good bacteria which improve our digestion and our immune system.

 

Make time to move – take a fitness class or get a yoga membership, the benefits of movement are endless and equally important as nutrition to achieve optimal health. With no bad side effects exercise lowers blood pressure, controls blood sugar, helps control weight, improves balance, lowers cholesterol, relieves pain and stress, and improves sex life. There are no negatives to movement, at all. 

 

 

Even the smallest changes can make a difference

 

 

 

Resource:

https://foodallergycanada.ca/wp-content/uploads/Food-Allergy-Key-Facts-Sheet_2017.pdf


Let’s Talk Hormones

 

 

 

 

Did you know that wearing sunglasses makes you more susceptible to becoming sunburned. Sunlight stimulates the optic nerve and warns the pituitary gland. This results in the release melanocyte a stimulating protein that prevents sunburns!

Soooo…who wants to talk hormones. 

 

I sure do! I think hormones need to be discussed more often. Hormones are involved in most of your bodies day to day functions, yet for some reason they are rarely the topic of discussion. While I write this for all the incredible ladies out there this also pertains to men as well. 

 

Starting at the basics, hormones are chemical messengers for the body, these chemicals are produced in the endocrine system then secreted into the blood stream or directly into the tissues or organs. Hormones affect everything from; growth, sexual function, and reproduction to metabolism, mood, and sleep. As chemical messengers, hormones float through the blood looking for the specific cell receptors it can bind onto, once it has found a cell and attached to the receptor it changes the function of the cell.

Frequently Asked Questions

How common is hormonal Imbalance ?

Hormonal imbalance is more common than not, hormones have very sensitive feedback systems that are often disrupted by environmental toxins, stress, unbalanced lifestyle, diet, and/or major life event.

 

 Canadian Facts

 

1 in 10 women suffer from PCOS

1 in 10 women suffer from endometriosis

1 in 6 women suffer from infertility

1 in 4 women suffer miscarriage

 

 

Thought in North America hormonal imbalance is common it doesn’t mean that it is the norm. Life doesn’t need to be lived in discomfort or pain.

I take birth control, are my hormones balanced?

Birth control is a synthetic compound that will attach to the receptors for specific hormones. It was created to limit the chance of pregnancy but has a side effect of masking hormonal imbalance symptoms, for many people it is prescribed band-aid for many illness. Hormones function on what is called a negative feedback loop, when we need a hormone to be released into the blood specific factors will activate the release. When we are supplementing with birth control our body is constantly having birth control hormones active in the blood stream, this means the body will not be getting signalled to produce its own hormone. When and if we no longer want to be on birth control these symptoms can and will come back for revenge. (trust me, iv’e been through this) On top of all that birth control pill makes it hard for the body to assimilate some certain nutrients that can cause other set of its own adverse symptoms.

 

Can I increase my sex drive ?

Yes, yes, yes you can! Our sex drive is so important and should not be ignored or embarrassed about. 1 in 3 women are upset about having a low sex drive. There are several types of female sexual disfunction(fsd); low sexual desire, trouble becoming aroused, trouble with orgasm and pain during sex. Many factors can influence our vitality as women and as we work together to improve your health we will work to get to the source of the imbalance. Factors that can have an influence are hormonal, psychological, gynaecological and spiritual. 



Is melatonin bad for me ?

Melatonin is recognized as generally safe to use for a short term period. When used over a long period of time it has been known to have adverse effects and symptoms like depression, irritability, abdominal cramps and disorientation. Melatonin is a hormone that plays a role in your sleep cycle and is found naturally higher in our blood at night. It can be helpful when getting through a schedule change or to recover from traveling. If using melatonin it is important to ensure it is not disruption any other medications you may be on, as a hormone it interacts with may other drugs.

Why I am always so tired by 3pm.

Do you get the afternoon crash, this is caused by a blood sugar imbalance due to your diet and hydration. When you eat a breakfast high in sugars, proteins and simple carbohydrates your blood sugar ends up running high, especially if followed with a double double coffee. Assuming you are at work and drinking coffee most of the morning and with little water you are putting pressure on your adrenal glands. This glands control our stress levels and as we get hungry and dehydrated our stress levels are maxing by lunch. Do you eat a late lunch? A short while later crashing feeling fatigue, slow and in need of a nap. 

 

When your blood sugar is unstable it causes an imbalance in the hormones involved in our sleep cycle and energy production.





Why is my PMS worse when I'm stressed.

Unfortunately stress and bad PMS have a direct link. A study in the Journal of Women’s Health stated that women who experienced a stressful or traumatic event within two weeks prior to their expected period had dramatically worse symptoms of sadness, depression and more drastic mood changes. Symptoms may not fully dissipate but with stress management techniques along side exercise and healthy diet they should be reduced significantly. 

Did you know that cuddling can be used to treat someone who needs physical healing. The act of cuddling releases bursts of Oxytocin, which is known to act as an anti-inflammatory reducing swelling and improving healing! 

Glands involved in hormone production

  • Hypothalamus: The hypothalamus is responsible for the body’s circadian rhythm, body temperature, hunger, moods and the release of hormones from other glands. It also controls thirst, sleep and sex drive.
  • Thyroid: This produces hormones associated with calorie burning and heart rate.
  • Parathyroid: Controls calcium amounts in the blood. It is mostly linked to the kidney and bone cells.
  • Thymus: This gland plays a role in the function of the adaptive immune system and the maturity of the thymus, and produces T-cells.
  • Pancreas: This gland produces the insulin that helps control blood sugar levels.
  • Adrenal: These glands produce the hormones that control sex drive and cortisol, the stress hormone.
  • Pituitary: Considered the “master control gland,” the pituitary gland controls other glands and makes the hormones that trigger growth.
  • Pineal: This gland produces serotonin derivatives of melatonin, which affects sleep. These are also called the thalamus.
  • Ovaries: Only in women, the ovaries secrete estrogen, testosterone and progesterone, the female sex hormones.
  • Testes: Only in men, the testes produce the male sex hormone, testosterone, and produce sperm.

 

Symptoms of a hormone imbalance

 

When one of these hormones are out of balance it can create a domino effect causing a multitude of symptoms. Some of the symptoms that can occur with a hormonal imbalance can be quite severe, some slightly trivial. 

 

      Digestive Issues

      Insomnia

      Fatigue

      Low Libido 

      Anxiety and depression

      Irregular periods or infertility

      Hair loss or thinning

      Unexplained weight gain/loss

When hormonal imbalances go unresolved for long periods of time symptoms eventually turn to one or more chronic illnesses that are all to common in our society

 

 

Estrogen Dominance (Symptoms of changes in sleep patterns, slowed metabolism, and  changes in appetite)

 

Low Estrogen (Symptoms of low sex drive, reproductive problems, menstrual irregularities, and changes in mood)

 

Hypothyroidism (Symptoms of weight gain, irritability, anxious, and digestive issues)

 

Hyperthyroidism (Symptoms of weight loss, thinning hair, depression, and irregular heart beat)

 

Low Testosterone (Symptoms of muscle loss, weight gain, acne, and fatigue)

 

Diabetes (Symptoms of weight gain, poor skin and hair health, dry mouth, fatigue, higher risk of vision loss and nerve damage)

 

Adrenal Fatigue (Symptoms of brain fog, muscle aches and pains, weakness, fatigue, anxiety, depression and sleep disturbance)

 

PCOS (Symptoms of infertility, irregular periods, painful or heavy periods, hair growth, weight gain) *Click here to learn more*

 

Soaking and Sprouting

Have you ever seen a squirrel burring an acorn? What that squirrel is doing is forcing the seed to sprout so it becomes more nutrient dense. 

 

Sprouting increases fibre content, increases protein availability and decreases the amount of anti-nutrients.

Why all this work?

 

Soaking and sprouting nuts, seeds, legumes and grains is done to increase the digestion and absorbability of the nutrients. The idea was taken from the one and only….Mother Nature. 

How to soak and sprout seeds and grains

  1. Pour the desired amount of seed or grain into a mason jar, attach a sprouting screen and ring, and wash with fresh water and strain.
  2. Add fresh water to the jar roughly 3 times the amount of seed, and let sit.*see chart for how long*
  3. After the seeds have soaked, pour out the water and rinse again. Prop the jar up at roughly a 45 degree angle so the water can continue to drain out and air can circulate. Put a bowl underneath to catch drips.
  4. Twice a day, cover the seeds with water, swirl around and drain, then propping the jar back on its angle. 
  5. Within a few days, voila! Your sprouts should be ready to drink

Length at harvest for seeds should be about 2-3 inches, grains should be about 4 inches, and beans 1/4- 1 inch. 

 

Exceptions include pumpkin, sunflower, amaranth, millet and quinoa  which can be very short.

 

How to soak and sprout beans

1.    Start with putting your chosen beans into a large glass bowl and cover with filtered water that is several inches higher than the beans. 

2.   You’ll want tot make sure that the container is large enough that the beans will have room to expand as they soak up the water. 

3.   After soaking, drain the beans and rinse them thoroughly until the water runs clear.

4.    Within the days outlined on the chart, you will have sprouts.

Seeds

 

Type

Measurements – Dry 

Soak Time

Sprouting Time

Finished products 

Notes

Broccoli

4 tablespoons

5 hours

5 days

5 cups

 

Mustard

4 tablespoons

5 hours

5 days

5 cups

 

Radish

3 tablespoons 

6 hours

5 days

4 cups

 

Sunflower

1 cup

4 hours

24 hours

2 cups

Hulled, spoils quickly

Pumpkin

1 cup

4 hours

24 hours

2 cups

Hulled

Clover

3 tablespoons 

5 hours

5 days

4 cups

 

Buckwheat

1 cup

6 hours

5-7 days

3 cups

 

Alfalfa

3 tablespoons 

5 hours

5 days

4 cups

 

Kale 

1/4 cup

5 hours

5 days

4 cups

 

Onion

1/4 cup

8 hours

3-4 days

4 cups

 

Hemp Seeds

Do not soak or sprout

Flax

1:1 ratio

8 hours

 Soak only

Sesame 

1:1 ratio

4 hours

Soak Only

 

 

Grains

 

Type

Measurements – Dry 

Soak Time

Sprouting Time

Finished products 

Notes

Amaranth

1 cup

3 hours

24 hours

3 cups

 

Kamut

1 cup

6 hours

5-7 days

3 cups

 

Rye

1 cup

6 hours

5-7 days

3 cups

 

Wheat

1 cup

6 hours

5-7 days

3 cups

 

Spelt

1 cup

6 hours

5-7 days

3 cups

 

Quinoa

1 cup

3 hours

24 hours

3 cups

 

Millet

1 cup

3 hours

12 hours

3 cups

 

Barley

1 cup

6 hours

5-7 days

3 cups

 

 

Nuts

 

Type

Measurement – Dry 

Soak Time

Sprouting Time

Finished products 

Notes

Almonds

1 cup

12 hours

Refrigerate 

Pecans

1 cup

4-6 hours

Refrigerate 

Walnuts

1 cup

4-6 hours

Refrigerate 

Cashews

1 cup

4-6 hours

Refrigerate 

Hazelnuts

1 cup

8 hours

Refrigerate 

Pistachios

1 cup

8 hours

Refrigerate 

Brazil nuts

1 cup

2-4 hours

Refrigerate 

 

Beans

 

Type

Measurement – Dry 

Soak Time

Sprouting Time

Finished products 

Notes

Garbanzo

1 cup

8-12 hours

2-3 days

2 cups

*chickpeas*

Mung

1 cup

8-12 hours

2-5 days

2 cups

 

Adzuki

1 cup

8-12 hours

2-4 days

2 cups

 

Lentils

1 cup

8-12 hours

2-3 days

2 cups

 

Peas

1 cup

8-12 hours

2-3 days

2 cups

 

Blackbean

1 cup

8-12 hours

2-3 days

2 cups