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Month: November 2019

Beans, Beans, They’re Good For Your Heart!

Toronto Holistic Nutritionist Laurie McPhail Beans Beans They Are Good For Your HeartBeans, beans, they’re good for your heart, the more you eat, the more you… Well, you know the rhyme.  Their flatulent effect is the stuff of legend.  But not many folks are as aware of how heart-healthy beans are.  So I thought it high time to write a post on the benefits of beans for cardiovascular health.  And anyone who knows me knows why this is a topic near and dear to my heart.

With the recent demonization of carbohydrates and great swathes of the populace adopting the ketogenic diet, it seems we may be forgetting that carbs are not all created equal.  Yes, sugar, white rice, white flour, processed baked goods and their ilk should definitely be only occasional indulgences.  But as I said in the post for my Winter Warm Up Menu, vegetables and fruits are carbs as well, and these are about the only foods undisputed by experts to be absolutely healthy for you.

So drastically reducing all carbs is akin to throwing the proverbial baby out with the bathwater.  I think the healthiest diet is a prudent, personalized mix of healthy carbs, protein and fats.  Think of them as three legs of a stool – without one leg, there is no balance.  And beans are undeniably in the healthy carb camp.

Surprisingly, when I advise my clients to add even a modicum of beans to their diet, I get more push-back than when I ask them to forgo their beloved crusty white baguettes.  Pretty much everyone complains about flatulence.  But here’s the thing.  As well as providing heart-healthy antioxidant power and fibre, the nutrient profile of beans is chock-full of energy promoting B-vitamins.  So beans really do help put the wind in your sails!  As for that other wind, there is a lot we can do about that, so I invite you to read on.

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Dishing It Up for November 2019

Toronto Holistic Nutritionist Laurie McPhail Dishing It UpDishing It Up serves up a selection of stories, studies & so on from the world of wellness & nutrition each month.

In this month’s issue of Dishing It Up…

Make a plan for calm this holiday season
4 Ways To Practice Active Meditation If You Can’t Sit Still
Fiber in Fruits and Grains Protects Against Diverticulitis
The Food Lab: How to Steam Vegetables in the Microwave
Nourishing Autumn Face Oil

Here’s a taste of each from the sampler platter…

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Winter Warm Up Menu

Toronto Holistic Nutritionist Laurie McPhail Winter Warm Up MenuAs renowned UK foodie Nigel Slater says in the introduction to his new book, Greenfeast: Autumn, Winter, “winter is nature’s way of making us eat carbohydrates”.  I agree.  Nothing makes me crave carbs more than cold weather.  And while winter doesn’t officially arrive until December 21st, it feels like it is already here as I write this, especially with the snow that greeted me this morning.  So November’s menu is both a warm up for winter and to help you warm up in winter!  It is chock full of warming spices and starchy carbs, but the healthy kind.

Carbs have been unfairly demonized of late.  Yet people often forget that vegetables and fruits are carbs.  And about the only thing everyone agrees on is that veggies and fruits are uber-good for you.  But it is true that consuming refined and processed carbs (think white rice, white bread, instant oats and the like) are pretty much the equivalent of eating sugar, given how quickly they are metabolized into sugar in the bloodstream.

But the whole grains and legumes that star in this menu are full of healthy fibre (this menu provides 45 grams, in fact), something most of us don’t get enough of.  They also deliver many important vitamins and minerals such as B vitamins, magnesium, zinc and iron.  And these unrefined carbs won’t spike your blood sugar, especially when combined with protein and healthy fats as in these recipes.

So tuck into these steamy, bubbling bowls of goodness without guilt!  I hope you enjoy this menu and share it with your family and friends!  Sign up here to receive the recipes and stay warm!

Winter Warm Up Menu

Breakfast: Caramelized Banana & Almond Steel Cut Oats (this stick-to-your-ribs porridge keeps you going all morning & you can make it ahead of time) 

Lunch:  Cozy Slow Cooker Split Pea & Kale Stew (a hug in a mug…if you like it meatier, leftover ham or bacon adds a subtly smoky flavour)

Dinner: Moroccan Chicken & Chickpea Stew (easy peasy but worthy to serve to guests – I love it with a side of garlicky sautéed rapini or simply stir in handfuls of leafy greens like kale, spinach or Swiss chard)

Winter Warmer: Golden Turmeric Hot Chocolate (this spicy rich hot chocolate will warm you up & boost your mood on the coldest of days)

Join The Nutritional Reset community here to receive this month’s menu today (as well as each month to come)!  And read on for some nutritional tidbits about a few foods featured in the recipes…

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