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Dishing It Up By Numbers

Toronto Holistic Nutritionist Laurie McPhail Dishing It Up by Numbers

You’ve heard of Paint by Numbers? Well, this month we’re Dishing It Up by Numbers.

While we’re in back-to-school mode and making our to-do lists (and since numbered lists seem super popular), I thought it would be fun to reflect on a number of ways we can hone healthier habits as we head into fall.

Dishing It Up by Numbers

  • Eight easy ways to be healthier right now
  • More than 6 drinks a week leads to higher health risks
  • 5 Good Habits That Might Cause Premature Aging
  • 4 Important Things We Get Wrong About Aging
  • Strength Training Can Help You Live Longer (2 sessions a week)
  • Power of the Streak: Could It Be Our Best Motivational Tool?

And I couldn’t finish this list without adding my own #1 for a little back-to-school homework:

  • Try 1 NEW VEGETABLE each and every week. How long you can keep your streak going?

Read on for a bite-sized summary and links for each story …

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Fennel & Arugula Salad with Chicken…Deconstructed

Toronto Holistic Nutritionist Laurie McPhail Fennel and Arugula Salad with Chicken

In my last blog post, Tips for a Hot Bod, I mentioned dining out on salads and using your BBQ to avoid turning on your oven in the heat of sizzling summer. This Fennel & Arugula Salad with Chicken is a perfect example. It was a particular favourite of a recent client, too, so I thought I’d share it with you.

If you don’t have a BBQ or are too hot to use it, simply buy a rotisserie chicken or cooked chicken breast from your grocer. Of course, if you are cooking chicken for another recipe, it’s a no-brainer to make extra so you can serve this salad for a subsequent lunch or dinner. Prefer a meatless meal? You can make this with white beans, chickpeas or tofu instead. If you eat seafood, poached salmon or shrimp work well here too.

Fennel is not the most attractive of vegetables so it often gets overlooked. And it’s Latin name, Foeniculum vulgare, isn’t much of an advertisement. The bulbs we buy are a variety called Florence fennel, which sounds far more pleasing. Read on for why this vegetable is more versatile than vulgar.

This salad makes for easy entertaining as you can prepare everything through Step 1 ahead of time. Then all you need to do just prior to serving is toss in pre-washed arugula and top it with slices of cooked chicken and a sprinkle of chopped pistachios. My client took it to a pot-luck book club event and she said it was a hit. It’s also great for picnics or to whip up while on a cottage vacation.

Speaking of which, I’ll be taking the remainder of the month off for my annual “no-blog Aug” vacation. 😉  I wish you a rollicking good rest of summer and see you in September!

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Tips for a Hot Bod

Toronto Holistic Nutritionist Laurie McPhail Tips for a Hot BodIf you’re expecting this post to reveal a raft of diet and exercise tips to give you the hot bod of a swimsuit model, then you’ll be disappointed. Besides, most of them are digitally altered anyway (at least it certainly makes me feel better to think that). What I’m really on about is what you can do when your bod gets too hot since, as I write this, the temperature outside is a sweltering 31 degrees Celsius.

Summer sizzles, so I thought some tips for healthy hydration and cooling off a hot bod would be a hot topic. Particularly for those of us also in hot flash territory. 😉 I was lucky enough to be at a cottage in the Ottawa Valley for a few days during this heatwave and jumping in a spring-fed lake did wonders for beating the heat! But if you aren’t near a cooling body of water, then what?

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Secret Ingredient Broccoli Cheddar Frittata

Toronto Holistic Nutritionist Laurie McPhail Secret Ingredient Broccoli Cheddar Frittata

This post is part travelogue because it was my stay last weekend at the picturesque Pangea House (scroll to the end for pictures) that inspired my recipe for Secret Ingredient Broccoli Cheddar Frittata. This riverside heritage inn in Gananoque, Ontario is a real gem and Jody and Geoff, the owners, are wonderful hosts! Your stay includes a hearty, nutritionist-approved breakfast as well. 😉 Ours was as follows:

  • slices of fresh pineapple and watermelon,
  • homemade oat, yogurt and blueberry muffins,
  • berry yogurt smoothies,
  • broccoli & cheddar frittata and mixed greens with house-pickled peppers
  • and hot, buttered toast!

“Cheoff Geoff” loves to chat about food. As he served the frittata, he let us in on the secret ingredient that is a must for a good frittata. Look closely at our breakfast menu and you might be able to guess what it is (hint: he used it a few ways).

Do you give up? It’s yogurt! Specifically Greek yogurt. Now I cook a lot and for some reason it has never occurred to me to put yogurt in my frittatas. But Geoff was so right. It makes the frittata. Join The Nutritional Reset community here to receive the recipe for my Secret Ingredient Broccoli Cheddar Frittata (and upcoming featured recipes). And read on below to find out more.

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Dishing It Up on Aging

Toronto Holistic Nutritionist Laurie McPhail Dishing It Up on Aging

My wedding anniversary is coming up next week and, wow, twenty years has just flown by. So yes, it’s true, time flies when you are having fun!  And it is also true that aging is an inevitable part of life.

But aging is also a process and, while it cannot be reversed, we can make choices that may help slow this process down. So this month I’m dishing it up on aging!

And just in case you were wondering, no, that is not me and my husband in the photo. He still has more hair than that. 😉

Dishing It Up on Aging

  • Is there a cure for ageing?
  • 7 Signs Your Nutrition Isn’t On Track
  • Avoiding late-night meals may have anti-aging benefits
  • Alcohol consumption patterns and unhealthy aging among older lifetime drinkers
  • The Queen’s secret to ageing gracefully

Read on for a bite-sized summary and links for each story …

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Spicy Shrimp Sushi Bowls…Deconstructed

Toronto Holistic Nutritionist Laurie McPhail Spicy Shrimp Sushi Bowls

I love sushi but I don’t have the patience (or skill, frankly) to make it myself. But you can whip up these Spicy Shrimp Sushi Bowls, which have all the scrumptiousness of sushi without the fuss, in no time. Here’s why I chose this recipe…

  • It’s a quick and easy meal for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
  • Shrimp is super-nutritious (more on this below).
  • Sushi made with brown rice isn’t so easy to come by. But the added sugar and low fiber content of regular white rice sushi can lead to spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels.
  • Shrimp was a fave of my mom’s so it seemed appropriate given her birthday was this past week. And while I never did convince my mom to like sushi or raw fish, she would definitely have loved this!


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Better Your Balance

Toronto Holistic Nutritionist Laurie McPhail Better Your BalanceThere’s no denying that maintaining balance is important for health. And balance comes in many forms. All this week during my I’m Sweet Enough 7-Day No Sugar Added Challenge, I’ve been talking about blood sugar balance, for example. We know it’s important to have a balanced diet to provide our bodies with adequate nutrients to function optimally. The body itself spends much energy devoted to maintaining homeostasis, which is essentially a fancy scientific word for balance or stability in the face of changing conditions. When you exercise, it’s vital to balance your strenuous efforts with rest and recovery to truly reap the rewards. And finding the right balance between work and home life is key to health and happiness.

But there is one type of balance we often overlook. And that is balance in the more literal and physical sense. As in, how long can you stand on one foot without falling over? So let’s talk about why it’s so important to better your balance.

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I’m Sweet Enough 7-Day No Sugar Added Challenge 2022

Toronto Holistic Nutritionist Laurie McPhail No Sugar Challenge

I can’t believe a year has gone by since the I’m Sweet Enough 7-Day No Sugar Added Challenge.  That means it’s time to do it again!

This Challenge is FREE as well as sugar-free and I only offer it once a year.  So if you were thinking of joining in the fun last year but couldn’t make it, now is your chance!  Registration closes Thursday May 5th and you can sign up right here right now!

There are many, many benefits to reducing added sugar in our diets (click here to read my blog post from last year for more on this).  But sugar is everywhere, so it is very easy to slide down a sugary, slippery slope and have it more frequently than is good for us.  Especially after fall and winter holiday feasting, chocolate on Valentine’s Day and spring holidays like Passover, Easter and Mother’s Day.

So I time the I’m Sweet Enough 7-Day No Sugar Added Challenge to come after these holidays but, perhaps more importantly, before the hot summer weather when we start peeling off our extra layers.  😉

The I’m Sweet Enough 7-Day No Sugar Added Challenge is a lot of fun.  We go on an expedition to climb back up that sugary, slippery slope that we’ve just fallen down (and learn a little about summiting Everest on the way).  And it’s free to join in, so what have you got to lose – besides maybe a little weight?

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Stuffed Peppers…Deconstructed

  • Toronto Holistic Nutritionist Laurie McPhail Stuffed Peppers DeconstructedSpring is in the air!  It’s the perfect time to renew, refresh and be creative. And to spring clean, declutter and simplify.

So in the swing of spring spirit, I want to try something new going forward.  Rather than a themed menu, I thought it would be fun to focus on a single recipe and delve a bit. Call it a recipe deconstructed (in this case Stuffed Peppers…deconstructed).

I might deconstruct the recipe either …

  • literally/physically, as I am doing this month with these Deconstructed Stuffed Peppers or
  • metaphorically, where I dive a little deeper into one or more aspects of the recipe.

For example, I might …

  • focus on the ingredients (their provenance, nutritional value, appropriate substitutions),
  • discuss the cooking method,
  • offer some shortcuts or
  • suggest ways to repurpose the recipe for another meal.

I hope you enjoy my Deconstructed Stuffed Peppers and the new format. As always, any and all feedback is welcome!

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Dishing It Up on Forgetting

Toronto Holistic Nutritionist Laurie McPhail Dishing It Up on Forgetting

The theme of this month’s Dishing It Up newsletter evolved rather organically. First, as my level of busy-ness and business ramped up, I found I was forgetting to write the newsletter. Then, during a Pilates class, my instructor mentioned something about gluteal amnesia which piqued my interest since my glutes are certainly forgetting they exist. And there have been a few times in recent memory when I was sure I’d added certain items to my grocery delivery order but, it seems, I did not. I’ve either been forgetting things yet again or Fresh City is messing with my head and removing things without telling me.

So this month I thought I’d post a few items on forgetting and how to improve the situation. And I hope that, if and when you have some time this weekend, you’ll remember to read it. 😉


Dishing It Up on Forgetting

  • Optimal dose and type of exercise to improve cognitive function in older adults
  • Gluteal amnesia, aka ‘dead butt syndrome’
  • Sitting all day can cause ‘dead butt syndrome’. These exercises can help.
  • The best brain food to start your morning off right
  • Your brain needs you to focus on one thing at a time
  • Sleep, mental health and memory

Read on for a bite-sized summary and links for each story …

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