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To D or not to D?

Toronto Holistic Nutritionist Laurie McPhail To D or Not to DTo D or not to D – that is the question. I’m referring, of course, to vitamin D and whether it’s a good idea to take a vitamin D supplement. Here are some multiple choice answers for you to ponder:

  • a) always
  • b) by no means
  • c) capsule form only
  • d) definitely in the dark days of winter!

So, to D or not to D. That is the question. And the answer is …
d) definitely in the dark days of winter.

Read on for more about why it’s important to supplement vitamin D.

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Sliding Down a Sugary, Slippery Slope

Toronto Holistic Nutritionist Laurie McPhail Sliding Down a Sugary Slippery SlopeAre you sliding down a sugary, slippery slope?  You know the one I mean.  The one that begins innocently enough in the fall with a slice (or two) of Thanksgiving pecan or pumpkin pie and then a wee bit of Hallowe’en candy a few weeks later.  You gain momentum with heaping helpings of holiday treats followed by boxes of Valentine’s chocolate.  Before you know it, you’re gathering and gobbling the Easter bunny’s chocolate eggs (not to mention, if you love them as much as I do, hot cross buns).  Suddenly, you find yourself awash in sugar.  You have more of a sweet tooth than you used to and sugary treats have become a daily ritual, not just a holiday indulgence.

Does this sound familiar?  If so, you’ve just slid down a sugary, slippery slope.  I know I have.  Read on for more about how easy it is to do this and why you really, really want to climb back up.

And I hope you’ll join me for my I’m Sweet Enough 7-day No Sugar Added Challenge (more on this at the end of this post).

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Pantry Raid Menu

Toronto Holistic Nutritionist Laurie McPhail Pantry Raid MenuSo how’s life in “lockdown”?  I imagine many of you are cooking a lot more than ever before and looking for quick and easy meals to make from all that food you stockpiled in your pantry, no?  So I thought I’d offer up a Pantry Raid Menu this month.  But first, a story…

You all know how I like to pun.  Well, one of my puns actually made it into print, as the title of a cookbook no less.  Back in 2002, a friend was telling me that his friend, Dana McCauley, was writing a cookbook.  It was about cooking from the pantry so I joked that she should call it Pantry Raid.  As it turned out, she thought it was pretty funny and asked me if she could use it as the title.

Toronto Holistic Nutritionist Laurie McPhail Pantry Raid Menu Toronto Holistic Nutritionist Laurie McPhail Pantry Raid Menu
Just so you know I am not making this up, I have attached a photo of both the book cover and the section of the Acknowledgments page where Dana kindly credits me.

So I’m hoping Dana won’t mind me borrowing the title back.

Now let’s serve up this month’s menu.  My Pantry Raid Menu makes liberal use of pantry (and frozen) staples, is leftover-friendly and embraces both simplicity and the beauty of the one-pot meal.  While these are not Dana’s recipes, they are similar in spirit.  And I recommend you check out her book for further inspiration as well.

Sign up here to receive the recipes.  I hope you enjoy this month’s Pantry Raid Menu and share it with your family and friends!

Pantry Raid Menu

Breakfast:  Peanut Butter Breakfast Quinoa (if you are finding oats in short supply, consider quinoa for breakfast – it is higher in protein and super delicious – top with bananas and crumbled bacon if you want the Elvis-approved version)

Lunch:  Spring Salad (use frozen peas here, feel free to swap in soon-to-be-in-season asparagus for the snap peas or canned wild salmon in place of tuna and don’t hesitate to use any leafy green in place of spinach)

Afternoon Pick-Me-Up:  Cinnamon Ginger Energy Balls (awesome with a cup of tea, the cinnamon helps with blood sugar metabolism and ginger does wonders for digestion)

Dinner: One Pot Taco Pasta (taco night was a blast when I was a kid, and still is, especially when margaritas are involved – this is a much healthier take on it which works better for leftovers)

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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COVID-Coping Sustenance for Your Soul

Toronto Holistic Nutritionist Laurie McPhail COVID CopingAs the calendar flips over to April, so begins another month of social-distancing in this new world of ours.  While coping with COVID-19 has been challenging, it has been heartening to see the outpouring of generosity, kindness and humour in our local and global communities.  People worldwide are providing and sharing COVID-coping sustenance for the soul.  Together we get more resilient every day.  The quote at left was something I saw posted on Instagram by yoga teacher, author and lecturer Eddie Stern in New York City.  It exemplifies the fighting spirit we are seeing there and around the world.

In times like these, it is just as important to sustain your soul as your body.  The limit is your creativity as you can virtually do anything!  Here are some of my favourite examples of COVID-coping sustenance for your soul.  And I hope you will share your favourites in the comments section.  So without further ado, here they are, from the sublime to the cerebral to the (sometimes or somewhat) ridiculous…

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