What Does it Mean to Eat Sustainably?

Sustainable eating is the topic of countless blog posts these days, and is being pushed by doctors, environmentalists, social activists, and everyone in the health community. Let me break it down for you. Sustainability refers to living and consuming in such a way that will allow the Earth’s resources to continue to effectively provide for our population indefinitely. We must be mindful of the effects that our diets have on the food system and the natural world as a whole. If we claim to respect our planet and wish for continued food security in the future, we must align our actions with these views, in part by making the conscious choice to eat sustainably. Two major components of this are selecting foods that are organic and local. Organic foods are farmed without the use of man-made pesticides, fertilisers, and growth regulators. They typically contain few synthetic additives and no genetically modified ingredients, and undergo minimal processing. This is not to be confused with local food, which is grown relatively close to the point in which it is purchased and consumed. The specific distance is debatable, but many people refer to a 100-mile radius when classifying foods as being local. Many products are both local and organic, however it is important to understand the difference between the two, as they offer slightly different benefits in terms of health and the environment. That being said, here are 3 general reasons why you should eat sustainably to fulfill your responsibility as a global citizen.

 

  • For the environment! Synthetic pesticides contain toxic chemicals that kill bees, birds, and other essential pollinators that allow plant reproduction. We rely on honeybees directly for approximately ⅓ of the food we consume! Not to mention, when soil erodes, these same toxic chemicals enter water bodies and kill aquatic organisms, disrupting ecosystems that we count on for fresh water and food supply.
  • For your health! Not only can pesticides and other chemical additives be harmful to the environment, but they can affect your health as well. Many recent studies suggest that they may increase your risk of a variety of health complications, ranging from mental illnesses to cancers. Conventional factory farms often keep large numbers of livestock in close proximity, increasing the chances of disease spreading. Finally, foods that travel long distances from producer to consumer will often decrease in nutritional value during their journey.
  • For the taste! Local farmers don’t have to worry about increasing shelf life or preventing foods from ripening before they get to their customers. Instead, they can focus on producing food with optimal flavour, knowing that it will reach their consumers almost immediately. When farmers are closely connected to their consumers, they care more about their satisfaction, and this almost always results in better tasting food.

 

Sources/More Info: 

Foundation, GRACE Communications. “Why Buy Sustainable?” GRACE Communications Foundation, www.sustainabletable.org/943/why-buy-sustainable.

“ BENEFITS OF EATING LOCALLY SOURCED, SUSTAINABLE FOODS.” Our Business, Your Business, info.esg.adec-innovations.com/blog/benefits-of-eating-locally-sourced-sustainable-foods.

Foundation, GRACE Communications. “Do You Have to Eat 100% Local, Sustainable, and Organic?” GRACE Communications Foundation, www.sustainabletable.org/568/do-you-have-to-eat-100-local-sustainable-and-organic.
“The benefits of eating local foods.” Food and Dining Services, 6 Mar. 2012, www.mcgill.ca/foodservices/sustainability/green/local.

 

 

Advertisements

Smoothie Recipe and My Fave Superfoods:

This is my go-to fruit smoothie at the moment! It is awesome for breakfast, and especially great for busy mornings when you prep it the night before. It’s packed with superfoods like almond milk and ground flax, and is chalked full of essential micronutrients to kick-start your day. This smoothie is suitable for most popular diets…vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, paleo, you name it!

fla

Ground flax seeds awesome because they are super high in Omega-3 fatty acids, a type of healthy polyunsaturated fat. Specifically, flax contains lots of Alpha-Linolenic Acid (ALA), which studies suggest may reduce symptoms of depression, anxiety, and ADHD, improve eye and brain health, and fight age-related mental decline. ALA may also be beneficial for those trying to lose weight, as it triggers enzymes to burn fat for energy during exercise. Spinach is another great source of ALA which I also included in this recipe. So if the idea of fish oil freaks you out, simply throw some flax and a handful of greens in your smoothie for similar Omega-3 benefits! Always be sure to buy ground flax instead of whole flax seeds, which can pass straight through your digestive system without being absorbed, meaning you miss out on their benefits. If you don’t have ground flax on hand you can substitute with chia seeds, or even hemp seeds for a nutty flavour.

alm

Another ingredient I love in this smoothie is almond milk! Although technically not milk, it contains just as much calcium as its dairy equivalent, but has way less saturated fat. My favourite brand is Silk, and I always get the vanilla flavour because I find it tastes the best! I make sure to pick the unsweetened kind, and then bring a sweet flavour to my smoothie with natural fruit sugars. Silk also fortifies their products with several vitamins including Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin B12, and Riboflavin, which is another B vitamin. Almond milk is great for people who don’t consume animal products, since it can be difficult to get enough of certain vitamins, especially B12, which is usually found in meats and dairy.  B12 is a coenzyme in metabolic processes, meaning that it helps with important energy-related functions in the body.

So without further ado….here is my delicious smoothie! I also filmed a quick video of me making it, which can be found here.

Berry Banana Smoothie

Serves 1

Ingredients:

-1 cup frozen berries

-1 bananas

-1 tbsp ground flax seeds

-1 date

-¾ cup unsweetened vanilla almond beverage

-a handful of spinach

Directions:

  1. Add all ingredients to blender.
  2. Blend on highest setting for one minute.
  3. Serve immediately or refrigerate and enjoy within 24 hours.

 

Sources/More Info:

“Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA).” WebMD, WebMD, www.webmd.com/diet/alpha-lipoic-acid-ala.

“Vitamin B12.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 24 Jan. 2018, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitamin_B12

“Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Beverage.” Silk, www.drinksilk.ca/products/unsweetened-vanilla-almond-beverage#.

 

Mushroom Coffee?! The Strangest but Best Health Fad:

In the past few months, the Four Sigmatic brand has made mushroom coffee one of the biggest trends in nutrition. Although “hot fungus water” may seem like the most bizarre concept, you absolutely have to get your hands on some and try it for yourself! Four Sigmatic makes a variety of products, ranging from instant coffees with mushroom extract, to mushroom elixirs, mochas, and even K-Pods. They use four types of mushrooms including, reishi, cordyceps, chaga, and lion’s’ mane, all which offer different health benefits.

Reishi mushrooms: These have been a staple in Traditional Chinese Medicine for years. Studies suggest they help boost immunity due to the polysaccharides they contain, which stimulate white blood cells. They are also said to help decrease stress, maintain focus, and regulate sleep cycles.

Cordyceps: Also popular in Traditional Chinese Medicine, cordyceps improve the immune system by increasing the activity of killer cells, which fight off viruses. They also have antioxidant properties, which help the body fight against harmful free radicals.

Chaga: This mushroom has one of the highest antioxidant contents out of any food! Like cordyceps, it neutralizes free radicals to prevent disease. Chaga mushrooms are also anti-inflammatory, so they can help with digestion and prevent the stomach soreness that many people experience from regular coffee.

Lion’s Mane: Because it contains nerve growth factors, Lion’s mane is said to help with memory and overall brain function. Other benefits include helping to maintain focus and attention.

In my opinion, mushroom coffee tastes as good, if not better, than regular coffee. It does have a slightly different flavour but it definitely doesn’t taste like mushrooms at all. It is less bitter than regular coffee, so many people don’t feel they need to add as much milk or cream with their drink. The mushroom coffees contain a small amount of caffeine, while the elixirs and other products are completely caffeine free! Either way, you can get yourself energized and enjoy a warm drink without experiencing the jitters that often come from drinking coffee. With a lower caffeine content, you will also avoid dehydration and all the unpleasant side effects that come with it.

mus2
Sources/More Info:
“What the heck is mushroom coffee?” Four Sigmatic, us.foursigmatic.com/pages/what-the-heck-is-mushroom-coffee-7-jaw-dropping-health-benefits-that-will-take-you-away-from-coffee.
Davis, Kathleen. “Here’s What Happened When I Drank Mushroom Coffee For A Month.” Fast Company, Fast Company, 12 Jan. 2018, www.fastcompany.com/40515798/heres-what-happened-when-i-drank-mushroom-coffee-for-a-month.
Boosting the Immune System with Cordyceps, www.chinese-herbs.org/cordyceps/boosting-the-immune-system-with-cordyceps.html.
Antioxidants and Free radicals, www.rice.edu/~jenky/sports/antiox.html.

2 days till Christmas!

Christmas is finally, (almost) here!! We’re having a big snowstorm right now, which is pretty exciting and definitely helps me get into the holiday spirit. Last year there was a little bit of snow, but the year before that there was none at all, so it’s nice to have a truly white Christmas this year. I thought I’d share a couple of my favourite albums and movies that I’ve been enjoying these past few weeks…

What I’ve been listening to… for classic, chill Christmas songs, Michael Buble’s “Christmas” album is always my go-to. And for some new and fun holiday tunes, I love Chance the Rapper’s “Merry Christmas Lil’ Mama Re-wrapped” album that just came out a couple days ago!

What I’ve been watching… “Love Actually” and “Elf”… both of these movies make me so so happy! I’ve watched them over and over and they never get old!

Here are a few pictures from today and some ideas for creative gift wrapping! Also, if you’re in need of a yummy warm drink, check out my peppermint hot chocolate recipe…Hope everyone has a very merry Christmas!

xx Laura

SONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSC

I used yarn to tie a simple bow and then tucked in a cute homemade card ^^

SONY DSCSONY DSC

I made this fun pom-pom to decorate this gift. It took 2 minutes! This vid is helpful…

SONY DSC

Perfect Sunday

A few Sundays ago, we started the day off with the most delicious breakfast from my favourite bakery, “Art is in”! I had to sacrifice my Sunday sleep in so that we could get there early enough to get a table, considering how crazy busy it always is at this spot-but it was 100% worth it 🙂 Later in the day, we drove up to Gatineau Park to take a hike and see the pretty fall colours. Hiking is one of my favourite ways to excercise, because its different every time and there’s always something interesting to see or explore. I’m so glad I live in a city that has such easy access to this beautiful park!

Chai latte ^^^^

breakfast sandwich with egg, cheese, bacon, and avocado^^^

Almond cake^^^

fruit, granola, almond milk^^^


  

^^^we were so thirsty, we drank some of this fresh water from the waterfall-so clear and refreshing!


Cottage Summer 2016

This summer was absolutely amazing, and the highlight, as always, was being up at the cottage on the lake. Being up there brings me so much happiness and I look forward to it all year long. This year, we had the best weather-sunny and hot almost everyday! Now that I’m back in the city, I really miss being able to jump in the lake whenever the heck I want. I’m already counting down the days till next summer (somewhere around 300)!

                                                         nothing beats eating outside ^^^

                                                                          picnic on Red Rock ^^^^                                                            My younger brother slalom water-skiing ^^^^^