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Love to be 



Over the past few years I've definitely become invested in being ingredient focused. 

When I pick up an item at the grocery store, my eyes go directly to the ingredient list and not the nutrition label.

I'm not exactly sure when this started but I'm 100% that girl who is standing in the middle of the aisle looking at the ingredients of anything from a box of "child friendly" biscuits to hummus to vegan products. 

You'd be surprised at how many "baby" and "children" friendly snacks and products I've gotten mad at in the shopping aisle after reading what the heck is in them! 

So I want to educate a little further and share with you that just because it says "natural" flavours or "sugar free" or even "made with real cheddar" (Insert big eye roll here) - it doesn't mean its a good quality product.

Here's what I've learned. 

That marketing companies are damn GOOD at their job. 

That they can make a "sugar free" product appear really healthy when actually the ingredient list is quite alarming.

So firstly, here's why I don't care too much about the nutrition label. It's simple, the amount of calories in an avocado are nearly double the amount of calories in 2 Oreo cookies. So what's better? Eating 2 Oreos? No. Because what makes up an oreo cookie is far worse than what makes up an avocado. So here ingredients matter more.

The only things I really look for on a nutrition label are sugar content, Fiber, protein, iron and any other vitamins and minerals. I don't really look at calories or fat (but major disclaimer) this is because I know that if the ingredient list contains good stuff, the fats and calories will fall into the good category. This is because we typically eat very clean so fat and calorie content isn't on our main concern. 

Now to move onto the ingredients. 

Do you ever look at an ingredients list and think hmm what is that? Never heard of it. 

Well chances are its in there for some processing, shelf prolonging, flavour enhancing or profit maximizing reason.

Some companies are using whatever products they can come across to increase their bottom line. So they fill products with addicting "flavours", thickening agents and fillers.

What is most alarming to me is the regulations in place to give these ingredients the green light. They may seem relatively, somewhat okay - but the reality is that they have major health implications and companies simply are not being held accountable.

I've compiled a list of 8 ingredients I try and avoid at all cost. 

I will be honest - sometimes I buy something out of sheer impulse and read the ingredients once I'm home and instantly become regretful. (That's why there's a box of "Vegetarian YVES burgers in my freezer untouched for the last 3 months. Side note - vegetarian and vegan doesn't always mean ingredient healthy).

The ingredients we read on those labels are ingredients we are putting into our bodies. These ingredients will either fuel us or create toxicity. 

8 Ingredients to Avoid

1) Carragenan - used to thicken, emulsify and preserve foods. It's very common in nut milks (another reason why I don't do store almond milks), meat and dairy products including ice cream and yogurts. Carragenan is extracted from red sea weed and is not digestible. It comes in two different forms, one deemed "likely safe" which is used in our foods and one deemed "likely unsafe." Studies on lab animals have linked the ingredient to gastrointestinal disease, cancer and inflammation.

2) High Fructose Corn Syrup - this product alarms me for many reasons. Its common in so many products because its cheaper and sweeter that traditional sweeteners also giving products (i.e bread and buns) a warm brown colour. HFCS research suggests that it has an adverse effect on the metabolism, raising the risk of heart disease and diabetes. It also causes the liver to pump out "bad" fats and interferes with cholesterol, insulin and blood sugar regulation. It's chemical structure encourages overeating. (There's your answer to why you always drench your fries with more and more ketchup- it's loaded with HFCS!).

3) Palm, Canola, Soybean or Corn oil - This one is tricky because finding good quality products without these oils is challenging. The reality is that any oil that is blasted with hydrogen becomes a TRANS fat. Trans fats raise your bad cholesterol and lower the good. This inevitably increases your chance of blood clots and heart attacks. I am currently looking for a vegan butter that does not contain these trans fat oils since the brand I use MELT does. These oils are readily used for deep frying your favorite take out foods.

4) MSG (monosodium glutamate) - also known as "Chinese Salt." A flavour enhancer and thickener. Side effects include headaches and significant spikes in blood pressure. It has claimed to cause asthma and even brain damange. The jury's still out on this one but the FDA claims its "safe." The FDA also still claims that cows milk sold with millions of pus and blood cells per glass is also safe. Can you tell I don't trust the FDA?

5) Artifical Food Colouring (Well Artificial anything for that matter)- typically used to make foods look more appealing. Studies suggest that they are linked to hyperactivity in children and cancer-causing effects.

6) Sodium/Potassium Benzonate - Perservatives added to prevent mold from growing and added to pop. Benzene is a KNOWN carcinogen linked with serious thyroid damage. 

7) Sodium Nitrate/Nitries - found commonly in processed meats to prevent growth of bacteria and adding a salt like flavour.  Under high heat, nitrites can turn into nitrosamine which is associated with a higher risk of cancer (colorectal, breat and stomach). There is also studies that link to a higher chance of diabetes.

8) Enriched Wheat Flour (or any enriched products) - products that are enriched are enriched with nutrients because during the processing of the product the wheat for example loses all its nutrients during bleaching. Enriched, refined foods break down quickly into sugar and long term effects include high blood sugar and weight gain.

Read My Blog

Ditch the Diet

The word diet is one of those words I simply don't engage with. 

I've never been on a diet and I feel like it holds false pretense.

There's no doubt that the majority of people out there want to look and feel good.

When you feel good about yourself, you come prepared to handle the curve balls life throws at you.

But what does it mean to feel good about yourself?

The reality is that not everyone wants to "be skinny." Diets simply don't last because they often start with excitement, are met with unprepared and unmanaged expectations. Many people face road blocks and don't know how to overcome them and then they think they've failed their diet so they give up.

For me, I encourage my clients to be lifestyle focused. 


Because lifestyle focus means consistent small steps over a period of time which  will create long term sustainable results.  You don't need to give up everything over night. You don't need to only eat one certain type of thing. You don't need to feel overwhelmed,

What I'm not saying is that you should continue to eat fast food and drink pop 5x a week. But I am saying that making transitions is the way to go.

Substituting and swapping so you're not feeling deprived. 

Small steps, consciousness and awareness about what you are putting in your body. 

Understanding how food impacts your mood and vitality,

This means - yes I still have a chocolate chip cookie with my black coffee from Tim Hortons. It's my treat and my life is not restricted.

But I promise you you'll rarely to almost never find a box of cookies or bag of chips laying around at home.

It's not only about the way you eat and what you eat, but its also about the way you view your body.

Currently, wherever you are at in your life, your reality is governed by subconscious beliefs you've bought into throughout your own journey.

Some common beliefs are

"I am big boned."

"Its so hard for me to loose weight."

"Everytime I loose weight I gain it back."

"Its just my body type. "

"Exercising is so hard. "

"Eating healthy is boring."

Wow I could go on and on. And you know what I feel as I'm writing all those?! OMG excuse-itis.

We make up SO many excuses for ourselves to justify our subconscious thinking that is not serving us at all.

Friends, the first step into changing your nutritional lifestyle is to start reprogramming the way you think about yourself.

Your reality becomes what you believe.

Here are some affirmations to reprogram your beliefs.

"I love nourishing my body with great food."

"I feel amazing when I work out."

"My body truly heals itself. "

"My body knows how to feel good."

"I can do this, I'm the luckiest person I know. "

"When I decide I want something, It naturally comes into my life. "

Now doesn't that feel better even as you're reading it?

We have to understand that with time and access to knowledge, our holistic journey will blossom and bring forth many resources to help sustain a healthy lifestyle.

So forget about the next diet and start educating yourself on what you are putting into your body. 

I'll leave you with this below. Start today and live your best life!

5 things to stay away from

1) Dairy (start with Milk)

2) Refined Sugar

3) Pop / Energy Drinks

4) Processed Foods

5) Deep fried Foods

5 things to introduce in your life

1) Nut or Grain Milk

2) High Fiber Foods (I just put flax seed in everything)

3) Lots of Water

4) Green Tea with Ginger

5) More Plant Based Protein