My MSG free journey is coming along pretty well. Of course there have been a few surprises along the way. One of the surprises was the realization of just how much MSG has infiltrated our lives by being in almost every prepared product on the shelves of the grocery store. This annoying little toxin is in so many every day items that you really have to re-think almost everything that goes into your mouth. An example is that I had to toss out my minty fresh, flavour enhanced toothpaste and am now brushing my teeth with a coconut oil/baking soda mixture. Oddly enough, I’m finding that I have fresher breath with this natural cleanser. I can’t wait until my next trip to the dentist for a cleaning to see what the verdict is on my new found oral hygiene. But I digress.
What I really want to talk about is salad dressing. Do you know that it’s pretty much impossible to buy a commercial salad dressing without a liberal dose of MSG added? I’ve looked and looked and haven’t been able to find one (If anyone out there knows of one please leave the brand name in the comments section below). So, I’ve been making my own dressing at home…much like I’ve been making my own everything on this journey. The TV show Little House on the Prairie that I used to watch as a teenager has been popping into my mind as I make all of my meals from scratch in my little galley kitchen. I used to love watching the show and all of the homesteading that was just part of life back then. Oops, digressing again.
So salad dressing! I’ve concocted what I think is a winner.
Such a winner that as I eat my delicious, wholesome salad, I wonder why I ever bought that preservative filled, MSG laden store-bought dressing in the first place.
Here it is:
- 1 cup fresh raspberries
- 2/3 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
Drizzle this over a salad of mixed greens, pecans, goat cheese and fresh raspberries for a big plate of yum!
Our unusually snowy Vancouver winter continues, giving me beautiful photo ops like this..
and also making me crave some good, wholesome, stick-to-your-ribs breakfasts to start the day before putting on my winter boots and trudging through the snow.
Luckily I’ve been Pinteresting and found out about soaked oats. Soaked oats are amazing! Tasty, healthy and wholesome. Top with fruit and nuts and you’ve got a hearty breakfast that will power you through the toughest Canadian winter morning.
Banana Pecan Soaked Oats
- 2 cups steel cut oats
- 2 cups almond milk
- 2 T full fat yogurt
- 2 T shredded coconut flakes
Top with Sliced banana, pecans and drizzle with pure Canadian maple syrup.
I’ve been learning a lot about MSG lately and none of it is good. Did you know that MSG is an excito-toxin that does a bunch of terrible things to our bodies? First, it contributes to ADD, mood disorders and the “dumbing down” of our society by causing neurons in our brain to fire too quickly. It also exacerbates Alzheimer’s disease when eaten in excess (and, since it’s in everything, it’s very easy to unknowingly eat in excess). And, as an explanation of why North Americans are getting bigger and bigger as time goes on, it suppresses the mechanism in our brain that tells us when we’ve had enough food. Oh, and to top it all off, this cheap little flavour enhancer is addictive too. Clearly big food corporations aren’t interested in our health and well-being – only their profits – by adding MSG to literally every processed item in our food supply.
So, after reading all of this, I’ve decided to eliminate MSG from my diet and I’m discovering that it’s literally everywhere, hidden behind some very sneaky labeling in a lot of cases. It was even in my toothpaste, vitamins, vegan protein powder and “healthy” granola. Basically, if a food is processed and packaged, it’s got MSG in it. So I’ve realized that the only way to avoid this nasty little toxin is to make my own food for every meal.
I’ve been doing just that and it’s been a wonderful experience the past few days. Time consuming for sure, but the food I end up with is wholesome, yummy and, most importantly, real. It tastes like the food I ate as a child when we picked our own veggies out of the garden, added butter and salt and chowed down. No health-robbing chemicals needed.
I’m looking forward to sharing all of my healthiest and prettiest MSG free recipes here as well as any changes I notice as I go along.
There’s nothing more important than nourishing our bodies with delicious, healthy food made with love. I’m excited to be on this journey and to share it with you.
Happy Valentines Day ❤
Are you looking for something sweet, dark and delicious to serve your Valentine in a few days?
How about a delicious chia pudding to share?
This easy parfait consists of the following two recipes layered with frozen blueberries and a little dusting of coconut flakes to top things off. It’s a yummy, healthy and energizing dish. Perfect for Valentines.
Blueberry Chia Pudding
- 2 cups almond milk
- 1 bananas
- 1/2 cup chia seeds
- ½ cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
Chocolate Chia Pudding
- 2 cups almond milk
- 2 bananas
- 1/2 cup chia seeds
- ½ cup organic nut butter
- 3 T raw cacao
Here’s to a happy, healthy Valentine’s Day xo
I’ve been engrossed in a book called Attached that is, slowly but surely, shaking up my equilibrium. It’s also become a catalyst to remembering a number of things that have been firmly lodged in my subconscious. Lodged in my subconscious but influencing my conscious choices in a myriad of ways. And, because of this book, I woke up Saturday morning with a long forgotten memory from my childhood looming large in my mind, accompanied by a huge epiphany regarding why I behave the way I do in certain relationships (ie. creating a frustrating and often painful push and pull dynamic). Whew.. This kind of realization is good work but also tough work. My memory also made me immediately pick up the phone and call my cousin to share my new found awareness. Our conversation led to this realization: It’s amazing how we live our lives in these little, self-imposed boxes that served an important purpose at one point but just don’t make sense anymore in our current reality. And that’s what a lot of us tend do. We build walls around us to keep us safe from situations but then we move on from that situation, find ourselves in a better place, but, out of fear or habit, we keep the walls. And then we wonder why we can’t really get close to other people or why we keep repeating the same mistakes and patterns over and over again, not even seeing the old barricades we’ve surrounded ourselves with.
And, what are we supposed to do if we realize we’re trapped in a box from the past? How do we get out? A good place to start is to ask yourself a few questions and write down the answers, paying close attention to the emotions that surface and any tension that forms in your body.
Here a few to get you started:
- Were you bullied as a child
- Did your parents have a difficult relationship or were they abusive to you?
- Did you lose a family member at a young age?
If you answered yes to any of these, write about how remembering the situations/incidents makes you feel. If, during this time, you need a good cry or to talk things out with someone, go for it. It’s part of the process of moving that energy out of your body to make room for something new. A new realization, a new self-concept, maybe forgiveness…
Do this as often as you need to until you feel that there is no emotion left around the memory.
And, just like that, you start to de-construct the walls of any metaphorical box that may be surrounding you and move one step close to freedom.
This week, in my Raw Food Educator course, I’ve been learning how to transition healthfully and gently to a raw food diet. Im currently doing ‘Raw til 4’ which means you get to feast on Smoothies, juices, fruit, chia pudding, veggies and raw nuts until dinner, when you eat a ‘normal’ meal.
This is working out incredibly well and doesn’t shock the system the way going fully raw all at once might…As in ‘too much of a good thing’. In fact this might be the perfect ‘raw ratio’ for me. I completely believe in the health giving qualities of raw foods but I also believe in moderation..and the soul satifying qualities of some cooked food.
Anyway, back to the recipe. Here’s a recipe for one of my breakfast bowls. It’s easy, delicious and pretty lovely to look at too.
Berry Mandarin Smoothie Bowl
- 3 bananas
- 1 can coconut milk
- 2 cups frozen blueberries
Blend ingredients together and top with your favourite fresh fruit. Bon appetite.
Vancouver has had an uncharacteristically cold, snowy and sunny winter so far this year.
The temperatures even dipped below zero a few times, making our usually rainy city feel oddly like the rest of Canada.
My inner Ontario girl is loving this weather but it is a little chillier than I’m used to, so I’ve been drinking a warming smoothie instead of my usual frozen fruit concoctions. Here it is..
Warm smoothie latte
- One scoop Vega chai protein powder
- One tsp turmeric
- One tsp cinnamon
- One cup coconut milk
Blend all ingredients then Gently heat in a saucepan until warm. Pour into a cup or glass and warm up from Winter in Canada. Eh.