How to save money on grocery, while eating healthy nourishing food.

How to save money on grocery, while eating healthy nourishing food.

Over the year my diet has change considerably and also my grocery shopping. First let me clarify the word diet; for so many people this word has a negative quality because it means to restrict oneself of some kind of food in order to loser weight. In this post, when I talk about diet, I simply refer to the kind of food I eat.

I used to eat for pleasure, indulging on high sugar food and dessert. This type of diet was not good for my body nor my mind. I was often feeling guilty for the food I’ve ate and was stuck in an unhealthy pattern. I’ve also tried to have a diet that kept lean and even tried doing a bodyfitness competition. I had to lower my body fat as much as possible. Lately I’ve been trying to eat food with an environmental consciousness and that why I’ve become a vegetarian. I am also a mother of two young boys and have limited time to cook, so I need simplicity. My partner and I also made a commitment to find new way to eat healthy nourishing food while maintaining our budget. It seems like in the last few years its getting harder to stretch our dollars on food. The price of food has come up a lot and we need to have a plan in place to know spend only so much money on food. It’s been estimated that food will go up 5% just in 2017, for most households, grocery is the biggest expense they have. I wanted to share the fews tips I’ve discovered on how to save some money on groceries.

– First tip to save on grocery; try to grow some food during the summer. Some of the essential food that we grow are tomatoes, potatoes, squash, corn, beans, onions, garlic and almost forgot honey. Theses food items are easy to grow and store to eat during the winter. Its also really nice to know that your food will help the environment and are grown without chemical or GMO. Growing food its also a great opportunity to be outdoor with our kids and there are so many discoveries to be made in the process. We currently have the opportunity to rent our neighbour’s yard and grow food on half acre. Be aware that there are so many options to grow food even if you don’ have the space to. I believe its one of the best time and health investment you can do for yourself and the mother Earth.

– Second tip to save on grocery; buy bulk food. We like buying bulk food like oatmeal, rice, quinoa, raisins, beans, sunflower seed, popcorn, nutritional yeast, coconut oil. It seems like a lot of money to put up front when you buy such big quantity but you can save so much money on the long run. It can also limit all the trips to the grocery store.

– Third tip to save on grocery; don’t buy processed food, take the time to research some good recipes and plan ahead of time. Making your own meals from scratch is one of the biggest ways you can save money. The more prepared food is, the more it usually costs and its usually pretty unhealthy. Also when you cook, make sure you make too much so you can freeze some, take it for lunch, share it with friend. That will also help you save some excuse to have to go out to buy some food because you are hungry and are running out of time.

I am back to blogging and in the next few post I will write I will share with you some simple recipes I have been playing with lately. To spike your curiosity I’ve got the easy, delicious and filling morning overnight soak oat, the granola bars the kids won’t stop eating (and that you can fed them knowing how healthy they are) and a roasted veggies casserole.

You can also check theses post:

Would love to hear from you

Embrace Yourself, You Are Beautiful! How To Love Your Body

Embrace Yourself, You Are Beautiful! How To Love Your Body

Embrace Yourself. You Are Beautiful!

I’ve just finished watching the documentary Embrace. If you haven’t watched it yet, I highly recommend it. It’s the story of a woman named Mary Brumfitt on a journey to teach people the value and power to love their body from the inside out.

As a woman, I know all about that ongoing struggle we have with our body’s appearance. Most people are unhappy about their body shape, size, cellulite, wrinkles … and it sells products. Most women believe they are not as ‘good enough’ as they are. What a lot of us haven’t realized yet is that the image that is shown to us in magazines and on TV is an unachievable ideal.

Even the woman in the magazine doesn’t look like the woman in the magazine! When women come to me for advice, personal training or groups classes; I tell them that they probably won’t be happier even if they lose weight or look the way they believe they want to look. I encourage people to Choose2Be strong, healthy and happy instead of focusing on being ‘skinny’ and putting ourselves down.

Learning To Feel Beautiful In My Own Body

When I was 19 and had my major car accident, I broke my femur, two ribs and had a pulmonary embolism. I was at the hospital for two weeks on strong painkillers and lost 20 pounds. I remember people seeing me and commenting on that and that was the unhealthiest I’ve ever been. When I started working in a weight training centre, I witnessed a woman with uterine cancer and losing a lot of weight because she couldn’t eat. She was still working and trying to hide how much she was suffering. People keep commenting on the weight she lost and how ‘good’ she looked.

These experiences at an early age really enlightened me to know that weight and health had nothing to do with each other, and also to realize how much people focus on weight instead of health.

I love my body and everything it can do. My friend Zoe summed it up so well – “I see my body as strong, healthy, powerful, miraculous, useful, flexible, athletic, fun, life giving, life sustaining, sexy, beautiful, active and amazing!!”

How Do You See Your Body?

As Tammy says, “We need to recognize the importance of diversity of body images in our world, redefine and rewrite beauty ideals by harnessing and facilitating positive body image activism.”

I am sharing this and invite you to watch the documentary to create a positive global change.

Here Some Questions You Can Ask Yourself:

How can I start being kinder to myself?
How can I love and accept myself as I am right now?
How can I create a life for myself that feels like MINE, rather than what others expect of me?
How can I start to put myself first without feeling guilt?
What can I do to wake up with energy and excitement?

Dieting; Paleo, Vegan, Gluten Free, Detox… so many different forms of diet. Is it healthy?

Dieting; Paleo, Vegan, Gluten Free, Detox… so many different forms of diet. Is it healthy?

Diets: Paleo, Vegan, Gluten-Free, Detox … Which Diet Is Healthy?

All this information came from my Can Fit Pro Wellness Eating and Weight Loss Coach manual.

Many people follow unhealthy diets through habit or lack of awareness, rather than a conscious decision to make poor choices.
Some diets are short-term weight-loss plans that involve drastic changes to a person’s normal eating habits — typically known as “crash” or “fad” diets. These types of diets are considered unhealthy.

Diet Recommendations From the World Health Organization:

  • Increase consumption of plant foods, particularly fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, and nuts.
  • Limit intake of fat and oil; avoid saturated fats, which are those that become solid at room temperature and most animal fats, including those found in red meat, dairy and eggs. Prefer unsaturated fats,  predominantly found in plant-based foods and oils (For example; olive oil, flax oil, coconut oil…)

Many of the most popular diets for weight loss fall into one of the following categories:

  • Macronutrient focused diets: manipulation of one macronutrient (i.e. protein, carbohydrate, or fat)
  • Food group excluding diets: removing a food group due to choice, belief, religion, or sensitivity (i.e. vegetarianism or gluten-free)
  • Crash diets: non-sustainable, sometimes dangerous diets, typically very low-calorie (i.e. lemonade diet)


Macronutrient Focused Diets

1. The high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet
(Example: Paleo)

A high protein-low-carbohydrate diet typically promises weight loss, long-term weight maintenance, and prevention or control of many “diseases of civilization” such as Type 2 diabetes and heart disease. The high-protein diet theory suggests that North American society overindulges in highly processed, refined carbohydrates, resulting in escalation of these health issues.

The Paleo diet, which suggests looking back to the Paleolithic period of more than 10,000 years ago. Sticking to animal proteins and plants because the human digestive system was never designed to handle the refined sugars, starchy carbohydrates, grains, legumes, and dairy products that have slowly entered our diets over the past 10,000 years, increasing waistlines and the risk of disease. This diet has a very simple guiding principle: If the cavemen didn’t eat it, humans today should not eat it either.

2. Low-carbohydrate diets (Example: The South Beach Diet, and The Stillman Diet.)

Similar to the theories surrounding a high-protein diet, the main idea behind a low-carbohydrate diet is that North American society overindulges in highly processed, refined-carbohydrate foods, a practice that can lead to overeating, obesity and other negative health consequences. These diets recommend an eating system designed to help people lose weight by reducing the amount of carbohydrate they consume. During normal digestion, the body metabolizes glucose from carbohydrates for energy, rather than energy from fat. If there is not enough glucose in the bloodstream due to low-carbohydrate intake, the body draws on fat stores for fuel.

3. Low-calorie diets (Ex: Okinawa diet, Body for Life, Cookie diet, Hacker’s diet, Nutri system, Weight Watchers diet, Jenny Craig diet…)

A low-calorie or calorie-restriction diet is a dietary regimen based on reduced calorie intake, without malnutrition, has been shown to slow the biological aging process, resulting in longer maintenance of youthful health and an increase in both median and maximum lifespan.

4. Alkaline Diets

Body acidity is an emerging concept in nutrition. Many North Americans are living in a state of permanent and systemic acidity, largely due to food and lifestyle choices. Foods are either acidic or alkaline. This grading is determined by burning a food down to ash and measuring the pH of the ash – a number of 7 or lower indicates acidity; 7 to 14 are considered alkaline. Stress can also push the body into an acid state, as does the shallow quick breathing that often goes hand in hand with stress. Environmental factors such as pollution, poor air quality, detergents and toxins can create an acid load in the body, (e.g. intense exercise training sessions).

5. Hormone diets (Example: Glyci-Med Approach diet)

Acknowledge hormones as influencers behind whether weight gain, weight loss, and weight maintenance is essential when considering weight loss and nutrition. These potent chemicals are produced by the body to manage everything from breathing to digestion to sexual responses and more. At the same time, our hormones are influenced by myriad factors, including exercise, diet, sleep, stress, and even the everyday chemicals that we are exposed to in soaps and cosmetics. These diet moves away from focusing on caloric intake and does not consider the source of our calories. It also supports the notion that health is not achieved through weight loss, but rather weight loss is achieved when the body is in a healthy position to lose weight – and keep it off. Since hormones are the key to controlling appetite and stimulating metabolism, attaining and maintaining hormonal balance is essential for achieving lasting weight loss. Diet and exercise are important, but so are sleeping well, reducing toxin exposure, maintaining healthy liver function, optimizing digestion, limiting stress, and conquering inflammation. All of these factors can influence hormonal activity — and weight-loss success — in dramatic ways.  The Glyci-Med Approach is a diet that can be followed for a lifetime as a means of creating a lasting blood sugar and hormonal balance. This solution combines attributes of the Mediterranean diet, which is high in healthy fats and lower in carbohydrates, with principles of glycemically balanced eating. For instance, protein is a necessary building block for many hormones including serotonin, melatonin, growth hormone, thyroid hormone, and dopamine. Lack of protein in the diet can lead to mood disorders, memory loss, increased appetite and cravings, decreased metabolism, sleep disruption, muscle loss, and weight gain.

 Food Group Excluding Diets

Food group excluding diets remove a food group due to choice, belief, religion, or sensitivity, not always to lose weight. This includes vegetarianism, gluten-free, as well as belief-based, non weight-loss eating such as kosher (food prepared in accordance with Jewish dietary laws), or halal (foods that are allowed under Islamic dietary guidelines).

1. Vegetarian diets

Vegetarianism is the practice of consuming primarily plant foods. Vegetarians abstain from consuming meat products, including red meats, poultry and seafood. It may also include abstention from animal by-products such as animal-derived rennet and gelatin (The VegetarianSociety, n.d.). An ovo-vegetarian diet includes eggs but not dairy products. A lacto-vegetarian diet includes dairy products but not eggs. An ovo-lacto-vegetarian diet includes dairy products and eggs. Those following a vegan diet avoid all animal-derived products, including eggs, honey and dairy products such as milk, cheese, butter and yogurt.

2. The gluten-free diet

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, rye and triticale (a hybrid mix of rye and wheat). Gluten is also an additive to many foods, and this diet excludes all gluten-containing products. While oats are gluten free themselves, they can be contaminated by contact with gluten-containing grains during processing. The dietary intake also excludes casein, a protein found most often in milk and dairy products. Some less obvious sources of gluten are beer, croutons, marinades, sauces, and some salad dressings. The gluten-free diet is one that eliminates foods containing gluten. This diet is indicated for those with celiac disease, defined by the Canadian Celiac Association as a “medical condition in which the absorptive surface of the small intestine is damaged by a substance called gluten,” as well as individuals with an allergy to gluten.

Crash Diets or Fad Diets (Often Negative)

They describe diet plans that involve making extreme, rapid changes to food consumption or promote eating habits that can be unhealthy. These diets are typically extreme in terms of nutritional deprivation, often severely restricting overall daily caloric intake. The idea is to achieve rapid weight loss, and the diet is not meant as a means for lasting change. These diets are often viewed as quick-fix solutions, contrary to the belief of many who use this type of diet; this way of eating is neither healthy nor largely successful for achieving long-term weight loss, as it can provoke a slowdown of the body’s basal metabolic rate. Usually, the dieter will see some initial weight loss; however, that weight is usually regained quickly in the weeks that follow, as individuals revert to their original pre-diet habits. Within this vicious cycle, more weight is often regained than originally lost, which may send the dieter spiralling back into extreme habits. This roller coaster of weight lost and then regained, then lost then regained can pose health risks. Some crash or fad diets include: The Beverly Hills Diet, The Cabbage Soup Diet, Grapefruit Diet, The Israeli Army Diet, The Subway Diet, The Watermelon Diet…

1. Detoxification diets

Most detox diets claim to have a detoxifying effect on the body deemed necessary because food is often “contaminated” by various unnecessary, potentially harmful ingredients. These substances include food colourings, pesticides, and preservatives. The premise of these diets is to cleanse or detoxify the system. Detox diets can involve extreme limitation of foods. For example, some fasting-type detox diets prescribe only water or juice and usually promote elimination of processed foods. A detox diet is often high in fibre, which is said to cause the body to burn accumulated stored fats, releasing fat-stored “toxins” into the blood, which can then be eliminated through the blood, skin, urine, feces, and breath.

Important Points to Remember About Fad Diets

  • Research proves that old fat stored around the belly, thighs or butt cannot be burned off effectively unless new healthy fat comes in via food or from the liver.
  • Eating to maintain stable blood sugar, which ultimately stimulates less insulin release. Since insulin tells the body to store energy as fat, lower insulin is always better for weight loss. Maintaining consistent blood sugar and insulin is one of the most important steps to balancing all hormones in the body and ensuring that metabolism stays in high gear. In fact, weight loss is almost impossible when insulin levels are too high.
  • Those who eat frequently, at the right times, and consume protein, healthy fat, fibre and low glycemic carbohydrates together at every meal will achieve glycemic balance.
Diets and Supplements To Stay Lean | Best Health Supplements

Diets and Supplements To Stay Lean | Best Health Supplements

What Diet and Supplements Do I use To Stay Lean?

Over the years I’ve often been asked what I do to stay so lean, what diet I follow. To be honest I think it’s because I move so much and have been moving all my life. Since I was a kid I run, done competitive swimming, kickboxing and now I teach 10-20 group classes a week and try to maintain my own practice at home to keep me going. But I still love eating, the comfort and pleasure it brings!

The Diet I Use To Stay Lean

I used to love to eat and loved sweets, but since I added more protein into my diet my sweet tooth is not as bad. I now see food as medicine and make sure I take in food that will bring me nourishment. I don’t restrict myself to any foods, but make smart choices about the ‘cheat treat’ I have. For example, I try to stay away from unhealthy sugar and eat energy balls or raw cake that I make instead. Also if I eat chips I try to choose non-GMO potatoes and not flavoured with lots of chemicals!

My family and I follow a vegetarian diet and are mostly gluten free. Why vegetarian? Mainly to help the planet because eating meat leaves a heavy print on our planet. We try to eat organic as much as possible, grow some of our food, and eat sauerkraut and alfalfa sprouts during the winter.

My Favourite Supplements To Stay Lean

Over the years I tried using different supplements. I wanted to share with you the ones I like the most, and I placed them in order that I would invest in them. I also want to share with you that I tried consuming products from network marketing like Isagenix and I don’t believe you have to invest that much money to get a quality product. I purchase most of my products from health food stores, Costco and if you are on a budget, go try the Green Store. They often carry discount products from a super reasonable price (be sure to check the expiration date though as eating expired vitamins is not a great idea!)

My Top Supplement Choices

Whey protein or vegan protein only sweetened with stevia
Multi vitamins
3000-4000mg daily vitamin D
Omega 3
Chia seed; every night I soak 2 tbsps in water and mix it in my morning smoothies)
Apple cider vinegar; I usually drinking a full glass of water first thing in morning with apple cider vinegar to help my body stay in an alkaline state
Hemp seeds
Royal jelly
Bee pollen

I hope this helps you on your journey! Get in touch with me if you have any questions or comments.

Nourishing your body to decrease inflammation and to help lose weight

Nourishing your body to decrease inflammation and to help lose weight

Nourishment to Decrease Body Inflammation And Aid Weight Loss

All this information comes from my Can Fit Pro Wellness Eating and Weight Loss Coach manual.

Creating Energy Through Nourishment, Not Stimulation

Biological debt is the term used to describe the energy-depleted state often brought about by eating refined sugars or drinking stimulants like coffee to gain short-term energy. There are two types of energy: one obtained from stimulation, the other from nourishment. Stimulation is a short-term energy “burst” that masks the symptoms of fatigue. An eating plan that keeps an individual well nourished provides a steady supply of energy, which can be a pre-emptive strike against fatigue and the ensuing desire for stimulants. With nutrient-dense food as the foundation of a diet, there is no need to fall into biological debt.

Processed Foods and Artificial Stimulation

The more a food is processed, the more stimulating its effect on the nervous system. Processed foods and caffeinated beverages boost energy immediately and, almost as quickly, that energy will be spent (e.g. a sugar rush followed by a crash from the insulin response). It is a short-term, unsustainable solution to the symptom of energy debt. Furthermore, the associated adrenal gland stimulation results in eventual and unavoidable fatigue.

Stimulation makes demands on the adrenal glands, prompting the production of the stress hormone, cortisol, which is linked to inflammation, and increased fat storage.

What Does Adrenal Gland Inflammation Feel Like?

Higher levels of cortisol have many deleterious health effects including:

  • Catalyst for the accumulation of body fat
  • Weakened cellular tissue
  • Lowered immune response
  • Increased risk of disease
  • Degeneration of body tissue
  • Reduced sleep quality

Chronically elevated levels of cortisol also reduce the effectiveness of exercise activity that normally helps to keep cortisol in check. Excessive cortisol levels can actually break down and prevent the action of other hormones that assist in losing fat and building muscle. As a result, fat increases more easily while muscles not only become more difficult to tone but strength is also likely to decline rather than increase. In contrast, when nutrient-dense foods are consumed and utilized as a source of energy, the adrenals are not over stimulated. The result is a sustainable energy level in the body; an important characteristic of wellness. Breaking one’s dependency on adrenal stimulation demands that clients base eating habits around the consumption of high-quality whole foods, versus supplementing dietary intake with synthetic and processed foods. Decreasing dependence on stimulants will also enhance muscle recovery.

Benefits of Choosing Alkaline-Forming Foods

Many highly refined foods increase acidity in the body, and this acidity increases inflammation, which contributes to body fat storage and slows weight loss. To prevent high acidity in the body, increased consumption of alkaline-forming foods, and decreased consumption of acid-forming ones is necessary. Minerals are exceptionally alkaline-forming; therefore, foods with a greater concentration of micronutrients, specifically minerals, will inherently have a greater alkaline forming effect.

How alkaline-forming foods will enhance sports performance

A diet rich in alkaline-forming foods reduces inflammation, and less inflammation translates directly into greater efficiency of muscular contractions.

For example: Broccoli, Watermelon, Apple, Zucchini, Hazelnuts, Tomatoes, Cherries, Cauliflower, Potatoes, Apricots, Carrots, Celery, Bananas, Spinach, Raisins.

Think of the many muscle contractions that take place over the course of a five-kilometer run. If every one of those contractions can be accomplished more efficiently, you will retain more energy and will be able to run faster without fatigue. Recovery time between workouts is also be enhanced by this process, which means less downtime required between training sessions and, therefore, a greater rate of progress.

Reduce Body Inflammation Through Nourishment

Those wishing to increase strength as well as lose fat will benefit from this approach as well. Reduced inflammation improves mobility and, therefore, peak muscle contraction strength. This improvement translates into the ability to lift heavier weight, which facilitates muscle building in less time than could be achieved with inflamed muscles.

Healthy Energy Balls that everyone love: Cookie dough Energy balls

Healthy Energy Balls that everyone love: Cookie dough Energy balls

I love healthy, nourishing and delicious food! My friend Sarah came over with these cookie dough balls, and my kids and I just loved it. The recipe came from the cookbook Oh She Glows! It’s a vegan recipe to glow from the inside out. I asked her for the recipe, and since then have been improvising with it for improvement. The original recipe called for almond flour. At first, I was simply grounding almonds into the food processor to make almond flour. Then I tried using sunflower seeds, as they are cheaper than almonds. I realized I could have soaked the sunflower seeds and sprouted them to increase the nutritional value.

Why is it a good idea to soak seeds?

To remove nutritional enzyme inhibitors (phytic acid, polyphenols, tannins, nitrogens, etc.) and toxic substances that can be minimized or eliminated by soaking. “Untreated phytic acid can combine with calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and especially zinc in the intestinal tract and block their absorption. This is why a diet high in unfermented whole grains may lead to serious mineral deficiencies and bone loss. The modern misguided practice of consuming large amounts of unprocessed bran often improves colon transit time at first, but may lead to irritable bowel syndrome and, in the long term, many other adverse effects.”

Why Soak Nuts, Grains, And Seeds?

  • To remove or reduce phytic acid.
  • To remove or reduce tannins.
  • To neutralize the enzyme inhibitors.
  • To encourage the production of beneficial enzymes.
  • To increase the amounts of vitamins, especially B vitamins.
  • To break down gluten and make digestion easier.
  • To make the proteins more readily available for absorption.
  • To prevent mineral deficiencies and bone loss.
  • To help neutralize toxins in the colon and keep the colon clean.
  • To prevent many health diseases and conditions.

The recipe also includes maple sugar and/or any other sweetener. I have been trying the recipe with dates instead, and even though my kids say they hate dates, they love these balls. I usually sneak them into the food processor without them seeing.

You know the best part about these balls? They are super easy to make! You add everything into the food processor, roll them into balls, and put them into the freezer until they harden.

  • 1 cup 1/2 rolled oat
  • 5-6 dates
  • 1/2 cup of soaked and starting to sprout sunflower seeds
  • A fews drops of stevia
  • 2 tablespoons of coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons of peanut, almond, or any of your favorite seed/nut butter
  • 1/4 cup of mini chocolate chip
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt


Make sure you check the other recipes I have to offer you:

Energy balls - nutrition - Nanaimo - Nutrition Nanaimo - holistic Nutrition - weight loss - healthy food - snack kids - sprouted seed - gluten free - sugar free