Amber Approved Magazine Fall 2017

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Issue 16 fall 2017































Cover Shot: Jennifer Brazil Graphic Design: Fierce Web Designs Stock Photos from ShutterStock

Happy September everyone! Summer is coming to an end and we ease into what is my favorite season, fall. I love the cooler air and the changing colors of the leaves. Fall brings the harvest and so many amazing recipes, spices and seasonal foods. This edition is full of simple and healthy new recipe ideas, health tips and benefits. Enjoy this edition and share it with your friends.


Amber Approved Magazine is a bimonthly digital publication with limited print copies available in designated markets. Amber Approved Magazine welcomes all contributions. Amber Approved Magazine assumes no responsibility for content or advertisement. No representation is made as to the accurate hereof and is produced subject to errors and omissions.

Copyright Š 2017 Amber Approved

5 HEALTH BENEFITS OF PUMPKINS ( Packed with Vitamin A, pumpkin can help to support improved eyesight.

High in fiber to help keep you feeling more full and satisfied for longer. Pumpkin seeds can support boosting your mood due to them being rich in the amino acid tryptophan which is an important component of Serotonin production the feel good neurotransmitter. This helps boost our moods. Pumpkin contains a good dose of Vitamin C to help support a healthy immune system. Pumpkin seeds are high in the mineral zinc, which helps support healthy skin, hair and nails.


Do you have Heavy Metal Toxicity? One major stressor on the body can be heavy metals. In our modern world, our environment, food, and water regularly expose us to these toxic metals which, over time, accumulate in our bodies and negatively impact normal cellular function. Heavy metal toxicity is an accumulation of heavy metals in the body that can contribute to chronic degenerative conditions, including cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinsonism, dementia, multiple sclerosis and osteoporosis. Heavy metals can also cause vague symptoms such as chronic pain, chronic fatigue, brain fog, depression, headaches, dizziness, and neurological symptoms such as numbness, tingling, burning or paralysis. Many people don’t think of this toxicity, so it often goes undetected or misdiagnosed. Heavy metals have an affinity for the nervous system, therefore can cause many neurological dysfunctions. The kidneys work to detoxify heavy metals, which leaves the kidneys more susceptible to toxic metal-induced damage. Heavy metals cause inflammation in the body, which over time damages tissues. Heavy metals cause immune dysfunction which can lead to chronic infections and autoimmune diseases. Heavy metals are hormone disruptors which can contribute to hormonal imbalances, fertility issues and hypothyroidism. Heavy metals can displace essential minerals which can contribute to the development of osteoporosis. Heavy metals have a symbiotic relationship with candida. Heavy metals bind to candida as a protective mechanism to bring heavy metals out of circulation. Therefore if you are struggling with fungal overgrowths, the root cause may be heavy metal toxicity.

How am I getting exposed to heavy metals? When plants are grown in nutrient depleted soils, which most of our soils are now, they actually absorb toxic metals more easily, therefore we are taking heavy metals in through our food. We are exposed to mercury through silver amalgam

fillings that contain 30-50% mercury that slowly leaches into our bloodstream, fish, vaccinations, high fructose corn syrup and tattoos. We are exposed to lead in paints and cosmetics. Arsenic is in by-products of coal burning, insecticides, fungicides, drinking water, seafood, and pressure treated wood. Cadmium is in cigarette smoke and hair dyes. Aluminum is in antacids, antiperspirant, vaccines, baking powder, aluminum cookware and cans and cosmetics.

How do I test for heavy metals? The most accurate way to check for heavy metal toxicity is with a provoked urine analysis, whereby you are given a chelating agent either orally or intravenously. Chelating agents selectively bind with heavy metals in the tissues and brings these metals into circulation, then the kidneys filter these substances and moves the metals out of the body through the urine. You then collect your urine for a certain time frame after being given the chelating agent. The urine is sent away to a specialized lab that have sophisticated tools that will analysis the urine for metals. The analysis is put into a report for the doctor and patient.

How do I remove the heavy metals? Depending on the results of the provoked urine analysis, the amount of metals detected, which metals were high and how well the kidneys were functioning, a practitioner, that is properly trained in chelation therapy, will design a program for that individual, as certain chelating agents have better affinity for certain metals than others. There are risks involved with chelation. If you mobilize heavy metals too rapidly and the heavy metals are not able to move out of the body quickly enough, you can make patients worse. As you mobilize heavy metals, you also mobilize minerals, therefore you always need to be replenishing minerals on a chelation program. Chelating is challenging on the kidneys, as most of the metals move out of through the kidneys, therefore it is important to always support and protect the kidneys through any chelation program. I recommend that you work with a practitioner that is licensed and properly trained to administer chelation therapy safely and effectively.

Dr. Melina Roberts (@drmelinaroberts) is a Naturopathic Doctor, Author of Building a Healthy Child and Clinic Director of Advanced Naturopathic Medical Centre in Calgary. She is a leading authority in the field of naturopathic medicine specializing in European Biological Medicine effectively treating digestive issues, chronic disease and cancer.

Welcome to fall! Well at least the beginning of it for those of you who are reading this edition in the beginning of September. The leaves are starting the change, the crops and gardens are being harvested and we are getting ready to embrace what is my favorite time of the year. As we get into a fall routine, making sure the self-care is a part of that is definitely something to start exploring and taking action on. The first question is do you have a self-care routine? Do you follow-through with it? Or is it being missed altogether? Self-care can be a variety of different things and I believe that each individual has different likes and tastes in what relaxes and grounds them so there should be a wide array of options to appeal. There is no real right or wrong with self-care. I believe it’s taking action to do the things to help take care of ourselves that feel relaxing, energizing, fulfilling and joyous.


FOR FALL SELF-CARE 1. ENJOY THE FALL SEASONAL VARIETY OF FOOD THAT IS AVAILABLE TO US! There is so much in season with fall harvest including apples, squashes, root vegetables and all the warming spices like cinnamon and pumpkin are gracing our drinks and dishes. 2. PICK A COUPLE OF GREAT BOOKS AND GET A COZY BLANKET TO CURL UP UNDER FOR A RELAXING READ. Bonus if you have a fireplace. It is one of the most relaxing and simple things to do. 3. BE SURE TO HAVE A BIG TEA STASH FOR COOLER DAYS AHEAD. Sometimes all we need is a nice warm cup of tasty tea to ward of a craving or help to pull us into the present moment and enjoy the flavors of fall. You could also do this with #2! 4. GET YOUR FAVORITE EPSOM SALTS FOR RELAXING BATHS. The natural salts are not only great for helping to calm and relax us, they can help to gently detoxify. 5. BUNDLE UP AND GET SOME FRESH AIR. There is nothing better than a toque and a walk in the crisp air on a nice day admiring the beautiful leaves of fall and the fresh fall air. Mindful movement is always a great way to get the circulation going in the body.

The 9 Step Checklist to Build Your Health and Wellness Brand’s Social Media Strategy

Kendall Titchener is the Principal and Founder of Pixelated Pinto, a content marketing firm for health and wellness practitioners. A Vancouver native, Kendall and her team work with businesses across North America. When she’s not talking social media, PR, health and wellness, she’s filming an Instagram story while riding her horse – seriously. Connect with her on social media @PixelatedPinto and at

Alright. So you’ve launched your first health and wellness business (high five btw). Or, perhaps you’ve run your business for years but you haven’t been able to wrap your head around the whole social media strategy thing. I get it. Cultivating a brand and executing a strategy demands a lot of time, creativity, organization and brain power. Copywriting, community management, online trend-tracking, brand muse guidance, photo styling, analytics and storytelling are just some of the tactics I’ve used to turn brand’s from a Shetland to unicorn. By following these nine foundation steps, I’ll you identify the types of social media content that need to be created to achieve your overarching business goals, the channels to achieve said goals, build guidelines, best practices, execute and measure!

1. Establish SMART Goals

Social media and communications should be tactics used to achieve your overarching business goals. So make your goals specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-based. This will drive your strategy. Try to avoid goals that focus solely on vanity metrics like number of Likes and Followers. Again, the key is to align your goals with key business objectives—these are the business goals that your social media strategy will work to achieve such as increased customer satisfaction, brand awareness, sales, thought leadership or leads. Ex. a goal of 25% increase in web traffic in six months is measurable and addresses your Leads goal. A goal to “increase engagement on social media” is not.

2. Do a social media audit

Document all of your current channels, demographics and number of followers. This will be valuable for benchmarking. Create a document that lists brands you admire or draw inspiration from. What type of content resonates with their audiences? Do a SWAT analysis. These are key learning opportunities to leverage.

3. Define your brand muse

Research and outline your target audience. Scale your ideals down to a single person and define their hobbies, lifestyle, jargon, personality and fave social media platform/s. Ensure that all content you create reflects and resonates with your muse. Curate your community by following and engaging with anyone who fits into this category. Aesthetically, it’s important to ensure that all visuals align with your overall branding and colour palette. For example, my business’s channels target 25 - 50 year old professionals, have a sassy, witty tone, provides value-added health and wellness related content, and the colour palette is feminine and pastel. Oh, and we kind of have a spiritual gangster mood #namaste

4. Know your value prop

Take time to outline at least four to five main features that identify you as a leader in your chosen industry. What makes you unique? What type of traction do you have? What are your values? Who are your clients? Leverage these features and craft your ‘pitch’. Once you are able to articulate your brand into a sentence or short paragraph, the next step is communicating your brand through all your actions, visuals, values and communications on the right social media platform/s. And you guys. Don’t copy what everyone else is doing, Leverage your authenticity. That’s what will make you memorable and attract your ideal tribe. Or as one wise hip hop artist once said, “do you.”

5. Be consistent

All written and visual communication should reflect your tone, colour palette and align with your SMART goals. If you’re really slaying, your audience should be able to identify that the post is yours, even without knowing who posted it. For example, my business’s audience tends to identify anything pastel, light and airy as Pixelated Pinto’s – so consider that niche taken ;)

6. Develop Your Content Strategy

Be clear about your expectations, milestones and priorities. You’ll want to tweak these as time goes on, but it’s important to start with a content template. Take time to define the type of content you’ll create, post, reshare. One way to ensure that you’re on-brand is to refer to your brand muse. Here’s a good starting point: • The type of content I will share is xxxx • I will post to the x channels this frequently: X channels / X times a day • The different audiences that I need to tailor content to are: xxxx • Create an editorial calendar that maps out your content schedule according to date • Draft your social media content calendar that maps out campaign content such as copy, visuals, tags, partners/influencers and hashtags


Cause, ICYMI (don’t fret, many people have) social media is not an advertising platform. And to get influence, you have to give it. So build and engage with like-minded communities. With sincerity (but actually though)! With so much noise on social, the more value you provide, the more people will engage with you.


Publish content people want to share, comment on, like and tag their friends on. This is also how you hack algorithms to increase your ranking in feeds. As a guideline, follow the social media rule of thirds: • is original brand content you write (i.e. blog posts, top ten lists, branded visuals) • of content shared posts, ideas and stories from your community and thought leaders (retweets, shares, regrams, tags and cross-promotion) • of content promotes your business, sells and converts audience

8. Regularly measure success

You’re investing a lot of time and potentially money into your social media presence, so it’s paramount to know your ROI. Align your analytics back to your goals. Examine the data that measures progress towards reaching your goals. For example track sentiment, sharing, follower growth and conversions such as sales, downloads or email signups. These metrics can be explored by using native tools such as Facebook insights, MailChimp reports and Twitter analytics or paid options such as Buffer and Sprout Social.

9. Analyze and apply key insights

This can be done monthly, quarterly or bi-annually. When reviewing metrics and content, ask yourself – what performed well? What didn’t perform well? What are we benchmarking against? What changes will we make to our strategy based on these learnings? Then set news goals for next month or next quarter with these learnings in mind. Because the social landscape changes daily, your criteria for success will too, so tap into online trends, algorithm updates and shifting business priorities to optimize success.

Clear downspouts and gutters of leaves and debris. Clean gutters help to keep water from damaging your homes exterior and foundation, and help to prevent water from getting in to your basement. It will also help prevent the gutters from rusting and corroding.

Give your house a fresh coat of Paint while the weather is cooler. Painting will help protect your home from the elements, and keep the moisture out. Prevent mold and rot by ensuring your exterior is properly protected and sealed with Paint* and caulking. Green Tip: Consider Paint that is natural, or contains low or no VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds).

Maintain Window and door seals to keep out cold air and save on energy costs. Prevent drafts, stop air leaks, and protect your home by sealing and filling all cracks and gaps around exterior doors and windows. This can be done very economically with caulk and weather stripping, and you will Save energy, Reduce your utility bills and Stay Warm this winter! Bonus Tip: The right window treatments can save an additional 10-30% on your energy Bills!

Roof maintenance to prepare for winter weather. Check your roof for debris, and curled or loose shingles. Also remember to inspect around the vents and chimneys, and seal or repair any cracks or damage. Proper roof maintenance will prevent costly (and annoying) leaks and help keep your entire home more heat efficient this winter!

Fireplace and chimney maintenance. TRADITIONAL FIREPLACE: Aside from clearing the ash and debris from your hearth area,

there are many things you can and should do with your wood burning fireplace. 1) Check your flue for blockages, or a build up of Creosote (a flammable by-product of burned wood). 2) Check the chimney; inspect your brick chimney for damage, and ensure the flue cap in place. 3) Check the damper. Ensure that it works properly, and closes tightly to prevent drafts. 4) Consider having a professional come out to clean and inspect your chimney and fireplace.

GAS FIREPLACE: While Gas Fireplaces are much easier to maintain than Traditional

fireplaces, here are some simple tips to follow. 1) Clean the glass on the inside and outside of the unit. 2) Ensure the pilot light is on, and test the fireplace. 3) Have a yearly inspection done by a professional. 4) CLICK HERE for some more tips on Gas Fireplace Care.

Service your Furnace or heating system. Have your Furnace cleaned and inspected to prevent problems, such as carbon monoxide leaks, or system failure. Remember to replace furnace filters to improve efficiency and air quality.

Clean your Garage. Get your Garage clean and organized for Winter to make room for parking and “Winter toys”. Remove garbage and recycling, hang bikes and summer toys, pack up camping and fishing gear. Got lots of “stuff”? Have a GARAGE SALE and donate what’s left.


Yard Care for Fall. A beautiful Spring Yard begins in the Fall! 1) 2) 3) 4) 5)

Continue to mow the grass. Trim the hedges, trees and bushes, and rake the leaves. Remove ALL garbage, clutter and debris from the yard. Apply Weed Control in early Fall. Aerate your lawn, and then Fertilize in late Fall.

Green Tip: Consider Composting or Recycling your grass and foliage. Cindy is a REALTOR® with Royal LePage Benchmark, servicing Calgary Alberta and surrounding areas. She has extensive experience with Sales, Marketing and Administration and Banking, and has successfully run her own Marketing & Administration company for over 15 years. While running her business, she continued to strengthen her sales and marketing expertise, and gained valuable experience working as a Real Estate Assistant, also working as a Relocation counsellor. As a mother of 4 active and vivacious children, she proudly supports their sports and activities, and thoroughly enjoys playing soccer herself! She also loves to spend her time with family and friends, entertaining, camping, reading, writing, and has recently developed a taste for travel. Cindy’s goal as a REALTOR® is to provide her clients with professional, ethical and energetic service while sharing with them her fun-loving spirit and her passion for Real Estate!

Website/Handles: 0 - 5 - f - T - l - P -

At the time of writing this article, it’s in the high 20’s outside and fall is a distant thought. But, as we’re tending our gardens and enjoying the warm weather, plans for the fall harvest are well on their way! In that fashion we thought we would talk about a new release lip balm for the fall. Like a lot of our projects, we look to collaborate with others. It keeps things interesting and ideas tend not to get stale. Just as a heads up, the format for this article will also be in a collaborative fashion as well. So let’s get on with it then… The new fall flavour is inspired by a friend’s request for a chai tea infused lip balm. This wish came in a long time ago and things have finally aligned now to make it happen - but only with the help of our friends at Teadore, a company that we have been wanting to work with for some time now. Instead of muddling our way through to get the flavouring right, we’ve solicited the expertise of Teadore’s in house tea blender

extraordinaire Thomas Poitras for his expertise and direction. So Thomas, what ingredients are in a good Chai and what flavours should the drinker experience? Thomas – thank you for the humbling introduction! So a little about us - what makes Teadore’s tea blends special is that we source the finest local organic herbal ingredients while

consciously selecting international organic teas to create our unique and lively blends. Did you know that “Chai” is actually the direct translation for “Tea” in a few languages? Neat! A traditional chai combines a rich black tea with cardamom and other spices. I believe that a chai should have a good balance of spice and flavor, it should warm you up while exciting your nose. Teadore’s Chai uses a spice combination of cinnamon, clove, cardamom, and ginger. Subtle notes of citrus and safflower linger with the rich Ceylon black tea. This lip balm should have a spicy, and delicious, application! Chad – the idea is to essentially, steep Teadore’s tea blend of local and internationally

sourced ingredients and then concentrate it into a completely natural chai flavour. The trick will be to keep the water content in the concentrate to a minimum we know how well oil and water tend to mix (our lip balms are an oil/wax/butter blend). If everything goes right, this lip balm will soon be available after publication. If you haven’t heard anything about it just yet, our elves are likely still working in the lab getting things right or labour unrest has had them opting for conventional more seasonal work up north. Stay tuned. To find out more about our friends at Teadore, hit up and stay tuned on our social media for announcements on this new lip balm release!

How To Keep The Ball Rolling Through The Fall, Winter And Beyond Jeff Muir - Lead Trainer at Vagus Fitness

With the warm summer months coming to an end, we now enter a season where temperatures drop, daylight is reduced, and many people who were once very motivated to achieve their ‘summer body,’ (whatever that means) fall off the horse into several months of sedentary lifestyles and pumpkinspice comas. Admittedly, it’s easier to become complacent once summer has ended. It’s easier to come up with excuses not to exercise (too cold, too dark, too snowy, too windy, too busy!) It’s also easier to fall off the ‘healthy eating,’ bandwagon (whatever that means). I know these things happen, because I see it with my own clients every year, without fail.

So how do I help them break this on-again, off-again cycle? 1. Focus on consistency, not grandeur. “Shoot for the stars & you’ll still land on the moon,” (or something along those lines). Bull. Crap.

For the average person, setting the bar too high is one of the most common reasons for failure when it comes to their health & fitness goals. Four months of consistently weight training 2 times per week plus 2 days of an extracurricular activity (like snowshoeing or hockey) is WAY better than 1 month of training like an animal 6 days per week and then falling off the wagon for the rest of the year. Clients who are creatures of habit and are consistent, are much more successful than clients who are sporadic and volatile in their efforts. 2. Focus on small behavioural changes. “I’m not drinking alcohol until Christmas, and not eating any carbs either.” For every person who can follow through on that statement, there are 50 who cannot. Instead of trying to overhaul your entire lifestyle in a single day, focus on making small,

realistic changes over time. Instead of telling yourself (and all of Facebook) that your “detox starts today!” Make an objective, daily change such as packing a lunch to take to work instead of buying it. My clients are human and have social lives outside of the gym - there are no detoxes because they take a balanced approach to their health, which never requires a bi-annual ‘cleanse.’ Small changes throughout the year help ensure new behaviours become lifestyle habits. 3. Focus on the Bigger Picture. People often like to break their year into what I like to call ‘chunks of effort.’ I’ve heard things such as: • • • •

6-weeks until Mexico-body. 1-month post-Christmas detox. Post-Halloween-sugar-cleanse. Etc etc.

These are not goals. These are short-term fantasies, which have an almost zero percent chance of bringing about a true lifestyle change.

True lifestyle changes will happen once you begin to embrace the process – I tell this to clients all the time. Worrying about how many servings of mashed potatoes you had for Thanksgiving gets you nowhere. My clients are comfortable & confident with the other 364 dinners over the course of a year, and don’t spend a single second feeling sorry for themselves – because they understand that their health is a process!

1121, 8650 112 Avenue Northwest

Calgary, AB T3R 0R5

Jeff is the Lead Trainer at Vagus Fitness. He has over 10 years of experience coaching 1000’s of people to lose weight, gain strength and move better. His sustainable, evidence based approach to health and fitness is a fresh perspective that his clients and readers have an appreciation for. Visit, or email Jeff at

Neal’s Yard Remedies first opened on December 4th, 1981 in Neal’s Yard - a once forgotten corner of Covent Garden, in the heart of central London, England. Our vision was to bring the expertise of the apothecary and a holistic approach to health and beauty to our local communities, and 30 years later, we are proud to continue living this vision globally. When it comes to ingredients, we pride ourselves on our honesty, integrity and transparency. Our entire range makes use of high quality organic plantbased ingredients, and these products are strongly rooted in herbal medicine and aromatherapy. We like to think of ourselves are pioneers in the organic skincare industry, and we are dedicated to continuing to work to make the industry less synthetic, more natural, and more environmentally friendly. We are fortunate to be a part of this issue of Amber Approved as fall is one of our favourite seasons! We love watching the leaves change colour, the crisp bite of the air, and the return of cozy sweaters into our wardrobe. But as the seasons change, so does our skin. As temperatures drop, your skin becomes drier, and you may find yourself craving earthier scents (hello, pumpkin spice!). Our Warming Body Butter recipe is the perfect concoction for your ‘new’ fall skin. This rich and creamy warming body butter contains nourishing cocoa butter and skin-softening beeswax. The combination of ginger, black pepper, and rosemary essential oils helps to increase the circulation, bringing warmth and pain relief to the skin. It’s perfect for giving tired muscles a treat, or for moisturizing and warming your skin on those brisk fall days.

Warming Body Butter – For All Skin Types Makes 100G (3 1/2OZ)


How to Make

- 1 tablespoon macerated oil

1. Create an emulsion by melting the oil, butter, and beeswax in a bain-marie. Remove from the heat once the wax has melted.

- 1 teaspoon cocoa butter - 1 teaspoon beeswax - 60ml (2 OZ) mineral oil - 1 teaspoon glycerin - 1 tablespoon emulsifying wax - 2 drops ginger essential oil - 2 drops black pepper essential oil - 2 drops lavender essential oil - 1 drop rosemary oil

2. Heat the mineral water in a saucepan to 80°C (175°F). Add the glycerin and emulsifying wax to the water and stir until dissolved. Add the hot oil mixture to the hot water mixture. Using a hand-held whisk or a stick blender, whisk continuously until smooth. 3. Add the essential oils and continue to stir occasionally as the mixture cools. Pour into a sterilized jar and place a lid on. Store in a cool, dry place or in the fridge. Keeps for up to 6 weeks.

How to Apply Apply to the body with upward-sweeping movements. Pay particular attention to the areas where increased circulation is required, and if using after exercise, to the muscles and joints that have been stretched.

Banana Chai Smoothie Ingredients: 1 frozen banana 1 tsp vanilla powder Pinch fresh nutmeg Pinch of chai spice Pinch of cinnamon 2 tbsp coconut cream 2 tbsp Yoso unsweetened coconut yogurt 1 tsp white vanilla powder 1 Scoop vanilla protein powder of choice Bonus (add a green if you like, spinach is always a good choice.) Method: Add all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth Add extra coconut cream or yogurt to make thicker Makes about a cup! Enjoy!

Special thanks to: Yoso ( for their amazing unsweetened coconut yogurt. Amaranth Whole Foods in Calgary for supplying the beautiful ingredients to create these recipes. Be sure to visit one of their locations and check out their website at Photo Credit; Sydney Fream

Apple Pie Smoothie Ingredients: 1 green apple 1 tsp cinnamon pinch fresh nutmeg 1 tsp apple spice 2 tbsp coconut cream 2 tbsp Yoso unsweetened coconut yogurt 1 tsp white vanilla powder 1 Scoop vanilla protein powder of choice Bonus (add a green if you like, spinach is always a good choice.) Method: Add all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth Add extra coconut cream or yogurt to make thicker Makes about a cup! Enjoy!

Special thanks to: Yoso ( for their amazing unsweetened coconut yogurt. Amaranth Whole Foods in Calgary for supplying the beautiful ingredients to create these recipes. Be sure to visit one of their locations and check out their website at Photo Credit; Sydney Fream

Pumpkin Spice Smoothie Ingredients: 1 frozen banana 2 tbsp unsweetened pumpkin puree 1 tsp cinnamon small pinch of nutmeg (add more to your taste preference) 2 tbsp coconut cream 2 tbsp Yoso unsweetened coconut yogurt 1 tsp white vanilla powder 1 Scoop vanilla protein powder of choice Bonus (add a green if you like, spinach is always a good choice.) Method: Add all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth Add extra coconut cream or yogurt to make thicker Makes about a cup! Enjoy!

Special thanks to: Yoso ( for their amazing unsweetened coconut yogurt. Amaranth Whole Foods in Calgary for supplying the beautiful ingredients to create these recipes. Be sure to visit one of their locations and check out their website at Photo Credit; Sydney Fream

Fried Plantain Slices

Serves 4-6

You will need: 3 large ripe plantains Vegetable or coconut oil for frying

How to prepare: Remove the ends of the plantains, peel and then slice diagonally about 1/4 inch thick. Fill a large skillet with about 1/4 inch of oil. Heat on medium. Using tongs slide the Plantain slices into the oil, one at a time, making sure not to crowd the pan. Work in batches to fry the plantains. Fry the plantains, flipping them with tongs when they are golden brown and then continuing to fry for about 5 more minutes. Remove the fried plantains with tongs onto a paper towel lined plate. Continue frying in batches. Depending on the ripeness of your plantains determines how sweet they are when fried. Serve on a platter and enjoy! This is a nice side dish with roasted meats.

Spicy Roasted Broccoli and Snap Peas

Serves 4-6

You will need: 1 broccoli floret, cut up 1 medium bag of sugar snap peas, or about 3 cups 1 Tbsp chile paste or hot pepper chunks in a jar ( can reduce amount for a less spicy dish) 1 tsp sesame oil 2 Tbsp avocado, olive or coconut oil 2 Tbsp Coconut Secret soy-free seasoning sauce 1 tsp grated ginger 1 tsp minced garlic 1/4 tsp salt

How to prepare: Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl add the cut up broccoli and snap peas. Add the rest of the ingredients and toss well. Transfer to the cookie sheet and place in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove the cookie sheet and toss vegetables. Place back in the oven and roast for another 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve. Enjoy!

Lemony Herbed Quinoa

Serves 4

You will need: 2 cups cooked quinoa 1/2 cup chopped green onion 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro Juice from 1 large lemon Zest from 1 large lemon 1/2 tsp salt

How to prepare: In a medium bowl add all ingredients and stir to combine. This dish can be served warm as soon as the quinoa is cooked or as a cold side dish. Enjoy!

Owner of Honey and Vanilla, Red Seal Chef and Holistic Nutritionist Christina Acevedo has been educating and nourishing her clients for over 15 years. She presently lives on beautiful Vancouver Island where she is a personal chef, caterer, educator and creator of Tia’s Granola; every serving contains certified gluten free oats, local raw honey and organic seeds and nuts.It’s actually healthy! Her passion is to eat, educate the public on the importance of nourishing the body with whole foods, consuming good quality high fat and reducing the amount of added refined sugar in the diet.

“Everything in moderation, including moderation” – Julia Child

Red Seal Chef Christina Acevedo P.C/H.N

Roasted Pear and Butternut Squash Soup Yields about 12 cups of soup

6 cups butternut squash (peeled and diced into large pieces) * You could use frozen, use a little less liquid if you do, the frozen squash will release more liquid)

2 cups onion (diced into medium pieces) 2 cloves garlic (smashed) 1 thumb size nugget fresh ginger 1-2 teaspoons Thai red curry paste 1 teaspoon ground coriander 1 tablespoon organic unrefined coconut oil 2 ripe pears (cut pears in half, drizzle with olive oil and roast at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until soft) 600-700 ml vegetable broth or chicken broth Fresh lime and fresh cilantro to garnish

Method: Preheat oven to 350 degrees, cut the pears and add them a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, drizzle with organic unrefined and roast until tender; about 20 minutes. While the pears on roasting heat a soup pot on medium and add the coconut oil, add the garlic, ginger and onion, sautĂŠ for 3-4 minutes. Add the remainder of the ingredients except for the fresh cilantro and lime, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Allow the soup to cool down, before blending in a blender to make it deliciously creamy, top with fresh cilantro and a little lime juice and voila!

Gluten Free Pumpkin and Banana Muffins 1 ¼ cup brown rice flour ¼ cup arrowroot flour 1 teaspoon true cinnamon ½ teaspoon nutmeg ½ teaspoon sea salt 1 tablespoon baking powder (aluminum free) 1 teaspoon baking soda (aluminum free) 1 cup canned organic pumpkin puree 1 organic local egg ½ cup almond milk 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 2 ripe bananas (mashed) 3 tablespoons organic unrefined coconut oil (not necessary) ¼ cup local and raw honey or maple syrup

Method: Combine wet ingredients in one bowl with mashed bananas and pumpkin and combine dry ingredients in another bowl. Add the wet ingredients to the bowl of dry ingredients and stir together just until combined. Bake 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 20 minutes, check after 20 minutes with a wooden skewer.

Gluten-free, Protein-rich Paleo Pumpkin Pancakes This recipe has 3 main ingredients with many further ingredients that are optional depending on desired taste and whatever you have on hand. I highly recommend making with everything listed for full effect, however you can play around with the flavour and other super food additions. Mesquite flour is the ground seed pod of the mesquite tree which is rich in nutrients and has an earthy caramel-like flavour. Pine Pollen is very nutritious tonic adaptogen with 22 different amino acids, making it a complete protein. Amongst plenty of vitamins and minerals it also has testosterone and other androgenic compounds making it a great food for building strength and vitality. 1 cup soaked cashews 1 1/2 cups cooked pureed pumpkin or 1 can Pumpkin Puree 5 eggs 1 Banana (optional) 1 Tbsp Pumpkin Pie Spice (optional) 1 Tbsp Pine Pollen powder 2 Tbsp Mesquite powder (optional) 2-4 Tbsp Grass-fed Whey protein (optional) Blend all together in blender and cook as you do regular pancakes. Enjoy as is or with butter, dark maple syrup or fruit syrup.

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