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No. 130 MAY/JUNE 2020

The Spring Cleaning Issue

6 Kidney Cleansing Foods pg 14

Indoor Herb Gardens pg 18

Vegan Carrot Lox pg 38

Hay Fever Facts

pg 15

PLANT-BASED LOVE Food Specialist Connie Leung shows us how she shares hers V I S TA M E N TA L H E A LT H

Pulling Emotional Weeds pg 22



Cannabis-Infused Treats pg 24


Nutritional Coach Andrea Mele pg 46


Improves hormone balance

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A Better Way to Absorb Vitamin C Outsmart your body’s restrictive nutrient transport system with a smarter, more efficient Vitamin C supplement. The Trouble with Absorbing Vitamin C from Traditional Supplements A Vitamin C molecule can’t just walk from the digestive system to the bloodstream. It depends on a special type of proteins called active transporters to carry it there, but these proteins are in very short supply. So, the Vitamin C molecule is likely to get left behind in the digestive system where enzymes show up to digest it. This is why people who take large oral Vitamin C doses report stomach upset. For the Vitamin C molecules lucky enough to hitch a ride on an active transporter to the bloodstream, the journey is still not over. These molecules now need another active transporter to pick them up and take them from the bloodstream to the cells where they’re needed to support your skin, joints, immune system, and more. Since Vitamin C is water-soluble, your body can’t store it, and all the Vitamin C that doesn’t get absorbed is excreted.

Lypo-Spheric™ Vitamin C Is Easier to Absorb Vitamin C encapsulated in fatty acid spheres (liposomes) doesn’t rely on the active transporters. Liposomes are made with the same material that makes up your cell membranes, phospholipids. The phospholipids can easily pass through the intestinal wall and into the bloodstream where they make their way to the cells and assimilate through the cell membrane. The end result is that more Vitamin C absorbs into your cells.

Experience the Benefits of High-Dose Vitamin C… Finally • An antioxidant to help protect cells from the damage caused by free radicals. • Plays a vital role in collagen production for healthy skin, muscles, joints, cartilage, teeth & gums. • Helps support a healthy cardiovascular, reproductive, immune and nervous system.


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Start your day the plant-based way! What gets you up first thing in the morning? Is it a hot cup of coffee? A morning run? A hearty breakfast? For me, if my mornings include a colourful and well-balanced meal, then I feel set to tackle any challenges that I come across during the day. Featured in this issue is one of my favourite recipes that never fails to impress: Vegan Carrot Lox. Imagine a bed of thinly sliced, sweet and smoky carrot, on top of freshly baked sourdough with a spread of cashewalmond cheese…yum! Growing up in a family with relatives that owned a restaurant specializing in brunch services, one of the popular items on the menu was the Smoked Salmon Benedict. This “veganized” version brings back many childhood memories of my family and the time helping out at the restaurant; every time I prepare this dish, a smile appears from the making, to the assembling, to the plating, and of course, the eating! You might wonder how this recipe is different compared to other vegan carrot lox recipes on the web. The difference is in the ingredients. I was born with a weaker digestive system and therefore, rely on probiotics and fermented foods that contain an abundance of active cultures to nourish my gut. Therefore, instead of using tamari (soy sauce), I replace it with Naked Coconuts Soy Sauce Substitute made out of fermented coconut sap. Another reason why I prefer to use this product is because it has a hint of sweetness and contains 75 per cent less sodium than the standard soy sauce. The traditional smoked salmon tends to be heavily salted since it is cured; therefore for those who need to be on a low-sodium diet, this version is for you. Adding to the list is Spread’em Firm Cheeze, made from a cashew-almond blend that has been fermented with live cultures and

whole food ingredients. And let’s not forget about the bread, the base that supports all the ingredients! Remember to support your local bakery and select their freshly baked sourdough.* I hope you get the chance to try out this recipe and enjoy the rest of this issue full of some spring cleaning inspiration. Follow me on Instagram and feel free to direct message me anytime. Happy experimenting everyone! *TIP If you live in Vancouver, visit A Bread Affair inside Granville Island. Their perfectly leavened sourdough made with wild yeast is always light and airy, with the perfect tang.

CONNIE LEUNG is a non-perishable food specialist that loves to bring colour to her dishes. For more recipe inspiration, follow her on  CONNIEKYLEUNG. V I S TA M A G A Z I N E . C A


No. 129 MARCH/APRIL 2020

The Women's Health Issue

Create a Menopause Celebration


Back to School & Family Issue

Managing Transition Stress

pg 24

Low on Iron?

Yogini and recipe creator Teri-Ann Carty shares her journey pg 26



Millennia Tea CEO Tracey Bell pg 20


Emotion-Focused Chef Ana Arenas pg 46

pg 14

Illness-Proof your Home

pg 28

Fight the Flu with Fitness

School Friendly Recipes

ImmuneBoosting Soup



pg 18

pg 28


pg 26


Silkeny Coconut Oil Founders pg 20

Preventing colds and flus with functional holistic nutritionist Michelle Vysohlid DAY IN THE LIFE

Tash & Brandon's Mindfully Married pg 46


Vista_126_SeptemberOctober_Book.indd 1

pg 41


Holistic Nutritionist Amera Musleh shares science-based wisdom

Hemp's Nutritional Benefits

6 Foods to Boost Immunity

The Fit Friendly Family

pg 41

pg 44


Immunity Health Issue

Brain-Boosting Foods

pg 14

pg 16

Feeling Alive Versus Just Living

Are Edibles Safer Than Smoking?


pg 13

pg 13

Chaga Mushrooms: Nutritional "Black Gold"


Behind the Vaping Crisis pg 26


Beyond Food Founders pg 20


Lawyer Rebecca Owusu pg 46


2019-08-29 6:07 PM

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2019-10-29 11:59 AM

No. 130






Kristin Van Vloten


Karen Hong

Follow us on Issuu under Vista Magazine to see behind the scenes videos and clips from the creators of the latest natural health products. DOWNLOAD THE ISSUU APP TODAY ON YOUR MOBILE OR TABLET AND SEARCH UNDER VISTA MAGAZINE.



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6 Foods to Cleanse your Kidneys 18

Our very own KIRSTEN BUCK has released her first cookbook, BUCK NAKED KITCHEN, now available everywhere! This issue Kirsten's shares her recipe for Honey Garlic Marinated Chicken (page 41).

Engaging in an Inner Cleanse 24 CANNA.ED.MED

CannabisStart an Indoor Infused Treats Herb Garden WHOLE HOME

THIS PAGE Photo by Kirsten Buck















Spring Clean Honey-Garlic Your Life with 7 Marinated Daily Habits Chicken

Andrea Mele of Busy Mom Nutrition

The PlantCitrus Beet Based Diet with Salad Connie Leung

The Spring Cleaning Issue

No. 130 MAY/JUNE 2020



Practicing the Japanese Philosophy of Ichigo Ichie A practice of truly embodying each encounter and experience can infuse life with richness and serenity.


Connecting with your senses is a powerful way of practicing rootedness in the present moment. By taking a moment to ask yourself what you see, hear, smell, touch, and taste, you can lead a busy mind into a state of simplified focus. Remember that your perceptivity can be strengthened by choosing to use it. 2 Say (or Think) “Ichigo Ichie” When You Meet Others

To help you to remember that your encounters with others are sacred, say (or think) “ichigo ichie” when you meet with people. Remember that each time you cross paths with another being, it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity. What is truly special about the moment you are sharing with this other person? 3

In Japan, there’s a saying that expresses an entire way of life: ichigo ichie. It can be translated two ways. First: “once, a meeting”. And, second: “in this moment, an opportunity.” It’s a poetic way of understanding that each moment and every encounter with another living being is unique, and can only be experienced once. That means we can either show up fully for these experiences, or let them slip through our fingers. How can we practice ichigo ichie, actively embracing each moment as a rare treasure? Here are three ways you can begin to slow down and show up.

Use Your Five Senses

Practice Stillness

Take time each day to simply sit still and observe life around you. When you start, it may feel like there’s so much going on inside of you—and very little that can distract you from it. But with practice, you’ll be attuned to the small things that make up a miraculous world: the sound of the breeze, faraway sounds of children. Open up and observe. V I S TA M A G A Z I N E . C A



6 Foods to Cleanse Your Kidneys Together with your liver, your kidneys are the organs responsible for cleansing your body of toxins. As we spring clean our homes, why not also support ourselves with fresh foods that boost the health and function of these essential organs? 1

Beet Juice

Juicing this sweet root vegetable is the best way of retaining its considerable nutritional properties. Those properties include an astounding variety of minerals, such as calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, sodium, zinc, copper, and selenium. 2



Pumpkin seeds, or pepitas, can add earthy flavour and satisfying crunch to a variety of sweet and savoury dishes. They also reduce your body’s toxin load with their diuretic and antioxidant properties. Pumpkin seeds can increase circulation and help the kidney to flush itself of substances like uric acid. 5

What your kidneys need more than anything is adequate hydration to regularly flush them out. That’s why watermelon, which is a natural diuretic that increases urine flow without straining the kidneys, is so valuable. 3

Lemon Juice

Lemon juice, especially when it is consumed without added sugars, can help inhibit the growth of kidney stones. That’s because this sour yet refreshing juice is rich in citrate. Citrate can help dissolve the urinary salts that tend to form into painful stones for certain people.


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Pumpkin Seeds


Ginger, the celebrated root with a spicy kick, is a true ally of the kidney. Properties within it help soak up free radicals in the body, reducing inflammation and improving kidney function. 6


Turmeric, the vivid orange root otherwise known as curcuma, is a powerful anti-inflammatory. Used ground up as a spice or encapsulated as a supplement, it can support kidney health by preventing inflammatory ailments like renal disease.


SNEEZY SUMMER: 3 STATISTICS REVEALING THE SERIOUSNESS OF HAY FEVER Allergic rhinitis, more popularly known as hay fever, can make you feel miserable. But did you know that it can also make you truly sick? Most of us eagerly await summertime, but for those suffering from allergic rhinitis, the season can also bring its share of discomfort. Hay fever occurs when the nose becomes inflamed from airborne allergens like pollen, resulting in symptoms like stuffiness, sneezing, and itchy eyes. Anybody who experiences allergic rhinitis when the weather warms up knows that it can negatively impact quality of life. But it seems that those negative impacts may go deeper than many realize. Here are 3 statistics that show just how serious a problem hay fever can be:

MANY ARE IMPACTED, FEW ARE TREATED Between 10% to 30% of the world’s population experience allergic rhinitis. Despite the fact this ailment is linked with lower job performance and reduced learning ability in children, 90% of sufferers never receive appropriate treatment.

IT CAN CAUSE CHRONIC ILLNESS In the US, allergies are the sixth leading cause of chronic illnesses like asthma and other respiratory illnesses. These health problems cost the American system alone more than $18 billion a year.

IMMUNOTHERAPY CAN HELP Immunotherapy, or allergy shots, can help reduce the symptoms of allergic rhinitis in approximately 85% of people. This may be an option for you if you’re (rightly) concerned about the impact of hay fever on your life.

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Lower Cholesterol Seaweed helps prevent an unhealthy build up of cholesterol, a substance that can lead to heart disease. Certain animal studies have shown that supplementing diets with seaweed can reduce so called “bad cholesterol” by nearly 50 per cent, even while raising levels of “good” HDL cholesterol.

Lose Weight Like all high-fibre, low-calorie foods, seaweed can help you lose weight by enhancing your feelings of fullness without packing on the pounds. Additionally, algae’s special compounds, including fucoxanthin, may help with weight loss by supporting your body’s natural metabolic processes.

Control Blood Sugar This sea vegetable’s fucoxanthin compound isn’t just helpful for supporting weight loss. It also likely helps blood sugar levels to remain stable. Of course, when blood sugar is stable, you can avoid “peaks” and “crashes” in your energy.


Seaweed is the umbrella term for the wide variety of algae that grow in our oceans and rivers. This sea vegetable removes carbon from our environments, adds distinctive flavours to our cuisines, and truly deserves the distinction of being called a superfood. 16

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Improve Digestion Because it is so rich in fibre, seaweed helps promote healthier digestion and reduces the discomfort of constipation. But it doesn’t just act on the elimination systems of your body; it also boosts beneficial bacterial growth in your gut. A more diverse microbiome leads to a wide variety of good health outcomes.

Reduce Free Radical Damage Algae’s high concentrations of antioxidants are a boon to lifelong health, because they fight the free radicals that harm us in a variety of ways. Free radicals, which attack our bodies as a result of exposure to harmful environmental elements, are linked with everything from chronic disease to premature aging.

1� version




Start an Indoor Herb Garden Bring the flavours of an abundant season in, adding life and culinary convenience to your sunny indoor spaces. Here are some tips for growing a thriving indoor herb garden. 18

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1 Choose Well-Lit Locations

Herbs truly drink in sunlight, and the more of it they get, the stronger their flavours. Choose a sunny windowsill where your garden can get at least six to eight hours of direct sunlight every day. If you need to, try extending your platform with a table placed beside the windowsill.


Ensure Drainage

Herbs do not like to sit in standing water. Choose pots with enough drainage holes and catch run-off with saucers. You can even add pebbles to the bottom of your pots to pull excess water away from the soil.


Don’t Overwater

Allow your herb pots to dry out in between waterings. Poke your finger into the soil to test its dryness. If it’s still damp, hold off on watering. When you do water, try to do it slowly and thoroughly, so that the soil is uniformly moistened.


Choose a Potting Mix

When you select the soil for your herb garden, make sure it’s a well-draining potting mix. Potting mixes have substances like perlite that keep the soil aerated and light enough for herbs. Don’t make the mistake of starting your garden with soil from outdoors; it will be much too heavy for healthy herb growth.

Practice good contact lens habits

Quarantine Eye Care Tips Staying at home is the safest thing for everyone to do during this pandemic, so here are some tips to prevent common eye problems that would necessitate an emergency visit to the eye doctor. DR. SARAH OH


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It’s more important than ever to practice good hand hygiene as well as good contact lens hygiene. Bad contact lens wearing habits are the most significant contributor to microbial infections of the cornea, which can lead to irreversible vision loss. Never sleep in contact lenses, and never wear them in water (e.g. in the shower, or while swimming). You should also be cleaning your contact lens case regularly with contact lens solution since contact lens cases can harbour a lot of bacteria. Go to the Canadian Association of Optometrists (CAO) website to read the complete guidelines for good contact lens hygiene.

Do not order contact lenses online During this time, you may be experiencing more difficulty in ordering contact lenses and may be running low in supply. However, purchasing contact lenses online is ill-advised for numerous reasons. For starters, there is no way to verify that the contact lenses are sourced directly from the manufacturer, and some brands use outdated lens technology that is not approved by Health


Canada. Most importantly, purchasing contact lenses online means that an optometrist is not assessing the health of your eye, or the fit of the lenses on your eye. A poorly fitting, incompatible lens can cause long-term damage. Instead of putting the health of your eyes at risk, call your regular optometrist and ask if they might be able to ship the order directly to your home. Or simply wear your glasses more often instead to “save” your unopened contact lens packages, which will remain sterile as long as the expiration date is valid.

The 20/20/20 Rule Many people experience digital eye strain which results from spending too much time on our laptops, smartphones, and TVs. You may experience dry or irritated eyes, redness, grittiness, headaches, eyestrain, or blurry vision, especially towards the end of the day.  Practice the 20/20/20 rule while using digital devices: every 20 minutes, take a 20 second break by looking at something 20 feet away. This helps your eyes to relax by giving your internal eye muscles a break. If you can also get up for a quick stretch or move around, that’s even better!

Limit screen time for children This is THE biggest natural eye care tip! Studies have shown that spending more time outdoors helps in preventing the onset of myopia (nearsightedness), while the excessive use of electronic devices and near work is associated with higher rates of myopia. Try to engage children in some fun backyard activities. Fun and creative indoor activities can also pry children away from digital devices and create some lasting family memories. CAO recommends the following for children’s screen time limits: Infants: 0 hours per day Ages 2-5: 1 hour per day Ages 6-18: 2 hours per day

Wear safety glasses Being homebound provides a great opportunity for home DIY projects. However, it is important to wear safety glasses to prevent any sharp projectile objects from penetrating the eye—even tiny

particles can cause trauma to the eye and be very painful. Safety glasses that have met certain hazard requirements will have “ANSI Z87” etched on them. Regular glasses do not provide adequate protection for your eyes.

Sharp objects and chemicals Take extra care with any objects that come near your face and might scratch your eye, such as masks, mascara wands, or even children’s fingernails. Scratches on the cornea are very painful since the cornea is highly sensitive. Take care not to spill or splash any chemicals (such as bleach or household cleaners) into your eye. Do not store these products on a high shelf, and make sure to close the lids tightly. If you get chemicals in the eye, rinse your open eye with a constant stream of cool water for at least 10-15 minutes, and call an eye doctor immediately. Always call your optometrist for any eye-related emergencies instead of going to the ER; this will help to reduce the burden on ER doctors. Canadian optometrists are seeing patients for urgent care during COVID-19 closures.

DR. SARAH OH is a holistic optometrist who provides eye care in Oakville with a focus on nutrition and wellness. She seeks to educate and empower patients to achieve the clear vision they need to thrive.  THEHEALTHYEYEDOC  THEHEALTHYEYEDOC.COM V I S TA M A G A Z I N E . C A


Spring Cleaning, From the Inside Out There is something to be said about the way we prune the gardens that grow within us and how we go about pulling out our mental and emotional weeds. LEANNE SAWCHUK


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It goes without saying that we have collectively found ourselves swimming within the waters of uncertainty as we navigate this global pandemic. From one day to the next, you may find yourself going from feeling energized and hopeful as you float calmly and safely near the shoreline, to feeling like you are caught under a current with no shore or life raft in sight. As we navigate these uneasy waters, it can be said that when our outer world feels out of control and uncertain, so does our inner world. When this happens, while it can be rather alluring to focus on the “what if’s” and do our fair share of storytelling in order to achieve certainty and control, this type of incessant thought loop will add to our already full mental and emotional space. While this may sound rather intimidating, perhaps now is the time to start sorting through your emotional and mental closets to do some cleaning from the inside out! There is a good chance you have heard of the term “spring cleaning”. Spring, in many ways, is often experienced as a time of renewal and awakening. It is also a time of growth and rebirth, which is visually represented in nature all around us. The practice of spring cleaning has typically involved the practice of clearing the clutter, creating space, and purging that which is no longer needed or wanted. While it is often about cleansing the space in which we live, there is much to be said for the way in which we cleanse the rooms that inhabit us. Meaning, our inner rooms and closets – the ones which reside within our body and mind. While the mere idea of clearing out your mental and emotional spaces may sound daunting, there is a lot to be explored, gained, and understood through doing so. You may ponder questions like: who will I be if I clear out my mental and emotional rooms? What might I find buried there? What might I learn? What might I release? While cleaning from the inside out can leave you being introspective, it will also leave you with renewed energy, a feeling of awakening, and more clarity. If you are finding yourself ready to lean in, here are a few ideas to get you started on this inner cleanse and journey:

Create a cozy space Pick a spot within your home and make it your own personal shrine. It does not need to be big and fancy; it is simply meant to be a place where you can retreat to. Make this “your” space by adding whatever represents you while adding a sense of safety, calm, and peace.

Technology cleanse We spend so much time on our devices and as a result they collect clutter too. Clear out apps that you no longer use or need, contacts and people that you no longer engage with, photos, etc. Take a look at who you are connected with on your social media platforms and unfriend, unfollow, and unlike pages and people that are not serving you in a healthy way. Commit to taking breaks from technology. When we take a break from our devices, we then create more space in our day which allows our thoughts to slow down and helps us to clear out unnecessary mental clutter.

Rediscover your talents If there is one thing that helps us create energy, it is tapping into our talents or discovering new ones. Perhaps there is something you have been wanting to learn or try out for some time or maybe there is an old hobby that you have been wanting to get back into. Regardless of what it might be, tap into this and notice how this leaves you feeling.

Express your anger If there is one emotion that likes to take up mental and emotional space, it is anger, and its cousin, resentment. When we hold on to emotions and avoid expressing them, they become unruly weeds that start to take over and spread throughout our psyche. One way of doing this is through the form of letter writing. Sit down and compose an unedited letter. This letter does not need to be sent to anyone or read by anyone, but the end result will give you more mental and emotional space.

Exercise gratitude Start a gratitude journal and write down three things you’re grateful for every day. We can interrupt any uncomfortable self-state with gratitude. Have you ever tried being grateful and anxious at the same time? Exactly! Gratitude improves our mood by accentuating the positive, while taking our focus away from the many things that are not within our control. Engaging in this inner cleanse will leave your body and mind feeling entirely different in its new clutter-free space. When you get your mental and emotional spaces in order, just like opening the windows on a beautiful spring day, you allow your entire mind and body to take one big cleansing breath!

LEANNE SAWCHUCK is a registered psychotherapist and art therapist based in Kitchener, Ontario. She is the founder of Willow & Oak Psychotherapy and Counselling Centre and specializes in addictions, anxiety, depression, relationship issues, eating disorders, body image, and trauma.  LEANNESAWCHUKTHERAPY V I S TA M A G A Z I N E . C A


Clean Out Your Cupboards and Treat Yourself to These CannabisInfused Delights Springtime is here and with it comes spring cleaning season! While spring cleaning can be challenging, the ritual offers us a chance to declutter and refresh our space. It’s time to clean out those kitchen cupboards. What better way to clean up than by putting your baking skills to the test and making some tasty cannabis-infused treats? Cannabis can help add some much needed relaxation to the mix, especially amidst the hectic nature of spring cleaning. KELLY EBBERT


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Recent research suggests that immediate rewards can increase motivation. Enhance your post-cleaning routine with cannabis-infused goodies to try and get that extra push and wrap up your spring cleaning sooner. When creating your cannabis-infused delights, there are an array of options to choose from. For those DIY fans, small kitchen appliances like Ardent’s NOVA decarboxylator transform cannabis flower into an easy to use food additive. The decarboxylation process takes place by heating cannabis flower. This then activates cannabinoids like THC and CBD, allowing consumers to feel their effects. Afterwards, decarboxylated cannabis flower can be utilized to create oils, from olive oil to coconut oil, to fats like cannabis butter. These infused ingredients can then be added to your everyday recipes, whether it be cookies or guacamole.  ardentcannabis.com Extraction is another great option for DIY enthusiasts! ExtractCraft’s SourceTurbo extracts oils and concentrates in a different type of process. The appliance works under vacuum, with low heat, to perform effective extraction and ethanol recovery. These extracted oils can then be added into food or recipes, similar to the decarboxylation process.  extractcraft.com Nevertheless, not all of us are up to creating our own oils. If you fall into that category, try pre-made CBD oils and extracts from companies like HempFusion or Bluebird Botanicals. Utilizing already made CBD oil comes with its own benefits. For example, the presence of labels makes dosing guidelines easier to convert for recipes. Furthermore, some pre-made oils come combined with other herbs which can draw out other potential benefits such as enhanced relaxation or gut health.  bluebirdbotanicals.com Check out these recipes and start creating your very own infused treats. (Please note that these recipes are specific to CBD, but cannabis can be utilized accordingly.)

KELLY EBBERT spends her time writing and researching to make the world a little brighter. She seeks to help people feel comfortable in their own skin. You can find her meditating or enjoying the simple beauties life brings.

CBD infused honey A fantastic way to start the morning, CBD infused honey blends well into tea or coffee, and tastes great on toast! This easy recipe requires just water, 4 oz honey, and five servings (50mg) of CBD. Start by measuring out equal parts water and honey. Boil water in a pot; once boiled, remove from heat. Add your jar of honey, level with the water. When the honey has thinned, add in CBD oil, stir it in, and keep in hot water until infused. Store for future use.

CBD chocolate chip cookies Any day feels slightly more relaxed when you have time to bake. This chocolate chip cookie recipe is quite simple. You’ll need CBD butter, which can be created quickly by mixing the desired amount of CBD tincture with softened butter. Then, using your favourite chocolate chip cookie recipe, add CBD butter!

CBD smoothie Yum! Smoothies are a perfect way to incorporate CBD into your next treat. Any smoothie recipe will do, but here’s one just in case. Grab a banana, fresh blueberries, strawberries, and blackberries. Measure out a half cup of almond milk, half a cup of greek yogurt, a splash of vanilla extract, and six ice cubes. Cut up your banana and other fresh fruits and toss them in the blender, along with your desired amount of CBD. Mix together and enjoy.

CBD guac Who doesn’t love a lighthearted night with friends topped with some guacamole? This guac recipe is rather simple; all you need to do is add CBD. Start out by mashing an avocado. Add in a touch of mild salsa, garlic powder, a dash of salt, and lime juice to taste. Then add your desired amount of CBD and mix. Voila! If you’re feeling adventurous, garnish with cilantro. Spring presents us with an excellent opportunity to refresh our space. Clean out your cupboard and try something new with the addition of cannabis-infused treats. The time spent making these goodies can help you reset and finally utilize some of those ingredients we’ve had on hand all year. Happy baking! V I S TA M A G A Z I N E . C A


7 Small, Daily Habits to Spring Clean Your Life Cultivating your self-care mindset BY DAI MANUEL

To me, spring is a time of ‘cleaning out the cobwebs’ in my life. A time to reset, refocus, recalibrate, and relaunch the routines which fill me with happiness, joy, and fulfillment. And yet, this year I’ve found myself doing a lot of things to distract from the stresses created by the pandemic. Escapism is so much simpler. Retreating into my bedroom, pulling the covers up to my neck while sinking into an afternoon of bingeing on the Tiger King seems so much easier than dealing with challenges. Can you relate? The distractions are only temporary, and after I emerge from my cave, I am overwhelmed by feelings of guilt, shame, and anxiety. I swear to myself, no more!


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I remind myself of all the tools I have in my ‘positive mental attitude’ toolbox, which I have amassed over 25+ years of coaching and mentoring people through big transformations. When I get to this point, I have a strategy for a hard reset while drawing the proverbial line in the sand. I commit to changes I want to make. I commit to getting back to basics. Deep breath in and here we go. These seven daily habits when done correctly can provide incredible shifts in perspective. Remember, if you change your view on life, in essence, you CHANGE YOUR LIFE.

DAI MANUEL is a super dad, dating his wife, and on a mission to impact one million role models to lead FUN-ctionally fit lives mentally and physically. Award-winning author, mentor and creator of change!



Spending time outside

One of the greatest ways to improve our mental health is by getting outside. Going outside to get your daily dose of vitamin D, being with nature, or going outdoors to be able to walk are all fantastic ways to show yourself self-care. Vitamin D is a hormone needed by the body to maintain strong bones, and has also been cited as the ‘happiness vitamin’. Not getting enough vitamin D could result in bone diseases like osteoporosis and also negatively affect your overall mood. All this aside, simply finding the time to be one with nature or getting outside for a walk are both rejuvenating and re-energizing activities that will help you relieve life’s stresses. 2

Taking care of your gut by eating well

Think about choosing to eat to thrive, rather than simply consuming mindless calories to survive. After all, food is the body’s medicine. The more we eat mindfully, the better our health is in the long run. By eating food that is nourishing for our bodies, we are taking care of our gut health. The gut houses essential bacteria and plays a vital role in maintaining wellness and feelings of vitality. If all else fails, remember this mantra, “Happy gut, happy body, happy life!”

Declutter your space to declutter your mind 3

Learn to say ‘NO’ (while establishing your boundaries) 5

So many of us find ourselves consumed by FOMO (aka fear of missing out). We over-commit our time, saying yes to things that aren’t in alignment with our life goals, over-extending our energy, emotions, and most importantly, our TIME. When we find ourselves in this situation, the first thing to go off our to-do list is our self-care. If you are a parent, you know exactly what I’m talking about. The best way to not fall into this trap is to get clear on what is important or essential in your life versus non-essential. Learn to embrace NO as a complete sentence without explanation. Set your boundaries and never cancel on your self-commitments, especially when it comes to your self-care and mental health. Those that you love deserve the best version of you, but unless you make or take the time for yourself, that’s not going to be possible. 6

Being able to express gratitude regularly and at every turn is a wonderful self-care habit. Expressing gratitude not only to others but also to ourselves induces positive emotions, primarily happiness. By producing feelings of pleasure and contentment, gratitude impacts our overall health and well-being as well. 7

In my opinion, nothing is as stressful as living in a messy home. And yet, how many of us can honestly say that our homes are clean all the time? It takes discipline and commitment to clean the dishes, fold the laundry, and regularly clean our living spaces all by ourselves. Living in a messy environment is a source of chronic stress. I invite you to treat the act of cleaning and tidying as a mindful moment of self-care and self-love. In keeping your space clean and organized, you are saying my life is clean and organized. Commit 15 minutes a day to keeping your home in order, and watch as your life improves almost overnight. 4

Sleep for the win!

Simply getting enough sleep each night is one of the easiest habits to see instant shifts in one’s life. If this was the only habit on this list that you committed to, count yourself on the right path. Essentially, while we are sleeping, our bodies are self healing. While asleep, our heart gets much needed rest as our blood pressure drops, triggering a process of healing from the inside out. Aim for seven to eight hours of sleep, and you’ll notice your energy levels pick up, you’ll feel more alert and focused, and you’ll become less stressed in general. In essence, you can literally sleep your stress away.

Practicing gratitude

Daily movement with purpose

Moving the body with the intention of elevating our heart rate while improving our physical fitness is a non-negotiable in my life. Exercise releases stress, renews our energy, removes toxins, while also improving our overall health and well-being. There’s a direct connection to improving our whole life fitness -physical, emotional, psychological, spiritual fitness -- and wellbeing through physical exercise. You don’t need a gym or fancy equipment, just a desire to move your body. After all, it is the greatest piece of equipment you’ve been given, so might as well use it so you don’t lose it. Need some help? Join the free Whole Life Fitness Manifesto 28-day challenge at JoinWLFM.com. It’s not a matter of trying to do these habits all at once. Pick one or two that can be easily integrated into your day-to-day schedule. Repeat them daily. As you start to experience the shifts in your mental, emotional, physical and spiritual health, layer in another one or two. Every single time I’ve committed to this plan, incredible things have happened. But remember, it’s a journey of progression and not one of perfection! Give yourself grace and patience, while you enjoy the process. V I S TA M A G A Z I N E . C A


Connect with our super inspiring Vista Ambassadors this issue for wellness tips, healthy recipes, fitness advice and more. Find us @VistaMagCanada and follow #VistaMagCanada and #VistaAmbassador. We have you covered for all things health and wellness.

 LAURA MARRICKS is a Vancouver-based, foodobsessed (and always snacking) holistic nutritionist. Her mission is to help women become kinder to their bodies by practicing self-love through food. She believes in baby steps toward change, the 80/20 rule, and that you should never skip dessert!

FUN FACT “I am a self proclaimed “Kanyeologist”, and I love rap music. Lately I have been listening to Baby Keem, Griselda, and an old favourite: Shyne.”  BB.VITAMIN


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 MAKAYLA DEWIT is a registered holistic nutritionist based in Kingston, Ontario. She promotes simple, plant-based eating done in a sustainable way. She uses her Instagram platform and website to share healthy meal inspiration, simple recipes, and to promote likeminded businesses.

FUN FACT: Not long ago, Makayla and her mom ventured on a monthlong road trip where they camped from Toronto to California and back.  NATURALLY_MAKAYLA  NATURALLYMAKAYLA.COM

 JUSTYNA JULIA, founder of

ThriveWithTheSeasons.com, is a holistic nutritionist whose focus is on personalized nutrition, seasonal eating and building community. She truly believes anyone can achieve a fulfilling life by tuning into their body, surrounding themselves with a supportive community, and immersing themselves in nature. FUN FACT “An accomplishment I’m particularly proud of is completing a triathlon. I’m currently training for my first half Ironman.”  THRIVEWITHTHESEASONS.COM  THRIVEWITHTHESEASONS  V I S TA M A G A Z I N E . C A



 MARTA DUMKA is a Vancouver-based holistic health coach

 DANIELA DEFEO is a certified health coach, published

health and fitness author and wellness ambassador. She encourages a holistic approach to wellness by advocating the importance of nutrition, exercise, self-care and sustainable living. Connect with her for fitness and nutrition programs, tips, advice and insightful articles on all things health and wellness.     FUN FACT “I love extreme sports like white water rafting, bungee jumping, skydiving, rock climbing, and even trapeze. I enjoy activities that are unconventionally challenging.”  DEEVITAREFLECTIONS  DEEVITAREFLECT

 CARLY BEKE is a certified holistic nutrition practitioner in Calgary, AB. It all started for Carly when she had tried every “diet” that left her with few results and extreme adrenal fatigue. She has been in the industry for seven years and specializes in weight loss and immunity. Carly crafts and customizes whole food meal plans. She’s a runner and loves spin classes and makes that an important part of her wellness routine.

FUN FACT She is a terrible gardener but she is going to try and grow another garden this summer. Wish her luck!  COACH_CARLY_


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and food blogger. “Thanks to my parents and their natural remedies, I was lucky to be raised on homegrown and homecooked food and learned the value of prevention at a very young age,” says Marta. She started @humblerootshealth as a place to share her passion for holistic health and wellness in a creative manner. She loves to empower everyone to listen to their bodies and to make healthier choices for an overall better lifestyle. FUN FACT “I am terrified of birds but am working on overcoming this because - growth.”  HUMBLEROOTSHEALTH

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 Energize yourself this summer with this hydrating ice cream made with DETOX ORGANICS DAILY SUPERFOODS. Detox Organics is a 3 phase plant based supplement that Alkalizes, Detoxifies and Energizes all-in-one. It supports digestion, supports immune health and works to support your overall health.  DETOXORGANICS  DETOXORGANICS.COM

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 HONIBE GUMMIEBEES, added immune boost with Vitamin C, echinacea and zinc. No sugar, no artificial flavours, no sweeteners. 100% Canadian Grade A honey.  HONIBE.COM  HONIBE

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 CANPREV BEAUTY COLLAGEN features Verisol® Bioactive Collagen Peptides™, the only peptides that stimulate skin collagen production and is clinically proven to smooth and firm skin in 28 days.  CANPREV.CA  CANPREV


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 ALLIMAX PRO, The components of this high quality formulation have been shown in numerous studies to significantly strengthen the immune response. A robust immune system helps overcome sickness and promotes optimal health. Immune 7® is a potent—yet safe— dietary supplement that may be used alone, or in combination with mainstream treatments.  ALLIMAX.CA  ALLIMAXCANADA

 PRAIRIE NATURALS MOUNTAIN MIST is a highly concentrated, leave in conditioner that instantly detangles and moisturizes the hair. Perfect for all hair types, this ultralight formula contains UV filters, which protect hair from external stresses and styling damage.  PRAIRIENATURALS.CA  PRAIRIENATURALS

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Plant-Based Love Non-perishable food specialist Connie Leung shares with us how an illness 10 years ago ultimately led to her passion for healthy foods and a plant-based diet. When you’re not creating plant-based recipes, you’re a non-perishable food specialist at a health food company. How do these two parts of your life influence each other? Working in the health and natural food industry for the past seven years has definitely helped shape the person I am today. From SPUD, to Whole Foods Market, to now Left Coast Naturals; all have given me insight towards natural and organic food products, and introduced me to many ingredients that I would have never come across myself. When I was working as a non-perishable specialist (buyer) at Whole Foods Market, one of the benefits V I S TA M A G A Z I N E . C A



“There are countless ways to fix a problem – you just need to have the courage to implement it.” was being able to be the first one to see what new items would be carried at the store. New and unique items make me excited and when they became available, I would spend my days off in my kitchen experimenting. I would say eight out of ten times, my first attempt would turn into a complete mess, but I would still consume it as zero waste is equally as important to me. If not sweet enough, add some fruit or ice cream. If too salty, dilute it or eat in tiny amounts as a side dish. There are countless ways to fix a problem – you just need to have the courage to implement it. Failure to me has become a norm now so when I experience failure at work or in my daily life, I do not let it get to me and continue to be the cheerful and colourful me, just like on my Instagram. I’m all about the colours. What’s your story? How did you become so fascinated with food? I have a love and hate relationship with food. I was never fascinated until 10 years ago when I went to Asia and came back to Vancouver extremely ill; I had no appetite and was extremely weak. For one year, I had to stop both school and work to rest and heal. So what did I do all day at home? My mom bought me a lot of kitchen gadgets to play with. Her idea was that if I was willing to make my own meals, I could be more productive throughout the day, make dishes that I would want to eat and keep my brain actively running. In the beginning, I would spend countless hours (yes, I was an amateur)


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in the kitchen when everyone else was at work. Imagine how fun it was having the entire counter space to myself while listening and singing to music. When I was able to leave the house myself, I would venture to farmers’ markets, Whole Foods, local shops, and all kinds of food-related shows and events. This is also the reason why I began to step into this industry and landed a job at SPUD. Since then, my passion for healthy, natural food has only escalated, and to this day, I refuse to use anything artificial in my creations and everything is made only with whole foods. Why should people seriously consider plant-based as a lifestyle? When adapting to a plant-based lifestyle, you are helping the planet, Mother Earth, the animals, and most importantly, your health! When people hear the word “plant-based” they think “Oh, you must only eat veggies and salads all day”. This stereotype is still seen today amongst many, but veganism has come a long way. Chickpeas, tofu, tempeh, nutritional yeast, nut milks, etc. have become more popular and many local entrepreneurs are creating delicious products. For example, in Vancouver, we have Tempea (tempeh) Yoggu (fermented coconut yogurt), Say Hello Sweets (coconutbased ice cream), Spread’Em (cashewbased spreads and cheese), and Zimt (vegan chocolate). These amazing entrepreneurs give us the sensation of eating the regular “classics” but in fact, we are consuming

Blueberry Lavender Muffin V I S TA M A G A Z I N E . C A


Tempeh Nachos

Pink Pitaya Pancakes

Ghost Pudding


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Coconut Flour Cake

“We are extremely lucky to have a plethora of vegan alternatives readily available these days at the grocery store.” whole foods made from plant-based ingredients. Very few would be able to tell the difference in terms of taste and texture, but their mind and body will definitely experience an increase in both mood and energy! What’s the most challenging thing about choosing a plant-based diet and how can that challenge be overcome?

Mango Toast

There have always been two obstacles that I have come across after deciding to switch to a plant-based lifestyle. The first was not being able to enjoy my childhood comfort foods such as pasta, pizza, and ice cream. And the second was having my family and friends abide by my decision. Coming from a traditional Chinese family, there have been countless situations where I felt I was the odd one out when we had our family gatherings. It made me feel uncomfortable to be sitting at the dinner table with dishes that were 80 per cent meat. But I told myself that out of the 10 people sitting at the table, only one person (me) did not eat meat. So I needed to maintain my smile, maintain a positive attitude and learn to accommodate. One of the things I would do is eat a light snack beforehand. I also began to make a side dish to accompany the meals during these gatherings, which thankfully, was highly praised and led to great outcomes. For example, I would make mac and cheese with blended cauliflower, cashew milk, and nutritional yeast. And if I wished to make

it more nutritious, I would switch up the traditional durum wheat pasta with a protein-packed bean and lentil pasta. We are extremely lucky to have a plethora of vegan alternatives readily available these days at the grocery store. It makes me feel like a kid again when I can enjoy my childhood favourite dessert, a sundae, with no regrets. Picture this: double scoop vanilla soy milk ice cream with dark chocolate drizzle, crushed cookie crumbs and strawberry compote, completely plant-based. What’s your favourite sweet recipe and your favourite savoury recipe? For sweets, I would say blueberries! Anything with blueberries makes me smile. My favourite combinations are blueberry-lemon and blueberrylavender. But my favourite recipe would probably be my Blueberry-Lemon Muffins. The flavour combination of zesty lemon paired with sweet, juicy blueberries reminds me of summer. It’s the perfect way to start the day. As for savoury, there are too many! It would be a tie between my Tempeh Nachos and Vegan Carrot Lox. My favourite dishes tend to switch from season to season. In the summer, I crave light and refreshing like a protein superfood smoothie, whereas in the winter, my go-to would be a hot bowl of oatmeal for breakfast and chili for dinner. But one thing that will never change are the colours. My dishes always have to be colourful – 365 days of the year! V I S TA M A G A Z I N E . C A



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Vegan Carrot Lox Toast Makes 1 serving

Ingredients Carrot Lox • 2 ½ inches orange carrot • 1 tbsp soy sauce substitute • 1 tsp liquid smoke Serve with • 2 slices of your choice of bread, toasted • cream/firm cheese • red onion slices • capers • dill • freshly ground course black pepper

Instructions 1 Use a vegetable peeler to gently peel carrots into thin strips. Place in a bowl and toss with the soy sauce substitute-liquid smoke mixture. 2 Allow several minutes for the mixture to rest and marinate. 3 Once the carrots have softened, preheat the oven to 350°F. 4 Place on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil and fold to create a pocket for the carrots. This allows it to steam and will not turn them into chips. 5 Bake for 25 minutes. 6 Remove from the oven and allow the carrots to cool (placing in the fridge speeds up this process). 7 Serve with your choice of toasted bread and desired toppings

Tips • Different ovens have different temperatures, therefore the baking time might need to be adjusted. When done, the carrots should be soft and flimsy. • Allow time to let the toast cool down slightly before layering on the cream/firm cheese. The hot-cold pairing does not work well and will melt the cheese. • Naked Coconuts Soy Sauce Substitute tends to be more sweet (fermented coconut sap); feel free to add a sprinkle of fleur de sel. V I S TA M A G A Z I N E . C A



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Spring Clean Your Winter Pantry Create simple flavourful meals using marinades made with winter’s end pantry items. KIRSTEN BUCK, HN

When the prairies decide it’s time to give us a break from the snow, and spring fully emerges, there’s something about the warmer weather, fresh air, and the longer days that makes me open up all the windows, take a huge breath, and get into spring cleaning mode. One of the things I like to do is clean out my pantry items so I can start the new season fresh. Tossing expired products, using up bottled items from the winter months, and organizing others to see what I can make use of is great for lessening waste, and for setting up meal plans for the weeks ahead. One thing I find that’s great to make with small amounts of leftover pantry items is marinades. Simply whisk together and pour over any protein you wish to add a burst of flavour to. There are many different

marinades that can be made by adding a little bit of this and that. I personally love a great honey-garlic marinade. This HoneyGarlic Marinade is made with simple ingredients, and adds tons of sweet and savoury flavour to any meal. Try it with my Honey-Garlic Sheet Pan Chicken and Spring Vegetables! It is the perfect weeknight dinner, and comes with an easy clean up. For this delicious recipe, I use bone-in skin-on chicken breasts and tons of hearty spring vegetables which I cut into similar size pieces for even cooking. After it is done baking, I squeeze the juice from the roasted lemon on top, and finish with a sprinkle of toasted slivered almonds and fresh parsley for brightness. Feel free to use any cut of chicken you like, or try fresh salmon fillets. Just keep in mind, the cooking times may vary depending on which cut is used. Enjoy! V I S TA M A G A Z I N E . C A


Honey-Garlic Sheet Pan Chicken & Spring Vegetables Serves 4

Ingredients • 3-4 medium carrots, peeled and roughly chopped • 1 medium rutabaga, peeled and cubed • 1 bunch radishes, ends trimmed and halved • 3 cups chopped cauliflower florets • ½ pound brussels sprouts, ends trimmed and halved • ½ red onion, cut into wedges • 4 Honey Garlic Marinated Chicken Breasts • 1 large lemon, quartered • Fresh parsley, for serving • Toasted slivered almonds, for serving (see note)

Instructions 1 Preheat oven to 425o. Add all of the vegetables onto the pan, drizzle with olive oil, and season generously with salt and pepper. Flip and toss together to make sure all the vegetables are as evenly coated as possible, and arrange in a single layer. Place the marinated chicken breast on top with the lemon wedges, and discard the remaining marinade. 2 Roast in the preheated oven until chicken is completely cooked through, reaching a temperature of 165o on a meat thermometer, about 35 to 40 minutes. 3 Squeeze the juice from the roasted lemon wedges on top of the chicken, and serve with fresh parsley and toasted slivered almonds. Note: To toast the almonds, place them in a dry skillet over medium heat. Shuffle, and toss until almonds are fragrant, and lightly golden on the outside, three to four minutes.

Honey-Garlic Marinated Chicken

Ingredients • ¼ cup olive oil • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar • 2 tablespoons coconut aminos • 2 tablespoons honey • 3 garlic cloves, finely minced • 1 teaspoon mustard • 1 teaspoon salt • ¼ teaspoon cayenne (optional) • 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts (See note)

Instructions 1 In a bowl, whisk the ingredients together until combined. 2 Pierce the tops of the chicken breasts with a fork several times, and place into a freezer bag or glass dish. Pour the marinade over the chicken, and make sure it is evenly dispersed. Marinate for at least one hour, two to three hours being more ideal. 3 Remove the chicken and discard the leftover marinade. Grill on the BBQ over medium heat until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165o, or bake with a tray of spring vegetables for a quick weekday meal (recipe below). Note: You can also use chicken thighs, drumsticks, or boneless chicken breasts but be aware cooking times will vary depending on the cut.

KIRSTEN BUCK is a Winnipeg-based holistic nutritionist, food lover, and founder of the popular blog and social media platform Buck Naked Kitchen. She focuses on a nutrient dense, paleo approach to eating. Her contributions can also be seen on popular websites such as The FeedFeed, Joyous Health, and The Food Network Canada. She is passionate about creating delicious recipes using fresh seasonal food that inspire others to make healthy choices and find confidence in the kitchen.  BUCKNAKEDKITCHEN


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Spring Clean Your Liver

CRYSTAL HUGHES is a plant-based lifestyle expert and the creator of Heart Fully Nourished, a blog filled with healthy, nourishing plant-based recipes and wellness articles. Crystal is a registered holistic nutritionist, with a passion for helping people live a nourished life. She is a professional food photographer, and her work has been featured in international magazines. Check out her website at HEARTFULLYNOURISHED.COM.


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We take the time to clean out closets in our homes every spring; we need to take the time to clean and support our liver too. CRYSTAL HUGHES

Our liver is one of the main ways that our body rids itself of toxins. In

fact, our liver is one of the hardest working organs in the body, filtering 1.4 litres of our blood every minute and carrying out over 500 essential tasks. From immune support to bile production and everything in between, your liver has you covered. Did you know that our daily lives and choices can effect our liver function? The consumption of alcohol, prescription drugs, fatty foods, cigarettes, pesticides, environmental toxins, and everyday chemical exposure can put additional stress on our liver. Doing a liver spring clean can be simple and easy by following these liver cleaning tips: • Avoid the problematic liver foods like processed foods, foods you are sensitive to, high-fat foods like chips, animal proteins, alcohol, and refined sugars for a few weeks. • Eat healthy, fresh, and a large number of raw fruits and vegetables; this helps the liver cleanse itself faster.

• You can also consume fresh vegetable juices for snacks to give your digestive system a short break and support cleansing. • Stop eating at 8 pm to support liver detoxification while you sleep. (Unless you are hypoglycemic or have blood sugar issues.)

Citrus Beet Salad Makes two servings

Ingredients • 2 medium-large beets • 3 cups arugula • ¼ cup green lentils • 1 cup of water • 1 large orange or 2 small • 1 large grapefruit or 2 small • 2 tsp of vegan cashew cheese (optional) Dressing • 2 tbsp orange juice (½ medium orange juiced) • 2 tbsp olive oil  • 1 tbsp apple cider • 1 tsp old fashioned grainy mustard • 1 tsp maple syrup • 1 garlic clove minced • 2 tbsp fresh mint chopped • Pinch salt and pepper

Instructions 1 Bring a small pot ¾ full of water to a boil.

• Remember to choose organic foods whenever possible to reduce pesticide and chemical exposure. • Start your day off with a half squeezed lemon in warm water to support cleansing for two weeks. • Include some liver supporting foods such as leafy greens, beets, asparagus, dandelion leaves, arugula, almonds, lentils, barley, brown rice, apples, blackberries, citrus fruits, prunes, and strawberries. I hope these simple liver spring cleaning tips help inspire you to spring clean your liver. This nourishing Citrus Beet Salad is a perfect liver supporting lunch.

2 Place green lentils in another pot with 1 cup of water. Bring to boil and let simmer for 15-18 minutes. 3 Peel beets and cut in half. Place in boiling water and let boil for 15 minutes. 4 To make the dressing, in a small bowl, whisk orange juice, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, maple syrup, minced garlic, salt, pepper, and mint. Set aside. 5 Cut oranges and grapefruits by slicing off each end of the fruit and then peel the skin on the sides away with a knife. Once the peels have been removed, lay the orange and grapefruits on their side and cut it into circles, then cut those circles into halves. 6 Once beets are cooked, remove beets from heat and let cool a little before slicing. Slice into thin rings and then cut circles in half. 7 Take lentils off the heat and stir to cool.  8 To assemble, divide the arugula onto two plates and top with half of the lentils. Top with sliced beets, grapefruit, and oranges. You can alternate slices like in the photo for decoration. Drizzle with dressing and sprinkle with vegan cashew cheese.  V I S TA M A G A Z I N E . C A



Andrea Mele

Andrea Mele is a certified nutritional coach teaching moms that eating healthy starts with getting organized. She started her business Busy Mom Nutrition to show other moms that the road to healthy eating is all in the planning. You teach moms how to do meal planning and prepping efficiently. What’s one trick that saves time in the kitchen? The one thing that helps to save time in the kitchen is planning dinners and writing down a grocery shopping list at the same time. I know it’s such a basic thing, but many moms still don’t do it. They often think that it takes too much time, or that they are supposed to come up with 35 different recipes for every meal of the week. It doesn’t have to be that complicated. All they need to do is to check what they have in the fridge, freezer and pantry, and then take a piece of paper and write down meal ideas for their dinners. Including leftover dinners, freezer dinners or even take out dinners will save extra time. And planning meals always at the same day and the same time of the week will also help. I also encourage moms to come up with a solid reason why they want to start. Having a strong reason will help them to sit down and actually make the plan, especially on days when they are too tired or too busy. Why are you inspired to support moms? What brought you to this work?  I was diagnosed with celiac disease many years ago. At the time, I didn’t have any symptoms, so I just continued to eat the way I had always done. A few years later, my husband and I wanted to start a family. I had two miscarriages and I went through eight IVF cycles. My doctor told me that because I was still eating gluten, it was irritating my immune system and that could be one of the reasons why I couldn’t get pregnant. That was a wake up call. I immediately got rid of all the foods containing gluten and started to change my eating habits. One year later,


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my daughter was born and then eighteen months after that, my son arrived. This entire time was both physically and mentally very challenging, but it made me realize the incredible impact food has on our lives. What does “healthy eating” mean for you? What are some of your nutrition principles? For me, it is a lifestyle that affects all aspects of my life. It is about eating real, whole, natural food that contains all the goodness that Mother Nature has packed in. It means leaving processed food on the shelf and eliminating all the empty calories, artificial flavours, colours and other chemical “goodies” from my diet. It is also about eating a little bit of everything with vegetables being the star of our dishes. It’s about caring for the environment, saying no to plastic and unnecessary packaging, supporting local food producers, buying just enough food of better quality, repurposing leftovers and not wasting any food. It’s also about having family dinners together and teaching our kids about food, cooking and the world around us.

What’s the best way to involve kids in healthy cooking and eating? From my experience, it always has to start with the parents. It’s up to us to keep explaining to our children how our bodies function, why it is important to eat healthy and then be a good example. That’s why eating meals together as a family is so important. Having kids helping us in the kitchen is also an integral part of healthy eating. As for older kids and I’m talking teenagers - healthy eating is usually about empowerment. I like talking to them about the relationship


between the food they eat and the way they feel and look. The key is to explain to them that they are the only ones who can decide how to fuel their bodies. If they want to look and feel crappy, they can choose to eat crappy food or vice versa. The decision is theirs. And this logic seems to resonate with them. Do you have any tips for moms trying to maintain healthy meals during quarantine, when they might not have access to as many groceries? I would like to mention three things that can be easily done and are both time and cost effective. • Choose heartier vegetables that remain fresh for longer. Red beets, radishes, kohlrabi, parsnips, carrots, and red or white cabbage are perfect examples. If you store them in a dark and cold place, they might provide a good portion of nutrients for several weeks. As well as being eaten fresh or fermented, they can be used for a soup, stew or stir-fry. • Use every part of the fruits and vegetables that you have. Use leaves from radishes in your salad. Sauté kohlrabi greens and add them to meat patties. Add red beet leaves to your smoothies. There is no time for food waste, now more than ever. • Be creative with leftovers. By mixing leftover vegetables with rice, you can get delicious risotto. With a few pieces of fresh vegetables, you turn leftover quinoa into an amazing salad. And if your vegetables look kind of tired, make a soup or a smoothie. The options are endless. I share various recipes and tips like this daily in my Facebook group and on Instagram.




Profile for Vista Magazine

Vista issue #130 May/June 2020