Tuesday, January 31, 2012


This year for me is the year of change.....
For me on Jan 31, 2012
I had my last day at the Markham Clinic where I have been for five years.
Celebrated a sweet, sweet girls 4th birthday!
And continue to watch my waistline expand.  Only 5 weeks to go!
I was reading about the year of the dragon....This is what I discovered.
Occupying the 5th position in the Chinese Zodiac, the Dragon is the mightiest of the signs. Dragons symbolize such character traits as dominance and ambition. Dragons prefer to live by their own rules and if left on their own, are usually successful. They’re driven, unafraid of challenges, and willing to take risks. They’re passionate in all they do and they do things in grand fashion.  Sounds good to me in a year of  changes.....

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Orange Berry Muffins....

Whipped these up this morning.....
1.5 cups flour (I used spelt)
1 cup oats
1/3 cup brown sugar (I cut the amount in half, feel free to add 2/3 cup for a sweeter muffin)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
zest from one orange
2 eggs
1/4 cup grapeseed oil
1/2 cup applesauce
1 cup berries.

1. Preheat oven to 400F
2. Mix flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and orange zest
3. Mix eggs, applesauce and oil
4. Pour and mix wet into dry ingredients
5. Add berries
6. Bake for 20 minutes

All this recent baking in my kitchen must be a sign this baby is coming soon.....Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Easy No Bake Treats

I made these 2 quick, easy and healthy treats this morning to bring to my office for our wonderful receptionist who has her last day today.

On the left we have Almond Butter Squares:
1/4 cup almond butter (or peanut butter)
1 tsp vanilla
3 tbsp honey or brown rice syrup
1 cup rice crispies (I used the health store variety that comes in those bags)

Heat almond butter, vanilla and honey or brown rice syrup.  Mix in rice crispies and stir.  Cool in fridge for 20 minutes and cut up into desired pieces. 

On the Right we have No Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies:
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup chocolate chips (I use vegan chips)
1 banana
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cocoa

Melt chocolate chips. Mash in banana and stir well.  Stir in vanilla, cocoa and oats.  Shape into desired cookie size and freeze for 30 minutes. 

Both are super easy and delicious!  Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Cleaning in the New Year?

We tend to be concerned with what products and foods we put in our bodies but what about the products we surround ourselves by in our homes?  On a typical cleaning day in a typical Canadian home, levels of chemicals in the indoor air can be hundreds, even thousands of times higher than the outdoor air in the most polluted of cities.  Our families are breathing in dozens of chemicals mixed together that have negative effects on our bodies, especially when you think of little ones with allergies and asthma! 

Here are a few examples of what is found in chemical solutions;
Acetone - A neurotoxin, acetone may cause liver and kidney damage, and damage a developing fetus.  It is a skin and eye irritant.  Found in spot treatment cleaners and mark and scuff removers.
Aerosol products- Aerosol propellants  contain propane, formaldehyde, a carcinogen, neurotoxin and central nervous system depressant, methylene chloride, a carcinogen,  neurotoxin and reproductive toxin, and nitrous oxide . Products applied with aeresol sprays are broken into minute particles, which can be more deeply inhaled than larger particles, which may increase their toxic effect.
Parabens - Parabens are hormone disruptors. Used in cleaning products as preservatives, paraben is usually preceded by the prefixes methyl-, ethyl-, butyl-, or propyl. 
Bleach- The main ingredient in chlorine bleach is sodium hypochlorite (chlorine added to lye). Chlorine is toxis as a skin irritant, and by inhalation.  Workplace safety sheets warm that sodium hypochlorite may be a neurotoxin and cause liver damage.

Alternatives!!  There are several natural options out there.  The first would be making your own solutions with common household products like vinegar, lemon and baking soda (some recipes below).  There are also plenty of “greener” alternatives now widely available from manufacturers like Citra-Solv (my fav!), Ecover, Mrs. Meyers, and Seventh Generation, among many others.  They work well, leave your home smelling fresh, are environmentally friendly and do not emit toxic particles into our air.

Home Solutions: 
All-Purpose Cleaner: Mix 1/2 cup vinegar and 1/4 cup baking soda (or 2 teaspoons borax) into 1/2 gallon (2 liters) water. Store and keep. Use for removal of water deposit stains on shower stall panels, bathroom chrome fixtures, windows, bathroom mirrors, etc.
Chopping block cleaner: Rub a slice of lemon across a chopping block to disinfect the surface. For tougher stains, squeeze some of the lemon juice onto the spot and let sit for 10 minutes, then wipe.
Oven Cleaner: Moisten oven surfaces with sponge and water. Use 3/4cup baking soda, 1/4cup salt and 1/4cup water to make a thick paste, and spread throughout oven interior. (avoid bare metal and any openings) Let sit overnight. Remove with spatula and wipe clean.
Toilet Bowl Cleaner: Mix 1/4 cup baking soda and 1 cup vinegar, pour into basin and let it set for a few minutes. Scrub with brush and rinse.