2014 What’s New and what’s not

To be honest there is not alot NEW in the area of Healthier Living. The conversations about what’s healthy and what’s not are still happening with little change really being made. We are creatures of habit and change is hard but not impossible. It won’t happen overnight just like whatever health challenge you are facing didn’t happen overnight. Too much stress, too little exercise and years of not really thinking about what we are putting into our bodies and of those we love won’t change overnight.

We are more than a week into 2014 and if you’ve resolved to do something about living healthier don’t give up. What’s not new is that we need to GET MOVING. Our bodies were built to move! 150 minutes per week, 30 minutes 5 times per week for adults and 60 minutes per day for kids over the age of five is the bare minimum. According to Statistics Canada released in 2013, only 15% of adults and 6% of children meet these targets! Try something new like snowshoeing. It is aerobic and fun.


We need to EAT MORE LEAFY GREENS. If you aren’t eating them now this is one food that boosts the nutrient density of your diet. Try something new: kale, collards, swiss chard, romaine lettuce, bok choy. Kale is one of the most nutrient dense foods in the supermarket. It is loaded with vitamins A, C and K.  I swap out spinach for kale in soups, stir-frys and even pasta dishes. Try this new recipe:


Drizzle of olive oil for cooking

1 onion, chopped

3-5 garlic cloves, minced

28 oz can diced tomatoes

2 cup cooked white beans or 19oz can, rinsed and drained

5.5 oz can tomato paste

1/4 cup pesto (optional)

3 cups whole wheat or brown rice penne or rotini pasta

2-3 large kale leaves, washed, torn away from middle tough stem and cut into ribbons

1/2 cup shredded soy mozzarella cheese or sheep’s milk white sharp cheese

1/4 cup grated romano cheese

Fresh torn basil leaves

In a large pan, heat the oil and saute the onion and garlic for a few minutes until soft. Add the tomatoes, beans and tomato paste and simmer for 10 minutes, until the sauce thickens. Stir in the pesto if using.

Cook the pasta until al dente, drain reserving 1/4-1/2 cup cooking liquid. Toss with kale, beans & mozzarella in a large bowl. Stir in hot tomato sauce which will slightly wilt the kale. Pour into a large baking dish or 2 if needed and sprinkle with grated romano. Season with fresh ground pepper.  You can cover and refridgerate overnight, freeze or bake now at 350 for about 30 minutes until bubbly and golden. Garnish with torn basil leaves.

Serve with a side dish vegetable like steamed carrots or broccolini and a salad.



Are you motivated yet?….

I finally gave in to the pressure over a month ago and got an Iphone. Some of you I am sure will roll your eyes and simply say “it’s about time. …what were you waiting for?”. I was holding back because I just didn’t think I needed to be connected ALL THE TIME. I much prefer face to face or at least voice to voice communication than reading it and I still do. There is so much missing in a text or in an email or even on a blog.

But… there are simply some things that I really appreciate about my new phone.
1) My grocery list. So many times I started a list and it went missing or I forgot it at home or I dropped it along the way.

2) My girls respond to my texts.

3) My daytimer. It is now all in one place, with alerts that remind me.

4) My new app..RUNKEEPER!

I have been keeping an exercise journal for 3 years now. Just a simple Excel spreadsheet where I have put the date, the activity and how many minutes I exercised. This is a great motivator for me. I like to look back to see what I have done, if I have been consistent and how often we rode on which trail.

“RUNKEEPER “ is free and it not only tracks running, but walking, cycling both road and mountain, cross-country skiing and probably others that I can’t think of right now.  It is a GPS program that tracks where I have gone, for how long and my pace. It maps out the route showing elevation changes and it is so fun to compare my progress. I can’t wait to get out there and do my next run just to see if I can beat my last time!

It’s been an interesting week. I sat down with 7 people to specifically talk about lifestyle, and it’s impact on health.  Only 1 out of the 7 did anywhere close to the recommended amount of weekly exercise. I was shocked. I guess I didn’t really believe the statistics that I heard during last week’s lecture.  We have become so accustomed to the conveniences of everyday life that we just don’t need to move. The thought of exercising for the sake of exercising even seemed appalling to some. “Why?” they asked. To think that it could even be enjoyable or fun was out of the question. It was work and they have worked long and hard enough. These folks were all over the age of 60,  with a possible 30 years to go,.   I don’t know about you but I want to be active, independent and have a reason to get up every morning in the last third of my life. If we don’t start moving now, it will not get any easier.

So, what motivates you? What will it take to get you moving? Join a Gym. Recruit some friends and start something together.  No one likes to let down their friends. Start a journal or sign up for an APP. Stop making  excuses. There will never be enough time!

We were made to move. YOU NEED TO MOVE 30 MINUTES A DAY 5 DAYS A WEEK. Find something that you like,  set a goal and start today:)

I know I am repeating myself just in case you were wondering.

I am running for my life..

Not literally but after attending the Mini-Med series lecture titled “Run for your life” put on by the University of British Columbia- Okanagan, I will continue to “run”. Ladies, we must move. The statistics, whether you like it or not, are there. The studies continue to show that our bodies were made to move. What’s the minimum you ask? 150 minutes per week. I can hear some of you groaning already. Dread overwhelming you. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be all at once. Even 10 minutes 3 times a day. But the message was clear. It does not matter what you do, brisk walking, biking, hiking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing or downhill, tennis or swimming.


This is one time when more just might be better. You cannot exercise too much. It is all about preventing disease. Heart Disease, Diabetes, Obesity, some cancers, stroke and Alzheimer’s.

Menopausal symptoms can be reduced and possibly eliminated. Menopause is not a disease. It is a phase of life.


Exercise is better than medicine.

Do something that is fun. Do it with your husband, your kids, your friends.



“Run for your life”!

Salt, Sugar, and Fat….

The perfect combination to keep us eating all the wrong foods. The food industry spends a lot of time and a lot more money to study exactly what ratio of each will keep us buying and eating their food or “food like substances”. Click on the link below for more details.


I know you have heard this all before but you really need to read the labels. Anything with “quick” or “instant” or ingredient lists with words that you cannot pronounce or have more  than 3 items should not be permitted in our houses.  Feeding ourselves and our families should be one of the most important things we do. I have met so many people that think that high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and Alzheimers’ disease are all just the normal progression of aging or “it’s in my family”.

These are all preventable diseases. You do not have to spend the last 30 years of your life taking handfuls of pills. What you eat matters and it  matters now. You know what you need to do.  You have all heard it before.  Keep the processed food out of your house and you and your whole family will be less tempted. Eat more meals at home more often. Plan your meals.

How much exercise you get also matters. If you haven’t read this book yet, I highly recommend it. One is written with women in mind and one for men. A little motivation can go a long way. Only 21 days to form a new habit, start today:)

ynybook ynywomen[1]

Heart felt gratitude..

In keeping with my last post on the theme of gratitude…thankfulness,  and a new year’s resolve to be more thankful you really have to watch this inspirational clip.


And… Winter adds a whole new challenge to staying active, especially this year where here in Kelowna we have had alot of snow.  We have been getting outdoors often this winter hiking and snowshoeing. It has been amazing.  The photo is from the top our latest hike, lots of snow, blowing and cold but a spectacular view (depending on how you look at it) It might look grey to some but through a “thankfulness” lens,  I am in awe of the beauty of winter, even the white and the grey that dominates the landscape. It was hard work, uphill for a good hour or more with good friends to chat with along the way.

I hope you are all finding ways to stay active this winter. If not, I would encourage you to start something. Get outside if you can. There is something incredibly peaceful about spending time in nature.

Next post: What about juicing?