Easy, Delicious and Nutritious Pesto Recipe

Summer produce is the best! By now, we all know that you can never get too many dark, leafy greens into your diet, and the summer gives us so many easy options and ideas. The farmers markets are overflowing with kale, spinach, swiss chard, so there is no excuse to go a day without them.

Tips To Increase Your Greens Intake

Some of my favourite tips to entice the people in my practice to get more greens in are:

  • Chop and prep your greens after you get them. You’ll find it easier to add them to a salad, stir fry throw them into a smoothie or add them to a sandwich if they are ready to go
  • Use big leaf greens as a wrap instead of bread with your next ‘sandwich’.
  • Make Pesto! It’s so easy, and with no extra preservatives, colours or artificial flavours, it’s better for you too!

My Go-To Pesto Recipe

  • 2 cup kale, spinach or swiss chard
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 cup oregano or basil
  • 1/4cup walnuts, sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds
  • 1/3-1/2 cup cold pressed olive oil (We used Tuscan Herb from the Collingwood Olive Oil Company)
  • 1/4 salt

Place all ingredients in food processor and chop on low setting. Once finely chopped, add in 1/3 cup olive oil while the processor is running. Transfer to glass jar and store in refrigerator or freezer. Notice unlike traditional pesto recipes, this one does not contain any parmesan cheese. It can be added, but is not necessary, making this version a great option for vegans.

You’ll notice the recipe guidelines are a little vague, that’s because it’s a versatile recipe and one you can modify depending on what is available seasonally at your market or in your own garden! Pesto can also be very smooth or slightly chunky, depending on how you are going to use it and your own preferences.

Used on pasta, sandwiches, or as a condiment in countless ways, pesto is a wonderful way to add a savoury dose of more greens into your diet! It also freezes well and will give you a little bit of summertime freshness in the fall or winter months.

Smoothies: Nutritious and Delicious!

When made with wholesome ingredients, smoothies boost your body with nutrients while also offering hydration.

Smoothies are a great way to start your day, or to simply add more nutrition throughout it – especially if you are always on the go.

Kids love smoothies too! Freeze them in popsicle molds for a cool treat that is full of many more nutrients than commercially made versions.

As with any recipe, there is always room for individual creativity. Proportions can easily be modified to suit your taste and texture preferences. For all these combinations, start with adding 1 cup of liquid (water is best but diluted juices work too). If you like your smoothies thick, add less fluid, for a more liquid consistency add more.

Adding protein powders or other supplements can offer additional benefits, but remember, supplements supplement – they don’t replace! Choosing only the goodness in these fruits and vegetables is a great place to start.

These are some of the favourite smoothie combinations from within the practice and within my own home. Give them a try and share your favorites too!

Kickstart

  • 1 Banana + 1 Avocado + 5 Strawberries + 1 Carrot + Pineapple Juice
  • Morning Sunrise
  • 1 Banana + ½ Mango + orange juice
  • Strawberry-Banana-Romaine
  • 1 cup strawberries + 2 large romaine leaves + 2 bananas

Pear – Mint – Kale

  • Sprig of fresh mint
  • 1 pear
  • 2-3 kale leaves

Parsley Citrus

  • handful of fresh parsley
  • 1 orange
  • 1 banana

Red Devil

  • 2 cups watermelon
  • 1/2 cup raspberries

Chocolate Monkey

  • 1 banana
  • 1 tsp of cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp of honey

*this one works best with almond, coconut or rice milk

Natural Summer Hacks: Bug Bites, Burns and Bruises

It is officially SUMMER, and I couldn’t be happier. I love the sunshine, relaxed schedule, outdoor living and so many sports and hobbies. But with the fun and sun, comes the inevitable pesky parts of the season. With a little planning ahead you can set yourself up for success while taking the natural approach.

Sun Safety

Natural sunlight is essential for good health, time in the sun is a question of balance. Daily moderate exposure enables the body to produce vitamin D and make melanin (our body’s natural sunscreen). However, overexposure causes damage to the skin, accelerates aging, suppresses the immune system, and can lead to cancers. Children are much more sensitive than adults so taking some precautions is wise. Use hats, and cover the skin with clothing when possible. Seek out the shade and balance time out in the sun with breaks indoors. This also helps prevent heat exhaustion and dehydration. If you are choosing to use sunscreen, be mindful of the toxic chemicals in many sunscreens that can be worse for the body than sun exposure! Check out this resource for a list you can shop with.

Bites and Stings

Stings from a bee or wasp are not usually dangerous unless you suffer from an allergy, but they should always be treated immediately nonetheless. Apply a paste of baking soda and water to a bee sting to relieve pain; make a compress from a pad of cotton soaked in lemon juice and apply to a wasp sting.

*Multiple stings, or stings to the eyes, ears or mouth should be treated in the hospital.*

Mosquitos

Avoid bug repellents that contain DEET which is effective for repelling insects but also extremely hazardous to your health. Instead, prevent insect bites by diluting a few drops (or combination of) any of the following essential oils: eucalyptus, citronella, peppermint, rosemary, clove, citronella or lemongrass in half a mug of water, gently apply to exposed areas avoiding the eyes and mouth. Experiment and find a scent that you like, place in a spray bottle and keep on hand for easy access when enjoying the outdoors. Cider vinegar can be used the same way and the smell evaporates as soon as it dries.

Cuts & Bruises

So common in childhood, but also with active grown-ups, or random accidents! If there is extensive bleeding, or any other unusual symptoms such as dizziness, shortness of breath, or a head of injury, take your child to the hospital for emergency treatment. Carefully clean the area and than apply a clean cloth soaked in witch hazel or a cold compress and some TLC! Arnica cream is also useful for soreness.

First Aid Remedies

Check out this post to find out what I keep in our summer adventure first aid kit!

Heading to the Golf Course? Support Your Spine While You’re Golfing

Golf is a great sport for many reasons. The mental challenge, time outdoors, social connection, stress reduction and physical activity all support the body and mind in so many ways. However, given the nature of the golf swing, it can also be highly demanding on the spine and joints and trigger nasty problems in the back. The good news is there are ways to support your body, minimize injuries and even play a better game!

Consider these tips:

Be Careful When Handling Your Golf Bag

Choose a portable hand-pull cart and alternate sides when carrying your golf bag or pulling the cart. Use proper lifting techniques when moving your golf bag. Avoid twisting, and instead use strength of your legs, hips, arms, and core muscles.

Walk the Course

It’s a simple way to dramatically improve your fitness level and strengthen your bones. Walking elevates aerobic activity, increases stamina, and boosts immunity.

Warm-Up!

Jolting stiff muscles into action can trigger muscle strain and spinal misalignments. Golfers who stretch and warm-up before playing typically demonstrate greater swing flexibility, muscle endurance, and report fewer aches and pains while playing.

Improve your Posture

There is good reason 70-75% of the athletes who tour with the PGA are under regular Chiropractic care to both prevent injuries and optimize their performance. Healthy posture and spinal movement benefits your entire body, but it can particularly offer tremendous advantages when playing golf. A healthy spine moves properly, which minimizes tissue damage, degeneration, and muscle imbalances that can lead to injury. The neurological benefits of spinal adjustments have also be shown to enhance mental clarity, induce a more relaxed state, and quicken reaction time and agility.

and don’t forget…BETTER HEALTH MEANS BETTER GOLF!

Fuel Wisely:

Junk food makes junk parts! Think about what your are putting in your body on a regular basis. Avoid processed and packaged foods. Shop the perimeter of the grocery store, and choose fresh, whole foods. Try new foods, eat in season, and vary the nutrients into your body. Stay hydrated.

Move It:

Exercise improves your body in every possible way! Strive do some type of physical activity everyday. Vary activities to develop muscle strength, endurance, flexibility and cardiovascular stamina. Cross-training helps target all muscle groups, and reduces risk of injury.

Sleep:

The time when your body repairs and rebuilds itself! Strive for minimum of 7 hours. Avoid prolonged periods of sleep-deprivation due to work or leisure.

Get Connected:

Social stimulation and good relationships support our health. People with friends tend to live better and even longer.Laughter is “the most inexpensive and most effective wonder drug”. A good laugh suppresses stress hormones, boosts your immune system, and reduces inflammation.

Align Yourself:

Optimal Spine = Optimal Health. Spinal misalignments cause joint degeneration, muscle imbalance, pain, weakness, and neurological symptoms. Structure determines function, and poor spinal health weakens the function of all body systems.

Keep your spine healthy with Chiropractic care!

Taking Care of Your Spine While Gardening

Are you a gardener? I am not, but I do appreciate the efforts and results of others!

Working outdoors in your garden and yard is a great form of physical activity, even better if it’s something you are passionate about.

To protect your body and avoid injury, consider some of these tips when stepping out to get your garden started this season:

Keep Your Posture In Mind

While mowing the lawn, keep your head up and stand directly behind the mower so you can keep your hips and shoulders in line with your spine. Push the mower uphill rather than pulling. Always use both hands rather pushing or twisting with one.

Get Down Before You Get Dirty

When working in the dirt, crouch down, sit on a stool, or squat instead of bending at the waist which can strain the joints in the low back. Bend your knees when lifting anything so that you can use the strength of your legs.

Lift Carefully

Keep yard waste bags close to your body while lifting them. Hold a rake with one hand at shoulder height, one hand at waist level and walk or drag the pile. Most importantly, vary your tasks and take breaks when necessary.

Keep Moving

Avoid staying in prolonged postures involving the lower back and neck.

Injury Prevention Works

Your best bet for protecting your back? Consider Chiropractic care!

Waiting until symptoms appear before taking care of your body often can make the problems worse, ultimately causing them to take longer to heal. Chiropractors assess your posture and spinal joints to ensure they are moving properly and that your body is physically balanced. The results people experience from regular spinal care are profound, and the increases in their quality of life measurable.

Find a Chiropractor who fits your needs and will work with your other health professionals to keep you feeling and functioning your best.

Episode 32: Three Simple Ways to Improve Your Sleep

If there is one thing that all healthcare practitioners can agree on, it’s that high quality sleep is absolutely critical for good health. If we were as diligent about recharging our cell phone batteries as we are about recharging our body batteries we’d be in great shape! Check out today’s episode for some ideas on how to improve the quality of your sleep and your overall health as a result.

Hungry for more? Check out the rest of the Adjust Your Life Podcast episodes!
If you’re more of a reader than a listener, you may prefer checking out some blog posts.
If you love conversation, reach out here, I’d love to hear from you!

Focus On What You CAN Control

I’ve spoken with so many people recently, who are frustrated with the number of things that are beyond our control right now. The changes that have been forced on our lifestyle by this virus and everything it’s brought with it, can be disheartening and bring up feelings of sadness and confusion.

I’m not immune to those feelings. One small solution that helps me when I’m starting to feel that overwhelm rise up in my chest, is to focus on what I can control.

You can choose to take care of yourself.
Go for a walk, eat yummy healthy foods, meditate, read a book or get into bed on time.

You can choose to connect with your loved ones.
Sure, nothing beats a hug, but texting, calling and Zoom-ing (I love that Zoom is a verb now) can satisfy that deep need we all have for connection.

You can choose to focus on the good.
If you look into the future focused on uncertainties, your future doesn’t look that great. But when you focus on the things that you have, that you are grateful for – your future looks bright and like it’s to be grateful for. Focus on the good vibes out there, and you’ll bring them into your life.

When you claim your power over your daily choices, it gives your mind a sense of control. And that sense of control is the antidote to all of the overwhelming feelings that start to rise up from this situation. 

Focusing on the things that you can control, rather than the things that are beyond our control,  will lower your stress and cortisol levels, take us out of the flight or fight response, and contribute to the optimization of your health. It will support your emotional wellbeing, and we need that right now.

If you’re feeling like you’re in need of an adjustment, I am able to see people by appointment at my discretion. You can book a call with me here

One of the things I miss most about practice is the 15 minutes we spend talking with each adjustment. Catching up with you, talking about things like food, exercise and  health. So if you feel like you need those 15 minutes without the adjustment, book a call and we’ll have one. Or you can always reach out on Facebook.

Hang in there. There will be lots of light at the end of this tunnel. Keep your eye on it.

Episode 31: Should You Try Fasting? Here’s Why I Love It

Fasting is known to be a healing intervention for a number of chronic and degenerative health challenges, but it also has tremendous benefits when you are healthy and well and want to stay that way for a long time. By consistently adding fasting into your life you will support your digestive system, improve the function of your immune system, help your body get back to it’s natural size and shape, and even slow down the aging process.

There is a ton or research and resources about fasting, but the simplest thing for you to understand with fasting is this:

When you limit the energy required for digestion within your body, it frees up energy to focus on healing and repair.

When you do this consistently the effects of this are cumulative!

Hungry for more? Check out the rest of the Adjust Your Life Podcast episodes!
If you’re more of a reader than a listener, you may prefer checking out some blog posts!
If you love conversation, reach out here, I’d love to hear from you!

Don’t Rush It! Why Babies Need to Crawl Before They Walk

So often parents, grandparents, are so excited to see the young ones start taking their first steps, but as a Chiropractor concerned with healthy motor development, I have a simple reminder…let’s not rush this process!

There is a reason for every developmental stage in the human body – the body is not dumb, and there are no mistakes! The body has an amazing innate intelligence that governs and directs all functions in the body, this belief is at the core of chiropractic.

There is a very sequential order to the development of infant motor patterns. There is a reason infants don’t come out and start walking, and why they need to sit before they crawl or stand. We need to respect this process, and not force it. If development not progressing the way it naturally should be, we then need to look for the potential causes, find them, and restore balance so development can continue.

A healthy adult spine has 4 curves, but only two are present at birth: the thoracic (mid back) and sacral (tailbone – which at birth is not actually yet 1 bone but 4 separate pieces until it matures). Curves in the spine are essential because they help us stay flexible and balanced, and help absorb stress through gravity and daily activity. Curves in the spine develop as an adaptation to gravity – and this is a crucial step in how muscles develop the strength necessary for stability. An infant develops the curve in their neck when they begin to lift and support their head, and the curve in their low back when they sit. This happens during the first 6 months. Once infants can sit independently they have gained substantial strength in their torso, and their next step is to start to pull themselves up and develop strength in their hips and legs….this is the natural order, the way the body was designed to mature.

Placing infants in an upright position before they have reached this milestone can lead to instability within the spine and hip joints, and it’s the main reason the majority of Pediatric Chiropractors do not recommend infants be placed in jolly jumpers prior to this developmental stage, if at all. The premature stress they place on the hip joint can lead to problems in the spine and nervous system later in life – many of which we see in our practices and need to correct!

Children grow up far too quickly as it is – be patient with their development, don’t compare them to other children, and let their body do what it does naturally on its own, in its own time.

Episode 30: Homeschooling Your Children During Covid-19? Consider These Tips

Struggling with schooling your children while they are at home? I took the opportunity to sit down with a local mom of 4 who’s been homeschooling for the past 10 years and we had a great discussion.

She sheds her insights on what she’s learned over the years and shares her mindset tips about:

  • Getting clear on your values as a family and letting that be the starting point
  • Getting children involved in what they want to learn
  • Creating a daily rhythm that suits your family life
  • Sharing resources with others in your community
  • Taking care of yourself as a parent!

Enjoy!

Hungry for more? Check out the rest of the Adjust Your Life Podcast episodes!
If you’re more of a reader than a listener, you may prefer checking out some blog posts!
If you love conversation, reach out here, I’d love to hear from you!