Make Healthy Eating Easier! 5 ways organic grocery delivery can support your health goals.

If you love food and want to eat better but you less than love fighting your way through grocery aisles and checkouts, perhaps organic groceries delivered to a central community location or your home or office door is the solution for you.

1. Convenient

For me, the convenience factor is highly underrated and understated. So let me state it. I am exactly that person described in the opening paragraph. Fortunately, here in Vancouver, we have an exceptional delivery service program called SPUD. All of the fresh produce, grass-fed/pastured meats, dry goods, health food products, and household products a clean food lover and busy grocery store hater could ever dream of. And they’re (mostly) all organic. Wanna save some money while you’re at it? If you check out SPUD’s website, have the service available in your area, and like what you see, please use my referral code CRVAN-CARLEE to score $20 off your first order of $50 or more! Plus save yourself the time and the gas/footsteps/fancy bike maneuvers and do something else with those newly earned time and resource savings. Like learning to play the accordion. Or calling your mom.

2. Organic

Some grocery services offer strictly local organic produce, which is super fresh and sustainable during the growing season in a given area. And some grocery services offer more variety and consistency by expanding the geographical area of their produce suppliers to provide greater options all year round. Either way, in both of these organic scenarios, you’re getting clean food and avoiding some serious pesticide residues when you choose organic foods. And just like any consumer has the power to vote with their wallet and send an important message when they purchase things, buying organic food sends a strong message to the food industry that clean food is in demand.

3. Seasonal

When you’re short on time to plan, preset boxes are easy on the weeks that don’t have enough hours. Many organic food delivery services have pre-determined boxes for the week, based on the season and availability of foods. And many services will let you know in advance what you’ll be receiving so that you can go on planning the rest of your grocery needs for the week. Eating seasonally helps to ensure you get the freshest local foods that are designed by nature to be best suited for our bodies at different times of the year.

4. It’s a food adventure

There were times when I subscribed to a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) delivery program and the boxes were a surprise every week. This is a great adventure if you are an open-minded food enthusiast. I learned a lot about different healthy foods that I had never seen or heard of before, such as garlic scapes, different root vegetables, and different types of leafy greens. Many great delivery services will also include a bit of literature or recipes in the boxes that contain veggies that are not-so-common and may be new to some folks. If they don’t, ask! They may have a real gem of a recipe for you to try. Or ask our dear friend google (link to google).

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(These are garlic scapes. They’re the tops of the garlic plant and taste just like garlic. They make an excellent pesto or substitute to any recipe calling for garlic.)

5. Local

We’ve already gone over the benefits of eating locally and seasonally. Shopping locally can be of equal economic importance to our farmers and retail businesses close-by. Without our dollars, they fail. Supporting local farmers can greatly reduce our carbon footprint and ensure that we have clean, fresh, healthy food nearby. Access to good food is a sure sign of a community’s success.

Hope y’all will take a second to find an organic grocery delivery service in your area and consider all of its benefits! And remember, if you are interested in signing up with SPUD, save on your first order by using my referral code CRVAN-CARLEE!

Thanks for stopping by and happy clean eating!

xo

How to Feed a Cold. The Four “S”s.

When there is a cold virus going around and spreading like wildfire, sometimes even the toughest of us fall victim to the kleenex box tether. Here are some of my favourite tips to help support immunity and get back to normal in good time.

1. Soup.

Even when I’m not feeling yucky, but especially when I am, nothing beats traditional home made chicken soup. Onions, garlic, herbs, broth, veggies, and protein can definitely support your immune system and give it a little boost. The hydration from the broth is also very key. Hydration is important when you’re trying to get back up and at ’em from a cold.

To prepare the soup, let the crock-pot be your nurse/chef.

I use:

1 whole organic, free-run chicken
2 cups of water
1 large onion (more if you’re into it, I recommend being into it), diced
1 clove of garlic (same rule as onions), crushed
2 small potatoes, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 stalk of celery, chopped
1 tbsp of fresh parlsey, chopped
2 tsp of salt
1 tsp of ground black pepper
1/2 tsp of dried thyme
1/2 tsp of sagechicken soup!

Optional (also, recommended):

Bits of hearty leafy greens like kale, cabbage, or bok choi.

Combine all of the above ingredients together in a crock-pot and allow to simmer on low for 8-10 hours. This is best done when you start to feel that tickle in your throat so it’s important to get on top of those developing symptoms ASAP. Once the chicken is thoroughly cooked, removed the chicken from the crock-pot and get it all cleaned up and separated. I like to keep the dark meat and some of the white meat for the soup and end up setting aside most of the white meat for other meals. Add a cup of water to the chicken base that is in the crock pot, add your soup meat, and voilà. Chicken soup.

If chicken ain’t your thang, any warm homemade soup with some garlic, onion, spices, veggies, protein, and healthy fats (like coconut oil) would likely do.

2. Sleep.

Sleep supports the immune system and your body will likely let you know that it would like more of it at the onset and throughout a cold. Try to get as much of it. Even resting your body and calming your mind will do wonders at this time.

3. Supplements.

Keep supporting your digestion with digestive bitters and/or enzymes at this time. Any energy the body can save from being used for digestion can be used for immune function.

Probiotics are important for supporting the beneficial bacteria in the intestinal tract and keeping the immune system fighting strong. They help the mucosal functions of the immune system running smoothly and contribute to the production of antibodies to pathogens. (Better late than never!)

There is also a tea that I rely on for relieving nasal congestion when it’s at its worst. It’s Traditional Medicinals Breathe Easy. This stuff is just incredible and works almost immediately. I recommend keeping some on-hand at all times throughout the viral battle royale and keep sipping it back. Be sure to steep it according to directions for maximum effect. If all else fails and you can’t find this magic tea, drinking a lot of decaffeinated tea will also support hydration and help with the next step.

4. Sweat.

There are 2 ways of doing this.

Sweat can be induced to support the lymphatic system either by consuming warm beverages and keeping warm when you’re at the lowest of the low and feeling too tuckered to get out of bed or leave the house.

Or…

If you’re feeling a little motivated, bundling up and going for a short walk can move your lymphatic system and in turn, help your immune system fight the good fight. Just make sure that whatever exercise you choose, don’t overdo it at this time. Any excessive stress perceived by the body runs the risk of lowering immune function. You will have to listen to your body and choose which option will suit you best.

In all cases, rehydrate like crazy. Water with lemon and chlorella (an amazing green food, see an article I wrote about it and other sea vegetables here) and decaffeinated tea are your best bet.

As always, this post is in no way a substitute for medical intervention. Use your best judgement. If you feel like you need to see the doctor, please do so as soon as possible.

All the best with staying strong and successfully surviving the onslaught of germs!

xo

Lee-Ann

DIY Taco Seasoning Mix.

Let’s taco ’bout spicing up some beef. Or beans. Whatever makes you feel good inside. The original recipe I adapted from is here.

The inspiration to find (and tweak) a good taco seasoning mix recipe came when I was really craving tacos and realized that there are a ton of not-so-nice things in the store-bought mixes (MSG, anti-caking agent(?), a boatload of sodium…).

I find it easiest to make a triple or quadruple batch of the mix and store it in a jar. Super handy when it comes to taco time. The typical amount I use per pound of ground beef is about 2-3 heaping tablespoons. Cook the beef first, add about 3/4 to 1 cup of water and the mix and stir and cook over medium-low heat until the mixture is mostly absorbed and a little saucy. Really, the only difference between my recipe and the original recipe is that I reduced the salt and provided instructions. It’s the little things sometimes.

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1 tablespoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

May all of your tacos be beautiful, spicy, and delicious! At least delicious.
xo

Q+A Tuesday: Veganism?

Happy Q+A Tuesday! A question many people have asked themselves or discussed with others from either side of the spectrum.

Q: “Hey! Curious what your thoughts are on veganism. Saw that documentary ‘Vegucated’ and I’m curious about how challenging it would be to meet nutritional needs on a vegan diet.” –Lissa C. in Winnipeg, MB

A: Hey Lissa! I did see Vegucated and I found it to be good but  ridiculous at times, especially at points where the filmmaker tried to convince the participants to become vegan by luring them with fake bacon and Teddy Grahams. This is what is called “junk food veganism” because sadly, although tasty, there are no redeeming nutritional qualities to those foods. That being said, I think incorporating more whole plant-based foods is always a great idea because many North Americans don’t eat enough of them, where instead we eat a lot of poor quality meat, and plant-based foods are some of the most nutrient-dense foods available. As with many diets, eating vegan warrants a bit of planning to ensure adequate intake of all nutrients, especially protein, iron, B-vitamins, and omega-3 essential fats. Combining any two or more legumes, leafy greens, whole grains, nuts, and seeds gives a complete amino acid profile for protein intake. I would still recommend taking a B-complex and iron supplement daily as an insurance against deficiency. I really feel strongly about the benefits of a (at least mostly) dairy-free diet but feel as though some people will benefit from a small amount of meat in their diet to ensure adequate protein, iron, B-vitamins, and omega-3s in the diet. Of course there are great plant sources of these nutrients but they may be hard for some to break down and assimilate properly due to digestive dysfunction, which is something that can be addressed with a Registered Holistic Nutritionist.

[And now for my soapbox moment…]

As for the moral reasons for not eating meat, I really feel that veganism exacerbates dependence on the petroleum industry to produce and transport both vegan-friendly foods and apparel products, which in the end is not friendly to all kingdoms of life on our planet, including us humans. I feel that producing processed vegan foods (eg. non-organic soy, tofu, fake bacon, or facon, and all the other processed non-meat alternatives, etc.) and petroleum or plastic based alternatives to leather hide products gets us no further ahead with environmental issues as does factory farming. I think they are about parallel in my esteem. I know of some amazing conscientious farmers who graze, pasture, and raise their livestock to live a life as close to that in the wild including the absence of drug or hormone use. And yes, inevitably, the time comes when those animals enter the human food chain, but it’s no where near as large scale and disgusting as factory farming. The reality is that many of us would not be here today had it not been for our ancestors’ consumption of meat. And I think that the point we’ve been missing and that has been lost for generations now is the honouring of the life of the animal and the recognition and respect for the role it plays in the cycle and sustenance of life. But by all means, everyone has their convictions. And I say if you are interested in veganism, try it for a month or so and see how you feel. Get your bloodwork done yearly to check against deficiencies. Not to say that meat eaters are never nutrient deficient, however, there are key reasons for deficiencies which can be addressed on an individual basis with a nutritionist. Everyone is different. Remember… Seven billion diets for 7 billion people on this planet. This is just one nutrition lady’s point-of-view.

Thanks for reading with us on this Q+A Tuesday! Keep sending in your questions.:)

Q+A Tuesday: Matcha Green Tea.

Happy Q+A Tuesday! Let’s matcha you up with some good stuff today.

Q: “Tell me how you feel about matcha.” –T.B. in London, ON

A: I think it’s great! And let me tell you why.

First, matcha is the powder of green tea leaves. And many of us know the benefits of drinking steeped green tea leaves. So imagine the additional benefits you get from consuming the whole leaf. Awesome, right? Wait, there’s more.

Just in looking at the antioxidant value of matcha, it has more than 10 times the antioxidant content over blueberries and pomegranate. And this is based on a measurement system food scientists use called an ORAC (oxygen radical absorbance capacity) value. So if you’re foraging/shopping around for different types of high antioxidant foods, especially berries or greens (fresh or in powders), this is a good unit of measurement to be familiar with. To give you a general idea of what this means, matcha has an ORAC value of approximately 1,300 units per gram and blueberries have an antioxidant value of approximately 90 units per gram.

Because of the potent antioxidant content of matcha, it’s great for anyone in this day and age since everyone has some degree of exposure to free radicals. The body produces small amounts of free radicals as well as part of its metabolism, especially in athletes and those who exercise regularly, therefore making even higher nutrient-dense high antioxidant food choices especially important for this group of people. And for those who are dealing with lowered immunity or elevated toxicity (e.g. cancer), antioxidants, like the EGCg (epigallocatechin gallate), vitamin C, and vitamin A found in matcha green tea, help to support a healthy immune system.

If you’re looking for a memory, mood, and focus booster, another super awesome surprise bonus benefit to matcha powder is its L-Theanine content. L-Theanine is an amino acid that promotes concentration and a feeling of wellbeing. And if you’re wondering how a substance which also contains caffeine can be calming, I was stumped at first, too. It would seem that the interplay between the caffeine and the focus-inducing L-Theanine keep the nerves in check, however those sensitive to stimulants may want to use matcha with caution and in smaller amounts.

One of the most notable benefits some of you may have heard about recently are the fat burning and metabolism boosting benefits of green tea. And with detoxifying chlorophyll, matcha could certainly help to support a weight loss regimen.

The best places to buy matcha powder are from local health food stores or tea shops as they can speak to the quality of the matcha. If you’re dealing with me specifically at Ezentials, I’ll steer you toward an organic variety to even further the benefits of the powder by reducing your exposure to chemicals potentially used in producing the green tea leaves. There are varying levels of quality in green tea so be sure to ask for a high quality Japanese variety.

The best way to brew a cup of matcha is using hot (not boiling) water and a bamboo whisk to stir and dissolve the powder properly. It’s also a great addition to smoothies, greek yogurt, or hot whole grain cereals. The ways to incorporate it into meals are really limitless. Just make sure not to overcook or overheat it to preserve maximum nutrients.

Enjoy the versatile benefits of matcha green tea! The Japanese have for thousands of years.

Thanks for participating in another week of Q+A Tuesday! xo

Q+A Tuesday: Protein Sources for Toddler Smoothies

Happy Q+A Tuesday! With so many of my friends making darling rosy-cheeked babies these days, a question about what to feed them was bound to arrive.

Q: “Lee-Ann, my little guy loves smoothies right now and not much else… Is there like a protein powder that I could add to it that you know is safe for an 18 month old?” —Elyse R. in Sudbury

A: Infant and toddler nutrition should be very simple and basic. To satisfy protein requirements via smoothies for an 18-month-old, I’d recommend adding a tablespoon of very finely ground chia or flax powder (ground instead of whole to prevent choking hazard), a whole egg, or goat’s milk yogurt. If the toddler eats an adequate amount of whole grains (oats and rice), they’ll be consuming plant-based protein from those food sources as well. At 18 months, they should be consuming 1.2 g of protein per kilogram of body weight. And when trying to balance the child’s diet, aim for balance through a variety of whole foods over days rather than at each meal. Those little guys will eat what they need.

Thank you for participating in Q+A Tuesday! Remember to keep sending in your questions! See you next week!

Much love and wellness,

Lee-Ann

xo

Q+A Tuesday: Super Foods.

Hey everyone! Happy Q+A Tuesday. I am fresh off the yoga mat and ready to share this week’s super duper question.

Q: “So, these ‘super foods’ I keep reading about… Depending on where I look, they all vary. Are there certain super foods you recommend incorporating into ones diet daily/weekly???” ­­—Kevyn S. in Southampton

A: Hey Kevyn! This is an area that can get a little overwhelming, especially with a lot of different health professionals (whose name may rhyme with Dr. Shmoz) advocating this or that exotic super food or the supplemental version of a super food. Depending on a given person’s current diet, I would first recommend making some changes to incorporate more real whole foods into the diet rather than going out and spending a lot of money on super foods or supplements right away. To me, this is the approach that makes the most sense because it creates a long-term beneficial lifestyle habit rather than just patching up gaps in a person’s diet.

Super foods can be very simple and sustainable. Spinach, most leafy greens, herbs, and berries are a few that can be found locally depending on the season.

Others, like chlorella, have such a wide variety and great density of nutrients that taken in significant amounts daily can be used as a food-based multivitamin and mineral supplement.

Nutrient density doesn’t have to cost a lot of money or come from the other side of the globe. As long as people are choosing fresh, chemical-free foods, that’s a great place to start. The merits and benefits of super foods are very real but unless they have been recommended by a health professional for a specific therapeutic purpose, a normally healthy person would do just fine with a balanced diet that includes a variety of colourful vegetables and fruits. And keep in mind that with the nature of food sensitivities and unique individual metabolic needs, what could be a super food to one person could be toxic to another. Everyone is different! So if anyone is considering adding a new super food to their diet, pay close attention to your body for any reactions, whether beneficial or otherwise and always talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you’re currently taking any medications as some nutrients do interact with certain medications.

Thank you for participating in Q+A Tuesday! Remember to keep sending in your questions! See you next week!

Much love and wellness,

Lee-Ann

xo

Q+A Tuesday: Eating Gluten-Free Without Access to Specialty Food Stores.

Welcome to Q+A Tuesday! A super hot topic today: gluten-free nutrition.

Q: “Hey Lee-Ann, my son and I are currently being tested for celiac disease. Even if the test is negative, I’ve noticed a huge change for the better after eliminating gluten from both of our diets, so I plan on sticking with it. Any dietary advice? We now live in a very rural area (on a grain farm, ironically enough) so many of the ingredients in gluten-free recipes, I can’t get at my local grocery store.” —Victoria M. in (rural) Ottawa

A: Hey Victoria! Looks like you and your son have joined the many who are converting to a gluten-free lifestyle and reaping the benefits. That’s great! Our bodies are brilliant machines and they do let us know when something doesn’t agree, and sometimes that something isn’t always plainly obvious. But with the engineering of wheat occurring since the mid-1900s and the proliferation of wheat in our food system, it’s not surprising that our bodies are letting us know that perhaps other alternatives may be best.

This question really depends on which foods you regularly prepared using wheat flour. I personally like to work with people’s favourites and teach them ways to convert the recipe to a gluten-free recipe. But we’ll go over a few options that even folks living in rural areas with a limited grocery supply can enjoy so that we can get a general sense of gluten-free options if there are some who are considering making the change as well.

1. Aiming towards eating a paleolithic-style diet.
I don’t normally like to preach this or that diet because there are as many different dietary/nutritional needs on this planet as there people, but I’ll use the term “paleo” in this case for the general framework it implies, which is usually no grains, and a lot of veggies, nuts/seeds, some fruit, and some meat. What basically ends up happening on a paleo diet is that people start eating more low glycemic whole foods, blood sugar stabilizes, they’re eating more fruits and colourful vegetables instead of grains and thereby consuming more antioxidants, reducing inflammation, and gaining more energy. It’s a great way to learn to consume carbohydrates from vegetables and fruit rather than grains. And if you have the space, growing a few veggies is a great way to get the freshest and cleanest produce. For omnivores, soup broths or bases made from the bones of organically-raised and pastured animals make a super nourishing option to which veggies, bits of meat, herbs, and spices can easily be added to. Bone broth soups are inexpensive, versatile, and very nourishing. They can help restore balance to a gut that has been damaged by gluten sensitivity reactions.  (Google “red velvet beet cake/cupcakes” and “home made bone broths”.)

2. Experimenting with bean, nut, and alternative grain flours.
The internet is a great resource for alternative grain recipes and with more people being on board with a gluten-free lifestyle, the recipes keep getting better and more creative. Many people are beginning to use and prepare their own bean, nut, and gluten-free grain flours from home. You can make small batches using a coffee grinder. Whole beans, whole rice, and steel-cut oats can also be used. For example, rice pudding is not just for grandma. And if you need to use a dairy-free “milk” option to go with some of the preparations, almond milk can easily be made at home with just a few supplies. In terms of local alternatives to wheat grain, buckwheat is a gluten-free grain that may be available from farm co-op stores.  Talk to your farmers and find out if they grow organically. This also helps to raise awareness! (Google “black bean brownies”, “buckwheat pancakes”, and “home made almond milk”.)

Best of luck with your new changes and happy experimenting, Victoria! Making nutritional improvements is very rewarding, empowering, and is a great opportunity to reveal our creativity.

Thank you for participating in Q+A Tuesday! Remember to keep sending in your questions! See you next week!

Much love and wellness,

Lee-Ann
xo

Q+A Tuesday: Benefits of Coconut Oil.

Welcome to Q+A Tuesday! If you’re ready to get your spring and summer on, let the warm thoughts of coconut oil take you away…

Q: “Coconut oil: Is it really as good as all the hype claims it to be?” ­­—Aron B.

A: Good question, Aron! And yes it can be, depending on how the coconut oil was processed in the beginning and how and what it will be used for in the end.

First, Coconut oil contains a few key different types of saturated fatty acids: palmitic, caprylic, capric, and lauric acids. The last three make up 2/3 of the fat profile in coconut oil, which also happen to be the beneficial medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). Virgin, cold-pressed, unrefined coconut oil contains the most concentrated amounts of MCTs, and the MCTs are the fats that have primarily been linked with benefits to cardiovascular, intestinal, digestive, and cognitive health. These beneficial triglycerides require less digestive function to break down and absorb, plus they are not stored as fat but burned as energy, which is great news for athletes and people concerned about their fat intake. With regards to improving reduced cognitive function due to age, the MCTs aren’t used by the brain directly but converted into a ketone-like substance that can stand in for the decreased usage of glucose by the brain, such as in Alzheimer’s disease, which in some cases is now being referred to as Type III diabetes. Coconut oil can also help improve insulin usage by the body in general and support the usage of thyroid hormones, helping to maintain a balanced metabolism.

In terms of taking care of our outer layers, coconut oil has been used by many cultures as an all-natural skin moisturizer and hair treatment. The benefits to the skin and hair may also be fortified by the consumption of the oil itself.

Secondly, in terms of cooking oils, both refined and unrefined coconut oils offer unique benefits and versatility, especially through their different smoke points. If you wish to maximize the health benefits of consuming coconut oil, unrefined coconut oil will contain the most MCTs if used at a temperature of no more than 350°. With refined coconut oil, you lose the concentration of MCTs but gain significantly more slack with your smoke point and can cook with it up to temperatures of 450°, which makes it great for sautéing and as a plant-based substitute for butter, lard, or shortening in cooking. In addition, most refined coconut oils have had the coconut aroma neutralized if you’re not a big fan of the taste of coconut oil with all of your fried foods. But remember that with refining, you are also sacrificing some of the beneficial substances naturally occurring in coconut oil.

To choose the best coconut oil for you, be sure to read the label closely and choose refined or unrefined accordingly. And who says you can’t be armed and ready with both among your kitchen arsenal of healthy fats, right? And in terms of choosing between virgin and extra-virgin, there doesn’t seem to be much difference in the quality from what I’ve read, unlike olive oil.

So whether you’re spreading coconut oil on your toast or on your skin, it’s a great fat with many benefits and versatility. But as with everything, usage in moderation is your best bet.

Thank you for participating in Q+A Tuesday! Remember to keep sending in your questions! See you next week!

Much love and wellness,

Lee-Ann
xo

Q+A Tuesday: CIlantro and Digestion.

Our third week into Q+A Tuesday!

Q: “I started drinking cilantro tea (cilantro leaves steeped in boiled water, then strained to drink). It seems to help a lot with bloating. Is it me or does this really work? Are there other helpful benefits to drinking this?” ­­—Jenn from London, ON

A: Thank you for your question, Jenn! It’s definitely not your imagination that the cilantro has been helping your digestion. Cilantro is among the list of many herbs that aren’t just pretty plate garnishes but digestive tonics and helpers, too!

For those who are unfamiliar with cilantro, it is similar in appearance to parsley but has larger leaves. It is traditionally used in Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, and Latin American cuisine.

Cilantro leaves and its tea have been shown to provide relief from intestinal pain, gas, and bloating. It is also a helpful diuretic and can be used to clear up urinary tract infections. It contains antibacterial and antifungal properties, which help to  rebalance gut flora in cases of dysbiosis or candida infections. Cilantro has also been researched for its unique compound called dodecenal, which laboratory testing has discovered is twice as effective as gentamicin for eliminating Salmonella bacteria. Crazy! And the food industry is also looking to develop a flavourless product based on the dodecenal found in cilantro as a natural food preservative. S’about time!

In addition, cilantro also contains flavonoids, which are anti-inflammatory antioxidant compounds that help to reduce inflammation and fight free radicals in the body. For detoxification, cilantro is also commonly believed to act as a heavy metal detoxifier, namely mercury, and works by having its detoxifying compounds pull the heavy metals from organs and tissues for elimination by the body. (Hard rock miners, millers, refiners, processors, heavy equipment operators, and tradespeople of the nickel basin, I’m looking at you!)

The cilantro seeds, also known as coriander, have a few benefits as well; coriander has been researched for its blood sugar lowering effect, which occurs by increasing insulin production. They also play a role in lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol and increasing HDL (good) cholesterol.

To prepare a cilantro leaf infusion at home is very simple! All you need are 2 teaspoons of organic cilantro leaves per cup, steeped in hot water for 3-5 minutes (boil water, let rest for 3 minutes before pouring over leaves). If you have a tea ball infuser or strainer, even better! Be sure to drink at least 15-30 minutes before or after a meal to prevent diluting your gastric juices during its prime working time. As a side note, cilantro grows quite easily and happily in a herb garden and now is a great time to get your indoor herbs started!

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(Check out these happy little cilantro friends in their 4th week of growth on my window ledge at home!)

For any folks who are in the London area and would like to seek further assistance with any chronic digestive concerns, please feel free to contact Vanessa Case, RHN at Our Natural Connection (http://www.ournaturalconnection.com/). She is a wonderful digestive wizard and was the one who got me started on this path to better health!

Thank you for participating in Q+A Tuesday! Remember to keep sending in your questions! See you next week!

Much love and wellness,

Lee-Ann
xo