Sunday, January 24, 2016


     It doesn't matter what you call them - schnitzel, cutlets, or even fingers - breaded and fried meat is tasty. It doesn't matter what meat you use either - this recipe works for chicken, pork, turkey and fish. Your kids will love it. You can even adapt it for gluten free diets. Its a win win situation any way you look at it. So make some. Soon. Everyone will be glad you did.
A traditional way of preparing pork is to marinate it in an acidic medium. This preparation technique can inhibit the growth of bacteria, kills parasites and prevents the inflammatory and blood clotting effects that are observed when un-marinated pork is consumed. So, I recommend you marinate your cutlets before breading and frying them!


4 pastured and organic pork loin cutlets
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup sprouted or gluten-free flour
2 tsp sea salt 
fresh black pepper
2 eggs
2 cups sourdough or gluten-free breadcrumbs
lard, coconut, or avocado oil for frying

Method: One at a time, place a cutlet in a plastic bag and flatten with a heavy object such as a small cast iron pan. Marinate the cutlets in the vinegar for at least 12 hours or overnight in the fridge.
     Remove from vinegar - rinsing is optional. Dry with a towel.
     Heat your oven to 200*F and place a tray inside.
     Place the flour, 1 tsp salt and some pepper on a plate and stir to combine. On another plate, whisk to combine the breadcrumbs and the rest of the salt. In a small mixing bowl, whisk the eggs.
     Take one of the cutlets and dredge in the seasoned flour, making sure you shake off the excess. Then dip it into the eggs, and then finally into the breadcrumbs, patting so the entire cutlet is lightly coated. Place the finished cutlet onto a plate or baking sheet while you prepare the rest.
     Heat 1/4" of melted lard or coconut oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium heat until nice and hot. In batches, cook the cutlets until golden brown on each side. Transfer to the pan in the oven to keep warm while you cook the rest. Serve with freshly squeezed lemon.

Thursday, January 14, 2016


     You are not alone if you go into sticker shock every time you look at the price of high quality real foods. It often makes people give up in frustration before they’ve even begun to incorporate better food choices into their diet. Well, I’m here to tell you it can be done and that you have options. You may need to make some compromises sometimes so give yourself a little grace.
     There are two components to eating real food on a budget. One is learning what foods to prioritize sourcing well, and the other is learning how to manage your kitchen properly to stretch those dollars.

How to Prioritize Food Choices

Here are some suggestions on how to prioritize spending your grocery money - they are listed from highest to lowest priority:
  1. High Quality Meats, Fish, & Eggs
  2. Raw or Fermented Dairy From Grass-Fed Animals
  3. High Quality Fats & Oils
  4. Buying Organic Fruits, Veggies, Grains & Beans
General Tips on How to Manage Your Kitchen
  1. Prepare your own meals – eating out is a luxury.
  2. Don’t buy packaged foods.
  3. Buy in bulk, and directly from local farmers.
  4. Eat fewer animal products (and more veggies).
  5. Make meat only a part of the meal, rather than the centrepiece.
  6. Don’t waste food.
  7. Make your own convenience foods – breads, salsas, salad dressings, condiments.
  8. Avoid doubling up on expensive animal proteins in any given meal (ie cheese melted on an omelette).
  9. Eat in season & locally

    Interested in discovering how you can make the switch to real food diet?  Sign up for my e-course!

     New year, new goal of keeping better tabs on the grocery budget. So today I had $100 in my pocket for food this week and here is what I bought from the farmer's market and grocery store:

  • dulse seaweed
  • flour
  • coconut milk
  • tahini
  • bananas
  • carrots
  • sweet potatoes
  • cilantro
  • ginger
  • wild shrimp
  • ground beef
  • navy beans
  • mushrooms
  • cabbage
  • bread
  • avocados
  • apples, pears and lemons
  • potatoes
  • salad greens
  • sardines
     Fortunately, we keep chickens and so have lots of fresh eggs in the fridge. Our freezer is also stocked with lamb and goat from this fall's slaughter, or this week's groceries wouldn't go very far. I will use that flour to make loaves of sourdough bread, pancakes and other baked goods.  The sardines are nutrient powerhouses and cheap, and my 4 year old is addicted to them lately. I'm not complaining. Navy beans are a great source of (cheap) protein, and make awesome baked beans. Admittedly the bread was a bit of a splurge because I make great bread at home, but nothing compares to this stuff from the local french bakery. Local Grass Fed Ground beef is a thrifty form of beef that I actually really love eating any way at all. Totally versatile and delicious. Cabbage is local, seasonal, and incredibly useful in so many recipes. Dulse is another nutrient powerhouse, chock full of minerals, and my kids love to snack on it - while I prefer it in salads and sprinkled on pretty much everything. We never have enough fruit in the house so I always load up on local apples and pears, and of course, bananas. While those mini little shrimp are not my favourite variety of this blessed sea creature, the kids prefer it over larger shrimp, and the bonus is they are a sustainably wild harvested from the Atlantic, which makes it a healthy seafood selection. Now, I make homemade almond milk a few times a week, but my husband seems to enjoy this stuff in his coffee so that's why I buy it - and I am super glad they stopped adding carrageenan to this product. Carrots are just a kitchen essential, as are ginger, mushrooms and potatoes of any kind. Phew! That was a long justification for my purchases!
     I tend to shop in many different places because I like variety and in order to get the best selection and prices for everything, you have to shop around. So, my shopping route for the rest of the month may also include the health food store, my neighbourhood farmer, and Costco.  I love Costco! They have a great selection of organic and real foods for really good prices. Here's what I buy at Costco:

  • organic coffee
  • wild haddock
  • organic red peppers
  • organic carrots
  • organic broccolini
  • organic frozen berries
  • organic salmon
  • organic chicken (sometimes - when we run out of local)
  • organic beef (sometimes)
  • organic bread (if we're out and I'm feeling uninspired to bake that week)
  • organic cheese ravioli (as a treat - not for tight budgets)
  • organic potstickers (as a treat - not for tight budgets!)
  • organic empanadas (as a treat - not for tight budgets!)
  • almond butter
  • organic maple syrup
  • natural Siracha sauce
  • garlic stuffed olives
  • organic tomato sauce and canned tomatoes
  • organic raisins/figs/apricots/dates
  • almonds- raw and roasted with sea salt
  • macadamia nuts (not for tight budgets!)
  • organic pine nuts (not for tight budgets!)
  • organic quinoa
  • organic almond flour (not for tight budgets!)
  • hemp seeds
  • organic coconut oil
  • organic olive oil
  • avocado oil
  • organic steel cut oats
  • organic pasta

     Whatever your reasons for needing to be thrifty at the grocery store, rest assured there are options other than buying highly processed convenience foods that will cost your health in the long run. Bon appetit!   

Saturday, January 9, 2016

CHICKEN MISO SOUP with Butternut Squash, Sage & Apple

     Our chicken population was getting out of control. We were going through a bag of chicken feed every week and so it was definitely time to cull the flock. Although these lovely birds of ours aren't great for roasting, they do make great stock. If I remember to pick the meat off early enough, then I have a some nice tender meat to make sandwiches and soups with too.
     When it comes time to make soup, I often ask myself the same question; is there any way I can make chicken soup a little more exciting? Here was yesterdays chicken soup redo with a batch of the sourdough biscuits my family loves so much slathered with salty butter...

CHICKEN MISO SOUP with Butternut Squash, Sage & Apple

2 pounds leftover cooked chicken meat
2 onions, chopped
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil
3 cups, peeled and cubed butternut squash
1 cup peeled and diced parsnip
1 1/2 cups apple cider
2 cups mineral rich chicken stock
2 cups peeled and chopped apple
2 Tbsp chopped fresh sage, or 2 tsp dried
1 Tbsp peeled and grated ginger root
2 tsp sea salt, or more to taste
fresh black pepper
1/2 Tbsp white miso per bowl of soup

Method: Heat a large soup pot over medium heat, drizzle with oil, and saute onions until soft. Add the vegetables, apple, chicken, stock and cider. Bring to a boil, then reduce and simmer until squash is tender. Place 1/2 Tbsp miso in each bowl, dilute with some stock, and then fill with soup. Stir and serve.


2 cups whole wheat flour
1 Tbsp coconut sugar
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup butter

Method: In a bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt and baking soda. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter until it looks like coarse crumbs. Add the sourdough culture, stirring with a fork. Add more flour as necessary to prevent the dough from being to sticky and wet. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead very briefly until the dough is soft and barely sticky. Add more flour as needed. 
Using your hands form the dough into a rectangle about 2 inches thick. Using a large knife cut into 8 biscuits. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and let rest at room temperature for 2 hours. Bake in a preheated 375*F oven for about 20 minutes or until golden. Serve hot.

Friday, January 8, 2016


     Growing up in Canada means long, cold and snowy winters. Ice skating and sledding. And hot chocolate. Just the mere thought of a hot cup of cocoa makes me nostalgic. Good memories of mom showing us how to make it from scratch, our cheeks red and rosy from all that fresh winter air. It's so simple to make your own hot chocolate, I have a hard time understanding why there's even a market for instant. The best part too is that you can use ingredients that make this chocolatey treat a little bit healthier than usual.


1 1/2 cups milk (almond, coconut or cow)
1 Tbsp cocoa powder
1 Tbsp raw honey
optional: cinnamon, Dandies brand marshmallows, whipped cream

Method: Heat the milk in a small saucepan until hot. Meanwhile, put the cocoa powder and honey in your mug. Add a bit of warm milk and stir into a moistened paste. Pour in hot milk and stir. Top with optional ingredients and enjoy!


     Now, I limit the amount of refined sugar the kids eat, but ever since a non-GMO marshmallow hit the market they are hooked, and it's hard to say no to s'mores on the campfire and ooey gooey melted marshmallows in their hot chocolate. A rare, but fun treat for sure.

     Every Friday my youngest son and I are home alone while my eldest is at school. This winter I've decided that Fridays will be a special baking day for the two of us. Today we baked up some yummy (and addictive) Chewy Chocolate Chip & Oatmeal Cookies. Tasty little tidbits I can't seem to stop eating.
(Gluten-Free/Dairy-Free/Egg Free)

1 1/2 cups rolled oats
6 Tbsp nut butter of choice (I used almond)
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup mini chocolate chips (I use Enjoy-Life brand because they are non-GMO)
pinch of sea salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon

Method: Preheat oven to 350*F. Combine all ingredients in a bowl, and then drop by the spoonful onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for about 10 minutes.

Monday, January 4, 2016


     Happy New Year! If you're like most people, you probably spent the weekend reviewing and reflecting on the past year’s events and engaged in some form of strategic planning for the upcoming year. The popular word for this sort of transformative action is "resolution" which is a word which implies "a firm decision to do or not do something." This sort of rigid approach to change allows for no fluidity or flexibility. When we make declarations and commitments like “never” or “forever,” we are more likely to fall short of our goals and expectations. This leaves no room for balance and flexibility.
     What I am trying to say is resolutions do not work because more often than not, they include making changes to behaviour and objects that exist outside of us. Until we change what’s on the inside, we cannot change what’s on the outside. Eventually, we will go back to making the same choices, whether consciously or unconsciously. When we lovingly embrace and accept ourselves, focus our attention on what we want instead of what we don’t want, and set fluid intentions for the New Year, we are more likely to naturally flow toward choices that are aligned with our goals and achieve our desired results. 
My favourite path to creating real and lasting change in my life includes 8 steps:

8 Steps To Create Real and Lasting Change

1. Love and accept yourself.
2. Practice self-awareness 
3. Change old, negative beliefs into new, empowering beliefs.
4. Focus on what you want, not what you don’t want. 
5. Practice gratitude.
6. Set realistic, achievable goals and take actionable steps.
7. Never say never.
8. Meditate and visualize.

     If you're one of the many people who want to lose some weight this year, the same principles apply. The typical scenario goes something like this: you hear about this wonderful diet that will guarantee weight-loss, so you try it, only to gain even more weight back once you’ve lost it. Don't worry, you are not alone. Just because a diet works for one person, does not mean that it will work for you.  

Here are the top 5 reasons that diets are doomed to fail:

1. People choose to use a diet to achieve a short-term goal. That goal is usually to lose weight before an upcoming event. Diets are perceived from the onset as a temporary action used to obtain an immediate result. Once that result is achieved, the diet is stopped and old eating habits return. 

2.  The yo-yo diet or weight cycling. As mentioned, many people go on diets, lose weight, and then gain weight, often more than they lost. And, for some reason, the cycle is repeated. To quote Albert Einstein:  “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” This repeated failure can have negative effects on a person’s mental health and could result in an eating disorder.

3.  Many diets are based on the premise of counting calories using a formula meant for the general population as opposed to the individual. Everybody processes calories differently. This formula supports that caloric expenditure exceeds caloric intake and will therefore promote weight loss. It has become clear that this premise is no longer true. Every calorie is not created equal. Calories consumed from spinach or sweet potatoes are much more nutrient-dense than calories consumed from a processed, low-fat muffin. In addition, if you were to consume too few calories, your body goes into survival mode, slowing down the metabolism. You run the risk of your metabolism remaining sluggish once you start consuming more calories.

4.  Before even starting a diet, people believe that they will be depriving themselves of foods they love. Entering into a program with this mindset clearly does not support success. This constant experience of deprivation will bring on food cravings that will be difficult to ignore.  If you're trying to give up the things you love and enjoy, you're just punishing yourself. Why give up entirely the things you enjoy and bring you pleasure if it’s not harmful to yourself or others? Moderation and flexibility is key.

5. This brings me to the last reason why diets do not work. They do not address food cravings and how to handle them. Everyone has cravings. Having the tools to help navigate through those cravings and reach for healthy food alternatives will help to eliminate them.
     Unfortunately for many individuals, diets only offer a quick fix to a larger problem.  Weight loss isn’t just about the food on our plate or the hours we log at the gym. It’s about creating a well-rounded life that is feeding and nourishing us in a number of ways. My job, my PASSION, is helping you create that kind of holistic life, where you are addressing all the various influences that are affecting your health and weight.
If you’re sick of the dieting roller coaster
If you’re sick of meal plans that don’t work…
If you’re fed up with the cardboard low-cal frozen dinners…
I’ve got a solution for you.
I’m talking long-term, sustainable weight loss.
This is not something you will find in a book or on the back of a Lean Cuisine box. This is a revolutionary way of living and eating that will change your life and rock your world.
Are you ready for it?
REVITALIZE 2016 - 28 Days of Yoga & Real Foods is a 4-week course you can do online or live (if you live in Nova Scotia) that will help you lose weight, feel great, and look amazing. 
You will:

  • Learn to eat the foods that are right for you and your unique body
  • Learn how to plan meals, even if you are busy and have no time
  • Put yourself first (and not feel guilty about it. Whoa!)
  • Practice Kundalini & Hatha Yoga to strengthen commitment, de-stress, strengthen and tone
  • Find exercise that fits your unique body and lifestyle
  • Take the exact steps, week by week, that will help you achieve long-lasting results
  • Give you daily assignments over a 28-day period that will empower you to make lifelong changes

And so much more!

     If you’re ready to ditch the diet and finally lose weight (FOR GOOD!), join me for this life-changing program.

     Wishing you much success for a happy, healthy, and prosperous transformation in the New Year!