“Live Inspired” Event with InspireHealth and Nature’s Fare Market

Two of my most favourite local resources have gotten together for the month of October to inspire living a more healthful lifestyle.

Compliments of InspireHealth and Nature’s Fare Markets enjoy a free webinar on the role of nutrition in cancer prevention and treatment, as well as many more tidbits of the information kind and the delicious, nutritious kind (yum!).

Thursday, October 25th, InspireHealth staff and volunteers will be on location in Kelowna to host information tables at all Nature’s Fare stores to distribute information and research about the value of an integrative cancer care approach and the power of cancer prevention. If you’re in the Okanagan, do stop in. We would love to talk with you!

At 7:00 pm on Tuesday, October 29th, InspireHealth physician Dr. Joe Schnurr will present a FREE one-hour webinar designed to raise public awareness of the overwhelming evidence of nutrition’s role in the prevention and treatment of cancer.

You MUST register for this free webinar in advance. Register Now

Live Inspired is a month-long health and wellness promotion and fundraiser, which will take place at all eight Nature’s Fare stores throughout October. In addition to discovering the benefits of different natural food items and supplements that help to prevent cancer, this in-store program will include store demos and sampling. Stop by any Nature’s Fare store and pick up a selection of natural foods and supplements recommended by InspireHealth’s medical doctor, and nutrition team.

Chemicals in Our Personal Ecosystem

Right on the heels of reading the article Our Toxic Body Burden, a friend posted a link to the online documentary Genetic Roulette, which discusses the well documented (but not well publicized) effects that genetically modified foods are having on our digestive systems and health.

Vreni Gurd’s Wellness Tips article talks about the many sources of chemicals  we may be unwittingly ingesting. Some you’ll be aware of, but some may surprise you, such as cleansers and moisturizers. “If you put it on your skin you are drinking it.”

The documentary carries the theme further, exposing the chemical nature of the majority of processed foods and the marked increase in a wide variety of diseases linked to the digestive system and inflammation. As the digestive system is our first line of defense for our immune system, it makes sense that problems in our gut are going to lead to problems elsewhere. The scary thing is, once GMO enzymes and bacteria are introduced to your system, they can replicate and continue wreaking havoc.

More than ever our bodies are subjected to a myriad of chemicals in all forms and it takes some focused effort to reduce the effects. One of the key elements is keeping your liver healthy so it can do its best to detoxify your body from our environment. When I was diagnosed with skin cancer it became a priority to me to support my liver in cleansing my body. I believe our bodies are made to heal themselves and can do quite a good job if we support them by taking care of what we put in into the delicately balanced ecosystem of our bodies.

Please take the time to become more informed and make more informed decisions for your health and the health of your families.

Sprouting Potential: Seeds and Beans and Grains, Oh My

This month’s e-newsletter from my local health food store, Nature’s Fare Markets, included an excerpt on how to easily sprout beans and grains. As this is something I’m hoping to do more of (especially if it’s as easy as they say), I thought I’d share the tips with you…

“Sprouting at home is an easy and cost-effective way to add enzymatically-active, highly alkalizing food to your daily routine. What should you sprout?

  • Amaranth
  • Buckwheat
  • Beans (all kinds)
  • Chickpeas
  • Lentils
  • Quinoa
  • Sunflower seeds (and more!)

How to Sprout in 10 Easy Steps

You can buy sprouting kits in most health food stores, but it’s just as easy to sprout at home using three readily-available household objects: a jar, cheesecloth and a rubber band. Here are the ten steps to sprouting:

  1. Rinse the seeds you intend to sprout well and pour into the jar (fill to 1/4 mark)
  2. Fill the jar at least 3/4 full of water
  3. Soak overnight at room temperature
  4. Pour out the water and seeds and rinse with fresh water
  5. Return the seeds to the jar
  6. Cover the jar with cheesecloth and secure the cloth with the rubber band
  7. Briefly turn the jar upside down to drain the remaining water
  8. Sprouts will begin to appear within 24 hours (give or take)
  9. Make sure the sprouts stay moist so they sprout fully by rinsing and draining them (as in step #7)
  10. Rinse your sprouts before eating.

Sprouts can be stored in the fridge uncovered for up to one week. Happy sprouting!

Credit: Excerpt from The Thrive Diet / Thrive: The Vegan Nutrition Guide by Brendan Brazier

Growing Microgreens

What the heck are microgreens? They’re like mini greens, only smaller.

If you’re looking to add some new, nutritious tastes to your summer cooking you can go to the farmers market and buy microgreens. Or, you can quickly and easily grow them yourself in a minimum of space. A recent article by Matthew Kadey in Alive magazine has me salivating to add them to my summer salads and gluten-free wraps to add crisp new flavours as well as lots of great nutrition.

“If you’ve got a windowsill, you’ve got the space and light necessary to grow a variety of nutrient-rich micro greens. For those who haven’t heard the term, micro greens are plants and lettuces that are harvested to eat when they reach about one to two inches high—well before they’ve grown to full size.

Unlike sprouts where you eat the seed, root, stem, and underdeveloped leaves, with micro greens the stem is cut and you nosh on the baby leafy foliage that is bursting with tastes ranging from peppery to mild and subtle. Undeniably, they have become all the rage as a fanciful garnish and flavour accent at finer restaurants. Plus, health experts are increasingly trumpeting these plant shoots for their cocktail of disease-fighting compounds. Here’s how and why you should rear your own.”  Read the full article

The Ripple Effect of Genetically Modified Foods

You’ve heard that genetically modified food isn’t good, but do you understand how it impacts you and the ones you love? If you’re feeling sick, there’s a good chance it may be your food.

Here’s a primer based on cold, hard facts…

Video from KarmaTube

“A (formerly) twinkie-lovin Texan and successful Wall Street analyst shares the story of one morning’s family breakfast that changed the course of her life, as well as (she hopes) the course of the American food industry. Realizing that her child was allergic to what she had considered safe foods, Robyn O’Brien put her analytical and research skills to work and discovered far more than she’d wanted to about what’s really in the foods we feed our families. This video will have even the hardened skeptics pondering whether their food habits need some tweaking.”

100% Natural and Sustainable

Construction is an industry with a lot of waste and environmentally negligent practices embedded within it (see Dan Phillips’s TED Talk).

Here, on the other hand, is a 100% natural and sustainable solution to a tricky problem in a remote part of the world. It’s pretty hard to argue with the brilliance of this solution.

Video from KarmaTube

Apparently, I Do Like (Some) Beer

I’m new to the delights of beer, having hated it with a fine passion my whole life. Until I discovered porter.

Now I like one kind of beer. Not maple porter, not raspberry porter, not honey porter, not pumpkin porter. Just pure, unadulterated porter, preferably with a chocolate and/or coffee finish.

So imagine, in that narrowly defined palate, my delight in finding the most delicious, untainted-by-fruit London Porter by Paddock Wood Brewing Co., a discovery made on a trip back east. And imagine my even greater delight to discover London Porter is made locally there, in my home province of Saskatchewan.

Unfortunately my delight turned to utter devastation with the realization, upon my return home, that I couldn’t find London Porter here. And, due to antiquated prohibition laws, I can’t even have any shipped to me, because this would require transporting alcohol across provincial borders which is still (are you kidding me?!) illegal.

But alas, my spirits soared once again when a stranger noticed me unhappily perusing the local liquour store shelves and recommended trying a newly opened, independent shop, Legacy Liquour Store. I proceeded forthwith to said store and not only promptly fell upon a six pack of Paddock Wood’s London Porter, I also received a mini lesson on the history of porter from the very knowledgeable general manager. It stands to reason that when I did finally find a beer I liked, it is one that was historically available exclusively to the gentry, due to the labour-intense complexity of its manufacture. That sounds about right.

I still don’t drink a lot of beer, but I do enjoy savouring the occasional, civilized tipple. Sadly, I do not live in the vicinity of Legacy Liquour Store, so I shall have to continue my hunt for a supplier closer to where I live. In the meantime, it’s comforting to know I have a source to fall back on.

The Urban Food Revolution Book Launch

Urban Food Revolution LadnerThe Centre for Dialogue at Simon Fraser University is pleased to announce the book launch of The Urban Food Revolution: Changing the Way We Feed Cities by Peter Ladner.

Thursday, October 27, 2011
5:00 – 8:00 pm (brief program at 6pm)
Barbara-Jo’s Books to Cooks
Vancouver, BC

This book launch is free, however pre-registration is required. RSVP now.

Author Peter Ladner is a former Vancouver City Councillor, newspaper publisher and a recent Fellow at the SFU Centre for Dialogue. With more than 35 years of journalistic experience, he is a frequent speaker on community issues and has a special interest in the intersection of food policy and city planning.

If you can’t make the launch party, The Urban Food Revolution will be in bookstores November 7 or can be ordered online from New Society Publishers (20% off pre-orders before October 21). The book will also be available after November 1 (hard copy or e-book) at your favourite online book-seller.


“A revolution in food — where, how, and when it’s grown — is now sweeping urban centres. Read this book to see why it matters and how we can do it.”

David Suzuki, Co-Founder, David Suzuki Foundation.

“Our reliance on industrial agriculture has resulted in a food supply riddled with hidden environmental, economic and health care costs and beset by rising prices. Producing food locally makes people healthier, alleviates poverty, creates jobs, and makes cities safer and more beautiful.

The Urban Food Revolution is a handbook for community food security based on leading innovations across North America. From commercial micro-gardening and community composting to rebuilding local food processing, distribution and waste systems, the author connects the dots between wishful thinking and practical solutions to making local, fresh sustainable food affordable and widely available.

An essential resource for anyone who has lost confidence in the global industrial food system The Urban Food Revolution is packed with practical advice on bringing food production home.
Peter Ladner really separates the wheat from the chaff. If you want to get your head around the important developments without ending up with a headache, this is the book for you.”

Wally Satzewich, Developer, SPIN-Farming