Jill Of Some Trades

And Master Of At Least One

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Back to Oz-ish

Gail Blog

My brilliant Frousin + Kiwi

I’ve been a little obsessed with travel and other pursuits, but from time to time, I’m going to revisit why I started this blog – overall health, and Dr. Oz.  This was written months ago, but I couldn’t figure out when to post it.  Now seemed like as good a time as any before I start a slew of travel related posts.
Dr. Oz provides his viewers with a lot of advice on nutrition.  I have tested some of his advice from time to time, but have found a number of places where there are inconsistencies.  One day, he’ll recommend something as a super food and the next day, he’s moved on to something else.  There are a couple of times where I’ve just disagreed with him – like recommending coconut oil where there is no scientific evidence that it has any health benefits.  In fact, there are more studies that suggest it’s high levels of saturated fat can actually do you more harm than good.  Before I try any more of his recommendations, I thought I’d speak to a trained dietician – and why not go to one that I know, trust and love – my cousin Gail!  You may remember her from previous blogs since I’ve turned to her before.  We sat down over Italian so that I could get answers to my latest barrage of questions.
First off, I’ve noticed a lot of people giving advice on nutrition.  Can you tell me what the difference is between a dietician and a nutritionist?
Anyone can call themselves a nutritionist, even you.  It’s not a protected title.  Dietitians have a license protected title.  In order to be a dietician, you need to have a degree and have completed an internship of one year including clinical, foodservice and community work.  We have to write a test (usually 6 hours) based on the standards of the province that we are practicing in.  Dietitians have to upkeep our knowledge and belong to the College of Dietitians which is there for the public’s protection.  We, as dietitians, have to stay on top of studies and understand the most up to date information in our field and it must be practice specific.
A nutritionist is someone that can, for example, read a food label, but they do not understand the science behind it.  In the USA, dietitians are called nutritionists so that’s also where some of the confusion lies.
So, I can be a nutritionist in Canada?
When should you reach out to either?
A nutritionist is cheaper for a reason.  It’s like going to a holistic doctor versus a medical doctor.  The content of education is different.  A registered dietician bases opinion on scientific data driven by studies.  They are not trying to sell anything like supplements or cleanses.  A nutritionist isn’t covered by medical plans.  A dietitian can be covered by OHIP (or other provincial equivalents) for specific conditions or consultations but if you are consulting them privately, it can be expensive.
You can consult a dietitian when you want to make lifestyle adjustments with diet, and this isn’t just for weight loss.  Weight loss may be a by product of the plan, but medical conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer,  IBS, Crohn’s or any psychiatric conditions (eating disorders) can benefit from a dietitian.
Is there a danger or risk to seeing a nutritionist?
Yes, particularly if they are recommending fad diets, selling products, creating fear of certain foods or touting elimination diets that have no scientific validity.  They can sometimes offer poor advice that could cause long term problems.  Dietitians often have to deal with issues caused by unsound advice from people calling themselves nutritionists.
What are the ethical standards for a dietician?
There is a huge list of ethical standards.  In Ontario, we are governed by the College of Dietitians of Ontario.  We are covered under the Health Care Professionals Act (the same act that covers psychologists).
What is the worst piece of advice that you’ve seen a nutritionist provide?
Telling people to go on elimination diets is a huge issue.  There are no tested studies and there is no validity to them.  Once you end up eliminating foods that you may not be allergic too, people often get confused and no longer know what to eat.
So what do you think about Dr. Oz?  I know, we’ve talked about this before…
Don’t watch Dr. Oz!  He has a certain pressure to sell his show and it shows in his advice!
For more valuable advice, including Gail’s healthy take on body image, check out her blog on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/gailkardishRD/

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It’s Chili Inside…


It’s chili inside of you silly!  Hopefully, like me, you prefer turkey chill because cows are too cute to eat with those big brown and soulful eyes.  If you haven’t guessed already, it’s time for another recipe courtesy of me, previously one of the world’s worst cooks.  If you are expecting me to teach you how to make home made tomato sauce, I’m afraid dear readers, that you are SOL (that means so out of luck – remember this is a family friendly environment).  What I’m going to do is teach hopeless people like me how to make a meal that isn’t frightening in an honest (like my chicken soup recipe) way.  Here is everything that you need to make a pot of turkey chili:

The kitchen paraphernalia (not sure of the right names) that you will need:

  • One big pot – your biggest, and don’t forget the lid
  • One wooden spoon
  • A cutting board
  • A sharp knife for cutting – yup your going to have to use a knife
  • 2 bowls – one for the vegetables and one for the ground turkey (no cross contamination)
  • 1 strainer for the black beans
  • Your cell phone – for this recipe or just to return texts

All of the below ingredients can be modified to suit your taste.  For example, you may love mushrooms and want to include them in your turkey chili.  I, for one, feel that they have the texture of a slug, so no way, Jose are they going into my dish.  You may have food allergies, so don’t follow my suggestions if you are like my frousin AK and have issues with peppers and other night shades.  I also am a huge vegetable fan so I throw in a lot of them.  If you are an unhealthy eater who never touches vegetables, simply leave them out.  Last, but not least, if you prefer kidney beans to black beans, or another type of bean, feel free to substitute.  I’m not going to be offended.  I happen to like black beans and I won’t get grossed out like I do with a bean that looks like one of my major organs.


  • One and a half tablespoons of olive oil (or whatever oil you have on hand cheap skates)
  • One onion of whatever shade you like – I like purple because it’s one of my favourite colours
  • 1/2 pound package of ground turkey – duh, what did you think I was going to say considering it’s the main ingredient
  • Garlic Powder
  • Onion Powder
  • Black Pepper
  • Chili – yes you put chili in chili
  • Sriracha (optional)
  • One jar of President’s Choice Tomato Basil Sauce (or if you are American, Ragu) or whatever you prefer – remember, I’m not making it from scratch.  Have a back up jar on hand or some salsa in case it’s not saucy enough
  • One can of black beans rinsed and strained (don’t forget to strain)
  • One zucchini
  • One red pepper
  • One orange pepper
  • One broccoli crown
  • Two celery stalks
  • A handful of carrots

I prefer to practice mise en place – a fancy french way to say do all of your prep ahead of time.  I like to lay out everything and have my vegetables chopped and ready to go.  I place my spices next to the turkey by the stove in a bowl and have a chopping board on another counter ready to go.  I also do my cleaning along the way so I don’t have to do a massive clean up at the end.  Here are your step by step cooking instructions:

  • Chop your vegetables and place in the bowl.  Start with the zucchini – it’s the easiest to cut up and will build your confidence
  • Continue chopping until finished (I know sounds logical but some of you may like to take breaks – keep going)
  • Once everything is chopped and in the bowl, start chopping the onion, you can’t avoid it.  It makes me cry too – now is the time to take breaks – just rinse your eyes out – it’ll make them feel  better.  Leave this on the cutting board
  • Next, put your pot on the stove and add the oil to the bottom.  I’ve learned from minor splatter burns to only turn the stove to about halfway to heat the oil
  • Once you’ve heated the oil, it’s time to get the worst job done – cook the ground turkey.  It’s gross, but just take it out of the package with the wooden spoon and you won’t have to touch it
  • Once it’s in the pot, start smooshing it with the wooden spoon until it’s not so chunky.  Keep smooshing the turkey – it’s about a 5 minute ordeal.  During this time, the turkey will start to look and smell like a brain – just go to your happy place until it’s over.  I sing Kelly Clarkson songs in my inside voice.  For this, I recommend “What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger”
  • As you are cooking the meat, you’ll need to season it.  Get your onion powder and do a “shake, shake, shake your booty” and that’s usually enough.  Next, repeat with the garlic powder, chili and black pepper
  • Once the meat is cooked, it will look like white chunky brain matter, add the entire jar of sauce
  • Add all of your vegetables
  • Add your black beans
  • Add a huge amount of sriracha unless of course, you can’t handle the heat in which case you should get out of the kitchen
  • Stir, stir stir
  • Turn the heat all the way down to low and cover with the lid, if it doesn’t fit, then you must acquit, I mean get a lid that does.  Sorry, I’ve been watching the OJ mini-series on FX
  • Stir occasionally, and cook for 1 hour
  • Let this cool and then pack away and freeze or eat, whatever makes you happy
  • I can usually get 6-7 servings out of this

Next, to make it fancy, and if you are a light eater, take a spoonful of chili and skid it along the plate like they do in fancy restaurants and add three grains of brown rice as a side dish.  Seriously, what is with the puree skid?  The most over used and unattractive way of serving that I’ve ever seen!

Anyway – that’s it.  I’m just going to warn you, that the first time I did this, it took me 2.5 hours.  I’m down to 90 minutes, small victories.  Enjoy : 0 )


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Change Is In The Air

Toronto-20150208-00244 copy

I knew that 2015 was going to be a year of change.  I had that feeling on December 31st.  I just wasn’t quite sure what that meant for me.  So far, it has been difficult, but sometimes, not to sound like Polly Pureheart, those difficulties spur you to explore the unexpected.  One day, when my mother wasn’t having a great day, I told her that I would cook for her.  She would just have to be there for me and tell me step by step what to do.  After checking her life insurance policy, she agreed.  Not nice Mummy!  I spent the afternoon making soup for the first time, spaghetti sauce for the first time (beef stinks when it’s cooking – I’ll try to keep my chick-a-fish-a-veg-atarian self away from Elsie the Cow for the rest of my days), baked chicken breasts (not the first time, but only about the third time making this dish) and egg salad (BLAH – too smelly for me to ever eat).  You know, it wasn’t as bad as I thought.  It’s just weird how someone just knows how much of everything to add without a recipe (my mother, not me).  So far, she’s survived the experiment.  I made the soup – pictured above, at home for myself.  It was ok day 1 but on day 2, I was about to gag on it.  It did have a lot of Oz approved foods – fresh onion (pre-biotics to super-charge my probiotics), carrots, celery, cabbage, snow peas and a package of dried vegetables and barley.  I probably won’t make it more than once a year, but it was nice adding something to my limited recipe book.

This will also be a year of trying new things.  It means a Zombie “Escape the Room Challenge” and Axe Throwing.  It means doing things that I’ve never tried before, even if they are outside of my comfort zone.  It means committing to a cut off time for work.  It means that in the interests of decluttering, that I actually un-friended someone from Facebook.  Not a big deal, but it was time to do a little tune up.  Why have someone there who clearly I haven’t had a conversation with in years?  I’ll be doing a little more of that in the future – but it was a start.

I also recognize that in order to live in a relatively healthy way, I have to learn how to cope with worry.  I dealt with being sick for most of January (which I wrote about).  This didn’t worry me, but it kept me from being able to write as often, or as clearly as I may have wanted to.  It left me a little fatigued, but that’s partly stress.  A huge work project finally came to an end, which caused me a lot of sleepless nights – but it went well, so that’s a relief.  Last, but most importantly, my family and I have to cope with a challenging situation – I can’t get into details, yet, but it’s not easy.  Luckily, we are supporting each other and for that, I am grateful.  Here are some of Dr. Oz’s tips for coping with worry (from doctoroz.com):

  • “Get More Sleep: One common complaint of distress is lack of sleep. It can put your brain on edge, which forces it to go into survival mode.
  • Meditation: The well-documented effects of regular meditation include lowered blood pressure, less heart disease, decreased chronic pain, and increased mental clarity.
  • Yoga: Dr. Oz recommends doing the 7-minute sun salutation yoga exercise every day. Not only does it keep him in shape, it keeps his mind focused and clear.
  • Teas and Other Calming Foods: Some foods and teas have natural components that help soothe the brain.”

I’ve signed up for Deepak Chopra and Oprah Winfrey’s latest 21 Day Meditation Experience in March.  I also have 3 other meditations streamed.  As I’ve mentioned, I will always struggle with it, but so many doctors recommend it, that I’ll never stop trying.  I’m already a tea lover, so that’s never an issue, but I am going to see what foods help cope with stress.  I’ve also got to give yoga another try – maybe a laughing yoga class, because I have such a hard time taking it seriously?

Today is Family Day in Ontario, and as always, I like to end on a note of what I am grateful for.  Today, in honour of Family Day, I am grateful to my family, frousins and friends that are like family.  I’m lucky to have all of you.



4 Tips to Staying Healthy and More!


I always make New Year’s Resolutions and was looking for something to inspire me for 2015.  I know, they are usually unrealistic, but I try to make my resolutions “objectives”, meaning that they are measurable.  I came across an old interview with Dr. Oz on a local Hawaiian newscast and he had 4 tips for staying healthy that seem like a pretty solid starting point for my 2015 list:

  1. Get some physical activity daily – and even better if it’s vigorous.  He doesn’t mean you have to exercise 7 days a week, but make sure that you are doing something to develop your strength.  As we age, we are more prone to falling and strength training (even just carrying a heavy grocery order) can help you avoid falls.  I really have to worry about this – I’m a klutz  – and can find a pothole to trip over even on the smoothest sidewalk.  I’ve mentioned before that  Oops is my middle name.  Point taken Dr. Oz – I’m seeing my trainer 3 times this week to get the ball rolling on this one.
  2. Eat whole foods.  This basically means food in their original forms.  This means eat broccoli, not cream of broccoli soup.  I love veggies, so it’s not an issue for me.  I did eat a frozen dinner last week, but sometimes desperate times call for desperate measures.  In general, since March, I’ve been much more mindful of eating whole foods, and even try to be careful to buy foods that are GMO free where possible.  I’m turning into one of those people that I used to mock, but you gotta do what you gotta do…I silently mock myself when I buy organic, GMO free peanut butter if it makes you feel better.
  3. Be thoughtful about the relationships that you have.  We all need to do a better job with this.  I know I try as hard as possible to be a good friend and family member, but I can’t be perfect – no one can.  Lately I haven’t been perfect about keeping in touch – work gets in the way but that’s a whole other blog topic. On brighter note, I have bumped into a lot of people from the past and have been reconnecting with them – it’s been really nice.
  4. You have a purpose and vision in life – basically some life goals.  I’m type A – DUH of course I have them, but I think one of the things that I have realized is that career-wise, I’ve really reached all of the goals that I’ve set for myself so perhaps it’s time to focus on something else.  Health has been a bigger priority and this blog has been a tool to help me make attaining optimum health one of my “purposes” in life.

That’s it – just 4 easy little steps and I expect to see all of you at my 100th birthday party.

In other visions for myself, if you think that I’ve given up decluttering just because I haven’t been writing about it weekly, think again.  Today, I decluttered my wallet, getting rid of 67 (that’s not a typo) receipts and 2 loyalty cards.  I had one in there for a bagel shop – buy 12 bagels with cream cheese, get one free.  I’ve had one bagel with cream cheese in general and from there in particular in 2 years.  At that rate, it would take me 24 years to get the free bagel – not worth the space it was taking in my wallet.  I’m going to be more discerning about which cards that I take…my wallet will thank me.  I also sold 3 items on Kijiji totalling $100!!!!  I got rid of 2 purses and one pair of sunglasses and best of all – they are no longer taking up space in my house.  If you are making it a resolution (or objective) to declutter – consider selling some of your “in mint condition” household items and clothing – even just some knick knacks that are turning into dust collectors – your trash is someone else’s treasure.  I’ll write some tips on how to use these services at a later date.

I have a lot to be grateful for this week.  I got to celebrate my nephew’s birthday with my family yesterday which was very nice – I’d write a big mushy article about him, but he won’t read it anyway – he’s 19 and not interested in reading this : )  My sister outdid herself with the brunch – down to the caramel apples she made for everyone.  So good – it’s almost a whole food – there was an apple in there buried under the caramel.  I also got to go to an annual Christmas party that my dear friend Shoe’s (not her real name) parents put on.  Her mother is Greek an one of the best cooks, aside from my mother, in Toronto, or quite possibly the world.  It is always a really nice time and an opportunity to have some interesting conversations with people that I sometimes only get to see once a year.  It’s so relaxed, not one of those parties where there is tension – just a fun night.  Thank you Shoe for always being a great friend and for including me and my sister every year.

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The Stress of Tummy Trouble


Image courtesy of days days.deviantart.com

Nothing is worse than a tummy ache – that icky bloated feeling that we all get from time to time.  It can be soooo stressful especially when you look about 8 months pregnant and you have absolutely nothing due.    When I eat Oz-ily, which I have been for the most part (not perfect but close) this past week and a half, I feel much better.  I’ve written about this before, as much as it saddens me, bread can be painful for me.  Not bloat-y – it just seems to cause heart burn if I eat more than a slice or two a day.

Back to bloating though for a minute or two.  This morning, I watched a recent episode of Dr. Oz where he covered this painful topic.  A simple test to see if you are bloated, or if it’s just fat is as simple as slipping into your jeans in the morning, then again at night.  If they don’t fit in the morning, sorry, it’s fat, or you are an optimist and bought the pair of jeans that you’d like to fit into.  If the same pair that fit you in the morning, doesn’t fit later in the day, it’s the dreaded bloat.  I eat a lot of vegetables, chick peas and black beans and they cause no bloat.  It’s when I eat bread or pasta or cheese that things go awry.  Again, the better I eat, the less this seems to be a problem.  Apparently, women have curvier colons than men, and this leads to some bloating.

Here are some things that Dr. Oz and his expert sited as bloat inducing:

  • Chewing gum – apparently this can make you go up two dress sizes
  • Talking on the phone – ha – what a gas – what’s a girl to do?
  • Sports drinks – um – who actually likes these?  You can have my share

With every problem comes a solution and here’s what the good Dr. recommends:

  • Chewable ginger – well, if it helps with nausea, it may be worthwhile – I get car sick constantly
  • Fennel seeds – cheap and portable!
  • Drink water instead of juice or sports drinks – done!  I don’t drink either.  They also suggest coconut water but I find it tastes like moody socks but if you enjoy that taste, please feel free to enjoy bloat free!  I did notice that when I gave up Diet Coke that I was much less bloated.  TMI – but I barely burp now – drinking water is so much less entertaining!
  • Eat earlier – have a big breakfast, big lunch and a small dinner since your digestive tract is supposed to stall when it gets dark.  It actually does make you feel better.

Really, the best thing that I’ve tried is to limit bread.  I don’t have celiac disease, and I don’t think I’m gluten intolerant, but there is no doubt that at the very least, eating bread causes me to have heart burn and it’s very unpleasant.  I haven’t had any in 8 days, and I’ve been following the Dr. Oz plan for 8 days – what does that tell you?

I know that this is an odd place to stop, and reflect on the things that I am grateful for today, but what else can I say about the stress of bloat?  Today is Remembrance Day in Canada.  It is a time to honour the people that fought in the various wars that Canada participated in, most particularly World War 1 and World War 2.  Today, I am very grateful to soldiers that laid down their lives for Canada and for the fact that I live in a country that continues to honour our veterans.

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Anchor’s Away On Stress

anchors away

I love when I don’t have to credit images – it removes some of the stress from blogging.  This pic is from my latest trip – and I can tell you that there is nothing stressful about being on a cruise.  Dr. Oz has explained in many ways the negative impact that stress can have on your body leading to the dreaded inflammation, ultimately causing many things even worse than that.  I was under a lot of stress when I went on this vacation and for two weeks, the biggest stress that I had was whether to go for team trivia in the Skyview Lounge or finally join everyone for an art auction on a sea day.  I had people to serve me, bring me fresh towels and tell me where I needed to be at what time.  I’ve never loved the idea of cruises and have only been on 2 in my life.  One was in Alaska and it was the perfect way to experience the Inside Passage, so I highly recommend it. The other, was a Mediterranean cruise and it was nice, but not a great way to see the amazing countries on the itinerary.

This cruise seemed great on paper.  I have been to Iceland before and it gave me the chance to do a few things there to make it feel more complete to me (whale watching, a jeep safari on a vehicle only used in Iceland and seeing more of a pretty little city that I liked).  Who has ever heard of or visited the Faroe Islands?  I’m always a fan of going to little places that no one knows about.  Last but not least, what better way is there to see the fjords of Norway than on a ship? This was an instance where the trip met all of my expectations and gave me exactly what I needed at the exact moment that I needed it.  I needed no stress (check), no blackberry (check), no major decisions (check) and every day to be different (check, check check).  I loved every place that I visited (although I love every place that I go to).

While I was away, I’d love to tell you that I followed everything that I’ve learned on the yellow brick road to good health.  I didn’t.  I ate what I wanted, I lazed around on sea days getting out of bad late and going to bed at different times.  I exercised a little – I forced myself to walk on the walking track on one of the rare sunny days, my cousin and I walked a few kilometres (many uphill) in Akureyri, Iceland to see more of the city and almost our whole group did a pretty long hike to a glacier in Norway (see me getting soaked below). 

norway hike


I ate nuts infrequently and carbs became my BFF again.  Yet somehow, other than stomach pain from all of the food that didn’t agree with me, I felt better than I can remember.  My brain wasn’t foggy, my heart wasn’t racing and I didn’t feel any pressure to be somewhere.  So what did I owe this sense of well-being to?  The fact that between not having any responsibilities and taking almost a complete cyber-break, for once in my life, I felt stress free.  It was delightful and important.  It shouldn’t take a vacation to feel this way, but at least for me it does.  If I can give you some advice (not from Oz, but from me) when taking a holiday:

-Eat whatever you want.  Yes, I gained 3.5 pounds, but in less than a week, they are a distant memory and I got to enjoy my holiday without feeling deprived while the people around me ate whatever they wanted. You aren’t going to be on your death bed thinking, if only I had one more carrot stick, but you might regret not having tried the chocolate souffle on your trip or something that you can only get in that particular locale

-Take a cyber-break – believe me, if there if big news, you will hear it.  Stay in touch with loved ones on occasion, but it’s called a vacation for a reason.  I thought I would be in a panic being so disconnected but instead, I felt relaxed in a way that I haven’t in years.  It helped that WiFi on the ship was a nightmare

-Don’t let weather put a damper on your trip.  You can’t control the weather, so embrace it, and have a good time.  Think of rain and fog as atmosphere.  I had to on this trip

-Allow yourself to relax.  I thought I’d spend time staring out at the ocean, pondering my life.  I’m just not that deep (pun intended), so I started out hoping to see a whale or a dolphin.  Didn’t see either (sigh).  A vacation is about going back to your childhood for a few days when things were easier and there were people to feed you and pick up after you.  Embrace it

-Don’t expect it to be like home.  If you want the creature comforts of home, then take a stay-cation.  Travelling is amazing, but it can be a bit of a culture shock if you don’t like that sort of thing

-Try everything from activity to food and participate in the ridiculous.  I had my nose painted blue and kissed a fish to celebrate crossing the Arctic Circle.  It was fun – and didn’t kill me, and I now have that silly memory (including almost falling on a fake Viking during a photo) to remember that milestone forever

Today, I am grateful that I could de-stress and enjoy one of the best trips I’ve ever taken. 

Gratefully yours,



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New Month – Are You Ready for Summer?



My apologies – for some reason, this didn’t post properly so it looks like I just put a title into my post and nothing else!  Here it is again.


Just a short post today to reveal the topic for June. If you guessed summer, you were right. The photo is courtesy of me – sunset at Santa Monica beach where summer reigns supreme all year round. Summer, is my favourite time of year and after the winter that we had, we deserve a little sunshine and heat.  I’m going to check out everything that we all need to get ready for the season, from exercise to diet to hydration and beauty (and yes, that means waxing).  I’ll see what Dr. Oz has to say about all of these topics and more.  Happy June everyone!

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Good Food/Bad Food?


Courtesy of http://www.laboulangeriespecialist.co.uk/our-range/sweet-pastries/

I once had a friend that I drifted apart from, likely much more my fault than hers if we are keeping it real, who was macrobiotic.  She swore up and down that eating certain foods could make your body heal itself, while others could cause you harm and have negative effects on your well-being.  At that point in my life, when Lean Cuisines were my friend and go to, I wouldn’t hear of it.  I may even thought some of what she said could have been hooey.   Well Hanan, if you are reading this, you were 100% right, and I was 100% wrong – it took me a long time to figure this out, but it’s a fact. Food can hurt or heal your body.   I’m not saying that I’ll ever be macrobiotic – it’s too much work, but there is a lot that makes sense in that diet.  I’m also not saying that I’ll ever be perfect when it comes to eating – no one is, and if they are, I’m almost positive that they are miserable because if you can’t enjoy your favourite foods sometimes, then you are going to be very unhappy.  Just saying life is to short not to have chocolate, pastry or cheese on occasion.  Oh and you “flutens” – that’s a gluten-free faker – bread is divine too.  A recent study came out that said that the only people who truly have a gluten intolerance are those with Celiac Disease and I tend to agree.  Yes, wheat gluten can give you a tummy ache and bloating, and it is likely better to avoid it, but you simply don’t have the same issues that someone with Celiac has.  Now that I’ve given myself and you a dose of tell it like it is, I found even more interesting information out thanks to the Dr. Oz Show!

The Good!

The good news for me was that a lot of the foods that are anti-inflammatory are foods that I either eat often or just enjoy in general and I’m hoping that you do too. They did a nice job of separating them out by meal so here you go:


  • Nuts – surprise
  • Berries – well that was pretty much a no-brainer too – and I have some in my smoothie – at least over 3 weeks in 2014
  • Fat Free Greek Yogurt – I usually have this as my morning snack so YAY to me
  • Coffee – yes – as I mentioned when I was writing about “You Being Beautiful”, coffee is a powerful anti-oxidant if you skip the cream and sugar.  Honestly, I use milk and sweetener, but I’m hoping that I get some benefit still.  Dr. Oz and his expert identified this as the #1 anti-oxidant in the American diet


  • Green Tea – it apparently has as many anti-oxidants as a salad
  • Salad with dark, leafy greens and other colour vegetables – YAY, I eat one every day and often for lunch
  • Vegetarian Chili – who knew?  The beans or other legumes that you may use are great for you.  So are lentils

One of my former go-to lunches was a turkey sandwich on multi-grain bread, but it’s not a great every day option because the meat is processed, full of salt and preservatives that can cause inflammation.  Boo – but everything in moderation right?  I only have this once or twice a month now anyway.


  • Salmon – no big surprise – it’s a great source of Omega 3 which helps reduce inflammation
  • Red potatoes, but they have to be red.  Very surprising – I never would have guessed this one, but they have anti-oxidants that white potatoes just don’t 
  • Green beans – again, not a surprise

Chicken is also good for you, but it doesn’t have the same anti-inflammatory properties that salmon does.  If you like corn, they made a great point – it’s fed to cattle to fatten them up.  I love it, but again, everything in moderation.  If you eat the good choices that I wrote about, apparently, you should feel better about a week after you start making those food choices.  You should have fewer aches and pains, have more energy and even think better.  I do feel much better and I was a big nay-sayer if that helps.  Once you start introducing foods that can cause inflammation, you won’t feel great.  That brings us to foods that can trigger inflammation.

The Bad!

  • Transfats – these include packaged baked goods with longer shelf lives, fried foods and stick margarine.  These are the worst of the worst when it comes to inflammation
  • Saturated fats like animal fat and dairy.  These include meats, sausage and cheese.  They are high in fat and cause inflammation.  I love cheese…more than I love most people…I’ll just keep telling myself everything in moderation…
  • Refined carbs like the yummy danishes I have pictured above.  They also includes bagels, white rice, white pasta, white bread – ok just anything white.  They cause a spike in insulin and that isn’t good for your body
  • Omega 6’s – these are essential fats and we do need some because they are pro-anti-inflammatory.  Your body does require some inflammation to fight off diseases like cancer and other injuries, but it is possible to get too many of this essential fat.  Sources include corn oil, safflower oil, sesame oil…any oil labelled vegetable oil really.  Olive oil is much better for you.  

There you have it – the good and the bad.  Again, you can have these foods in moderation.  It’s not a total downer.  That’s something to be grateful for.  Speaking of gratitude, my good friend BSF is having a birthday today.  I’ve written about her before, and today, I’m grateful that she is having a lovely day – the type of day that she deserves.  Happy Birthday – I wish you all of the HEALTH and HAPPINESS in the world.

Gratefully yours,


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Bananas About Magnesium and Cher


Image Courtesy of I Don’t Remember, Please Don’t Sue Me

I’m still feeling sluggish, but had moments today where I felt slightly more energized.  I ate a prebiotic, magnesium filled, potasium filled banana as prescribed.  I even had inflammation fighting cardamom courtesy of my first chai tea since the Norwalk Virus incident of 2005 – it’s still too painful to talk about.  I knew, though, that there had to be more Oz suggestions, I just knew it, so surfing his site, I found a reminder of how important magnesium is if you aren’t feeling bouncy  and energetic.  I know that I need to bring some perk to my twerk and if you do too – here are the foods that have the most bang for your magnesium buck (from doctoroz.com):

Eat at least 5 servings of any of these magnesium-rich foods throughout the day:

  • ½ cup of boiled spinach – I eat so much fresh spinach – I just can’t see eating it bolied
  • ½ cup of quinoa – YAY – I love quinoa
  • 1 cup of brown rice – I’ll be eating this tomorrow
  • 1 cup of kidney beans – back to this – no way – they look like kidneys
  • 1 cup of lentils – YAY – I love a lentil or two
  • 1 cup of raisin bran – There are no prizes in this cereal – I’ll think about this one
  • 1 cup of shredded wheat – Again – no prizes – no Jill
  • 1 cup of oatmeal – Once a week I can manage
  • 2 slices of whole wheat bread – I have this every day for breakfast except my bread is whole grain, Omega 3 bread – the kind without additives or preservatives – you know, like the kind you get at Whole Foods

I think I provided this list before, but it never hurts to have a gentle reminder.  I love that Dr. Oz doesn’t want you getting this in a supplement.  Nuts also are a source of magnesium and I eat nuts with almost every meal.  They are actually great in a salad.  I had a HUGE salad for dinner with chicken, every green leaf that you can imagine peppers, etc.  As directed, I added oranges for citrus – I still have to shop for lemons so that I can have some citrus at every meal – but this was a good start and added my RDA of cashews (like 12 – don’t go overboard).  So good and they don’t get soggy like croutons.  Let’s see if adding more magnesium helps.  I’m also going to pick up some kiwis again – I forgot that he is a fan of eating 2 in the morning to get your day off to an energizing start.  It’s so hard sometimes to remember everything that I’m supposed to eat – I’ll have to come up with a handy chart to keep everything straight.  When I do, I’ll post a copy so that everyone can use it as a handy reference.

To end today, yet more to be grateful for!  I’m a concert lover and yesterday, I took some clients to see Cher – Pat Benatar was her opening act.  I LOVE Pat Benatar – We Belong is one of my top favourite songs.  I have seen Cher before (I think it was her first farewell tour).  I like her, but I’ve never been a huge fan.  Well, I have to tell you, today, I am grateful for CHER!!!!!!!!!!  She is hilarious – even she made fun of herself for her farewell tours.  She is a great performer and that lady can put on a show.  Her face may not move and a foot injury meant her body didn’t move much either, but I loved it!  She may be a senior citizen, but in the words of Gwyneth Paltrow’s bestie Jay – Shawn Carter – Z, that woman is one bad mutha smucker (sorry, this blog is PG rated).  It made me so proud to have two Cher dolls when I was growing up (hand me downs from my older sisters).  Here is a pic from last night – blurry, but what do expect from a Blackberry?


Gratefully Yours,



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March-ing On

Wow – another month has ended already.  I can tell you, that this was the most challenging month in my little experiment to live Oz-ily.  It was also my most expensive month to date – I spent $252.60 – a whopping $150 in getting myself everything that I needed for Dr. Oz’s Two Week Rapid Weight Loss Plan and another $102.60 on Vitamin C serum.  No wonder Dr. Oz has a media empire – its expensive trying to emulate him. 

Let me relive March for a brief, shining moment.  Three interviews (thank you Gail, Cheryl and Dwayne), one cleanse, one diet revamp/mash up, 8.5 pounds lost, a new obession with probiotics, a prebiotic dabble, daily expressions of gratitude and a lovely few days of channeling Gwyneth Paltrow.  Please don’t let me every do anything this stupid again, at least until April.  Oh wait, isn’t that tomorrow? 

I also probably learned more this month than in any other month.  I’ve been keeping up with the good habits that I learned to help me sleep better (still not 100% there) and look better (I still look the same).  Now let’s add all of the dietary changes and knowledge that I have gained.  As I mentioned, the Dr. Oz plan is easy to follow, I’m hoping it decreased my blood sugars, but time will tell on that one.  I felt awful on this “cleanse” and if I ever did it again, yes I would eliminate bread, but I would add more grain – the brain fog was not worth it.  Remember, I gave it a C+ for a reason.  I’ve kept my bread eating to once a day (except today) but it truly is whole grain, organic bread now.  I’ve taken what I like about the Dr. Oz plan (the vegetables, nuts and less bread) and mashed it up with Dash – more whole grains and fruit.  I don’t really crave anything specific anymore, although I was kind of excited to add some mango to my salad tonight.  If I was still doing the Dr. Oz plan, that would have been a major no-no.  I’m still impressed with the probiotics – I just want to be more consistent about revving them up with prebiotics.  I am ok eating this way forever.  I did have frozen yogurt after my salad at dinner on Saturday night and nothing bad happened to me. I also watched everyone around me eating french fries (seriously – why are they called french fries?  There is nothing french about them).  You know what, it didn’t bother me – mostly because I tried one and it tasted kind of gross. 

I think the main thing that I took away from this month’s experiment is the same thing that I learn every single month since I’ve started following Dr. Oz’s advice.  You can change your habits – it’s not easy – don’t get me wrong, but it can be done.  The other key learning (I sound so smart when I say that – don’t I?) is exactly what my three interview subjects said – slow and steady wins the race.  That can mean different things to different people.  For me, it means that if I want to avoid taking medication, that I just have to continue on the path that I am on and if I should falter (sorry, Gwyneth took over for a second) or my road is diverged (UGH stop Gwynnie – I’m trying to get an important point across) or if I fail, if I succeed, at least I’ll live as I believed (now Whitney Houston?)…Anyway, what I’m trying to say is that I am going to continue what I am doing, and if I have a bad day, well, that’s normal – no one is perfect, I just have to go back to my good habits the next day.  Do yourself a favour – don’t be an “I’ll start on Monday” person.  Monday never comes when it comes to people with grand ideas of changing their habits.  Start the very day you feel mentally ready.

Today, I am grateful for everything that I have learned this month and to the people whose insights made it much more fulfilling than just Dr. Oz could have made it.  Tomorrow is a new month, but don’t think you’ve heard the last of nutrition from me.  It’s all part of my master plan to find my way on the yellow brick road to good health.  So until April (that’s tomorrow – April Fools!), I am…

Gratefully yours,