Cranberry Walnut Granola + Michelle Tirmandi + Toronto Holistic Nutrition + Toronto Nutritionist + Michelle Tirmandi

Cranberry Maple Walnut Granola

Cranberry Walnut Granola + Michelle Tirmandi + Toronto Holistic Nutrition + Toronto Nutritionist + Michelle Tirmandi

This Mother’s day I decided that I wanted to make gifts for the two most important mama’s in my life, my Mama, and my sister who has very recently become a new mama to a very sweet little man!

Since my sister has her hands full with tending to her little one, and my mama is always running around town with little desire to make her own meals (that’s Papa Bear’s job), I decided on something simple that makes for a quick, healthy breakfast – granola of course!

Paired with some almond milk or some plain Greek yogurt (which is higher in protein than regular yogurt), this granola contains a good amount of  fibre and good fats to keep the belly happy all morning.

The recipe is included below and it is quite simple. The beauty of this recipe is that you really can make it your own by using whatever nuts, seeds you have on hand.

Ingredients:

4 cups rolled oats

1 1/2 cups puffed rice, kamut or millet (I used puffed rice to keep it gluten free)

1 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut flakes

1/2 cup raw walnuts, chopped

1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds

1 tsp sea salt

3/4 cup maple syrup

1/2 cup coconut oil

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1/3 cup ground flaxseed

Cranberry Walnut Granola + Michelle Tirmandi + Toronto Holistic Nutrition + Toronto Nutritionist

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 300′.
  2. Mix oats, puffed rice, coconut, walnuts, sunflower seeds and sea salt together in a large bowl.
  3. Mix maple syrup and coconut oil together in a small saucepan and heat on low heat until the coconut oil melts.
  4. Mix the coconut oil and maple syrup mixture in with the dry ingredients and mix together until everything is coated.
  5. Spread the granola mixture out evenly over two large baking dishes.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes, remove and stir before baking for an additional 12 minutes.
  7. Remove from the oven and let cool.
  8. Stir in ground flaxseed and cranberries.
  9. Store in airtight container.

 

 

Rainbow Spring Salad Michelle Tirmandi Toronto Nutritionist Holistic Nutritionist

Spring Rainbow Salad

Here’s a delicious and filling meal-sized salad for you! It’s got a little bit of an Asian flare and it’s bound to keep both your belly and tastebuds happy (as well as your waistline!). It also uses a vegetarian protein source, edamame, so it’s great as a Meatless Monday option.
Rainbow Spring Salad Michelle Tirmandi Michelle Nutrition Toronto Nutritionist Nutritionist in Toronto
Here’s a fun fact about edamame:  just one cup of shelled edamame provides enough protein (17g) for your salad without the need for any additional animal protein. It’s also an ideal food for weight loss because it’s relatively low in calories and it’s filling, thanks to the fibre and protein content.
The key with any soy product is to ALWAYS use Non-GMO soy (this is VERY important!). You also want to ensure that you are eating unprocessed soy products in moderation. Soy can be a very health-promoting food when we eat the unprocessed versions like edamame beans and tempeh (fermented soy) vs. the more heavily processed soy products (margarine, ice cream, cheese, burgers etc.) that have become more popular over the last few years!
Ingredients:
(Servings 1 large, 2 small)
Salad:
  • 2 small zucchinis,spiralized or sliced Julienne style
  • 1/2 cup grated carrots (~ 2 large carrots)
  • 1 small red pepper, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup grated purple cabbage
  • 1 cup shelled, organic edamame beans, defrosted and boiled
  • 1 green onion, finely diced
  • 1 Tbsp raw cashews, chopped
Dressing:
  • 1/2 cup raw almond butter
  • 2 Tbsp tamari sauce
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 1/2 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • squeeze of fresh lime
  • water to desired consistancy

Wash and chop all of the vegetables. Boil the edamame beans according to package directions. Mix all of the vegetables together. Prepare the dressing by mixing all of the ingredients in to a food processor or blender until smooth, adding water as required to thin it out.

Enjoy!

fermented vegan proteins + healthy smoothie + michelle nutrition + toronto nutritionist + toronto nutrition

The ‘Scoop’ on Vegan Protein + My fermented vegan proteins+ Review

If you scroll through the aisle of any health food store, or even the healthy aisle located in the grocery and drug stores, you’ll likely to see about a gazillion bottles of protein powder! You may be left wondering whether or not you are eating enough protein and possibly even, if you should be taking a protein supplement!

Or..perhaps you are already taking a protein supplement, but you’re not quite sure if the quality is there? (After all, you likely know that when it comes to supplements, cheaper is not always better!).

I totally get ‘cha, because, protein in general is quite con-fus-ing!

If you are feeling overwhelmed, don’t fret because what I will explain below will surely help to clarify things for you. I’m also going to give you my personal recommendation for a protein powder and explain why I have chosen it as my go-to!

What is Protein? 

Protein is one of the three macro-nutrients (protein, fat and carbs) that provide the body with the building blocks to perform certain functions within the body. A few of the major roles of protein include:

  • Repair & Maintenance: As the main building block of the body, protein is required for the growth and maintenance of all types of tissue in the body – including that of our skin & hair!
  • Energy: When we eat protein we obtain calories to fuel our bodies. There are 4 calories per every gram of protein consumed, compared to 9 calories per gram of fat and 4 calories for each gram of carb.
  • Hormones: Protein helps us to formulate hormones within the body which are then used for several processes that keep us alive and well.
  • Enzymes: Protein is required for enzymes which are like tiny catalysts that allow for further reactions in the body to take place at much faster rate. We have many types of enzymes.
  • Antibodies: Proteins are the basis of antibodies which as you know, are a major part of the immune system.

Protein Sources: 

Protein comes in many different sources. Some sources are animal based and some plant-based or ‘Vegan’. In an omnivore diet, there’s room for both animal and plant based sources, whereas, Vegan diets include only plant based sources of protein. Both types of diets can be equally as healthy depending on individual nutritional needs – we are all extremely biochemically unique as thus, there is no one size fits all approach! Personally I balance my diet with both animal and plant based sources of protein, but I do try to opt for more plant based sources then animal sources (I try to live and teach by one of Michael Pollan’s rules: Eat Food. Not too much. Mostly Plants).

Some of my favourite plant based or vegan sources of protein include:

  • Lentils (18 g/cup)
  • Beans  (15 g/cup)
  • Chickpeas (12 g/ cup)
  • Hemp Seeds (11 g / 1/4 cup)
  • Quinoa (9 g / cup)
  • Tempeh (18 g / 100g)

What’s interesting is that protein is also found in many common unsuspecting foods, including:

  • Almonds (6 g / oz)
  • Oats (7 g / 1/2 cup)
  • Spinach (5 g / cup)
  • Broccoli (4 g / 1 cup)
  • Brown Rice (5 g / 1 cup)

Protein Powder:

Of course, a high quality protein powder is a also a great source of protein and great way to ensure you’re meeting your needs! If you’ve followed me for some time, you’ll also know that I a smoothie nut and 99% of the time I make a smoothie or smoothie bowl, I add my favourite protein powder. Just one scoop of protein powder in helps via the following ways:

  • Ensures that I am meeting my dietary protein requirements for the day
  • Supports and balances out my blood sugar (especially after a long night of fasting!)
  • Keeps me full and energized for several hours (super important when I am crazy busy!)
  • Helps me to avoid any cravings (which often hinder weight loss or maintenance efforts)
  • Repairs the muscles after my Barre3 workouts! (If I do workout, then I make sure to have my smoothie within 60 minutes of the workout – the optimal amount of time to rebuild muscles)

How to Pick a Protein Powder:

And… here’s where things may get confusing!

You see, it’s not just about the number of protein grams on the label (the #1 reason my clients admit to choosing a particular protein!), it comes down to the QUALITY of the protein (i.e. How absorbable is it? Will it provide you with any additional nutrition benefits? How well do you feel after consuming it? etc.). Unfortunately there is a lot of craploa out there on the shelves so hopefully if you are looking for a place to start, this will help!

Genuine Health fermented vegan proteins+:

I make no secret of the fact that before I began Michelle Nutrition, I worked for Genuine Health (an amazing Canadian, natural health company) as both a marketing professional and nutritionist. Since going on out my own, I willingly and openly promote their products to my clients and community –  because I totally believe in them. In fact, because my marketing team worked so closely with the product development team, I was able to see first hand how the ingredients were selected and processed.  The Genuine Health’s fermented vegan proteins+ also tastes delicious which is a non negotiable for me 🙂

Here are a few reasons why I can get behind this goodness…

 

fermented vegan proteins + healthy smoothie + michelle nutrition + toronto nutritionist + toronto nutrition

100 % NON GMO

Gluten Free

Soy Free

Dairy Free

Vegan

It’s also been designed with a completely revolutionary new fermentation process which actually amplifies the nutrition and increased digestive support (if you don’t already know, digestion is king!). The fermentation process actually breaks down the food and removes any harmful anti-nutrients (often found in vegan protein sources). Overall, the bioavailability (i.e absorption) is enhanced by unlocking the vitamins, minerals amino acids, preparing them to be absorbed. Plus, because of this process there is essentially no bloat!  You can watch a quick story that explains this whole process here.

So, if you’ve been looking for some more info on protein, or thinking about adding a protein powder to your smoothie, I hope this was helpful for you! You can find find fermented proteins+ here.

You can also enter the Genuine Health Contest here for your chance to WIN $200 worth of fermented protein! yes please 🙂 

fermented vegan proteins + healthy smoothie + michelle nutrition + toronto nutritionist + toronto nutrition

Chocolate Banana Smoothie Recipe:

  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 scoop chocolate fermented Vegan proteins+
  • 1 Tbs almond butter
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 cup leafy greens
  • 1/2 cup ice

Place all of the ingredients in the blender and blend. Enjoy!

Don’t forget to enter for your chance to win $200 worth of Genuine Health fermented protein powder by clicking here 

% reasons to drink lemon water

5 Reasons to Drink Lemon Water

If you’ve been following for a while, or have joined one of my programs before you’ll already be familiar with the benefits of lemon water.
But, if you’re new around here, and haven’t yet heard about the amazing impact that a simple glass of lemon water can have, then listen up!
I learned the lemon water health hack several years ago, and I can honestly say that it’s a game changer!
5 reasons to drink lemon water + weight loss + holistic health + michelle nutrition + michelle tirmandi + toronto nutritionist + toronto nutrition + nutritionist in toronto
So what’s the deal?
When you add a generous squeeze of fresh lemon to your water and drink it first thing in the morning (pre-breakfast), your body accrues some pretty serious health benefits. Here’s the run down –
Hydration:
For starters, and not surprisingly, drinking water upon waking hydrates your system! I know, seems like no big deal, but it is! Staying hydrated is very important to keep your skin looking moisturized as well as keeping your energy levels up (even a small dip of 1.5% in hydration levels can result in feeling lethargic due to changes in blood pressure – not the way you want to start off your morning!).
Alkalinity:
Alka-wha? In a nutshell, our bodies turn our food into either an alkaline ash, or acidic ash after processing (imagine your body as a furnace burning it’s fuel and analyzing the remains of the fire pit against the pH scale). Foods that leave acidic byproducts (like sugar, alcohol, caffeine, meat & grains) leave us feeling tired, as well as contribute to the leaching of stored minerals from our bodies in an attempt to neutralize the ash (these are the same minerals that are needed for strong bones, strong nails and healthy looking hair!). Alkaline forming foods, including lemon (I know, it’s not very intuitive because it seems acidic before we eat it) and other fruits and veggies (especially green ones) actually contribute to more energy, and overall health because neutralization (read: extra work for the body) isn’t required!
Weight Loss:
Okay, I may be over promising a bit on this one (#busted). But, if you are replacing your morning cuppa OJ or sugary coffee with lemon water, you’re going to be saving a bunch of liquid calories and still give yourself the energy (without the blood sugar crash, I may add). Furthermore, drinking water (with or without lemon) promotes a healthy metabolism which helps to burn fuel efficiently. What’s more, is that in order for our bodies to properly lose weight, we need to rid the body of an excess build up of toxins, see more details on this topic below…
Glowing Skin:
As you likely already know, the Vitamin C component of lemons is sky high! What you may not already know is that Vitamin C (amongst other minerals found in lemons) is a precursor to collagen which is required for keeping the skin looking taut and firm. If you want that youthful glow, guzzle up my friends!
Detoxification:
​​​​​​​Do you know that digestion is the primary system in the body that promotes overall health? If your digestion is shot (hint: you’re bloated, you’re not pooping 1-2 x/day. you’ve got heartburn or you feel heavy after meals), you’re likely not feeling your best (whether you realize it or not). The cool thing about lemon water is that you are stimulating your liver enzymes to promote overall digestion and therefore, promoting the natural detoxification process. This may be tmi, but it’s not unlikely to have a bowel movement immediately following your morning lemon water…
Want to learn more detox and health tips? Make sure that you’re signed up for my weekly newsletter by clicking here and following me over on Instagram!
Michelle Nutrition Toronto Nutritionist Healthy Skin Food Healthy Dessert

Want Glowing Skin? Eat Fat! (+ Healthy Chocolate Mousse)

If you read my newsletter from a few weeks ago you’ll recall that I had mentioned how lucky I am now have an amazing new intern working along side me! Samantha, the owner of www.SamanthaVanDeWal.com. is a recent grad of the Institute of Holistic Nutrition and she’s been helping me to create some great content for our upcoming 10 DAY SPRING DETOX. She has also written an amazing post below is filled with educational goodness all about healthy fats and how they tie in to skin health (one of my favourite topics!). I love Sam’s writing because she packs so much great information it to a single post, yet it is so easy to read and understand (she’s got that whole teacher thing happening because she’s also a recent M.Ed grad!).

Read on to learn why if you want to get glowing skin you’d better eat your fats. Also, check out the amazing recipe she’s come up with (just one of the amazing recipes we’re offering  as part of the DETOX beginning next week).

IMG_3574

Want Glowing Skin? Eat Fat!

Eating fat for healthy, glowing skin? I get it… for the past few decades we were told that fats are bad, and as a result, we were guided to purchase “low fat” options and fat-substituting formulas like margarine instead of butter and egg whites out of a carton. (I, too, was a victim of purchasing these manufactured products.) So of course, this idea of eating fat for healthy, glowing skin seems pretty abstract! But what came of this “low fat” movement? An incredibly obese North American society with increased risk of Type II Diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and even cancer, not to mention, it began the rise of yoyo dieting.

But… what’s it good for anyway?

Did you know that phospholipids make up the outer layer of our cells? The term “lipids” actually refers to fatty acids – so, ya… fats are what make up the outer layer of our cells. What’s that mean? Well, for one, it means that we NEED good healthy fats in order to keep this layer kickin’ (literally! Healthy fats impact the fluidity of the cells’ membranes). And for two, since these lipids surround the cell, it means they’re in charge of what goes in, and what goes out. We want our cells to be better able to hold in things like WATER, vitamins, and minerals, so that we have a higher capacity to combat free radical (i.e., toxins) damage from things like second-hand smoke, fried food, air pollution, and chemical products.

The fact that phospholipids have the capacity to hold in water is absolutely essential for our overall health and wellbeing. We wear this fact-of-the-matter on our skin. The plumpness and the glow of our skin are therefore attributed to the health of our cells, which relies most on these phospholipids that require fat for fuel! Sagging skin or dull, lifeless skin is the result of dehydration (water not being held inside the cell by the phospholipids), a lack of good, healthy fat consumption, and toxic build up.

Let’s talk about trans fats, baby:

FAT, though, is a general term that can mean anything from McDonalds to avocado. This means that there are huge differences between the different kinds of fat. Fat fast food, like deep friend French fries, processed meats, cheeses and burgers (including the bun!) are swimming in what are called “trans fats” (yeah, you’ve heard this one before!) This is because most fast food places use hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils for deep-frying, since the oil “lasts longer.” But even chips, crackers, baked goods containing shortening, and non-dairy creamer (yes, that tasty Irish creamer you’re using) contain this oil since it acts like a preservative, thereby increasing the food’s shelf life.  Trans fats are not found in nature: they are manufactured fatty acids – so since our body isn’t in tune with this man-made, processed type of fat, our body deems it toxic and throws up the caution flags!

Consumption of trans fats is known to cause inflammation, oxidative stress, and blood vessel damage. When you hear “inflammation,” think redness, itchiness, rashes… when you hear “oxidative stress,” think wrinkles, brown spots… when you hear “blood vessel damage” think circulation issues (even heart attack!). The toxins that come from trans fats make their way into our cells, of course – because if we’re not consuming good fats, we’re consuming trans fats, or no fats at all! So enough about the bad guys, let’s talk good guys…

Good fats? What’s it all mean… 

Mono- and poly-unsaturated fats are considered the healthiest fats around. Both are vital for our health + wellbeing.  Mono-unsaturated fats are found in olive oil and our feature star, avocados, which are chalk full of heart-healthy nutrients, that stimulate cell formation to have us looking renewed and rejuvenated, and antioxidants, that remove toxins from our body. Mono-unsaturated fats are the key players in hydration + moisturizing, from the inside out!

Poly-unsaturated fats, on the other hand, are those fats that contain omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids so highly raved about. So why’s everybody talking about these guys, anyways? Well, we need to be consuming them because our body doesn’t do so well without them. After all, they are called essential fatty acids for a reason! So let’s dig deeper…

  • Omega-3 fatty acids – Omega-3 fatty acids are especially important to the health of our skin, since they feed the phospholipids, helping to keep the cell membrane in tact. This leaves the cell plump and supple. This creates the anti-wrinkle (anti-aging) effect. Omega-3s have also been studied to combat inflammation, which impacts the aging process. Like I said earlier, inflammation also causes redness and irritation (like eczema, acne, rosacea, psoriasis, and of course, dry skin), in which omega-3s can help to decrease the severity.  A diet high in carbohydrates can cause tremendous inflammation, since carbohydrates drive our insulin levels to increase, and insulin is an inflammatory compound. After all, a diet high in carbohydrates and low in healthy fats is what ultimately has caused the rise in Type II Diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and is said by some practitioners to be one of the causes of cancer. To get the richest effect from omega-3s, opt for fish oil supplements higher in EPA (that’s eicosapentaenoic acid) than DHA (that’s docosahexaenoic acid), since EPA has a higher capacity to reduce inflammation. Things like salmon, mackerel, sardines + anchoives (yep!), tuna, and even eggs are rich sources. For additional omega-3 food sources, seek out chia / flax / and pumpkin seeds, which so easily can be added to just about anything. And, if you’re needing a new moisturizer, try this one, which is rich in essential fatty acids and antioxidants (FYI, this is one of my favourite products!).
  • Omega-6 fatty acids – Omega-6 fatty acids are another essential fatty acid. These are found in plant sources like hemp, pumpkin, sesame, and sunflower seeds and oils. Omega-6 fatty acids are unique, since they actually have the capacity to be converted to a thing called prostaglandins. Prostaglandins can be amazing hormone-like substances that can help to keep the blood thin, can decrease inflammation, can improve nerve function, and help balance our blood sugar; but, some forms can be detrimental, causing the opposite effect. Omega-6 fatty acids found in primarily red meat sources and dairy are converted to these forms of prostaglandins, which can have quite the opposite effect on our health. In such case, opt for consuming omega-6 fatty acids from the plant-sources that I’ve mentioned above, or supplementing with evening primrose oil or borage oil, which are very rich sources of omega-6 fatty acids that protect our health! Omega-6 fatty acids can help to achieve glowing skin by reducing the redness I’ve so frequently talked about, but by also controlling skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema, specifically. They will help to lock-in moisture!

And what about saturated fat? 

Sometimes labeled as another “bad fat,” saturated fat can have health benefits.  One example of a healthy saturated fat is coconut oil, which we know can have tremendous health benefits. Coconut oil is nourishing to our cells, and can be used to cook on high temperatures. Some other forms of saturated fats are things like ghee, meat, and… you guessed it, BUTTER! If organic and grass fed, these forms of fat can keep us fuller, longer and offer tremendous health benefits, too. This is why butter is back! Butter is an excellent source of skin-loving antioxidant vitamin E, as well as essential fatty acids that help boost immunity, enhance metabolism, and prevent diabetes, unlike it’s ugly duckling cousin, margarine, which is chalk-full of trans fats and can cause only damage to our bodies!

The kicker with cooking fat… 

When making your own food, watch what oils you are using to fry + bake your food in. As a general rule of thumb, polyunsaturated fats are unsafe for cooking, since they cannot be heated on high temperatures. In fact, heating your oils above threshold levels causes the oils to shift their chemical structure from good fat to bad fat, meaning they actually create trans fats and all of its oxidative damage! Try cooking your food in avocado oil or coconut oil, as these oils can withstand high heat. Avoid using olive oil, which can only be heated to approximately 350oF. And absolutely never, ever, ever cook, bake, fry, heat, whatever your food in oils such as hemp seed, flax seed, fish oil – because all you’re doing is making a good thing bad!

You can still have your dessert & of course eat it too… 

The best part about this post is that we’ve come up with a skin-loving, healthy fat dessert that will keep you fuller, longer, and will keep you glowing from the inside out. We’ve included some cell-loving avocados and coconut oil for you to nourish your glow (and your sweet tooth too!). On top of that, raw cacao is one of the richest sources of antioxidants, so prepare to sweep away oxidative stress that’s been wearing on your skin.

Michelle Nutrition Toronto Nutritionist Healthy Skin Food Healthy Dessert

Skin Healthy Chocolate Mousse 

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ avocado, peeled + pitted
  • ½ cup whole fat coconut milk
  • 1 ½ tbsp pure maple syrup
  • ¼ cup raw cacao powder
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted

Michelle Nutrition Toronto Nutritionist Healthy Skin Food Healthy Dessert

 

Instructions:

  • Place avocado, coconut milk, maple syrup, + raw cacao powder in a high speed blender or food processor
  • Begin by blending on low speed until contents have reached a pudding-like consistency
  • While blending on low speed, add melted coconut oil
  • Ensure lid is on blender or food processor + rev up the blender
  • Blend on high speed for 30 seconds to 1 minute to create the mousse-like texture
  • Serve in bowls + top with fruit of choice
  • Sprinkle with chia / flax / hemp / pumpkin seeds for an extra healthy fat boost!

So go on, enjoy your healthy fat dessert, and after… continue to enjoy your healthy fats! I’ll be sure to feature more recipes with healthy fats so that you can get creative in the kitchen, all while enjoying the skin-loving nutritional boost and flavour of healthy fats!

Enjoy, guys! And tell me all about how your healthy fat journey goes! (Oh! And if you made the chocolate mousse recipe and LOVED it!)

Yours in health,

Samantha Xo

Samantha Van De Wal, MEd, is a Holistic Nutritionist, Educator, and Owner of www.SamanthaVanDeWal.com. Samantha believes that health is more than the absence of disease and that true holistic health is about tuning into one’s body, mind, and soul. By sharing her knowledge, Samantha empowers her readers and viewers to make holistic, health-conscious choices based on their individual health goals. Currently she offers nutritional consultations, public speaking, and workplace wellness services across Ontario, Canada. Visit her website, www.SamanthaVanDeWal.com, to download a Free Guide to Plant Based Protein, and follow her on Instagram @samanthavandewal to receive more info, daily! 

Genuine Health Giveaway Michelle Tirmandi + Michelle Nutrition + Toronto Nutritionist

How to Get More Energy (Genuine Health greens+ Extra Energy Giveaway!)

“How do I get more energy?” I hear it ALL the time…

Truth is, I used to be the least energetic person, like ever. Just like so many others, I would hit the snooze at least three times before dragging myself out of bed, get to work and pound back a few black coffees, almost fall asleep in my afternoon meetings only to save myself with another mid-afternoon cuppa joe, skip the gym because I was too tired, then get home unable to fall asleep at a decent time. (Looking back now I was also completey addicted to caffeine and sugar, had no sense of managing my blood sugar and my adrenals were completely fried…)

This pattern isn’t unrealistic for many of us, and the truth is that it is really, really, really hard to get out of the low energy funk! Most of us know that if we ‘eat healthy and get more excercise’ that we will feel better. But, the truth is that it is hard to want to excercise when you have low energy…it’s a vicious little cycle keeping you from looking and feeling your best!

For me, getting rid of my chronic low energy was not something that happened overnight. It took a change in my lifestyle to get back to the point where I  felt vibrant again. This is the case for many of us because unfortuately the problem of having low energy just doesn’t have a clean, simple fix. There are so many factors that play in to low energy including:

  • Nutrient Deficiencies (low Iron and B12 are just a few common ones)
  • Hormonal Imbalances
  • Thyroid Issues
  • Blood Sugar Imbalances
  • Stress (physical and mental stress)
  • Use of Drugs and Alcohol
  • &  Sleep Disorders

The good news is there are some things that we can change about our diet and lifestyle that can help you to get back to feeling vibrant and energized fairly quickly. You don’t need to overhaul your entire lifestyle in one fell swoop (I actually don’t recommend it), but you can choose one or two of the options that I have laid out for you below to get started…

(Sidenote: make sure that you read all the way to the bottom of this post to learn how to enter for your chance to win an amazing giveaway from Genuine Health!)

Energy Supporting Foods

Food is fuel! It is simple – when it comes to energy, quality in = quality out. To be blunt, STOP relying on bandaid solutions for your energy fix like too much coffee and sugar that will only leave you feeling drained after you crash. Instead, start filling the tank with REAL foods which contain the necessary vitamins, minerals and enzymes to keep the cells in your body performing optimally. My favorute energizing foods include the following:

  • Good Quality Fats (coconut oil, olive oil, flax oil, organic butter)
  • Fruits & Veggies (kale, spinach, romaine, peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, apples & bananas)
  • Whole Grains (brown rice, steel cut oats, quinoa, millet & buckwheat)
  • Quality Protein Sources (organic meat, legumes, fish, nuts & seeds)

Don’t forget to cut the energy zapping processed foods (ahem, sugar!) and to ensure that you’re eating breakfast and regular meals throughout the day to balance your blood sugar. Drinking enough water to keep you hydrated is also tres important in keeping fatigue under wraps (even a 1.5% decrease in your water volume will make you feel extremely tired).

Energy Supporting Supplements – Genuine Health greens+ Extra Energy 

 

Genuine Health greens+ Extra Energy

As I mentioned above, low energy is a complex problem lacking a simple solution. It requires an approach that addresses not only giving you energy, but also must attack the root issues at hand. This product, Genuine Health greens+ Extra Energy just does that and here’s how it works…

(Disclaimer: If you don’t already know, I’m a little biased about the products that Genuine Health makes. I worked there for 2 years in the marketing department at the beginning of my career as a Nutritionist and saw first hand how the products are made and developed. One of the main things that sets them apart in the Natural Health industry is that they actually use the highest quality ingredients in their formulas in research proven dosages, meaning that not only are they safe, they actually work!)

Genuine Health greens+ Extra Energy gives a natural boost, without a crash.

As I mentioned above, colourful, natural, whole food based ingredients are crucial to help us meet our energy needs. Thankfully, since most of us have days where we don’t get enough in our own, this supplement makes it easy on us. Not only does one scoop (that can simply be added to your water or morning smoothie) contain the ingredients from real plants, it’s also got, energy boosting herbs, vitamins, amino acids and minerals that’ll keep you going strong all day!

I’ve included the ingredient breakdown showing you where all the goodness is actually coming from and why it’s beneficial…

  • Kola Nut: To help meet immediate energy needs, Kola Nut provides a natural source of caffeine, rich in polyphenols and flavonoids offering sustained energy. Its got a good track record as a natural source of caffeine.
  • Taurine: Another natural booster, it’s great for mental outlook and sharpness and known for increasing muscular energy and endurance.
  • Glycine: An important, natural amino acid that plays an important role in maintaining blood sugar and energy levels.
  • Gotu Kola: A high antioxidant Ayurvedic herb playing an important role in longevity and memory.
  • Vitamin B6: An essential nutrient with a variety of uses within the body including helping with symptoms of insomnia, anxiety and depression.
  • Vitamin C: A  nutrient with extremely high requirement during stress. It helps to support adrenal function and in turn, overall hormonal balance.
  • Chromium: An essential mineral that is important for proper insulin functioning and sugar metabolism which prevents sugar drops and spikes, thereby regulating your energy level over time.

The best part about this stuff is that when you take greens+ Extra Energy, you also get all of the goodness found in the regular greens+ formula. And I am talking, ALL the greens and antioxidants which as you know will keep you GLOWING!

This is a great supplement and one that I recommend to those who are feeling stressed, burnt out or simply low in energy. The best part is that it is so ridiculously simple to add in to our lifestyle. Simply swap out your coffee with a greens+ extra energy (mixed with water or in a smoothie). As I mentioned above, we don’t need to make a million massive changes at once to our health. In fact, in my experience as a nutritionist, I have seen that it tends to work best when we add in one thing at a time and allow ourselves the freedom and acceptance to get used to a habit before adding on the next one. I promise you, what you’ll find when you do it this way is that you end up feeling better which results in a desire to make more healthy changes! Sounds good, right?! It gets better though. I’ve partnered up with Genuine Health to offer a giveaway – see the details below. 

GIVEAWAY!

Genuine Health Giveaway Michelle Tirmandi + Michelle Nutrition + Toronto Nutritionist

 

If you’d like to WIN a 3 month supply of Genuine Health greens+ Extra Energy simply follow the instructions below.

Head over to the Giveaway post on my Instagram page @michellenutrition and let me know why you want to win a 3 month supply of greens+ Extra Energy.

Contestants must follow @michellenutrition and @genuinehealth to WIN. A random winner will be chosen and announced on Feb 29th on Instagram.

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(P.S You can get greens+ Extra Energy at most health food stores as well as Shoppers Drug Mart & Loblaws. They also have a store locator here if you want to find a specific location). 

 

Calm Michelle Tirmandi Toronto Nutritionist Michelle Nutrition

7 Holiday Self Care Tips

The holidays are in full effect and many of us are super busy + super stressed! With the constant go-go & partying, too much sugar and late nights – chances are, we’re not feeling our best!

During the holidays it is particularly important that we practice self care in order to ensure we feel good both mentally and physically. When we show ourselves self love we can be truly present with our loved ones.

One important thing to remember: we can still enjoy ourselves and care for ourselves at the same time!

Here are My Top 7 Holiday Self Care (Survival) Tips

1.Pause: The universe sent me a message today and it came in the form of my tea 🙂 I think that anyone who is reading this can likely also afford to take one breath and pause. Notice where you are breathing from – is it your chest or your belly? Slow it down…

Calm Michelle Tirmandi Toronto Nutritionist Michelle Nutrition

2. Manage your Mindset: One thing that I have really noticed in my clients is the impact an ‘all or nothing’ mindset can have on the way you feel during the holidays. Let perfection go and get on board with the reality that life gets so much better when you aren’t upset or dissapointed about having overindulged.

3. Help your Hangover: Lets face it, #ithappens. A few little things you can do in this situation will go along way! Drink a ton of water all night long while you are drinking (so simple!), take a good quality B-multivitamin before you go to bed, drink water w/ half of a lemon upon waking, eat something green  for breakfast (smoothie, salad, greens+), get enough sleep (or take a nap), and choose green tea instead of coffee.

4. Boost your Immunity: Seems boring but getting sick is no fun! Here are my top tips: Eat as much raw garlic as you can handle (seriously! mix it with raw honey to get added immune boosting benefits), eat as many vitamins and minerals as possible (think bright colours, especially green), cut back on sugar big time (it depresses your immune system), use essential oils* (such as Frankincense, Lemon, On Guard) and get as much sleep as possible!

5. Bathe: If this sounds like a foreign concept to you then you probably need one! Draw yourself a bath and add some amazing essential oils* (lavender, grapefruit) to help you relax and detoxify.

6. Sweat it Out: Move your body, and if you can’t make your regular workouts then try to fit more 10-15 movement breaks in to your day.

7. Eat Soup! Warm your body from the inside and enjoy my holiday gift to you – my new recipe book: 10 Healthy Soups & Stews!

P.S. – I am teaching a free webinar class “Essential Oils as a Lifestyle”. Join us on December 27th! Click Here to Register and Claim your Spot!

Take care, beauties!

Michelle

 

 

Perfect Skin Mexico Michelle Tirmandi Michelle Nutrition Nutritionist

Get Glowy with these 5 Cold Weather Skin Savers!

I originally wrote this article for my friends over at Genuine Health, an amazing (Canadian) natural health supplement company based in Toronto. Genuine Health is where I started my career as a Nutritionist while working in the marketing department for two years before going out on my own with Michelle Nutrition.  It’s where I learned the bulk of my knowledge about supplements and the natural health industry.  And, although you don’t see me write very much about supplements (I’m much more of a foodie!) I do believe that supplements can play and important role in our health. It’s pretty rare that I don’t take my supplements and even in my  hotel room this week you’ll find my greens+ and Genuine Health Perfect Skin supplements!

 

Here are my top 5 Skin Savers to keep your skin glowing all winter!


For many of us, the change of weather leads to changes in our skin. Unfortunately, these changes are not for the best and include increased dryness, redness, cracking, itching and dullness. But it’s not all bad news – you have the power to change the health and appearance of your skin through diet and nutritional supplementation!

Protecting the skin to ensure that it stays supple, youthful and moisturized throughout the cooler, dryer months of the year, requires specific nutrients to prevent the main skin-sabotaging processes: poor digestive health, free radical damage and inflammation. Here are my top 5 skin-loving foods and supplements that will help to keep you glowing from the inside out this season!

Top 5 Skin Loving Foods & Supplements:

Perfect Skin Mexico Michelle Tirmandi Michelle Nutrition Nutritionist

1. Cha-Cha Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are incredible power-seeds that serve many functions when it comes to skin health. Not only are they loaded with Omega3 fats and antioxidants which help moisturize, protect and repair the cells, they are also jam-packed with fiber – supporting healthy detoxification. Nutritionist Tip: Try sprinkling 1-2 tbsp. of chia on your breakfast cereal or blending in with your green smoothie.

2. Beautifying Brazil Nuts

Eating 4 Brazil nuts every day will give your body the right amount of Selenium, a mineral that protects skin cells from stressors such as pollution or a poor diet. Nutritionist Tip: Try pairing a few nuts with a fresh fruit for a mid-afternoon blood sugar balancing snack.

3. Liver-Loving Lemons

Lemons pack a serious superfood punch when it comes to skin health – they contain loads of Vitamin C -a powerful antioxidant- that also helps the body to produce Collagen (required for healthy, and taut skin).  Nutritionist Tip: Try squeezing 1/2 lemon in your water and drink before breakfast to help stimulate digestion and aid in detoxification.

4. Get your Glow with Genuine Health’s Greens+ Healthy Skin

If you have heard of greens+ before then you will know that it is an awesome, nourishing daily green superfood supplement. Beyond the base greens+ formula which will leave you feeling energized and vibrant during the darker days, there’s a boosted formula with a nutrient profile specific to skin health. With targeted ingredients including cocoa seed extract, hydrolyzed collagen, vitamin C, lycopene + vitamins B2 & E, zinc and selenium, this supplement supports the maintenance of firm skin and decreased scaling and roughness.

5. Genuine Health Perfect Skin for the Win!

If you have ever looked at skin cells under a microscope you will see that our skin’s structure resembles brick wall: the mortar between the cells that holds them together is a lipid complex called ceramides and when these are damaged we often see dry, itchy skin. Thankfully with ingredients like Borage seed oil, squalene, and phosphatidylserine, this supplement targets exactly this issue with the result being more supple, radiant and healthier looking skin!

Supine Twist Sara Lou Yoga Michelle Nutrition

7 Yoga Poses and Breathing Techniques for Detox

Today on the blog we have a very special guest post by Sara Lou. Sara is an amazing yoga instructor in Toronto. Her beautiful Instagram pictures inspire me every single morning (I suggest that you give her a follow!). I asked Sara to provide some expertise on how we can use Yoga to help us during our Radiate & Revitalize 10 Day Cleanse and here is what she came up with. I hope that you enjoy it and find some time this holiday season to take a moment for a few of these detoxifying poses!

 

Hi Beauties!

 

Congratulations, I am SO excited that so many of you are doing a  10 day cleanse! It’s such a neat way to reset our bodies right before the holidays. I remember my first cleanse a few years ago. I bought 5 days worth of fresh juices to drink throughout the day. I wasn’t supposed to eat anything else. The first day was ah-mazing, the second day was hard, the third day I wanted to kill everyone in sight and by the fourth day I was caved and started eating cooked veggies along with my juices. You don’t even want to know what happened the 5th day. Hanger is real, friends. I’m so glad that Michelle’s cleanse is much more nutritionally dense!

 

Although I barely made it through half of my juice cleanse I can say that I noticed lots of positive changes for my body. My acne issues finally got the kick in the butt they needed and my stomach ailments improved considerably. I really enjoyed the idea of treating my body differently too. Who knows– maybe I can woman up to only consuming the juices for the full 5 days next time!

 

As Michelle has likely been telling you, to achieve any great health strides we have to treat our bodies holistically. Physical and mental exercise can do wonders to complement your cleanse. Physical exercise, like yoga, helps your body to detoxify and release stress. Yogic twists in specific help to wring out your organs and compress your torso to facilitate in detoxification. Mental exercises like meditation have a positive effect on your ability to achieve a specific outcome in your cleanse as well as release mind body tension. Breathing patterns done in meditation help to bring more oxygen into your cells.

 

After speaking with Michelle, I wanted to give you the best yoga poses and breathing techniques to aid you in your cleanse. Here are 7 Yoga poses and breathing techniques that will help your body detox so that your true, authentic beauty can shine through!

 

7 Yoga Poses and Breathing Techniques for Detox

 

Cleansing Yoga Poses
Before you attempt these, I highly recommend you stretch and warm up the body. Sweating, even a little, helps to release toxins, too! Need a short video– check out my 10 minute yoga flow here. Then, your spine and torso will be nice and nimble for these next few poses.

Supine Twist Sara Lou Yoga Michelle Nutrition

Supine Twist

Lie down flat on a yoga mat or on a comfortable floor/ground. Inhale to bring your right knee in towards your chest and hug the knee in with your hands. On your exhale bring your right knee to the left side of your body. Extend your arms out beside you and bring your head to point to the right. Make sure that both shoulders are rooted into the mat. Enjoy the stretch and spinal release. When you feel ready, repeat on the other side!

Sara Lou Yoga Michelle Nutrition

Seated Twist

Find a comfortable seat. Bend your left leg so that your left foot is placed by the right sit bones. Now place cross your right leg over the left so that the sole of your right foot roots into the mat beside the left knee (on the left side). Inhale here and stretch your torso upwards. Exhale and twist to the right, placing both arms on the right side and against the right thigh if needed for leverage. Enjoy the stretch and spinal release. When you feel ready, repeat on the other side!

Chair Twist
Chair twist

Start with your feet planted beside each other, big toes touching. Inhale here and squeeze your inner thighs together. Exhale to send your sit bones back and bring your hands to touch in prayer position in front of your chest. Engage your core and make sure that you can see your toes– that’s a good indication that you are in alignment. Inhale to expressively lengthen your torso and exhale twist to the right, bringing your left tricep muscle onto your right thigh if possible. Enjoy the stretch and spinal release. When you feel ready, repeat on the other side!

high lunge twist michelle nutrition sara lou yoga
High lunge twist

Start with your feet hip distance apart, rooting into the mat and parallel to each other. Inhale to step your left foot back and come onto the ball of the left foot, bending the front knee so that the right leg is at a 90 degree angle. Spread your arms out wide. On your next exhale, twist your arms and torso to the right. Enjoy the stretch and spinal release. When you feel ready, repeat on the other side!

 

Cleansing Breath Techniques

breath of fire sara lou yoga michelle nutrition toronto
Breath of Fire

This is a technique where you inhale deeply and suck your lower ribs in. You would usually sit down with your legs crossed and have your sit bones propped up on a pillow. On your exhale you use your core muscles to quickly release air out of your nose consecutively until you have no more breath in your lungs. These typically last for about 30 exhales and each exhale is done for less than a second. It sounds silly, but this is a really popular breathing technique that helps to let your mind go of stress and stimulates your organs around your tummy.
Slow Full Exhales

Taking deep breaths in and then slowly releasing them for a count of 8 seconds or more trains your body to slow down and allow the breath to flow more naturally in and out. Fully exhaling also releases tension in the body. Try this technique for at least 5 breaths and feel your cells become more energized.
Slow Inhales, Full Quick Sighs

This breathing technique helps the body to release any negative tension. The quick release of the exhale forces your torso to relax while the deep long inhale helps to send oxygen to all of the cells in your body. Try this for 5-10 breaths so that you can begin to feel the effects.

 

And that’s it! Weave this poses into your cleanse and your body– and mind– will reap the benefits.

 

Need anything else? Hop on over to my blog for more inspiration to move your body and slow down your mind here
With light and presence,

Sara Lou