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3 major health issues

Most of the time, we’re all just trying to get through the day with our sanity and our kids in one piece.

Unless you’re a holistic nutritionist like me, you more than likely rarely (or never) sit around and wonder if your headache is from dehydration, stress, or an overloaded liver.

It’s hard enough getting dinner on the table, never mind a healthy dinner that everyone will eat without complaining about … but what if I told you that you can customize what you’re eating to reduce or even eliminate bodily issues or symptoms that you experience?

Symptoms are your body’s way of talking to you, of trying to tell you that something’s out of balance. The problem is that we don’t always speak the same language.

The beauty of becoming aware of your symptoms is that organ and system imbalances (like your stomach or your liver), nutrient excesses or deficiencies usually have a very specific subset of symptoms. The more symptoms affecting a system, the more likely there is an imbalance in that system (remember that I’m not a doctor, so I can’t talk about specific diseases or diagnoses).

The best part about all of this is that each bodily system has foods that can hinder it or support it.

Yes, I think we can all agree by now that food can, and should, be used as medicine. It’s gentle but effective, usually doesn’t have the side effects that other treatments can, and only helps other treatments work better.

Other than the time it takes to make the food, there really is no downside to eating your way to health.

Don’t get all overwhelmed, thinking that you have to spend hours researching food for your specific issues, and then figuring out how to get more of those foods into your daily life. Just take a deep breath.

There are people out there, called Registered Holistic Nutritionists (ahem, that’s me), who are trained to support you with exactly this. Whether you’ve been diagnosed by a doctor or naturopath, or just going by your symptoms, a RHN can help with more things than most people realize.

Before you work with a RHN, find out what they specialize in. Even better, most natural practitioners go into the business because they’ve personally had the same issues that they help with. That means they’ve tried the foods, recipes, and protocols that they’re going to give you, so you don’t waste your precious time and energy (and make sure the money you’re investing in them isn’t wasted!).

Here are 3 common health issues and what to eat to lessen the symptoms:

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Roasted Root Vegetables

It’s time for hibernation, maybe a touch of the winter blues, and definitely cabin fever.

I’m writing this in the juxtaposition of feeling warm from the sun streaming into my window while simultaneously being chilled by the 50 km/h wind gusts that are sending the -13 degrees Celsius outdoor air into the house. My body doesn’t know what to think, and is rebelling with flaky skin.

Raise your hand if you miss being able to go for a walk outside, which is so not happening due to the inch of snow and ice covering the sidewalks, or being able to take your toddler outside without 3 layers on his top-half, a hat (toque in canadian dialect), and mittens that he clearly despises.

This is the time of year to crave comfort food, usually any type of sugary carbs. Now, some nutritionists out there might be telling you that doing a green smoothie or juice cleanse will help you get over these cravings, plus drop those extra holiday pounds and raise your energy level.

While that is true, here’s the deal (FYI, this only applies to those peeps out there who experience colder winter temperatures, not those living in a tropical climate): it’s damn cold, and your body is already stressed. While you may desperately need a cleanse or detox to address symptoms that you’re having, now is not the time.

Doing a detox can be highly beneficial for most people, since 99% of us have cells that are drowning in toxins, but it is a form of stress on your body. Stressing an already stressed body is not the way to get the best results from all of the work that a proper cleanse or detox takes. Wait for spring, which its the #1 optimal time to detox.

What you should focus on right now is eating nutrient-dense food, and the way to do that is to eat what’s in season right now. It’ll also save you some cash, since out of season food shipped from other countries altogether are outrageously expensive right now.

As mentioned in the summer edition and fall edition of this series “what’s cheap and in season RIGHT NOW”, I use this produce availability guide for my local area of Ontario. You can find one for your local area on something called “the internet” by using “Google”. Just search “what’s in season in [insert your area]“.

Chances are if you’ve got cold winter weather right now, this is what’s in season in your area, too:

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eat for more energy

I don’t know about you, but I was completely unprepared for the amount of energy it takes to raise a busy 15-month old boy who never sits down. If I could harness just a fraction of his energy, I’d probably have to take prescription downers.

I remember, before I had kids, having clients who were moms tell me how they’re so tired all.the.time. I remember thinking to myself, and telling them, that they have to try to eat more regularly, drink more water, and cook more real food.

I’m laughing in my head right now when I think that I told them to do all of these things with no actual ways of fitting them into their busy day. I give them credit for sitting there with straight faces while listening to me give them unreasonable plans that I had no idea were even unreasonable!

There’s just no way of explaining to someone who’s not a parent yet that your day isn’t just about making a green salad for lunch, but more about keeping your child from launching themselves off of their annoying as Janice’s laugh on the TV show “Friends” musical interactive table, or that your pantyliners are not their own personal stash of oversized bandaids.

In honour of all the moms of overly energetic children (and really, aren’t those all children?), here are 3 easy, totally doable ways to have more energy everyday just by eating and drinking real food:

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I don’t know about you, but even though I pretty much live for food, I’d rather spend my money on clothes or a mani/pedi.

Yes, I love having amazing food in my kitchen, like 10-year-old aged balsamic vinegar and only organic goat’s milk for my son. But I still live in the real world, and I don’t have, nor do I want to spend $200 a week on groceries (for the 3 of us).

That being said, I’m slightly sick of hearing how eating healthier costs more.

Yes, it can cost more, especially when you’re throwing in organic dairy and meat, but it can also cost the same, or even less than the SAD (Standard American Diet) way of eating.

Curious how I get away with eating grass-fed meat, organic fruits and veggies, and cold-pressed virgin oils (like olive and coconut oil) for about $115 a week?

Here are just 25 (and I say just, because I have more ideas …. maybe a part 2? Help me out by leaving a comment on the bottom!) ways to save money on your weekly grocery bill, so you can treat yourself.

I won’t even judge you if you buy a gossip mag with all your extra cash. Just sayin’.

25 ways to save money on groceries

What are YOUR best secrets for saving money while eating healthier?

Top 10 resources Who else agrees that the internet is a wonderful thing, and can’t even remember what life was like before it?

Sure, I bet that you can remember having actual conversations with people, especially if you have a child, which means you touched a real, live, 3-D person at least once.

Now that everyone and their dog are online, the inter webs are becoming so overloaded with information that’s it hard to know who or what to trust.

Oh, you want to do something simple like starting to eat healthier? Great!

So you type that into Google, and find articles telling you to eat only fruit, 100% raw, drink nothing but green juice for a month, paleo, specific carbohydrate diet, traditional diets, grain free, 100-mile diet, caveman, balanced, high carb, low carb, no carb.

Even I’m confused and having a mild panic attack, and I do this for a damn living. The choices are endless, but how do you know if the recipes are any good?

After all, you’re spending your hard earned cash on some of the weirdest ingredients you’ve ever heard of. I’m talking about you, umeboshi plum paste.

I’ve compiled my personal top 10 FREE healthy living resources so that they’re all in one tidy spot (for yours and my sake!).

Here they are, in no particular order:

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