My Top 6 Heart Healthy Foods

As we near the end of Heart Health Month I want everyone to remember that taking care of your heart is a 24 hour job and should not only be considered when the theme is appropriate.

A balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, protein, healthy fats & carbohydrates is essential for the overall health of your entire body.
But there are certain foods that lend extra health benefits to specific organs and systems.

In order to maintain a healthy cardiovascular system, you must do and eat things that support your heart & all of it’s valves, arteries, ventricles, veins ETC, and reduce your risk of heart disease.

Here are the top 6 foods (or food types) that you can add to your diet daily to give your heart some extra love!

1. Omega 3 fatty acid rich foods:

(ground flax seeds, oatmeal, hemp seeds, walnuts)

Omega-3 fats lower levels of triglycerides in the blood that may contribute to blood clotting. Omega-3s also lower blood pressure slightly and can help prevent irregular heart rhythms.

2. Oatmeal:Foods that are rich in soluble fiber, studies show, can help lower “bad” LDL cholesterol.

3. Dark Leafy Greens:

(Kale, Collard, Spinach, Swiss chard)

Dark green is the sign that a food is loaded with the important antioxidant beta carotene and other special nutrients called phytochemicals that are good for the heart.

4. Beans/Legumes:

Beans help bind cholesterol and keep it from being absorbed in the gut. And, as the fiber is fermented, it produces changes in short-chain fatty acids that can inhibit cholesterol formation.

5. Avocados:

One cup of avocado provides almost a quarter of your recommended daily intake of folate. A high folate intake is associated with a lower risk of heart attacks and heart disease. The oleic acid in avocados can help reduce cholesterol levels as well.

6. Berries:

High in polyphenols,which may increase levels of nitric oxide, a molecule that produces a number of heart-healthy effects. One is helping to relax blood vessels, which in turn results in lowered blood pressure.

It just so happens that I add one of each of these to my smoothie every morning! It doesn’t take much to implement good heart healthy foods to your diet daily to keep you feeling fabulous!

A regular exercise routine and adequate sleep are also extremely important parts of a healthy functioning cardiovascular system.


Much love from my healthy heart to yours,

Janine <3

Why removing Gluten is not enough, if you have Celiac Diease.

This is one topic I feel really strongly about and I wanted this blog to be a video but I couldn’t nail  it down and so here I am doing what I do best and writing about it.
I will keep it short and sweet because I feel it’s important info and I don’t want to lose anyone’s attention.
So if you have Celiac disease OR you have “non-celiac-gluten-sensitivity” then I am talking to you!

Gluten – after a period of time it literally paralyzes the micro villi in your intestinal tract and when this happens you can no longer absorb nutrients properly and eventually can end up with holes-essentially- in the intestinal wall. This in turn allows certain particles to end into the body that otherwise should not and in response your body goes into defense mode and literally starts attacking itself and thus we have an “auto-immune” disease.

So of course the first thing you are going to do when this happens is you are going to remove the culprit (hopefully), Gluten!

Doing this will grant you relief from the symptoms you experience in response to gluten in your body, but it will not cure you of your Celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity. This is only a step in the journey to recovery, if recovery is what you are aiming for that is.

What needs to happen next is healing. Healing of the gut lining. Healing of the years of damage that gluten has done to your body. Healing so that your body can properly absorb nutrients again and not allow unwelcomed particles into the bloodstream.

You see, Celiac disease is just the first response. If you do not heal your gut from the damage gluten has done you will inevitably end up with more nutrient deficiencies and auto immune diseases down the road, it is really a slippery slop unless you take matters into your own hands and get it under control.

How do you do that?

Here are a few basic steps everyone who needs to heal their gut can follow:

1. Eat gut supporting and healing foods & herbs.

2. Taking vitamins and minerals in a form that can either absorb sub lingually or require little work from the digestive system to absorb properly (which is rare).

3. Hydrate – water in = toxins out.

4. AVOID SUGAR. Avoid it to the very best of your ability, it will always do more harm than good.

5. Eat more whole foods instead of just “gluten-free” products, which are usually full of sugar anyhow.

If you are just going Gluten Free and interested in a meal plan to guide you and get you started then you can purchase my 5 Day Meal Plan + Recipes here:
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If you have Celiac Disease or a Gluten- Sensitivity and need some guidance please contact me for a FREE discovery session to see your best plan of action.
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I hope this was helpful to you and if you think anyone else could use this info please pass it along.

Loving you and your guts!

Janine ♥

Why sit on the floor to eat? + Digestion tips!

WTF Wednesdays

As you may know, some cultures traditionally sit on the floor, or very low stools, crossed legged to eat their meals.

Why is this?

Well, without getting into an explanation for each and every culture, I can certainly tell you why this is a very smart practice and why our culture (North American) of all of them, could really use this practice.

When you sit crossed legged on the floor, which can also be known as “Sukhasana” or easy seated pose in yoga, you are restricting the blood flow to your legs. That is a very factual statement. A more spiritual statement is that you are grounding down through your sitting bones & root chakra, connecting to the very earth that created you and the food you are about to receive.


What does this have to do with eating?

When you sit down to eat, it is important that there is ample blood flow to your digestive system. In our current way of life here in North America, we are on the go, rushing, worrying, thinking, moving so much that when it is time to sit down to eat we rarely do so with a conscious mind, let alone a fully functioning digestive system.

When your body is in “fight or flight mode”, the blood in your body rushes to your extremities to allow you to move quickly away from the danger or threat that it perceives. You see, even though a bear or tiger isn’t chasing you down your worried thoughts still create the same reaction inside your body, it doesn’t know the difference, it just knows it needs to protect itself.

You follow? I hope so.

So when you eat in a state of “fight or flight” there is not the preferred amount blood or consciousness in your digestive system to allow for proper absorption and assimilation of the food you consumed.

So then what happens?
Well a few things, one is the food goes right through you, essentially.  Have you ever experienced the Nervous Poops? Your body is too busy protecting you that it does not have the capacity to also assist in nourishing you.

You may end up with stomach cramps, indigestion, bloating, etc.

Every-body is different in how it reacts.

Back to sitting on the floor.

When you sit crossed legged on the floor and restrict the blood circulation to your legs, you are then inviting that blood flow back up into your digestive system.

It would be great if that were enough, we could sit crossed legged anywhere and eat and not have to worry about indigestion again. But it’s not.

Because most systems are so overburdened by every day life events, proper digestion is one of the biggest problems.

A few more tips on digestion:

  • Sitting crossed legged once again allows you to connect through your sitting bones, when you do this take deep breaths into your lower belly so you can really feel your belly expand. This is helping to bring awareness to your digestive tract but also helping to calm the body and mind. Do not underestimate the therapeutic power of deep conscious breathing.
  • Chewing your food thoroughly until it becomes a paste in your mouth. This will stimulate enzymes both in your mouth and your stomach, to further breakdown food. When the food is already very broken down, it makes for a much easier transition through the body.
  • Avoid drinking any fluids with your meals so as to not dilute the hydrochloric acid in your stomach & enzymes.

So there you have it, next meal time try sitting crossed legged on the floor and see how much of a difference that makes in how you digest your food!

Love, light & good digestion

<3 Janine

Listen to Your Intuition

Listen to your intuition.
What is your intuition? It is that knowing, that feeling, that voice deep inside that it is louder and more present than anything else. It is that feeling you get when something is just not right and no matter how many times you go over it in your head, it still does not feel good in your gut. It is that unshakable unmistakable voice inside that tells you when something is wrong or something is right.
So often people ignore that gut feeling that says just take the leap, or don’t take it at all and end up suffering.
Here is the thing about that voice inside, it comes from your soul, it knows you and your path better than anyone else in the world can. Other people can help guide you and mentor you and help you plan, but no one absolutely NO ONE can know what is best for you but you! Don’t listen to the people around you, listen to your inner voice. Get quiet, get still, be alone, write, figure it out.
When you know, you know and it does not matter how many times someone outside of you tries to tell you differently, that deep core truth will always remain constant.
Example: I was in a relationship with someone I really felt inside was untrustworthy. However given my previous track record I chalked it up to learned trust issues and kept moving forward. In speaking with friends they assured me it was likely my own “stuff” coming up and that if I wanted it to work I needed to just learn to trust. Even in the moments I was physically sick to my stomach I kept listening to my brain and my friends telling me it was just my own issues. Conclusion: he was completely beyond untrustworthy. I needed to listen to that gut feeling and I would have been spared a lot of suffering. BUT I would not have learned the valuable lesson and so it was not a complete waste. But you live and you learn and repeating the same mistakes over and over is the definition of insanity. Avoid the insanity and learn to listen to that gnawing feeling in your gut that tells you when you are or are not on the right path, I promise it will never steer you wrong and the more you listen to it the closer you get to that pure internal happiness called bliss ♥

Love & Light,
Janine XO

Falafel Recipe

I hope you all had a beautiful Valentine’s Day surrounded by the people and things you love most.
I have always been a fan of V-Day, attached or not. I love the abundance of red & pink (usually an unlikely colour combo for me) Hearts everywhere and love in the air, it’s just a really good feel good day. If we take away the idea that it is a day only for couples then I think a lot more people would learn to enjoy it also.

I made myself some delicious pancakes on Valentine’s morning, using Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free, dairy-free pancake mix, ground flax to substitute eggs (works like a charm!), poppy seeds, sunflower seeds & mixed puréed berries, topped with some real Canadian Maple Syrup, they were delicious and looked oh so pretty too.

For the evening I had an event planned at the Yoga Studio I work at complete with Dinner, Desert, Wine, Yoga & Meditation. This “Healing Hearts” event was geared towards anyone Solo on Vday. feeling bitter or lonely, needing some heart healing food, movement or words.
A couple of ladies came out and it was such a lovely evening and I couldn’t imagine myself spending it any other way.
For the dinner I made a simple spring mix salad with home made vinaigrette,  falafel with a garlic dill sauce wrapped in collard greens & dark chocolate covered strawberries, with a side of Organic Merlot.

All full of heart healthy fibre, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
The falafel were so easy to make and I questioned myself as to why I don’t more frequently make large batches to freeze for meals, I am sure I will start doing so now.
The garlic dill sauce I had to quickly whip together as it was not part of my plan but the tahini that was part of the plan did not work out as I had hoped, so I won’t be sharing that lol

This recipe is great for any occasion and any meal time, as a snack or an entrée.

I hope you enjoy as much as I did <3

(See Recipe Below)

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