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Woman jogging

Kudolife: The Next Generation Fitness App

Nowadays, there’s an app for everything. Just this morning while I was watching Global TV, they discussed a new app that detected the offensiveness of one’s body odor. Yep.

BODY ODOR.

Apps are available by the thousands, and some are definitely more useful than others; I personally use about 30 of them on a daily basis. For real—I counted. So imagine my hesitance when being approached about the “newest app that I need to try.”

Enter Kudolife, which I was introduced to by an acquaintance on April 7th. And it’s amazing.

About Kudolife

Previously, I was using My Fitness Pal. It tracked calories, food, fitness, and weight. But Kudolife? It does all of that plus it has Fit Bit features—it tracks your daily steps, guys! It’s also set to offer monthly meal plans and recipes, and it actually breaks your food intake into fats, proteins, and carbs.

Food with the words 'meal plans' over it

Marketing itself as a pre-diabetic activity and calorie tracker app, this awesome platform is the next generation of fitness apps—guaranteed. It’s also a very social platform. Yes—seriously. You can connect with others on Kudolife, and you can subscribe to the newsletter and mailing list.

Oh, and it’s pretty. Did I mention that? Because it really is. It’s really pretty.

Here’s the other thing: although it’s optimized for iPhone, you can use the desktop version, too. (Which rocks my world, because sometimes I’m tired of squinting at my phone.)

How to Get It

So if you love fitness and health and new stuff that makes life easier and more efficient, sign up for Kudolife. You can thank me later.

Visit www.kudolife.com for more info and/or to subscribe to their mailing list.

You’re welcome! xo

Springtime In-Season Produce for the West Coast

Happy Meatless Monday!

Although spring isn’t officially here yet, it sure feels like it on the west coast. I don’t know about you, but I’m getting tired of kale, chard, potatoes, and carrots. I want a freakin’ strawberry. And melon.

And rhubarb.

Fruits and veggies always taste better when they’re in season–that’s how you can tell they’re fresh! When your cantaloupe and watermelon start tasting spongy, it’s because they’re old, and out of season. When produce is fresh, it’s crisp and incredibly flavorful.

So when can we expect the first, earliest harvest of this long-awaited season? Pretty soon! Here’s what’s in its prime on the west coast from March until May:

Artichokes

artichoke

Asparagus

asparagus

Fiddleheads

fiddlehead

Kumquat

kumquat

Nettles

nettles

New Potatoes

new potatoes

Radishes

radish

Rhubarb

Rhubarb

Curious what’s in season for each month in the Vancouver, BC area? Here ya go (graph from the BC Association of Farmer’s Markets):

Product Season
APPLES AUGUST – JUNE
APRICOTS JULY – AUGUST
ASPARAGUS APRIL – MAY
BASIL JULY – SEPTEMBER
BEANS JULY – OCTOBER
BEETS JULY – OCTOBER
BLACKBERRIES AUGUST – OCTOBER
BLUEBERRIES JULY – SEPTEMBER
BROCCOLI JULY – OCTOBER
BRUSSELS SPROUTS OCTOBER – DECEMBER
CABBAGE JULY – FEBRUARY
CARROTS JULY – NOVEMBER
CAULIFLOWER JUNE – NOVEMBER
CELERY JULY – OCTOBER
CHERRIES JUNE – JULY
CHINESE VEGETABLES JUNE – SEPTEMBER
CHIVES APRIL – OCTOBER
CILANTRO JUNE – OCTOBER
CORN AUGUST – OCTOBER
CRANBERRIES OCTOBER
CUCUMBERS JULY – SEPTEMBER
CURRANTS AUGUST – SEPTEMBER
FIDDLEHEADS MAY
GARLIC AUGUST – DECEMBER
KALE JULY – OCTOBER
LETTUCE JUNE – OCTOBER
LEEKS SEPTEMBER – NOVEMBER
MELONS AUGUST – SEPTEMBER
ONIONS (SWEET) AUGUST – OCTOBER
ONIONS (COOKING) SEPTEMBER – NOVEMBER
PEACHES AUGUST
PEARS AUGUST – APRIL
PEAS JUNE – JULY
PEPPERS JULY – OCTOBER
PLUMS AUGUST – SEPTEMBER
POTATOES JUNE – OCTOBER
PUMPKINS SEPTEMBER – OCTOBER
RADISH MAY – OCTOBER
RASPBERRIES JULY – SEPTEMBER
RHUBARB APRIL – JULY
ROSEMARY YEAR ROUND
SAGE YEAR ROUND
SALAD GREENS JUNE – OCTOBER
SHALLOTS AUGUST – SEPTEMBER
SPINACH APRIL – SEPTEMBER
STRAWBERRIES JUNE – SEPTEMBER
SUMMER SQUASH JULY – AUGUST
SWISS CHARD JULY – OCTOBER
TOMATOES JULY – OCTOBER
THYME JUNE – NOVEMBER
TURNIPS MAY – FEBRUARY
WINTER SQUASH MID SEPTEMBER – DECEMBER

Happy Healthy Holidays! Sharing your favorite plant-based recipes

Rustic Table Setting

Hey, everyone! TGIF, am I right?! I don’t know about you, but my October flew by with insane determination, and November’s already kicking my butt, too. With no slow-down in sight (’tis the season for parties and get-togethers and perhaps a little fete-a-fete here and there), I know my brain will be mush within a few short weeks. SO…I thought maybe I’d try and conjure up a few simple ideas regarding shared eats. With Canadian Thanksgiving in the rearview mirror, and American Thanksgiving just down the road, it’s clearly that time of year.

When I’m asked to “bring a dish to pass,” there are definite times when I fall back on old, lazy favorites. But considering I have a recipe book coming out next summer, I thought maybe I’d attempt to raise the bar for myself and be ready to show up to my friends’ houses with something that looks (and tastes!) like I’ve put at least an ounce of effort and creativity into it.

I’m going to share three plant-based concoctions that I think might fit the bill, and hopefully you think they sound good enough to try at home. I specify “plant-based,” because I like to share ideas that fit with my usual foodie lifestyle, which is that of clean, whole, nutrient-rich eats. We get enough crap out there, right? Let’s set a good example and share some healthy, happy recipes!

Alright. Here we go…

Chocolate-Graham Banana Bites (Makes 32)

banana bites2

Ingredients:

  • 4 bananas (not too ripe)
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup graham crumbs
  • 32 toothpicks*

Method:

Melt chocolate chips in double broiler, slowly. Slice each banana into 8 chunks (so there should be 32 chunks in total), and stick each with a toothpick. Once chocolate is melted, dip each banana chunk half-way into the chocolate, then dust with graham. The chocolate will harden, so it must be done quickly. Repeat until every chunk has been dressed, then cover and refrigerate until they can be served.

Acorn Squashed Casserole (serves 8)

Acorn Squash

Ingredients:

  • 2 acorn squashes
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • 1/2 cup watercress
  • 1/4 cup Italian parsley

Method:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Slice each squash horizontally. Remove seeds and pulp, and discard. Slice squash into 1/2″ rounds. (Which will actually look like flowers.) Set aside. In a large bowl, combine oil, syrup, and spices. Add squash to bowl and mix well, until evenly coated. Bake in a single layer on cookie sheet for 10 minutes, then flip squash and back for another 6-8 minutes. Remove from oven and arrange in dish. Chop herbs and sprinkle on top of squash. Serve hot as a side dish.

Baked Ratatouille Bruschetta (Serves 12)

Grilled vegetables

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 an eggplant
  • 1/2 a zucchini
  • 1 orange bell pepper
  • 1 white onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 16 oz. can of chopped and roasted tomatoes
  • 1 large whole wheat baguette

Method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Finely chop eggplant, zucchini, pepper, and onion. Mix, and place in oven-safe dish. Mince the garlic and add to mixture, then stir. Drizzle olive oil over mixture, and then pour tomatoes over all the vegetables. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.

Once done, remove from oven and let sit until it cools slightly. Meanwhile, slice baguette into rounds. Place a spoonful of ratatouille on top of each, and place back in the oven for 6-8 more minutes. Serve hot.

Hope you enjoy! From my table to yours, stay happy and healthy! (And have a great weekend!) xo

Happy Healthy Vegan Recipes: IBS-Friendly

Vegan kitchen

With the kids finally back in school (British Columbia experienced a lengthy teacher’s strike throughout the late spring and entire summer this year), I’ve found myself scoring way more time to cook and bake and experiment in the kitchen. And with the vegetarian cookbook I have coming out next summer, I find myself wanting to perfect the recipes that will be featured.

Last weekend, I managed to make chocolate-pumpkin muffins, my version of grown-up oatmeal, and spicy applesauce. (I actually made more, but these are the ones I remembered to take pictures of.) I can’t divulge the exact recipes, but perhaps these will inspire you to mess around in the kitchen and create something similar!

Each recipe below is vegan, and kind to your digestive tract (IBS-friendly).

Vegan Chocolate-Pumpkin Muffins

Vegan Chocolate Pumpkin Muffins

These dense, completely vegan muffins are made with applesauce in place of oil, and pumpkin puree in place of egg. My kids LOVED them (always the ultimate test of taste), and they were very simple to make.

Grown-Up Oats with Coconut

Vegan Oatmeal

You can make this hearty breakfast in advance by layering ingredients, and then simply adding boiling water when you’re ready to eat. Line them up on the counter before bed, and then it’s a quick, easy, and healthy breakfast for the next morning.

Homemade Spicy Applesauce

Vegan applesauce

I love making applesauce, because it makes the house smell incredible, and is truly SO much better than the store-bought variety. The hint of spice comes from freshly grated ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, and then a dash of chai spice.

So there you have it! A weekend of yummy smells, tastes, and healthy meal planning. Happy Meatless Monday, and have a fabulous week!

Clean Plates: healthy food that works best for YOU, and where to find it

CleanPlates-COOKBOOK-4__CLEAR

Hey, everyone! Happy Meatless Monday! I’m in the middle of a new project that will become a reality this spring (yay!), and while on my journey to learn more about great health and its connection to fabulous food, I stumbled across an incredible organization called Clean Plates, and its amazing cookbook.

The goal of Clean Plates is stated as follows:

“This book spells out exactly what “clean eating” means and why it matters. Make no mistake, it’s not a diet book—it doesn’t promote a superfood or the latest scientific breakthrough—it is, however, a guide that provides clarity on the topics of nutrition and eating what works best for your body, while providing recipes and practical resources like sample menus.” – From the e-book of recipes from the Clean Plates Cookbook

But it’s even more than this.

Have you ever wanted to know where you can go to find the healthiest, tastiest food around? More than just a restaurant guide, Clean Plates is a lifestyle. Founded by Jared Koch, nutritionist, Clean Plates started out as a New York restaurant listing for establishments that provide clean, wholesome, and above all, delicious food. Koch wanted to prove that healthy food can be just as delectable (if not more!) than the less-than-nutritious comfort foods we’ve all been guilty of consuming.

Today, Clean Plates has expanded west to cover the city of Los Angeles. Maybe Clean Plates Vancouver is on the horizon? (I’ll do my best here, friends!) Koch was kind enough to provide a written endorsement for a recipe book (vegetarian comfort foods!) I’ve written that will be released in early 2015. (Skyhorse Publishing) To show him and his collaborators my appreciation, I wanted to let you all know about this amazing dream of theirs to inspire people from all over the United States to discover which delicious foods keep their bodies nourished, and where they can find these foods on the road or close to home.

Check it out:

You’re already making really smart choices. We have another smart choice we’d like to tell you about: Clean Plates.

Clean Plates gives you everything you need and want to eat clean.

Eating clean can improve your life in untold ways and you don’t have to do anything extraordinary or extreme. You don’t need to give up meat, learn molecular chemistry, buy weird unpronounceable stuff or eat food that tastes like…well, not good. It is not about deprivation, denial or guilt. All you need to do is make some different choices—and Clean Plates is there to help you every step of the way to make those choices easy and dare we say … absolutely delicious.

With Clean Plates you’ll find out about:

  • Restaurants that source locally, organic and sustainably
  • Organic, non-gmo products
  • Recipes from just-out cookbooks
  • The best gluten-free desserts
  • What is Moringa and why is everyone suddenly talking about it

Beet Juice

If you’re interesting in learning more, then I highly recommend signing up today for their free weekly email—they’re kind of amazing:

http://www.cleanplates.com/?utm_source=jenbrowne&utm_medium=blog&utm_campaign=jenbrowne

Below is a link to the e-book of recipes from the Clean Plates Cookbook, and has been generously shared with me, so that I can in turn share it with you. So check out the link, and work on that clean plate of yours. A permanent link will also be placed on the homepage of my website, but this is a preview generated specifically for current Happy Healthy Life lovers!

http://national.cleanplates.com/files/2014/07/ThankYouFromCleanPlates.pdf

CleanPlates-COOKBOOK-4__CLEAR

I will also be organizing a Clean Plates Cookbook giveaway, so get excited, stay tuned, and have a great week!

 

 

Heidi Klum May Be AWESOME, but You Don’t Have to Eat Like Her

Photo from: http://www.examiner.com/article/fit-fabulous-and-40-plus-supermodels-christie-brinkley-and-heidi-klum-tell-all

Are you eating for you, or for someone else?

People following my blog know that I’m a huge proponent of a whole food, plant-based diet. What’s not to love? It’s clean, whole, highly-nutritious food. But does it work for everyone?

I could actually argue all day long that it does, but the fact is, no one diet will ever be right for every single person. Because I have a digestive disorder (ahem—had), the WFPB diet works for me beautifully. But if you have no problem with digesting certain animal products, should you still stop?

That’s up to you. I eat wheat and gluten, and to some extent, I’m fine with it. Others can’t touch the stuff without getting really sick. And some people can’t eat the enormous amount of veggies that I eat without living in their bathrooms.

We’re all different.

I think the idea is to really just pay attention to your body. If a certain food disagrees with you, then just don’t eat it. If you can get away with eating an organic, grass-fed and finished steak and feel incredible afterwards, all the power to you. It’s about knowing your limits, and eating mindfully.

Now, for those of you who are celebrating the third anniversary of your 19th birthday, and feel as though you can eat McDonalds and Krispy Kremes ‘til the cows come home, know this: that kind of food (if you can even call it food—perhaps refresh yourself on the definition HERE) catches up with you. You may not see what happens on the inside, but that doesn’t mean it’s not there. Oh, it’s happening…

Orange Juice

Whether your diet of choice is paleo, Mediterranean, gluten-free, raw or vegan, just be conscious of how it makes you feel. If you feel fabulous while eating that way, then great. If it’s a struggle to maintain energy and your skin looks terrible, then I’d advise re-thinking that diet. Don’t choose a way to eat based on whether or not Kim Kardashian is currently on it—make sure it actually works for you. Does it make you feel good? Is it nutritious for your body? Does it give you energy and stamina and enthusiasm and make you feel optimistic? Does it make you feel as good as Heidi Klum? If the answer is yes, then that’s the way you should eat. If the answer is no, then maybe re-think your food choices, and ask yourself why you’re eating the way you are. Have you always just eaten that way? Are you being pressured by your spouse? Are you following a current trend?

Just make sure you’re eating for YOUR body, and YOUR mind. If your food feeds your soul, then you’re at the right place.

Munch on…

  • Photo of Heidi Klum taken from: http://www.examiner.com/article/fit-fabulous-and-40-plus-supermodels-christie-brinkley-and-heidi-klum-tell-all

Happy Healthy Sneak Peek #8

Shine

Here’s the LAST sneak peek of Happy Healthy Gut! This book launches on Thursday, January 2nd (3 DAYS!), and I’m so excited! I hope you enjoy the last preview…

From Chapter Twelve (Get Healthy, Feel Beautiful):

“Our western diet is awful, and it’s the largest contributor to our digestion being awful, too. It contains far too much animal meat, dairy, processed food, and chemical additives, while encouraging the consumption of far too few whole grains, raw vegetables, and just plain nourishment. We also rely too heavily on medications and surgeries to repair our ailments, instead of looking to what we literally need in order to live and prosper, which is simply good, fresh, whole, and healing food.

We really are what we eat. If we consume fresh produce and whole grains, we will feel young, vibrant and be whole. If we fill our bodies with chemicals, animal proteins, and fast food, we will become toxic, overweight, and proceed to get sick at an alarming rate.

Food shouldn’t need to be irradiated to be safe. Animals shouldn’t need to be pumped full of antibiotics. We shouldn’t be ingesting food that is making us sick and depressed. We shouldn’t be living on cocktails of drugs or weight-loss pills. Animals shouldn’t be bred to grow so big so fast that their joints can’t support their weight. And we shouldn’t have people suffering from malnutrition in this land of plenty.” [i]Gene Baur, Farm Sanctuary

We know change is forthcoming because of the growing demand for organic food and naturally-raised animals, and people all over are beginning to pay attention to these more readily available products, and learning about the health benefits that they offer. It’s a giant learning curve, but we are all going to get there. Why not give yourself a more substantial chance at success on the digestive front, and start now? You don’t have to be in pain anymore—don’t accept a mediocre life. You deserve better, so start treating yourself as if you do. Start thinking food-forward! Will that lunch you ordered help or hinder your body? How will eating it make you feel after? These questions matter, because your happiness matters. Your life matters. Don’t waste time feeling sub-par!

We have to open our eyes and ears and be morally at peace with the decisions that we make in regards to an issue we face several times every day: what to eat. You are your own best advocate for change, and you deserve to experience wellness that you may have long ago given up on.”

Happy Healthy Gut Cover Design Buy the book at http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1626360413?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creativeASIN=1626360413&linkCode=xm2&tag=girlunin-20


[i] Baur, Gene. Farm Sanctuary: Changing Hearts and Minds about Animals and Food. New York: Touchstone, 2008, p. 222.

Happy Healthy Sneak Peek #7

apple

Here’s sneak peek #7 of Happy Healthy Gut! I will post a new preview, from a different chapter, every 2 days until release date (January 2), so stay tuned for more…

From Chapter Eight (Chemically Speaking):

“The definition of food: “material consisting essentially of protein, carbohydrate, and fat used in the body of an organism to sustain growth, repair, and vital processes and to furnish energy; something that nourishes, sustains, or supplies.”[i]

Notice how the definition emphasizes the food’s ability to sustain growth, repair, furnish energy, and nourish? Now think of fast food, processed food, and all the chemicals tossed into the mix of what’s being eaten on a daily basis by the majority of North America.

A significant amount of people are not eating food. They’re just eating.

Reductionism is the act of removing targeted nutrients from the whole of one food (extracting calcium from broccoli, for example), and isolating it in order to either market this nutrient by itself in the form of a calcium supplement, or to add it to an existing preparation in order to make it more attractive to the consumer, such as ‘calcium fortified’ orange juice.

The argument for reductionism sounds well intentioned: by adding a nutrient to orange juice that it does not naturally possess, the consumer can take advantage of ingesting that nutrient without having to eat broccoli. Win-win! Except…

Recent studies have shown that by removing the nutrient from its original whole food, it does not work as well, if at all.[ii] Scientists are beginning to understand that the complexity of that particular nutrient needs the environment of that whole food in order to activate the benefits. For example, perhaps there is an element to the food that helps that nutrient be absorbed when eaten, and without that element, it just won’t happen. This could be an “ah-ha moment” for all those who have hailed reductionism as the next best thing since (iron fortified) sliced bread. The result is this: the whole food will always be more nutritious, in every way, than the sum of its parts. For anyone experiencing digestive unease, you already know that we could all definitely benefit from better nutrient absorption.


Chapter Eight: Chemically Speaking

[i] “Food.” Merriam-Webster Dictionary. 2012. Web. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/food

[ii]Nutraceutical.” Wikipedia. 2012. Web. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nutraceutical

A Guide to a Successful New Year's Cleanse

Beet Juice

This is the time of year when we all begin to feel pretty overindulged. I don’t know about you, but I’m going to do something about it. So, if you want to join me for a day or two of nutrient injection and junk extraction (hee hee), then here’s your guide:

Tips for a successful cleanse

1-      Choose a day when you will be home.

2-      Plan ahead. Buy your groceries the day before, and make sure your juicer is clean and ready to go. About a week before your cleanse (even if you’re only doing one day), begin weaning your body off alcohol, caffeine, processed foods, meat, dairy, sugar, and wheat. Your body will have an easier time adjusting to liquids for 24 hours if you prepare it for purity.

3-      You will have better success if you drink a lot of water and tea throughout the day of. It will help keep your stomach full.

4-      Buy organic produce. The idea is to have as much nutrient absorption as possible by consuming only liquids, so why buy produce that is covered in pesticides? Try and get it all organic.

5-      Have planned activities at home to keep you busy (like a giant puzzle or a fabulous book), but don’t do anything strenuous that will make you starving (like working out).

6-      Don’t make food for other family members, if you can avoid it. The temptation to chow down has proven too great for me many, many times.

7-      Don’t worry about protein. This is a low-protein day, but that’s okay. You can fill up on protein-rich foods the next day.

8-      If you feel shaky and cold on the day of your cleanse (which is totally normal, especially in the winter), try taking a bath with Epsom salts. Although the salt will help your body to detox further, the warm water will feel really good and calm your confused nerves.

Green Juice

The Plan

7:00am:           16 oz. of warm water with half a lemon squeezed into it.

8:00am:           Juice (in the following order): 1 chunk ginger, 4 carrots, 1 peeled    grapefruit.

10:00am:         Juice (in the following order): 2 green apples, 4 fennel fronds, 6 romaine lettuce leaves, handful of parsley, 1 large cucumber.

12:00pm:         16 oz. miso broth.

2:00pm:           Juice (in the following order): 1 chunk ginger, 1 small beet, 2 large carrots, 2 red apples, handful of basil, 1 large cucumber.

4:00pm:           8 oz. coconut water.

6:00pm:           Blend 1 cup water, 1 banana,

4 kale leaves, 1 cup spinach, 1 cup frozen pineapple, ½ cup rolled oats.

In addition to everything above, try to drink about 64 ounces of water or herbal tea throughout the day. The last “meal” is more solid, because it will help you to sleep on a fuller stomach, and create a bit of bulk for a good bowel movement in the morning.

  • If you don’t own a juicer, then you can blend fruits, veggies, and water in your blender. (Unless you own a high-powered blender, such as a Vitamix, I don’t recommend trying to blend roots. Just do the softer items, like fruit, cucumbers, and green, leafy veggies.) You’ll get way more fiber this way, but most of us need more of that, anyway. The idea is to remove the foods that aren’t helping us, and inject our bodies with good nutrients, so this still kinda works.

aloe vera

Shopping List

Fruit

  • 1 lemon
  • 6 carrots
  • 1 grapefruit
  • 2 green apples
  • 2 red apples
  • 1 banana
  • Ginger
  • Frozen Pineapple

Veggies

  • Fennel (with at least four fronds)
  • Romaine bunch
  • Kale bunch
  • Spinach bunch
  • Fresh parsley
  • Fresh basil
  • 2 cucumbers
  • 1 beet

Other

  • Rolled oats (1 cup)
  • Miso broth (buy in packets in health food aisle)
  • Coconut water (unsweetened—look at ingredients. Should just be coconut water.)
  • Herbal tea
  • Epsom salts (for bath–if you want)

*Repeat this for 2 days if you want, but I don’t recommend anything longer, unless you have prior experience with cleanses.

Here’s to an amazing 2014, and a Happy Healthy Gut!