Local Food Products that are Rocking My World

Save-On-foods Vendors

This past weekend, I took part in an event at Save-On-Foods that was promoting local products. I signed Happy Healthy Gut books, and the other vendors were Happy Water, Nutricleanse, and Everyday Superfoods.

It is SO much fun to hang out with people who are like-minded when it comes to health. While the Happy Water reps kept the rest of us hydrated and genuinely happy (they literally danced and hoola-hooped the WHOLE time while playing Top 40), I was fortunate enough to chat for an extended period of time with Tony from Nutricleanse and Gordon from Everyday Superfoods about their products. I decided that this week’s blog should inform consumers of these fairly brand-new products, and perhaps you’ll all fall in love with them as I did.

Happy Water

Happy Water: This product is an award-winning, naturally alkaline lithia water. The water originates from Canada (Kootenay region), and is produced in Vancouver, BC. It contains “naturally occurring lithia, calcium, magnesium, potassium and fluoride.”[1]

For community events such as the one last weekend, Happy Water will send their “Smile Squad,” and the energy and positivity is definitely in the air. For information on how to request the Smile Squad to attend your event, visit http://livehappywater.ca/contact.

The product goes for about the same amount as other bottled waters.


Nutricleanse:  Although I’ve seen this natural health product around for awhile, I’d never before tried it, which is VERY unlike me. I’m a sucker for new health products (especially foodstuffs), and I’m surprised at myself.

This product is manufactured in Mission, BC, and the ingredients are organic, gluten-free, and limited to ground flax seed, psyllium husks, dandelion root powder, burdock root powder, and fenugreek seed powder.

That’s it.

The purpose behind adding this product to your daily smoothie or yogurt or whatever is to increase your overall fibre—and it sure works! If you’re someone who feels as though you could benefit from increased fibre consumption (ahem—EVERYONE), then you should give this product a try. I am a huge promoter of gut health, and this particular product is a goodie!

A 1 Kg. bag goes for roughly $29.99, but you can get it for $20.99 if you keep your eyes peeled.

Everyday Superfoods

Everyday Superfoods: Again, I’ve seen this product around (the rep told me it’s been around for a couple of years, but they only recently have become very mainstream and distributed), but hadn’t tried it yet. The main ingredients in their mixes are chia seeds, hemp hearts, and buckwheat.

The blends are great on oatmeal, in yogurt, or added to baking, and there are at least four different mixtures. The one I’m trying right now is called Cocoa Wow, and I also took home a bag called Trim.

They go for about $6.99 per bag (the weight isn’t disclosed, but it looks like it’s just over a cup’s worth), and the product is mostly organic, gluten-free, and vegan. It’s manufactured in Richmond, BC.

So there you have it! My newly acquired fun foods! Give them a try, and let me know what you think. Ciao, peeps!


[1] http://livehappywater.ca/our-water/


5 Signs of Good Health: what “healthy” truly looks like

Healthy woman

The definition of “healthy” is different for many of us. Some people believe health is what is attained once you’ve cut out carbs, and others feel that they’re healthy if they’re abstaining from processed sugar. But health is a broad term. Are you healthy if you aren’t currently diagnosed with a chronic disease? Does veganism equal health?

What exactly does is mean to be truly healthy?

Happy children sitting on green grass outdoors in summer park

The following points are what I’ve come up with, both during my own observations and experiences, as well as asking others this question. Here are what I consider to be five signs that you are really healthy:

  1. You consistently get 7-8 hours of sleep every night, and wake up feeling refreshed. Great, consistent sleep is a fabulous indicator of good health. It means your body is regulated, your cortisol levels and core body temperature are normal, and you have the ability to let your mind rest peacefully, which indicates low stress. If you can achieve amazing sleep, congratulations! If you fall into the category of those who can’t sleep, I can assure you, I’ve definitely been there. For me, there are 3 things that I’ve identified as being culprits here: alcohol consumption (if I have more than one glass of wine, sleep is up in the air), stress (overthinking things), and excitement (not calming down enough for your body to rest). Other things that can lead to bad sleep include eating right before bed (your body will buzz with the energy t takes to digest that snack), sleeping in a warm room, and too much light.
  2. You have energy throughout the entire day. No 3pm slump for you! How does one obtain this? Aside from having a decent sleep, it’s with food. Good food. Food that contains proper energy sources and the correct balance of nutrients to assist your body in lasting happily throughout the entire day. Real food—not a chocolate bar. A good tip: eat a light, healthy lunch (lettuce wraps or salad with wild salmon), and then grab a snack around 3 o’clock. A smoothie, homemade granola bar, or boiled egg with salsa and avocado are great examples.
  3. You’re moving your bowels in a healthy way at least once a day. Now, when I specify “healthy” here, I mean that your movements are effortless, quick, significant, and normal-looking. (Not loose.) If you’re feeling empty after visiting the washroom, that’s good. To achieve better bowel movements, try tracking how much insoluble fibre you ingest (you need this to sweep your colon clean), and make sure you’re drinking enough water. Foods that can make BMs subpar are dairy, too much heavy meat, heavy breads (especially if you’re sensitive to wheat or gluten), and too much sugar. For more information on how to obtain better digestive health, check out Happy Healthy Gut.
  4. Your skin is clear, and your hair and nails look good. Your skin is your largest organ, and what it looks like says a lot about your health. Same goes for your hair and nails. Dry, brittle nails and hair can signify dehydration, and peeling problems can represent vitamin deficiencies. For better skin, hair, and nails, try drinking more water and eating more vegetables. Cut down on processed sugar, and begin to look at your food as fuel for your body.
  5. You’re happy. Honestly, consistently, truly happy. Happiness is directly correlated with good health, and people who can honestly call themselves happy are typically healthy, too. The mind and body are completely connected, and a clear, calm mind will usually be accompanied by a healthy body. To achieve better happiness, try and make a list of everything that is in your life that makes you upset and stressed out. Either let it go (meaning get out of that unhappy relationship or find a better job), or make clear strides to improve the situation. Do it NOW—don’t wait.

Beautiful healthy Young Woman lying on the green grass

What I am trying to get at it this: you don’t have to weigh 120 pounds or love the Paleo diet or declare veganism as your new diet of choice to be healthy. Health is a complicated thing, but the points above will hopefully lead you in the right direction.


Top 5 Reasons to Attend a Book Signing This Weekend

Book Signing

Okay…I fully admit that I have a vested interest in people attending book signings. But I actually do have valid reasons why this activity should be on your weekend to-do list, which I’ll specify right now:

1- When’s the last time you set foot into a bookstore? Do you even know that they’re still around? Amazon and other sites like it have made online book buying super easy (which is great), but remember the feeling of actually being in a bookstore? I mean, call me a total nerd, but bookstores ROCK. They’re like a vortex of awesomeness. You can get lost for hours and won’t even feel guilty about it after. (As opposed to getting lost for hours on a Vegas casino floor.)

2- There’s something special about picking up a book because it’s got a rocking cover, flipping through the pages to find out what they feel like, checking out the author pic and/or bio, and collecting a bunch until you can weed out the ones you really want to read, while ditching the few you won’t on a random table somewhere. Doesn’t sound familiar? Yeah…I don’t do that, either. :/ An electronic reader has nothing on an actual book, and I will argue that until the day I die. We all spend so much of our time staring mindlessly at our computers, and laptops, and iPads and iPhones. How about just open an actual book. Seriously.

Reading Books Makes You Better

3- Authors are excited to have people talk to them. (We’ve spent far too much time talking to ourselves about our own book.) Even if you don’t want to talk about their book or you don’t plan on buying one, it’s fun to have a conversation with someone different. You can bet that a year of that author’s life was spent writing their book, it took an addition x-amount of months or years to sell it to a publisher, and another year for the publishing process to be complete. There is definitely something to talk about, even if it’s “have you ever written at 3:00am?” (The answer to which will always be a resounding YES.)

4- It makes for good conversation with your friends at dinner on Saturday night:

“So, what did you do today?”

“I attended a book signing. You?”

“Uh…I played Dragon City.”

See? You’re already looking smarter and cooler than John Smith over there. You’re welcome.

5- You’ll end up finding that perfect Father’s Day gift for your dad. It may not even be a book, but bookstores have other stuff, too, and it’s all awesome. ALL OF IT.

Happy Healthy Gut Cover Design

So, here’s the deal: I have a book signing this weekend for my new book, Happy Healthy Gut. It’s at the Chapters in Langley, BC from 2-5pm. If you live in the area, and you come see me there, and you sign up for my website, and you mention this blog post, I will not only sign it for you, I’ll buy it for you as well. You will get it FOR FREE. And we’ll both be happy and live happily ever after, too. (But not together. Because that might be weird.)

‘Til tomorrow, peeps. Peace.

Dress Your Salad Healthy: when it comes to salad dressing, less is more

Assortment of salad dressings

The average salad dressing has over 20 ingredients; with a quarter of them typically being unpronounceable. Is that necessary? With far more calories and over double the sugar, what benefits are store-bought salad dressings lending us, besides a whole lot of extra filler? By creating your own concoctions, you can tailor them to fit your lifestyle. Whether you’re diabetic, gluten-free, or just eating clean, making your own dressings is a fabulous way to give new life to an old summer meal—while keeping health a priority.

Why bother dousing a healthy salad with unhealthy dressing?

There are a handful of ingredients that should be avoided in any salad dressing, and there are plenty of nutritious alternatives that can be used for making your own. So let’s start with a few ingredients to avoid:

1-      Titanium dioxide. Even the name sounds sketchy. Besides being classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer as a Group 2B carcinogen (possibly carcinogen to humans)[1], it has also been proven to cause respiratory tract issues, tumors, and other types of cell damage.[2]  Also, it’s not just found in salad dressing. It’s present in many toothpastes, gum, sunscreen, and shaving creams.[3] Awesome.

2-      Partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs). In other words, trans-fat. Trans-fat has been linked to an increased risk of coronary heart disease,[4] and the Center for Disease Control urges that a “further reduction of trans fat in the food supply can prevent an additional 7,000 deaths from heart disease each year and up to 20,000 heart attacks each year.”[5]

3-      High-fructose corn syrup. Besides the fact that almost 100% of this ingredient in genetically modified, corn syrup is extremely high on the glycemic index.[6] It’s an incredibly cheap sweetener,[7] and most processed food manufacturers love it because of that reason alone. It’s been proven to become addictive to regular consumers (rats display the same addictive behaviours to it as they do to cocaine),[8] and it’s just plain gaggy.

I’m literally gagging right now just thinking about it.

Now that we’ve identified some of the nastier ingredients found in commercial dressings, what are some ingredients that you can use to make healthy ones?

1-      Cold-pressed oils. Oils like olive, grapeseed, avocado, and hemp are great for using in salad dressings. Always avoid vegetable oil.

2-      Vinegar. Vinegars that are great to use include balsamic, white wine, red wine, and apple cider.

3-      Quality sweeteners. These include honey, maple syrup, agave, and brown rice. They are pure in ingredients, and lower on the glycemic index than (gag) high fructose corn syrup (HFCS).

4-      Fresh herbs. These are what really make a salad dressing pop. You can use any and all, but my faves include Italian parsley, mint, basil, and cilantro.

Salad Dressing

Here’s one of my favorite recipes to get you started—my neighbor complimented me on it just yesterday. (Thanks, Marlene!) Its super easy to make, and stores well on your counter for up to 2 weeks. It makes about one cup.

1/3 cup olive oil

¼ cup balsamic vinegar

1 tbsp. Dijon mustard

1 tbsp. maple syrup

½ tsp. cayenne pepper

Mix together well and drizzle accordingly. Happy Friday, everyone!

For more recipes, check out my book, Happy Healthy Gut.


[1] http://www.ccohs.ca/headlines/text186.html

[2] http://www.ccohs.ca/headlines/text186.html

[3] http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/es204168d

[4] http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm372915.htm

[5] http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm372915.htm

[6] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2695593

[7] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2695593

[8] http://www.healthline.com/health-news/tech-sugar-and-fat-may-be-as-addictive-as-cocaine-052213

Smoothie Inspiration: new ingredients to try today

Detox Smoothie

Who here is guilty of blending only fruit? I mean, fruit is awesome, and an all-fruit smoothie rocks, but you can totally up the ante by throwing some veg in there, peeps!

I’ve tried to blend (almost) everything, and I’ve had some amazing success along with some epic fails. (Don’t blend roots. They’re weird.)

Here is my list of fave veggies to throw into my fruit smoothies—and they ALL bag you major added nutrients to your already healthy snack.


  1. Kale. This leafy green is high in fibre, iron, Vitamin K, and antioxidants.[1] Although there is a slight taste associated with blending kale in your smoothies—and will turn them green depending on how much you throw in—it’s not offensive.
  2. Spinach. This one’s pretty common. Spinach is very high in Vitamins A, E, and C, along with iron and antioxidants (dark, leafy greens are always great for these nutrients).[2] Most people don’t notice any sort of taste associated with it when eaten raw, but it’ll definitely add a green colour to your beauty blend. (If you blend spinach with blueberries, it turns out black!)
  3. Herbs. Herbs are underrated by many, but they pack a huge punch in the flavour department. They are also great for their healing abilities (did you know that cilantro binds with heavy metals?[3]), and can be easily grown on your kitchen counter. The ones I use the most in smoothies are:
    1. Mint (my fave)
    2. Basil
    3. Cilantro
  4. Romaine Lettuce. This is one of the most nutritious of the “common lettuces.” (The ones that most people prefer—ones that aren’t bitter.) It contains protein, calcium, Vitamin K, Vitamin A, and iron.[4]
  5. Cucumber. You won’t taste this, it won’t change the colour of your smoothie, and it adds some major B vitamins to your sweet snack, along with extra water.[5]

Green smoothie

The following four items are my honourable mentions (these aren’t veggies, but they’re not strawberries or bananas, either):

  1. Avocado. I like to blend half of one in my smoothies, and it makes them rich and creamy and glorious. It doesn’t change the taste—just the texture. But think of all the extra nutrient benefits! More than anything, I do it for the added good fat.
  2. Nuts. Again, a source of good fat and protein. I use raw ones, and mostly blend almonds, walnuts, and pecans.
  3. Cocoa. Raw cocoa will add so much flavour, and Harvard researchers have found that it’s associated with improved blood vessel health, decreased blood pressure, and lowered cholesterol levels.[6]
  4. Rolled oats. I do this for the protein and the fibre. As with the nuts, you can just throw a handful on top of your smoothie, if blending them is throwing your completely off your game. Baby steps, right?


I challenge everyone to try something new in their next smoothie—you may discover your next favourite blend. If you need smoothie recipes, check HERE. You can also find more recipes in my book, Happy Healthy Gut. Good luck!


[1] http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-4408/Top-10-Health-Benefits-of-Eating-Kale.html

[2] http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=43

[3] http://www.naturalnews.com/027942_cilantro_heavy_metals.html

[4] http://www.incrediblesmoothies.com/nutrition/10-surprising-nutrition-facts-about-romaine-lettuce/

[5] http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_vitamins_are_in_cucumbers

[6] http://www.webmd.com/diabetes/news/20110323/cocoa-rich-in-health-benefits

What to Eat for IBS (irritable bowel syndrome)

Happy Healthy Gut

“The food you eat can either be the safest and most powerful form of medicine, or the slowest form of poison.” Ann Wigmore

Knowing what foods are safe to eat when you suffer from chronic digestive angst is really hard, but there are definitely a few core ideas (and rules) to keep in mind when searching for answers. The following recommendations are ones that have certainly helped me, and I continue to eat this way because I can’t imagine going back to feeling the way I did before. Here are my top suggestions:


Nobody ever said to you, “don’t eat your vegetables!” Most of what we eat throughout the day, every day, should be vegetables. They are completely necessary for proper digestive function, and yet most of us don’t consume nearly the amount we should. Not only should we be focusing on increasing our overall intake, but we should also be experimenting with variety, and become aware of what is in season. Our bodies naturally process food that is whole and in season much better than foods that are processed and from thousands of miles away. (For example, living in the pacific northwest, my body wouldn’t process a pineapple in January the same way it would kale.)


Let’s get real: animal products are not that great for your body. Despite the fact that various meat and dairy industry representatives swear up and down that animal products are a necessity for your health, we all know that can’t be true. Animal meat is very high in saturated fat, which isn’t at all good for us; especially ground beef. Unless purchased from an organic, grass-fed only farm, almost all meat (99% of what is out there), comes from factory farms, and it’s not healthy. The thing is, factory farms are a cesspool of nutrient-deficent meat due to too many growth hormones in the feed, routine antibiotics, and largely diseased animals due to the inevitable overcrowding that occurs. It is also the number one contributor of crazy environmental pollutants.

Dairy is bad, too. Cow milk is meant for calves, not humans. We don’t feed cows human milk, right? Dairy causes allergies and intolerances, which can contribute to ear infections, sinus problems, constipation, and other digestive issues.

Good Food


We are living in a new age of food. Or “food.” The nation’s rates of chronic disease, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, digestive disease, etc, are skyrocketing at a pace never seen before. This is largely due to two things: increased consumption of animal meat, and increased production/consumption of highly processed food. In developing countries, where processed food is nil, these diseases are not present. It’s yucky, and needs to go. This type of food is “dead” because there is nothing nutritionally valuable left for it to offer. A good rule of thumb is to take a look at the list of ingredients, and rule out anything that contains un-pronouncables, and over 6-8 ingredients in total.


Genetically modified food is lab-created, nutrient-void, and poses considerable risk to your health. It is currently under investigation to prove its role in increased cancer, gastrointestinal disorders, autism, and among other things, decreased immune system function. Download the iPhone app ShopNoGMO to learn which food companies are GMO-free, and which ones aren’t. You can also visit www.gmoshoppingguide.com.


Whole foods are exactly what they sound like. They’re still in their whole form, and haven’t been processed. These foods are nutritionally dense, and our bodies thrive on them. They’re super simple for our digestive systems to process, which lends more energy (that would have been diverted to heavy, unclean digestions attempts) to other parts of your body. Foods in this category are whole fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, whole grains, (preferably sprouted!), dried fruit, etc, If your digestive system is giving you trouble, try eating this way: completely eliminate dead food, and switch to a diet rich in whole foods.

Green smoothie


Once you eliminate the yucky foods, you can introduce an awesome assortment of foods that heal. These include such wonder items as digestive enzymes, probiotics, whole grains, sprouted grains, sprouts, wheatgrass, fresh veggie juices, sea vegetables, fermented goodies, tofu, tempeh and seitan, organic lovelies, and more! Food is our best ally against digestive unease and good health: we need to use it properly!

The right food nourishes your body, mind, and soul.

Those who know me, know that I am VERY into healthy eating and consuming food that I believe lends to more usable energy. I don’t want to feel good- I want to feel AMAZING! Ask me how, buy the book, or visit www.facebook.com/happyhealthylife.org.

Be Food Forward!

Happy Healthy Gut: book signing this weekend!

Book Signing!

Hey, all! Just wanted to let you know that I will be at Save-on-Foods on Sumas Way in Abbotsford, BC this weekend to promote and sign books! Visit me from 11-5 on Saturday and Sunday (March 8 and 9), and receive Vega testers and Silverhills Bakery goodies!

See you there! xo

5 Digestive Health Dos and Don’ts

Bran Flakes

Digestive health seems like a very trendy topic these days. Not an exciting trend, like colourful Spanx or beanie caps (these ideas are why I’ll probably never be a trendsetter), but just a popular topic of discussion.

I absolutely believe that the entire body rides the ebb and flow of one’s digestive tract—if your gut’s off balance, your whole body and mind will be off, too. An unhealthy gut is correlated with psychological stress, insomnia, weight gain, chronic disease, and more. Who needs more motivation to keep our tummies happy and healthy than that?!

The following are my 5 digestive health dos and don’ts. They’re not complicated; just common sense.

The Dos:

1-      Drink alot of water and herbal teas. More than anything, your body needs to stay hydrated in order for all of our systems to be able to work properly. The human body is made of more than 70% water—so you need to replenish constantly.

2-      Eat your plant foods. I know—no surprise here. But vegetables and whole grains are absolutely crucial to great digestive health. Aside from being full of antioxidants (which fight free-radicals that contribute to abnormal cell division, ie: cancer), veggies are teeming with fibre. We need way more fibre than most of us consume. Fibre sweeps the colon clean, and regularity is the key to good digestive health. Which brings me to:

3-      Stay regular. If you don’t know the last time you had a bowel movement, then that’s a major problem. You should be moving your bowels at least once a day, optimally closer to 2 or 3 times. And they should be relatively large, easy, and painless.

4-      Take a daily probiotic. This extra influx of good bacteria makes a world of difference to the goings-on of your intestinal flora. Your gut is a place where bad bacteria should be eliminated—not permitted to run rampant. You need loads of good bacteria (probiotics) if you want to have a great-working gut.

5-      Relax. Deep, conscious breathing, adequate sleep (8 hours), exercise, and a good attitude all contribute to better digestive function.  The brain and gut are indeed connected—a calm mind will facilitate a calm tummy. So keep calm and…chill out!

The Don’ts:

1-      Don’t eat the wrong foods. Animal products (meat and dairy), processed food, sugar, and anything else that might piss off your intestinal tract are no-nos. Your digestive system has a tough time with these foods. By cutting them out, you give your gut a giant advantage.

2-      Don’t become chronically dehydrated. So many of us are, and our intestinal tract needs a lot of water to do its job. Don’t forget to drink water.

3-      Don’t be stagnant. If you drive to work, sit at a desk, drive home, then sit on your couch and watch TV all night, your tummy has no chance. You need to move in order for your food to move, too.

4-      Don’t think that it’s normal to only have a bowel movement twice a week. It’s not. (Well, in North America it probably is, but it definitely shouldn’t be.) What goes in, must come out. Remember that.

5-      Don’t be scared to go if you’re not at home. Get over it. Everyone goes, so just go. If you wait, you might miss the opportunity until tomorrow, and then it becomes compacted—and then you’re in trouble. Doing this regularly leads to chronic constipation, and diseases like diverticulitis and possibly even bowel cancer. I don’t mean to scare you, but it’s true.

I had to learn all of this the hard way, and if you’re reading this, you probably have, too. But if you’re still living on Oblivious Street, then please take these recommendations to heart. Your health and happiness is important, and the bowel has so much to do with that.

Happy Tuesday!

Book Launch! Happy Healthy Gut is Officially Released

Beet Juice

Hey, everyone! I’m so excited for this book release. Today’s the magic day, so I thought I’d let everyone know exactly what this book is about. January is the month to take better responsibility for your health and happiness, and since those words are in the title, I thought I’d take advantage.

About the book (description from amazon.com):

Millions of Americans deal with daily digestive malfunction and attribute it to genetics or faulty wiring. Jennifer Browne reveals the common denominator present in almost all chronic digestive angst: food. What we choose to fuel ourselves with has a direct impact on every part of our bodies, starting with the digestive system. Browne urges us to own responsibility for our own health and make conscientious decisions regarding the cause and effect foods have on our digestive tracts. Written in frank, humorous laymen’s terms and sharing her own personal success story along with others’, Browne passionately educates her readers on why a plant-based diet is the only prescription necessary for a happy, healthy tummy. Discover the direct correlation between digestive trauma and factory farming; the incredible benefits of juicing, fermenting, and sprouting food; the reason why GMOs lead to IBS; and what ingredients really just translate to “sugar” or “lab-created chemical.” “Happy Healthy Gut” is an easy read that is truly important and highly informative for anyone who has ever dreamed of a perfectly functioning digestive system.

About the Author (description taken from amazon.com):

Jennifer Browne is an advocate for nutrition education and digestive disorder cessation. She is passionate about promoting clean, “wholistic” food practices and avoiding the slew of “non-foods” that make up our current food system. Browne was diagnosed with IBS in 2001 and has been symptom-free since 2010 when she adopted a mindful, plant-based diet.

Buy the Book (link to amazon.com):


Happy Healthy Gut Cover Design

Enjoy your weekend! Keep healthy!

Happy Healthy Sneak Peek #7


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.