Insane. Bonkers. Stupid. Lazy. Obsessive. Paranoid. Crazy. Weird. Sad. Useless. Lonely. Burden. Dramatic. Awkward. Nervous. Antisocial. Inconvenience. Unbalanced. Needy.
All of these words describe exactly how I think people feel about me. And although everyone around me would strongly object to the fact that I am any of these things, this is ultimately a projection of how I feel about myself. We’ve all heard at least some of these words used to describe someone with a form of mental illness, at one point in our lives. But in reality, it’s just not so black and white.
Hi. My name is Catherine and I suffer from mental illness.
When summer rolls around, I crave fresh fruits and veggies. The more colours, the better. But why do we want to eat so many colourful foods? Well, they contain lots of phytonutrients! “Phyto” is the Greek word for plant – so, plant nutrients! Plant-based foods contain tons of natural chemicals – not to be confused with minerals and essential vitamins that keep your body running on a daily basis. Phytonutrients can help to prevent disease by protecting you from threatening pathogens such as germs, bugs and fungi.
When I was a kid, I loved to watch my grandmother make cookies. And by watch, I mean I would stick my fingers in the bowl to lick the dough every time she had her back turned, much to her dismay. And then, when I became an adult, I thought it would be a good idea to scarf down a whole bowl of raw cookie dough to myself. Not only is it a great way to get seriously sick, it’s not exactly the healthiest snack option.
When I think about why I love being a Holistic Nutritionist, one of the reasons that sticks out the most is that I get to meet some pretty amazing people. Whether it be clients, colleagues or strangers with fantastic stories to tell – I am continually honoured to meet every single one of them. Recently, I was fortune enough to meet a group of students studying to become Holistic Nutritionists at the Institute of Holistic Nutrition in Ottawa.
Those who know me, have a deep understanding of my love for corn chips and salsa. Why? Well, I’m not proud of it, but I used to be able to polish off a whole bag of chips and a whole jar of salsa in one sitting. Not anymore, folks. Since becoming a nutritionist, I’ve given up on those days of shovelling piles of junk food into my face hole.
With the holidays in full swing, it can be a little hard to get organized sometimes. And trust me, I get it. But one thing we can’t forget to sort out is our health! That’s why I’ve come up with 3 simple side dishes that bridge the gap between naughty and nice, while keeping your tummy happy and your mind clear.
An apple a day keeps the doctor away? Well, actually, apples have been found to help relieve oxidative stress on the body due to being rich in a group of plant chemicals called flavonoids.
Combo that with lots of fibre and you’re looking at a balanced treat that’s fantastic for your blood sugar and for feeding the beneficial bacteria in your gut. Ever heard of the gut-brain connection? You need good bacteria to help balance your mood and nourish your nervous system.
Today I witnessed something beautiful. A group of incredible women all came together to comfort a friend who just lost her mother. In the wake of her sadness, a collective gift was formed. We placed an empty box on the table and each one of us filled it with homemade healthy foods. We decided that instead of having to focus on nourishing her body right now, that she needs to concentrate her time on nourishing her soul.
I love making oatmeal in the mornings. It’s so warm and soothing, filling me up alongside a bit of protein for a great energy-filled start to my day. But here’s the problem, folks. I always make way too much and never have any idea what to do with all the leftovers… until now.
I eat a lot of hummus. Seriously, a lot. Legumes, like chickpeas, are a fantastic and clean source of protein for fuel, a healthy carb and great source of fibre. Add that to some powerful good-fat-packed sesame seeds and you’ve got a killer combo. Here’s the problem, though. What’s in that store bought hummus? Let’s take a quick sneak peak at some of the most common offenders.