IG: I find myself snacking a lot more than usual lately because a) I’m at home more and b) the general air of uncertainty and uncomfortable news creates low-grade anxiety that results in my body naturally craving hits of comfort in the form of food. Many of you are probably in a similar boat, seeking food out of boredom, comfort, or both. This is probably going to be the state of things for the next little while so instead of beating ourselves up about this behavior, let’s try to be MORE MINDFUL of WHAT we’re snacking on instead. Some of my favourite between-meal snacks include berries in various forms and I highly recommend this as an excellent snack food. Berries are like nature’s little antioxidant-packed multivitamins, taste delicious, and are some of the lowest sugar fruits out there. My favorite way to eat them is actually frozen, and then thawed in the fridge, so that they automatically turn into this soft, naturally sweet compote. Frozen fruit is also great because generally fruit is frozen in its freshest state, which locks in as much nutrition as possible. If you’re going to be eating berries on the regular, they’re one of the fruit categories that are highest in pesticides and really should be purchased ORGANIC to limit your toxic load. Let me know, are you a berry fan? What’s your favorite berry? Featured Snack: organic coconut yogurt, organic berries, and a homemade @ottos_cassava_flour waffle #❤️

I find myself snacking a lot more than usual lately because a) I’m at home more and b) the general air of uncertainty and uncomfortable news creates low-grade anxiety that results in my body naturally craving hits of comfort in the form of food.
Many of you are probably in a similar boat, seeking food out of boredom, comfort, or both.

This is probably going to be the state of things for the next little while so instead of beating ourselves up about this behavior, let’s try to be MORE MINDFUL of WHAT we’re snacking on instead.

Some of my favourite between-meal snacks include berries in various forms and I highly recommend this as an excellent snack food.
Berries are like nature’s little antioxidant-packed multivitamins, taste delicious, and are some of the lowest sugar fruits out there.

My favorite way to eat them is actually frozen, and then thawed in the fridge, so that they automatically turn into this soft, naturally sweet compote.
Frozen fruit is also great because generally fruit is frozen in its freshest state, which locks in as much nutrition as possible.

If you’re going to be eating berries on the regular, they’re one of the fruit categories that are highest in pesticides and really should be purchased ORGANIC to limit your toxic load.

Let me know, are you a berry fan?
What’s your favorite berry?

Featured Snack: organic #dairyfree coconut yogurt, organic berries, and a homemade #glutenfree @ottos_cassava_flour waffle. •



#snacktime #berrygood #berries #holisticnutrition #nutritiontips #functionalnutrition #nomnomnom #freshandfrank #takecareofyourself #❤️

IG: Well, it’s April, so there’s that…. March 2020 was a month to remember, that’s for sure. We’re doing the best we can to keep healthy over here and stay grounded. Healthy homemade food, lots of sleep, movement, trying not to get too sucked into the news, kitty and puppy cuddles, and trying to stay realistic yet optimistic. And, lots of work on getting my food growing going! Soaking up some sunshine today (finally) as I get my raised beds topped up with soil and plant my peas, carrots and radishes. Looking forward to more sunny days ahead— literally and metaphorically

Well, it’s April, so there’s that….
March 2020 was a month to remember, that’s for sure.

We’re doing the best we can to keep healthy over here and stay grounded. Healthy homemade food, lots of sleep, movement, trying not to get too sucked into the news, kitty and puppy cuddles, and trying to stay realistic yet optimistic. And, lots of work on getting my food growing going!

Soaking up some sunshine today (finally) as I get my raised beds topped up with soil and plant my peas, carrots and radishes.

Looking forward to more sunny days ahead— literally and metaphorically ☀️.
#AprilisHere




#stayhome #stayhealthy #lyinglow #wemadeitthroughMarch #selfcare #stayinghome #socialdistancing #wearealltogetherinthis

IG: Here’s my happy face and an ENORMOUS bird of paradise I fell in love with last weekend at my first visit to the Royal Botanical Gardens… ya know, to ease the tension a little. 🌱🌱🌱 Keep getting out into nature when you can, trees and plants will help you stay well

Here’s my happy face and an ENORMOUS bird of paradise I fell in love with last weekend at my first visit to the Royal Botanical Gardens… ya know, to ease the tension a little. 🌱🌱🌱
Keep getting out into nature when you can, trees and plants will help you stay well.
#birdofparadisegoals •



#sendingoutlove #plantlover #houseplantgoals #needthatgreenhouse #royalbotanicalgardens #burlington #planttherapy #iloveplants #birdofparadise #tropicals

IG: What’s happening in the world right now is scary and sucks for a lot of people. This cannot be denied. But what if, instead of panicking, we attempted to re-direct some of that energy into practicing healthier habits that will benefit ourselves as well as everyone else? [individual health affects community health] What if, we use what’s happening right now as a reminder to prioritize our health, each and every day, not just during a pandemic? [preventative, ongoing health practices] What if, instead of stocking up on toilet paper and hand sanitizer, we ‘stock up’ on getting enough quality sleep, healthy exercise, good thoughts, eating good food, and support for our emotional wellbeing? [the basic human wellness essentials] This is just a reminder, that if you aren’t already making an effort to practice better health for yourself every day, there is no better time than now (and it doesn’t have to be complicated). • And of course, wash your hands regularly. Stay in if you aren’t feeling well. Don’t travel unnecessarily. Take all the simple, intelligent precautions to avoid infection (and of course more if you’re immune compromised—do what you gotta do for you). • But let’s try to keep a rational mind throughout this and not forget that there is a lot that we can do each day to reduce the severity and complications of ANY communicable illness. —Take care of yourselves 📸@saramonikaphoto

What’s happening in the world right now is scary and sucks for a lot of people. This cannot be denied.
But what if, instead of panicking, we attempted to re-direct some of that energy into practicing healthier habits that will benefit ourselves as well as everyone else? [individual health affects community health]

What if, we use what’s happening right now as a reminder to prioritize our health, each and every day, not just during a pandemic? [preventative, ongoing health practices]

What if, instead of stocking up on toilet paper and hand sanitizer, we ‘stock up’ on getting enough quality sleep, healthy exercise, good thoughts, eating good food, and support for our emotional wellbeing? [the basic human wellness essentials]

This is just a reminder, that if you aren’t already making an effort to practice better health for yourself every day, there is no better time than now (and it doesn’t have to be complicated). •

And of course, wash your hands regularly. Stay in if you aren’t feeling well. Don’t travel unnecessarily.
Take all the simple, intelligent precautions to avoid infection (and of course more if you’re immune compromised—do what you gotta do for you). •

But let’s try to keep a rational mind throughout this and not forget that there is a lot that we can do each day to reduce the severity and complications of ANY communicable illness.
—Take care of yourselves!!
#PREVENTATIVEHEALTHPREACH




#pandemicpreach #holistichealth #preventativehealth #functionalmedicine #everydaywellness #holisticnutrition 📸@saramonikaphoto

IG: Grain-free granola bowl-a, you ready for this high fibre, high fat treat? 😋 This is my kind of snack. If it’s not yours that’s cool too. But here’s what’s in this: •finely shredded unsweetened coconut •ground flax •chopped walnuts •pumpkin seeds / pepitas •chopped pear •strawberries & blueberries •oat milk +Hemp hearts and chia seeds would be yum in this too. I mean, all this would be good on top of some oatmeal also, but it can also stand tall on its own. Do your thang, and ENJOY IT

Grain-free granola bowl-a, you ready for this high fibre, high fat treat? 😋
This is my kind of snack. If it’s not yours that’s cool too.
But here’s what’s in this:
•finely shredded unsweetened coconut
•ground flax
•chopped walnuts
•pumpkin seeds / pepitas
•chopped pear
•strawberries & blueberries
•oat milk
+Hemp hearts and chia seeds would be yum in this too.

I mean, all this would be good on top of some oatmeal also, but it can also stand tall on its own. Do your thang, and ENJOY IT!




#foodinspo #grainfreegranola #glutenfree #dairyfree #paleo #coconutismybestfriend #realfood #eatgoodstuff #getcreative #eattherainbow

IG: 2010 – a pivotal year in my life. February 12 – I am in the tiny Ho’olehua Airport on the island of Molokai, HI, having just arrived. I am in 3rd year university and I am visiting my mom and stepdad for Reading Week. My parents welcome me warmly and after a huge hug, my mom places a fragrant plumeria lei around my neck while my stepdad photographs our joyous reunion. Our smiles radiate the excitement we both have to see each other. I love her so much. This was a beautiful moment in time. But that summer was very different. This was when we found out my mom had stage 4 breast cancer, and it felt like our lives had been turned upside down. I was 22, my mom 61. For 7 years she fought it on and off. She brought it into remission by 2013, but by 2015 it was back. Into remission again by mid 2016, but by 2017 it was again back. The period of my life between 2010 and 2017 was SUCH an emotional rollercoaster. Those of you who have had a loved one battling cancer know what I’m talking about, and for those who don’t, I hope you never have to experience it. 2017 – another pivotal year in my life. By March things really took a turn for the worse. My mom seemed to be deteriorating rapidly, so my stepdad and I had been caring for her bedside 24/7, as she wanted to be at home. March 9 – I swapped out bedside shifts with my stepdad around 1am to get some rest, and we spoke what I didn’t know would be our final words to each other. “I love you Mom”, I said. “I love you Laura”, she replied. And I went up to bed. The following morning around 8am, she took her last breath. She died peacefully in her bed with her husband lying next to her. Today is a sad day for me. I fucking miss her. So I share this for many reasons. Maybe an emotional purge…maybe to help someone else not feel alone…maybe to remind you to cherish the people you love while you can. If you’ve gotten this far and read the whole damn thing, thank you. Now go hug someone you love and tell them you love them. We just don’t know when or where our time will be up, so show up to each day with love, gratitude and kindness. Miss you so, so much mom, and love you forever and always❤️

2010 – a pivotal year in my life.
February 12 – I am in the tiny Ho’olehua Airport on the island of Molokai, HI, having just arrived.

I am in 3rd year university and I am visiting my mom and stepdad for Reading Week.

My parents welcome me warmly and after a huge hug, my mom places a fragrant plumeria lei around my neck while my stepdad photographs our joyous reunion.

Our smiles radiate the excitement we both have to see each other. I love her so much.

This was a beautiful moment in time. But that summer was very different.

This was when we found out my mom had stage 4 breast cancer, and it felt like our lives had been turned upside down.
I was 22, my mom 61. For 7 years she fought it on and off. She brought it into remission by 2013, but by 2015 it was back. Into remission again by mid 2016, but by 2017 it was again back.

The period of my life between 2010 and 2017 was SUCH an emotional rollercoaster. Those of you who have had a loved one battling cancer know what I’m talking about, and for those who don’t, I hope you never have to experience it.

2017 – another pivotal year in my life. By March things really took a turn for the worse. My mom seemed to be deteriorating rapidly, so my stepdad and I had been caring for her bedside 24/7, as she wanted to be at home.

March 9 – I swapped out bedside shifts with my stepdad around 1am to get some rest, and we spoke what I didn’t know would be our final words to each other. “I love you Mom”, I said.
“I love you Laura”, she replied.

And I went up to bed.

The following morning around 8am, she took her last breath. She died peacefully in her bed with her husband lying next to her.

Today is a sad day for me. I fucking miss her.

So I share this for many reasons.
Maybe an emotional purge…maybe to help someone else not feel alone…maybe to remind you to cherish the people you love while you can.

If you’ve gotten this far and read the whole damn thing, thank you.

Now go hug someone you love and tell them you love them. We just don’t know when or where our time will be up, so show up to each day with love, gratitude and kindness.

Miss you so, so much mom, and love you forever and always❤️

IG: Could nottttt be more excited for my morning reishi coffees in the garden once again ✨ I started a morning gardening ritual where I sip ☕️ while I walk barefoot around all 7 raised beds, one by one, weeding, harvesting, inspecting, admiring, soaking the morning light into my eyeballs and skin (hello circadian clock!) and giving and receiving all the good vibes. The light that shines onto these beds is just heavenly in the early morning hours and this routine is so grounding and restorative. Meditation doesn’t just have to be a practice where you sit still and focus on your breath; it can be any practice that brings you into a state of deep presence and flow, like this. What practice gets you into that meditative flow state?

Could nottttt be more excited for my morning reishi coffees in the garden once again ✨

I started a morning gardening ritual where I sip ☕️ while I walk barefoot around all 7 raised beds, one by one, weeding, harvesting, inspecting, admiring, soaking the morning light into my eyeballs and skin (hello circadian clock!) and giving and receiving all the good vibes.

The light that shines onto these beds is just heavenly in the early morning hours and this routine is so grounding and restorative.

Meditation doesn’t just have to be a practice where you sit still and focus on your breath; it can be any practice that brings you into a state of deep presence and flow, like this.

What practice gets you into that meditative flow state? ✨




#garden #garden #gardenmagic #meditation #growingfood #organicgarden #raisedbedgardening #greens #growfood #functionalmedicine #functionalwellness #holistichealth #springiscoming

IG: My fitness advice? Work towards being strong 💪🏼. A strong body is far more resilient to the stressors of our daily world, plus you can do a whole lot more with it (functional is key 🙌🏼). Plus, let’s be serious, muscle just looks good on everyone. Howwwww do we get strong? Putting stress on our muscles. How do we put stress on our muscles? Resistance— which can mean simply your own body weight (a great place to start) or free weights, weighted machines, bands, etc. Want to LOSE WEIGHT? Resistance train my dear! I can’t even believe how many people go straight for cardio cardio cardio instead of building a solid base of muscle that is going to burn more calories for you while you’re at rest, plus provide you with the firmer, more toned look you’re probably hoping for. Have I convinced you that you need some resistance in your life? 😆 Let’s make 2020 the year of strong as part of our self care

My fitness advice? Work towards being strong 💪🏼. A strong body is far more resilient to the stressors of our daily world, plus you can do a whole lot more with it (functional is key 🙌🏼).
Plus, let’s be serious, muscle just looks good on everyone.

Howwwww do we get strong?
Putting stress on our muscles.
How do we put stress on our muscles? Resistance— which can mean simply your own body weight (a great place to start) or free weights, weighted machines, bands, etc.

Want to LOSE WEIGHT? Resistance train my dear!
I can’t even believe how many people go straight for cardio cardio cardio instead of building a solid base of muscle that is going to burn more calories for you while you’re at rest, plus provide you with the firmer, more toned look you’re probably hoping for.

Have I convinced you that you need some resistance in your life? 😆

Let’s make 2020 the year of strong as part of our self care!




#plankholds #girlswholift #resistancetraining #strengthtraining #functionalfitness #health #holistichealth #muscleishot #bodyhealth

IG: Setting up for success ✨ Do you meal prep? So many of our clients @healthupgraded find that thinking ahead and setting aside some time to prepare meals beforehand is a game-changing practice for sticking to better food choices or therapeutic eating plans. So many of us have very little time in the mornings, it can be a straight up task to find quality food on the fly, and when we are starving we are more apt to make poor food choices that are based on convenience and speed. Even though I work from home and don’t necessarily need to portion out my meals for transport, I make sure to have healthy meals pre-made and in the fridge for myself and my partner to snap up whenever we’re starving. Because, just like you, if it’s not there and ready to go, we are more apt to make less than ideal, convenient choices instead, especially when hungry and on busy days! Here is an example of an excellent 3 days of meals and snacks that I put together for a client back when I did my cooking and custom meal delivery biz. The key is to include a variety of vegetables, fruit, textures (the white jars are bone broth and cauliflower soup) and colors to keep it interesting, and I love to incorporate plenty of healthy fats. This client requested dairy & gluten free (🙌🏼) with limited GF grains and poultry & fish for protein. [These meals are pretty colorful but missing the blue / purple spectrum of the rainbow, so throwing in some blueberries or blackberries would have been a perfect addition

Setting up for success ✨

Do you meal prep? So many of our clients @healthupgraded find that thinking ahead and setting aside some time to prepare meals beforehand is a game-changing practice for sticking to better food choices or therapeutic eating plans.

So many of us have very little time in the mornings, it can be a straight up task to find quality food on the fly, and when we are starving we are more apt to make poor food choices that are based on convenience and speed.

Even though I work from home and don’t necessarily need to portion out my meals for transport, I make sure to have healthy meals pre-made and in the fridge for myself and my partner to snap up whenever we’re starving.
Because, just like you, if it’s not there and ready to go, we are more apt to make less than ideal, convenient choices instead, especially when hungry and on busy days!

Here is an example of an excellent 3 days of meals and snacks that I put together for a client back when I did my cooking and custom meal delivery biz.

The key is to include a variety of vegetables, fruit, textures (the white jars are bone broth and cauliflower soup) and colors to keep it interesting, and I love to incorporate plenty of healthy fats. This client requested dairy & gluten free (🙌🏼) with limited GF grains and poultry & fish for protein. [These meals are pretty colorful but missing the blue / purple spectrum of the rainbow, so throwing in some blueberries or blackberries would have been a perfect addition.] •


#setupforsuccess #mealprep #glutenfree #dairyfree #organicfood #realfood #holisticnutrition #foodprep #functionalnutrition #prepforsuccess #freshandfrank

IG: Not gonna pretend, I am 100% counting down the days until this scene is my morning routine again 😍 My soul needs more green. I need to cultivate and grow stuff. I need my feet in the grass and my hands in the soil. I can’t wait to once again be eating hyper-local (my garden to my plate) and completely organic. THIS is my happy place. Fellow winter dwellers, what are you most looking forward to this spring / summer? 📸@saramonikaphoto

Not gonna pretend, I am 100% counting down the days until this scene is my morning routine again 😍
My soul needs more green. I need to cultivate and grow stuff. I need my feet in the grass and my hands in the soil. I can’t wait to once again be eating hyper-local (my garden to my plate) and completely organic.
THIS is my happy place.
Fellow winter dwellers, what are you most looking forward to this spring / summer?




#gardener #organicgardening #growingfood #realfood #health #raisedbedgardening #foodgrower #myhappyplace #morningmeditation #loveplants
📸@saramonikaphoto