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Turmeric Roasted Cauliflower

Turmeric has so many great health benefits. I love adding turmeric to my dishes for it’s anti-inflammatory properties. This recipe can be used as a side dish to your fave entree!

Ingredients

1 head cauliflower, separated into bite-sized florets
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp ground turmeric
2 whole garlic cloves, minced
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper

Instructions

1.     Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2.     On a large, rimmed baking sheet, toss cauliflower florets with olive oil, garlic, turmeric, salt, and pepper.
3.     Spread evenly and roast 25-30 minutes, until desired tenderness reached.

Tag me on IG in your recipe creations @dr.dainapatel

Guacamole

This guacamole recipe is: Vegan, Gluten Free

Avocados are full of healthy fats and lots of vitamins and minerals. Did you know that they are considered a fruit? They contain lots of fibre and very little sugar, making them a healthy addition to your meals.

One of my favourite ways to eat avocados are in the form of guacamole.

You can find my recipe for it below!

Ingredients:

2 ripe avocados, pitted and removed from the skin
1/2 lime, juiced
2 tbsp minced cilantro
1 pinch salt (or to taste)
2 tbsp diced red onion
2 tbsp diced tomato
1 tsp diced jalapenos (optional/to taste)
OR 1 tsp hot sauce of choice (optional/to taste)

Directions:

Mash the avocado with a fork. Then mix in the other ingredients. Serve guacamole immediately or cover and refrigerate for same-day use.

If you make this recipe, tag me in your pictures on Instagram here.

Check out more of my delicious recipes here.

Everything you need to know about sleep to help you reduce and manage back pain so you can move with ease and confidence

Everything you need to know about sleep to help you reduce and manage back pain so you can move with ease and confidence

When you experience pain that keeps you from falling asleep, getting comfortable in bed, staying asleep through the night because it wakes you up, or even feeling like you didn’t sleep when you wake up the next day, it can be frustrating.

Sleep is SO important to our overall health that having interrupted sleep or not enough sleep can affect all areas of your health, not just how tired you feel.

These are some of the things that I do to increase comfort levels:

Lavender:

A lovely and relaxing scent to smell in the evening before bed. You can use it in a diffuser. Be careful if you have pets as some oils may not be suitable.

Sleep schedule:

Plan out a bedtime schedule where you sleep and wake up around the same time each day. Try to be consistent and do this even on weekends.

Getting enough sleep:

Everyone needs a different amount of sleep each night, but in general you should aim for 8-9 hours. Some people need less and some need more. If you aren’t getting enough sleep, make a schedule of everything you do in a day and see what you can shift around or eliminate so you can prioritize your sleep. If you find yourself binge-watching a TV show before bed, maybe try cutting down a bit and sleep earlier 😉

Sleep positions:

Side and back sleeping are the best positions for back pain. Using a pillow under the knees or between the knees can put the back in a neutral position and reduce tension on the joints in your back. Stomach sleeping is generally not recommended because this tends to put the most pressure on the back joints.

Routine:

Having a bedtime routine cues the mind for bed. Doing similar things each night to get you feeling more relaxed can be a great way to fall asleep faster. Avoiding bright lights or blue lights, screens, work, and intense activities can be helpful on top of doing more relaxing things such as reading a book, having herbal tea, meditation, journaling, or any of the other things mentioned in this post.

Relaxing:

You want to aim to feel relaxed. When you are able to relax the mind, you can easily relax the body. They are connected. Sometimes we have a million thoughts in our minds at the end of the day and it can keep us up at night. Writing down your thoughts or doing a guided meditation can be so helpful for this. If you are feeling tension in your body, a yin yoga sequence or stretches, a warm bath/shower or a heating pad may be helpful.

Magnesium:

Many people are deficient in magnesium and it usually shows up as tense, tight, stiff muscles. Either using magnesium topically, in epsom salt baths, or as a supplement may be helpful. Speak to your healthcare practitioner to see which is best for you.

Products that can help:

Water Pillow – I love using a water pillow which you can purchase by clicking on this link here (this is the brand that I use). The water moves with you so you may feel less tension in the neck. This may also help you sleep better without tossing and turning as much, reducing tension in the back as well. It may also be beneficial for upper back pain.

Body Pillow – Great to use while lying down on your side. You can place the bottom part between the knees and then hug the top, keeping your entire spine in neutral position. This is also good for mid or upper back pain.

Lavender Essential Oil

Essential Oil Diffuser

Ancient Minerals Magnesium Oil or Magnesium Salts

Mattress – while I don’t have brand recommendations, you should choose a firm but comfortable mattress. Replace this every 8-10 years and try to rotate or flip it every few months as needed.

IF THESE TIPS HELPED YOU, LET ME KNOW BY SENDING ME A DM ON INSTAGRAM HERE!

*Read the Disclaimer here

Double Chocolate Cookie Bars

These cookie bars are great for your holiday parties!

These cookie bars are: Gluten Free and Vegan

Is anyone else also obsessed with cookies like I am? They are my fave go-to dessert to bake. Not only are these bars so easy to make, they are great for when you want something with as few steps as possible. Perfect for those late-night cravings or when you end up stress-baking!

Ingredients:

1 tbsp flax seeds
2 tbsp non-dairy milk (I used soy milk)
1 tbsp avocado oil
1 cup almond flour
¼ cup maple syrup
1 tbsp almond butter
1 tsp vanilla
Pinch salt
3 tbsp cacao powder
½ cup coconut sugar
¼ cup dark chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Mix ground flax seeds and non-dairy milk in a medium bowl and let it sit for 10 minutes.
  2. Mix in wet ingredients and stir together with a fork.
  3. Add dry ingredients and mix until combined.
  4. Line a 8×8 square baking pan with parchment paper and coat with oil or vegan butter.
  5. Bake! Let them cool before cutting into squares and enjoy.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes

If you make these cookie bars, tag me on instagram here: @dr.dainapatel

For more delicious recipes, check out the Recipes page.

Signs and symptoms of magnesium deficiency

Signs and symptoms of magnesium deficiency

magnesium deficiency

So, how do you actually know if you have a magnesium deficiency?

These are some of the signs and symptoms that may be related to magnesium deficiency:

  • Muscle cramps
  • Twitching
  • Charlie horses (intense cramping of the calf muscles)
  • Tight and stiff muscles
  • Reduced range of motion
  • Low bone density (osteoporosis, osteopenia)
  • Chronic pain

Here’s what you need to know about magnesium deficiency and why it’s so important for your health:

  1. Up to 90% of North Americans may be deficient in this important mineral.
  2. Magnesium is depleted in our soils so it is hard to get from food sources.
  3. Magnesium is used in over 800+ functions in our bodies.
  4. Without magnesium, your muscles cannot relax.
  5. Stress and exercise will deplete magnesium faster.
  6. Alcohol, certain medications, and supplements may reduce magnesium or interfere with absorption
  7. Gut disorders, food sensitivities, or allergies may reduce magnesium absorption

Here are some foods that contain magnesium:

  • Nuts and seeds (almonds, pumpkin seeds, pine nuts, sunflower seeds, cashews, brazil nuts, etc.)
  • Raw cacao powder
  • Dark leafy greens such as spinach, kale, swiss chard
  • Legumes (ie. peas, soy, lentils, etc.)

Source: https://www.dietitians.ca/Downloads/Factsheets/Food-Sources-of-Magnesium.aspx

Here are some other ways that you can get magnesium on top of food since food sources alone may not be enough:

  • Epsom salts bath
  • Magnesium oils or lotions
  • High quality professional supplements from your licensed healthcare practitioner

If you are experiencing some of the signs and symptoms of magnesium deficiency, speak to your healthcare practitioner today to find out what is best for you.

Never make any changes to your health without speaking to your healthcare practitioner first. Never start a supplement without consulting your healthcare practitioner. There may be interactions with some supplements or medications. Please read the disclaimer.

Mochaccino Brownies

My vegan and gluten free mochaccino brownies are super rich and chocolatey with just the right amount of sweetness. Bonus: they also contain a little extra protein!

Vegan, dairy-free, egg-free, gluten-free

Ingredients

1 tbsp ground flax seed + 3 tbsp water
1/3 cup + 2 tbsp coconut sugar
1/3 cup Natur-a Cappuccino Organic Soy Milk*
2 tbsp avocado oil
2 tbsp tahini
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup almond flour
1/3 cup raw cacao powder
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp arrowroot starch
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips
*note: the soy milk contains sugar

mochaccino brownies

Directions

Line a loaf pan (8.5×4.5×2″) with parchment paper.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

  1. In a large bowl, mix flax seeds and water to create a flax egg. Set aside for about 10 minutes to thicken.
  2. Add sugar, cappuccino soy milk, avocado oil, tahini into the bowl and whisk until combined.
  3. Fold in coconut flour, almond flour, cacao powder, baking powder, arrowroot starch, and salt in until combined.
  4. Add in vanilla and chocolate chips and fold just until combined.
  5. Batter should be thick and slightly sticky. Pour into the loaf pan and flatten the top with a spatula.
  6. Bake on middle rack of the oven for about 25 minutes. Insert a toothpick into the middle and if it’s mostly clean, the brownies are done. Keep in mind the chocolate chips will be melted and will cause the toothpick to come out unclean.
  7. Allow to cool at least 20 minutes before slicing and serving.

These brownies DO contain some caffeine so if you are sensitive, avoid eating these before bed.

If you happen to make these mochaccino brownies, tag me on instagram @dr.dainapatel

HAPPY BAKING!

*Disclaimer: All products are bought with my own money and I am not affiliated with any of the companies nor am I sponsored by them. Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This just means I earn a small commission if you purchase a product. This does not cost you anything and it just helps me run my website. Nothing in this post is considered medical advice. Please speak to your health care practitioner when implementing a lifestyle or diet change. See Disclaimer.

Black Bean Dip with Salsa

Here is the recipe for my black bean dip with salsa. It’s a quick snack that’s fun to share. Healthy and full of protein and fibre. Vegan, gluten free, plant based, whole foods, dairy-free, easy to make. Enjoy!

Salsa:

Ingredients

2 Diced tomatoes
1 tsp Minced garlic
1 tsp Jalapeno, finely minced
2 tbsp Red onion, diced
Pinch of salt
Cilantro (chopped, about 2 tbsp or to taste)
Freshly squeezed lime juice, to taste (about 1/4-1/2 of a lime)

Directions

Combine ingredients in a bowl. Taste and adjust seasonings to your taste. Set aside while you make the black bean dip.

Black bean dip:

Ingredients

1 can organic black beans
3 tbsp diced red or white onion
Pinch of salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp minced jalapeno
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp dried oregano
2 tbsp cilantro
1 tsp of your fave hot sauce (I used Encona hot pepper sauce)

Directions:

Saute onion in 1 tsp Chosen Foods avocado oil until soft on medium or medium low heat in a medium pot. Add seasonings, jalapeno, hot sauce, and black beans. Cook until soft. If you want, mash some of the beans with a potato masher for a thicker sauce. Add cilantro and serve hot with tortilla chips. Top with salsa or serve on the side.

*Disclaimer: All products are bought with my own money and I am not affiliated with any of the companies nor am I sponsored by them. Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This just means I earn a small commission if you purchase a product. This does not cost you anything and it just helps me run my website. Nothing in this post is considered medical advice. Please speak to your health care practitioner when implementing a lifestyle or diet change. See Disclaimer.

What your plate should look like

What your plate should look like

Canada’s new food guide came out a couple months ago. It was updated for the first time in YEARS. While it is not perfect, it does include better recommendations compared to the old one.

Some of the key take-away points are:

Approximately 50% of your plate should consist of veggies, 25% high-quality carbs (including fruits, whole grains), and 25% healthy proteins (including nuts/seeds, legumes, organic tempeh, organic tofu, grass-finished local beef, organic skinless chicken breast, wild-caught fresh salmon).

Choose water as your beverage (not milk/juice/pop).

Choose more plant based proteins (ie more lentils, beans, nuts, seeds, organic tofu, etc) over animal based proteins (ie pork, bacon, sausage, etc.).

Eat more fruits and vegetables – about 50% of the plate should be vegetables and fruits should be included in the 25% of high-quality carbohydrates.

Include whole grains – be careful if you are gluten-intolerant, as many people are.

Click here to learn more about Canada’s Food Guide

If you’re interested in working with me or learning more about how a plant based diet may help with chronic pain, be sure to book a FREE 15 min Discovery Call with me.

For plant based recipes, click here. For a FREE checklist of pantry staples to help you transition to a whole foods plant based diet, click here and send me a DM on Instagram with “Plant based pantry staples” and I’ll send it over.

How fibre can reduce your risk of heart disease

February 25, 2019 | Daina Patel, DC

North American diets are famous for being high in sugar and fat, both which contribute to the high rates of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and many other conditions. Too many meals with processed foods (such as white sugar, white flour, preservatives, artificial colours and flavours, high fructose corn syrup, etc.) and saturated fats (oils, butter, dairy, deep fried foods, coconut oil, etc.) can have a large impact on your health. This type of diet is directly related to poor health.

It’s not easy to change the way you eat overnight and just wake up and be healthy. The key is to slowly increase healthier foods and slowly decrease the foods that can cause a lot of health problems. One easy way to reduce your risk or to reduce further problems if you are already experiencing these condition is to increase the fibre in your diet. 

Dietary fibre is categorized generally as soluble (dissolves in water) and insoluble (does not dissolve in water). It is best to eat both types of fibre and get it from a variety of different sources. 

Soluble Fibre Sources:

Fruits (apples, pears, stone fruits, berries, dried fruits- figs, raisins, etc.), oats, seeds (flax, sunflower, chia, etc.), nuts (cashews, almonds, hazelnuts, etc.), peas, lentils, beans (black, kidney, lima, etc.), potatoes (white and sweet), avocados, veggies (brussels sprouts, broccoli, turnips, carrots, etc.)

Insoluble Fibre Sources:

Wheat bran, whole grains (quinoa, buckwheat, etc), nuts, beans, veggies

For more sources of fibre and the amount per serving, please visit: 
https://www.dietitians.ca/Downloads/Factsheets/Food-Sources-of-Soluble-Fibre.aspx

When buying packages items (such as whole grain bread), here is a simple rule to follow as to whether the item contains enough fibre: 

5-to-1 Rule for Packaged Items:

https://nutritionfacts.org/2018/05/08/follow-the-5-to-1-rule-for-packaged-foods/

Start off slow when you increase your daily fibre and drink plenty of water to help ease digestion. 

Combining diet with exercise is the best way to reduce your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and high cholesterol. It has been shown to help reduce blood sugars and cholesterol on blood tests. It can also be helpful in reducing risk of cancers! There are many benefits to fibre but in a nutshell, it will improve your health overall. 

Resources:

Dieticians of Canada – https://www.dietitians.ca/Downloads/Factsheets/Food-Sources-of-Soluble-Fibre.aspx

Dr. Michael Greger – nutritionfacts.org

*Disclaimer

Do I really need Fish Oils?

Everyone always recommends taking fish oils for the Omega 3 fatty acids for various reasons, such as: brain, heart, eye health, depression, arthritis, and other inflammation/pain conditions. Omega 3s are essential fatty acids (EPA and DHA) which cannot be produced in the body. This is why it is often advised to take a supplement, especially for those who do not consume fish.

The Omega 3s components that are needed by the body are DHA and EPA. DHA is important for brain and eye health while EPA is great for any inflammatory conditions, such as arthritis, or post-injury. High EPA formulations are great for pain management.

Omega 3s are also found in plant-based foods such as flax seeds and chia seeds in the ALA form. ALA cannot be used in the body and must be converted to EPA and DHA. This means you may not be getting enough EPA and DHA if you are only consuming ALA.

vegan ala dha epa flaxseeds omega 3 fish oils

Vegan & Plant Based Omega 3s

Vegans and vegetarians have a much harder time getting in the necessary amounts of DHA and EPA since these are not typically found in vegetarian or vegan food sources. However, many more companies are able to get DHA and EPA from algae. Not only is this a vegan/plant based source of DHA and EPA, but it can also reduce the strain on the environment due to the fishing industry. Fish oils can contain many chemicals, heavy metals, and toxins that can be found in our oceans, and subsequently in fish. There are some really good vegan/vegetarian sources of these essential fatty acids. My favourite one is the NutraVege (see image below) by Nutrasea Canada (Ascenta). Not only does it taste great, but there is no fishy taste at all because it doesn’t come from fish! There is also an added benefit of taking an algal oil vs a fish oil. The risk of contaminants such as toxins or heavy metals being present in algal oil is low.

vegan omega 3 fish oils epa dha

If you would like to buy this product, you can do so via my dispensary at Fullscript:

Purchase products through our Fullscript virtual dispensary.

Disclaimer: This post was not sponsored and is not an ad. All products were purchased with my own money. Any products listed are personal favourites. This is not to replace any medical advice. Please see Disclaimer post.

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