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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 to take 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.

Research supports that high EPA fish oil supplements may be helpful to reduce inflammation which can directly reduce pain. This is especially noted in cases of arthritis as well as pain originating from a spinal disc. (See research articles below.)

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.

PMID: 16531187
PMID: 26925896

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.

Feet are important too!

I see many patients who come in to see me for back pain. Some have had it for years and don’t really know why it happens or how it really started. A lot of the time, posture is to blame, as well as other contributing factors, such as your job or daily activities. Did you know that your feet play a huge role in posture?

The first things to touch the ground are your feet. Think for a minute about how much stress goes through your feet, up to the knees, to the hips, to the low back, mid back, upper back, all the way to the head and neck. The most stress occurs to the lower body, including the ankles, knees, and the low back.

It’s a good idea to invest in your feet from a young age. Wear good, supportive shoes, avoid flats and heels, replace them as they get worn, and come in regularly for adjustments! Orthotics may also be helpful. You’ll save yourself a lot of pain in the future!

If you have foot pain or you think your joint pain may be coming from your feet, book an appointment with me today so I can assess and see what treatment would be the right one for you.

*Disclaimer

How Orthotics can help

There are many different types of orthotics out there. Different materials, different brands, different shapes and sizes. They can be inserted into shoes you already wear and can be interchanged depending on the type.

Orthotic companies offer comfortable options that can be made to fit a variety of different shoes and different activities. When you come in for an assessment, I can recommend the best type for your needs.

orthotics feet

They are completely customized to your own feet. There is usually a foam cast taken to get the basic shape of the foot while semi-weight-bearing, as well as a gait scan, which can capture the pressures and gait timing that are difficult to do with just the eyes. The gait scan is done while fully weight-bearing as well as walking.

The majority of people who need orthotics usually are overpronators or oversupinators, both leading to other issues, such as back, knee, foot, or hip pain. The way they can help these issues is by stabilizing your feet so that you can allow the joints to move as they should. This also allows for better distribution of weight throughout your other joints (back, hips, knees, etc) and also helps absorb some shock with any activities, such as walking, running, or jumping.

orthotics

How do you know if orthotics are right for you? If you’ve had pain for many years and have tried various treatments, you may benefit from orthotics. If you know that you overpronate or oversupinate when walking, you potentially will need orthotics. It can easily be determined with a full postural assessment during an initial exam. Book one today with me to find out more information or get fitted for your orthotics.

*Disclaimer

I have knots in my muscles. Help!

Knots in muscles are very common. There are many reasons that these knots form. It could be several things such as overuse, underuse, repetitive trauma, previous injury, not enough exercise, magnesium deficiency, not getting enough exercise, etc.

These knots are called trigger points. They can form in any and every muscle. These trigger points can be present both with or without pain. Sometimes they can refer pain elsewhere. There are certain trigger points that can seem like you have pain going down the back of your thigh, even though it is in your back. Some can feel like headaches behind the eye or the top of the head. There are even some that feel like a sore throat or tooth pain.

When you come in to see a chiropractor, they can determine whether or not trigger points are the source of your headaches, neck pain, back pain, etc. or whether they are caused by something else. If your pain is being caused by trigger points, there are several soft tissue techniques that can be used to treat them.

I am certified in NimmoEd and also use ConnecTx soft tissue techniques to treat my patients. To learn more about the soft tissue treatments and services I provide, click here.

*Disclaimer

Favourite hair oil

Just a quick post on my favourite natural hair oil! I love using argan oil. It makes your hair super soft and a little goes a long way!

I use Now Foods Organic Argan Oil. You can use any kind you like. Put a few drops on the ends of your hair as needed.

I like to use a little extra on my face as a moisturizer as well!

Always test a product before using in case of any reaction.

All products were purchased with my own money. This post is not sponsored and I am not affiliated with Now Foods. Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links. This just means I make a small commission if you buy the product. It doesn’t cost you anything and it helps me run my website. Please read my Disclaimer here.

What do chiropractors do when they “crack” my back?

You’ve probably heard that sound when people “crack” their knuckles or their neck. The more accurate term for the “crack” is an adjustment. What exactly is that sound?

That sound is gas being released from the joint. It isn’t painful and no, your bones are not being broken!

There are many reasons why a chiropractor will “crack” you when you go to see them for a treatment. Every joint in your body can benefit from an adjustment, whether it is your back, wrist, foot, neck, or even the ears! Yes, there are joints in your ears as well.

Sometimes, your joints don’t function as they should, causing pain or decreased range of motion. This can cause muscles to tighten to protect the joints from further damage. When you have decreased range of motion, your joints are not bearing the loads as they should and nearby joints have to work harder to help take that weight. This is why it is important to have your joints looked at early on before more damage can be caused. Leaving it alone can lead to further injuries, some being severe enough that you may not be able to carry out the same daily functions or play the sports you want.

What your chiropractor will do when they find these joints that are essentially “stuck” and not moving well, is adjusting the joint. This means there is a quick (high-velocity, low amplitude) thrust being given to those joints to restore full motion. This is where you may hear the “crack” noise. The adjustment itself is not painful. This in turn will relax those muscles and decrease pain.

It is always good to go to a chiropractor annually for a checkup before things get worse. If something minor goes unchecked, it could lead to much more pain down the road.

Adjustments are not for everyone. It is not safe to perform an adjustment on yourself or have someone do it for you. It needs to be done by a trained chiropractor. Adjusting yourself can actually cause more damage as the joints that you can adjust on yourself are already moving too much, causing further instability to unstable joints.

Book an appointment with me today to see if you are a candidate for chiropractic adjustments and you can have these great benefits.

*Disclaimer

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