An in-depth discussion about Naturopathic Medicine and the type of treatments we can offer for patients.
This is a super moist banana bread recipe and is perfect for those who are on a gluten-free diet
2/3 cup sorghum flour
2/3 cup brown rice flour
2/3 cup tapioca flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 flax eggs (1 egg = 1 tbsp of ground flax seeds mixed with 3 tbsp of water, let it sit for 10 minutes in the fridge)
2 cups mashed ripe bananas
1 cup sugar
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/3 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
(optional) semisweet chocolate chips
(optional) toasted walnuts
In a large bowl, combine the 3 flours, baking soda and salt. In a small bowl, whisk the flax eggs, bananas, sugar, applesauce, oil and vanilla. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.
Transfer to two 8-in. x 4-in. loaf pans lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350° for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks. Makes 2 loaves.
Adopting a vegan, plant-based diet has been one of the biggest life-changing events in my life. Not only has it greatly improved my health, it has enhanced by creativity and opened up a whole new world of cooking and baking for me. One of my favorite hobbies these days has been recreating my favorite meals and I’ve had a lot of help with some wonderful chefs who have been generously sharing their recipes online. Here are some of my favorite sites that I reference frequently.
Plant based diets are much more common today than ever before and the research is astounding in support of plant-based diets to help support optimal health and prevention of chronic diseases. There are different types of plant-based diets such as vegan diets which are completely devoid of any animal products such as meat, dairy, seafood, eggs, and honey. There are also vegetarian, flexitarian, and pescatarian diets that include some animal products.
At Liberty Wellness Clinic, we help many families who are plant-based and wish to continue this during their pregnancy and post-partum period. Plant-based diets can also be safely adopted throughout all life stages, from infancy to adulthood.
If there’s any doubt that a vegan diet can be healthy during pregnancy, I want to share my own personal story as both my husband and I were fully plant-based when we conceived our son. I continued to follow a healthy vegan diet during my entire pregnancy. Given I had pre-existing health conditions, I was considered a high risk pregnancy from the start and was under the meticulous and attentive care of the high-risk unit at Sunnybrook Hospital. They did not once question us about our dietary choices as our son was so healthy at every checkup. We truly believe following a vegan diet helped us through this pregnancy and we delivered our son full-term, healthy and he weighed a hefty 8lb at birth. I continued a vegan diet postpartum and we decided to raise our son completely plant-based. He is now 2.5 and he has consistently been above average for both his weight and height. A well thought-out plant-based diet can be very healthy during pregnancy.
The benefits go beyond pregnancy as adopting a plant based lifestyle has been linked with having lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure, better blood glucose control and decreased chances of developing cardiovascular disease. There are also lower incidences of obesity, kidney disease, inflammatory conditions, constipation and digestive issues. New research shows a plant-based diet can improve brain health and reduce the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. A plant-based diet is even associated with much lower odds of developing moderate to severe Covid.
If you decide to choose a plant based pregnancy, it is no different than planning for a healthy pregnancy. You always want to ensure you are getting the macronutrients and micronutrients that you and your baby require to help support healthy development and body system maintenance.
Here are the most important nutrients vegan mums-to-be should include in her diet:
Your body uses iron to make extra blood and helps move oxygen from your lungs to the rest of your body — and to your baby’s. Roughly 30mg of elemental iron is required every day and good sources include lentils, soybeans, tofu, tempeh, navy beans, black beans, chickpeas, dark green vegetables, fortified breakfast cereals (with added iron), dried fruit, such as apricots, quinoa, brown rice, pumpkin seeds, cashews, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, pine nuts, black strap molasses, prunes.
Vitamin B12 is important for maintaining the health of your nervous system, but it’s also believed that when combined with folic acid during pregnancy, B12 supplements can help to prevent spina bifida and other spinal and central nervous system birth defects in your baby. During pregnancy, 2.2-2.6mcg daily is recommended which can be easily found in prenatal vitamins as well as fortified foods. Food sources include fortified breakfast cereals (choose lower sugar options where possible) , fortified unsweetened soya drinks, yeast extract, such as Marmite.
Because vitamin D is found only in a small number of foods, so all adults, including pregnant and breastfeeding women, should consider taking a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D, particularly during the winter months (October until the end of March). Vegans will need to read the label to ensure that the vitamin D used in a product isn’t of animal origin. From late March/early April until the end of September, most people should be able to get enough vitamin D from sunlight.
Folic acid is essential for the neural tube development for babies. Great news is that the best way to get folic acid into your body is by increasing vegetable intake. Orange juice, lentils, leafy greens and whole grains are all wonderful sources of folic acid. 600mcg per day is recommended.
Omega-3s have been found to be essential for both neurological and early visual development of the baby. Expecting mothers who are plant-based require 4-5g of omega-fatty acids every single day. Good sources are: seaweed and algae, chia seeds, hemp seeds, flaxseeds, walnuts, edamame, kidney beans and algae oil as a supplementation.
When you’re pregnant, your developing baby needs calcium to build strong bones and teeth. Calcium also helps your baby grow a healthy heart, nerves, and muscles as well as develop a normal heart rhythm and blood-clotting abilities. 1200-1500mg of calcium is recommended daily. Good sources are: dark green leafy vegetables, pulses, fortified unsweetened soya, rice and oat drinks, brown and white bread, calcium-set tofu, sesame seeds and tahini, dried fruit.
Iodine is required for intellectual development and thyroid function. Seaweed, fortified breads and iodized salts all contain iodine. People following a plant-based lifestyle should consume about 150mcg per day.
11mg/day of zinc is required for expecting mothers. The growth and development of children starts with a good foundation of zinc from Mom. Whole grains, legumes and nuts are really great sources of zinc.
Choline is a micronutrient that is essential for liver health, memory, muscle control, brain and nervous system function and so much more. Choline helps develop the brain of the baby as well as helping Mom during pregnancy and after with things like breastfeeding. During pregnancy, women should be consuming about 550mg of choline every day. Soybeans, wheat germ and kidney beans are all wonderful plant based sources to add to your diet.
Taurine is an amino acid that is very important for fetal growth. Taurine deficiency can increase the risk of developing gestational diabetes. However, taurine deficiency is rare as our body can make taurine in the liver from other amino acids and it can be easily supplemented if needed.
Adventist Health Study. (2022, March 17). Retrieved April 2, 2022, from https://adventisthealthstudy.org/
Advice for vegan mothers-to-be – nine months of proper nutrition. Today’s Dietitian. (n.d.). Retrieved April 2, 2022, from https://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/tddec2007pg38.shtml
Berry, R. (2017, December 18). Important nutrients for a vegan pregnancy. NaturalPath. Retrieved April 2, 2022, from https://naturalpath.net/body/fertility/important-nutrients-for-a-vegan-pregnancy/
Juniors, P.-B., says, J. M., Murillo, J., Says, A., Alexwhitney, says, K., Kay, says, K., Kathy, says, M., Marie, says, J., & Joe. (2021, March 4). Choline for plant-based diets. Plant Based Juniors. Retrieved April 2, 2022, from https://plantbasedjuniors.com/choline-for-plant-based-diets/#:~:text=We%20recommend%20plant%2Dbased%20mamas,diet%20to%20meet%20their%20needs
Kesary, Y., Avital, K., & Hiersch, L. (2020, August 10). Maternal plant-based diet during gestation and pregnancy outcomes – archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics. SpringerLink. Retrieved April 2, 2022, from https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00404-020-05689-x
Kim, H., Rebholz, C. M., Hegde, S., LaFiura, C., Raghavan, M., Lloyd, J. F., Cheng, S., & Seidelmann, S. B. (2021, May 18). Plant-based diets, pescatarian diets and COVID-19 severity: A population-based case–control study in six countries. BMJ Nutrition, Prevention & Health. Retrieved April 2, 2022, from https://nutrition.bmj.com/content/early/2021/05/18/bmjnph-2021-000272
LH;, A. (n.d.). Vitamin B12 metabolism and status during pregnancy, lactation and infancy. Advances in experimental medicine and biology. Retrieved April 2, 2022, from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/7832046/#:~:text=The%20recommended%20dietary%20allowance%20(RDA,secretion%20and%20forms%20in%20milk.
Pregnancy. Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. (n.d.). Retrieved April 2, 2022, from https://www.pcrm.org/good-nutrition/plant-based-diets/pregnancy
Sebastiani, G., Herranz Barbero, A., Borrás-Novell, C., Alsina Casanova, M., Aldecoa-Bilbao, V., Andreu-Fernández, V., Pascual Tutusaus, M., Ferrero Martínez, S., Gómez Roig, M. D., & García-Algar, O. (2019, March 6). The effects of vegetarian and vegan diet during pregnancy on the health of mothers and offspring. Nutrients. Retrieved April 2, 2022, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6470702/#:~:text=Althought%20plant%2Dbased%20diets%20are,a%20strong%20awareness%20for%20a
Moist, yummy and scrumptious muffins that are high in fibre and full of vitamins and nutrients!
2 egg replacer or flax eggs (1 tbsp flax seeds mixed with 3 tbsp water – let it sit for 10 to 15 min)
1/2 cup agave syrup
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup chilled applesauce
4 tablespoons of olive oil
1/2 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup tapioca starch
1/2 tsp xanthum gum
1 1/2 cups of gluten-free oat bran
1/2 cup walnuts or vegan chocolate chips (optional)
- 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 12 muffin cups.
- Mix all the dry ingredients together. Whisk together the wet ingredients and fold the dry ingredients into the wet mixture.
- Add in the chocolate chips if you wish.
- Spoon batter into muffin tins and place 2-3 walnuts on top of each muffin and bake for 20-22 minutes until golden brown.
- Let it stand for 10 minutes then remove the muffins from the tins and allow to cool on a cooling rack.
Many people want to lose weight but they find themselves going through diets after diets without achieving or maintaining their desired results. Many advertised diets are unhealthy, unsustainable, and simply too hard for people to follow. Using green foods is a powerful way of correcting a person’s metabolism, detoxifying, and achieving the optimal body composition and weight.
One of the leading health issues we see today is obesity, which is linked to many other health issues including heart disease, diabetes, cancer, metabolic syndrome and other chronic illnesses. Canada’s obesity rates have tripled in less than 30 years, and major factors causing this are food and lifestyle choices, emergence of fast food restaurants, as well as processed and nutrient-poor foods.
The truth is, food is what we want but nutrition is what our body needs. Nutrients are the fundamental building blocks for our cells and they are what helps with all of our cellular processes. Food normally provides nutrients and calories, and there’s a difference between the type of foods and the amount of nutrients they possess. Nutrients are the fundamental building blocks for our cells and they are responsible in helping us with all of our metabolic and cellular functions. Nutrient-dense foods are those foods that have an abundance of nutrients but contain relatively low calories. Green foods are examples of nutrient-dense foods and they include fruits and vegetables, spirulina, oat grass, alfalfa, and wheat grass. Most people consume a diet that is nutrient-poor and calorie-rich. Nutrient-poor foods contain high amount of calories with relatively low nutrients such as processed foods, sugary foods, fast foods and so forth. In order to obtain the nutrients we need through nutrient-poor foods, our body has to eat more which ends up packing unnecessary calories into our body which ends up going into storage as fat, and a resulting increase in weight and body fat mass.
The 10-day Transformation Program is designed to detoxify and reset the body’s metabolism, cut cravings while building lean muscle mass and reducing fat mass by providing a very nutrient-dense diet and pre-digested amino acids. Using only organic, non-GMO, soy-free, and vegan super-green foods, the program is designed to restore health in a safe and nutritious manner.
For more information, call us at 905-604-8480 or email us at [email protected]