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We want to share all the stuff with you - writings, musings, insights, moves, recipes, tips, hugs, etc. Stuff!

Make your own: Almond Milk by michelle cordeiro, cnp

hamiltonnutritionist

One week into the 20 Day Good Body Feel Reset and I'm feeling gooood. Especially because I've found my sweet cravings have been curbed by Emily's granola recipe and a ginger turmeric almond latte I've been loving lately.

I've embarked on this challenge with my housemate who hates store bought almond milk (and I don't blame her). Although I don't necessarily hate the taste of the store bought stuff, I would always choose homemade almond milk first and foremost! Not only is it quick to make, but the ingredients are MUCH less funky and it tastes so. much. better (housemate approved!!).

SO I PROMISE once you try your first batch you'll never want to go back to the store bought variety. And you shouldn't...there's often thickening agents like carrageenan, added sugar and preservatives in the store bought stuff that you just don't need.

What I find most interressstttinnngg is that I can’t find a brand that lists the percentage of almonds in the beverage. Meaning, to keep costs low there is likely a low amount of almonds actually in your almond milk (I know, WHAT?).

Although you can make this recipe with a strainer, I would definitely recommend investing in a nut milk bag. It just makes the process much faster and more efficient; I find you get more milk out of the almonds with the bag rather than a strainer. PLUS I use my nut milk bag as a reusable bag for bulk items/produce, it's very multifunctional! Alternatively, if you already have reusable produce bags they might just work great as a nut milk bag too. Give it a go!

I also had a teacher once who  said he never actually strains the almonds out of his. So if you're not picky about a grainier milk then that's always an option too. I'm personally far too particular to just leave the almond pulp in there. But you do you!

And I mean, this kind of goes for most things, but I figure if you can make it at home, you may as well make it at home. The recipe is simple:

ALMOND MILK

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup of almonds, soaked overnight* in enough water to cover at least 2 inches above almonds
  • 4 cups of water
  • pinch of cinnamon (to taste)
  • pinch of sea salt (to taste)

*If time is an issue you can soak the almonds in boiled water for an hour to soften!

DIRECTIONS

Rinse the soaked almonds until water runs completely clear. Place almonds in blender. Add water and blend on high for 2 minutes.

Pour mixture either into a nut milk bag or strainer, and strain into a bowl until all liquid is released. The nut milk bag requires you to squeeze for a few minutes until you just can't squeeze anymore (BONUS ARM WORKOUT!). You should be left with fairly dry almond pulp.

Pour almond milk into jars (it helps to pour through a funnel, or back into the blender first for minimal spillage) and add the cinnamon and sea salt.

Shake it up before each use. It WILL separate, and this is totally normal!

TIPS AND TRICKS

Want it sweeter? Add a couple dates to the blender with the almonds and water (I find 3-4 dates is enough).

Want it creamier? Use more almonds!

Want it more economical? Use less almonds!

The almond milk can last about a week in the fridge before going sour.

Full disclosure, I once made a smoothie with soured almond milk (it was an accident!!) and maybe, sort of, really liked the taste...but I do smell check it now to make sure it hasn't gone off I SWEAR.

PS. I still haven't found the best way to use the leftover almond pulp, and it often just sits in my fridge forgotten until I find it weeks later. So any suggestions PLEASE send them my way!

 

Detoxing: Does it have to be scary? by Michelle Cordeiro, CNP

detoxhamiltonnutrition

I did a juice cleanse a couple years ago. For two days all I drank was juice and the whole time I was patting myself on the back for doing such a great thing for my body (I'm often my own personal cheerleader). But then I started to think about what happens after the cleanse? Was two days enough to purge my body of all it's toxins? Am I just good to go for another year now?

Of course not.

And this is why, while there could be value in juice cleansing, it's also important to adopt ways that you can keep the toxins moving OUTTA THERE every day, rather than saving them all up for your yearly cleanse.

Detoxing doesn't mean making huge, crazy, unsustainable changes to your diet for a day or two. And it also doesn't have to mean swearing off your favourite foods or those happy hour gin and tonics (at least not in my books!).

Gentle detoxes help your body get rid of all the junk that accumulates from pesticides, pollution, plastics, alcohol, smoking, non organic animal products/produce, conventional skincare, tap water, makeup and the list goes on and on. Even if you only eat organic salads and green smoothies all day, you can still find benefit from detoxing! Your liver already has so many jobs and functions to perform, think of detoxing as your way of easing the workload.

Now remember that there are 6 channels of elimination (liver, colon, lymph, kidneys, skin and lungs) and it's beneficial to target all of them when detoxing.

But start slow! Incorporate 1 or 2 of these into your day and see how you feel. The best way to start is choosing practices that easily fit into your life and schedule so they can become a lasting change in your lifestyle. My favourites are the ones I can do right when I wake up so 1) I don't forget (heh) and 2) my day is set up on a positive tone.

Let's start easy peasy:

WATER (+ LEMON)

Targets: liver + kidneys + colon

I adopted this habit years ago thanks to a past roommate and have stuck to it ever since. Every morning I wake up and drink 1L of water FIRST THING. Drinking water throughout the day is important, but starting your day with a litre (or as much as you can!) helps to rehydrate your body after a good night’s sleep.

The more water you drink the less headaches you'll get, your BM's will be more regular and it helps to alleviate dry skin. The addition of lemon is wonderful for your main detox organ - your liver! The lemon helps to alkalize your body, because although lemons are acidic, they have an alkalizing effect when ingested which helps to prevent diseases and boost your energy.

Had a couple drinks last night? Rehydrate your body and show your liver some L.O.V.E by squeezing at least 1/2 a lemon in that glass! And if you're loving this already and looking for something more, try adding a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar as well. This combination helps to increase stomach acid and beneficial enzymes to properly break down your food. Great for digestion. Great for detoxing. What do you have to lose?

CHLOROPHYLL

Targets: colon

THIS. STUFF. I honestly can't get enough of chlorophyll since opening my first bottle a year ago. It's what makes plants green and healthy, yes, but is also great for your liver and therefore a key detox addition. 1 tablespoon in a litre of water (it can be that same morning litre referenced above!) helps to pull toxins through your body and clean up your colon.

If you have bad breath (or know someone who does...) this is often a sign of things not moving through your gut properly. One of my favourite benefits of drinking chlorophyll is that it's actually an internal deodorizer! SO COOL. It helps to kill odour causing bacteria in your gut and therefore kill the bad breath and body odour that's caused by this funky buildup. If it's your first time trying it, go for the mint flavour to ease into it even though I think it tastes delicious on its own (and if you've attended any of my Kombucha Workshops you know this is a staple flavour of mine!). The addiction is real.

GET SWEATY

Targets: skin + lungs + lymph

This might be an obvious one, but can't be stressed enough. A daily sweat sesh can expel toxins through your skin, one of the major but often forgotten about channels of elimination. Saunas, hot yoga, an outdoor workout (especially when the weather warms up) or whatever movement gets your body nice and sweaty!

One thing you might not think of is to always shower directly after - this washes off the toxins that you've just expelled and prevents them from being reabsorbed through your skin.

BRUSH YOUR BODY

Targets: skin + lymph

THIS! Go get a dry brush and spend some time (I promise it only takes a couple minutes) before showering brushing your body and you will become addicted, honestly. Not only does it brush off dead skin cells, it helps to open up your pores so your skin can better eliminate toxins from your body. We all know that the skin is the largest organ right? So it only makes sense that we treat it with some kindness and help it perform one of its many functions: detoxification!

Dry brushing helps to detox by getting your lymphatic system moving (known as the drainage system of your body), removes dead skin cells (which is why I stand in the shower while I brush..) and helps with proper circulation and blood flow. You can freestyle your technique somewhat, but make sure to start at your feet and brush upwards towards your heart in short strokes.

DRINK SOME BOOCH

Targets: liver

If you know me, you know I love my kombucha. Having been home brewing for the past two years I've read, seen and experienced the benefits of drinking this bubbly tea. But when I'm talking detoxification and booch, I'm talking more specifically about the glucuronic acid produced during the fermentation process. This organic acid is also made by your liver to bind to toxins and escort them out of the body.

The benefit to also drinking booch as a source of this acid is that you're again reducing the toxic load on your liver by lending it a hand in the organic acid producing department. Once this acid is bound to a toxin, it sacrifices itself to get that toxin out of your body; so drink up! Kombucha is great to drink first thing in the morning, during an afternoon slump or when you've devoured a large meal (mindfully of course!).

Simple changes, and I swear by them. Simple changes make healthy habits easier, more accessible and readily available to you on the daily. Give these a try and keep me posted on how you do.

Feel like you need a detox that goes a little deeper? Shoot me a message, I got you.

 

Massage for IBS by Rowan Nancarrow, RMT

hamilton ibs massage

Trust Your Gut

It's an old proverb and most of us have heard it since we were children. But what do you do when your gut rebels in ways you don't understand? 

Many of us suffer from digestive issues in some shape or form. Whether it's food intolerance, stress-related sensitivities or inflammation, sometimes our guts work in ways that don't make sense to us. More and more people are being diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome, a "diagnosis of exclusion" that just means a collection of symptoms that affect the large intestine. Defined by symptoms like cramping, abdominal pain, diarrhea and constipation, it is usually brought on by food sensitivities, stress and lifestyle factors such as lack of movement or postural issues.

So what do we do about this? It's hard enough just to find time to feed ourselves, let alone figure out what foods make us feel better and which exacerbate pain and digestion issues. 

What a great time to think about abdominal massage! Massage therapy is an amazing modality to treat many of the issues that can manifest in the abdomen, such as stress, constipation, metabolic function and emotional well-being, and isn't always considered as a first line therapy for digestive discomfort. Let me change your mind... 

Constipation & Bloating

Folks dealing with IBS symptoms are all too familiar with the feeling of uncomfortable, full bellies. Massage can help to directly move gas and waste through the digestive tract to relieve the discomfort associated with contripation and bloating. 

Improve Metabolism & Overall Digestive Function

By regularly treating this area, massage helps to bring blood flow and oxygen to the gastrointestinal tract, which over time leads to a healthier, more active metabolic function. This is especially helpful for individuals with slower metabolisms. 

Decrease Stress Levels

Massage therapy in the abdomen will actively release tension in the muscle, viscera and fascia of the area. This decrease in muscular tension can helps reduce cortisol levels, the "stress hormone" that, while necessary, can have adverse effects if it builds up in excess in the blood system.  

Increase Emotional Well-Being

The abdomen houses the enteric nervous system, an autonomous functioning system which connects to the central nervous system through the vagus nerve. This system releases up to 30 neurotransmitters and plays a key function in satiety and emotional fulfillment. Massage therapy can help increase the functioning of this nervous system by stimulating the diaphragm, decreasing our heart rates, stimulating the release of digestive enzymes and therefore stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system to help up relax. 

Never had massage in your abdomen? You'll be shocked to find out that your low back pain may actually be referred pain from constipation, or that the tightness in your shoulders is your body's way of holding tension from gas and bloating. 

Whether you suffer directly from IBS or you're just not sure what's going on with your gut, try working with a registered massage therapist to traverse the unknown - our gut health- and to re-establish that age old trust in your gut. 


Get in touch to chat more about how massage could help your digestive troubles or book an appointment with Rowan Nancarrow, RMT by going here.


HOW STRESS IS MESSING WITH YOUR DIGESTION - AND WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT by Michelle Cordeiro, CNP

 How much is stress contributing to your digestive woes? 

How much is stress contributing to your digestive woes? 

Oh hello there. If we haven’t met, I’m Michelle! A Holistic Nutritionist from Hamilton who is no stranger to funky digestive issues LET. ME. TELL. YOU.

And I’m going to paint you a picture and maybe you can relate, because this was my story for YEARS.

You’re bloated (oh yes).

You’re gassy (are you ever).

But you're trying to eat well (isn't that frustrating!?)

Now what if I told you that this could have less to do with what you’re eating and more to do with how stressed out you are while eating...

Let’s talk it out.

Picture having your favourite meal in front of you while you’re propped up on the couch watching Game of Thrones (and if you don’t watch G.O.T, think “on the edge of your seat, freaking out, screaming at the TV” kind of situation going on). You. Are. Stressed. Out. And you’re barely looking at your food as you gulp it down in a stressed blackout.

Besides the obvious issue of not enjoying your food, there is an even worse chemical reaction (or lack thereof) going on.

When you're stressed, that’s all your body can focus on. Your sympathetic nervous system ensures that only the bodily functions that are absolutely necessary are utilized to their fullest. You become more alert, your adrenaline starts pumping and you are ready to utilize any quick energy sources your body has to offer - which does not include the slow and calculated process of digestion!

Being stressed out (deadlines, TV, traffic, kiddies, anxiety, news updates…whatever it may be that day) puts your body into immediate survival mode, pumping blood to allow you to run faster and produce enough stress hormones to deal with whatever’s going on; in your body’s opinion, digestion can wait.

stresseddigestion

Stress even has the power to reduce the amount of stomach acid being produced which causes the food to stay in your stomach longer than it should, resulting in fermentation in your gut. Fermentation that creates gas which makes you bloated, makes you burpy and can result in acid reflux (the worst!).

This is such a common story and so important to realize so you can focus on decreasing your stress especially around meal times. This doesn’t have to be a huge change either, just stay mindful!

Take a few deep breaths.

Just take a moment before eating to appreciate what you're about to eat. Give yourself some love for taking the time to make this food (or making the incredible choice if you're ordering out!). Appreciate the fact that you have access to this beautiful meal and nourishment. Appreciate whoever it is that you're sharing this meal with (human, pet or house plant) and give your body some time to prepare for this meal. Not only will this help your digestion but I promise your food will even taste better!

Put down the cell phone.

Whether it's answering texts, emails or being available for phone calls, this is stressful. Being available through your phone at all times is stressful. Leave it aside. Don't scroll through Instagram mindlessly, don't feel the need to respond right away, just let whatever you can deal with later, be dealt with later. I always think about my family growing up and letting the landline ring if we were eating dinner. When you eat, let that landline ring!

Turn off Game of Thrones.

Or whatever show it is that you're binge watching right now. Even if it's not the most stressful show in the world, watching it is still taking your attention and focus away from the food you're about to devour. Limiting the distractions is important, and especially if those distractions make your blood boil and your heart race for Shaggy Dog (last reference, I swear).

Chew your food until it’s absolute mush.

Okay this is kind of a weird one to get used to and you might look a little crazy, BUT TRY IT! Have you ever seen a WHOLE KERNEL OF CORN in your poop!? I have, and it's alarming and a true sign that you aren't chewing enough. And I know this may seem basic but you'd be surprised at how little we chew our food. Keep chewing! It helps break the food down to ease the burden on your digestion and speed up the process. Chew until you can't decipher what's in your mouth anymore. Chew until your food is mush and you think you've chewed enough and then chew some more. Eventually this does become more of a habit and isn't something you'll need to think about. But for now, chew chew and chew some more!

And then focus your attention and energy on the task at hand; eating the heck out of that delicious piece of food and allowing your body to use all it’s wonderful tools of digestion. It makes all the difference.


Reach out and let me know how you do! I love getting all the juicy details in my inbox: movewithguts@gmail.com.


a s t r o f o r e c a s t // april 2018

original artwork by stylo starr. prints available for purchase h e r e .

We are S O excited about our new monthly collaboration with Attuned Practices & Stylo Starr! Attuned Practices will tap into cosmic consciousness for monthly forecasts and Stylo will create artwork to visually manifest the vibe.

Here's what's up // 

April begins fresh off the heels of the Spring Equinox, which added some pep to our respective steps, only to then get body-slammed with a Blue Full Moon in Libra on the very last day of March.  This was the second Blue Moon of 2018, so we took it much better this time, (after this past Pisces Season, we can take anything). Nevertheless, due to Mercury’s Retrograde, we are left more than a little disoriented, particularly in Libra’s domain: relationships.  Never fear. It’s just a shake-up, and hey, sometimes we need that...

The real focus of this month is on work/werk.  Most planetary positions are either in Aries or Capricorn this month, with a good deal of Retrogrades as well.  That means that we have uncommon zest about what we’re about. We are lusty about our goals, we are dedicated to our passions.  This combination brings a heightened awareness of both our abilities and our ambitions. As a result, we are are freshly, enthusiastically compelled to stand up and take charge of our individual situations.  

You know your brand of magic and this is no time to keep it dormant!  Embrace it. Let yourself be moved by it.

This vibe will not slow down, either.  The Aries New Moon half-way through the month gives us an added boost to keep that fire burning.  And all the searching, challenging and examining Retrograde energy of this month culminates nicely in the Full Moon on the 29th of April.  That Full Moon occurs in the most attentive of Signs, Scorpio, so expect to end this very active month with a clear understanding of just how damn good you really are.


Dive in and unpack with Attuned Practices, offering readings, reiki and yoga.
Support Hamilton's own Stylo Starr's art.