a follow up to my guest piece on suite 101…

What a glorious morning – because the sky is so blue, the sun is so warm, and my guest piece about spring detoxing on suite101.com is up! Check it out here.

A big THANK YOU to Mary Luz, writer at suite101.com who I met through the Women’s Culinary Network. She writes for the food trends section, and has a lot of really interesting articles to peruse.

Now, there was a mention in the article of some great “detox” dishes: kale salad, beet salad, etc. You could make these at home, many recipes are available on the internet, or if you are out and about and need to grab a bite, these dishes can be found at Camros Organic Eatery on Hayden Street, just south of Yonge and Bloor in downtown Toronto. If you know me, I am sure you have heard me rave about this place – organic, healthy, tasty food, in a warm, enviting, eco-friendly place, run by an amazing family. I am collaborating with them on some interesting projects – stay tuned for more exciting news!

For those who are looking to buy some more natural wholesome foods, a great place to start is your local health food store, a nearby farmer’s market or even a Loblaws, which should have a natural and organic food section. (Also, several other big grocery chains like Dominion, Sobeys and Longos are bringing in more alternatives all the time.) Please watch out for the natural/organic product coupon book The Healthy Shopper which should be available in health food stores in April. For first time buyers, this is a great way to try something new, and save a few bucks.

Finally, I thought I would give you all a little crash course in label -reading: “natural” vs “organic”. I recently read through a great food magazine published by Wegman’s a big grocery chain in the US which is focused on wellness and high quality foods. They had a little piece describing “natural” and “organic” which I think makes it crystal clear:

“Natural Foods contain no artificial colors, flavors, preservatives or additives, and are minimally processed. All organic foods are natural, but not all natural foods are organic. Natural foods can be grown by conventional methods. There is currently no government-approved definition of “natural” foods, except for meat.” (I am not sure about the meat thing in Canada.)

“Organic Foods are grown in greater harmony with nature, without using synthetic pesticides, fertilizers, antibiotics, or growth hormones. To be sure an item is the real thing, look for the USDA label – foods with this designation are certified to have been grown and processed according to the USDA Organic Standards, with inspections to verify organic authenticity.”

(from Menu, winter 2007, pg. 88 published by Wegmans)

So, now you know the difference but what do you buy? The best choice is always whatever works for you. Organic foods can be expensive, and organic does not always = healthy. Depending on your dietary needs, you have to take protein, carbohydrate, fat, sodium and sugar levels into account, no matter if the product is “natural” or “organic”. The easiest choice is to pick up items from your local farmer’s market from a vendor you trust.

If you are interested in a nutritional program due to a diagnosed condition, to effectively lose weight, or to prevent future health issues, please visit my website lemonholistic.com.

Now go outside and enjoy this glorious Friday!

If you have any comments about the spring detox article, Camros Organic Eatery, The Healthy Shopper book, or “natural” vs “organic”, I would love to hear from you!


the power of the word “real”

The other day, I heard a radio ad for a fast-food chain, pushing the fact that their broccoli and cheese sauce baked potato was made in a “real” oven.

That scared me a little bit, and I couldn’t put my finger on why, until I visited their website and looked up the ingredients in their cheese sauce. Basically, they have to use a concept like “real oven” to hook a listener, because they certainly can’t say “real” about their food.

How scary is it when the only way left to promote your food product is to say “real oven”. (is there such a thing as a “fake” oven? oh thank you fast food chain for not using the fake oven)

I hope other people have a similar reaction when they hear the ad – and don’t stop there. If it disturbs you, go to the website, look at the ingredients, and then don’t buy the product. Last time I looked, “real” food (like cheese) didn’t have an ingredient list that had about 50 items, and included things like food dyes and artificial flavours.