Getting Freekeh!

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I want to shine some light on this low profile grain that flies under the radar, Freekeh (free-kah). Freekeh is an ancient super-grain with powerful health benefits. It's green wheat that has been harvested before the wheat has completely developed, like sprouts, freekeh is packed with a number of nutrients supporting it's growth. 

Freekeh is very high in protein and fibre compared to other commonly used grains. It can provide roughly 20%-30% of you daily value of protein depending on the serving size. Freekeh is full of vitamins, specifically vitamin Bs and minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc etc. Also with it's low glycemic index it's also thought to help with blood sugar regulation. To learn more about the glycemic index there is a very technical paper in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition which provides a very detailed list of foods and their associated glycemic index value. Click here to see paper. I stumbled upon a website that does a good job at explaining glycemic index and more importantly the glycemic load. Click here for website. 

I buy Freekeh at Bulk Barn. It's usually with the other grains like quinoa etc. If you can't find it, take a closer look.  Speaking from experience asking the staff if they sell "Freaky" doesn't always go over smoothly. 

Juice vs. Smoothie



Don't get me wrong I love the odd juice here and there. Also, many people don't like the bitter after taste of blended greens and I've found that juicing them really helps. If that is the only way to get your greens than juice away, but in my books, smoothies are where it's at when it comes to drinking your fruits and veggies.

Why? because juice strips the fruits and veggies of their nutritious fibre causing the sugars to be quickly absorbed causing a spike in blood sugar levels. The lack of fibre leaves you feeling hungry.  When making a smoothie you keep all those good fibres.  The fibre in the smoothie takes longer to digest allowing your body to slowly absorb the natural sugars and keep your blood sugar levels stable. The fibre also helps keep you fuller longer. 


Another reason I am reason I prefer smoothies over fresh juice is the waste that come with juicing. I always feel guilty throwing away the heaping pile of good fibre and nutritious pulp from the fruits and veggies that are leftover after making a delicious green juice!

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BUT, if you are going to juice I have the solution for you! Save your pulp and press it into ice cube trays, add a little bit of water and freeze! Once frozen, place in a reusable bag in the freezer! Next time you go make a smoothie add a 'juice pulp cube' or two!! You will get all the extra nutrients and fibre which will help slow absorption, help maintain blood sugar levels and keep you fuller longer. 

No more guilt!

Spirulina & Chlorella: Improving overall health, endurance & performance

Over the last few year I kept hearing about these powerful powders, know as spirulina and chlorella. I knew that they were considered superfoods, but I had no idea why. I started to investigate why these vibrant coloured powders were so great, and what I found was a little crazy! Spirulina and Chlorella are dried blue/green single celled micro-algae that act like little miracle workers in our bodies. 


They provide a number of vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin A (beta-carotene), B vitamins, iron, zinc, phosphorus, magnesium etc. Chlorella and Spirulina also have anti-carcinogenic, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. They are primarily known to help with detoxication of toxins and heavy metals, but they also help support our immune system, nervous system, metabolism, fertility, cell rejuvenation as well as improve cardiovascular, eye, brain, skin, liver and digestive health. 


My favourite part about these powders is that they provide healthy fats and PROTEIN! Complete protein to be exact. Complete proteins provides all 9 essential amino acids, in other words they provide all 9 essential building blocks of protein that we must get from our food because our bodies don't produce them. Commonly known complete protein foods include meat, poultry, dairy etc. It is often forgotten that plants have the ability to provide protein let alone complete protein. Spirulina and Chlorella are not only a good source of complete plant-based protein, like soy and quinoa, but they are a good source of protein, period. Spirulina and chlorella have the highest composition of protein even when compared to animal based protein- they have more protein per ounce than a serving of steak! This table helps compare the protein composition of some high protein foods (note: chlorella has roughly the same composition as spirulina). This table comes from a book called "Superfood and Functional Food - The Development of Superfoods and Their Roles as Medicine"  in chapter one, A Prominent Superfood: Spirulina platensis (I have a strong feeling I am going to be referring to this book a lot).

There are a number of research studies that help support the fact that spirulina and chlorella incredible superfoods. While doing my research, I came across this study by Lu and colleagues that I thought would grab your interest. This study illustrates that spirulina may have a significant impact on our endurance and sport performance! Do I have your attention now?  This clinical research study looked at two groups of college student. One group took spirulina and the other group took a placebo 3-times a day for three weeks. After three weeks the students were asked to perform an all-out treadmill exercise. This study showed that the time until exhaustion was higher in the group who added Spirulina to there regular diet. The findings of this research study lead them to conclude that "... the ingestion of S. platensis [Spirilina] showed preventive effect of the skeletal muscle damage and that probably led to postponement of the time of exhaustion during the all-out exercise." The full article can be found here: 

Lu, H. K., Hsieh, C. C., Hsu, J. J., Yang, Y. K., & Chou, H. N. (2006). Preventive effects of Spirulina platensis on skeletal muscle damage under exercise-induced oxidative stress. European journal of applied physiology98(2), 220.

It is almost too good to be true that just a small amount of these powders can have such an impact on our health, wellbeing and endurance. It seems like a no-brainer to add this stuff to our diets, but the earthy flavour tends to turn people away. The flavour can be disguised if mix with the right foods, but the good news is that is can be taken as a supplement in a capsule form as well. 

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I personally use 'Prairie Naturals Aqua Greens Spirulina & Chlorella Powder' that I buy from Kardish Foods or online at  I add a couple teaspoons of this power to my morning smoothies and I am good to go! 

Fresh ground pepper with your Turmeric Latte?

Turmeric, the 'Golden Spice', like the golden child has alway been quite popular and well respected. It is not only known for its bright yellow colour and unique flavour (often found in South Asian and Middle Eastern cuisine) but also its role in ancient and traditional medicine.

Turmeric continues to make it's mark in the world of health and wellness for its health benefits. The active compound in turmeric is called curcumin which is know for its strong anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-carcinogenic effects. Curcumin is thought to help keep your immune system strong, helping you reduce your risk of short-term or acute illnesses (like a cold or flu). It is even thought to play a role in the risk reduction of long-term or chronic illnesses (like heart disease etc)- CRAZY! 

The community of health and wellness foodies puts turmeric on everything! Okay, not everything. Peanut butter goes on everything, but let's just say that turmeric is a friend of the health foodies. My personal favourites, aside from curry dishes, are turmeric cauliflower rice and turmeric golden milk lattes. Let's be real, I sneak turmeric into a lot of different meals. Whenever I am using turmeric I always make sure to use a pinch or so of black pepper. Why black pepper?  The compound in black pepper called piperine increases the absorption of the curcumin when eating or drinking turmeric. This is know as increasing the bioavailability. In other words, pepper increases the amount of curcumin that your body absorbs and puts to work! How this works is the piperine slows down or inhibits the metabolism of curcumin in the liver allowing the curcumin to remain the your system longer rather than being quickly filtered through the body. The longer in the system the more absorption. 

This powerful spice is on the rise. Try a turmeric tea or golden milk latte next time you are at your trendy local coffee shops, and make sure it comes with some ground pepper!

WARNING: Turmeric is a very golden yellow spice that loves to stain everything so try to use older pots, whisks, mugs.... and t-shirt. Speaking from experience. 

Recipe can be found here Turmeric Golden Milk