Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Get Your Healthy Back!

I just returned from 5 days in Salt Lake City, Utah where I was trained by some of the worlds leading health and wellness experts.  I'm overwhelmed with the amount of information on health that was given to me.  I have always been a believer that whatever is passed down through heredity can be changed with lifestyle.  Lifestyle, the way we eat and the choices we make has the biggest influence on our health.  Usually when people are suffering from modern day health concerns we see that there parents and grandparents suffered in the same ways.  We see a commonality in the lifestyle and food choices.  Want to change your health for the better?  Change your lifestyle!  Here are some ways you can make some small changes:

1.  Feelings change minds more than facts.  Put your self in a positive  environment to feel good.
2.  Adore your solutions.  If you are not happy with the way things turn out then change your solution.
3.  Surround yourself with people you want to be like.  Your connections and your culture will allow you to grow and go higher.
4.  Appreciate what you have.

Don't get hung up on diets.  If you are celebrating life it is healthy.  If not, then what is driving you to make your food choices? 

How important are our genes to our health?  Dr. Oz told me that our genes control 1/3 of how we live and the biggest 5 life adjustments that drive how people age are:

1.  Blood Pressure.
2.  Exercise.  We need to exercise  30 minutes daily.
3.  Diet.  Find a healthy diet you love.
4.  Sleep more and work on reduces stress.
5.  Curtail addictions.

Just about everything in the body is reversible.  Even the brain can recover if you give it the right nutrients.  That's powerful!  Diabetes is a disease that YOU CAN CONTROL.  Dr. Oz says you can get off your medication or not go on them at all. I was happy to hear that Dr. Oz eats protein every morning in a smoothie or from eggs.  He also agrees  on the fact that diet soda is designed to trick your brain.  Aspartame is 300x sweeter than sugar and you end up craving foods sweeter and sweeter.

Play a game your body knows!  Chemicals vs Food, Food wins hands down. 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Eat Clean with Joleen!: Lunch Box Ideas Your Kids Will Eat!

Eat Clean with Joleen!: Lunch Box Ideas Your Kids Will Eat!: One week until kids are back in school!  Some parents are really excited about this and others are dreading the idea of back to school sna...

Lunch Box Ideas Your Kids Will Eat!

One week until kids are back in school!  Some parents are really excited about this and others are dreading the idea of back to school snacks and lunches.  Last week I blogged about the importance of a protein packed breakfast.  I truly believe that this starts your child's day off on the right foot.  Protein keeps blood sugars stable. When sugars are stable kids are calm, they focus better and are all around happier kids.  You all know I am a big believer in the connection between food and mood.  With all the allergies today and when you throw in the whole Gluten-Free thing, you might be quite concerned about what to send in that lunch box.  What if your kids don't eat sandwiches?  Limiting the amount of breads and processed foods only benefits you and your family as they turn to sugar so quickly (hello sugar crash and cranky kids!).  You may find you are in need of a little inspiration ifyou are trying to reduce the amount of bread you eat as a family.  The following list will give you 10 great Gluten-Free and Processed Free options for school:
1.  Chili in a thermos is a great lunch.  I make a big crock pot of chili on the weekend and in the morning warm it up and transfer to  a thermos.  Easy peasy!
2.  Scrambled eggs in a thermous are also great.  You can also pack some left over chicken and cherry tomoatoes.
3.  Salads that include grill chicken, veggies and salad dressing on the side.  Kids love assembling the salad at lunch time.
4.  Soup is another thermous meal that makes for a great lunch.  My kids love sipping soup through a straw.
5.  Boiled eggs are great as they include all 22 amino acids.  Boil a dozen on the weekend and you can grab and go throughout the week.
6.  Turkey meatballs with your favorite sauce packed with some toothpicks gets kids excited to eat their lunch.  I do have to remind my boys not to use the toothpicks as swords!
7.  Chickpea Salad is a hit for adults and kids.  See receipe below. 
8.  Pasta Salad made with gluten free noodles like penne or elbows are super easy.  Cook and cool.  Add cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, drizzle some extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice to taste.  Add some sea salt and pepper.  Throw in some feta goat cheese if you like!
9.  Stir fry in a thermos or cold with rice, chicken, shrimp, veggies sauteed in coconut oil with a little Tamari sauce is great!
10.  Egg or Tuna salad made with avacado instead of mayo on lettus wraps or gluten free wraps.  Kids love to roll their own wrap.  Just dump salad on the wrap and roll away!

Now that you have your lunch box ideas prepped are you ready to do a little something for yourself?  vibrant health MBA is a four session course that focuses on health eating and getting to the root of any modern day health concern.  check www.joleengruber.com for upcoming classes or email Joleen at joleengruber@icloud.com

Chickpea Salad: 
2 cans or two cups of dried chickpeas soaked
4 celery stalks chopped
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes chopped
3 green onions chopped (optional)
goat feta (optional)
Sea salt to taste.
Drizzle lemon juice and extra virgin olive to taste.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Back to School Breakfast Ideas, Protein Packs a Punch!

It's our family's tradition to go to Toronto's Exhibition, The Ex! at then end of August every year.  The Ex is also a reminder that school is around the corner.  I do love the idea of getting organized and back into the swing of things.  We all know the saying "fail to plan, plan to fail".  Let's set ourselves up to succeed this September!  The challenge for most of us is coming up with ideas for our kids in the morning that are healthy and one's that your child will actually eat.  If you have an allergy to consider or a picky eater on your hands, this can be more challenging.  What about gluten-free challenges?  I am a BIG fan of going gluten- free and not eating gluten-free food because it's all flour in the end which equals process sugar.  Start your childs day with with a calorie dense breakfast (cereal and ceral bars are empty calories that drive insulin and create cranky kids!)  that includes protein.  Protein sustains us longer and I always feel great if my kids ate a good breakfast that includes protein.  Here are my top three breakfast ideas:

1.  Eggs.  Choose organic and when the yolk is runny or soft there are so many nutrients present.  Eggs are a complete protein with all 22 amino acids present.  Poached or soft boiled are best and easy for parents or kids to prepare. 

2.  Shakes are a super easy way to put so many nutritious foods into one easy meal.  Don't forget that we need protein, fat and fiber for optimal nutrition.  Shakes are quick easy to prepare and clean up is a breeze.  My kids love unsweetened almond or coconut milk with berries, 1/2 banana, coconut oil, ground flax seeds, kid friendly protein powders and anything else you feel you want to throw in.  Have any wilting spinach or kale in the fridge?  Toss it in! Probiotics for gut health and super immunity? Toss it in!  Kids don't even know it is in there.  Some times the thought of drinking breakfast makes people feel like they are not consuming enough.  I guarantee that when you include protein, fat and fiber, this breakfast will sustain your child longer than any other breakfast.

3.  Oats (steel cut are best and can be prepared ahead of time).  Have your childs favorite toppers to add in like nuts and seeds, berries, sliced bananas, some protein powder that will increase protein in breakfast and even drizzle in some EFA's (essential fatty acids).  This breakfast can be eaten cold and you can drizzle on a little maple syrup.  I always choose maple syrup over sugar as there are some natural minerals in maple syrup that are beneficial.  With sugar you don't get any of this. 

The key in breakfast is to make it easy for parents and nutritious for kids.  Breakfast is so important for children.  A breakfast that is processed and refined sets children up for a roller coaster ride in blood sugar which  affects mood, behaviour, energy, stamina and enthusiasm.  Start your child off with a good breakfast that will set them up for a successful day! 

Need a grocery store tour before school starts to set your kitchen up to succeed?  Email Joleen at joleengruber@icloud.com and find out when the next one is scheduled!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Eat Clean with Joleen!: Sweet Poison

Eat Clean with Joleen!: Sweet Poison: I just returned from almost a month away in sunny South Carolina.  I was working and vacationing with my family.  Of course when on va...

Sweet Poison

I just returned from almost a month away in sunny South Carolina.  I was working and vacationing with my family.  Of course when on vacation we tend to indulge in things we wouldn't normally.  For the most part, as adults, we consume more alcohol and food while we are on vacation.  I have two boys and what I struggled with the most was their drink choices (or lack thereof) when in restaurants. Recently I have been reading/studying about the harmful effects of Aspartame, and if there is one thing I suggest people do it is to get off the Aspartame!  I would rather see someone drink a regular Coke or Pepsi then a Diet one.  I'm not recommending Coke and Pepsi but the dangers of aspartame poisoning have been a well-guarded secret since the 1980s. The research and history of Aspartame is conclusive as a cause of illness and toxic reactions in the human body.  Over ten years ago when I worked in the Corporate world a colleague of mine had so many side effects from drinking Diet Coke (she was up to 6 per day at one point) that it landed her in the hospital. Why do we have artificial sweeteners and why are they so harmful?  So we can have our cake and eat it too!  People can eat sweets and lose weight right?  WRONG!  When we look at the studies of people who drink diet pop daily we know they are gaining weight versus the people who do not drink diet pop because when you eat or drink sweet you crave sweet.  Artificial sweeteners are so much sweeter than regular sugar causing calorie dis-regulation which in a nutshell means you are going to want everything you consume to be sweeter and sweeter to satisfy you and this is where the weight packs on.  They also raise insulin, feed the bad bacteria in the gut and the more bad bacteria in the gut equals more fat storage.  There are so many side effects to aspartame and I encourage you to look into it further and please educate your friends and family.  So what can you do when you are in a restaurant and you are not sure what is coming out of the fountain of drink choices?  Try club soda with lemon and lime, try water or bring a healthy drink for your kids with you and tell the waiter your kids have many sensitivities.  Many people want to know what other artificial sweeteners they can safely use instead of aspartame. My first recommendation is NOT to use any chemical sweeteners at all, but merely use natural sugars or learn to adjust to the natural sweetness of raw foods themselves. As you start to eat clean, your body will naturally detoxify and what was once not sweet at all eventually becomes too sweet as we get back into balance where we can thrive.  The best thing to do is avoid all artificial and chemical sweetener substitutes. They have NO food value, trick the body into thinking it is eating something sweet, and they have by-products of harmful toxic side effects. And remember that aspartame was discovered as an ulcer drug, not a sweetener. Every diet drink you used to drink was a dose of medication.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Eat Clean with Joleen!: Anti Aging and Grandma Extraordinaire!

Eat Clean with Joleen!: Anti Aging and Grandma Extraordinaire!: The greatest gift we can give our families is that of a healthy home and lifestyle.   In light of Mother’s Day, I decided to share some t...

Anti Aging and Grandma Extraordinaire!

The greatest gift we can give our families is that of a healthy home and lifestyle.  In light of Mother’s Day, I decided to share some tips on how my mom has stayed healthy over the years.  My children don’t call her Grandma Extraordinaire for nothing!  They say that she is not your typical grandma that knits and reads the paper.  She chases my kids around the pool with a Super Soaker attached to her (with back up Soaker cartridges of course!) and she doesn't hesitate to strap on the shin pads and soccer cleats for a pick up game of soccer any time my kids ask.  She walks and goes to the gym daily and has endless energy.  My dad used to say he would get tired watching her.   How does she do it?  With the crazy-busy schedules we have and the super-sized food environment we live in, it’s not always easy.  Here are some things that have kept my mom rocking over the years.

1.       Digestion Digestion Digestion!  Eating right is a major foundation for health.  We are what we eat and what we digest.  If we are eating  well but our digestion is sluggish, we won’t be absorbing the nutrients from our food.
 2.     Drink water.  Water is so important and we really haven’t learned to thirst as kids.  It is essential for our skin, bowels, detoxification and elimination to name a few.
   3. Get your fat!  The essential fats that is.  They come from nuts and seeds, fish, avocados, and health oils like coconut oil, flax, hemp and pumpkin seed oils. 
   4. Protein.  Most people overdue carbohydrate consumption and don’t consume enough protein.  Protein sustains us and keeps our blood sugar balanced. Have protein at each meal and don’t forget we get protein from a wide variety of plant based food as wells as nuts and seeds, bean and legumes.      
5.  Eat your vegetables!  We usually reach for fruit before veggies, but make sure we are consuming healthy veggies and lots of GLVs (Green Leafy Veggies) as these are high in antioxidants and amazing for anti aging.      
6.  Eat whole foods.  If we consume more real, live foods we will crowd out the refined and processed  foods and allow our bodies to detoxify and heal.       
 7.  Exercise daily.      
8.  Take time for yourself.  Read a book, take a walk or meditate.  This is sometimes easier said than done but we can all find 20-30 minutes a day!      
9.  Start  juicing!  We can get a lot of veggies in a green juice that we wouldn’t normally sit down and eat.  Rule of thumb, use 80% veggies and 20% fruits.   
 10. Sleep more.  When we are not sleeping, or waking often in the night, we produce cortisol and other fat storing hormones.
11.  Take your Supplements to fill in the gaps.  With all the stress from life and the environment we need a good quality supplement and Omega 3 to fill in the gaps.  They are not all created equal so I take what my mom takes.  The best for the best!
       12.  Laugh more.  My mom loves to laugh and I know it's why she looks and feels so great!

For more blogs by Jo go to www.joleengruber.blogspot.ca 
or visit www.joleengruber.com and Follow Jo @joleen_gruber

Monday, April 28, 2014

Eat Clean with Joleen!: Meatless Monday's

Eat Clean with Joleen!: Meatless Monday's: During   WWI, the government started the idea of “meatless Monday’s” in which citizens were encouraged to skip eating meat on Mond...

Meatless Monday's

During  WWI, the government started the idea of “meatless Monday’s” in which citizens were encouraged to skip eating meat on Monday’s to help war efforts.  This was revived in 2003 as it is good for our health, environment and wallets.  As stated in my last blog (Juicing: Fad or Fab?) North Americans consume 60% of there food from process and refined products, 30% from animal products, 5% from grains and white potatoes, and 5% from fruits and vegetables.  Not only does reducing the amount of animal products help our health, but it also gives our digestive system a break.  We are doing it all wrong.  We rush around all day grazing on processed and refined foods that are loaded with chemicals and then we come home after work and inhale a box of crackers (with MSG) while we put dinner on.  We need to be front loading our day with good nutrition.  I’m not suggesting everyone should go vegetarian, that is a personal choice, but really look at how much meat we are consuming on a daily and weekly basis.  Don’t forget plants are a great source of protein.  Did you know that one cup of raw pumpkin seeds have 40 grams of protein!  I love lightly toasting pumpkin seeds and adding them to my salads. 
It requires a lot of energy for our digestive system to break down animal protein.  If we are consuming too much too fast, we are not going to absorb the nutrients as efficiently.  I’m sure you have all heard of the saying “you are what you eat”.  Well take it one step further to “we are what we eat and what we digest”.  If our digestive system is sluggish, we won’t be absorbing the needed nutrients from our foods.  Less is more.  If we are consuming healthy vegetables and fruits (did you notice I said vegetables and fruits, not fruits and vegetables? Get more veggies!), nuts and seeds, fermented foods and animal products in moderation, our digestive system will thank you for it.  Our toxic load will be decreased allowing us to now lose unwanted fat.  This is the first step to weight loss.  We have to start including real live foods into our diets and eventually they will crowd out the bad foods and our bodies will thank us for it!  What are you having for dinner tonight?  Try this easy Chickpea Quinoa Burger recipe for Meatless Monday and serve it with a fresh salad or veggies.  Your digestive system will thank you for it!
  • 1 yam
  • 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided
  • 1 cup quinoa, prepared according to package instructions
  • 1 (14 ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 small onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup fresh spinach, tightly packed
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons sesame tahini
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce*
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • a little g-free flour, for dusting the burger patties *Optional

For more great tips and everything sporty, vibrant & healthy visit www.joleengruber.com or email Joleen at info@joleengruber.com

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Eat Clean with Joleen!: Juicing: Fad or Fab?

Eat Clean with Joleen!: Juicing: Fad or Fab?: Last week I had a conversation with a close friend of mine on juicing and she inspired me to go on a juicing binge this past weekend.  My ki...

Juicing: Fad or Fab?

Last week I had a conversation with a close friend of mine on juicing and she inspired me to go on a juicing binge this past weekend.  My kids were juicing, we were making muffins with the leftover pulp, it was a crazy juice fest! 

Today I started my day with a fresh Juice made from my juicer at home.  Maybe I will have juice for breakfast, lunch and dinner today!   I put  kale, parsley, cucumber, celery, lemon, orange, and apple in my juicer.  I would never eat this many fruits and veggies at one sitting so it makes sense to put it through the juicer and drink it right?  What about all the fiber the juicer extracts?  Isn't fiber essential?  These are some common questions people ask when new to juicing. 

By extracting most of the plant fiber, we get quick assimilation of the nutrients and minerals to our cells for healing purpose.  The juicing process allows us to get a ton of nutrients (micro nutrients)  that would otherwise be nearly impossible to consume in one sitting.  Of course fiber is also a crucial component of a healthy diet.  When eliminating fiber for the abundant vitamins and minerals found in raw juice, make sure to incorporate fiber into your diet throughout the rest of the day.  I love to make some healthy snacks with the leftover pulp in the juicer (my kids don't even know its in there!)

A lot of people have done a juice fast with  the end goal being weight loss.  Look at juicing as  a reboot to your system.  After incorporating juice into your diet first thing in the morning or on an empty stomach in the afternoon we actually look forward to eating more fruits and vegetables on a daily basis.  It also gives our digestive system a break.  We get a lot of nutrients and we required very little energy to digest it, giving our digestive system a break and packing our cells full of nutrients.  Micro nutrient foods increase our energy, decrease headaches and cravings.  Juicing can help you to get control of your weight, sleep, cravings and attitude.  It gives your body the nutrients it needs to heal.  The average North American consumes 60% of there calories from processed and refined foods.  30% from animal products, 5% from grains and white potatoes, and 5% from fruits and vegetables.  Our cells are weakened, we are prone to disease because of lack of micro nutrients.  If we upped our fruits and veggies to over 60% we would nourish our cells and clean them as well as remove waste and resist disease.  Juicing is not just for people that need to lose weight or get off medications.  Everybody needs these nutrients. 

Look for my community juice fast I will be starting in the near future, details to come!

For more information visit www.joleengruber.com or email Joleen at info@joleengruber.com

Monday, April 14, 2014

Eat Clean with Joleen!: Still, after 20+ years, the nutrient dense diet ru...

Eat Clean with Joleen!: Still, after 20+ years, the nutrient dense diet ru...: This week I'm off to teach Holistic Nutrition at a local High School.  WOW, I can't believe that in 20 years, nothing has changed! ...

Eat Clean with Joleen!: Are you eating the right foods?

Eat Clean with Joleen!: Are you eating the right foods?:  How are your New Years resolutions going?  "Eat right" is good advice, but sometimes easier said than done.  Eating at the righ...

Eat Clean with Joleen!: Raising Healthy Eaters

Eat Clean with Joleen!: Raising Healthy Eaters: I don't know about you but this past weekend went way too quick! We felt like we didn't have a moment to even sit and enjoy a tea!...

Eat Clean with Joleen!: Is chocolate milk really a good recovery drink?

Eat Clean with Joleen!: Is chocolate milk really a good recovery drink?: I had the pleasure of speaking to a group of 14 year old athletes and there parents last weekend.  It is amazing how what we view on telev...

Eat Clean with Joleen!: G-FREE: The Help vs the Hype!

Eat Clean with Joleen!: G-FREE: The Help vs the Hype!: www.joleengruber.com I’ve been reading a lot of social media post lately on people going grain free and gluten free.   I often have peo...

G-FREE: The Help vs the Hype!


I’ve been reading a lot of social media post lately on people going grain free and gluten free.  I often have people asking me what type of diet I follow if I follow a diet at all.  I decided to write this blog on G-Free – The Help vs the Hype.  So many people are jumping on the gluten free and grain free bandwagon.  A lot of this is because of the growing gastro-intestinal issues (gas, bloating, and constipation) which later can lead to IBS, Chrones and Ulcerative Cholitis.  But not everyone is suffering with these issues so what’s with all they hype?  When I teach to individuals and groups I say “go gluten free but don’t eat gluten free food”.   Many people go gluten free and end up purchasing products like muffins, pancakes, cookies etc. that are gluten free,  but when you look at the ingredients they just equal sugar.  Rice flour, Potato starch, Tapioca flour to name a few.  Grains are also more processed today and tough to tolerate by many.  Yes they do have vitamins and minerals but so do vegetables!  Reach for those first!   

What you want to avoid is sugar as this grows visceral fat and increases inflammation in the body leading to a lot of modern day health concerns.  Gluten and grains  throw our blood sugar into a cycle of sugar cravings!  Gluten free products don’t contain gluten (which many people are growing sensitive to because  of the amount of processed foods available today) but they do contain a lot of sugar so look for real food that is not processed 80 per cent of the time. I call all  processed food that contain flour food mimickers.  They do nothing for us nutritionally.  Look back to the days of cavemen and try to mimic how they ate.  Fruits and vegetables, meats in moderation and little to no dairy products.  Nothing was processed.  Cavemen were lean and exercised and had very few if any health concerns.  So when I am asked what kind of diet I follow I usually say the caveman diet which today is close to the Paleo Diet.  I actually don’t like to say the word diet at all, I usually refer to dieting as die with a “t”.  You never want to feel like you are depriving yourself and if you are addicted to sugars, usually there is a phase of detoxing that must be done but afterwards look for real food that has little done to it like fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, bean and legumes, lean meats, fish, eggs to name a few. 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Is chocolate milk really a good recovery drink?

I had the pleasure of speaking to a group of 14 year old athletes and there parents last weekend.  It is amazing how what we view on television or in magazines influences us to make decisions about our diets. When it comes to post workout nutrition, many athletes have jumped on the band wagon of choosing chocolate milk as there recovery drink.  Great carbohydrates and protein right?  I love that these young athletes are thinking about how to fuel there bodies as a whole because what we eat before, during and post exercise really does make our health. So, how do I respond to chocolate milk being a good recovery drink? 
Just because a product has one or two ingredients in it like protein and carbohydrates which are important after a workout, we have to look at the whole product. Chocolate milk contains protein, carbohydrates and water but at what cost to our health?  Water is needed for hydration and the best form of water is plain old water!  Look at the amount of sugar in chocolate milk.  Whenever our body consumes this amount of sugar we produce a lot of insulin which sends our body into fat storing mode.  So if you are a 17 year old skinny kid that is trying to pack on the pounds for football, chocolate milk will give you the extra calories for sure!  This is why it has gained popularity as a post recovery drink.  It is geared towards quick weight gain.  When looking at the ingredients, chocolate milk has many artificial ingredients and it is acid forming.  This actually pulls calcium from our bones!  Young athletes need to be supplementing properly and encouraging healthy pH levels and the acidity from chocolate milk does not promote health.  The caffeine is a stimulant we want to avoid post workout.  We need our bodies to slow down and begin recovery.  Caffeine does just the opposite and basically takes the place of other healthier choices we could be consuming.  Focus on real foods, water from water, electrolytes found in coconut water, carbohydrates and minerals in bananas and other fruits and vegetables, protein in nuts and seeds, eggs and lean meats.  Whenever you are thinking of how to fuel your body, the closer we can stick to eating foods that have little to no processing, the healthier they are for us and our bodies will breakdown and absorb the nutrients efficiently.  Remember, nature gets it right.  The closer we stick to real food, the easier our bodies can breakdown and absorb before, during and recovery nutrition.  
For everything Sporty, Sexy and Superfoody visit www.joleengruber.com