diy, drink, fermentation, food, health, Nutrition Post, Plant Based Recipes, Uncategorized

Water Kefir Recipe:

Ingredients: The-Origin-of-Water-Kefir_header-01-300x300

  • Water Kefir Grains (1 cup)
    • (purchased at The Organic Food Market -Bloor-Spadina area)
  • 4 cups of boiled water
  • 3 cups of cold water
  • 4 tbsp of cane sugar (Never honey*)
  • (optional) 3 packets of tea of choice
  1. In a glass jar (mine holds up to 8 cups) add the hot water, sugar and tea bags.
  2. Steep the tea for 4 minutes, squeeze the bags and discard.
  3. Stir the sugar water until all of the sugar has dissolved.
  4. Add the additional water and check the temperature to ensure it is not too hot for the kefir grains.
  5. Add the kefir grains to the lukewarm water.
  6. Cover the opening of the jar with 2 paper towels and tie a string around the opening to secure the paper towel.
  7. Store in a cool dark place, like a cabinet, for 24 hours and up to 48 h, taste to know, the sweeter, the longer it needs to ferment. (NEVER longer than 48 h).
  8. After 24 or 48 h, strain and set aside the kefir grains before bottling the kefir water.
  9. Bottle up your newly fermented kefir water in glass bottles with plastic twist caps.
  10. Add lemon juice, lime juice, ginger, or flavour of choice and seal the bottle caps.
  11. Store in a cool dark place for up to 48 h, and refrigerate.
  12. Once the drink has cooled enough, you may enjoy your freshly brewed water Kefir.
diy, drink, fermentation, health, kombucha, Nutrition Post, Uncategorized

Health Benefits of Fermented Foods

02de146a9bcad5370c05b8205dd447a96c595baeFermented foods have been used for centuries in many cultures worldwide such as that of Eastern Europe, Asia, and Africa, as a means to preserve food and increase its palatability[1]. Foods such as yogurt, pickles, sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, and tempeh fit under the fermented foods category. Fermented beverages have also been produced and consumed for the same reasons. Some of these fermented beverages may sound familiar to you: Kvass, kombucha, and kefir to name a few. These foods and beverages are known to have many health benefits including promoting the health of the digestive system, aiding detoxification and contributing to good overall health. Fermented food and beverages contain lactic acid from the fermentation process, which has been shown to suppress certain bacteria in the intestines, providing antibiotic properties to the body[2]. The health of the digestive system affects the health of other parts of the body including skin and mental health so it is no surprise that fermented foods have an abundance of health properties[3]. Fermented foods have a positive effect on balancing intestinal PH, thus establishing normal intestinal flora, which is essential to digestion[4].  Fermented foods, specifically kombucha aids detoxification of the body, by producing “coupled glucuronic acid” that binds to metabolic waste products and environmental toxins and poisons[5]. Additionally, fermented foods may help the body to absorb antioxidants[6].

Not all fermented products are beneficial to the body, for example, fermented soy products may be high in sodium and store purchased fermented foods may have been pasteurized  (heated at a high temperature) thus eliminating the beneficial bacteria[7].

Making your own fermented foods and beverages can be an easy and inexpensive alternative to purchasing the often expensive foods regularly.

Here are links to producing your own fermented foods and beverages:

[1] Baschali, Aristea, et al. “Traditional low-alcoholic and non-alcoholic fermented beverages consumed in European countries: a neglected food group.” Nutrition Research Reviews (2017): 1-24.

[2] Kombucha is useful for gastrointestinal ills. (1995). Better Nutrition for Today’s Living, 57(12), 12. Retrieved from

[3] Kombucha is useful for gastrointestinal ills. (1995). Better Nutrition for Today’s Living, 57(12), 12. Retrieved from

[4] Kombucha is useful for gastrointestinal ills. (1995). Better Nutrition for Today’s Living, 57(12), 12. Retrieved from

[5] Kombucha is useful for gastrointestinal ills. (1995). Better Nutrition for Today’s Living, 57(12), 12. Retrieved from

[6] Komaroff, A. L. (2015, Aug 09). Health benefits of fermented foods not yet proven ask doctor K. Capital Retrieved from

[7] Komaroff, A. L. (2015, Aug 09). Health benefits of fermented foods not yet proven ask doctor K. Capital Retrieved from

food, health, Nutrition Post, Plant Based Recipes

Lentil Tomato Stuffed Shells

(Topped with Cashew Cheese)

Lentil sauce Recipe:FullSizeRender

  • 1 medium tomato diced 
  • 1 yellow onion chopped
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1.5 cups of tomato sauce 
  • 1 cup of lentils of choice (I used green) 
  • 2 tbsp Italian seasoning mix
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg 
  • 1-3 tbsp sugar 
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika 

Cashew cheese 

  • 2 cups of cashews soaked and drained 
  • 1 lemon juiced 
  • 1 tbsp olive oil 
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper 
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning mix 

Procedure :

  1. Bring 2 cups of water to boil in a medium pot 
  2. Add salt and rinsed lentils after 5 min, add tomato sauce, tomato, and onion
  3. Add salt, nutmeg, pepper, paprika, sugar and Italian seasoning
  4. Simmer until lentils are thoroughly cooked 
  5. Boil the pasta in the meantime 
  6. Taste the sauce and add more seasoning, salt, or sugar if need be

Cashew cheese: 

  • combine all ingredients in a food processor until smooth 


  1. Arrange the shells in a glass pan and fill with lentil sauce or fill individually and add to pan after
  2. Add cashew cheese on top of each 
  3. Top with basil and black pepper 
diy, food, gardening, health, Nutrition Post

Gardening Demystified: 

gardeningGardening is intriguing, but can be intimidating if gardening is not something that you were raised with. However, it is not as difficult as it looks, especially after learning the basics, which should give you the boost of confidence that you need to get out there and garden! Gardening makes you appreciate nature in a way you wouldn’t expect, and gives you a mental break from an often tenuous daily life. There is something truly beautiful about creating life (or rather helping it along from seed to plant). There is even evidence that interacting with nature is good for mental health! (search: forest bathing).You can grow food or flowers indoors and outdoors, so even if you live in an apartment, there is still much you can do! Gardening must haves: gardening gloves, a watering can, weed blocking fabric or cardboard, a few bags of compost purchased or free from your city (more accessible than you may think, I will get into how to make your own later), coconut coir or peat moss (cheap and easy to acquire), hand tools, seedling containers, and seeds! Note: gardening is all about patterns and it is easy to learn once you pick up on the patterns, such as those within plant families and how similar plants have similar needs.

  1. Ask yourself if you are willing to commit to watering plants daily, doing a bit of research, working in all conditions outdoors, and doing even the hard work (weeding PROPERLY)
  2. Location ! Begin by deciding on a place best suited for growth (plants each have different needs, some like shade, etc)
  3. Research what plants are best suited for your location and soil type (clay, sandy, tilthy etc). If you’re afraid that raccoons will eat your produce, plant what they don’t eat or plant more! (I will post about what plants are best suited for what conditions soon)
  4. PLAN: plan to plant similar vegetables together, and plants that do not like to grow together, apart. Do not plant them too close together, they may seem small now but as soon as the heat picks up, plants like squash can take over the entire garden with their vines, while radishes can be planted very close together. This part needs some research, search “companion planting” and “plants best suited to Canadian climate”.
  5. If your choice of location is outdoors, lay down cardboard or weed blocking fabric (available at dollarama, but cardboard is biodegradable if you prefer a greener option) and cover the weed blocking material of choice with compost soil
  6. As early as March you may begin to plant your seeds indoors, in a seeding tray filled with thoroughly moistened peat moss or coconut coir. Ensure that the sprouted seedlings get adequate sun exposure from windows
  7. When the ground has unfrozen, “harden off” the seedlings that you started with, by leaving them outside during the day for a few hours and bringing them inside at night. Cloches are another option to keep the seedling safe from harsh conditions while leaving them outside. Research other options available to you!
  8. Keep the soil moist but not too wet throughout the time that the vegetables are outdoors, and note that root vegetables uptake water from their deep roots and require thorough watering.
  9. Keep a journal of when you planted the plants and be wary of harvest dates, some are later than noted because of a colder season, so take note of observations.
  10. WEED when necessary, for example, quack grass must be pulled out well or it will come back!
acne, beauty, body, diy, food, health, Nutrition Post

Nutrition and Acne


Based on the book ‘You Are What you Eat’ by Dr. Gillian Mckeith, the location of pimples may signify an issue within the body that can be reversed with changes to the diet. It is not necessary to attempt every solution unless the solution of choice from the lists below did not work. Additionally, bodily hygiene is vital to the prevention of acne, especially in locations such as the back, post workout, because the accumulation of microbes may cause breakouts.

  • Forehead Pimples:
    • Signify an issue with the intestinal area
      • Solutions: increase fiber intake via Psyllium Husk: take psyllium husk supplements on a daily basis until problem area clears up OR mix 1 tablespoon of psyllium husk in 250ml of water, let to set for 5-10 min and drink on an empty stomach every morning. Some Acne is caused by a food intolerance or sensitivity, it would be wise to be tested for sensitivities if the acne persists.
  • Cheek Pimples:
    • Signify an issue with the Lung and breast area
      • Solutions: Drink Mullein tea and take astragalus supplements (3x/day), take oil of primrose supplements, take echinacea liquid tincture (20 drops/day), avoid dairy products, saturated fats, and red meats.
  • Nose Pimples: 
    • Signify an issue with the heart area
      • Solutions: take hawthorn supplements, take coenzyme Q10, eat barley grass (1tsp/day), drink 2 cups of hawthorn tea daily
  • Jaw Pimples:
    • Signify an issue with the kidney area
      • Solutions: drink dandelion leaf tea, take a magnesium supplement, and B complex daily, eat quinoa
  • Shoulder Pimples:
    • Signify an issue with the digestive area
      • Solutions: take digestive enzyme supplements with all meals, drink 1 tbsp of aloe vera juice before meals.
  • Chest Pimples:
    • Signify an issue with the lung and heart area
      • Solutions: drink mullein tea and ginkgo biloba teas regularly, take coenzyme Q10 supplements
  • Upper Back Pimples: 
    • Signify an issue with the lung area
      • Solutions: take astragalus supplements, germanium supplements, and include the following herbs in your food preparation: basil, cayenne, fennel, fenugreek, garlic, ginger, mullein, nettles, peppermint. Drink celery juice and mullein teas, avoid dairy products, sugars, and peanuts
  • Pimples Around the Mouth:
    • Signify an issue with the reproductive area
      • Solutions: take the supplement agnus castus twice daily (also known as Vitex or chaste berry)
diy, drink, fermentation, food, health, kombucha, Nutrition Post, Plant Based Recipes

How To Brew Your Own Kombucha (cheap)


  1. The first step is considering and ensuring you are comfortable with the weekly commitment of producing kombucha. Familiarize yourself with terms and guidelines via research.
  2. The next step is ensuring you own a 4L glass container with a large opening and 4 -350 ml glass bottles with plastic caps (or 6 – 250ml glass bottles)(Reused GT’s kombucha bottles is an option).
  3. Begin by growing your own SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast)
    • Purchase a bottle of original kombucha -unflavored kombucha, 1 bottle any size is fine.
    • Gather 1/2 cup of sugar and 4 bags of green tea (1tbsp of loose leaf tea = 4 bags)
    • Bring 3 cups of water to a boil and add in the tea and sugar
    • Let the sugar tea to steep for 5 minutes, in the meantime clean the preparing area thoroughly
    • Filter the tea into the glass container and add 4 cups of cold (or room temp) water to the sweet tea
    • Add 250 ml of Original kombucha to the glass container
    • Cover the opening of the glass container with paper towel and secure with string or an elastic band
    • Let to ferment in a dark place like a cupboard for 2-4 weeks until a SCOBY forms (NOT a vegetable cupboard or mold may spread to the kombucha)
  4. Once the SCOBY has formed, save 1 cup of fluid and discard the rest
    • Begin your first kombucha batch in the same way,
    • Boil 3 cups of water, add 4 bags of tea to the boiled water, add 1/2 cup of sugar, steep 5 min
    • Filter the tea into the original container
    • Add 4 cups of cold water to the sweet tea in the container
    • Add the 250 ml of ‘starter’ fluid to the sweet tea
    • Cover the opening with paper towel and secure with string or elastic
    • Store in a cool dark place for a week such as a cupboard (AWAY from vegetables)
  5. After the week of fermenting, you can begin to bottle the kombucha
    •  Choose flavours for your kombucha such as ginger or blueberry and prepare the ingredients
    • Prepare your glass bottles by ensuring cleanliness
    • With clean hands, set aside the SCOBY carefully on a plate (NOT METAL)
    • Fill your bottles using a sieve, leaving an inch of space between the bottle opening and the kombucha
    • Fill the extra space with fruit, ginger juice, both or neither
    • Close the bottles tightly and set in a cool dark place to ferment for 48+ hours, the first bath may not be as fizzy but the longer they ferment, the more the bubbles
    • Refrigerate after the 48+hours and drink after kombucha has cooled (prevents mess)
    • Begin your next kombucha batch by boiling 3 cups of water, and using the same recipe as before
    • When you no longer want to make kombucha, search for alternative uses for your SCOBY
    • If you must take a break for a month or longer, research how to save the SCOBY for prolonged periods of time
    • familiarize yourself with what a normal SCOBY looks like and what a SCOBY that has gone bad looks like