A step to improving our nutrition choices is by learning the dirty dozen and clean fifteen, which refers respectively to the fruits and vegetables that are most and least contaminated by pesticide use, according to the Environmental Working Group.

Why should we care?

Pesticides are toxic by design. Different pesticides have been linked to cancer, birth defects, hormone disruptions. (I mean if a pesticide is designed to make an insects stomach explode from eating it, it can’t be doing great things to our guts either.) But for most people, switching to strictly organic is not an option as it can get really pricey, so making informed choices on your produce selections can help minimize pesticide consumption while sticking to your budget!

The Dirty Dozen (in order of contamination)

  1. Apples
  2. Celery
  3. Sweet bell peppers
  4. Peaches
  5. Strawberries
  6. Nectarines
  7. Grapes
  8. Spinach
  9. Lettuce
  10. Cucumbers
  11. Blueberries
  12. Potatoes

The Clean Fifteen (in order of least contamination)

  1. Onions
  2. Sweet Corn
  3. Pineapples
  4. Avocados
  5. Cabbage
  6. Sweet peas
  7. Asparagus
  8. Mangoes
  9. Eggplant
  10. Kiwi
  11. Cantaloupe
  12. Sweet potatoes
  13. Grapefruit
  14. Watermelon
  15. Mushrooms

Remember washing and scrubbing your fruits and vegetables is an effective way of reducing the amounts of pesticides on your produce, but no washing method can remove 100% of the pesticides residue. The best technique is to wash under flowing water and using a stiff clean brush on tougher surfaces and gentle rubbing with your hands for soft tissued fruits and vegetables!



Sweet Potato Nachos

Time: 40 minutes

Serves: 4


2 medium potato Sweet potato (thinly sliced)

1 tsp Extra virgin olive oil (for drizzling)

1 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese, low fat

1 cup Black beans, canned (drained, rinsed)

1 Mango (peeled, diced)

3 medium Radish (sliced)

1 Avocado (diced)

1 Serrano pepper (thinly sliced)

1 Lime (sliced into wedges)

1/4 cup Adobo sauce (from canned chipotles in adobo sauce)

1 pinch Sea salt

1 dash Black pepper


Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C) and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Toss the sweet potatoes with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Spread in a thin layer on the baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Top with the cheese and bake for an additional 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the sweet potatoes are golden brown.

Remove the baking sheet from the oven and top the sweet potatoes with the black beans, mango, radishes, avocado, and serrano pepper. Add a squeeze of lime, drizzle with the adobo sauce, and sprinkle with a few pinches of salt. Serve straight from the pan with extra lime slices on the side.


Recipe Credit to MindBodyGreen!


Peanut Butter Cups with Banana and Dark Chocolate

Time: 1 h 25 minutes

Serves 8


1 medium Banana (diced)

1/2 cup Peanut butter, natural

2 tsp Coconut oil (melted)

1/4 tsp Vanilla extract, pure

200 gm Dark chocolate (finely chopped, for coating)

2 tbsp Coconut oil (melted, for coating)


In a small food processor, puree the banana, peanut butter, 2 tsp. coconut oil and vanilla extract until smooth and creamy. Set aside.

Place the chocolate and 2 tbsp coconut oil into a medium sized glass bowl and set it over a small sauce pot filled 1 inch up with water. Bring the water to a simmer and slowly stir the chocolate until it melts. Remove from the heat.

Using a small spoon, carefully spoon a thin layer of dark chocolate onto the bottoms of 8 regular sized silicon muffin containers or 50 very mini sized silicon molds. Place the molds onto a baking sheet and transfer to the freezer to harden for at least 5 minutes.

Once set, make a ball no wider than the diameter of the muffin or candy mold and press it on top of the chocolate base, being careful not to touch the sides of the mold but also to try to make as flat a surface as possible. If using a regular sized mold, I recommend a heaping tablespoon of filling, and if using the mini candy molds, more like ½ teaspoon.

Using a small spoon, very gingerly pour the chocolate down the sides to envelope the filling and on the top to fully cover the peanut butter. Transfer to the freezer to fully set- at least 20 minutes. 

These can be made well in advance, but are best enjoyed within 15 minutes of removing them from the freezer.


Credit to Abbey’s Kitchen!


Recipe: Chickpea Salad Sandwich with Sweet Apple Slaw

Ready in 15 minutes

Serves 4



2 can (15oz) Chickpeas, canned, drained (for salad)

1 tsp Lemon peel (zest) (for salad)

1 Avocado

1/2 cup Cottage cheese (1% M.F.) (for salad)

1 whole lemon(s)

Lemon juice (for salad)

1 medium Carrot (chopped, for salad)

1/2 small White onion (chopped, for salad)

1 cup Red cabbage (sliced, for slaw)

1 medium Red Apple (grated, for slaw)

1/4 cup Vegetable oil (for slaw)

1 tbsp Red wine vinegar (for slaw)

1 tbsp Dijon mustard (for slaw)

1 tbsp Honey (for slaw)

1 pinch Salt and pepper (for slaw)

8 slice Whole wheat bread

1 cup Spinach (divided for topping)


In a food processor, combine the chickpeas and lemon zest. Process until mostly smooth, with small chunks. In a separate bowl, mash the avocado with a fork. Add the cottage cheese and lemon juice, and stir until combined. Add the carrots, onions, salt and chickpeas to the bowl with the avocado mixture and stir. In a separate bowl, combine the cabbage and grated red apple. In a small bowl make the dressing by whisking together the oil, vinegar, mustard, and honey. Pour the dressing over the slaw. Toast the bread, and then assemble the sandwich. On the bread, layer the spinach or lettuce, chickpea salad and slaw.


Credit: Nutrition a la Natalie

Our monsters are not scary! Monster walks keep your glutes strong & healthy!

Monster walks aren’t scary! Ok maybe your glutes might see them as scary tomorrow ;).

One of our favourite exercises at DHP is Monster Walks! They are an easy glute exercise to do without any gym equipment and minimal space! All you need is a stretchy band to place around your knees (we prefer Therabands which can be purchased at DHP).

Step 1: Place a theraband around your knees leaving a few inches of space between your knees. With your feet should width apart, pretend like you are about to sit in a chair.

Step 2: Step one leg out on a 45 degree angle, stepping with heel first. Then step the other leg out on a 45 degree angle, stepping with heel first. Make sure that your knees don’t collapse inside, pushing outwards on the band.

Step 3: Stay low, keeping your bum pushed back and your core engaged while gliding through the steps. Complete 3 sets of 10.

You’ll be surprised how little it takes to feel a burn in your glutes!




Tips To Stay on Track When You Are Off the Map!

Tips To Stay on Track When You Are Off the Map!

Around this time of the summer we may have plans for cottage weekends or maybe even camping. Remember when we were kids, and this meant s’mores galore, hot dogs and lots of junk food? Now as adults, it’s all those things plus potentially…alcohol. Here are a few simple tips to help you stay on track:

  1. Plan it Out:
    Before your camping trip you need to do a little prep work first. I recommend making a meal plan for all the days you’ll be gone, so you’ll have more than enough healthy foods to get you through your trip.
  2. Pre-Cook:
    Pre-cook some of your meals at home before your trip to save yourself lots of time and effort once you’re away. You want to be able to relax and enjoy yourself so whatever you can do at home first will make a big difference.
  3. Freeze It:
    Before your trip, freeze any foods that could parish easily. Not only will they stay fresh but they will also help keep the other foods in your cooler cold! If you’re camping in a tent and won’t have a fridge, make sure you have lots of ice in your cooler and consume foods like meats, eggs, and dairy products first before the cooler gets warm.
  4. Pack Snacks:
    Since camping trips are usually full of hiking, swimming, or other outdoor activities, you need to make sure you’re fuelling your body with nutritious foods. Make homemade trail mix and pack some Hemp Heart Bites so you can bring them along during your day at the beach or outdoor adventure.
  5. Get Grilling
    Pack a portable grill or make sure there’s a BBQ at your cabin so you can grill burgers, fish, and lots of veggies for your meals. Using a grill is great since you don’t have to add any oil or butter to cook your foods.

I hope these tips help you have a successful getaway weekend!


Olivia Harty, Nutritionist

Beat The Bloat This Summer!

It’s important to note first and foremost that not everybody has the same digestive system meaning we all digest foods differently. One food that may cause bloat for you may be different then a food that causes bloat for your BFF, it’s very individual. That’s why it’s best if you have been having major issues with bloat or discomfort, to work one on one with a nutritionist or dietician to narrow down what foods may be causing some digestive disturbances.

Let’s talk about digestion first to understand how bloat can arise! Digestion initially begins in the mouth, where our saliva provides enzymes to break down carbohydrates into smaller molecules, that are more easily digested, but proteins and fats don’t start to get broken down until they reach our stomach, where there are different enzymes. Then we continue to digest and break down proteins and fats in the small

intestines. It’s in the small intestine where 95% of these proteins and fats ultimately get broken down. So when the bloating happens, it’s really because we are either lacking the digestive enzymes to help break down these foods, or we are eating foods that are more difficult to break down and digest. One of the groups of foods that are hard to digest and break down is complex carbohydrates. Because they take a little longer to digest, they end up sitting in the gut for a longer period of time, allowing the sugars in that food to ferment and create BLOAT!

So what foods can we incorporate to help with this?

  • Digestive enzymes
  • Ginger
  • Peppermint
  • Fibre
  • Water
  • Probiotics

If this sounds interesting to you, or maybe is something you would like a little more guidance with, feel free to book a free consult with me!

5 Awesome Burger Bun Alternatives

5 Awesome Burger Bun Alternatives

This summer ditch the burger buns to ultimately reduce potential for bloat at the pool party! Why not try these 5 alternatives instead?

  1. Lettuce Wraps
  2. Sweet Potato Bun
  3. Mushroom Bun
  4. Tomato Bun
  5. Make your own Paleo buns

Here is an awesome recipe for some Paleo buns. Paleo is a way of eating that reflects what our ancestors ate. This means it’s a wheat free and dairy free diet. These two food groups are common food allergens amongst today’s population; therefore these foods could be causing you digestive discomfort.


  • ¾ cup cassava flour
  • 3 Tbsp. psyllium husk powder
  • 4 large eggs
  • ½ cup apple sauce
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • TOPPINGS: egg wash (one egg whipped) and black sesame seeds


  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a food processor combine all the ingredients for the hamburger buns. Puree until the dough is smooth.
  3. Divide the dough into four equal parts and shape into a round ball (if the dough is sticking, coat your hands in water and then shape the dough). Pat the round buns down into a dome shape. Brush the buns with egg wash and then sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  4. Bake on 400F for about 22-25 minutes until golden brown.


National Eat Your Vegetables Day!

You’ve probably been told since you were a toddler to “Eat your vegetables! They’re good for you.”
But, do you really know WHY they’re good for you?  Let me jump into a few reasons why vegetables kick serious butt!

1) Vegetables are nutrient dense. It should be no surprise that Popeye turned to a vegetable when he needed a power-up. Think of vegetables as one of our body’s most efficient fuel sources: they are packed full of vital macro, but more importantly micronutrients. Macronutrients provide the body with energy (calories), where micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) don’t provide any energy, but are needed by every system in the body to function. Without proper amount of micronutrients in our diet, we run the risk of developing deficiency diseases.

2) They fill you up, without “filling you up.”  Basically you can eat a whack load of vegetables, without overshooting your intake goals for the day. For example, 200 calories of broccoli is the size of a grocery bag, compared to 200 calories of a donut, which may only be half of one. Vegetables are an easy way to add volume to your meals, but not the added calories.

3) Veggies keep your body operating at maximum efficiency! Vegetables are a great way to keep your…um…indoor plumbing…functioning properly.  Adding a fibre rich vegetable or two to each meal is a great way to keep things working right! Seriously: if you’re someone who doesn’t eat many veggies, you will notice a considerable difference after adding veggies to your diet regularly.

4) They fight disease! Because of the rich nutrient profile of vegetables, they work towards prevention of diseases. 4) A lot of people today, don’t start looking at their diet as being a problem until they are already sick. Remembering that our bodies contain the most efficient pharmacy within them. Our body is always trying to survive and be the best it can be. So give it a vegetable here and there, and it will thank you!

5) Veggies can be delicious! I hear a lot of clients say, but they don’t taste good. Firstly, if your palette is used to highly refined flour and sugar products that have an addictive effect on the brain, then yes a vegetable is gonna taste like dirt. Lucky for us, our palettes will change with time and you will crave vegetables! You will! But, in the mean time there are ways to spice them up or hide them away in our already favorite dishes. Here’s a few ways to do that:

– Toss a handful of spinach in a smoothie
– Add veggies to your eggs and make an omelette
– Ditch the bread, use lettuce, kale or collard greens as your bread, bun or wrap
– Spiralize vegetables like zucchini, sweet potato, even carrot or just use spaghetti squash to replace refined pastas
– Mix vegetables into your pasta sauce, or utilize salsa more
– Switch your pizza crust with cauliflower crust
– Make a fresh juice
– Make baked vegetable fries

The possibilities are endless!
Try out this recipe loaded with veggies and see if I have converted you 😉

RECIPE –>>  Sweet Potato Nachos


Olivia Harty

HBSc. Nutrition and Dietetics

Personal Training Specialist Certified

Back to Basics with Hip Hinges

Walking into the DHP rehab area, you’ll notice patients lined against the wall holding a wooden dowel to brace themselves; one end in hand and the other end placed just a foot or two in front of their own feet on the ground. You’ll most likely see patients pushing their hips back

and touching their glutes to the wall. This, my friends, is a popular exercise in the DHP facility we like to call hip hinging.

Many of the patients we see (children, adults, athletes), perform much of their forward bending using their lower backs, placing much stress on the lumbar spine.  As a toddler we rarely see this lower back bend because we primarily used our hips to bend over, so the question is – what has happened between then and now to make this fundamental movement pattern change?

This compensation or misuse typically occurs in individuals who have dealt with injuries and thus, use this method to avoid pain or limited range of motion. In addition, those who’ve simply adapted to poor posture for prolonged periods of time bend the lower back because it’s simply the easiest way for them to move.

Using the hip hinging method that is often seen in clinic,

we teach patients to utilize core muscles to support the spine, torso and pelvis. The hip hinging exercise teaches the body to re-learn a basic functional movement pattern; the body re-learns to use the hips to initiate the forward bend all while bracing the core. Ultimately, this will prevent the slumped or curved forward posture that often looks as though the individual is tucking their ‘tail’ between their legs.

As an essential movement to everyday life, we need to understand that the hip hinging mechanism can help when picking up your child,

grabbing the newspaper off the front driveway, and even at the gym when athletes perform their daily workouts that involve lunging or squatting. In addition, athletes understand that the ultimate base position for sport involves bent hips and

knees in addition to an engaged core, benefiting athletes to effectively generate more controlled power.

All in all, as a functional movement the hip hinge is the ultimate foundation for major lifting techniques, such as the squat and deadlift – and most of us perform these movements in some way during our busy day-to-day lives.

So it only makes sense that we all pick up that dowel, find a spot on the wall and re-teach ourselves to hip hinge effectively.