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.

Conscious Cocktail Recipe

Spring is in the air, and so is patio season! Can I get a “HECK YES!” Patio season definitely means that there will be some drinks. I’ve noticed with my clients that alcohol has become a big topic of interest recently so I thought I’d include a conscious cocktail recipe in here that won’t put you too far off track with your Summer health goals

Conscious Cocktail Recipe

We made it through the Winter and the weather is starting to change! I know for me, as soon as the weather gets up into the double digits, I’m instantly in the mood for patio season, which means some cocktails are in order to refresh the palette. I believe in the 80:20 approach to diet, which means 80% of the time you are consciously feeding your body the most nutrient dense foods you have, as food is our fuel, but 20% of the time I allow food to be therapy. Alcohol can become a problem when we have specific weight loss goals in mind, not only because it is adding a lot of empty calories but because o the toll it takes on the body. The body has to do two things when we begin to drink alcohol: detox and metabolize. First, our body will always choose to begin to metabolize alcohol first over anything since it is a toxin. This means any other food in the body is most likely going to be stored as fat or sit in the stomach and cause indigestion. Secondly, it will continue to circulate in the blood until our liver is able to detoxify and excrete it which accounts for being drunk, but also is quite taxing on the organ. What better way to enjoy your cocktail in a conscious way than with this easy recipe your friends will love!

What you need:

  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 oz. vodka
  • 2 oz. water
  • 1 tbsp lavender honey
  • Ice and a lemon wedge for garnish

How to do it:

  • In a small saucepan combine honey (1/2 cup) and lavender (1 tbsp). Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring constantly. Use a small wire mesh to strain honey into a bowl or jar and allow cooling.
  • Combine all the ingredients into a cocktail shaker and shake it up vigorously to get that honey mixed in well!
  • Pour into your favourite cocktail glass, and garnish with a lemon wedge to serve.

Make Your Own Customized Wellness Kit for Mother’s Day

How to Make Your Own Customized Wellness Kit for Mother’s Day

Are you stumped with what to get your mom this mother’s day? Why not make her a basket full of items to help her unwind and relax. The best thing about this gift is it’s totally customizable to suit your mama best and the best gifts are made with love! Also, if you want you could always extend the gift into a whole day of relaxation and bonding time together, two gifts in one. Here’s what I would suggest putting in your basket to get you started.

  1. Essential Oil

There are a multitude of essential oils that when diffused into the air can provide relaxing and therapeutic effects. You can get the benefits of essential oils in a few different ways. You can buy natural candles, get a diffuser, or even utilize the essential oils by placing a few drops in the bottom of your shower or put in mason jars of hot water around the house. Some essential oils I would recommend for relaxation and calming effects are: lavender, rose, vetiver, ylang ylang, chamomile, or frankincense. Check out your local Saje store for plenty of essential oils and infused candles.

  1. Herbal Teas

Herbal teas can relax the mind and calm the body. I love recommending herbal teas to my clients as a way to unwind at night and avoid mindless eating. Some of my favourite herbal teas that can have these effects are: chamomile, lemon balm, skullcap, common sage, and passionflower. Herbal teas can be made into yummy iced teas as well and won’t contain all the added sugar a store bought pre-made iced tea may have. You could also throw in a cute mug with an inspiring quote to brighten your mom’s day!

  1. DIY Bath Salts

Here is a simple recipe for creating your own bath salts your mom can soak in with her favourite iced herbal tea or conscious cocktail (see recipe in the rest of the newsletter).

What You Need:

  • 1 cup Epsom salts
  • ½ cup natural sea salt
  • 20-30 drops of your favourite essential oils (preferred combination: juniper, lavender and rosemary)
  • Optional: adding some dried herbs like rosemary
  • Cute mason jar to keep your homemade bath salts air tight and fresh
  • Cute ribbon and label card

What to Do:

  • Mix all the ingredients well in a bowl
  • Pack into your cute mason jar and seal with the air tight lid
  • To use place about ½ cup of salts mixture in warm bath
  1. An Adorable Journal or Reading Material

Journaling is a technique that has been shown to reduce stress, anxiety, and allow you to empty your mind and sleep better. I personally have a journal bedside that I like to reflect on my day and jot down any lessons I’ve learned, cool places I might want to check out, feelings I may need to express, write down all my to do’s, and plan out my following day and/or week. This allows me to keep a constant communication with myself as well as staying organized in my daily life and in my mind. If you don’t think your mom is a journal-er, maybe pick up a book she’s been meaning to read or a magazine she likes to indulge in!

  1. Extra Customization

You know your mom best so if there are any other little things you know your mom loves like her favourite chocolates, coffee, make-up, beauty products, accessories etc. Throw those in there to add that extra bit of customization and show your mom how much you love and appreciate her!

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out! XO


5 Tips for Healing the Gut

Many health concerns are treated as an isolated issue. For example, if you have asthma it must be a lung issue. If you have arthritis it must be a joint issue. If you have allergies it must be an immune issue. BUT what if I told you a lot of these issues begin in the gut. Sure, treating the symptom with medications will help you regain your quality of life, but are you really treating the root cause? Many today do have digestive problems including reflux or heartburn, irritable bowel, bloating, constipation, diarrhoea, and colitis. In fact, belly problems account for over 200 million doctor’s visits and billions in health care costs annually. If you are not digesting your food properly, the chances you aren’t absorbing nutrients properly is pretty high, which could lead to nutrient deficiencies. Here’s my top 5 tips to restoring your good gut flora and start your healing process.

  1. Kill the bad gut bacteria- utilizing natural antibiotics such as oil of oregano, manuka honey, and garlic to clean out your system is step one in the healing process.
  2. Reduce antibiotic use- antibiotics can be crucial and life-saving if you have an immediate need for them, but use of antibiotics doesn’t just kill the “problem” you are using them for, but totally cleans out your good gut bacteria as well.
  3. Probiotics- Once we’ve killed all the bad bacteria it’s time to reintroduce and build our good gut bacteria. We can do this through the use of probiotics and fermented foods like kefir, sauerkraut, tempeh and some yogurts.
  4. Eat a diet rich in fibre- a diet rich in fibre will help feed the good gut bacteria as fibre acts like a prebiotic.
  5. Reduce the refined foods, sugars, processed foods etc- these foods feed and create bad gut bacteria. By enjoying these foods too regularly you will have reversed all the work you’ve put in thus far!


Olivia Harty


Matcha Green Tea

This month we celebrate the wonderful Saint Patrick and that means we’ll be seeing a lot of the color GREEN! The color green is one of the most important to incorporate into the diet as the actual pigment itself holds a ton of nutrition. I’d like to put the spotlight on one of my favourite green foods and that is MATCHA GREEN TEA.

Match green tea is:

  • Packed with antioxidants including the powerful EGCg
  • Boosts metabolism and burns calories
  • Detoxifies effectively and naturally
  • Calms the mind and relaxes the body
  • Is rich in fiber, chlorophyll and vitamins
  • Enhances mood and aids in concentration
  • Provides vitamin C, selenium, chromium, zinc and magnesium
  • Prevents disease
  • Lowers cholesterol and blood sugar

Try swapping one of your loose leaf teas this month for a Match Green Tea instead!

Check out this link for more information on the tea:

Health Benefits of Matcha Tea

The month of March means spring break travel!

The month of March means March break travel, and if you’ve been sticking to your new year’s resolutions thus far with the idea of “summer body” in the back of your head, you probably want to avoid throwing all your hard work and progress out the window. Let me offer you a few tips and tricks to travel and stay on track without sacrificing the fun, care-free vacation vibes.


Being on the road doesn’t mean you have to eat out and all the chain restaurants that pop up on the side of the highway. The best thing to do is purchase a cooler that you can plug into the cigarette lighter outlet to keep food cool inside the whole trip. Pack things like sandwiches, fresh fruit, individual hummus packets, pre-cut vegetable sticks, Greek yogurt cups, pre-cooked chicken breasts etc. You can also pack some dry foods as well such as protein bars and whole grain crackers to keep you satisfied and away from fast food. It would be wise to take a case of water bottles to stay hydrated, stay away from pop and fruit juices which could lead to you having over-energized kids in the backseat.  Packing your own is not only healthier, but way more cost-efficient. It’s a win-win!


Most people start their vacation diet in the airport, simply because food availability is seemingly slim.  The Starbucks or Tim Horton’s restaurants don’t always have their full menu, and the convenience food is well, convenient! Since it’s hard to bring your own food with you through security the best advice I can give is eat a meal with protein at home before you get to the airport in order to know you’ve had a good meal and you are satisfied for the time being. Once you are through security and at the gates, you could always find a place that sells a salad with fresh grilled chicken you can bring on the plane with you or some healthy snacks to bring along! From my experience you can usually find some fruit here and there or some greek yogurt cups that wouldn’t be a bad choice! I also ALWAYS suggest grabbing yourself a massive water bottle for two reasons: having your own water you can say no to the complimentary pop and juice on the plane, and staying hydrated in the air helps to prevent feelings of jet-lag!


There is nothing better than showing up to your destination and having to plan or pay for nothing extra since it’s all already included! BUT, “free” food doesn’t mean you have to over-indulge. With the buffets or all-day snack bars, make sure you are listening to your body and understanding if you are truly hungry or eating because it’s social, emotional or simply because it’s there. If you aren’t quite sure how much to be consuming of one thing at a time, I always use the “eat by FIST” rule. One serving of anything should never be bigger than the size of your fist. Make sure to be eating adequate amounts of vegetables to ensure you are filling up on nutrient dense foods as well as incorporating some roughage to avoid that traveller’s constipation. Alcohol can be the biggest source of empty extra calories in someone’s day. One beverage can clock in anywhere from 150-300 calories, so if you are consuming up to six beverages a day you are adding in almost 900-2000 extra calories! If you are going to enjoy a few cocktails, always stick to the clearest alcohol you can find as it will be lowest in sugar, syrups and carbohydrates. Examples are vodka, white rum, gin, tequila etc. Speaking of beverages, again water will be your best friend especially if vacationing somewhere hot! Staying hydrated will not only keep you from experiencing head-aches, but will also keep you regular!

Lastly, but not least I’d like to touch on what everyone will probably be avoiding on their nice, relaxing vacation… EXERCISE! The extra calories and less healthy choices are inevitable, but if you could add in at least 1- minutes of intentional exercise a day, your body will LOVE YOU! This could be swimming, walking on the beach, hitting the hotel gym, hiking etc.

Happy Travels to all you vacationers!


Olivia Harty



Let love be your lifestyle!

Sources: As stated, vitamin L is found in a great variety of sources but must be developed and nurtured to be available. Fear, anger, worry,
and many other human emotions can destroy vitamin L. It is found readily in most mums and dads, and is very highly concentrated in grandmothers and grandpas. Vitamin L is also found in cats, dogs, and horses, in flowers and birds; and in trees and plants. In food, it is especially found in home-cooked or other meals where vitamin L is used consciously as an ingredient. It is digested and absorbed easily and used by the body in its pure state, being eliminated almost unchanged; in this, it is unique among the vitamins.

Functions: This vitamin acts as the “universal” vitalizing energy. Vitamin L helps to catalyze all human functions and is particularly important to heart function and the circulation of warmth and joy. Digestion is very dependent on appropriate doses of vitamin L, as is the function of the nervou system. Adrenaline, the brain endorphins, natural tranquillizers and other hormones are enhanced by vitamin L as well.

valentines-day-1947567-stock image

Uses: The list of uses is even longer than that of the functions. Vitamin L is an important nutrient in all human relations, domestic to international. We should definitely put it in the drinking supply! It is a vital ingredient in all health practitioners, doctors, clinics, and hospitals. Besides being referred to as the “universal” vitamin, Love is also known as the “vitamin of healing.”

Deficiency and Toxicity: There are rarely any serious problems from excess intake of vitamin L. Side effects, however, may include swooning, a strange
feeling in the chest, goose pimples, and staring blankly into space. Usually, though, amounts many times the minimum requirements offer no difficulty and are often helpful. Abrupt withdrawal from regular vitamin L use could be hazardous, as the love vitamin is somewhat addicting. Most people more easily tolerate increased amounts of vitamin L though huge increases should be taken slowly to prevent the side effects mentioned previously.

Requirements: The requirements may vary from person to person according to a wide range of factors. There are no specific RDA’s (Recommended Daily Allowances) for vitamin L, although infants and small children usually require fairly large doses. The suggested minimum from the Chinese culture is four hugs per day to maintain health. Recently though, the International Hug Association (IHA) has changed its guidelines and suggests that a minimum of four hugs daily is needed to prevent vitamin L deficiency, six hugs a day for maintenance and ten hugs per day for growth.


Olivia Harty