We often overlook nature’s pharmacy, where so many health answers and remedies are available. One little green sprout can help with so many different health condition!
Skeptical? Keep on reading!
There are so many different microgreens we could talk about, but the one that has me fascinated is broccoli microgreens.
Broccoli itself has always been a grocery must-have! It’s delicious, and also full of nutrients! Broccoli microgreens though, have these benefits, x 1000! (*An expression, not a fact*)
This is because of a specific food molecule called sulforaphane. It is commonly found in cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cauliflower, kale, brussel sprouts, or cabbage. But the highest amount of this miracle molecule can only be found in broccoli sprouts!
Every kind of these amazing microgreens are an abundant source of antioxidants and proteins. They can help protect against aging vision, fight against cancer, against diabetes, revitalize tissue, calm inflammation, activate digestive enzymes which detoxifies the body. They also assist in helping to create an alkaline environment in the body, which keeps disease from growing inside us.
They are easy to grow, but if that’s not your thing, we do offer pre-order & pick up of locally grown microgreens from 3 Guys Greens. The best part is you can order them all year long! The sprouts come as a living tray that you simply snip to harvest 1-3 days after you receive them. Store them in a sealed container in your refrigerator. They’ll last you about a week (because they’re so nummy and you’ll eat them all right up.) $13.50 per tray, and grown to order, so you pre-order about 2 weeks ahead of pick-up at Generation Green on Fridays. There is no long term commitment – try them, love them, re-order as you like or sign up for a weekly tray. You can order directly from 3 Guys Greens here.
Getting power nutrients like this into your diet is as simple as adding these tasty sprouts to anything like smoothies, salads, soups, sandwiches, stir fry, or simply (do like I do) snip and eat for a snack! They really are that yummy! We’ve added the microgreens from 3 Guys Green into our menu items at Acorn Cafe, like our vegan cream cheese bagels with cucumbers. And trust me when I say you’ll be left craving another!
We talk alot instore to folks that want to make lifestyle changes for a variety of reasons. Sometimes due to health, sometimes it’s because of ethics. Having many vegan staff working at Generation Green/Acorn Cafe really helps us to collectively have a better understanding. We are always open to discussing, and of course, learning. This article is hopefully able to offer some better understanding or at the very least, have you researching!
Dairy is not good. It is especially no good for our health. We all can take some time to focus on our physical well-being. Unfortunately the mass amounts of false information in the world can lead us astray when it comes to what is best for our bodies. I think its safe to say we all grew up learning that dairy was a staple to optimal health. Dairy is the key to healthy bones and teeth, right?…Wrong! Sooo wrong! Here’s a couple of my top dairy health facts, starting with the healthy bones and teeth myth.
Bones + Teeth
Dairy (specifically animal protein, which in milk, is casein) actually contributestoosteoporosis! (The degradation of bones and teeth.) I’ll try to explain in the simplest way! – Blood and tissue need to always remain at a neutral Ph. Milk is very acidic to the body and phosphate is the key to re-balance Ph in the body if it is too acidic. Phosphate is found in the bones only in a form which it is bonded (stuck) to calcium. The body extracts this phosphate that is bonded to calcium from the bones to offset acidity caused by dairy. It only needs to use the phosphate and then excretes the calcium through urine. (Source)
What does this mean? What we do know is that calcium is key to strong bones and teeth. When we consume dairy, it literally causes us to dispose of calcium!! This Harvard University Nurses’ Health Study states that dairy products offer no protection from bone fractures or osteoporosis!
Unfortunately, animal protein in dairy is a huge factor in the formation and reemergence of cancer. For a similar reason actually as to what I mentioned above. Dairy is very acidic! Even if cancer is entirely removed, cancer “activators” will still remain present and thrive in an acidic environment. A plant-based diet does not cause an acidic environment in the body! (Source)
Many people are intolerant to dairy, by not being able to produce the lactase enzyme to digest lactose. Its actually not really natural for humans to produce the lactase enzyme. Many people do though because they begin to consume dairy as children right after being weened off of breast milk/formula. This is also why if you stop consuming dairy at any point in your life, you will likely become much more sensitive or even intolerant to it, since your body will not naturally produce lactase. It only produces lactase as a response to consuming lactose. These issues lead to common side effects of eating dairy such as bloating, indigestion, and acne and skin problems. (Source)
The machines used to pump the milk out of a cow’s udders can very often cause infections inside and outside the udder. Even through pasteurization and inspection, a fair amount of somatic cells (pus) can end up in your dairy. This can also happen on organic/free-range/grass-fed/antibiotic-free farms as the machines still easily cause infections, and the animals are most susceptible to it if they are not treated with antibiotics. In fact – farmed animals are legally allowed to be fed grain with 2-20x the “healthy” amount of chemicals that humans are regulated to consume. Not to mention the other chemicals that are applied to cows to kill flies, mosquitoes, and diseases… which all end up absorbed by the body and at some point processed into the foods a person can consume.
*Please note – information and facts here are not Generation Green or Acorn Cafe’s. All information has been outsourced. Please reference the links in this article to further investigate! You are your own health advocate so make informed choices!!
I’ve always thought of myself as someone who deals well with stress. I try to be aware of what triggers my stress levels, take time to practice self-care, and live in the moment. I try not worry about what tomorrow might bring. Regardless of this awareness, it’s unrealistic to believe that I will never experience stress. It’s a natural reaction to life experiences.
I believe it’s important to reduce the stress triggers where you can, especially the repeating ones (the ones you can DO something about!) Understanding what stress does to your body helps you be able to manage the recovery of it better.
Recently I have been experiencing some stressful moments in my life, as we plan for our store relocation. I am very aware of how it is affecting my body. Stress induced eczema, sleeping trouble, muscle tension, and headaches are a few of my bodily reactions.
When we are having a stressful experience, our brain tells our body to release hormones that trigger your body’s “fight or flight” response. This release is supposed to assist us in processing the stress and help us react to it. Unfortunately, when those hormones keep firing out, it can start to really have an affect on our health. Above are some of the responses my body has had to my stress, but there can be even more serious conditions like weakened immune system, high blood pressure, digestive trouble and it could even affect the reproductive system.
So let’s talk about some simple ways to manage stress as it’s happening, so we don’t tax our bodies to the point of a serious health issue.
One of the simplest ways start calming our nervous system is by taking nice, deep cleansing breaths – really deep (down to your belly) slow breaths! Practice doing this throughout the day (it takes seconds and feels so good!) Close your eyes as you do, and if it helps-add in a mental image of a beautiful beach, trees blowing, or whatever helps you experience calmness. I find listening to ocean sounds so soothing and can immediately feel those “good”/happy hormones being released. For others, exercise really gets the serotonin flowing. Try dancing away that stress, move your body and shake it out! What about a good belly laugh? I think we can all recall a laughing fit and how amazing that felt! It makes me smile just thinking about it! All of these release endorphins (a natural pain-killer and stress eraser).
A couple other things that I have been using to get me through my stressful period are Bach Remedies, Four Sigmatic Reishi, and my very favourite-OM Shantea from Hollow Reed Holistic.
The Bach Rescue Remedies are available in spray, drops that you add to water, or candy-like pastilles. It is a mixture of 5 different Bach flower remedies created by Dr. Bach to deal with emergencies and crises. They help us get through any stressful situation. From last-minute exam or interview nerves, to the aftermath of an accident or bad news. The response this remedy creates is an emotional one, not a physical one. You just all of a sudden realize you’re not feeling that stress.
Reishi mushroom is probably the most researched of medicinal mushrooms, and is considered a longevity herb. Reishi is an adaptogen (assists the body in adapting to stressful conditions). It basically tells your body to relax and calm down. It is beneficial for our cardiovascular system and keeping our immunity strong. I love that Four Sigmatic has created some amazing mushroom elixirs, including reishi, that you simply add hot water to and enjoy the benefits they offer.
Om Shantea tea is made locally in Winnipeg by Hollow Reed Holistic. It has been my personal favourite since master herbalist, Chad Cornell, first served me a cup! A combination of skullcap, gotu kola, holy basil, and oatstraw create a blend that leaves your body and mind with an overall feeling of calm.
Life can be busy, stressful, and challenging at times so the need for self-care, self-love with a splash of fun and laughter are most important! Find what works for you and do lots of that!
When I first began my journey into finding safe alternatives it was all very overwhelming and confusing! Where to start, who to trust and where to go to find the products I needed was difficult, but as with every change we just simply must begin!
We need to start somewhere and take small steps. We are all uniquely different and will naturally require, desire, and will begin our journey into natural living in the area that is of most importance at this moment. For me, it was skin care, for you it could be healthcare, nutrition, or even what to clean your home with. Regardless of where we start, it begins with one step, and then one change will naturally lead to the next. Kind of like a snowball that keeps getting rolled into a boulder size and then you need to start rolling another ball and another until you’ve built yourself into the healthiest version of you! I like to look at these three snowballs as what we put “IN”, “ON” and “AROUND” our bodies.
Luckily for you, my staff and I are all on our own journey’s, with different motivators, various amount of knowledge and love sharing what we have learned, worked for us and yet still where we are headed. We also are learning from you, our customers! It’s a community of knowledge, all at different points but excited to share. What works for me, may not work for you but the more we learn the more we know, the more we share, and the more we try.
It can be difficult to sometimes not blurt out and say this is what you need to do based on my experience, because it’s exciting when we find our solution, and only natural to want to share. I decided to start this blog series though to hopefully clear away some of the confusion, present the options in easy to understand language. I hope you will follow along and even offer up some of your own knowledge!
Our next blog post we will discuss the most important thing you need to be adding into your daily regime for optimal health.
Movember is a month known to focus on men’s health. Specifically prostate, testicular cancer, and mental health. Men shave their facial hair and then grow out a mustache to raise money and create awareness for these issues.
At Generation Green, we play a part in calling attention to these matters, and specifically to the prevention of them. Our retail platform is a great way we can contribute to the prevention of health issues. We decided to create a calendar featuring locally bearded Winnipegers, in which we’ll donate a portion of the profits from to the Movember Foundation Canada.
“A Year Of Beards 2017” will be released at our Beard & Brawn in-store line launch party on Saturday, November 19th from 12 p.m. -3 p.m. The calendar will retail for $20 with a portion of the profits donated to the Movember Foundation Canada. For every purchase of the calendar, you can be entered to win a our grand prize of a bicycle from White Pine Bicycle Co.! We hope you will join us in supporting this cause.
Movember Foundation Canada is tacking men’s health issues on a global scale by collaborating with experts around the world, and funding programs that offer resources, education and solutions. The Movember Foundation has funded over 1200 programs in 21 countries! You can read more about their mission and how you could help on their website here.
Everyone at some point has dealt with stress and feeling anxious. Deadlines, exams, parenting, relationships, health, can all cause stress at some point or another. How we deal with the stresses life throws at it can greatly affect the outcome.
For some getting rid of the stress can be done by exercising, meditating, getting a massage, or even having a quiet moment alone. For others though, stress can linger, start to cause anxiety, maybe even panic situations. This is when it can really effect your health and your life.
Unfortunately we are bombarded with messages that there is a pill that can fix that, and since many are wanting a quick fix, or just plain want to feel better, they resort to the prescription remedy. Usually these medications can be addicting and come with a list of unpleasant side effects, not to mention possible longterm health issues. I personally believe in exhausting all my natural resources first before I would consider a prescription.
I was excited to find a natural remedy that actually worked for stress relief, and have been amazed at just how many others have reported the same!
Dr. Bach formulated RESCUE Remedy nearly a hundred years ago and it is more relevant than ever! Dr Bach’s natural stress relief pastilles are convenient when dealing with stress and worrisome situations. The formula works on an emotional level, not physical, and it’s amazing how all of a sudden you just realize your not feeling stressed anymore! Bach Rescue Remedy contains active ingredients such as Star of Bethlehem, Clematis Cherry Plum, Impatiens, Rock Rose. These flowers soothe irritability, help with shock/panic and provide a general calmness in times of stress. Also available in liquid drops that can easily be added to water and sipped throughout the day, as well as formulas for pets!
Another natural remedy is a mineral that affects are neurological system and that most of us are deficient in, magnesium!
When we are feeling stressed, it causes the cells in our bodies to release magnesium which helps us feel more calm. However, if we are continually dealing with stressful situations, and our bodies are not having time to recover, the level of stress you feel will increase because there just won’t be enough magnesium released. In addition, our diets can be filled with foods that also tax out our magnesium. Sugar especially is huge for causing depletion of magnesium, not to mention vital nutrients!
There are some great options for magnesium supplements, like Innotech Nutrition’s Liquid Ionic Magnesium that doesn’t just taste great, but the nano size particles can easily be transported to the cell membrane, directly through the mouth membranes bypassing the digestive system. Same can be said for Mama Pacha’s new Magnesium lotion, rubbing onto your skin is going to absorb more magnesium directly into your blood stream than having to go through the whole digestive system.
Bottom line is, stress is not something we should allow to linger long, our health is just too important!
We talk lot’s about sprouting and it’s because we love how simple it is, how much nutrition they offer, and how you can grow them all year long! We’ve created some simple step by step instructions here so you can start sprouting too!
We currently stock 17 different types of sprouts in bulk, each offering their own unique tastes, textures, and nutritional benefits.
Stop by and we can help get you started, or even better come to our “Generation Green Thumb” event on Sunday, June 26th 10-3 under the canopy at the Forks, for a sprouting demo & special starter packs!
Goji Berries are bright orange-red berries that comes from a shrub native to China. In Asia, goji berries have been eaten for generations in the hope of living longer.
Goji Berries are loaded with Vitamin C and have more carotenoids than any other food! They also contain 18 amino acids, 21 minerals and glyconutrients for cell communication.
Carotenoids, are the colorful plant pigments that the body can turn into vitamin A, they are powerful antioxidants that can help prevent some forms of cancer and heart disease, and enhance your immune response to infections.
Goji berries have a natural tinge of sweetness and contain tiny seeds that offer fibre benefits to your diet. Add them into smoothies, top your oatmeal, or try some of these recipes from onegreenplanet.org. Goji berries are often used as an alternative to raisins or cranberries in recipes.
We have added organic goji berries into our bulk superfood section at Generation Green if your curious about them, and want to try them out!
You will want to check with your doctor first before adding goji berries to your diet if you are taking blood thinners, blood pressure medication or have diabetes.
GMO’s and all the talk we hear about them as consumers can be quite overwhelming, and even scary for some. Understanding what they are and the potential risks they cause to our health is probably going to be an ongoing argument. As a consumer, it is our personal responsibility to inform ourselves, and make educated choices based on our personal beliefs. For me, and my health, I refuse to take risks, it means too much too me. My personal opinion is just that and everyone is entitled to their own. I delayed posting this article that our staff member Ana wrote only because I do not want to open this to argument, I merely want to present information gathered. So please read if you choose to, but I encourage you to also investigate and form your own opinion.
Genetically modified organisms, colloquially referred to as “GMOs”, are organisms whose genetic material has been altered through genetic engineering. The genetic material is artificially manipulated by merging DNA from different species. In Canada, the terms genetic engineering (GE) and genetic modification (GM) are both used to describe this recombinant DNA technology. The consequences of this relatively new science are unstable combinations of plant, animal, bacterial and viral genes that do not occur in nature or through traditional crossbreeding methods.
Four GM crops are grown in Canada: corn, soy, canola and white sugar beet (for sugar processing). GM crops imported to Canada include cottonseed oil, papaya, squash, and milk products. Many of these items appear as added ingredients in a large amount of the foods we eat. For example, genetically modified corn and soy masquerade under many names. As a result of this, GMOs may be hidden in common processed food ingredients such as: Amino Acids, Aspartame, Ascorbic Acid, Sodium Ascorbate, Vitamin C, Citric Acid, Sodium Citrate, Flavorings (“natural” and “artificial”), High Fructose Corn Syrup, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein, Lactic Acid, Maltodextrins, Molasses, Monosodium Glutamate, Sucrose, Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP), Xanthan Gum, Vitamins and Yeast Products, among many others. By familiarizing yourself with the many aliases for corn and soy, you will more easily be able to avoid these hidden GMOs.
GM crops and foods have been steadily promoted as a way to produce higher yields by reducing pesticide use, making farming easier and more profitable. However, evidence refuting these claims has been showing up through scientific research and real-world farming experience. The evidence shows that GM crops have not increased yields or sustainably reduced toxic chemical inputs. The argument was that farmers would increase yields and decrease costs through these pesticide and herbicide resistant crops. Instead, the extensive use of these chemicals has resulted in bugs and weeds becoming increasingly resistant to them. This leads to an increased use of both chemicals. Increased use of the chemicals equates to an increased cost to farmers, increased damage to the environment and increased health concerns. Below are just a few other common beliefs linked to GMO foods from “GMO Myths and Truths: An evidence-based examination of the claims made for the safety and efficacy of genetically modified crops and foods” by John Fagan PhD, Michael Antoniou PhD and Claire Robinson MPhil.
Myth: GM foods are safe to eat
Truth: Studies show that GM foods can be toxic, allergenic, or have unintended nutritional changes.
Myth: Many long-term studies show GM is safe
Truth: Few long-term studies have been carried out, but some show unexpected toxic effects.
Myth: GM foods are rigorously assessed for their ability to cause allergic reactions
Truth: No thorough allergenicity assessment is conducted on GM foods.
Myth: GM animal feed poses no risks to animal or human health
Truth: GM feed affects the health of animals and may affect the humans who consume their products.
Myth: Genetic engineering will deliver more nutritious crops
Truth: No GM crop that is more nutritious than its non-GM counterpart has been commercialized and GM is not needed for good nutrition.
There are many reasonable ways to avoid GM foods:
Eating certified organic food is a great way to ensure you are sidestepping the GMOs. Genetic modification is prohibited in organic farming, including feed for the animals. They are not fed GM grains like corn or soy, therefore also allowing for organic dairy, eggs and meat.
Avoid eating processed foods with corn, canola and soy ingredients.
Buy cane sugar to avoid eating sugar from GM sugar beets.
Assume that if it isn’t labeled GMO-free that it contains GMOs. But be careful- look for products that are Non-GMO Project verified. While you may see other claims regarding GMO status (e.g. “GMO free”), these are really not legally or scientifically defensible, and they are not verified by a third-party. The Non-GMO Project is the only organization offering independent verification of testing and GMO controls for products in the U.S. and Canada
Avoid corn, soy, and canola that are not specifically labeled as non-GMO.
Cook from scratch using ingredients rather than eating foods that contain ingredients (processed foods, etc.).
Buying organic can be a little pricey at times- combat this by using every single edible part to make your food dollars go further.
Shop local & get to know your farmer!
The Non-GMO Project has created a database for finding and searching products that have been verified as compliant with the Non-GMO Project standard. The resource can be accessed here. In addition to using this resource, be sure to check food labels for this label to ensure you are avoiding GMOs.
I had been feeling tired and a little sluggish no matter how much I slept, and basically not really myself, so I decided a juice cleanse sounded like a good idea! Not to mention, I have been taking an online nutrition course, and was having a real good understanding of what our body does for us, therefore thought I should show it some love!
I had attempted a juice cleanse only one other time, but found it very time-consuming as I was using my home juicer, and because I’m on the go (boys play hockey, need I say more!), not very convenient.
I had been wanting to visit the Green Carrot Juice Company, to try out their fresh pressed juices, then I saw the twitter feed that they were now offering juice cleanses, (you can do either a 1 day or a 3 day), it was kinda of like the universe telling me that is what I needed! Since I’m an “all in” kind of person, I opted for the 3 day!
Green Carrot suggests you prepare yourself before the cleanse by eating lighter each day, eliminate starchy foods and adding in lots of veggies!
Received my juices (they deliver!), cracked open the “Morning Greens”, which is a combination of Kale, Spinach, Cucumber, Celery, Apple, Ginger & Lemon. Was expecting it to taste “greenie” so prepared myself, but was pleasantly surprised by how delicious, not to mention fresh it tasted! Slurped that down no problem, while I read through the little booklet of instructions and tips.
There are 6 juices for each day, so you want to spread them out, with the last one being 2 hours before bed. Drink lots of water throughout the day, and be prepared for a headache!
Next up is the one they call “Amp”, Apple, Mint and Pineapple! A refreshing blend that had me envisioning warm tropics, sitting in a law chair with an umbrella drink! Love it!
Mid afternoon is another “Morning Greens”, followed by a “Beet It” which is made up of Beet, Carrot, Orange & Ginger. The “Beet It” was probably my least favorite but not in bad way, it was just a strong beet taste, that overpowered the other ingredients.
Dinner, early eve I was able to enjoy “Hardcore Greens” loaded with Apple, Celery, Cucumber, Parsley, Spinach, Kale, Romaine Lettuce, Ginger, Lemon, Lime, Flax oil and Aloe Vera! Were talking loaded here! Taste was okay, you know this one just has to be good for you!
Finally, finishing off with “Bliss”, which is basically your little treat for making it through the whole day! Bliss contains a delightful combination of, Almond milk, Vanilla, Cinnamon, Organic Cane Sugar & Medjool Dates! YUM is all I can say!
I also started taking a probiotic to help repopulate the good flora and keep the ol’ bod in balance!
A couple other recommendations from Green Carrot are to Dry Brush (we have wonderful Merben dry body brushes available at Generation Green), as well they suggest sweating either with sauna or steam room, or even light exercise will help flush the toxins out, just remember to rinse off otherwise it’s being reabsorbed into your body. Also, massage! Speaking my language here! Apparently if you let your massage therapist know you’re doing a cleanse, they can massage the liver and that could increase the effects of the cleanse.
The little booklet that you get with your cleanse, also gives you great tips for post cleanse, and easing back into eating.
So how did I do? Well, I did start getting a headache mid afternoon on day 1, but since I was expecting it I managed through, even while working a 12 hour shift! I wasn’t hungry at all actually, which was very surprising! Just needed lots of bathroom breaks 😉
Day 2 I woke with a bad headache, that just kept getting worse, but I still really thought I could manage with it. Especially after a visit to my store from Obby (owner of Green Carrot). Unfortunately, by late afternoon I was in pretty rough shape and needed to eat 🙁 I did continue drinking the juices for the day as well as the next, as they really are quite delicious, but added in some light meals as well.
I had originally thought that doing the cleanse while at work would be a great distraction, but maybe with my next attempt I will opt for the cozy confines of home, really making the whole process a nurturing, self-care event.
I really do support the idea of giving your body a break once in awhile by doing a cleanse like this one, but I also think it’s important that everyday we think about what we are putting into our bodies, as most disease and health issues start within your gut. Although each of our organs has a specific function, they also function as part of a group, very much like a machine that we need to maintain, service and keep well fueled!