Perfect Raw Cheesecake

Yes, it tastes as good as it looks.

Every raw chef worth their nama shoyu knows that the road to feeding people our ‘healthy’ food begins with cashew cheesecake! I tested this one three times to make sure it offers a perfect base to feature your favourite seasonal fruits.
Process + place these ingredients in a 6” cake pan, freeze 15 minutes:

60g / 1/3 cup coconut flakes
100g / 3/4 cup datesLemon zest, to taste
Sea salt, sprinkle
Blend filling in high powered blender until very smooth, adding oil last.
Pour over crust + freeze 2-3 hours before slicing.

100g / 1/2 cup soaked raw cashews
80g / 1/4 cup frozen banana
20g / 2 tablespoon lemon juice
40g / 4 tablespoon maple or coconut nectar
60g / 1/3 cup coconut oil
Tsp maca
Tsp mesquite
Note: I choose to use weight in all my recipes. In all my years of cooking it’s become the most trusted way to measure ingredients for a consistent result. Give it a shot! Equivalent measures are also provided in cups.

Raw Coconut Crepes

Ideal for any time of day.

Equipment Required

  • High speed blender

  • Dehydrator with non-stick sheets (these work the best)


  • 500g fresh coconut meat

  • 15g cacao powder

  • 150g raw cashews, soaked overnight

  • 30g maple syrup, or stevia drops to taste

  • 30g coconut water

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean powder


Separate meat from coconut husk, or defrost frozen young coconut meat. Blend all ingredients on high speed until a smooth batter is formed, adding a tablespoon or two more coconut water if consistency becomes too thick. Pour approx. 1/2 cup of batter on each Teflex sheet, ensuring the crepe is an even thickness throughout using a spatula. Dehydrate on 200 degrees for 8-10 hours. Best served immediately. Store flat if necessary in a sealed container in the fridge, with parchment between each crepe, for 2-3 days.

Serving Suggestions

Matcha Collagen Cups

Don’t be fooled – these lovely-looking little treats pack quite a nutritional punch!

Raw cacao is super rich in healthy fats and fiber as well as beneficial minerals like magnesium and zinc. And both matcha green tea and cacao are loaded with antioxidants that help reduce inflammation in the body. This recipe is only lightly sweetened which makes these naturally self-limiting… A perfect after-dinner chocolate fix!

For the Chocolate Base

100g cacao paste

50g coconut oil

Pinch of salt

1-2 Sweet Monk drops or stevia to taste

2 tsp maca

2 tb organic maple syrup, raw honey or brown rice syrup *optional – omit if choosing low-glycemic version

For the Matcha Filling

30g coconut cream (refridgerate overnight to separate the layer of coconut cream from the water in the can)

10g coconut oil

1 tsp maca powder

1 drop Sweet Monk

1 tb matcha

1 tb collagen powder


Melt chocolate in double boiler and line bottom of mini muffin liners with a thin base layer. Place in fridge to set until firm.

While the base of your cups are setting in the fridge, assemble filling ingredients and blend well to make a smooth paste. Place filling in fridge until quite firm 5-10 minutes. Roll the matcha mixture into quarter-sized balls and flatten into each cup, cover the center with remaining chocolate mix. Cool until set, and store in fridge.

Chickpea Cookie Bites

Nutritious while delicious—these are highly addictive!


  • 1.25 cup chickpeas, drained and rinsed

  • 4 tb coconut oil melted

  • 1/4 cup almond butter

  • 1/4 cup peanut butter

  • 1/4 cup almond flour

  • 2 tb maple or brown rice syrup or low-glycemic sweetener of choice (I LOVE Sweet Monk drops – they are the best)

  • Pinch of cinnamon

  • Generous pinch Himalayan pink or sea salt

Blend until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes, and transfer to parchment paper. Place in freezer until firm enough to roll into mini bites, approx. 30-45 minutes. Put them back in the freezer again before the chocolate layer so they stay nice and firm, since the heat from your hands will likely warm up the coconut oil.

Raw chocolate

4 tb coconut oil
4 tb cacao powder
Maple syrup, stevia or monk fruit to taste
2 tb cacao butter *optional – will improve texture immensely
Note: these are stored in either the fridge or freezer.
From the fridge they will be much softer and more melt-in-your-mouth type of experience. From the freezer, leave them out at room temperature for about 20 minutes before eating.

Turmeric Cacao Cheesecake

Very easy to make—very easy to enjoy.

The perfect treat for a cozy new spin on dessert after Thanksgiving dinner; or to keep sliced in the freezer for when that sweet tooth hits!
Most of us have one, no reason to feel bad about it – but being prepared with healthier options is definitely key.

This Recipe is…
Refined Sugar Free ~ Gluten Free ~ Antioxidant Rich ~ Dairy Free


For Crust:

1.5 T Cacao powder

30g Coconut oil, metled

80g Coconut flakes

60g Almond flour

30g Dates

For Filling:

120g Cashews, soaked 3-4 hours

80g Coconut oil

20g/2 T Lemon juice

10g Dates

1/4 cup Raw honey

1.5 t Turmeric

1 t Cinnamon

Pinch ground cardamom

For Topping: equal parts cacao powder, coconut oil and one tablespoon of honey


Place ingredients for crust in a food processor, adding coconut oil last to bind, process until the mixture sticks slightly to itself. Press firmly into a parchment lined 6” spring-form pan. Let crust set in the freezer for 10-15 minutes.

Mix filling, adding spices last, in Vitamix or other high speed blender until very smooth and slightly fluffy. Pour onto crust and smooth to an even surface. Freeze for 2-3 hours or until very firm before adding cacao drizzle on top!

Best if stored in the freezer, then remove for 10-15 minutes before serving. Slice thinly and enjoy!

October 29, 2019

Whole Food Bounty Bars

Best served cold and perfect for picnics or after-dark snacks.


1.5 c / 90g coconut shreds, finely ground

1/2 c / 110g coconut manna

1 tsp / 5g vanilla extract

3 T / 40g coconut oil, melted

1/2 t stevia powder or monk fruit to taste (use 2 T maple syrup as per preference)

1T / 15g lucuma powder

Pinch sea salt


1/3 c / 80g coconut oil, melted

1/2 c / 100g cacao butter, melted

1/4 c / 70g raw organic honey

1 c / 75g cacao powder

1 T / 15g maca powder


Blend filling ingredients in the food processor and place in fridge until set. Once firm but not hard, shape into 2.5” rectangular bars set in freezer for 10 minutes. The colder the better! (coconut filling as pictured below)

Assemble chocolate using a double boiler, adding sweetener last. Increase amount of honey used for a sweet coating – or keep it to 1/4 c if you love dark chocolate!

Coat completely with chocolate layer using two forks to remove bar from mixture. Place on a parchment lined sheet. Freeze the coated bars for 5-10 minutes. Repeat with remaining chocolate coating 2-3 x until thickly coated.

If you have chocolate leftover store in sealed jar for later use. Store in freezer for optimal shelf life, leaving out of the freezer for 10-15 minutes before eating. Alternately store in fridge for a softer texture.

Spicy Squash Soup


This is easily one of the best soups in my repertoire. It’s based on a squash soup I learned from an old friend. In the kitchen where we met, there was only one item that our team got to make off the cuff – a daily soup feature. Butternut squash was the mutual favourite, especially since it only made the rotation once they came into season!

The textural depth of the roasted squash and wide array of spices used help avoid the need for veggie stock, making this especially easy to throw together on short notice.

Enjoy fresh, or save for a few days in the fridge as a hearty lunch or dinner.

Garnish with fresh sprouts, crème fraîche and candied walnuts for a special occasion.


1/2 inch piece ginger root, finely chopped

1/2 large white onion, minced

1 clove garlic, crushed

2 T ghee or grass fed butter, for sautéing

1 large roasted Butternut squash *substitute Kabocha or Acorn squash according to personal preference 🙂

1 can full-fat coconut milk (look for non-BPA lining)

2 T maple syrup

1/2 T cinnamon

2 T apple cider vinegar

Fresh nutmeg, to taste

1 t curry powder

1 t Celtic sea salt

1 T red miso paste (always look for organic soy products)

1-2 dash of cayenne pepper

1/2 cup filtered water, or more if needed

Optional: 2 bird’s eye chilis, roughly chopped

t = teaspoon

T = tablespoon


Roast the whole squash at 450 degrees F until very soft and the skin is nicely browned. Remove seeds when cooled and set aside. This step can also be done the day before to save on prep time.

In a large pot sauté the onion, ginger, garlic and ghee until soft. Toast the spices fully before adding coconut milk, miso, the flesh of the roasted squash, water and apple cider vinegar. Adjust seasonings to taste. Simmer on low heat for 10-15 minutes, then process in a high-speed blender to achieve the ideal texture. A hand blender will also do the trick, but will make for a slightly more dense soup.

Dry Skin Brushing

The lymphatic system is a fascinatingly intricate network of vessels, glands and fluid filled lymph nodes that collectively make up an important part of our immune system, as well as playing a huge role in the body’s daily detoxification efforts.

Proper lymph flow can promote a healthy complexion, stable energy levels, reduced body fat and less breakouts among many other things.

The lymph is almost like your body’s drain system (gross but true!) but unlike the blood it has no pump. That makes finding ways to get it moving, including regular medium-high intensity exercise, critical to keep it flowing.

Bitter and astringent foods & herbs consumed on a regular basis are also incredible for keeping your lymph healthy. Try to include ingredients like fresh lemon, dandelion, fennel, cilantro, parsley in smoothies and juices, or use any of these to infuse plain water with a little extra nourishment.

But certain lifestyle changes and including some of these simple routines in your day can also support this over time. Here are five reasons to give dry skin brushing a try:

  1. May Reduce Cellulite Increasing circulation around deposits of fat underneath the skin can increase detox and can help smooth the appearance and texture of cellulite.

  2. Exfoliation Removes any dead skin cells which increases your skins ability to take in oxygen. This also supports skin cell renewal.

  3. Detoxification One of the roles of your lymph is to collect wastes and other toxins to protect them from being circulated in the blood or stored in tissues. Over time, this can cause stress for our immune system if the build-up is too much for our body to safely get rid of. Excess stress and a sedentary lifestyle can also inhibit proper lymph circulation. By gently stimulating circulation this is a reliable & inexpensive way to support detox on a daily basis.

  4. Naturally Energizing By promoting healthy blood flow it helps support energy levels – especially first thing in the morning!

  5. Increased Mindfulness My favorite benefit to this practice is just that – it becomes a daily practice. It is so important to check in with yourself every so often and see if your body is sending you any powerful messages about your health and what you should be focusing on.

Peanut Butter Fat Bombs


  • 100g Coconut oil

  • 70g Ghee, preferably grassfed

  • 70g Cacao butter

  • 35g Plant protein of choice

  • Sweet Monk drops, or liquid stevia

  • 150g Natural peanut butter, be sure to substitute hazelnut/almond/cashew butter in case of allergies or nightshade sensitivity

  • 15g Maca powder

  • 50g Raw cacao powder


Melt ghee, coconut oil and cacao butter on low – ensure pan is completely dry prior to use. Once melted, turn off heat and add sweetener to taste. Slowly incorporate cacao and protein power – adding peanut butter last. Pour chocolate into mold of your choice. If you don’t have any molds at home, I recommend a clean ice cube tray OR you can pour into a sheet pan and break up chocolate into small pieces after it has set. Place in fridge or freezer until solid; keeps in fridge 4-5 days in a sealed container.

Flore Nuit D’Hiver Review




Smell is a potent wizard that transports you across thousands of miles and all the years you have lived.

Helen Keller

Fragrance is among the most transportative experiences in our sense landscape. It is so personal and has such a potential for creating spacious moments of relaxation during an otherwise busy day. I suppose it does fall into the category of makeup by default but think about it… perfumes can have so many potent benefits when it is not laden with phthalates, alcohol and other synthetics! A high quality natural perfume is much like a therapeutic essential oil roll-on in gorgeous packaging. These benefits reach far back into other cultures where sacred resins or oils such as Myrrh, Frankincense and Rose were highly valued alongside gold and other precious materials.

Perfume also tells a story, helps us communicate who we want to be to ourselves, and who we are to the world around us. This ability to communicate a certain character or history using only natural distillates is what makes Flore Botanical Alchemy so special.

“A high quality natural perfume is much like a therapeutic essential oil roll-on in gorgeous packaging.”

About the scent

Think of walking in the deep woods on a cool, dark day after fresh rainfall. You kneel down on an earthy patch of moss to smell a sweet flower blossom.

Ambiguous, subtle, moody, complex, grounding, earthy

This delicate balance of deep base notes with light, energizing orange & bergamot makes Nuit D’Hiver an incredible scent for any time, mood or occasion. Having said that it is especially conducive to the colder months. It is light enough so as to invite a reapplication mid-day, and not overwhelm the palette of anyone sensitive to strong fragrances.

Packaged in durable and high quality Miron violet glass, the small vial is optimal to throw in your everyday purse or carry-on luggage so you can enjoy the luxury of natural fragrance even when on the go. One last note is that these perfumes are highly concentrated and can last a very long time. I had my first bottle of this elixir for just under two years! While I did alternate with other scents, this still makes it an outstanding value.

About the Brand

We truly do vote with our money. With all the green washing out there its important to also help support independent, local retailers who are bringing back what it means to craft artisan products with integral ingredients. The creative mind behind this beautiful line of potions & fragrances also has an artisan perfume shop in Victoria, BC. Be sure to pop by next time you visit!



Image credit: @flore_botanical_alchemy

Spinach Artichoke Dip

Spinach Artichoke Dip

This recipes is a total keeper – perfect for bringing to potlucks and dinner parties. I also love to cycle it into my meal prep for when we’re craving something other than hummus, that’s still simple and nutrient dense.
As an added bonus, many of these ingredients are great for liver and kidney support – making this an ideal recipe for supporting seasonal springtime cleansing. Fresh artichokes are lovely yet time consuming, instead look for artichokes packed in olive oil!


  • 2 tbs olive oil

  • 3/4 cup raw cashews

  • 1.5 cups fresh spinach

  • 2 tbs nutritional yeast

  • 3 tbs lemon juice

  • 1.5 cups artichoke hearts

  • Pinch of cayenne

  • Pinch of sea salt


Roast cashews in the oven for about 10 minutes, until golden and fragrant. Blend all ingredients to form a thick paste. Steam spinach lightly for 3-4 minutes, until tender but not completely wilted. Add spinach and olive oil until a hummus-like consistency is reached. Serve and enjoy for 3-5 days in the fridge.

Cacao Freezer Fudge

This is such a yummy snack to have with coffee or for a quick afternoon pick me up when that sweet tooth hits! Finally, a chocolate fix that is one hundred percent guilt free…

Full of naturally energizing, high fiber and magnesium rich cacao, healthy fats, with myo-inositol for blood sugar balance and maca root powder to help support adrenal health.

Start with equal parts:
Coconut oil
Almond butter
Peanut butter
0.25 cup Cacao butter, finely chopped
0.5 cup Cacao powder
1 scoop Hemp or Rice protein
Maple syrup or Monk fruit drops to taste
*optional but highly recommended*
15g inositol powder
2 tb maca root powder

2 tb coconut oil cacao + 2 tb maple syrup

Freeze until solid and cut into slices. store in fridge or freezer. Defrost for 20 minutes at room temperature before eating, if storing in freezer.

This recipe is ideal for scaling up to make a big batch to freeze. Simply double the above ingredients, and definitely have some fun playing around until you find the perfect version to meet your needs!

What is Real Wellness?

Recently I have been reflecting on just under 7 years in the wellness industry and without a doubt I have made some very interesting findings. In my own health, for sure. But far more so in observing the movement at large.

Regardless of how passionate we are in starting a lifestyle change the momentum of a new beginning can only be sustained with the shared passion provided by a supportive community.
Just yesterday I was reading about an island in Greece, called Ikaria, which boasts among the highest number of healthy people over 90 in the world.
The journalist diving into years of research had no extreme findings to report. People share food, nap frequently, share their wealth, drink plenty of local wine, coffee and wild herb tea. They live in the sunshine do not hurry and enjoy their lives as they actually are.
There is a lesson for us all in reports like this. Because true health is not something that you can buy or earn no matter how much you may want to.
So slow down, integrate what you know, and enjoy the blessings you already have.

When it comes to the larger picture of our health as a society one thing I am certain of is that the great people who are bridging the gap between Integrative, Naturopathic and Allopathic medicine are our future. Organizations that support research into as well as education around orthomolecular nutrition, integrative care and alternative therapies are truly the sources we need to look towards when it comes to the future of medicine.

So where does that leave the rest of us? If you’re not a doctor what role do you have to play? One key answer is quite simple: influence those around you by demonstrating good habits to the best of your ability. This may not seem like a lot but in truth it’s one of the best things you can do. And over the course of many thousands and hundreds of thousands of people’s lives this will truly make a difference.
I mentioned at the beginning about my own personal path and I feel my teachings here are likely quite a bit simpler than most may think.

Read on for My Real Wellness Tips

🌿 With rare exception, your conventional doctor is much more educated in what medication COULD work for a single symptom, than alleviating the root cause of the symptom that is the actual cause of what ails you. It is not their fault per se but rather a factor of the system they operate within. Be your own advocate and do your research!
🌿 Avoid polyunsaturated oils (Corn Canola Sunflower Cottonseed etc) as they are industrial by-products which don’t taste rancid when spoiled – great for the industry! Not great for your body.
🌿 Limit your sugar intake — as hard as that may be. Try to make healthy dessert options at home instead, you might be surprised how easy and fun it can be!
🌿 Eat an abundance of fruits, vegetables beans, fresh as you can get them
🌿 Move and breathe often — your body will notice and thank you in kind
🌿 Buy better supplements even if it means taking less products overall
🌿 Eat with people you love, take pleasure in every meal, chew your food and last but not least…
🌿 Buy the best animal products you or your family can afford. If that means eating half as much meat then so be it. Feeding into the industrial animal-agriculture system isn’t helping anyone, and goodness knows if you owned an animal you wouldn’t treat it that way. It’s only a depersonalized system that is trying to meet consumer demand that will strip these beings of their dignity.

At the end of day our optimal nourishment comes from so many factors that play a huge role in our long term health & wellness. Staying connected with those we love, getting exposed to the fresh air and sunshine we need! And being relaxed enough to understand when our body is giving us the message to slow down.

Here’s to making 2020 your healthiest year yet!

All About High Fat Coffee

Ever heard of blending butter & MCT oil with your coffee? Of course, at this point just about everyone and their Mom has. More importantly… have you tried it? Adding butter to your coffee could once be called a trend, but has certainly proven itself with the test of time.

Keep reading if you’re curious about upgrading your morning coffee ritual, or if you simply have yet to try this super satisfying high-fat breakfast option…

“Bulletproof” style drinks are far from a new idea

Ancient Ethiopians would consume a concoction of ghee and coffee before battle; Tibetans have long consumed strong pu’erh tea mixed with fermented yak butter to sustain the exertion of living and farming at such high altitudes. In India some farmer’s opt for a delicious brewed tea mixed with ghee and Ayurvedic herbs to start their long days of working outdoors.

➕ Find beans worth fasting for!

Freshness is paramount in my mind when your mission is to create the perfect cuppa. To source the best beans, find a boutique roaster in your region that roasts small batches of coffee very frequently. Secondly, talk to the barista about their sourcing practices. Single origin or single estate beans are less likely to contain mycotoxins, as the coffee is sourced from one location. Next, check what elevation the beans were grown at. Higher than 1000 miles above sea level can also reduce the risk of these contaminants. High mycotoxin content has been associated with the increased anxiety and jitters that some report from consuming coffee.

➕ Cover Your Bases

A few equally delicious alternative liquids to base your drink around include:

  • Organic Black or Green tea: Try to source these from a reputable grower that will be less likely to contain mycotoxins.

  • Chaga tea: Has a rich, dark flavour that imitates coffee beautifully. Chaga is packed with antioxidant content, is an immune modulator and naturally caffeine-free.

  • Raw Cacao: While not a tea per se, cacao has easily enough flavour to keep things interesting not to mention a nice little boost of energy from theobromine. For the best flavour and mouth feel, use a combination of cacao paste and powder. You could also get real fancy and try using Cacao shell tea.

All About Healthy Fats

MCT oil is wonderful, yet it is a pricey and niche ingredient. Feel free to substitute with regular coconut oil.

Grass fed butter is delicious and will make for the most filling option. Ghee has a wonderful flavour for Bulletproof style drinks and can be used as a butter substiture if lactose sensitivity exists.

Cacao butter, coconut butter or a scoop of hemp seeds can be another excellent complement to the other fats being used. Have fun! Play around with the ratio of different fat sources that keeps you feeling satisfied.

A Little Extra Something

Does your medicine cabinet sit full of unused supplements, purchased in a moment of temporary enthusiasm and then, despite the best intentions, forgotten? Enter your fat coffee elixir. Provided the supplement or herb in questions doesn’t have too strong a taste, pop a few of these into your next hot drink to find your own combinations.

Some of my favorite additions to get you started:

  • Calcium powder – To support bone health

  • Magnesium – To support muscles and the function of the nervous system

  • Vitamin D3 – To support bone density, mood and hormone balance

  • Vitamin K2 – To help allocate minerals, including Calcium and Magnesium, properly into the bones and teeth

  • L-Theanine – Can assist with the regulation of energy from caffeine to avoid jitters or overstimulation

  • Aswaghanda – Hormone balance, adrenal support and healthy energy levels

  • Rhodiola – Blood oxygenation, adrenal support and healthy energy levels

  • Probiotics – Sneaking in some probiotics can be great if swallowing capsules is an issue

  • Inulin powder – A prebiotic fibre source which serves as a food to beneficial gut bacteria and doubles as a mild sweetener

  • Medicinal mushrooms – Immune support and adrenal health

  • Collagen peptides – To support skin, joint, hair and nail health

➕ A Spoonful of “Sugar”

Another common myth about fat coffee I hear is that you can’t add sugar. While this is technically true, as the idea is not to spike blood sugar levels, there are a few choice sugar-free options:

1) Xylitol: Xylitol is a sugar alcohol from birch trees and provides an excellent option if you’re looking for a little sweetness. Xylitol is not be over-consumed, as this can lead to digestive distress, but a few teaspoons goes a long way. Added bonus of dopeness: xylitol naturally inhibits the growth of cavity causing bacteria.

2) Stevia drops: Stevia is derived from a South American plant that is naturally far sweeter than sugar. It can have a grassy, bitter taste due to being an herb so look for a high quality extract as opposed to the green leaf stevia powder, at least for using in hot drinks. Now Foods makes a variety of great liquid options, which can be found in many health food shops.

3) Monk Fruit: Used in Traditional Chinese Medicine, also known as luo han guo, monk fruit is an amazing no-sugar sweetener. It does not have a bitter aftertaste that some people notice with Stevia drops. Sweet Monk drops are easily the best ones I’ve ever tried.

I hope that this guide has inspired you to try out your very own version of fat coffee. Remember there’s no wrong way, just keep experimenting until you create something worth fasting for!

Happy Sipping.

The Five Koshas

How does a seemingly simple activity as yoga have such a profound ripple effect? There are quite a few ways to answer that question. but let’s start by unpacking this a little based on the ancient understanding of our bodily makeup.
The traditional yoga lineages teach us to have awareness of our five main koshas, also known as sheaths, which together comprise the whole self – moving from the most evident (ie most physical) to the most subtle.
These koshas could be compared to lampshades, that cover the brightness of our innermost being, which shines from within and cannot be fully named or defined.
These five ‘layers’ are not literally on top of each other. They are quite delicately interwoven, enmeshed fully by the way they relate to each other in myriad ways.

The Five Koshas / Sheaths:
Physical – Annamaya kosha
Energy – Pranamaya kosha
Mental – Manomaya kosha
Wisdom – Vijnanamaya kosha
Bliss – Anandamaya kosha

It is often fascinating the way these layers present on the mat – certain days yoga can feel like such subtle spirit focused meditation, other days much more like a physically challenging movement practice.
If we are feeling a disconnect from spirit, from a low presence of the bliss body, this could effect us on all layers. By contrast, greater connection in the bliss body can then ripple outwards to benefit all aspects of our being.
This is perhaps one of my favourite things about living this lifestyle – how both yoga philosophy and our physical practice can help support bringing all five koshas – breath, body, mind, wisdom and spirit – into a fuller harmony.

Transition your Beauty Kit

It is all too easy to be completely overwhelmed by the idea of switching over an entire beauty regime overnight. And, many would argue, pretty unrealistic.

So instead let’s take a step back and focus on the three most important products to find a clean alternative for:

Product No. 1 — Sunscreen

  • Conventional sunscreen contains many toxins – petroleum polymers, oxybenzone, parabens and PABA to name just a few.

  • Shockingly enough one of these components – oxybenzone – is not carcinogenic… that is until it is exposed to heat from the sun.

  • Of all beauty and skincare products sunscreen is applied to the largest surface area of our body.

  • Though many of us only vaguely follow this directive, sunscreen is formulated to be reapplied every two hours during sun exposure.

Clean Picks

Drunk Elephant Umbra Sheer SPF 30

Consonant The Perfect Sunscreen

Living Libations Everybody Loves the Sunshine

Product No. 2 — Perfume (and Fragrance)

  • Of the roughly 3000 ingredients used in conventional perfumes, approximately 95% of these are petroleum derived. This equates to much higher profit margins for the maker, but also means that as a consumer we’re paying for the designer label and high level marketing tactics – and not for quality botanical extracts or essential oils.

  • By choosing a botanical fragrance you will be directly benefiting from the mood altering, emotional and aroma-therapeutic effects that natural plant essences have to offer; while skipping out on the dubious health impacts of any synthetic adjuncts that accompany conventional perfume.

  • The blanket term ‘fragrance’ is actually a loophole devised in the 1970’s to help certain manufacturers protect the exact contents of their signature scent. More recently it has been used by some manufacturers to hide extra ingredients that they would prefer not to disclose.

  • The one word ‘fragrance’ on any label can potentially indicate up to 1000 ingredients – some of which are undesirable to be visible on the label such as parabens, phthalates and other preservatives.

Clean Picks

Harlow Skin Co

Flore Botanical Alchemy



Sangre de Fruta

Product No. 3 — Deodorant

  • Any deodorant or similar product is applied in very close proximity to our lymphatic system aka the waste removal system of the body.

  • When aluminum-containing antiperspirants are used over the long-term, the risk of bio-accumulation is much higher than with infrequent use.

  • Sweat is an important detoxification mechanism for our system. By using a naturally-derived deodorant rather than antiperspirant we can assist this process rather than interfering with it!

  • The breast area also contains some of our most hormone sensitive tissues – help your body in keeping the delicate balance of optimal hormonal health by switching to a clean brand.

Clean Picks

Corpus Deodorant

Nala Care

Routine Cream

Just switching these three staples of your beauty routine can make a huge difference, and will be an amazing foundation for any further changes you might wish to make down the road!

More Resources:

Environmental Working Group Skin Deep Database

Highly trusted and thorough database to help you research the risk level of an individual product

Harper’s Bazaar Ultimate Clean Beauty Guide

Excellent article to reference for anyone cleaning up their kit

Skincare First Makeup Second

This may come as a surprise, but here’s a news flash…
You do not need makeup.

I fully believe that how much – and even whether or not – we use makeup is a choice that every single person gets to make. As women, we have been socialized and marketed to from such an early age that we have become ingrained with the belief that it’s an inescapable part of our female experience.
And yet having said that… making the conscious choice to design our skincare and beauty routines around interacting with an array of botanicals represents one of the most pure expressions of self-care there is.

The best and most sustainable approach to holistic skin health is thisPrioritize Skincare First. Makeup can an absolutely lovely add on experience, but we need to properly care for and prepare the canvas we are using! If you think about it, our skin is the only organ we can see and interact with directly. Pretty cool, right!

A great way to gain some further insight on our relationship to makeup – take a makeup mini vacation.
That’s right, no makeup – just caring for and loving your skin the way it actually is. It has far more to tell us on the day to day than most acknowledge, and the simplicity created by a reset helps us focus on what to nurture once our routine layers back up to its original complexity.
During the early years of my health journey, I took nearly 5 years off from using makeup and it was a profoundly different relationship when I started to mindfully integrate beauty rituals into my life once again.

To fast forward back to the present moment, natural beauty is like a crowning jewel among my many joys: yet it represents the complete inverse of the old approach and belief system. Growing up, I used to use makeup with the core belief that I was broken and HAD to use products to ‘fix’ my face. Now, both skincare and makeup rituals are important because they help me to commune with the elements, and to deeper messages coming from my system.

In short, we should always let makeup be sacred – a Ritual of love + appreciation, a sincere moment of communion with self, set as an oasis amidst a busy day of external obligations. Not a burden or compensation for what we have come to believe that we lack.

Truly, truly – our Being is our Beauty.

Everything You Need to Know About Juice Cleansing

The weather is finally getting warmer as beach, and wedding, season is starting to dawn on us all. Juice cleansing might seem associated for many people with losing weight – yet in all truth this process is far much more about attaining optimal digestive health than finding a quick-fix solution for weight loss.

Read on to learn my top tricks for a successful and balanced juice cleanse protocol:

Benefits of Cleansing

A well timed, properly managed juice cleanse can be health supportive in so many ways:

  • Help to reset our cravings and habitual ways of being around food

  • May increase energy levels following the cleanse by assisting in the detoxification of our hard-working elimination organs

  • Ease the transition between seasons in a healthful manner

  • Create an up-leveled appreciation for the inherently sacred nature of our food

Body Types

Yet as lovely as this all sounds juice cleansing may not be right for every single body type. The raw, cold nature of vegetable juices can aggravate someone with a high Vata constitution, during an already cold and wet time of year or to anyone who may be experiencing a temporary Vata imbalance.

I usually recommend a one to three day Kitchari cleanse (sometimes spelled Kichadi) for Vata body types, or those wishing to cleanse during the cooler winter months. There is an excellent article and recipe on one of my favourite blogs, My New Roots, if you’re curious to learn more.

Seasonal Clearing

Seasonal cleansing is a wonderful practice that is a pillar of many ancient medicine systems, including Ayurveda. The time between winter and spring, and between summer and fall are both excellent windows to reset with a cleanse. Keep in mind the temperature and nature of the season at hand when choosing your next seasonal cleanse.

Preparing for your Cleanse

Support the body in the lead up to any cleansing protocol by incorporating more light, easy to digest foods such as organic steamed vegetables and either reducing or eliminating caffeine, alcohol and processed food. Using this approach for about one to two weeks ahead of a juice cleanse can help create a far more enjoyable experience as the shock to your system will be far lessened.

Attitude of Gratitude

During the cleanse, attitude is everything! I always remind myself of just how lucky I am to have the option to proactively cleanse my system using high vibrational, organic juices. Not everyone in this world has access to such an advantage.

Try repeating a positive affirmation while opening or consuming each drink on your cleanse. It could be something simple like “I am grateful for this opportunity to support my body” or maybe something more specific that pertains to your unique health journey. This shift may seems subtle, but it can truly re-frame the body’s perception of consuming a liquid meal.

During the Cleanse

As you are very likely to be going about with a relatively busy lifestyle, remember to listen to your body through this time. A light workout or yoga class may feel very supportive – but it also could be too taxing. Remind yourself that the body is using much of its energy on detoxification so a few rest days away from the gym can assist this process if needed.

Here are a few ways I recommend for keeping energy levels shining throughout your fast:

  • 1-2 oz E3 Live

  • Spirulina or Chlorella powder in filtered water with a squeeze of organic lemon

  • Royal jelly capsules or B.LXR Brain Fuel shots

  • Ginger turmeric shot

  • 1-2 oz freshly juiced wheatgrass

  • Lots and lots and lots of fresh, filtered water – you need more than you think!

Homemade mylk in the evening is also a really lovely way to unwind. Pumpkin seed or hemp seed are easiest to digest since they are derived from seeds as opposed to tree nuts, and they carry such a high content of beneficial minerals and amino acids.

Quality is Imperative

Using organic only is so important! This cannot be stressed enough! Whether choosing to buy juices or make them at home, opt for organic only produce. Juicing conventional produce will optimize the bio-availability of pesticides in the vegetables and fruit being used.

In Vancouver, Glory Juice Co and Wilder Juice are my personal favourites right now. Glory has multiple locations and will even provide local delivery to your home or office.

Breaking the Fast

Follow a very similar (or perhaps the same) plan as the weeks leading up to the fast.

A homemade vegetable soup is an ideal first meal. Try to avoid any rich, high fat foods or animal based protein for the first few days as the system will still slowly be getting used to solid foods again.

Menu Ideas:

Freshly squeezed orange juice ~ Homemade vegetable soup ~ Green smoothies ~ Salads with homemade dressing ~ Homemade green avocado pudding ~ Kitchari with rice or quinoa

Here is an example summertime fast protocol:

Day 1-3: Fruit and vegetable juices, with a pumpkin seed mylk elixir in the evening

Day 4: Green juice in the morning, smoothie for lunch and big salad for dinner

Day 5: Smoothie for breakfast, veggie soup for lunch, salad with protein for dinner

Day 6: Back to regular meals with an emphasis on high water content meals, especially for breakfast and lunch

Keep in touch! Tag @ritual.wellness on Instagram with any questions or to share your cleansing experiences ♥

Happy sipping xox

Morning Routine Tips for Balance and Productivity

Let today be the day you give up who you’ve been for who you can become.

Hal Elrod

What does the ideal morning look like?

In a perfect world, we’re all waking up from a restful sleep with no alarm… luxuriating for an hour with an invigorating yoga practice, some journaling and more than enough time to make a delicious home-cooked breakfast.

Yet more often than not we find ourselves rushing out of the house, scrambling for enough time to grab a bagel and brew coffee.

Observing the morning rituals of ultra successful coaches, nutritionists and entrepreneurs is one of my greatest fascinations. Having looked so deeply into this topic, I noticed so many common themes among those from all walks of life and different professions. I compiled these strategies below as the most valuable and time tested additions to help improve your morning hours!

Do you ever wonder how certain people seem capable of simply doing more, when we all technically have the same number of hours in a day?

It’s a simple matter of getting clear on our priorities, which is intricately connected to how we choose to begin each day.

The beauty here is that every new day is a fresh chance to start cultivating the perfect morning routine.

Truthfully – it won’t come together overnight.

Real, sustained progress happens bit by bit. As much as we are conditioned to crave instant satisfaction, this is actually a good thing. Consistency is what changes our lives for real, long term.

My advice? Pick one or two items from this list and stick with ’em. You can always add to your routine later, but start by being realistic with yourself.

Let’s dive into the best ways to start off your day with a mindful morning…

Screen Free

Try to avoid email and social media for at least one hour. This gives our brain a chance to wake up and make sense of the world, without automatically shifting into the ultra-aware mindset of answering emails and planning what to post later that day.


Have a nice big dose of pure filtered water first thing upon waking!

Pretty obvious right? In all my years as a nutritionist this is one seemingly tiny thing that so many of us overlook.

The morning, especially if we have fully digested our food from the day before, is the best time to hydrate the system. Water is assimilated much slower after we’ve started eating so it’s key to take this time for a few big glasses.


This will likely mean something different for everyone. It could be a sweaty HIIT workout, a simple yoga flow or going for a walk in the fresh air.

There’s an interesting phenomenon often discussed by anatomy experts of a mysterious ‘fuzz’ substance that builds up on the muscles overnight when they’re not in use. The theory states that if we don’t stretch and move the body every morning to help disperse it, over time the fuzz can accumulate and getting rid of it can take much more than simple stretching.

That’s why even taking a few moments to stretch, roll around on the floor (or dancing around the living room to the Spice Girls) is way better than no movement at all!

Gratitude Practice

Gratitude is perhaps one of the most integral items on this list. The more we cultivate a state of gratitude for the blessings we’ve been given, the more readily we can receive what it is that we want to call in. The first step in this direction is making gratitude a part of your lifestyle.

The Ritual

Write down three new things every day that you’re grateful for. Return to these gratitudes at the end of the day, and think about them while going through your evening routine.

The Five Minute Journal is another amazing, and beautifully presented, option to help you cultivate this practice.


Figuring out what meditation might mean for you is a uniquely individual journey. Think you have no time? Well, often what we resist is what we need most, and meditation is no exception.

Start out with an app such as Headspace if you are new to this practice. Also be realistic – you’re not likely to sit there for an hour if you’re brand new! The key is to start small and stay consistent. Try three to five minutes of silence and build up from there.

Links to learn more

Transcendental Meditation

Headspace app

Warming Brew

As enticing as that aromatic cup of coffee is first thing in the morning, stimulants are actually best consumed an hour or two after waking. Our bodies have an innate cycle of waking gradually, so by consuming caffeine right away we’re jolting the system into action.

Nothing is written in stone here, and of course the timing of everyone’s morning will always be slightly different. Taking the time for the rest of your morning ritual before having a morning beverage is a welcome change of pace, and has the added effect of giving us a little something to look forward to.


There is no shortage of opinions out there about this meal;

Most important meal of the day!

Make sure you eat X grams of protein.

You’ll keel over if you don’t eat something!

I’ve developed a few key guidelines over the years, but the most important thing is to listen to your body;

  • Keep it light: Save the big greasy breakfast for that weekend hangover! Eating a large meal too early in the day can rob us of necessary vital energy, which makes us more likely to reach for that extra cup of coffee.

  • Focus on hydrating foods: melon, oranges, fresh fruit and vegetable juices/smoothies are all high in water content, plant fibre and enzymes which support your body in quelling inflammation and the proper digestion of nutrients.

  • Include a source of bio-available protein: Not just a myth but the focus here is way more about quality than quantity. Having a source of easily absorbed amino acids is a great idea to start our day. A scoop of organic greens powder that includes Spirulina and Chlorella, raw nut butter, a farm raised egg or wild omega-3 rich fish like salmon are a great starting point!

I hope this guide has shed some light on a few new additions to your morning routine!

Having a solid foundation of self-care in the morning issues a powerful ripple effect over the rest of our lives. Ultimately, we are what we do most of the time – so by harnessing the power of daily ritual, the results will speak for themselves.

Torch Botanical Perfume Oil Review

“Like a sun drenched bathroom on a late summer day, complete with golden threadbare towels. A dusty yet well loved walnut armoire in the corner, top drawer brimming with the treasures of distant travels.”

Fragrance is among the most intimate of our beauty rituals. Whether a scent expresses something about our nature – or perhaps helps us aspire to who we want to embody – perfume is undoubtedly powerful.

Once found, the mythical “signature” fragrance can become a sacred component of our personal style. While often this choice evolves along with us as we move through the cycles of life, certain perfumes are inherently timeless.

About the Scent

The musky amber resin-infused base evokes this magical result by combining frankincense, myrrh and vanilla. Labdanum, an ancient herbal medicine resin, helps anchor the scent for a longer lasting effect than many other natural perfumes I have tried. While the initial spice is quite potent, it pleasantly fades into a lighter version over the course of a few hours.

The beauty of natural perfume – made without petrochemical based fragrance that offers a stable and consistent effect – lies in its ability to interact with our essence igniting in each wearer a subtly unique scent. Hence the name – Torch.

I usually can’t wait to buy a different scent once I finish a bottle of perfume. Torch is the exception to this rule. In all honesty I see myself wearing this gorgeous blend for years to come as a baseline to other slightly more exotic options.


+ Travel friendly 15 ml format

+ Long lasting

+ Handmade locally by real people with the absolute best ingredients

+ A little goes a long way – one bottle lasted me six months with regular use

+ Interacts with your natural chemistry to create a truly unique scent

+ Gender flexible – my husband loves this scent!

+ Added plant resins make this a long-lasting natural option

+ There’s a magical little bead of frankincense resin added to each bottle – it breaks down and slightly intensifies the scent experience over time



Image credit: @harlowskinco

The Art of Facial Rolling

Healthy, glowing, clear skin is more just than the best accessory.

While we don’t always think in these terms, the skin is in fact our largest organ. Great skin happens to be among the many things that money cannot buy.

The reality is that a healthy complexion starts from within! From our skincare and beauty routine to the clothes we choose and the lifestyle we follow, natural skincare is a truly holistic expression of our inner harmony.

Facial rolling is the ancient practice of routinely applying pressure to the face that may help with many facets of our health, including:

  • Increase skin elasticity

  • Promote collagen production

  • Support lymphatic drainage

  • Reduce the appearance of fine lines

  • Reduce appearance of dark circles

  • Improved delivery of skincare products and nutrients

While these little devices may look a bit intimidating, facial rollers are actually one of the most inexpensive yet effective additions to any beauty routine.

Another advantage to rolling is when we invest in the right tools, they will last much longer than any fancy new facial oil, exfoliant or toning spray.

As with so many trends these days, these are simply WAY too options! Which is overwhelming to the uninitiated who just want to look and feel their best… without spending a whole paycheck on unnecessary gadgets.

Check out this Quick Guide to help you pick out the right roller to amp up your beauty ritual, with money leftover for the many other important things life has to offer, like fancy coffee… and rent.

The Jade Roller


At this point we’ve all seen a few highly aesthetic photos of these rollers online. But there’s much more to these than making you appear up on the latest trends! Jade rolling is said to stem from a centuries-old skincare practice favoured in many parts of Asia.

The Practice

Use for about 2-3 minutes minimum once a day. Place in fridge or freezer for an hour or so before use to enhance the naturally cooling effect of the stone. The preferred motion for this tool is a gentle stroke, moving upwards and out. Best used immediately after applying oil or moisturizer, as rolling can help optimize absorption of all those amazing botanical ingredients!

Where To Buy

Beware of any shop or online store that’s selling them a little too cheap, for as in all things, you get what you pay for. Just be sure to do some research and read reviews before you buy. I love this one from Herbivore!

The Rose Quartz Roller

Generally quite similar to the jade roller in its benefits, Rose Quartz has its own unique qualities as a stone.

Energetically Rose Quartz is believed to raise self-esteem, decrease stress, balance emotion and support self confidence. Plus they’re pink, nuff said!

The Multireflexology Tools aka Dien Chan Beauté

Other than being exquisitely beautiful, this range of reflexology tools (a selection of which are shown above) are all unique in how they can address skin issues. Designed by Professor Bùi Quôc Châu, a Master Acupuncturist from Vietnam, who developed them for his own practice. They offer some benefits usually associated with acupuncture and acupressure in an accessible at-home regime.

Take it Slow

A kind word of caution: there’s a whole universe of Multireflex wisdom out there, including many practitioners who use these as part of their reflexology practice. Try not to get bogged down with too much reading ahead of time!

Use intuition to select your first tool, just like selecting a precious crystal. Start with integrating just one tool into your regular routine. The most popular starter tool is No. 206. Having said that, my personal staple is the No. 252 beauty brush. Its compact design makes it easy to carry along for a quick energy reset.

The Practice

The really amazing thing about these is how empowering devotees find this process. It helps us cultivate our awareness of subtle changes in the body on a day to day basis. Most of the tools feature a yin-balancing and yang-balancing side AKA cooling/calming vs. heating/stimulating. Whichever side feels nourishing on your skin helps dictate which energy need more balancing in that moment.

Aim for 2-3 minutes per day, per side of the tool. You can safely practice up to twice a day, as long as that feels realistic for your lifestyle. Multireflex tools are best used on dry skin, just before applying any product. Feel free to experiment with misting your face with toner beforehand to enhance the relaxing effect.

Where To Buy


Crystal Rollers

In Vancouver

Harlow Atelier carry a curated selection of the tools

A note for vegans… Multireflexology International makes their tools from ethically harvested animal horn (ie NOT a by-product of slaughter, the animals naturally shed the horns) and medical grade stainless steel

Rest to Success

The World We Live In

The concept of resting to success can feel pretty foreign to most driven high achiever types. I might add however that it is a lifestyle widely embraced by many of the oldest cultures through the world. Here in North America, we are taught from such an early age to love the hustle, work hard, chase your goals that this approach is both consciously and unconsciously ingrained in most people.

It only gets more dramatic as we age into the workforce. The modern corporate culture actively rewards those who claim to be “too busy” to cook, practice their passions or even spend time with family or friends. The competition for who can brag about the most packed schedule is never ending! High rates of burnout, alcohol abuse, caffeine abuse, adrenal fatigue and many other highly preventable conditions are a direct reflection of this attitude.

The truth is… being ‘on’ all the time is simply not how to human body is wired. We can achieve far better results by working smarter, not harder.

Creative Thinking & Rest

An interesting note is that the clarity on what we actually deeply wish to achieve only comes from the practice of tuning into the body through rest, silence and contemplation. It is during restful times that deeper vision, inspiration and the best ideas make their presence known. For example, have you every struggled to solve a problem and stressed out about not having the answer? Then, after giving up and taking a nap, a walk or a hot shower – all of a sudden the answer just comes charging into your mind. We often wonder in these instances, why didn’t I just think of that sooner?

The answer lies in our nervous system. Regularly returning to our parasympathetic nervous system mode, also known as Rest and Digest, is the key to so many health supportive habits. From properly digesting our food, creative problem solving and muscle recovery, to detoxification and elimination – this often neglected phase is scientifically understood to support many long-term health outcomes, as well as better productivity and overall happiness.

The only issue is… our bodies are usually living in a state of constant sympathetic nervous system mode, also known as Fight or Flight. The reasons for this are many layered – including poor sleep quality, environmental toxins, internal toxic load, caffeine dependence, not slowing down to eat and ignoring innate bodily signals to increase rest.

Think about it for a second: you don’t go to the gym and expect to see the difference in your physique the minute you get home! We grow muscles only when we choose to rest, relax and nourish afterwards – and wait patiently for results while continually pursuing the work. In terms of goal setting and integrating healthy lifestyle practices, the process is the same.

Structured Relaxation

I like to call this Structured Relaxation because it’s also key to not let an empowered approach to rest turn into pure n’ simple laziness.

The body always has an innate agenda, which most of the time we are not even consciously aware of. Even when resting doesn’t always feel like it’s moving us closer to our goals, for many of us it’s the missing ingredient to achieving the results we seek.

The Practice

Set aside at least fifteen minutes per day of free white space. I like to recommend fifteen minutes as a realistic starting point for most clients, but feel free to make this longer or shorter in honor of your needs and lifestyle. Pencil it into your planner like an appointment if you have to! Your mind and body will thank you later.

Are Sick or Just Thirsty? 5 Tips for Staying Hydrated!

Drinking enough water is so often discussed that it sometimes seems we take this aspect of optimal health for granted, or maybe it just becomes too easy to forget to be pro-active. Even those of us that know from experience that we feel better when we’re hydrated are sometimes guilty of skipping having enough fresh water in favour of coffee, teas, sodas or other dehydrating drinks.

One of the central issues here is that unlike the physical reminder of hunger we get when our bodies need nourishment through food, we don’t necessarily have any one biological signal to indicate thirst.

Having said that, there are many symptoms that can become apparent if we’re in a chronic state of moderate dehydration and many of them are commonly mistaken as an illness in their own right.

Low energy, muscle cramping, persistent headaches or lack of regular bowel movements can all at times indicate that your system needs more water to function at its best!  As a natural health practitioner I firmly believe that one of the most simple factors to taking your health into your own hands is making sure your body is getting enough of the water it needs.

Read on to find out my 5 top tips for staying hydrated:

  1. Start Somewhere No matter who you are, it’s not ideal to go from zero to sixty! While water is excellent for our bodies, the human system likes to see gradual incremental changes. Don’t stress yourself even more by creating an unrealistic goal, instead just start by aiming to drink 2 more glasses per day, each week. You may just be amazed at how well our body responds to these small progressive changes.
  2. Infuse If you’re someone who finds simple water boring or plain, or even just to spice things up a bit in your regular routine, find a few fruits that you enjoy to infuse your water with extra nutrition, flavour and colour! My favourites include: Lemon slices, Cucumber slices, Fresh mint or Frozen berries.
  3. Create a System Even with the best intentions, if we don’t have a system in place to make sure everything is on track to reach our daily hydration goals, it can become way too easy to get demotivated! You will innately know what works best for your lifestyle. However having a certain benchmark to reach (i.e. 2 Litres each day) and find a type of re-usable water bottle will help you stay accountable to that goal. Tip: I like to re-use the large size of Rise Kombucha bottles and aim to drink 2-3 each work day! That way if I lose my water bottle it’s no big deal, and it gives me a visual representation of how much I’ve already consumed.
  4. Keep it Up! If you succeed right away in meeting your daily goals, that’s incredible! But don’t be hard on yourself if it takes a little more persistence. Every single week and every day in that week is a fresh beginning – so just keep trying! The most amazing part is when all of your efforts pay off and you start to notice some of the benefits of keeping hydrated – fuller & clearer skin, better energy & improved digestion to name just a few!
  5. Add Electrolytes This step is especially important for those of us who work out frequently. As we sweat we lose trace minerals that are a key factor in making sure water can be utilized properly by our system. So while you may be topping up after your sweat sesh with tons of water, don’t forget to add in your electrolytes! There are lots of great companies that make concentrated electrolyte blends that can be easily added to water or juice, and many sports lines also offer flavoured ones which just need to be mixed with water.