Tuscan Chicken and White Bean Soup



I’ve lived in Edmonton for nearly my whole life- 23 years out of the 27 that I have been alive; and you would think that I’d know better by now. That I would know that no matter what balmy weather climate change has to offer, Mother Nature is in the drivers seat; and without warning, and much to everyone’s chagrin, it could snow for two days straight and bring us all right back down to reality. When the mercury dips below zero, I crave warm and comforting foods; and nothing says “comfort” quite like warm chicken and white bean soup.

You may have noticed that I have been posting more dishes containing meat here on the Vitality Guide, and it’s simply because in listening to my body, it’s telling me that it wants animal protein; and I believe that it is essential to listen to what my body wants and provide it with the highest quality foods that I can. If you missed the post where I detail my views on meat eating, here it is. So in listening to my body, I have inadvertently been eating a fairly paleo diet; although I hate labels, it’s the closest description of what my meals currently look like.

Bean, like those found in this chicken and white bean soup, serve to provide us with the fiber that is missing from our diets; our ancestors easily reached their daily fiber requirements with ease, but such is not the case for your average North American man or woman. Point blank, we don’t eat enough fiber; and if you are feeling in any way backed up, beans are for you. And it’s worth mentioning that our Paleolithic ancestors ate somewhere in the ball park of 50-100g of fiber per day.For this and no other reason, beans deserve a place on your plate. Aside from keeping everything in working order, beans also help to lower cholesterol- by up to 10% in a mere six weeks!

This chicken and white bean soup was initiated while I was working; it was my turn to come up with a soup for the next day and with chicken and beans, it was a no brainer to make chicken and white bean soup. The snow was falling outside and showed no signs of slowing, so I made this warming dish at work and then went home and made it again- hey, when it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

The flavor profile for this chicken and white bean soup is decidedly Tuscan, with the addition of sage; and I can never resist Lacinato, aka black leaf, kale; it fortifies this soup with an amazing amount of antioxidants and a most welcome toothsome bite. Now this soup has meat in it, obviously; however, it can be easily converted  to accommodate the vegans by omitting the chicken and using vegetable stock instead- don’t worry, my current Paleo-ness will not lead me to forget about the veggies!

Cold, wet, rain, or snow- whatever the weather calls for, be ready with a big bowl of steaming Tuscan Chicken and White Bean Soup!

6 oz. chicken breast
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 cup sliced leeks, white and light green parts only
1 cup sliced fennel
1 clove garlic
1 tbsp fresh sage, chopped
1 cup lacinato kale, sliced into strips
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp red chili flakes
1 cup white beans, soaked and rinsed
1 1/4 cup chicken stock

Season the chicken breast with 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. In a large soup pot heat the coconut oil, add the chicken and cook on both sides for 4 minutes each. Remove from heat, cover and set aside.

Add the leeks, garlic and fennel and stir, cook for 7-10 minutes, or until the fennel and onions are fragrant and translucent. Add the kale, sage and beans and stir; cook for 3 minutes and add the stock. Simmer for 15 minutes and season with the remaining salt and red chili flakes.

PS- this soup gets better with age- you’re welcome!

Coconut Blueberry Oatmeal And What To Do With Pulp



We’ve covered how to make almond milk; and the possibilities are endless when considering how to use it. But what about the resulting pulp? Although it would seem logical to discard the pulp, you would be wise to save it. It is brimming with fiber and nutrients; and makes a wonderful addition to many dishes- and your beauty routine!

Almond milk pulp is perfectly placed in:

  • Smoothies
  • Baking: replace ½ the amount of flour in bread, cookie and muffin recipes to add nutritional value; and a nutty flavor.
  • Body scrub: mix 1 avocado and 2 tbsp of almond pulp and rub all over your skin to create a nourishing, all natural body scrub.
  • Oatmeal

I have been gaga over this oatmeal recipe for over a week now; I wondered why it took me so long to attempt this recipe. Oats, when coated in coconut oil and cooked in almond milk, with cinnamon, almond pulp and coconut is ABSOLUTELY divine. The first morning I tried it I closed my eyes and let out an audible “oh yeah!”

I wax poetic about the wonders of quinoa; it is currently a health food darling, and it completely deserves the praise. But let’s not forget about the old favorite that is the oat. High in soluble fiber and an excellent source of healthy fat makes oats an excellent breakfast choice. And it’s by far cheaper than some other slightly more vogue grains. They contain a range of antioxidants and plant chemicals that help keep our arteries and hearts healthy. Oats are also relatively low on the glycemic index so they won’t spike blood sugar and contribute to a “crash”; this also makes them suitable for those with insulin resistance and diabetes.

Oats are certainly an oldie, but they’re a goodie!

Coconut and Blueberry Oats

Makes 2 servings

1 tbsp coconut oil

½ cup oats

2 tbsp almond pulp

1 tsp coconut sugar

1 cup almond milk

1 tbsp shredded coconut

2 tbsp blueberries (I use frozen in the winter)

In a small sauce pan, heat the coconut oil on medium high heat; add the oats and stir to coat them with the oil. Add the pulp and the coconut sugar; stir and immediately add the almond milk. Cook until the oats are cooked about 5 minutes. Top with blueberries and serve.

Vegan Eggnog Smoothie



There is a joke that goes: “How do you know someone is a vegan? Don’t worry, they’ll tell you!” I always chuckle when I hear that joke and I find it funny that to this day people think that veganism is some sort of tortuous food affair. Listen when I tell you that today is a great time to be a vegan. No longer are people simply taking non vegan food and trying to mimic it in a vegan fashion- oh no- veganism has become a celebration of the bounty of Mother Nature’s plants.

Now I’m not a vegan, but I endeavor to eat a mostly vegetarian diet while dabbling in veganism; an act born primarily out of work commitments. Testing vegan recipes inevitably means that I eat vegan food on a fairly regular basis. Now yogurt of the dairy variety is huge no-no in the vegan community, because it’s made from cow’s or goat’s milk; and although there are many soy based yogurts out there to satisfy a cream tooth, soy has come under fire for a great many reasons, which I will spare you. So let’s just say vegan yogurt was a hard find, until Yoso Coconut Yogurt.

Coconut yogurt, ever heard of it? I had tried it in the past, and even though I consider myself a card carrying member of the coconut tribe, it just didn’t do it for me. So when Yoso came to my attention with their coconut yogurt, I decided to try it- if I am one thing, it’s willing to try new things! Upon my first spoonful I knew the vegan yogurt game had changed; smooth and creamy, reminiscent of its dairy counterparts without all the, well, dairy. Yoso Coconut Yogurt is made from organic coconut, sweetened with organic agave nectar and contains 100% non dairy bacterial culture.

Yoso and I have partnered together to bring you AMAZING vegan fare that even the carnivores will love; how do I know this? Well I live with carnivores, big ones, and when I made this Vegan Eggnog Smoothie I let them try it, without mentioning the dreaded V word (vegan); and they loved it. When I revealed that it was free of dairy and eggs they were shocked that something vegan actually tasted good- carnivores can be a funny breed!

Now let me repeat, this recipe is delicious; not delicious for something vegan, but straight up delicious PERIOD. What gives this smoothie the creaminess is of course the Yoso Vanilla Coconut Yogurt, but the act of freezing the yogurt creates a velvety texture like that of eggs. To freeze yogurt for smoothie use, pour it into an ice cube tray, and when you are ready for a smoothie, just pop out some cubes and Bob’s Your Uncle!

This vegan eggnog smoothie is classically flavored; brandy, nutmeg and vanilla- with hemp seed milk thrown in for good measure. I may or may not have had this boozy sipper at 11:00 am; but that’s a topic for another day.

I once heard someone say that Eggnog is not be messed with; well, I messed with it and made it better!

Serves 1

½ cup Yoso Vanilla Coconut Yogurt, frozen
½ cup light coconut milk
½ cup hemp seed milk
¼ tsp ground nutmeg + 1 tsp for garnish
¼ tsp vanilla extract
¾ brandy

To freeze the Yoso Vanilla Coconut Yogurt for use in the smoothie, freeze in ice cube trays.

Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until completely smooth. Serve with a sprinkle of nutmeg.

Be sure to visit my new partner Yoso’s website to find out more about their chocolate and vanilla flavored coconut yogurts.

Finding The Right Type Of Holistic Health Treatments For You



Finding the right type of holistic health treatment can be a very daunting task; and most newbies find themselves overwhelmed with all the choice. Today’s guest post demystifies holistic health and brings you one step closer to finding a holistic regimen that is tailor made to your health goals.

Enjoy!

Finding the Right Type of Holistic Health Treatments for You

Western medicine has many benefits and is excellent for healing issues such as heart attacks, broken bones and cancer, but it isn’t the only way of creating your healthiest life possible. To assist your body to be a vital, happy being it is highly suggested to incorporate complimentary healing modalities such as holistic health into life.

But what does that mean exactly?

Holistic health, according to the Mosby’s Medical Dictionary, is a, “concept that concern for health requires a perception of the individual as an integrated system rather than one or more separate parts including physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional.” In other words, it looks at the integrated system of body, mind and soul to connect with complete health. So how does one incorporate these three facets into their healing regime? Here are descriptions of some of the most popular holistic treatments available:

Acupuncture: a practice that has been used in the East for thousands of years, acupuncture incorporates the use of thin, micro needles that are inserted into the energy channels of the body. These needles help break up congestion in these meridians, helping to influence healing. It is suggested that acupuncture be used in a consecutive fashion, as one treatment is usually not as effective as a series is.

Chiropractic Adjustments: a licensed chiropractor has the gift of helping the spine and bone structure stay in alignment. This assists with issues of pain as well as problems such as asthma and stomach challenges.

Meditation: this form of holistic health is one that you can do on your own. It has been scientifically proven that involving a daily practice of meditation into life will greatly decrease stress and increases positive body functioning.

Mental Therapy: taking the opportunity to discuss issues with a trained professional is highly suggested for mental wellbeing. A therapist has the ability to see a person’s life from an outside perspective which is incredibly beneficial for shifting unwanted or negative patterns.

Reiki: a practice that was discovered by Dr Mikao Usui on a quest in the Japanese mountains, this holistic healing approach uses the healing affects of the hands. The trained practitioner uses the energy of their hands to promote healing and healthiness.

Homeopathy: a style of medicine that was initiated in the late 1700s by Dr Samuel Hahnemann, it was discovered in his medical trials that using certain aspects of plants could heal the sick. By using himself as a test subject, he found that certain characteristics that showed up on a healthy person as symptoms of disease could heal the sick by implementing an active ingredient that stimulates the body’s own healing responses.

The Vitality Kitchen Edmonton Farmers Market Summer Salad



Saturday marked my first ever appearance at a farmer’s market EVER! It was fantastic, we sold out of everything.

But life isn’t without it’s challenges. It rained, all day; which made for less than stellar market attendance. Initially I was disappointed, but after some careful reflection, I realized that had the farmer’s market been popping like it usually is, I would have sold out of product by 11 am.

I learned  a few lessons this past weekend; here are my top two take-aways…

  • Bring layers. I didn’t think I would need winter socks, but in the deluge that was Saturday, an extra pair of socks would have been most welcome.
  • Make more than you think. Honestly, I was sort of lost in regards to how much product to prepare for the market and I was lucky that the weather was less than stellar, because I simply didn’t make enough. I also learned that beverages outperform salads; I mean, who can resist a green juice or a smoothie?!

But I digress completely.

Because I am so grateful that people chose to brave the elements and visit me at the farmer’s market, I wanted to share the recipe for the SOLD OUT green pea, strawberry and cucumber salad with mint lemon dressing.

Thank you to all that came out, I very VERY much appreciated. I will be back at the City Farmer’s Market in downtown Edmonton on August 9th!

Green Pea, Strawberry and Cucumber Salad with Lemon Mint Dressing

1 cup green pea (mixture of peas and pods), blanched
¾ cup strawberry, halved
1 long English cucumber, shaved with a peeler

½ cup mint, chopped
½ cup lemon juice
¾ cup olive oil
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp honey
Salt and pepper to taste

In a bowl whisk together the mint, lemon juice, olive oil, Dijon, salt and pepper until completely emulsified.

Toss the strawberries, green peas and cucumber with dressing and serve immediately.

Feeding Our Faces- Nutrition For Skincare



Everyone goes through a phase where there is neither the time nor the inclinations to eat healthily; starting a business, moving house or a break-up can derail any well meaning healthy eating endeavor, such is life. But it goes without saying that this neglect shows on our skin almost immediately; it’s no wonder, considering our skin is our largest organ, which is constantly renewing itself.

Recently scientists have begun to uncover more about the relationship between our skin and our diet. World renowned dermatologist and Oprah expert Dr. Perricone believes the typical western diet is a major cause of wrinkles; singling out sugar and simple carbohydrates such as white bread. A sugary diet causes collagen fibers to stiffen (they should remain springy and firm); the stiffening is called glycation and it leads to visible signs of ageing.

Our skin relies heavily on oxygen from our blood; so avoiding sugar and anything that compromises circulation is essential in the quest or preservation of younger looking skin. On the other hand omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidant rich fruits and vegetable can boost skin by reducing inflammation and fighting free radicals.

So what is the recipe for skin success?

A great skin diet should include all the food groups- fats, carbohydrates and protein- plenty of water and plenty of antioxidants to fight free radicals and boost our immune systems. This will not only show on our faces but in energy levels too.

It is extra important to feed our bodies with the nutrients it needs to produce and maintain our tissues and boost collagen; which can be found in protein and vitamin C. Eggs are an excellent source of protein and they also contain the detoxifying amino acid cystine, which aids the formation of collagen. And the consumption of B vitamins has been shown to slow the loss of collagen fibers, so be sure to consume whole grains such as brown rice and oatmeal- this will also keep us regular; and many will attest to the fact that constipation leads to frowning and grimacing- another wrinkle culprit.

Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate.

We are comprised of over 50% water, so without it, we are dry- dry body, dry skin, it’s simple. Two to three liters of water a day is a must- even more if we are exercising or living in hotter climates. In addition, essential fatty acids found in nuts, seeds and fish can help retain skins hydration levels. There is even evidence to support that fish oils can help repair sun damage, thinning of skin and wrinkle formation. EFA’s and B vitamins are well known anti inflammatory so stocking our pantry’s are  with avocados, nuts, seeds, chicken and fish ensures that our bodies never run dry.

Protection Baby!

The power of anti oxidants cannot be overstated, and they are the foremost protector of our skin. The rule of thumb when it comes to anti oxidants is to eat a rainbow of vividly colored fruits and vegetables. Dark leafy greens, carrots, squash, berries- you name it, if it is brightly colored go wild! These vivid eats are all super potent and loaded with the coveted anti oxidant. And let’s not forget about co-enzyme Q10, yes, the one in all the creams; it can be found in liver and soybeans (not tofu, which is fermented and therefore the enzyme is disabled). Also remember the less cooking and processing that our food goes through the better; steaming and grilling are the best ways to cook food while still preserving the nutrients.

Beat Sun Damage

Apart from sunscreen and the external control factors that come along with sun protection; it is advantageous to us to bolster our protection with vitamin A. This vitamin provides a natural sunscreen; and is found concentrated in sweet potatoes, carrots, kale and broccoli. Also a diet rich in anti oxidants and omega 3 fatty acids also offers an internal defense against the sun. Anti oxidant- is there anything they can’t do?!

Eating a diet rich in antioxidants and omega fatty acids is not only essential for the repair and maintenance of youthful looking skin; but for the maintenance of a healthy body and mind. And although some days healthful eating is the last thing we care to think about; but it’s about making ourselves a priority. Are you worth it?

Email Question Juicing



I receive a great deal of questions via email; from recipe advice to cooking preparations. But the topic that comes up the most in recent emails is the topic of juicing. I love juicing, it’s no secret; just take one look at my Instagram feed and you’ll see! The juicing questions run the gamut from what to juice with what, to what juicer to buy and everything in between; but I recently received a question that I knew I had to answer here because it’s very important.

“Bianca, I’m new to juicing and also a very busy mom of two; I recently lost 15lbs and now I want to start juicing. I was wondering, since I’m so low on time, can I juice my fruits and vegetables with skins on? I don’t buy organic food (it’s a bit too costly at the moment), so I want to know whether I should be peeling all my produce? I plan juicing for myself and my girls and I want to make sure that I’m doing it right. I’m hoping you’ll say I don’t have to peel them; but I’m willing to do whatever you say, because I want to get the most out of my juicing.”
~Tammy H.

Well, Tammy, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it is absolutely imperative that you peel all your produce if you aren’t buying organic. I know buying organic can get quite pricey and depending on where you live the price of organic food can be downright astronomical; so if you are going to juice conventional produce it is essential to peel it all- I know, so time consuming, but here’s why.

Most conventional produce has been sprayed with waxes, preservatives, pesticides and the like. Here’s what I saw on a package of mandarin oranges at the grocery store:

“Treated to maintain freshness in transport with one of more of the following: Thiabendazole, Imazalil, Fludioxonil and coated with food grade natural resins and/or vegetable wax.”

Scary, to think that there is so much more to that mandarin then what meets the eye.

Now I’m not sure about you but I don’t want that stuff in my body- HELL NO! By juicing the toxic skins, you turn what can be an amazing vitality promoting product (fresh juice) into toxic swill. So although you have a little bit more preparation to do prior to juicing, I think the health of you and your babies is worth the extra work- I know you agree!

I hope this helps Tammy (and whoever else was wondering)!

Raw Ice Cream- Cashew Style



When the idea to make raw ice cream came into my head, the process started small; I would use cashews. Then from there the ideas began to inundate my brain. Coconut, cacao, red chilies- I was starting to get ahead of myself; however, once I regained my composure, I thought to myself “why not”. There are moments when I feel like being a rebel; THIS was one of those moments.

Now to many, chocolate is an indulgent treat, reserved for special occasion; but cacao contains flavanoids, magnesium and iron which work very hard to protect us from heart disease- special occasion or not. However, before I continue my endorsement of this burnished colored super food, you must know that the quality of the chocolate/cacao products we eat, have a strong bearing on the nutrient content. Raw cacao, which is just that, raw, retains all the essential nutrients that make cacao so potent. Cadbury and Hershey unfortunately do not reserve the right to claim the same. And if you are going with dark chocolate, 70% cocoa solids or more is the benchmark of quality goods.

Ok, back to the facts! Cacao is loaded with flavanoids, which provide a protective shield from environmental toxins; and when we consume foods that are rich in plant based flavanoids, the body’s ability to clot blood is reduced. Yes, this may sound as though we are getting into hemophiliac territory, but this is important when we are talking about heart health. If the body isn’t unnecessarily clotting blood, then fat like substances in our blood aren’t able to clog the arteries- get it? Good!

During the months of November, December and January, when the weather is cold and dreary, lots of little’s are conceived; which makes sense to me. Between going out and freezing or cozying up between the sheets, I think given the choice we would all choose the latter. And successful hanky panky requires good circulation, if you follow; so to spice up my ice cream creation and lend a hand to the lover birds, I added chili flakes. By doing this we add a nice aromatic punch without it being overwhelmingly hot- it’s neat; but beware of heavy hands, if you add too much, the ice cream will be ruined.

The process of making ice cream can be really easy or really labor intensive, depending on your equipment. If you have an ice cream maker and a food processor, this recipe will be a breeze; but if you’re old school like me, this is going to require a little bit of elbow grease; but I promise the end result is completely worth it.

I chose cashews as the base for my raw ice cream, but substituting pistachios, hazelnuts (skins removed) or macadamia nuts would yield the same heavenly results. If spice is not your bag, feel free to omit the chili flakes and substitute cinnamon or cardamom in its place; the flavoring agents lend themselves very nicely to customization- so go wild.

Alas, raw ice cream when there’s 25cm of snow on the ground may seem crazy; but I promise this spiced raw cashew ice cream is crazy good!

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2 cups raw cashews
1 cup hemp seed milk
¾ cup coconut milk
1 tsp red chili flakes
½ cup coconut sugar
¼ cup raw cacao powder
2tbsp coconut flakes
1 tbsp coconut oil

Soak the cashew and chili flakes in the coconut and hemp seed milks overnight.

Add the soaked mixture to a food processor with the remaining ingredients; and blend for 12-15 minutes, until completely smooth- you will have to scrape the sides down once or twice. If you are using an ice cream maker, pour the mixture into the ice cream maker and follow the machine instructions.

For the old school ice cream method

Place the mixture in a bowl and put in the freezer. Every 45 minutes stir the mixture vigorously until the mixture is well frozen; this process took me about 4 hours- but I repeat SO. WORTH. IT.

Chocolate, vanilla, neopolitan? Winter, Spring, Summer and/or fall? How and when do you enjoy your favorite ice cream?

Pensions, Manhattan Style

New York Times reporter Mary Walsh and Michael Cooper offer a grim assessment of New York City’s pension finances in their August 20, 2006 article entitled “New York Gets Sobering Look at Its Pensions”. Their research suggests a funding gap as large as $49 billion or “nearly the size of the city’s entire annual budget and the equivalent of the city’s publicly disclosed outstanding debt.”

A key point of contention is how to properly measure the true economic value of the city’s pension obligations. According to the article, New York City employs a unique method that sets the pension shortfall to zero. By doing so, it is never clear whether the plan is in deficit and to what extent. Apparently the method started at a time of bounty, with the aim of preventing a raid by officials.

As this author has repeatedly said, you must be able to properly measure the pension liability. Otherwise, how can one identify what corrective action to take, if any, to set the plan right? (Written for private plans, the same commentary applies in concept to public plans. Good information is everything. Click here to read “Will the Real Pension Deficit Please Stand Up?”)

10 Reasons Why We Should Eat Locally Sourced Food



The locavore movement is steadily gaining steam. I know this because my city which is the northern most metropolis in the world manages to deliver many a farmer’s market to choose from, as the demand for quality produce that is sustainable and supportive of small farmers is growing. But, in addition to being sustainable and farmer supportive, locally sourced food allows us, the consumer, to speak directly to the people who nurtured our food into maturity- I doubt either of us can get the people at Dole on the phone.

I digress.

As the weekend aka farmer market mecca is upon us, I wanted to share this guest post highlighting 10 benefits of eating locally sourced food.

Enjoy!

There are many benefits to eating locally sourced food, from improving our health to reducing our spend. As well as generally being fresher and tastier, locally sourced food helps support sustainable farming, and contribute to your local economy. Moreover, locally sourced food reduces the cost of distribution, and produce environmental and nutritional benefits in terms of preservatives, diversity of diet, and your self reliance as a cook. These advantages, and more, all go into making locally sourced food an excellent option.

1 – Fresher and Tastier
Local food tends to be grown seasonally, which means they’ve only been out of the ground a short time before ending up on your plate; the reduced amount of time between being harvested and being eaten means that you enjoy fresher tastes, and higher nutritional benefits.

2 – Sustainable Farming
Another advantage to locally sourced food involves the contribution they make to sustainable future farming. Local and independent farms and co-ops tend to focus on restricting over farming of their land, which can help to prevent soil erosion, and protects biodiversity.

3 – Lack of Preservatives
Locally sourced food is also recommended for their organic qualities – the speed by which foods are grown and sourced, and then sold, means that they usually avoid genetically modified ingredients, hormones, and other synthetic preservatives.

4 – Local Economy
Sourcing your food locally has the advantage of supporting your local economy – farmers are able to compete against larger multinationals, with the long term effect of keeping local businesses running in a tough economic climate.

5 – Ecosystem Benefits
The attention taken by local farming to keeping the land in good condition, and to avoiding over farming, has a wider impact on preserving hedgerows, water supplies, and grazeable land for animals.

6 – Less Distribution Costs
Non local food that has been shipped or flown internationally tends to be packed full of preservatives, and incurs a carbon footprint as it passes from suppliers to retail outlets. Locally sourced food skips these steps, and are much more economical and eco friendly.

7 – Ensures Diversity of Diet
By eating locally, you’re able to sample the seasonal produce from your area; you get crops and produce at their ripest, and get to enjoy both winter and summer vegetables, as well as year round perennials.

8 – More Eco Friendly
Again, the reduced packaging, pesticides, and other synthetic ingredients in locally sourced food emits less harmful chemicals and materials into the atmosphere and the environment. Farming co-ops that use recyclable and green technologies also help to prevent farming and animal rearing from having a significant cost to the environment.

9 – Healthier For Us
It is important to note that not all locally sourced food will be healthier for you, however a lot of it will be. Many healthy women choose to incorporate locally sourced food into their diet plans to help them eat more nutritional foods which boost exercise efforts.

10 – Self Reliance
By investing in local foods, you can become more active and self reliant in terms of your cooking, food selection, and diet; buying local food can inspire you to start your own personal garden, and to participate in co-ops.

Author Bio
Luke James writes about healthy eating, from the benefits of Rapeseed Oil from www.mrhughs.co.uk to planning your diet for the year ahead. In his spare time he runs healthy cooking seminars.