Pre, Post-Thanksgiving Prep

by Lauren on October 6, 2016

Thanksgiving hasn’t even happened yet, but in a culture where we do everything quickly and efficiently, let’s prepare for the aftermath of your Thanksgiving feast.

Most people wake up on Tuesday feeling bloated, tired and yucky as a result of too many appetizers, mashed potatoes with gravy, dessert and wine. No matter how hard you try, Thanksgiving comes with extra calories. It usually takes our body a good 3 days to recover, but there are a few things you can do to feel better, faster.

  1. The minute you wake up on Tuesday morning, walk to your closet and put on your exercise clothes or pack them in your bag for lunch break or after work. If you’re wearing your gym gear, or have it packed it’s much more likely that you’ll squeeze in that much-needed workout, and sweat out the toxins.
  2. Take the one-carb challenge. For 3 days, only have one, wheat or grain-based carb per meal, per day. For example, have a bowl of oatmeal with fruit for breakfast, a salad with leftover turkey and chick peas for lunch, and fish with root vegetables and broccoli for dinner and a couple squares of dark chocolate with dates for dessert. You’ll be surprised how cutting back on your grain carbs will make you feel less bloated and tired.
  3. No alcohol until Friday. Give your body a much-needed break from the alcohol and sugar. You will get good quality sleeps, and enjoy your glass of wine on Friday even more.
  4. Include a green smoothie in your day. Greens of any kind will restore healthy bacteria in your gut and help you feel better, sooner.

I would usually write this post after Thanksgiving, but it’s better to be prepared, and we’re going to Florida on Tuesday so I’ll be taking a little break from writing.

Wish me luck as we embark on our first plane trip with two kids! We caved and finally bought ourselves a golden parachute a.k.a. an iPad in case Jack loses his mind on the flight. I feel a lot more confident going into the trip with that little baby packed in our carry-on.

Any tips for travelling with multiple kids? Oh, and I should probably mention we have to wake them up at 4am to make our flight…oh dear.



Life’s Not Always as it Seems on Instagram

by Lauren on October 4, 2016

A friend recently paid me the nicest compliment in an email – “I am loving your Instagram posts…I’m in awe of your exercising, baking, getting-Max-to-sleep-12-hours mothering style. Tell me your secrets!!! ”

It felt so good to hear, and while my posts are meant to be informative about healthy food, and inspire others to exercise and teach their kids how to sleep (a recent passion of mine;); Instagram is my curated life.

I definitely don’t share the moments when I’m eating pizza and drinking a cosmo, or was forced to buy the non-organic roast chicken because I have about 30 minutes to grocery shop (this means running through the store with Max in the Bjorne) and can’t wait for the free-from chickens to come out of the oven. Or the day I bought a big pack of Dove soap because it was on sale even though I know there are some not-so-pure ingredients in there.

I don’t snap a pic of myself waiting for my self-tanner to soak in (yes, I use self-tanner once a week because who doesn’t feel better with a bit of colour on their face). And sometimes I put it on my tummy because it makes my post-baby chub a little less noticeable.

I didn’t share how I skipped my Thursday gym class last week to stay in, have butter chicken (it was a healthier version though) and a couple glasses of white wine while watching Bachelorette Canada (to be fair, I made up for it the next morning by getting up at 6am to do a workout). I don’t post the days that my 4 month old doesn’t nap, is screaming in the car seat or both the monitors are blazing red.

I love Instagram, but sometimes it can have the opposite effect of inspiration, and make us feel worse about our efforts to lose weight, be a good mom, or try to make healthier choices because we feel we don’t measure up to what others are doing out there. I will continue with my usual posts to help people live a healthier lifestyle, but maybe I’ll go out on a limb and post the good, bad and the ugly. Would that be more inspiring?



Foods for Healthy, Younger-Looking Skin

by Lauren on September 28, 2016

Produce-147Being a 34-year old mom of two boys, I feel like I can no longer rely on “my youth” for healthy looking skin. I actually have to put in some effort in order to make my skin look fresh, bright and to prevent fine lines and wrinkles (until I’m old enough to justify a little help from a dermatologist. I just saw on Marilyn Denis the other day that there are now non-invasive ways to boost collagen in your face – hurray!).

Until than, a big part of looking good on the outside, has to do with what’s happening on the inside; for the most part, your skin is a reflection of what’s going on inside your body. As a nutritionist, this is really helpful when it comes to working with clients. Skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis and even acne can tell me a lot about what types of foods my clients should or shouldn’t be eating (usually the main culprits are gluten, dairy, and refined sugar).

Until you can justify a visit to the dermatologist, here are some foods to incorporate into your diet to keep your skin looking youthful and fresh! (note that most of these foods have the same vitamins and minerals that you find in topical skin creams and lotions. It’s much more beneficial to your skin and overall health to eat them vs. apply them topically!)

  • Cucumbers (especially the skin – think: eat the skin for healthy skin!)
  • AvocadoProduce-340
  • Water! Ever wonder why your skin looks grey and dull the morning after having a few cocktails? It’s because your skin is dehydrated! Aim to drink 6-8 glasses per day.
  • Brazil nuts, mushrooms, shrimp and fish like cod, tuna, salmon and snapper. What do these foods have in common? Selenium! A mineral and antioxidant that helps to prevent skin damage from free radicals.
  • Eggs and orange foods like squash, sweet potato and carrots are rich in beta-carotene and vitamin A, which can improve the look of wrinkles and brown spotsBoiled Eggs-6
  • Vitamin C-rich foods like bell peppers, kiwi and citrus, and foods rich in lycopene (think tomatoes and watermelon) can not only protect your skin from the sun, but undo sun damage that’s already happened.
  • Eating healthy foods is not an excuse to avoid sunscreen though! Applying an SPF 30 sunscreen daily is one of the most important things you can do to prevent premature skin aging.
  • Exercise! A recent study said that regular exercise can shave 10 to 20 years off the look of your skin. Start sweating!
  • Vitamin E rich foods like almonds, sunflower seeds, olives, olive oil and leafy greensProduce-565
  • Omega-3 fats found in chia, flax and hemp seeds, walnuts, sardines, anchovies, herring, and salmonSalmon-1
  • Green tea
  • Avoid refined sugar (choose healthy sweeteners like unpasteurized honey, real maple syrup and coconut palm sugar) and excess alcohol (aim for up to 6 alcoholic beverages per week) Cheers to healthy, younger looking skin!


Don’t Let it Slide

by Lauren on September 26, 2016



One of my biggest fears as a mom has nothing to do with my kids. It has to do with me, and my fear of losing the ability to use my brain in other ways than just scheduling drop offs and pick-ups, folding laundry and getting groceries.

I graduated with a B.A. in Media Studies from Western University, went on to work in Corporate Marketing for BMO for 5 years and than went back to school to become a Registered Nutritionist. My fear is that if I don’t start using my brain, I’m going to lose it and when I do decide to go back to work in about a year I won’t be relevant anymore and my brain will be mush. Now that my youngest is 3 and a half months and sleeping 12 hours every night I can no longer use the excuse; “I’m too tired to think.” It’s time to start thinking again, which means I want to start writing again.

Even though I’m not as tired anymore, I still don’t have a lot of time, so my blog posts going forward are going to be more like quick thoughts or tips, sharing healthy recipes (even if they’re not mine), and venting about being a mom of two young boys. Very short, but hopefully still helpful and enjoyable to read. My youngest son Max just woke up from his nap as I’m writing proving my point of having very little time, but just like how fitting in exercise, meal planning and cooking is important to me; so is writing so I’m simply going to start making time for it again.

Here’s my first healthy thought to test out the new blog format, and it’s been on my mind lately as I’m now back in the category of being abled to drink wine again (and cosmos – my fave;). A quick tip on living a healthy lifestyle – don’t let it slide. It’s ok to enjoy a glass or two of wine, order pizza or have dessert, but just because you allow yourself those treats, don’t let your entire healthy eating strategy go out the window. It’s very easy to have the all or nothing mentality, but that’s not the right attitude to have! It’s all about the 80/20 rule – keep it healthy 80% of the time, and let yourself have treats 20% of the time. But during that 20%, you can still minimize the damage to your health by:

  • Continuing to keep proper portions in mind. Have pizza, but keep it to 2 slices, and have a big salad or load on the arugula
  • If you’re treating yourself to a nice, juicy steak than have cauliflower instead of creamy mashed potatoes as a side
  • If you’re having a drink, don’t also treat yourself to a unhealthy dessert – choose one or the other
  • Stay active! Fit in exercise whenever and wherever you can, even if that means leaving 10 minutes earlier to walk and pick up your kids versus driving some days, or doing a quick set of pushups before your shower

Keep these little tips in mind to avoid the 80/20 becoming 70/30 or 60/40. Oh, and if this post doesn’t motivate you, I just heard a stat on the news the other morning that exercising on a regular basis can shave 10 or even 20 years off your appearance. That’s motivation enough for me to run downstairs and do a quick 20 minute circuit a few days a week.



Smart Snacking. Do Good. Love With Food

August 10, 2016

A couple weeks ago I was approached by a company called Love With Food, a snack discovery service that just announced it will begin shipping to Canada on August 2nd, and they wanted me to share the good news. As a nutritionist, I promote the idea of real food and avoid packaged foods as much as possible, but […]

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Lessons I’ve Learned from Baby #2

July 14, 2016

The last 5 weeks is probably the longest I’ve gone without posting a blog since I started writing in 2010. The reason you ask? I had another baby! Maxwell Andrew Follett was born on June 6th, 2016, and wow life is next level busy with a two-year old toddler and a newborn. Every minute in […]

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Cookies for Breakfast?

May 31, 2016

When I think of healthy breakfast I think of smoothies, healthy muffins, sprouted toast with coconut oil and natural nut butter, yogurt with healthy granola, cookies…wait, cookies? Yup! I recently discovered a recipe for Healthy Breakfast Cookies that taste good, and are full of the breakfast staples: bran flakes, oats, milk, Greek yogurt, eggs and apple sauce. […]

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A New Weekly Staple: Chicken Mango Superfood Bowl with Avocado Cilantro Dressing

May 25, 2016

Photo Credit I love cooking and trying new healthy recipes. There’s always the hope that I’ll stumble across one that becomes a new staple in my weekly meal plan. Well I recently found one – the Chicken Mango Superfood Bowl with Avocado Cilantro Dressing. It’s a creamy, flavourful blend of healthy ingredients that is so […]

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Long Weekend Healthy Meal and Snack Ideas

May 18, 2016

I feel like I’m starting every post with an apology for not writing more often, but it’s hard to find the time for it these days. I only have a few mornings a week with Jack in daycare, and they quickly fill up with article writing for Respoken Magazine, creating client meal plans and preparing […]

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Eating Healthy Doesn’t Have to Be Complicated

April 18, 2016

Sorry for the break in posts, but things have been crazy busy! Between attempting to potty train my son, getting ready for baby #2 (coming mid-June), working with clients and my new freelance writing job with Respoken Magazine; my poor blog has been put on the back burner. I’ve also been asked to write a […]

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