Category Archives: Nutrition

7 Tips and 2 Recipes for Back to School Lunches

Keep these 7 tips in mind to help you pack a school lunch with a healthy and creative punch.

1. FruitColour is the spice of life. Colour means nutrition, so keep your kid’s lunchbox colourful with all colours of the rainbow. Orange carrot slices, red tomatoes or pepper slices, green avocado on their sandwiches, blueberries on their yogurt or a skewer of pink strawberries. After all, we also eat with our eyes and kids are no exception! (no artificial colours please)!

2. Involve your Kids in the Preparation. Kids are more likely to eat their food if they were involved in the process. Let them help prepare the sandwiches or have them choose from two bowls of veggies and fruit options which ones they want to pack each day.

3. Don’t forget Your Veggies. Kids love eating hand held veggies, especially if there is a dip involved. Add some pureed sweet potato to a store-bought dip or stir in chopped herbs or even pureed fruit. Ants on a log with nut free sunflower seed butter or cream cheese with raisons, currants or cranberries are always a hit with kids.

4. Spice up your sandwiches. Try different breads, flatbreads, pitas, wraps, bagels or English muffins to keep it fresh, and mix and match the fillings with Veg n Dipdifferent cheeses, egg, leftover meat, veggies, chutneys, dried fruit and veggie fillings. Or why not keep the sandwich fillings separate and let them do the building at school?

5. Keep Cool. Skip the sugar laden fruit juice and pack a partially frozen water bottle inside their lunch box to keep their items cool until lunch. If they don’t love water add some berries or a touch of honey to their water to sweeten it. Use partially frozen bread for the sandwiches to keep their lunches cool and their sandwiches fresh and crunchy.

6. Leftovers are your friend. It’s a long year of making lunches and dinners every day so why not you make it easier on yourself and cook large portions for dinners to always have leftovers on hand? Homemade chicken or fish fingers make a great lunch with a honey mustard dipping sauce, or cut up meatballs to put in a salad; try a thermos of warm soup or chili or sliced cold leftover chicken or beef with cheese slices.

7. Packaging is everything. Kids love opening packages and small containers in their lunch boxes are no exception. Purchase some single serving containers for chopped tropical fruit, plain organic full fat yogurt sweetened with honey or blueberries, homemade dips, trail mix of pumpkin seeds, dried fruit and coconut, leftover meat, cheese slices or a healthy mini cookie or two.

Home-made Fruit Leathers

Skip the expensive store bought versions and make your own natural version your kids will gobble up!

5 large apples, peaches or pears
1.5 cups strawberries, blueberries, bananas and/or citrus fruit
1 cup water


  • Peel and core the apples, peaches or pears slicing thinly.
  • Chop bananas, berries or citrus.
  • Place all fruit in a pot with the water and place a lid on.
  • Cook until soft and then puree with a hand held blender.
  • Line a tray with baking paper and pour the fruit mix onto the baking tray.
  • Spread evenly and thinly.
  • Place in the oven and turn on, setting the temperature to 120°C.
  • Prop the oven door open with a wooden spoon.
  • This dehydrating process can take anywhere from 2 hours to 10 hours depending on the type of fruit and the level of moisture left in the mixture.
  • Have your kids help slice and cut using animal shaped cookie cutters.

Sweet Potato Cookies

Nutrient packed cookies with a natural sweetness you can feel good about giving to yourself and your kids.

½ cup rolled oats
½ cup flour of choice
½ cup ground sunflower seeds
2 tbsp. coconut oil or butter, melted
¼ cup apple butter
¾ cup cooked and mashed sweet potato
2 tbsp. cane sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon powder


  • Mix all ingredients in a bowl, shape cookies and lay them on a greased baking sheet or with parchment paper
  • Bake at 300°F for 20-30 min

Vagina Month is Here!

April is vagina month and here are a few tips from our amazing team of Naturopaths to keeping your vagina healthy.

1.  Yogurt and berriesEat 1 cup of plain yogurt everyday – Make sure the yogurt you are eating contains “live cultures”. These friendly bacteria help maintain the delicate ecosystem in your vaginal canal and can help prevent yeast infections and bacterial infections such as bacterial vaginosis. If you would like to sweeten your yogurt, try adding fruit or a bit of honey.

2. Maintain adequate vitamin D levels in your blood – Low levels of vitamin D are associated with a higher risk of bacterial vaginosis. This condition can be particularly harmful in pregnancy as it can cause pre-term labour. Even in non-pregnant women, it can increase the chances of becoming infected with sexually transmitted diseases, and can be quite unpleasant and difficult to treat. Take a daily vitamin D supplement (especially from October to April) and consider having your vitamin D levels checked occasionally to make sure you are taking the appropriate dose.

3. Use only water when cleaning “down there”- when functioning properly, your vagina is like a self-cleaning oven! While bathing, be sure to only use water when cleaning the vaginal area. Soaps can be irritating to the delicate skin and mucous membranes of the vagina and can throw off the pH of your vagina.

4. DocIf something seems off, seek help – If you notice a strange odour, or something seems off, it is best to seek professional help. Most vaginal infections are not yeast infections but rather bacterial infections. The naturopathic team at PhysioExcellence can assess your concern by checking the vaginal pH and doing a swab for culture to determine exactly what is going on. There are several natural treatment options for a variety of vaginal health concerns but it is important to get the proper diagnosis first.

Want more? Have questions? Call to book your Free 15 minutes consult.

Healthy Snacks for Kids!

For those of you who follow me on twitter: @physioexellence you know how enraged I have been at the boys’ soccer games in regards to the snacks parents are bringing…chocolates, mr. freeze, candy.  I asked Carole Ma, a naturopathic doctor what the best snacks are for kids playing in this heat.
Here is her reply:

 Soccer Snacks for Kids

When kids are running around for hours on the soccer field, their bodies are working hard.   After the game, they need food that will rehydrate, replenish, and repair.  Skip the “treats”, and truly reward them with your enthusiastic support and body building, nutrient-dense snacks!  C’mon, you wouldn’t put sludge in a high performance race care, would you?

Ongoing proper nutrition will keep them feeling energized on and off the field.  And when kids learn and develop the habit of healthy eating, you will have taught them an essential life skill that will benefit them in countless ways, for all the years to come.

For every hour of running around, kids need between 600 – 1200 mL of fluids. Ensure kids are well hydrated before and during the game. Dehydration can leave kids feeling fatigued, and also run the risk of heat-induced illnesses. And when sweating, the body is also losing precious electrolytes, so drinking water is not enough. Instead consider orange juice or coconut water, as both are rich in potassium, and other minerals. Coconut water is a popular drink in the warm tropics, and amongst athletes. Avoid drinks with added sugar, as they leave kids still feeling thirsty. Carbonated drinks can cause a stomach upset.

Snack idea:

  • Orange juice
  • Coconut water

With all the activity, the body uses up glucose and glucose stores (glycogen).  When blood glucose levels dip too low, a person can feel quite fatigued and even dizzy.  Replenish these levels with fresh fruit.  Oranges and bananas are especially high in potassium, a salt that is lost in sweat. Be sure to also bring along complex carbohydrates, which the body will convert to glucose in a gradual manner. Foods with added sugars need to be avoided, as they can lead to a quick
rise in blood sugar and then a crash. They can also suppress the appetite, so kids won’t feel like eating their next meal (which of course they need!).

Snack idea:

  • Fruit:  oranges, bananas, watermelon, grapes, berries
  • Complex carbs:  whole grain crackers, brown rice cakes, multigrain bagels, pretzels, popcorn

Those muscles, especially in the legs, have had a real work-out.  With strenuous exercise, muscle fibres break down, and then need to be repaired.  This is why protein-rich snacks are so important – they will provide the building blocks for repairing muscles.

Snack idea:

  • Hard-boiled eggs, cheese cubes (salt also helps rehydrate), soy nuts, plain   yogurt (mix in small amount of pure jam), bean dips (served with vegetables  which are also rich in potassium, whole grain crackers)
  • Nuts are usually banned from kids’ events, but they would otherwise make great protein choices.

Enjoy the game!

Learn more about Carole at