What’s the story of Christmas oranges?

Oranges are simple offerings, healthy and invigorating snacks, and symbols of good fortune. How & why did the tradition of gifting holiday mandarins or oranges come about? 

It was mid-December and on our first night in Paris, the hotel concierge delivered a small, yet beautiful basket of delicious clementines* to our room. We were touched by this simple, elegant gesture, and it got me thinking about how this tradition came to be.

Turns out, we don’t just eat and gift mandarine oranges around Christmas because they are in season.  There is also a meaningful gift with cultural significance.

Oranges as a Holiday Tradition

The mandarin orange is an important symbol of the Chinese New Year. According to S & J Mandarine Grove, the citrus fruit is connected to the sun and aligned with Yang energy: the invigorating side of the well known Yin & Yang. The Yang brings happiness and light into our spirits and homes.

As such, oranges are simple, yet powerful gifts that offer recipients abundance, joy and wellbeing.

In Canadian and European holiday traditions, oranges are also link to the story of Saint Nicholas putting gold coins in children’s stockings. Eventually over time, the Chinese and Japanese traditions of giving mandarins throughout the holidays merged with the European story, standing in as a symbolic representation of gold coins and thus, good fortune. In fact, I still received oranges or citrus in the toe of my stocking each Christmas.

* What is the difference between oranges, mandarins, clementines and tangerines?

Mandarins are a type of orange that are usually less round have a mild flavour and a thinner peel. Tangerines and clementines are both mandarins, clementines are the smaller fruit and are usually seedless. Mandarins are in season from November until March.

Nutritional Facts

A basket of oranges isn’t just an elegant gift. Did you know that one orange can provide 130% of your vitamin C needs for the day!

What else are oranges good for? According to The World’s Healthiest Foods, the list is long.

Oranges / mandarins / clementines & tangerines…

  • Help keep cholesterol and blood pressure levels under control
  • Are high in Vitamin C, fiber, folate and vitamin B1
  • Rich in copper, potassium and calcium
  • Have healing phytonutrients which help lower blood pressure… not to mention they have strong anti-inflammatory properties!
  • Offer antioxidant protection and immune support
  • Help prevent cardiovascular disease
  • Prevention of kidney stones
  • Aid the absorption of iron
  • Support respiratory system and optimal health

If you aren’t craving an orange yet, check out this fun & delicious recipe inspired from Go Dairy Free for orange spice vegan pancakes!

Orange Spice Vegan Pancakes

  • 1 cup unbleached flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour. (Note: use coconut flour as alternative for gluten-free. Usually you need a bit less in quantity compared to normal flour.)
  • 3 scoops Arbonne Vegan Protein Powder – Chai or Vanilla flavour (I find the Meal Replacement powder performs better in pancakes, but both are good!)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ⅛ tsp nutmeg
  • 1 pinch ground cloves
  • 1½ cups orange juice, plus additional as needed
  • ¼ cup golden raisins (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  1. Whisk the flour, protein powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves together in a mixing bowl.
  2. Add the juice, raisins (if using), and zest, and stir until just combined. A few lumps are okay. If the batter becomes too thick to pour, whisk in a little more orange juice, as needed.
  3. Put 1/2 a tablespoon of coconut or avocado oil on a pan, and begin heating it on medium-high. When the skillet is hot, drop the batter by quarter-cupfuls and cook until the tops are beginning to bubble. Flip the pancakes and allow them to cook for a couple more minutes until the underside is golden. Repeat until all of the batter is used up!
  4. Serve immediately. Freeze leftovers and reheat in the toaster for a quick weekday breakfast.
  5. Feel free to add some other delicious toppings such as orange slices and cacao nibs!


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Are you interested in learning more about how whole foods can boost your health? Contact me about my Breakfast Club & 30 Day Healthy Living Program. These programs are designed to support your personal health goals and incorporate fresh foods and vegan products to improve your metabolism & boost your energy.

Another Holiday Gift Idea:

Thursday Theme: Nutrition

My Thursday Theme is Nutrition. Having a system me is better than a schedule.  My system of daily theming has been life-changing for me. But it is not just about being productive. It’s more about being happy, healthy, wealthy and nourished in mind, body, and spirit.

Nutrition is the focus of Thursday for a reason because, by Thursday, I often start running out of groceries, fresh ideas and the mental energy to cook. The week seems to have increased in speed. I am usually running around preparing for a weekend trip and/or trying to catch up on my (always) overly ambitious To Do list. As such, I forget to eat and then start crashing. Not good. And this is very common. So hence, the emphasis on nutrition for Thursday’s Theme.

This is the day to re-examine what I’ve been eating and make more conscious decisions when it comes to eating.

On Thursdays, I strive to be more like my dear friend Alana, who is always testing new recipes and makes the most nutritious AND delicious meals.

Thursday Theme Cookbooks

I am not a foodie. Although I enjoy good food, due to the athlete in me, I primarily eat for fuel and energy. As such, I will eat whatever is good for me despite how bland or awful it is. However, I have recently decided that life is too short to eat turmeric oatmeal and drink wheatgrass shots. (Sorry if turmeric oatmeal is your thing and you love it, but seriously, it’s totally unnecessary and wheatgrass is gross.)

My friend Alana Coates, a former journalist at the Montreal Gazette now living in London, UK, inspires me so much. Not just because she is a great writer, but because of the incredible meals she and her husband Alex casually throw together like this polenta bake with a ‘grilled romaine salad’ with roasted chickpeas Alana made seemingly without effort for lunch during our recent visit to London. Alana also bakes her own bread and actually uses her cookbooks. I, on the other hand, have many beautiful cookbooks I keep for the pretty photos, but have never used.

Do you use cookbooks? If so, what are your favourite?

Simple Plant-Based Food Plan

I decided to peace with the fact that I never use recipes unless I bake, which I almost never do. Instead, like with my weekly schedule, I created a system around food. I have detailed this system in another post (Click here to access my full Plant-Based Food Plan). In summary, the idea is to stick to a simple formula for meals like this one for lunch and dinner:

Lunch / Dinner Options:

  1. “Buddha” Bowl:  Grain (rice or quinoa) + 3-4 steamed veggies + protein (seeds, nuts, lentils, tofu, organic chicken, wild caught fish or egg)
  2. Soup or Stew: Lentil soup, vegetable bean soup, chicken vegetable (bone broths are good too)
  3. Salad (if you can digest): 1-2 leafy greens (romaine, endive, baby kale, spinach, arugula) + 3-4 veggies + protein

The question I often get from my clients is “Do I have to become vegetarian?”  The answer is No. However, everyone, self-included needs to eat more vegetables to keep our bodies alkaline (disease and inflammation can’t live in an alkaline environment), get more fiber and receive more vitamins and phytonutrients to help detoxify our system and optimize our vital functions.

My trainer Roberto Starnino is a rehabilitation specialist and he is known for recommending eight-nine cups of vegetables a day as a sure way to get the right amount of nutrients to rebuild your body and nourish your mind. At first, I thought he was nuts, but when I follow this rule of eight cups of veggies a day, I am way less likely to eat processed foods and also feel the difference energetically too!

Thursday Theme Questions:

  • How have I been eating this week and what can I do better?
  • Do I have a routine for eating?
  • Am I eating eight to nine cups of vegetables each day?
  • What food will give me more nutrition and more energy?
  • Am I eating foods that are fresh and in season?
  • How can I make eating more enjoyable?

Thursday Theme Actions:

  • Grocery shop for new fresh food or better, going to the farmer’s market;
  • Create a routine for meals: eat at the same time each day’
  • Clean out and reorganize the fridge/kitchen;
  • Practice good digestion;
  • Making a bigger effort to stay hydrated during the day;
  • Try new recipes and/or sign up for a cooking class;
  • Eat more vegetables in salads, fresh green juices, soups, stews and as snacks;
  • Dine with people you enjoy spending time with;
  • Focus on the presentation of food – lots of colors and making my food look and feel beautiful, even if I am only cooking for myself.


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My Mom’s Famous Granola Recipe

My mom’s granola recipe is somewhat legendary. Apart from a few variations, my mom has been making this same granola recipe since I was a little kid. It’s light and delicious for breakfast or as a snack. I use it to make my Vegan Chocolate Protein Balls and even blend it with my Vanilla Protein powder from Arbonne, fruit and nut milk for the Ultimate Breakfast Smoothie.

This granola recipe has never been published before by our family, but it was adopted from a recipe a book my mom cherished called Diet for a Smaller Planet by Frances Moore Lappé. (Published in 1971, the bestselling book is credited to be the first to note the environmental impact of meat production.) I asked my mom if I could share her version of the granola recipe now because it is a staple part of our picnic breakfasts during our annual Morning Yoga by the Lake. In anticipation of the upcoming sunrise retreat in August, I thought this recipe might be well appreciated.

Full disclosure: I have never actually made this granola myself.  My mom, Marta (a retired physical education teacher and now a yoga teacher and guide at the Museum of Fine Arts in Montreal), makes copious amounts of granola and generously gives large jars of it to my brother and I.  This said, my mom says it is easy to make.


Even our toddler, Koji, likes his Noona's Granola Recipe!

Even our toddler, Koji, likes his Noona’s Granola Recipe!

      • ½ – 3/4 cups Sweetener: Agave syrup or Maple syrup
      • ½ cups Coconut oil or grapeseed oil – healthy cooking oils with a high smoke point
      • 1 tbsp. Vanilla extract
      • ½ tsp. Sea Salt
      • ½ cup Sesame seeds – raw
      • 1 cup Pumpkin seeds – raw
      • 2 cups Coconut slivers – unsweetened
      • 7 cups Large rolled oats – could be gluten-free*
      • Optional: Cinnamon, Nuts, Raisins, Dried Cranberries and/or other small pieces of dried fruit.

*Oats are by nature gluten-free, but they are often grown with wheat and become cross-pollinated, which means that there could be some gluten compounds (a protein) in conventional oats. For celiac or people highly sensitive to gluten, it is therefore recommended to use certified gluten-free oats.


      1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees;
      2. In a large pot on the stove, heat oil, sweetener and vanilla until the mixture is thin;
      3. Turn stove off;
      4. Stir in the remaining ingredients in the order given. Make sure each ingredient is coated with the sweet mixture (except for the coconut and rolled oats which you will just have to mix in);
      5. Put the mix into a large baking dish and place in the middle rack of oven;
      6. The cereal will begin to toast in about 15 minutes;
      7. Once it has begun to brown, stir it every 10 minutes up to about 20 more minutes;
      8. Turn heat off and leave granola in oven to continue toasting with the door slightly open for an additional 45 mins;
      9. Check occasionally to ensure it is not scorching;
      10. Let cool on the counter.

How to enjoy my mom’s granola – Be creative!


Our picnic breakfasts post Morning Yoga by the Lake practice are really special and often features this granola! Fun to enjoy good, healthy food with people.

      • Enjoy with fruit, almond or coconut milk or with your favourite yogurt!
      • Add this granola into a trail mix of nuts and dried fruit for a snack
      • Blend it into a smoothie (you need a good blender for this)
      • Use it to make protein balls – Click here for a recipe!

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Daily Theming to Enhance Joy & Wellbeing

In an effort to enhance wellbeing and augment joy, I started to my implement daily theming into my 30 Day Healthy Living Program and into my own life. A year later, I am truly amazed at the effect this has had on my overall sense of fulfillment.


 Let's be honest, travel days are stressful. Because of these challenging moments, I set my creativity in motion and came up with a system for daily routines & daily theming no matter where we are in the world.

Let’s be honest, travel days are stressful. Because of these challenging moments, I set my creativity in motion and came up with a system for daily routines & daily theming no matter where we are in the world.

Being organized hasn’t come naturally to me. I am an entrepreneur working from home and from the road (read: no boss & no structure). I have always been resistant to any kind of routine and planning is still somewhat foreign to me.

These are the times when I want to yell at my husband or son, vent my grievances on social media and/or cry in the bathroom. To be truthful, I occasionally do this (especially the yelling, blaming and crying parts), but things are shifting.

Now that I am a parent and a spouse, I am increasingly aware that my time and my energy are no longer only my own. Every minute, every thought, every emotion and every action counts more than ever before.

This said I am making huge efforts to transform my fear, worry, and anger into curiosity. My yoga and meditation practice helps and so does understanding that it is more fun and energizing to become creative during difficult times rather than contravening and gloomy.

Enter my new daily routines and system of daily theming.

My System of Daily Theming

Having a system and a theme is better for me than a schedule.  Although not specifically about productivity, my system of daily theme is about personal development, and being happy, healthy and wealthy on all levels. This is about channeling my energy while improving my wellbeing and living intentionally.

Each day has a focus that provides inspiration to keep moving forward, especially when I don’t feel like it. Here’s how it goes:

SUNDAY – Quality Time, Reflect & Prepare

 Like on the calendar, I mentally start the week with Sunday – it’s like a pre-weekday for me. This is when I review and reflect upon what’s happened and where I’m at. I try to rest and take the day as easy as possible while having my eye on the week ahead. Grocery shopping and laundry may get done today as long as it doesn’t intervene with family time or the feeling of ease.

On Thursdays, I strive to be more like my dear friend Alana, who is always testing new recipes and makes the most nutritious AND delicious meals.

On Thursdays, I strive to be more like my dear friend Alana, who is always testing new recipes and makes the most nutritious AND delicious meals.

MONDAY – Mindset

I love Mondays in the same way I like the start of a new year. My energy is fresh and everything is open and possible. It’s a good time to start something new and get focused. This is the day when I would set an intention or focus for the week. Example:  being at ease, being patient, attracting abundance, connecting with people, embracing my faults, etc.

TUESDAY – Lifestyle Design

Lifestyle is about the way we live day to day. I think it is very important to consider this and make a conscious effort to improve how I am moving through each day. As my husband constantly reminds me, “This is our life. This is it. We have to be happy now, not someday.” So we talk about the trips we want to take and set ideas in motion. We light candles and maybe open the good bottle of champagne and find something to celebrate, even if it’s “just” Tuesday.

WEDNESDAY – Heart & Soul

Wednesday, Humpday, is the midpoint of the week, so to me, this is a good opportunity to check in and see if what I am feeling and what I am doing is aligned. I make a point to make gratitude a big part of this day. I may take time to write in my journal. I connect with a friend I have been thinking about for a while. I will try to spend some quiet time in the bath after Koji is asleep. I may also send thank you cards to clients, friends or family members just because.

THURSDAY – Food & Nutrition

Full disclosure, I am not a foodie per se. I enjoy good food, but I primarily eat for fuel and prioritize nutrition over taste. I often eat the same things over and over again. Because I want to enhance my appreciation for food and widen my perspective, I made Thursdays about food and nutrition. This gives me an excuse to try a new recipe from one of the beautiful cookbooks I seldom open or maybe do something different for meal time.

FRIDAY – Movement

Like most people, I tend to have more energy at the beginning of the week, so by Friday, I wouldn’t always feel like practicing yoga or working out. For this very reason, I made movement and fitness Friday’s focus. Fridays are often traveling days, so I make a big effort to doing something active no matter how small. Even walking around the airport during connections is better than sitting in the lounge, and 10 sun salutations first thing in the morning is something.


Saturday is a great day to do things that augment & restore positive energy and to spend quality time with friends and family. I try to close my work week on Friday, but I may use part of Saturday (during Koji’s nap) to wrap up some projects or work on something that brings me joy. Doing home redesign or improvements to improve the energy in our home could also be Saturday activity.

What also helps

Yoga is a huge part of my life. I also like to have themes or intentions for each practice. This helps me understand what I want out it.

Yoga is a huge part of my life. I also like to have themes or intentions for each practice. This helps me understand what I want out it.

In addition to daily theming, having daily rituals have really helped me streamline my energy, especially in the morning. {See my morning routine}

There are many interesting articles about how daily theming improves focus at work and helps you get things done. I recently read an article in Forbes Magazine about daily theming. Productivity strategist and author, Mike Vardy was interviewed about his methodology for success – click here to view the article. Along with a daily focus for tasks like Mondays are admin days, he recommends having a theme for the year. He chooses three words to embody his intentions for the year:

What words are going to be the waypoints or the measuring stick so when I’m choosing the projects that I want to pursue, when I’m deciding what conferences I’m going to attend, […] or what things are going to fuel my intentions going forward, I can look at these three words.”

I love this idea and this is exactly what I mean to do on a daily/weekly basis.

{Working on creating more content related to each specific day. Love to hear your ideas! Please comment below or email me!}

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Chocolate Protein Ball Recipe

This Chocolate Protein Ball Recipe is a life-saver when you are trying to cut sugar. They are so delicious and have become a favourite at home with my husband and Koji, among friends and also with my students! These Chocolate Protein Balls are also vegan, gluten-free, soy-free with no added sugar! Rich in antioxidants (cocoa) and healthy omega fats,  one of these makes a perfect snack or dessert.

Chocolate Protein Ball Recipe


Koji loves these Chocolate Protein Balls! They were my valentine gift to Koji, Arturo, and my friend Natalie.


  • 2 cups Granola – not sweet – just toasted oats and seeds basically
  • 4-5 scoops Chocolate Vegan Protein Powder from Arbonne International
  • 1/3 cup Almond butter or tahini
  • 1/32 cup Coconut oil 
  • 1/4 tsp  Himalayan Rock Salt or Sea Salt
  • 1/4 cup Raw Cocoa Nibs
  • 2 tbsp + 1/3 cup  Cocoa powder


  1. Prepare a medium-large mixing bowl, a plate, and a small bowl;
  2. Add 1/3 cup of cocoa powder to the small bowl. You will use these to dust the protein balls at the end;
  3. Using your (clean) hands, mix all the ingredients together (except 1/3 cup of Cocoa Powder) until sticky;
  4. Then roll into balls and roll each protein ball with cocoa powder  — This step is essential if you don’t want your protein balls to look like poop!
  5. Place the protein balls on a plate and let them harden in the in the fridge;
  6. Enjoy these little beauties with hot or iced tea.

*Why these ingredients?

Meet the superfoods!! Crazy high in nutrition and act like powerful multi-vitamins for the body. They are somewhat magical in nature.

Raw chocolate/cocoa

Rich in vitamins and minerals (magnesium, iron, flavonoids, phosphorous and calcium), raw cocoa is also high in antioxidants. So good for us. (Buy only organic and fair trade.  The commercial chocolate industry has one of the worst reputations for using child slavery in the world. In 2014, the International Labour Organization, commissioned by the UN, documented over 2 million children forced to work in inhumane conditions on cocoa farms in West Africa alone. Buying certified fair trade chocolate ensures that the labourers used in the cultivation and production of the chocolate were paid fair wages, worked in decent conditions and were of proper working age.)

Screen Shot 2018-06-08 at 10.44.18 PM

Vegan Protein power

Arbonne Essentials Protein Shake is fantastic. It is certified kosher, gluten-free, non-GMO, allergen-free and approved by the Banned Substance Control Bureau (BSCB). Per serving, it features 20 grams of easy to digest protein derived from peas, brown rice, and cranberries. (I know, who knew cranberries were full of protein?!) The Arbonne Protein also supplemented with 20 vitamins and minerals and has 14 grams of carbohydrates, 9 grams of sugar (less than sugar found in a green apple). I like it because it has a very smooth, creamy texture which is rare in protein powder.

Coconut Oil

Coconut Oil is arguably the healthiest fat on the planet and easy to digest. It has anti-inflammatory properties and contains healthy saturated fat that increases the good HDL cholesterol in the body. This is believed to be highly therapeutic for the heart and digestive system. The type of fats contained in coconut oil assimilate much quicker than other fats, so it can be more easily converted into energy and therefore, not really stored as fat. It is also antimicrobial and antifungal, so it can be used to treat Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) of the stomach, candida overgrowth, yeast infections, urinary tract infections as well as gum disease and tooth decay! (Dr. Axe, ND, has a great article on coconut oil on his website. Click here for more)

Good Salt

Himalayan Rock Salt has become very popular lately. It is pink in color and often sold in larger crystal form. Mined in  Punjab region of Pakistan, close to the Himalayas, this salt is considered the cleanest salt in the world and most beneficial because it has the highest mineral compounds. It contains 84 minerals and trace elements, including calcium, magnesium, potassium, copper and iron, all essential nutrients for your nervous system. This trace minerals also support the kidneys, help to regulate water metabolism in the body. You could say that Himalayan Salt is like the whole foods version of regular table salt. Sea salt is good too because it also contains are large range of other minerals beyond sodium. In this recipe, salt is used to enhance the sweet taste and balance the bitter flavour of the raw chocolate.


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RECIPE: Vegan French Toast

This recipe for vegan french toast is seriously amazing! It is an easy, no fuss recipe that is fancy enough for guests and good for Baby too.


Vegan French Toast –IMG_6459

  • 8 slices Gluten Free Muesli bread (I like the one from Canelle Boulangerie)
  • 1.5 cup Cashew Milk (or almond milk)
  • 2 tbsp Chia Seeds – ground
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 Banana – blended or mashed
  • Coconut Oil for frying up!

Topping –

  • Ontario Peaches – they are in season in late July & August! (Berries are good too)
  • Tahini
  • MapleSyrup


  1. There are two ways to make the vegan french toast batter: The quickest way is to blend the batter ingredients (milk, chia, cinnamon and banana) in blender making a smoothie of sorts. The second way is to mash the banana with a fork and then mix the milk, chia and cinnamon. The latter is kinda nice because you get these caramelized chunks of banana in the mix when you fry them;
  2. Let ‘batter’ sit for a bit for the chia to become gelatinous;
  3. Heat a frying pan on medium and let 1/2 tsp of coconut butter melt and begin to sizzle before adding the french toast;
  4. Dip both sides of the bread into the batter quickly otherwise it will become soggy and fall apart;
  5. Cook the french toast until both sides are golden brown;
  6. Serve with Chopped Ontario Peaches in the summer or berries, tahini & a little maple syrup – Note the bananas make them sweet already.

Where did the inspiration for this vegan french toast recipe come from? 

From almost-stale bread and my 11-month-old son Koji, who loves pancakes and pancake-like things. I make pancakes for Koji often. In fact, I am somewhat of a pancake queen. It’s my thing. For Koji, I often mash a banana into his pancake batter for a bit of sweetness. (Speaking from experience, maple syrup is both too sweet and too sticky to serve a baby.)

I decided to try the banana in this recipe as a way to liven up this vegan french toast batter and turned a regular Wednesday morning meal into a nice brunch. I also served this recipe for a bunch of guests at a lake house over the weekend and everyone loved them. 

Let me know if you give this vegan french toast recipe a try!



RECIPE: Black Bean Veggie Burger

This delicious, gluten-free, vegan black bean veggie burger recipe was curated by my dear friend Lauren Lobley of Delectable You and is inspired by my Lean Fit & Strong 30 Day Healthy Living Program.  These burgers are perfect vegetarian summer meal and uses Arbonne’s amazing carb-free vegan Daily Protein Boost powder*.

  • 1 scoop Arbonne Protein Boost powder*

    Arbonne's amazing carb free Daily Protein Boost = pure vegan, alkaline protein and no carbs

    Arbonne’s amazing carb free Daily Protein Boost = pure vegan, alkaline protein and no carbs. The Boost provides extra protein in this black bean veggie burger recipes and works well in other similar recipes.

  • 1/2 cup gluten free oats
  • 1/2 a red pepper, small diced
  • 1/4 a red onion, small diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil – first cold pressed is best!
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  • 2 15oz cans black beans, drained and rinsed – try to use organic BPA free black beans
  • 1 cup brown rice, cooked (or quinoa)

*In this Black Bean Veggie Burger, we are adding Arbonne’s Daily Protein Boost, an amazing vegan protein powder with only three ingredients: pea protein, rice protein, cranberry protein.


Preheat oven to 375

  1. Warm the oilve oil over medium heat. Add the red pepper, onion and garlic and sauté until tender (about 5 minutes).
  2. In a food processor, combine powder, oats, spices, sautéed peppers and onions and garlic, and black beans. Pulse until coarse.
  3.  Pour into a bowl and fold in the rice. Using a 1/2 cup measure, scoop out the burgers and flatten on a baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, rotate, and then bake another 15 minutes. Enjoy!
Notes & Tips
  • Instead of regular bread as bun, try cabbage or collard leaves for kapha, gluten-free bread for pitta and grilled portobello mushroom for vata.
  • For Kapha sensitivities – this recipe is ok in moderation, but add 2 scoops of protein instead of one and one 1/4 cup oats;
  • For Pitta sensitivities – omit chilli pepper and use fresh garlic instead of powdered;
  • For Vata sensitivities -omit or reduce chilli pepper and substitute black beans for cooked lentils (soak lentils over night before using); Vata has a hard time digesting beans.
  • The Arbonne Daily Protein Boost works well in all veggie burgers, alfredo style sauces and also in smoothies, pancakes and other baked goods because it has a neutral flavour. Note, according to Lauren, this protein powder has a tendency to neutralize sweet and salty taste, so you may need to compensate.


Simple plant-based food plan

We are 20 Days into our Lean, Fit & Strong online body & mind sculpting program and it is going great! This is the simple plant-based food plan I recommend for better health, weight management, faster metabolism, stronger digestion & more energy. (click here for more info on the next program)

Yasmin’s Simple Plant-Based Food Plan –  the main principles

It’s kind of a system. 

  1. Routine: 3 meals + 2 snacks + water & herbal tea = awesome for digestion & energy – Eating at the same time daily and limiting the variety of food you eat trains your body & digestive system.
  2. Choose whole foods vs packaged food: Fresh fruit & veggies, high quality first cold-pressed oils, seeds, super foods,
    whole grains (low or no gluten), lentils, organic eggs (& meat) –  Instead of counting calories, count nutrients!
  3. Plant-based: For good health, make 80-90% of your diet plant-based;
  4. Replace the following:
    • Dairy from cows (hard to metabolize) –> Goat & sheep milk / cheese (easier to digest), almond milk, coconut milk, rice cheese, etc.;
    • Wheat (inflammatory) –> Kamut, Quinoa, Rice;
    • White sugar (garbage for you) –>  Maple syrup, small amounts of dried fruit.
  5. Don’t drink calories unless you make the juice yourself (and even then dilute juice by half); Drink plenty of water, herbal tea between meals; (The occasional glass of wine or cup of coffee is ok as long as you don’t depend on it daily);
  6. Take time to eat: Focus & enjoy! This alone will solve 75% of your health issues.

Meal plan

{Please note: For a personalized program, book a private consultation with me. Insurance receipts issued under naturopathy.}

DAY START :  Have warm water or water at room temperature first thing in the morning. I usually add a scoop of Green Balance from Arbonne (greens + antioxidants) and lime juice to my water.

080a2d9b-0e13-4c8f-a5bf-03b2695e5dfeBREAKFAST PLAN
Smoothie : Vegan Protein powder* + Fibre Boost* + 1-2 fruits +  2 veggies + Almond or coconut milk (unsweetened) + water;
Warm cereal: Oatmeal (gluten-free) or quinoa + seeds + coconut oil + 1 fruit (berries);
Eggs (2-3 egg whites & 1 yolk) or scrambled tofu (sautéed in olive oil with garlic and/or onions, sea salt & turmeric) + black beans or lentils + 2 veggies.
* I recommend the protein and fibre from Arbonne. The products are fantastic. Shop now



Lunch Bowl:  Grain (rice or quinoa) + 3-4 steamed veggies + protein (seeds, nuts, lentils, tofu, organic chicken, wild caught fish or egg)
Soup or Stew: Lentil soup, vegetable bean soup, chicken vegetable (bone broths are good too)
Salad (if you can digest): 1-2 leafy greens (baby kale, spinach, arugula) + 3-4 veggies + protein


7e8a82ca-4634-4908-b776-21db7732f546DINNER PLAN
Keep it light  See lunch suggestions, but keep it light and finish eating by 8pm latest.
Plant based Make sure that two out of three meals are vegetarian. (Animal protein should represent only a small portion of your daily consumption.)


Super Food Trailmix : Walnuts, Almonds, Pumpkin seeds, Sunflower seeds, Goji berries, coconut, raw cocoa nibs, etc.c17ef93e-d1d4-45c4-aba8-a647bc8da0d8
Veggies & hummus
Organic Dark Chocolate:  70-80%
Fruit: Apple, berries, Sweet Orange, Grapes (max 2-3 fruit a day)
Arbonne Protein Powder with water – so quick & tastely – nice texture
Arbonne Protein Snack Bars – 
10g of protein, only 5g of sugar, vegan & gluten-free




30 Day Healthy Living Program for Optimum Wellbeing

The 30 Day Healthy Living Program I have curated has been life changing for me and I love creating content for it.

Designing these 30 Day Programs gives me opportunity to blend all of my knowledge and passions into an incredible online program. It was not and is not intended to be a boot camp or weigh loss program. My 30 Day Healthy Living Program are meant to be a gradual and sustainable integration into healthy habits to last a life time. And from the feedback (see some testimonials below), people got a lot of out it. I am thrilled.

Ayurveda is the oldest medical system in the world. Participants received a personalized program, meal suggestions, tips for improving digestion & boosting immunity.

Ayurveda is the oldest medical system in the world. Participants received a personalized program, meal suggestions, tips for improving digestion & boosting immunity.

30 Day Healthy Living Program Design

The program began with a private ayurvedic consultation with each participant. We discussed goals, challenges and ways to improve individual concerns such as digestive issues, poor sleep, low motivation, etc. I then created a customized nutrition and lifestyle program for each individual.

The bulk of the program consisted of daily lessons emailed to participants every morning at 6am.  These lessons covered a variety of topics: letting go, gratitude, why practice yoga, movement, tips for better digestion, smoothie recipes and how to benefit the most from the Arbonne nutrition products included in the Healthy Living program.

The weeks were structured in the following way with practices to complement each theme:

  • MONDAY – Mindset
  • TUESDAY – Lifestyle
  • WEDNESDAY – Heart & Soul

    Heart & Soul practices included Gratitude journal, Letting go exercises, meditation and ayurvedic self-massage. Guided instruction available as download.

    Heart & Soul practices included Gratitude journal, Letting go exercises, meditation and ayurvedic self-massage. Guided instruction available as download.

  • THURSDAY – Nourishment
  • FRIDAY – Movement
  • SATURDAY – Energy
  • SUNDAY – Review

In addition to the daily lessons, we had (have) a private Healthy Living Facebook Group where participants could share ideas, cheer each other on and I could post additional supporting materials. The Facebook group is still live and you are welcome to join this group for free!

We are starting the 30 Day Healthy Living Program again, but this time with a twist! The theme of the upcoming spring program is Lean, Fit & Strong: Body + Mind Sculpting.

Learn more

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The last week of the Healthy Living program, we went through the chakras. For the heart, participants were asked to “write themselves a love letter.”


Testimonials from past participants:

Thank you so very much for creating this wonderful Healthy Living program.  It is clear you put so much thought and care into it.  Hearing from you every morning, helped to keep me on track.  I wasn’t always perfect… but I persisted.  My energy levels have improved so much.  By day 15, I no longer woke up in a fog, for the first time in many years.  With renewed energy, I feel that I will be able to move forward towards some of my other goals- ie weight loss, career, etc.

 Jackie Miller


I am down 9 lbs. and feeling great! My stomach/digestive system are thanking me! I have been inspired to cook healthier recipes, read my spiritual books and do more yoga and meditation. A BIG thank you to Yasmin Fudakowska-Gow for all her kindness, wisdom, inspiration and knowledge that she has shared with us. It is a great program that covers the mind, body and soul…can’t ask for more than that. All we have learned can be carried forward in our journey to be healthier and happier! I still have lots to do but feeling so much better.

Patti Kowaleski Hall


The great thing about doing this 30 day healthy living program for myself is how comprehensive it has been. It is not just about diet, but also encompassed the physical, meditative, creative, and spiritual aspects of change. I have found it to be a truly holistic approach to change, and because of this I think much more likely to be successful at producing lasting personal transformation. We all want to change, to evolve into our true selves, and this personalized program provides a stable, holistic platform from which to do so. Thank you, Yasmin!  

Bruce Chase Dunn



Super Smoothie Recipes

I admit I am not a breakfast person, so smoothies are a great way to enjoy lots of fresh produce, good fats and super foods in one delicious easy to go meal. I post my Super Smoothie Recipes on Instagram, #yysmoothies. Here are some of my favourite nutrient dense smoothies:

TIP:  It’s all about the blender.  You’ll see below that I often add veggies and other tough things to blend, but if you invest in the right blender, it makes everything creamy and smooth!


Gentle Green Low Carb Smoothie :  Simple yet fantastic! 

  • Romaine Lettuce – 4-5 branches
  • Zucchini – 1 small
  • Pear – 1/2 – 1
  • Green Apple – 1/2
  • Celery – 2 sticks
  • Daily Protein Boost from Arbonne *
  • Almondmilk – unsweetened – 1 cup
  • Cinnamon – just to taste

* I am thrilled with this new Daily Protein Boost from Arbonne! It has a neutral flavour and a smooth, creamy texture. Just three ingredients: pea protein, rice protein & cranberry protein!  (Only available in the US for now…)


IMG_7685Deep Red Super Smoothie Reciperich in antioxidants & delicious!  

  • Beet – sweet & raw – 1 medium sized
  • Blueberries  ~ 2/3 cup of frozen or fresh
  • Acai berry powder – 1 tbsp (I use the one from Organic Traditions)
  • Banana – 1
  • Avocado – 1/4 – 1/2 ripe avocado
  • Lemon – wedge with peel (make sure to wash it well first!)
  • Cultured Coconut Yogurt – plain
  • Chia seeds – 1 tsp
  • Cocaopowder – optional
  • Vanilla or chocolate vegan protein powder from Arbonne*
    +  Add about 1 cup of water or almond/ coconut milk to blend

* I love this protein. It has a smooth texture and great taste even when it is just mixed with water!  (No soy. No whey.) 



IMG_6693Best Ever Green Power SmoothieNut free and insanely good! 

  • Organic Baby Kale – big handful
  • Zucchini  – 1/2
  • Mint – 2-3 sprigs (no stems)
  • Parsley – handful
  • Fennel Greens – from one fennel
  • Ginger – small piece
  • Avocado – 1/2
  • GojiBerries – 1/2 cup soaked in water ~ at least 1 hour before (I soak mine over night)
  • Pear – 1
  • Coconut Milk – 1/2 cup
  • Tahini – 1 tbsp
  • Arbonne Greens Balance* – 1 scoop
  • VeganProteinPowder Vanilla by Arbonne – 1 – 1/2 scoops
  • Raw honey (optional) – just a drop

I am a serious fan of the Arbonne Greens Balance powder because it’s not just greens. It has yellows (pumpkin, carrot, mango, etc.), reds (beet, pomegranate, acerola berry, etc.), blues (concord grape, elderberry, blueberry, etc.) as well as chia, flax and quinoa. We start every morning with our greens! If it’s not in our smoothie, we just blend it with water!




Dark Mocha Coco Super Smoothie : Crazy good and energizing! I think this one is my all time favourite.

  • Goji berries – 1/2 cup (pre-soaked and soft – use the water too)
  • Blueberries – 2/3 cup (frozen ok)
  • Banana – 1
  • Coconut oil – 1 tsp – 1 tbsp
  • Coconut flakes – 1 tbsp (or more)
  • Maca – 1 tsp (I use the one from Vega)
  • Raw cacao nibs  – 1/4 cup
  • Chocolate vegan protein power from Arbonne – 1 – 1/2 scoops
  • Espresso – 1/2 – 1 sachet of the micro powder from Oregano Gold *

* If you or someone you know is a rep for Oregano Gold, please get in touch with me. My former rep is MIA and I miss my coffee!  Thank you!



IMG_2322Punk Super Smoothie for Immunity – It has kind of a cremesicle vibe to it!

  • Mango – 1/2 a fruit
  • Carrot – 1-2
  • Banana – 1
  • Chia seeds – 1 tsp
  • Turmeric – 1/4-1/2 tsp
  • Ginger – tiny piece
  • Tahini – 1 tsp – 1 tbsp
  • Vanilla vegan protein power from Arbonne – 1 – 1/2 scoops
  • Ashwaghanda powder – 1/2 tsp *
  • Almond milk or other non-dairy milk to blend ~ 1.5 cups


* Ashwaghanda is a powerful, yet gentle ayurvedic herb that is high in antioxidants and vitamin C and yet, it non-acidic and easy on the stomach. It’s easy to find in most health food stores. 

If you enjoyed this post, I believe you will love my Super Smoothie Workshop on Sunday June 12, 3-5pm at Loft108 in Old Montreal. I will offer lots of tips and tricks and of course, you’ll get to taste everything! Click here for details and to register.


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