Skin Brushing

There has been so much debate about ‘detoxing’, and whether or not there are merits to this process. Some people have argued that our bodies naturally detox without the need for ingested herbs or special remedies. My belief is that, while our bodies do naturally release toxins, modern diets and lifestyles have added a lot more junk than our forefathers wrestled with, resulting in toxins that stay inside our bodies for longer than they should (or ever have historically.)

Simply put, our ancestors didn’t eat McDonald’s so please don’t appeal to me with an ancestral argument about what our bodies ‘naturally do.’

Like most people, I thought the best way to detox would be to drink lots of water and lemon juice to flush impurities out of my body, combined with a diet of fruits and vegetables. Maybe certain teas would aid the process, but, ultimately, my assumption was that detoxing required my ingestion of various healthy items. While a good diet is certainly beneficial, I was shocked to discover that skin brushing was one of the most effective ways to release toxins.

Think of it this way: your skin is your largest elimination organ. It releases a pound of waste each day and will be the first organ to show symptoms of imbalance or toxicity. Some people call the skin the third kidney because it releases a quarter of the toxins from the body (the lungs being the second.)

If skin is unable to release toxins, a person may experience rashes, acne, hives, itchiness, body odor, eczema, and psoriasis (and sometimes unpleasant body odour.) Dead skin, makeup, and pollution may clog pores, further inhibiting your skin from effectively letting the bad stuff out. When toxins are unable to escape through the skin they are stored in fat cells, contributing to cellulite and other fatty deposits, or they will be re-circulated back into the blood stream, overworking the poor kidneys, liver and other detox organs.

Thus, it would seem that something simple (and maybe a bit strange initially) can have a hugely positive impact on the health of your overall body.

  • tighter, more radiant skin
  • increased overall blood circulation and lymph flow
  • strengthened immune system
  • stimulation of nervous system
  • toning of muscles
  • improved digestion
  • eliminated dead skin cells
  • stimulated hormone and oil glands
  • reduced cellulite
For your skin-brushing purposes, select a brush that has natural fibre bristles and a long handle to reach your back. Initially, the bristles may feel too firm, but you skin will adjust over time. (Remember, it’s supposed to be stimulating. This is a mechanical process.)

How the process works
Brush your dry body before you shower or bathe, preferably in the morning. Be careful about brushing anywhere that you have a rash or cut. If you have sensitive skin, you can start with a dry towel instead of the brush. Use the dry towel to remove dead cells, then use the hot wet towel to stimulate and rejuvenate your skin and organs.

  1. Start at your feet and always brush toward your heart. Use brisk circular motions or long, even strokes.
  2. Brush all the way up your legs, then over your abdomen, buttocks, and back. If you have cellulite on your hips and thighs, you can concentrate on that area a little longer. Brush lightly on sensitive areas like breasts and more firmly on areas like soles of the feet.
  3. When you reach your arms, begin at your fingers and brush up your arms, toward your heart. Brush your shoulders and chest down, always toward your heart.
  4. Finish by taking a shower and if you choose, use cold/hot therapy to further stimulate the lymphatic system and improve circulation.
  5. Dry off and massage natural plant moisturizers into your skin such as almond, sesame, avocado, coconut, olive or cacoa butter.

Skin brushes are available at most natural food stores. Give it whirl today and let me know if it makes a difference in your life!

GE Monogram Terroir Awards

GE Monogram recently announced the first recipients for the inaugural GE Monogram Terroir Awards for Excellence in Hospitality.

The awards ceremony was held Monday, April 23rd, 2012, in the Oliver & Bonacini
Arcadian Court during the 6th annual Terroir Symposium entitled, The New Radicals.
Terroir, in partnership with GE Monogram, envisioned this program to foster merit and
creativity in Canada’s hospitality industry by allowing voters across the country to
nominate their peers in three categories – chef, beverage professional and front-of-house.

(Drumroll please...)

The winners for the first annual GE Monogram Terroir Awards for Excellence in
Hospitality are:
  • Chef: Ryan Crawford, chef, Stone Road Grille, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario
  • Beverage Professional: Will Predhomme, senior sommelier/senior manager, Canoe, Toronto, Ontario
  • Front-of-house: Virgilio Vea, food & beverage director, Langdon Hall Country House Hotel & Spa, Cambridge, Ontario
Eligibility for each award included merits such as having a minimum of five years of
industry experience, having contributed to the hospitality industry through education and
mentorship, and having supported sustainable initiatives by working with local producers
and businesses.

Congrats to the winners!

TC Media Launches FRESH JUICE, a New Healthy Living Media Brand

(From the press release)

TORONTO, Thursday, April 12, 2012 – Consumers on the hunt for a fresh approach to eating and living well with ease need look no further. FRESH JUICE – healthy made delicious, the new multi-platform brand by TC Media, has hit the market with a “fresh” approach to connecting food with good health through its various brand channels. FRESH JUICE will be served up as a print publication including a digital edition (six issues per year), an online destination ( with exclusive content, a weekly e-newsletter, a comprehensive social media platform including Facebook/FreshJuiceCA, Twitter (@FreshJuiceCA) and Pinterest.

Built on three content pillars, Eat Well, Be Well, Live Well and a tag line “Healthy Made Delicious”, FRESH JUICE offers fun, healthy and easy-to-prepare recipes; expert health, fitness and nutrition tips as well as time-savvy ways to help balance fun, family, finance and more.

“We are very excited to share FRESH JUICE with consumers and our advertising partners,” said Lynn Chambers, group publisher at TC Media. “We certainly appreciate how busy Canadian families are and FRESH JUICE is about helping people make the right decisions quickly and easily. FRESH JUICE is the only brand to showcase the link between food and good health, and bring that food straight from the grocery aisle to your kitchen table. Whether you’re looking for low-sodium or gluten free, we can help you navigate the grocery aisles and create a convenient meal option that is healthy and delicious.”

While TC Media owns the brand and is the publisher and content creator for FRESH JUICE, a distribution relationship with Loblaw Companies Limited guarantees that 325,000 of the 425,000 copies per issue will be mailed to Loblaw’s most loyal customers.

“FRESH JUICE allows us to connect with our loyal customers on a new educational and inspirational level,” added Uwe Stueckmann, senior vice president, Marketing, Loblaw Companies Limited. “We are providing unique health and recipe content, and clever ideas to further improve consumer’s health and wellness and their overall shopping experience.”

“Our affiliation with Loblaw makes sense on so many levels”, explained Chambers. “Loblaw has an opportunity to reward its customers and we have the invaluable opportunity to get this fabulous new brand into the hands of a highly targeted and engaged audience.”

FRESH JUICE- healthy made delicious hits the market at a special introductory price of $2.99 and will be available on most major newsstands across Canada. A full-year subscription to FRESH JUICE will cost $19.95 while the regular cover price will be $3.99.


Check out this awesome infographic about beef. It features tips and tricks about nutritional value, cuts of beef, selecting meat and why your butcher is your best friend.

My favourite part about being a meat reductionist is that I still get to relish in the umami, buttery texture of a good filet from time to time.

Beef Infographic

(Source: FrugalDad)

Revisiting Meat Reductionism

Sometimes if I haven't been blogging too actively, I find it fascinating to look at which posts continually see repeated visits. 

One particularly snarky post I wrote about other people's blogs is always at the top of the list. I challenged the urge to capture every single food experience by blogging and deemed it unhealthy. Another post that always sees repeat visitors is a little love note to rapini.

One of the posts I wrote (three years ago!) about 'meat reduction' still generates a comment every once in  a while. The idea of meat reductionism pleases people. As a practicing meat reductionist, I can attest that people in general social settings respond more positively to someone that eats 99% vegan than a 100% vegan. This topic came up recently with one of my commenters, Anne.

I liken veganism to feminism. In theory and practice they are both terrific ideas that benefit people, however, the label of calling yourself a vegan or a feminist can sometimes have a stigma associated with it. No, it shouldn't, but it does.

What do you think? Have you ever been harassed for self-identifying as a vegetarian? Do people roll their eyes at you?