Elegantly Eco

Eco-Friendly Beauty, Fashion, Reviews, and Info

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Spotlight on: Joy McCarthy, Holistic Nutritionist

I have read and loved Joy McCarthy’s book: Joyous Health – Eat & Live Well without Dieting. It has a wealth of information I think everyone should know. You can read my book review here. Joy is a Holistic Nutritionist and the Health Expert to Global TV’s The Morning Show. I recently met her at the Total Health Show and she is such a lovely person. Read more about Joy on her website’s About Page. I asked if Joy would allow me to interview her for my blog and she agreed. Here is the interview below. I hope you enjoy it!

    I’ve been reading via social media that you’re working on a new book called Joyous Detox. How many months of work does it take to get a book published?

     Yes! I’m super excited about my second book Joyous Detox. My manuscript is actually due at the end of August, so I’m just putting the final touches on it now. It takes me a couple of years. First I come up with the concept, create an outline and then discuss it with my editor/publisher. Then I start writing. I started writing Joyous Detox last year and it will be published in 2017. I’m already thinking about book 3 and it will definitely have a joyous baby theme. 🙂

    I’m a real believer in people taking charge of their health. Do you think the average person is becoming more aware of how proper nutrition can prevent many health issues?

     Yes most definitely. I know this just based on how my blog traffic has grown over the years…also based on holistic nutrition being on mainstream TV.

    Your journey as a holistic nutritionist is a fascinating one. (Read about it here.) Do you ever look back and wonder what your life would have been like if you didn’t follow this path?

     For sure. I know that if I never followed my true passion I would still be working in a marketing job in an office and feeling completely unfulfilled. Feeling unfulfilled in one aspect of your life can unfortunately affect all other areas of your life. Following my dreams brought so much unexpected goodness into my life, including my husband Walker who is now my full-time business partner for almost two years now. I don’t look back often, but when I do it’s really motivating to see how far I’ve come both personally and professionally.

    What are your favourite personal care products?

     I love dry skin brushing, I do it every day. My growing baby in my belly loves it too! For shampoo I love Rahua. It’s a little pricey so I don’t use it every time I wash, just every other wash but along with eating protein and good fat, it keeps my hair shiny! I also use my own Joyous Natural Deodorant, body butta on my legs after shaving and I use my belly bump butta every day on my growing belly. So far…no stretch marks! Fingers crossed. I love lipstick and lipgloss and I’m totally addicted to the Ilia line. They have such pretty colours and they are a clean brand. Everything my husband and I use on our body and in our home for cleaning is as clean and toxin-free as possible. I feel good knowing that anything that flushes down the sink from facewash to toothpaste is not harming the environment. This is important to me.

    What one product or ingredient would you never ever use and why?

     Sadly, most mainstream products made by Uniliver, P&G and the like do not seem to care about the environment or the health of people. So I avoid brands like Dove, Johnson and Johnson etc. There is more than one ingredient I avoid, in fact there are multiple ingredients. So I just make sure that I read my labels of everything and only use products with ingredients I know.

    Congratulations on your pregnancy! Do you think your next book will be called Joyous Pregnancy? And where do you see Joyous Health going in the future?

     My third book will definitely be something baby/pregnancy related. I’ve had an enjoyable pregnancy and I know much of this is because of my health before getting pregnant. As for Joyous Health, I will continue doing what I love – speaking and writing. As well, I will continue to develop new offerings on the website from ebooks to natural personal care products. Thanks so much for the interview. Really great questions!

My thanks to Joy McCarthy for taking time out of her busy schedule to answer these questions. I know I’m definitely looking forward to reading Joy’s next book when it comes out. You can follow Joy on her website Joyous Health as well as on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest!


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Book Review: The Food Babe Way by Vani Hari


About the Author:

Vani Hari is a food activist and the creator of FoodBabe.com. In her work, Hari has influenced how food giants like Kraft, Subway, Chipotle, Chick-fil-A, and Starbucks create their products, steering them toward more healthful policies. For most of her life, Vani Hari ate whatever she wanted — candy, soda, fast food, processed food – until her typical American diet landed her where that diet typically does, in a hospital. It was then that Hari decided to make health her number one priority. Her newfound goal drove her to investigate what is really in our food, how it is grown, and what chemicals are used in its production. The more she learned, and the more lessons she put into action, the better she felt. Eager to share the truth about harmful ingredients as well as the secrets of her healthy lifestyle with friends and family,
Excerpt from The Food Babe Way, Author page

Book Review:

Well there’s a lot to talk about in this book so let’s get started. Part I of the book deals with Vani Hari’s story and also how she came to start investigating food ingredients. She has a list of chemicals to avoid which she calls the “Sickening 15”. These chemicals commonly found in processed foods are called obsegens. I did a quick search on google and the term does actually exist. However, since I’m not a scientist I cannot say how accurate her information in the book is. Hari has lately been attacked by some in the scientific community that call her a fearmonger and scientifically illiterate. I’m not here to debate whether she is or not, as it would take an awful lot of time for me to research each of her claims. But the good food habits she lays out in Part II of the book make sense to me. For example, many people drink lemon water in the morning as a way to do a light detox every day. Also, drinking juiced fruits and vegetables are certainly known to improve health by getting more nutrients into your body. I’ve also tried Hari’s advice about not drinking during meals. That has definitely helped with my digestive processes. I like her advice to eat meat like a condiment instead of making it the main attraction of a meal. So there are still some valuable things for me to take away from this book. Part III contains all the recipes and eating plans. The recipes are healthy and common dishes that you can also find some variation of on the internet for free. For the eating plan I would actually flip things around. She has the heaviest meal at dinner time and I actually like my heaviest meals to be breakfast and lunch. I need more fuel during the day when I’m out and about at work, whereas at night time I’m usually just relaxing. Also her guidelines for how to eat while traveling or dining out make a lot of sense but what if you are in an area where there you cannot get organic foods easily? I’m not willing to load down half of my luggage with food just because of that. I would personally make take the healthiest options available and then go back to eating organic when I get home. Hari’s way of eating seems very restrictive in some ways. It worked for her and that’s great. But it might not work for everyone. I actually bought a paper copy of the book to use as a reference but going through it now, I think I may actually return it. The book is also available at my local library so I don’t think I need a personal copy on my bookshelf. To be honest, I’m a little disappointed in this book because a lot of her advice has already been talked about and published by many other authors.

Rating: 3/5

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Free Thought Fridays: 8 Tips on How to Juice Effectively


Ever since I got the Earth Diet book and started juicing I noticed some wonderful health benefits. I feel more energetic, my mind feels clearer, and my body feels cleaner. My skin and hair have improved too. My hair is thicker and my skin has a better texture and tone. I would encourage anyone who is contemplating juicing to do a little bit of research first however. I actually bought my juicer before doing much research and I didn’t fully realize the differences between the juicing machines. Once my current juicer burns out (a centrifugal juicer) I’ll get the kind that I want. Below are some things for you to think about if you want to try juicing.

1. Buy a juicer that fits your needs

What is more important to you? Quality, quantity, or cost? If you’re on a budget, the cheapest juicers are the centrifugal juicers. If you want high quality juice then perhaps a masticating juicer would fit your needs. If you want to squeeze the most juice out of your produce then a hydraulic press juicer would work best. Each type of juicer has its pros and cons. For example, centrifugal juicers are low cost but noisy and not completely efficient at getting all the juice out of your produce. Masticating (single gear) and triturating (twin gear) juicers are more expensive and take longer to extract juice. But they are also quieter and more efficient at extracting juice. The hydraulic press juicers are the most expensive of all (e.g. $2,000+) and works slowly as well, but produces the best quality juice that can be stored for longer periods of time. So think long and hard about what is important to you. Just as a general guideline, if you are a beginner you should start with the most affordable juicer. Then if you decide you want to become serious about juicing you can get a more expensive juicer later on. Read up on the different types of juicers here.

2. If you have time, juice once a day

It’s a good idea to drink fresh juice, especially if you have a centrifugal juicer which produces lower quality juice. The benefit of juicing is that your body can absorb the nutrients much quicker since the fibre is absent. But at the same time, the nutrients and enzymes in juice oxidize quicker once in liquid form. The optimal time to drink your juice is as soon as you make it. But if you don’t have time to juice every day, you can also juice once or twice a week and freeze your juice. Thaw the juice a day before you want to drink it. The nutrient value in frozen juice will not be 100% but at least you will still get a lot more nutrients into your body than if you were to try to eat all the produce you’ve used to make the juice.

3. Store your juices in an airtight mason jar

Having an airtight mason jar can help preserve the nutrients in a green juice. It prevents oxidization as well. More tips on how to store your juice. I like to make large batches of juice on the weekends and then freeze them immediately. Some juice snobs may sniff at this and chide me, but until I get a better juicer this is what I will be doing to keep my juice fresh. I find the frozen juice tastes almost as great as the fresh juice and I still get to experience the health benefits from juicing.

4. Juice leafy greens first, then soft fruit, then hard veggies and fruits

When I first got a juicer I just threw them in without any order. Using a centrifugal juicer, I found a lot of the produce was coming out in the pulp almost whole and not fully “juiced”. Then I read Vani Hari’s book which said the leafy greens should go first, then soft fruit and lastly hard fruit and veggies. The harder veggies and fruits will push the softer items through the juicer. Since then, my pulp doesn’t contain whole pieces of produce that didn’t get through. From The Food Babe Way by Vani Hari.

This is the kind of juicer I have. A Hamilton Beach Big Mouth Juicer. It’s a centrifugal juicer.

5. Don’t use more than 1 high sugar fruit per juice

Some fruits like pineapple and mango are very high in sugar. Although it’s a natural sugar it’s still a good idea to limit those fruits to one per juice. For example, you can do: kale, apple, ginger, lemon and carrot. The sweetness of the apple and carrot are balanced out by the rest of the ingredients. Here’s a very useful list of low sugar fruits. Plus an article on low sugar vegetables, fruits and what fresh juice does to your blood sugar.

6. Drink your juice on an empty stomach

The best way for your body to absorb the nutrients of juice is on an empty stomach. If you eat something before having juice you may experience stomach upset. If you want to eat food soon after having juice, Food Babe advises to wait at least 20 minutes. I have waited about 30 minutes before having solid food and not experienced any problems when I do this. Reasons why to have juice on an empty stomach.

7. You don’t need to use a recipe book

The great thing about juicing is that you can just go with the flow and follow the tastes you or your family like. Like it a little spicy? Add some ginger or garlic which adds a little zing to the juice. Recipes are good if you’re a newbie to juicing and want to focus on a certain goal like boosting your immune system or losing weight. But otherwise don’t feel you need to have a recipe book to start juicing. You can find tons of free juice recipes online and then change them to your tastes. I agree with the intuitive eating theory that the body knows what nutrients it needs. If you find yourself craving something then as Liana Werner-Gray says in the Earth Diet book, give in to that craving but get the most natural version of that craving that’s possible. Want some kale or broccoli but don’t like the taste? Juice them with some apple or carrots to help mask the tastes you don’t like.

8. If you want to do a long juice cleanse, make sure you speak to a nutritional expert

A lot of people jump on the juicing bandwagon very quickly. While I applaud that enthusiasm, you have to realize that if you’ve been eating junk food most of your life then doing something drastic like a juice cleanse will cause some major detoxing symptoms. I don’t know anyone who would want to feel lousy while trying to get healthy. Before you leap into a juice cleanse, take a look at your eating habits. If you don’t eat healthy then start to gradually eat better. You can always do a juice cleanse later on. Then before you do the actual juice cleanse, get a physical to make sure your body can handle it. If you will be doing a long juice cleanse (e.g. more than a week) then speak to a nutritional expert. You want to make sure that you’re not depriving your body of essential nutrients. Juice cleanses should be tailored to each person’s specific needs and body issues.

Some great resources on juicing:

Joyous Health

The Food Babe Way – Vani Hari

The Earth Diet – Liana Werner-Gray

Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead (a Joe Cross film – documentary movie)

More articles on juicing:

Juicing Basics – Juice for Health

Juicer types – Huffington Post

6 Things to consider before buying a juicer – Summer Tomato

Juicer Buying Guide – Reboot with Joe (He was the star of Fat Sick & Nearly Dead)

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Book Review: The Earth Diet by Liana Werner-Gray


About the Author:

Liana Werner-Gray was raised in outback Australia, Alice Springs. She is an advocate for natural healing using a healthy diet and lifestyle. After healing herself of many negative health conditions including a pre-cancerous tumor, digestive issues and disorderly eating through embracing a natural lifestyle, Werner-Gray began lecturing and teaching about The Earth Diet internationally. The Earth Diet was published by Hay House in October 28th 2014. As the founder and owner of The Earth Diet, Liana directs a team that helps people all over the world find recipes that work for them. Through her company, she has helped thousands of people improve, and in some cases even entirely heal, conditions such as cancer, diabetes, addictions, depression, acne, heart disease, obesity, and more. Listen to her radio show on Hay House Radio here.
Excerpted from The Earth Diet About page

Book Review:

The Earth Diet starts off with an introduction to Liana’s story. She had not been eating well after living on her own for the first time and as a result of unhealthy eating, a pre-cancerous tumor developed in her neck. Doctors gave her the options of waiting, getting surgery to remove the tumor or getting radiation. She was only 21 years old at that time and decided to do her own research to heal her body naturally. To satisfy her junk food cravings she created healthy alternative recipes for things like chocolate, hamburgers, pizza and chips. After three months of adopting a natural lifestyle, the tumour in her throat disappeared. In 2012 Liana’s mother was diagnosed with cancer. She was determined to help her mother heal herself and developed a program which included daily juicing, and meals made from The Earth Diet recipes. Her mother has now been cancer free for three years.

Part 1 of the book explains The Earth Diet principles. The first chapter continues with the basics. On page 6 and 7 you will find the Do’s and Don’ts. It really makes a lot of sense if you read these lists. Liana also explains why processed foods and GMOs are bad for us. Chapter 2 talks about self-healing: what it is, self-healing strategies, how to manage detox symptoms, and taking it one day at a time. Chapter 3 is about The Earth Diet lifestyle: choosing what is right for you, making your own meals, positive thinking, how to eat on a budget, and the issue of body care products. There are some DIY personal care recipes at the end of this chapter for things like: toothpaste, natural perfume, lotions, hair treatments, etc. Cleaning products and dangerous household and body care products are also addressed in this chapter. Chapter 4 deals with how to use the recipes, meal planning, and equipment. Chapter 5 lists all the things you might need in your pantry to make The Earth Diet recipes. Chapter 6 helps those who are ready to begin with The Earth Diet: cleaning out your cupboards, how to transition and what to do when you’re ready to go deeper. Part 2 of the book contains the recipes. There are recipes on juicing, making milks, smoothies, teas, raw vegan main dishes, cooked vegan dishes, Meat eater’s dishes, condiments and desserts. The Part 3 of the book contains The Earth Diet guides. So for example if you are looking to loose weight there is a guide for what to eat, drink, etc with that goal in mind. There is also a clear skin guide and a meat eater’s guide as well.

I’ve tried several of the recipes in this book and so far I have really loved them. I have a real sweet tooth and I’ve struggled for years with this as I grew up on junk food chocolate. See my post on The Benefits of Raw Chocolate for more details. So when I read in this book that I could still have a raw chocolate or something sweet every day I was really happy. I agree with Liana that when we deprive ourselves of things it just makes the problem worse. I love that The Earth Diet is so flexible. I had been a vegan at one point in my life and I got extremely sick. So I went back to eating meat though I upgraded to organic meat. I would like to become vegan again but I’m not sure if it’s possible for me. I’m going to see how my body feels as I decrease the amount of meat I eat. Intuitive eating is a really hot buzz word lately and that also makes a lot of sense to me. We often don’t credit our bodies with the intelligence it actually has. Your body often knows what it needs before you do, if you don’t get the signals mixed up. For example, Liana explained that we are able to eat so much junk food because there isn’t much nutrition in it. Then your body signals you to eat more to fill those nutritional gaps. But eating more junk food doesn’t help because junk food doesn’t nourish your body. I also didn’t realize that gluten is actually hard for anyone to digest! Check out Wellness Mama’s podcast on How to Know If You Have Gluten Sensitivity and her blog post on Why Gluten Isn’t a Food Group. I’ve cut out gluten for about two weeks now and am feeling really great. I also find that my body really likes the fresh green juices. I hope to get a juicer soon so I can make my own juices at home. Just a note: by juice I’m talking about homemade organic juice from fruits and vegetables, not the store bought kind which contains preservatives and lots of sugar. Anyway, I am really enjoying my Earth Diet journey and I will continue doing this. This is a lifestyle I know I can stick with.

Rating: 5/5

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Free Thought Fridays: The benefits of raw chocolate



Have you ever heard of raw chocolate? You may be wondering what it is. Well, raw chocolate comes from cacao beans that haven’t been roasted. Raw chocolate is full of anti-oxidants and minerals that your body needs like magnesium, chromium and iron. It’s also high in Vitamin C which might seem counter intuitive since we are taught to think that only citrus fruits are high in Vitamin C. Depending on where the cacao comes from it may have undertones of caramel, coffee, or even floral undertones. It sounds much like a fine wine, which makes sense if you think about it. On a side note, this idea is called terroir (from the french word terre “land”) and is loosely translated as “sense of place.”

Personal Experience

I used to be able to eat a whole bar of what I call junk food chocolate which is highly processed and full of preservatives and other chemicals. I would crave a taste of junk food chocolate every single day! Brands like Hershey, Nestle and Cadbury were what I ate growing up. Since I started eating raw chocolate I have fewer intense chocolate cravings. Now I just have a half inch square when I feel like it. What a big difference for me, going from a whole bar of junk food chocolate almost every day to a small square three times a week. I’m sure that as I continue on my clean eating adventure the cravings will decrease even more.

What kind to buy?

In my opinion, the best raw chocolate is non-GMO, organic and free trade. You might wonder why free trade is important to me. Watch this YouTube video below on Ivory Coast cacao farmers and you’ll understand. It saddens me that the average Ivory Coast cacao farmer can’t even afford to buy a chocolate bar! Fair trade chocolate ensures that farmers like these are paid fair wages so that they can support themselves and their families. I choose non-GMO, organic chocolate in order to reduce the toxic burden my body has to carry. I don’t want to be eating chocolate full of pesticides or is a GMO product. Read more about the effects of GMO’s on the body here.

Where to buy?

My favourite Canadian sources of raw chocolate are Chocosol Traders and Giddy Yo Yo. I’ve also heard good things about Raw Chocolate Man which is available in the USA, but I haven’t tried it yet.

Have you ever tried raw chocolate? If yes, what are your favourite brands?

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DIY: Chia Pudding

Chia pudding is getting really popular in the healthy eating community these days. It makes sense if you think about it. It’s easy and fast to make and lasts in the fridge for a good amount of time. I like to make this in a batch big enough to last me for a week. I stir all the ingredients together and leave it to soak overnight so that in the morning I just need to put it in my container with the desired toppings and then go.


½ cup chia seeds

2 cups unsweetened non-dairy milk (almond, hazelnut, coconut, hempseed, etc.)

3 tablespoons of honey, coconut nectar, maple syrup or other sweetener of your choice

1 teaspoon vanilla extract or ground vanilla

Serves 10


Soak chia seeds in non-dairy milk for at least one hour. It can also be soaked in the fridge overnight. Then mix it in with the soaked chia seeds. When you’re ready to eat it, place the topping of your choice. Some suggestions would be: nuts, seeds, raisins, goji berries, etc. This can also be eaten as a breakfast pudding or in place of oatmeal. Keeps in the fridge for one week.

Modified from: Oh She Glows

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@totalhealthshow Haul

Well I seem to be a glutton for events lately. The Green Living Show, Yoga Conference and Total Health Show were all within the past two months. I’m on this real health kick and I want to make it last this time. So I’m getting myself healthy foods.

Giddy Yo Yo, Raw Chaga

Wow these guys are everywhere. I tried their chaga tea at the Yoga Conference before my class and I’m not sure if it was the chaga but I was supercharged for that class. So when I heard they were going to be at the Total Health Show I had to buy a bag of their chaga to see what health benefits regular use would get me. Chaga is a medicinal mushroom with some impressive health benefits. See list below taken from the Giddy Yo Yo website.

Ingesting GY CHAGA tea and/or GY CHAGA EXTRACT may:

  • Protecting cell components against free radicals and DNA degradation.
  • Increase longevity by slowing the aging process.
  • Improve the blood.
  • Nourish skin and hair through its melanin compounds.
  • Improve digestion, relieving digestive distress and Candida.
  • Treat chronic fatigue syndrome, flu, and HIV.
  • Inhibit cell mutations associated with Cancer.
  • Fight cancerous tumors, especially in mammary glands and sex organs.
  • Combat hepatitis, ulcers, diabetes, and gastritis.
  • Fight inflammation and inflammatory disease such as Shingles.
  • Knock out the common cold and fighting viruses.
  • Detoxify the liver.

Sun Life, Goji berries

Bought some goji berries at this booth which are practically organic but not certified. The certified organic goji berries were in a much larger bag so I got the smaller one.

Genuine Health, Greens + Whole Body Nutrition from the Healthy Planet booth

I’ve read how great fermented foods are for your digestion and overall health. But I’m just not fond of kimchi or kombucha. So the fermented greens from Genuine Health will be something interesting to try. Of course I will update you and let you know if it works for me, so stay tuned!

Chocosol Traders, Coffee Crunch and Jaguar Swirl

I got the last whole bar of the Coffee Crunch which is delicious. The Jaguar Swirl is really great too. Chocosol makes artisanal organic and free trade chocolate that is made using eco-friendly power. I love their ethics and the reciprocal trade relationship with the farmers of the cacao beans. You can read more about them on their About Us page.

LNBF Clothing

(Not pictured) I also bought a cardigan and some socks at the LNBF booth. Will be posting separate reviews and pictures on these soon!