Archives for posts with tag: healthy

It seems as if cold and flu season has snuck around again. Biting me in the butt  this time around! I’m not one for taking a bunch of medications to fight off a cold, I prefer a more natural method of healing. Lord knows I love food so I have been consuming anything I can to help myself feel better. I wanted to share some of the foods and natural remedies that I have been shoving my face with while fighting the cold and flu season.


This is a tiny little packet filled with a powerful blend of vitamins, antioxidants, nutrients, electrolytes and more that all help to enhance your immune system and give you energy. Available in a variety of flavours also in a kids formula. You can find Emergen-C at most drug stores in single and boxed packets. They taste good and are so easy to consume.


Cinnamon has been used for years as a natural remedy for many ailments. Cinnamon aids in clearing sinuses, clearing cough, works as an antibacterial and aids in circulation. In its powder form it’s easy to add to smoothies, plus it tastes great to it’s easy to consume. You can also boil cinnamon sticks in water on the stove then steep your tea in the cinnamon water for drinking.


This is one of the most common natural treatments for coughs and colds. When added to a steaming tea it helps to sooth and protect a sore throat and eases coughing. It also has  many antibacterial components and helps the spread of micro organisms in the body. Honey is full of vitamins and minerals. When purchasing honey remember the darker the honey the more antioxidants. Most importantly, honey doesn’t contain any chemicals or harmful ingredients that are commonly found in other medicines, therefore making it free from side-effects.

Happy Planet Health Drinks

Vancouver based company Happy Planet has an excellent little remedy to help you feel better, faster. Happy Planet Shots are little 75ml bottles of natural vitamin extracts, minerals and more that aim to make you feel better naturally. I recommend their ‘Immunity’ shot that contains, Vitamin C, Echinacea, elderberry, ginger roots and many more medicinal and non-medicinal ingredients. Happy Planet shots don’t contain any added sugars, colours or preservatives and come at a reasonable price. You can find 2 for $5 at Whole Foods Market or usually around $3 a bottle at many drug stores in Canada and the United States. Best of all they taste great and are available in a variety of remedies.


Ginger is a spicy little remedy that hosts a strong anti-viral property. When boiled in water and drank as a tea it can helpt to reduce fever, treat sore throats and inflammation of the mucous membrane aka a runny rose. Ginger can be easily added to smoothies and blends surprisingly well. Add ginger to a super smoothie for an added health boost. Ginger can easily be found at any grocery store. So there you have it a few things to help keep your feeling healthy this cold season. Along with many other things such as lots of fresh fruit and vegetables these are some of my favourite remedies.

East Indian Food

Speaking of spice, Indian food is another excellent thing to consume when fighting a cold. Many Indian dishes contain garlic, chilis, cumin and an abundance of other spices that make you sweat and your nose run which helps to clear out a virus our of you system faster. Many spices also have antibacterial and antioxidative properties. Check out Gurpareet Bains (the creator of the world’s healthiest curry) website that has a variety of  ‘Indian Superfood’ recipes that will have you fighting off that cold faster than you can say “butter chicken”. Other spicy dishes will work as well such as Thai, Hanan or Szechuan.

So there you have it, a few natural remedies to use the next time you’re starting to feel under the weather. I’d love to hear some of your favourite cold and flu busting remedies!

 Веселого Різдва! For those of you that are wondering what that means, it’s Merry Christmas in Ukrainian. According to the Ukrainian Catholic calendar Christmas falls on January 7th and today Ukrainians all around the world are celebrating. So, in honour of this and my Ukrainian heritage I’m going to share the coveted borscht recipe from my Baba & Papa. This is a very old family recipe that as far I know has never been published before. I always thought that making a massive pot of borscht was such a daunting tasks growing up as I watched my Baba and Papa make it countless times. The flavours are so fresh and delicious I never realized how easy it actually is to make until I asked. This recipe can me made with or with our meat (mine is usually meat-less) You can also use sour cream or whipping cream. Borscht is also a very healthy soup because it is full of vegetables. To me borscht is soul food and I always request that my Papa makes it every year for my birthday. When I first asked my Baba for her borscht recipe she laughed at me and said there is no recipe you just make it. Confused I then called my Papa and asked what his recipe for borscht was. He gave me a little better idea of how to make it but I realized what my Baba meant by ‘there is so recipe’. Making borscht involves a lot of  you own personal taste. It’s up to you how much vinegar you use. What size your pot is.  How many vegetables or even what vegetables you want to add? Sour cream or whipping cream? With or without meat?  Noodles or no noodles? This is the recipe that I gathered and made from my families recipe but you can make  it  your own. So here it is, the best borscht recipe you will ever taste.

Chudyk Family Borscht Recipe


2 cans of tomato soup

1  tetra pack of beef broth

3 large beets

1 large bunch of fresh dill

1 medium white onion

4 stick of celery

3 large carrots

2 large Yukon gold potatoes unpeeled

1 medium parsnip

1-2 cups vinegar

1 package of mixed vegetables (peas, corn, green beans)

1 small tub of sour cream or whipping cream

1 package egg noodles


Directions: In one large soup pot (the biggest one you can get your hands on)

Pour 1 cup water and pack of  beef broth.

Peel and shred beets and add to pot.

Add finely chopped onion, celery. Add small cubed potato and parsnip. Add bite sized carrots slices.

Pour in water as you add vegetables to pot as needed keeping in mind not to dilute broth too much. Just enough to boil vegetables in.

Add 1 cup of frozen mixed vegetables.

Let vegetables cook as needed.

In a separate smaller bowl take one or two ladles of soup until bowl and mix in two spoonfuls of sour cream at a time and then slowly add the mixture back in large pot. Repeat steps until all sour cream has been whisked into soup.

Add half a cup of white vinegar to soup mixture and stir, let simmer.

Taste soup and add more water, vinegar salt and pepper to taste.                                                

In a separate bot boil water and add package of egg noodles.

Keep egg noodles in separate bowl. Then add a handful of noodles to bowl and dish borscht into bowl and enjoy!

This is the recipe that keeps on giving and everyday you store that borscht in your fridge that better it gets.  A fresh loaf of bread or biscuits are a nice accompaniment to this meal of a soup bowl. I made my cheddar rosemary scones which taste great freshly out of the oven dipped into the beet broth. You can find the recipe for the biscuits here. There’s a saying in Ukrainian culture that the louder you slurp your soup the more of a compliment it is to the chef. So slurp away and don’t forget not to wear a white shirt!

For those looking for more of a taste of Ukrainian food check out Prarie Cottage Perogies in Langley for a truly authentic Ukrainian/Manitoban experience. Also, check out the Ukrainian Society of Ivan Franko located in Richmond, BC where they sell homemade Ukrainan food such as perogies, cabbage rolls etc out of their hall from 10am-2pm every Saturday. This year you can also celebrate Malanka (Ukrainian New Years) with them at an all out gala on Saturday January 14th. Check out their website for more details.

Good morning fellow foodies! Hope you’re holiday season is merry and bright so far. I’m looking forward to spending time with my family during Christmas and enjoying the snow in the Okanagan as there isn’t a single speck of it here on the coast right now. Now, who’s been indulging in some holiday treats so far? At this time of the year they can be extremly difficult to avoid. I’ve recently decided to consciously try to make this holiday season a healthy one. This is a new thing for me as I would usually be baking up a storm with all kind of goodies. Actually, I still will be baking cookies I just won’t be eating them, at least for one full week. I’ve decided to go on the 7-day Green Smoothie Cleanse. Partially inspired by blogger Amanda over at and partly inspired by my love of smoothies among many other reasons I’ve decided to attempt this feat. This is one of the healthiest cleanses, if not the healthiest cleanse you can do for you body. All you need is a good blender and a refrigerator stocked full of fruits and vegetables. You can try the cleanse for however many days suits your fancy as it is such a wonderful gift to give your body. I’ve decided on 7 days, some people choose 30 days and some 3 days it’s really a personal decision. I actually think that the holiday season is an excellent time to try this and it will help me avoid all those over indulgences, at least for one week. Doing a green smoothie cleanse helps in so many ways. It gives you energy, clears your skin, helps with weight loss, detoxifies blood, reduces cravings among so many other benefits. It’s also quite simple to follow. All you have to do is going to your local produce department and stock up on all your favourite fruits and veggies. I even bought some I don’t usually try in smoothie like parsley, ginger and cranberries. You fill your blender with all the ingredients you choose and blend, drink, repeat throughout the day. The more different variations of fruits and vegetables you include in the smoothie the better. You can also make your own juice by squeezing oranges, lemons limes etc for a even fresher, healthier taste. The point of this cleanse is to use only raw food. Uncooked, unprocessed etc. Frozen fruit is A-OK though. I also have 100% pure pomegranate juice which I think is fine to use as well. I don’t think this is going to easy but I know if will be worth it. So please join me this holiday season and let me know on the VineVie Facebook what you’re doing this holiday season to keep healthy. We can support each other and I’d love to know some of your best smoothie recipes! Also, this self guide and motivation form from Frederic Patenuade is an excellent way to start your off on your green smoothie cleanse. You can find that info at If that sounds a wee bit too intense for you, you can always make the cleanse your own and do a lesser version subbing just 2 meals a day with a smoothie and eating a ‘clean’ meal for dinner. So go ahead, raise your big smoothie filled mug and let’s cheers to a healthy and happy holiday season.

At lunch time for many people having  just 1 turkey wrap just isn’t enough to keep you full untill diner time. Many people load up on crackers or what have you to keep their tummies from rumbling for a mid afternoon snack. Here’s a little  trick that I recently discovered (possibly invented – patent pending haha).  To accompany your light lunch. Make a smoothie,but not just any smoothie – an oatmeal smoothie. Since oatmeal is a soluble fibre is slows your digestive system which helps you to feel fuller longer. Oats boost

A wrap and an oatmeal smoothie. A filling lunch option.

your fibre intake and are extremely beneficial to ones health.  Oats are considered a heart healthy food and help lower the rick of  heart disease.  Eating oatmeal can assist in stabilising your blood sugar as well as work as an anti carcinogenic which fights cancer. Sounds pretty good right? Personally I prefer Quaker banana nut oatmeal. It adds good texture and flavour to a smoothie.  This is my recipe for my all time favourite lunch time smoothie.

1 package Quaker banana nut oatmeal

3 tbsp water

2 cups vanilla soy milk

1 hand full frozen field berry mix

1/2 a handful of fresh raspberries

3-4 tbsp raspberry yogurt (any flavoured yogurt will do)

1 tsp of matcha green tea (optional)

Now try that and tell me you don’t love it!

Soup is my absolute favourite thing to make, and eat. My Baba is pretty much the most amazing soup cook ever, really. Although this soup recipe doesn’t come from her (I’ll save a Baba soup recipe for another day). It does just what her soups can do; warm your heart and your taste buds. I recently made a deliciously healthy autumn soup that combines the freshest autumn produce  to make a beautiful golden soup. Here’s my recipe for Autumn Harvest Soup.


3 medium parsnips, peeled and cubed

4 medium carrots, sliced

2 medium onions, chopped

2 large cloves garlic, chopped

1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped

2 celery stalks, sliced

2 bay leaves

3 1/4 cups chicken broth

2 1/2 cups half-and-half

1 teaspoon dried tarragon

1 teaspoon granulated salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper


Step 1: In soup pot, combine parsnips, carrots, onions, sweet potato, turnip, celery, bay leaves and broth. Bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, 30 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat, remove bay leaves and let cool 20 minutes

Step 2: Transfer in small batches to a blender or food processor, cover and puree until smooth. Return to pot, add half-and-half, tarragon, salt and pepper,and heat throughly

Tip: Don’t puree vegetables to the point of baby food. It’s ok for there to be bits here and there for textures sake.