Food Friday: Bumpin' Brassica Bowl

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Greens, greens the wonderful food! There are many benefits from eating leafy greens, especially from the Brassica family, which is why I always try to incorporate them into my daily meals. I go a little crazy if I haven't had any greens in a day and actually crave them when I wake up after certain late nights... I highly encourage you to try incorporating some of these other greens into your diet instead of the basic leaf lettuce. 

The brassica (latin name for cabbage) family include kale, cabbage, brussels sprouts, broccoli, collard greens and cauliflower. In addition to being packed full of vitamins and minerals such as calcium and iron, they contain several phytonutrients known for their cancer fighting properties and liver detox functions. One I want to highlight is I3C (indole-3-carbinol) that gets converted to DIM in the body to aid in phase 1 and 2 liver detoxification and estrogen balancing. You can take this in supplement form but why not get it from food as best you can. Brassica greens also contain flavonoids which act as an anti-oxidant to fight inflammation. Broccoli, and broccoli sprouts contain sulforaphanes which are powerful nutrients to not only support the liver, but kill H.pylori and other unwanted bacteria in the gut, and is a potential cancer treatment. I could go on but lets get to the recipe!

Ingredients: (serves 2)

  • 4 tbsp apple cider vinegar (great for digestion!)
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard  
  • 3 cups shredded kale
  • 1 cup shredded brussels sprouts 
  • 1/2 cup shredded green cabbage 
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1 large shallot, sliced and caramelized 
  • 2 tbsp sunflower seeds, toasted
  • 2 tbsp hemp hearts
  • 1/4 avocado, sliced 
  • 1 soft-boiled egg, halved 
  • handful broccoli sprouts - optional (learn how to sprout here)


  1. In a small blender/magic bullet emulsify the olive oil with the apple cider vinegar and dijon mustard. It should end up slightly creamy and a light yellow colour.
  2. Mix shredded kale, brussels sprouts and cabbage together in a bowl. Dress the greens with the dressing, only adding enough to lightly coat the greens, then massage the kale mixture to soften the kale. Add a pinch of salt, then more dressing if needed.
  3. Top with hemp hearts, caramelized shallots, toasted sunflower seeds and broccoli sprouts (if using) and gently mix. Top with sliced avocado and egg, adding a pinch more salt. Delicious! 

Look out for recipes like these in my 10-Day Fall Detox Program! Want to get back on track with your health after the summer months? The program starts October 10th but sign up today to claim your spot!

Simple ways to Spring Clean your Body and Mind photo photo

Although it might not feel like it in Nova Scotia, Spring is here! I am being taunted by photos and messages from my sisters in Vancouver and London (England that is!), about how warm and beautiful it is there lately. I do miss the cherry blossoms around Vancouver, but am staying optimistic that it will move this way soon!

With spring, comes spring cleaning. Spring cleaning not only refers to material objects but to our bodies as well. In an ideal world, we would eat healthily year round and not expose ourselves to toxins and chemicals, but that requires a lot of dedication. Don’t fret, the change of seasons is the best time to detox.

In Chinese medicine, spring is the season of the liver. This powerful organ is what filters toxins, which if built up can deposit throughout our body causing a variety of symptoms, including pain, headaches, digestive issues and allergies.

Allergies are very common in the spring, however not inevitable if we take the right steps and are proactive. It’s time to let go of toxins, start to feel better and prepare for the warm season.

Here are some simple ways to detox this spring:

  • Warm water with lemon in the morning - lemon stimulates your liver, primes your digestive system and promotes regular bowel movements (an important way we eliminate toxins). Cold water can shock our bodies and create tension within our digestive system, therefore stick with warm or room temperature water. 
  • Apple cider vinegar - 1/4 tsp in warm water before meals will also prime your digestive system and help eliminate toxins. ACV helps with many digestive issues, such as gas, bloating and even heartburn if low acid is the culprit.
  • Parsley, Cilantro, Dandelion, Nettles - All of these herbs are specific to the liver and help it function optimally. Add them to salads, smoothies or as a garnish. Dandelion and nettles can be made into a tea and have added benefits as a nutritive and a blood cleanser. 
  • Drink plenty of water - Your body is about 70% water. We release toxins through urination and sweat and that comes from the water we drink! 
  • Castor oil packs - Applied topically over the digestive system as a "pack," the castor oil is absorbed into the lymphatic system to cleans as well as stimulate immune function.  
  • Breathing - Proper breathing, specifically the exhale, is key to activating our parasympathetic nervous system ( the "rest and digest" component), allowing our digestive system, including the liver, to continue the detoxification process. Slowing our breathing allows better exchange of old and new air, optimizing the function of every cell.
  • Exercise - At least 30 minutes of moderate exercises a day can make you look and feel better. Not only does it help release toxins it helps release tension, emotions and triggers the mind-body connection. 

This is just a start but implementing these practices on a daily basis can go a long way in your overall wellbeing. So drink up, get breathing and enjoy the sunshine with a brisk walk. 

In health & happiness,

Dr. Karen