Food as Medicine: Chia Seeds

These tiny little nutritional powerhouses were prized by the Mayans for providing them with “sustainable energy”. In fact, the word chia is the ancient Mayan word for strength!

Check out what’s inside just two tablespoons of these little seeds:

  • Fiber: 11 grams
  • Protein: 4 grams
  • Fat: 9 grams (5 of which are Omega-3s)
  • Calcium: 18% of the RDA
  • Manganese: 30% of the RDA
  • Magnesium: 30% of the RDA
  • Phosphorus: 27% of the RDA

They also contain a decent amount of Zinc, Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Potassium, Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) and Vitamin B2.

The calcium content is particularly impressive. A whopping 18% of the RDA in a single ounce! Gram for gram, this is higher than most dairy products.

Happy Guts!

Chia seeds are one of the foods being showcased here at The Pantry in the month of July when we are focusing on gut health.

Chia seeds can absorb up to 12 times their weight in liquid. When soaked, they develop a mucilaginous coating that gives chia-based creams and beverages that distinctive gel texture. This gel-forming action is due to the soluble fiber in chia seeds, and it can work as a prebiotic that supports the growth of probiotics in the gut.

Get this yummy, gluten-free, high protein, high fiber seed into your diet daily!  Your gut and bones will love you for it. Here’s a great recipe to start you off. 🙂

Chia Pudding


  • 6 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 2 cups unsweetened coconut, almond or cashew milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup, honey or sweetener of choice (optional)
  • blueberries and strawberries, for topping


  • In a bowl or mason jar, mix together chia seeds, milk, maple syrup and vanilla. If you’re using a mason jar, you can put the lid on and shake the mixture to combine everything.
  • Once the chia pudding mixture is well combined, let it sit for 5 minutes, give it another stir/shake to break up any clumps of chia seeds, cover and put the mixture in the fridge to “set-up” for 1-2 hours.
  • You can also prep your pudding the night before and let it sit in the fridge overnight if that’s easier. When ready to serve, divide the mixture between two bowls, top the pudding with berries and enjoy.


Recipe and image courtesy of Eating Bird Food

A Week of Naturopathic Eating

What do you eat?

This is a common question asked by patients at StoneTree Clinic.

Most patients who arrive here are given some sort of diet change. From going gluten- or dairy-free, to a ketogenic diet, or to simply eating more legumes and vegetables, some sort of diet change is often one part of the treatment plan.

For the staff and docs at StoneTree, healthy eating is not something we have to do; it’s something we love doing. If you were to visit the lunch room on any given day, you’d find us enjoying many delicious, highly nutritious foods….and loving it!

Eating the way we do seems easy now, but it took time to change old habits, and even now we’re always looking for new ideas and inspiration.

With that in mind, Dr. Shelby put together a week-long meal diary–21 meals, all with links to recipes and resources! Dr. Shelby is a fish-eating vegetarian, who eats largely gluten- and dairy-free. Thank you Shelby!

Download: Dr. Shelby’s Week of Eating

Recipes From the StoneTree Summer BBQ!

The StoneTree team spent a glorious Friday evening enjoying some delicious food and excellent gin. We though you might enjoy the recipes!

Napa Cabbage Salad


  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 lb. napa cabbage chopped
  • 2 scallions thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • Freshly ground pepper


  • Preheat the oven to 350°. In a pie plate, bake the almonds for 5 minutes. Let cool.
  • In a bowl, mix the oil, vinegar, soy sauce and sugar. Add the cabbage, scallions and cilantro and toss. Add the almonds and season with pepper. Toss again and serve.


Lentil Salad with Sundried Tomatoes and Feta Cheese


  • 3 tbsp Olive oil
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/3 cup sun dried tomatoes
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 1 can lentils
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese


  • Mix in a bowl
  • Add quinoa or other grain if desired, but double the dressing if you do!

Celery Salad with Feta and Mint


  • 6 large celery stalks, cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 1/4 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1/3 cup crumbled feta
  • 3 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh mint leaves


  • In a large bowl, combine celery and red onion. Add olive oil, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with feta and mint.
  • Wanna cheat on the dressing? Try Paul Newman’s Family Italian!


Black Bean and Corn Salad


  • 1/3 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels
  • 1 avocado – peeled, pitted and diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 6 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional)


  • Place lime juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, and cayenne pepper in a small jar. Cover with lid, and shake until ingredients are well mixed.
  • In a salad bowl, combine beans, corn, avocado, bell pepper, tomatoes, green onions, and cilantro. Shake lime dressing, and pour it over the salad. Stir salad to coat vegetables and beans with dressing, and serve.


Recipes from Our Grand Opening

106752Thanks to everyone who joined us for our Grand Opening this week! Here are all the recipes you may have enjoyed while wandering about our new home. 🙂

 – The StoneTree Team

Roasted Red Pepper Walnut Dip

Sourced from ‘My New Roots’ by Sarah Britton


  • 3 large red bel peppers (about 1 1/2 Ibs/700g)
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 1 cup/140g raw walnuts
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 3 tablespoons cold-pressed olive oil
  • Grated zest of 1 organic lemon
  • Freshly squeezed juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • Fresh parsley (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 400’F/200’C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  2. Rub the peppers with the coconut oil and put them on the prepared baking sheet. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until blistered and blackened in a few places. Transfer the peppers to a bowl, quickly cover with wax paper or some type of lid (this will steam the peppers, making the skin very easy to remove).
  3. Reduce the oven temperature to 325’F/170’C
  4. Spread the walnuts on a separate baking sheet and toast for 7-10 minutes, watching carefully so that they do not burn. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
  5. When they have cooled, slip the skins off the peppers and discard them
  6. In a food processor, pulse the garlic until minced. Add the peppers, olive oil, lemon zest and juice, cumin, paprika, cayenne, and sea salt and blend on high until the desired consistency is reached – smooth or slightly chunky, whatever you prefer. (If you want to increase the protein in this dip, add a handful of chickpeas, kidney beans, or lentils.)
  7. Season to taste and garnish with parsley before enjoying in your favourite manner.

Thai Peanut Sauce

Sourced from ‘Oh She Glows’ by Angela Liddon


  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 3 tablespoons (30 ml) toasted sesame oil
  • 3 tablespoons (45ml) natural almond butter or peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons (10 ml) grated fresh ginger (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) fresh lime juice, plus more if needed
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon (35ml) low sodium tamari


  1. In a mini or regular food processor, combine all ingredients with 2-3 tablespoons (30-45ml) water.
  2. Process until combined.

Rainbow Spring Rolls

Sourced from Thirsty for Tea blog

Makes 12 rolls.


  • 1 large red bell pepper, sliced into 3? long strips
  • 2 medium carrots, shredded
  • 1 large yellow bell pepper, sliced into 3? long strips
  • 1 bunch of asparagus, cut into 3? pieces
  • 1/4 head of red cabbage, thinly sliced into 3? long shreds
  • 1 avocado, ripe but firm, halved and peeled, then cut into thin slices lengthwise
  • small bunch of cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 3 small scallions, green part thinly sliced
  • 12 tapioca or rice paper wrappers


  1. Fill a medium pot with water, then bring to a full boil. Blanch the asparagus by throwing the tip portions into the boiling water for about 45 seconds. Remove the asparagus with a wire mesh sieve, then plunge into another bowl filled with ice-cold water. Blanch the non-tip asparagus sections for 1 minute in the boiling water, then remove with the sieve and also plunge into the ice-cold water.  Remove all the asparagus from the cold water and place on a dish to drain off excess water. Set aside.
  2. Fill a large casserole or deep, large dish with about 1? of warm water. Submerge 1 spring roll wrapper in the water completely, wait for it to soften for about 10 seconds, then place the sheet on a clean work surface.
  3. Stack 2 strips of the red bell pepper, yellow bell pepper, asparagus, and avocado in the lower 1/3 section of each sheet, towards the center. Add some of the shredded cabbage and carrots on top of the stack.  Scatter some chopped cilantro and sliced green onions on top of the stack to finish. Roll up spring roll and fold right and left sides of the wrapper in towards the center of the roll. Continue rolling upwards (away from you) until you get a completed roll.
  4. Repeat the rolling process for all 12 rolls

Dr. Shelby’s Healthy Chocolate

This is an easy-to-make chocolate. No cooking. No refined sugar. Plenty of delicious!


  • 3-4 cups shredded unsweetened coconut cocoa butter
  • 2 Tbsp cocoa/cacao powder
  • 2 Tbsp carob powder
  • Vanilla extract (the real thing)


  • Cinnamon + cayenne powders Peppermint flavour
  • Coarse salt


  • It does help to use a Vitamix (faster process) but a standard blender will work as well.
  • The coconut is light and will keep working its way up the sides of the container; you need to keep pushing it down. Coconut flakes will ‘melt’ after a few minutes of blending.
  • Once it is liquefied, add melted cocoa butter, vanilla and powders.
  • Cocoa butter: the volume you use depends upon how ‘coconut-y’ you want the chocolate to taste. I prefer more of a chocolate experience vs. macaroon… so I include cocoa butter in this recipe. However, it is not required.
  • Melt the cocoa butter in a double boiler (I simply immerse a glass measuring cup in a small pot of water on stove ‘low’).
  • Pour in to a spring-form pan.
  • I line it with parchment paper, to make cutting and clean-up easier (one piece for chocolate can last several months… reduce/reuse/recycle!).
  • For thin chocolate, use a larger pan.
  • I like thicker chunks, so I use the smaller pan.
  • Put in fridge to solidify.
  • After ~10minutes, sprinkle top with coarse salt. I recommend Himalayan (pink) or Celtic (grey).
  • This is a good time to also add other superfood boosters, like goji berries, cacao nibs, berries, pumpkin seeds, etc.
  • Once solid (couple of hours) remove from spring-form pan and cut with strong knife.
  • Store in refrigerator.

Marinated Tofu


  • 1 block firm or extra-firm tofu, chopped in ~1cm cubes
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce, tamari or Bragg’s
  • 1 tsp ground coriander seed [sometimes I also add ground cumin to the mix]
  • 4 cloves fresh garlic, crushed

* adjust amount of each marinade ingredient according to taste; these amounts are approximations


  • Combine marinade ingredients and pour over tofu so that all cubes are immersed. Store overnight in refrigerator.
  • Place cubes on cookie sheet greased with coconut oil (an oil safe for high-heat cooking)
  • Bake at 400° for 30 minutes, or until desired consistency.
  • Serve on own as a snack or as a protein topping to any salad.
  • Optional: roll cubes in nutritional yeast prior to baking

No-Bake Energy Bites



  • 1 cup (dry) oatmeal (I used old-fashioned oats)
  • 2/3 cup toasted coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 1/2 cup ground flaxseed or wheat germ
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips or cacao nibs (optional)
  • 1/3 cup honey or maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp. chia seeds (optional)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract


  • Stir all ingredients together in a medium bowl until thoroughly mixed. Cover and let chill in the refrigerator for half an hour.
  • Once chilled, roll into balls of whatever size you would like. (Ours were about 1″ in diameter.) Store in an airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to 1 week.
  • Makes about 20-25 balls.

Black Bean Dip

August 5, 2010 blog

This super-easy and inexpensive snack will have even the pickiest kid asking for more. And because black beans are high in iron, magnesium and folic acid, both parents and kids can be happy!


  • 1 can of black beans – drained
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic finely chopped (if you are using the jarred chopped garlic use 2-3tsp)
  • ½ -1 tsp sea salt


  1. Gently heat oil and garlic in a pan until garlic is fragrant and slightly toasted (about 2 min).
  2. Place beans in a food processor, blender or a bowl that can be used with a hand-blender
  3. Pour oil and garlic mix over black beans
  4. Add sea salt
  5. Blend until all beans are mashed – about 1-2 min
  6. If the mix is a little dry, you may need to add a little more oil – about 1-2 tbsp. Serve with organic corn chips or rice crackers for a gluten-free and vegan snack!

Breakfast Ideas for Food Intolerances

We do a lot of food intolerance testing in our office. Patients come in with symptoms of IBS, sore joints, headaches, fatigue, skin issues and all manner of other inflammatory conditions, and often the first place we look is food.

It’s not uncommon for those tests to show issues with gluten, dairy, or eggs (or all of them). Unfortunately, the typical North American diet is high in all of those things. We love cereal and toast, eggs and bacon, breakfast sandwiches, pancakes, French toast or waffles, so first question we are often asked is:

“What do you eat for breakfast?”

So, by popular demand, here’s a peek at what the StoneTree team of naturopathic doctors do.

  1. Smoothies. The entire gang at STC loves smoothies, and Dr. Kendra is always sporting a green jar of goodness. It’s such an easy way to get greens and fruits, and can be a wonderful source of protein and good fats. You can find the recipe for one of her smoothies in our February 2014 newsletter here.
  1. Fruits and nuts. One of Tara’s favourite breakfasts is apple with nut butter. Almond is delicious, but peanut butter is also great, too. Just slice the apple in half, and replace the core with your favourite spread.
  1. Oatmeal, brown rice cereal, or gluten-free granolas with milk alternatives. These high protein cereal replacements are also full of good fats that will help balance blood sugar and hormones. You can find a recipe for “blow your doors off” granola in our June issue here.
  1. Last night’s dinner. This is one of Dr. Shelby’s tricks. Why not heat up a bit of last night’s chili or a warm bowl of soup for breakfast? How about a piece of chicken with some sautéed veggies, or that leftover rice and beans with a bit of salsa and avocado? Yum.

For more ideas, or any kind of help with your nutrition needs, you can book an hour with our in-house nutritionist Barb Andrews. With over two decades of experience in helping people with healthy food choices, she is very skilled at supporting positive change.

There’s still space available for our next Well-Woman Day on Feb 23. This unique service offers a warm, caring environment for annual visits that includes a complete breast exam, self breast exam education, and full gynaecological exam with PAP test. Space is limited. To book a Well-Woman Visit with a Collingwood naturopath, call (705) 444-5331.

What We’re Having For Lunch

10231931_sThe latest from the StoneTree lunchroom. Given our 28-Day Challenge, you know these options are at least sugar-free! Enjoy…:) – Tara

Shelby (Vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free)

  • Tofu curry over top fresh arugula (You can find the recipe, and many others, on Shelby’s website)

Kendra (Vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free)

  • Vegetarian Curry: Patak’s Tikka Marsala with mixed beans, broccoli, red pepper, peas and onions

Tara  (Vegetarian)

  • Falafel Salad:  Casbah falafel mix cooked in canola oil.  Served over mixed greens with cucumber, tomato, feta and roasted seeds.


What We’re Having for Lunch

10231931_sThis week in the StoneTree Naturopathic lunch room….Enjoy! – Tara

Shelby (vegan, gluten free, dairy free):

  • Tofu Curry – tofu, onion, azuki beans, sweet potato, yellow pepper, zucchini cooked in curry paste served over basmati rice.

Kendra (vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy free):

  • A trip to the Hungry Sumo in Collingwood for a shrimp sushi roll.

Tara (vegan, gluten free, dairy free):

  • Brussels sprouts roasted with olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic. Tossed with a can of white navy beans, diced artichokes, diced sundried tomatoes and a balsamic dressing made from the sundried tomato oil. Served over a bed of greens.

How To Love Salad

19696333_sI hear from many patients that it’s difficult to eat more vegetables. When I suggest they start with something simple like a salad, the response is often, “But I don’t like salad.”

I think the real problem here isn’t the vegetables–it’s not what’s in salad that’s the problem. It’s what’s not. If you’re not a salad lover, I’ll bet it’s because the salads you’ve tried are missing one or more of the ingredients below.

What many people really don’t like is a heap of vegetables with no other complex flavors to balance them. A plate of plain veggies isn’t very exciting when you’re accustomed to processed food, or rich fats and proteins. And a large pile of vegetables without anything else alongside can upset some stomachs. Here are three simple ways to make a salad great.

Despite the bad–and undeserved–rap that salt gets, it’s essential to health. From an evolutionary perspective, salt is also relatively rare in natural foods, and we’ve evolved to love the taste of it. Salt can also suppress bitter tastes, to allow sweet and sour tastes to be more prominent.

In your salad, consider:

  • Adding salt to your homemade dressings (regular store-bought dressings tend to have plenty)
  • Adding pan-roasted seeds

Like saltiness, we also crave sweetness. There are many natural sources of sweetness that, contrary to what you might think, taste fantastic in salad.

You may want to:

  • Add honey or maple syrup to your homemade dressings
  • Buy regular, not “sugar-free” or “low-fat” store-bought dressings
  • Add berries, fruit, beets, corn or other sweet foods to your salad

A big pile of just vegetables can not only upset some stomachs, but can also leave you unsatisfied. Adding sources of protein can enrich the taste, and leave you feeling fuller for longer.


  • Adding cheese–feta, cheddar, or your favoriteAdding nuts and seeds (see above)
  • Adding falafel or quinoa. Both are delicious in salads
  • Adding leftovers such as chicken, sausage, or hamburger

These three simpler additions can transform the taste and satisfaction of any salad. It’s why most people love Caesar salad, but don’t prefer a chef salad. The Caesar is full of fatty, salty, rich-tasting bacon, dairy and dressing. Now, you can take that same idea, and use it to transform a much more robust, nutritious salad into something you’ll love.

If you’ve never met a salad you’ve liked, it might be time to expand your ingredient list!

Easy Meal Tip: Anything on Greens

18998947_sSick of salad? Frustrated with looking in the fridge and wondering what to make?

A staple in our house has become the “anything on greens” meal. It’s easy: take just about anything, and put it on top of a big plate of salad greens.

“Anything on Greens” in Action

  • Got chili? Throw down 2-3 big handfuls of spinach and then pour the chili on top.  Add some hot sauce, some avocado and yum!
  • Leftover steak and potatoes? Throw down 2-3 big handful of lettuce, add some other veg, dice up the steak and potatoes and top with your favourite dressing.
  • Got leftover omellete? Yep. A fried egg? Sure. Baked beans? Absolutely! Just add to a bed of your favourite lettuce, spinach, spring mix or other greens, and dig in.

The point is just about anything tastes great on greens. The weirdest “salad” I’ve had so far was mixed greens, leftover sausage, leftover pizza and a fried egg on top. Drizzled with dressing and sprinkled with nuts. Sound crazy? Try it before you judge!

Anything on a bed of greens not only makes salads a lot more interesting, but it makes leftovers taste great, and is a fantastic way to get 4-5 serving of vegetables into a meal without you even noticing….:)

What We’re Having For Lunch

10231931_sRecently seen in the StoneTree lunchroom…:) -Tara

(gluten free, vegetarian)

  • 3 salad combo from Café Chartreuse
  • Green beans and heart of palm
  • Greek salad
  • Corn, tomato and feta salad


  • Organic mixed greens with tomato, cucumber, orange pepper, feta cheese
  • Topped with crumbled Falafal and roasted seeds
  • Dressed with NewFarm Gold

(gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian)

  • Baked beans in tomato sauce
  • Protein shake with vegan vanilla protein powder, kale from the garden, frozen berries, chia seed, hemp hearts and water