Episode 15 – Clean Makeup with Vapour Beauty Co-Founder Krysia Boinis

Episode 15 – Clean Makeup with Vapour Beauty Co-Founder Krysia Boinis

Listen to “Clean Makeup with Vapour Beauty Co-Founder Krysia Boinis” on Spreaker.


What is the toxic exposure in makeup? In the second of three episodes on clean beauty, we chat with a pioneer in clean beauty and co-founder of Vapour Beauty, Krysia Boinis. A breast cancer survivor, Krysia discusses why she started a non-toxic deodorant company and her own line of all natural cosmetic products. In this eye-opening discussion, you’ll hear what’s actually in conventional makeup and why you might want to change what you buy.

In this episode you’ll hear:

1:50 – Krysia’s wellness journey

6:05 – The importance of non-aluminum deodorant

9:30 – Size of the cosmetic industry and the growth of clean cosmetics

11:00 – Conventional cosmetic toxic ingredients that we’re putting on our skin

14:10 – Why vegan makeup might not be always healthy

15:30 – Animal products in makeup and cruelty free testing

17:05 – Understanding cosmetic ingredients

22:30 – Lack of government regulation in the US makeup industry

24:30 – What sets Vapour products apart?

29:40 – Krysia’s top 5 makeup products and how to figure out your undertone

Episode 14 – Clean Beauty with Skincare Company Founder Indie Lee

Episode 14 – Clean Beauty with Skincare Company Founder Indie Lee

Listen to “Clean Beauty with Skincare Company Founder Indie Lee” on Spreaker.


It’s not only what we eat but what we put onto our skin that’s important for our health. After all, skin is our body’s largest organ. In this episode, which is 1 of 3 episodes we’re dedicating to the topic of clean beauty, we chat with the founder of the clean, eco-chic skincare line, Indie Lee. After a successful surgery to remove a brain tumor in 2009, Indie embarked on a new journey to create a clean beauty collection dedicated to inspiring and empowering others to be mindful about what they put on their skin. It’s quite shocking what you might be putting on your skin.

In this episode you’ll hear:

1:00 – How Indie Lee got into clean beauty

7:15 – Harmful skincare ingredients, endocrine disruption and cancer

8:45 – What are people putting on their skin that they’d be surprised to hear about?

10:00 – Cosmetic industry regulation in the US v. EU and clean products certification

12:40 – How to find clean skincare products and understand ingredient lists

20:15 – Some Indie Lee products explained

23:00 – Indie’s morning and night skincare routine

27:45 – Size of clean skincare industry

29:10 – Esther and Indie talk diet, health and being plant-forward

How to Pack the Perfect Plant-Based Pantry

By Laura Baum

Stocking your pantry is an art. You want to make sure you have the correct staples, in the perfect quantities, in the ideal sizes to fit in your cupboards – which for me is tough given my condo kitchen. Space and pantry efficiency is key. If you are new to plant-based eating or want to start including more plant-based foods into your daily routine, this article is for you! If you are already following a plant-based diet and could perhaps use a pantry check-in, check out the more advanced options later in the blog.

Here are my top plant-based pantry staples which I recommend to keep on hand, and stock up whenever you see them on sale at the grocery store:

  1. Canned proteins: chickpeas, mixed beans, lentils, and any other bean of choice.

Chickpeas have soluble fiber which forms a gel in our digestive tract and helps absorb and excrete cholesterol, lower blood sugar, and makes us feel full. Canned proteins are convenient and cost-effective. Simply rinse them in water, drain, and eat.

  1. Grains: pasta, quinoa, barley, rice, couscous, etc.

Choose whole grains when you can, which include barley, couscous, and brown or wild rice. Whole grains will add more fiber into your meal, which keeps you feeling full for longer. You always want to pair carbohydrates with a source of protein for a balanced meal. I am not opposed to white pasta or rice. I do feel they have a purpose in our diet – comfort food, after all. Just be more mindful of the portion sizes of these white options, and how often you are consuming them.

  1. Nuts + Nut Butters:

The list is endless for nuts, whether one type or a mix. Many nuts have now been made into nut butters, in addition to the classic peanut butter. Nuts and nut butters contribute monounsaturated heart healthy fats, protein, as well as some fiber. Nuts can be quite filling and are a great snack and topping. They are excellent for taking with you on the go, in the car, or in your purse. Be mindful as a portion of nuts is ¼ cup or 2 tbsp of nut butter.

  1. Seeds: chia, flax, pumpkin, hemp:

Seeds pack an excellent amount of fiber per tablespoon. Throw them into a smoothie, in your cereal, parfait, salad, even baking. Whole flax seeds will contribute the fiber benefit, whereas the ground equivalent will contribute fiber and the omega-3 benefits. Ground flax can also be used in a flax egg as an egg substitute. Hemp hearts are a complete protein source, which means it contains all the amino acids our body needs in this one food, not a common characteristic of plant-based foods.

  1. Flavouring Agents:

This category is also endless. All these items are the flavour enhancers which is half the fun of cooking and experimenting in your kitchen. Of source, salt and fat make our food taste good, but they are a part of a wide repertoire of options. Start with a few staples, which can go a long way! A few examples of dried herbs and spices include salt, pepper, cumin, paprika, Italian mix, red pepper flakes, and garlic powder. Liquid flavouring agents include olive oil, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, ketchup, mustard, and tomato paste or sauce, to name a few. These contribute to the enjoyment of foods, bring out individual preferences and creativity, and are a way to learn about different cultures and cuisines.

For those who already have these items confidently stocked up, here are my more advanced pantry packing ideas:

  1. Protein Powders:

These can be used in smoothies to grab and go, smoothie bowls, baking, pancakes, and more. They are a dense protein option, as sometimes when following a plant-based diet, it can be tough to ensure you are consuming enough protein daily.

  1. Tetra Packed Milks:

These are useful to keep in a pantry for times when you run out of milk (or alternatives) in your fridge and may not be going grocery shopping for a while. They have an excellent shelf-life. Each time before pouring, give these a good shake, as a lot of the added calcium can sediment to the bottom.

  1. Nutritional Yeast:

Also a complete protein source, nutritional yeast increases the overall protein composition of a meal. It also adds a naturally cheesy flavour. Look for the fortified version which has Vitamin B12, an important vitamin for plant-based eaters to note.

  1. Corn Starch:

Helps thicken soups, broths or any liquid being heated that requires thickening. It is also a great option to coat tofu to make it crispy. Corn starch has similar uses to flour but is a gluten free option.

  1. Soba Noodles:

Soba noodles are made of buckwheat, a whole grain, and therefore are a higher fiber noodle. Soba noodles also have more protein than a white noodle alternative. Great for stir fries and Asian-inspired dishes and they are tasty as the base of a hot or cold dish.

There you have it – my list of non-perishable plant-based pantry staples. These are primarily protein and starch options, so ensure you add vegetables and fruit to your meals and snacks to make a balanced plate. Packing your pantry should be fun and exciting, as with cooking. Health starts at home, and the more comfortable we are in our kitchen, the more we improve our food skills and take control of our health and lifestyle. Cooking as simply as with 5 key ingredients is exactly how I learned to cook, and I still hold onto these tips today. Experiment with what you have, learn through making mistakes, trial and error, and most of all – have fun in your kitchen! The more food skills we develop, the better off we will be.

Laura Baum is a Dietitian and Founder of Baum’s Box. Baum’s Box is the first dietitian curated food box in Toronto. A Baum’s Box contains all the non-perishable food staples you need to outfit one’s pantry. Containing over 30 dietitian curated non-perishable food items, as well as a 50-page healthy eating toolkit, a Baum’s Box provides tools to establish healthy habits for life. Perfect as an original housewarming gift, an elegant thank you gift, a practical wedding gift, a staple university kit, or an ideal gift to oneself!

Additional Resources
Alternative Food Network. “Plant-Based Pantry Essentials”, Plant-Based Diet podcast series, July 2021. http://alternativefoodnetwork.com/plant-based-diet/episode-12-plant-based-pantry-essentials/

 All content provided or opinions expressed are for informational purposes only and are not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please see advice from a qualified healthcare practitioner.



Episode 13 – What Does Whole Food Plant-Based Mean?

Episode 13 – What Does Whole Food Plant-Based Mean?

Listen to “What Does Whole Food Plant-Based Mean?” on Spreaker.


A vegan or plant-based diet is not necessarily synonymous with a healthy diet. In this episode, plant-based lifestyle coach and cookbook author Kathy Davis discusses how to transition to plant-based eating in a healthy way and what being whole food plant-based is all about. Kathy herself lost 35 pounds on a plant-based diet after setting a goal to eat more plants and less processed foods. As a bonus, Kathy goes into the kitchen and prepares a delicious whole food plant-based salad.

In this episode you’ll hear:

Interview with Kathy Davis

1:00 –Kathy’s plant-based eating journey and how she lost weight

4:20 – What is a whole food plant-based diet?

7:20 – Kathy’s answers to “What should I cook?” and “How do I stick to plant-based eating?”

In the kitchen with Kathy

10:30 – Ingredients for Broccoli, Chickpea, and Walnut Salad with Maple-Mustard Dressing Recipe

13:15 – Nutritional benefits of the salad

14:30 – Putting the salad together

15:45  Making the Dressing

Episode 12 – Plant-Based Pantry Essentials

Episode 12 – Plant-Based Pantry Essentials

Listen to “Plant-Based Pantry Essentials” on Spreaker.


Let’s help you stock your pantry! In this quick episode about plant-based pantry essentials, registered dietitian Laura Baum discusses useful pantry items for a plant-based diet plus their health benefits.

In this episode you’ll hear:

0:45 – Basic pantry items for a plant-based diet and their health benefits

9:35 – Advanced pantry item suggestions

10:40 – What is nutritional yeast

13:20 – Laura’s top 3 pantry items

Forget creatine scoops — I consume a handful of locusts for my pre-workout


No, I don’t get my gains on an episode of Fear Factor. I’m a regular guy with a regular workout routine and I’m getting the all-natural protein my muscles need from packages of ground, flavoured locusts. It’s true.

If eating locusts sounds crazy, it’s time to wake up and smell the Acrididae. Cultures throughout Asia, Central America, and the Middle East have chowed down on these arthropods for centuries. In fact, it’s the most widely eaten insect on the planet. The insane idea of eating locusts is only foreign to the North American and European market…but that’s about to change.

Hargol: Delivering Protein That’s Healthy & Sustainable

As the only kosher and Halal (processed) insect on the market, Israeli company Hargol is primed to cater to the millions around the world who lick up locust as a high-demand delicacy. Their line of vacuum sealed locust products provides superior nutrition content. Locusts are sustainable to farm and most importantly, they clear regulation as a safe and clean food source that includes zero antibiotics, fertilizers, pesticides, hormones, and GMOs.

In short, the only plague you’ll be seeing from these locusts are the droves of men and women rushing to the supermarket when Hargol arrives in North America.

Taking “Rustling Up Some Grub” To A New Level

We all have different fitness goals and we’re unfortunately spoiled for choice when it comes to protein supplements. If you’re like me and want an effective, environmentally-friendly way to boost your workout — without putting a mix of “enhancement” ingredients you can’t pronounce into your body — then Hargol’s Dried Grasshopper Powder will do the trick.

This protein supplement delivers a whole lot of power. Combined with whey, this pre-workout concoction amps up your intake, providing 930% taurine, 658% Omega 3,6 & 9, and 2,321% more essential amino acids than whey alone. Trust me: it works andtastes great.

Best of all, Hargol has more than one way to get your protein for the day.

Don’t worry, Hargol doesn’t expect you to pour your almond milk into a big bowl of bugs. Their pancake mix was made for those who need a healthy, hearty, and absolutely delicious breakfast. Just add some berries or bananas — or a few chocolate chips if it’s your cheat day — drizzle that maple syrup on top and POW! It revved my morning up faster and longer than any cup of coffee could ever dream.

Not one for getting comfortable in your breakfast nook? Hargol understands that you’ve got to get up and get going as fast as possible. That’s why their chocolate smoothie mix is so clutch. If a late-start turns my pancake plans upside down, a Chocolate and Nut Smoothie Mix with a punch of locust protein power gave me the energy I need. I just whipped it up with a little vanilla yogurt and voilà, breakfast on the go — which, to my sweet tooth’s surprise, actually tasted more like a pureed sundae.

I can’t wait for Hargol to hit the North American market. People of all ages and fitness levels are craving a protein source and Hargol’s brilliant idea is going to knock it out of the park. Can’t stomach the thought of eating locust? One bite will have you crawling back for more.

DAVE GORDON is a freelance writer. His work has appeared in more than a hundred publications around the world, including BBC, Globe and Mail, National Post, and Washington Times.

Episode 11 – Vegan Athlete Diet with Former NHL Player TJ Galiardi

Episode 11 – Vegan Athlete Diet with Former NHL Player TJ Galiardi

Listen to “Vegan Athlete Diet with Former NHL Player TJ Galiardi” on Spreaker.
Have you ever wondered what pro athletes eat or whether vegan diets are good for athletes? In this episode, former NHL hockey player TJ Galiardi provides a window into what he and his teammates ate before and after games, when and why he became vegan and the changes that resulted. You’ll hear TJ’s sports nutrition insights and even if you’re not a professional athlete, you’ll get some tips on what to eat to achieve optimal results when exercising or engaging in sports.

In this episode you’ll hear:

1:50 – TJ’s story on becoming a vegan while playing professional hockey in the NHLM

6:00 – Plant-based & vegan in the NHL today

7:30 – When and what TJ and his teammates ate before a game or practice

11:20 – TJ’s current favorite recreational sport and what he eats

14:00 – Best ways to hydrate for exercise and sports

15:50 – Recovery foods postgame or after training

19:00 – TJ’s opinion on the need for supplements for vegan athletes

20:20 – Can a teen be vegan and excel at sports

Episode 10 – Healthy Snack Recipes

Episode 10 – Healthy Snack Recipes

Listen to “Healthy Snack Recipes” on Spreaker.


Learn how to make two plant-based healthy snack recipes, one savoury and one sweet, with Physician & Culinary Medicine Expert Dr. Sabrina Falquier. The savoury snack being made during this podcast is popcorn and the sweeter snack is chocolate bark. You can join along in your kitchen or simply listen and save this episode for another time when you’re ready to make these guilt-free snacks.

Popcorn Ingredients:

  • Air popped popcorn or microwave popcorn. You’ll need ½ cup dried kernels and a paper bag (like a lunch paper bag) if you’re popping the popcorn in a microwave, or 1 store-bought bag of plain popcorn.
  • 1 ½ tsp Tabasco sauce
  • 1 tsp Tajin (which is a Mexican spice) or Chili powder
  • Lemon or lime rind (optional)

Chocolate Bark Ingredients

  • 1 – 10 oz. bag chocolate chips or a 2 – 4 oz. bar of dark chocolate (total about 2 cups chopped, before melting), cut into rough 1/4-1/2 inch pieces. If you want this to be vegan, make sure you are using vegan chocolate.
  • Toppings of your choice. Some suggestions;
  • 1/2 cup dried fruit of your choice (dark cherries, apricots), roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup nuts of your choice (pecans, walnuts), roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup dried, unsweetened shredded coconut
  • Fresh berries of your choice like blueberries or raspberries which are lower sugar fruits

Episode 9 – Indoor Vegetable and Herb Garden Tips

Episode 9 – Indoor Vegetable and Herb Garden Tips

Listen to “Indoor Vegetable and Herb Garden Tips” on Spreaker.

Whether you’re considering growing vegetables and herbs indoors on a window sill, using hydroponics or smart gardens, horticulturist and guest Paul Zammit discusses realistic expectations that one should have for an indoor garden plus some indoor growing tips.

In this podcast you’ll hear:
1:20 – What to keep in mind when growing an indoor vegetable garden

3:20 – What direction should the indoor garden face if using natural light?

4:05 – Paul’s tips on growing lights

5:10 – Hydroponics explained

7:10 – Smart gardens

8:10 – Best vegetables and herbs to grow indoors

10:10 – Air purifying plants

11:40 – Toxic house plants for small children and pets

Backyard Vegetable Garden Tips

Listen to the full episode 8.

Plant Based Diet | Show Notes | Interview With Paul Zammit

Outdoor vegetable gardening is gaining in popularity for many reasons including its mental and physical health benefits. What better way to increase the vegetable varieties in your plant-based diet than to plant them at home? In this Alternative Food Network podcast, horticulturist, professor and radio guest Paul Zammit offers tips for successful outdoor vegetable growing.

What should people be thinking about when starting an outdoor vegetable garden? 

  • Seeds and plants
  • Sunlight
  • Soil type
  • Water
  • In-ground or raised beds

When it comes to sunlight, Paul recommends looking at your garden, mapping it out and seeing how much sun it actually gets. Ideally, to be most successful with most of the vegetables, you  want a good six to eight hours or more of sunlight. Depending on where you are in city environments, often there are large trees or buildings that can create shade.

Understanding your soil type is also very important. Do you have a very sandy soil or clay based soil? It’s easy enough to test – go out there and grab a handful of soil. When you squeeze it, does it crumble or does it take the shape of your hand?

Also, if someone is new to vegetable gardening, Paul suggests not necessarily starting by planting a giant garden. Start small and work your way up.

For water, think about your water source. Paul encourages people to think about capturing water; perhaps installing something like a rain barrel, or see how you can capture and conserve moisture.

First-time vegetable gardeners:  Raised beds, in-ground or containers?
While Paul encourages people to use containers when they don’t have access to a traditional garden, he wants people to connect with the soil. So if there is an option for in-ground gardening, he suggests investing in creating the garden in the ground. However, he adds “don’t dismiss a couple of pots, perhaps filled with some delicious herbs, right by the doorway or by the barbecue where it’s easy to reach.”  

Should people start seeds indoors or outdoors?
This is an area where there tends to be a lot of confusion according to Paul. The answer depends on what you’re growing. Some need warmer soil so vegetables like tomatoes in a northern climate may not have a long enough growing season if first planted outside in the garden. Get a head start by starting tomato seeds indoors on a windowsill or under artificial light six to eight weeks before planting them outside. If you grow leeks, start those inside twelve to fourteen weeks before you’re going to plant them outside. Eggplants, peppers, onions and cabbages can also be slow so you’d often start inside in a northern climate.

Having said that, Paul mentions a number of plants that like to grow fairly cold such as chard, leaf lettuce and peas. Those are vegetables that can be started directly in the garden.

Some plants do not like to be transplanted such as beans and cucumbers so wait to plant in-ground when the soil begins to warm up because they do not like cool conditions. Some folks start cucumbers inside. If you do this, Paul recommends starting them in a fairly large container so that you do minimal root damage when transferring outside.

If you’re waiting to grow vegetables in-ground that require warmer soil, Paul suggests growing leaf lettuces and radishes in that space first. Radishes have a harvest date of twenty days which means they can be grown, pulled out and then vegetables like beans and cucumbers that like the warmer soil can be planted. “It’s about crop rotation as well,” says Paul.

For warmer climates, the longer the growing season, the more you can start directly in the ground.

Soil Preparation
Evidence is starting to show that turning soil over is not necessarily beneficial, from the standpoint that the soil is filled with millions of micro-organisms, bacteria, fungus, nematodes, protozoa, all which do have a very important role. So if the space is already existing, do minimal cultivation. However, if it is a new space, loosen up that hard soil and dig.

Feeding the soil is also important. Plants are growing and they demand nutrients. One of the most fundamental things that we can do in the vegetable garden is add organic matter. That can come in a few different forms:

  • Compost at home
  • Buy mushroom compost
  • Buy aged

With sufficient amounts of organic matter, Paul says you really don’t need to feed throughout the rest of the summer. You just need to be very conscious of how and when you’re watering and perhaps using some mulch to help to conserve moisture in the vegetable garden.

Fertilizer for the Vegetable Garden
Paul’s motto is “learn to feed the garden from the garden” by adding organic matter, whether it comes from food compost, composted manures or even shredded leaves, and allow those to break down.

One variable to note is the soil’s pH. pH can vary and some vegetables prefer one pH versus another. So it might be a good idea to have a soil pH test done.

In terms of fertilizing, many vegetables tend to be heavy feeders, so you really want to add as much organic matter as you can in the ground. In Paul’s opinion, once organic matter has been added in the ground in the spring, it usually carries the garden for the whole season.

Paul also mentions the importance of crop rotation. “Don’t grow tomatoes in the same spot that you grew tomatoes last year because tomatoes will feed on very specific nutrients. And if you put tomatoes there next year, that soil has already been somewhat depleted of those nutrients.”

There is a tendency to water more frequently raised beds and containers because they will dry out more often. Any of the nutrients that are there are leached so do not use topsoil or triple mix in containers. It’s far too heavy. The roots can’t breathe and the plants don’t do well. A container mix is needed or a medium that is fairly porous and absorbs moisture. And in that case, this is where Paul says fertilization becomes really important; using an all-purpose or vegetable fertilizer or an organic water soluble fertilizer becomes really key.  Follow the recommended rates as well. Some people think they should just add a little bit extra but according to Paul, a little extra fertilizer is not a good thing.

What is the best time of day to water a garden?
Depending on where one lives geographically, Paul suggests looking at water with a critical lens and realizing that every drop matters. Water when the plants are going to be able to utilize it and try save as much water as possible. This means:

  • Watering in the early morning or up until midday as opposed to the hottest part of the day when a lot of the water is going to evaporate;
  • Water at the base of plants, as opposed to using overhead sprinklers that put a lot of moisture into the air or on the leaves of the plants, which will then just evaporate.

Another reason for watering in the morning relates to pests. Watering can actually encourage pests and diseases since many of the fungal pests need moisture on their leaves to spread, which they tend to do in the evenings or through the night. So it’s really important that the plants go into the evening with dry leaves. If it rains, no need to worry. Rain is the best kind of moisture we can get. But try to get the plants to go into the evening dry so that these pathogens, such as some of the fungi or the bacteria, don’t have the opportunity to spread on the moist damp leaves.

Another tip to conserve moisture is to use mulches in your garden such as shredded leaves, straw or shredded cedar.  Mulch prevents a lot of moisture from evaporating from the soil surface. It keeps the ground a little bit cooler and moister which is more ideal for the plant. Plus mulch can also help reduce some disease that splashes up from the soil onto the plants.

Protecting a vegetable garden from insect pests and animals
With so much investment in a garden, we want it protected from insect pests and animals. In terms of insect pests, Paul reminds that there are a lot of insects that we often refer to as pests that are actually very beneficial to have in the garden. We should actually be encouraging them or attracting them in the garden because they can help us to control some of the less favorable pests that do more damage. People should learn to identify the pest and then evaluate whether it needs to be controlled.

Paul also thinks people should be a little bit less picky and realize just because a plant has a hole in the leaf doesn’t mean it’s any less nutritious.

Protective coverings are an option. For example, coverings can protect against leaf beetles or flea beetles that attack things like radishes or tomatoes. However, there are some plants that need to be pollinated, so a protective covering would not work on cucumbers, because you need to get the bees in there.

When it comes to animals such as deer, rabbits, squirrels and racoons, Paul cautions that people need to realize we are sharing our homes with these creatures. They are part of an ecosystem that we share.

There are deterrents such as water sprays and physical barriers such as hard wire cloth or chicken mesh. Paul is not a fan of cayenne pepper which some people use around the garden. Paul suggests looking at foods that animals don’t eat and grow those vegetables. Another idea is to grow vegetables that animals like in containers closer to your house as the animals might be less likely to come close to the house.

Consider building a frame to enclose some of the more sensitive edibles such as lettuce, cucumbers, chard, beats or strawberries. However, Paul says he rarely sees tomatoes, eggplants or peppers getting eaten so he is not concerned about putting them under a cover.

How to deal with weeds in the garden
Paul recommends learning to identify the weeds because some of them are annuals so they just live for one year, drop seeds and die. Others are perennial and they run underneath the ground. How you manage them becomes very different. Ideally, you do want to get rid of as many of the weeds as possible by digging them out or gently pulling them out. In early spring watch the soil surface. Usually what you’ll see is tons of little seedlings. By quickly taking a shovel or a cultivator and just scratching the surface, you will actually kill many of them and start to cut into the cycle. And if you do have issues with weeds in the garden, even if you can’t necessarily get to pull them out, what’s really important is not to let them go to seed. So when they flower and they begin to produce seed pods, cut those seed pods off and discard them. You want to prevent them from producing hundreds if not thousands of seeds, which are just going to be a source of problem the following year.

Top 10 list of easy-to-grow vegetables outside

  1. Chard
  2. Kale
  3. Lettuce
  4. Spinach
  5. Arugula
  6. Tomatoes
  7. Cucumbers
  8. Peas
  9. Beets
  10. Radishes

Listen To The Full Podcast Episode 8