Happy Holidays

December is speeding past!  It seems as though 2020 has rushed forward and yet dragged on forever!  If you’re like many of us, we are looking forward to traveling, exploring, meeting together in person and much more.  We hope you’ll take a few moments to explore our online newsletter and online events until we can meet again in person.

Wishing you a season filled with health and happy memories.

Heidi and the Victoria Healthy People Team

Inspire Kindness and Forgiveness!

Our world continues to shake as Covid-19 continues to rip apart our lives in varying degrees. It’s becoming more common to see signs asking people to be patient and kind too!

There is no place in this world for hatred. Sadly, many of us have been on the receiving end of ill-placed behaviours of co-workers, employees, church leaders, or a family member. It’s painful!

We would do well to remember we all came from the same parents. While we all eat, breathe, love, and have emotions, sometimes we forget common decency and kindness. Many in this world today are on the receiving end of hateful actions and hurtful words. To this end, we collectively as a world can do better! We MUST do better!

No matter one’s background, everyone is a spiritual being. With that in mind, a friend reminded me that there is a God in heaven who is always there to listen and help in times of need and give us the wisdom to live by.

Here are a few words of wisdom from His book:

“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32 ESV

And when those around forget to be kind…remember:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Philippians 4:6-8 NIV

Try spreading kindness and forgiveness today!

It’s free and leads to a happier and healthier life, as well as longevity!


Just in case you missed it…Documentary on CBC GEM

Shown on July 13, 2019   4pm PDT

(8:30pm NLT)

From Drs. Arjun and Shobha Rayapudi “We are honoured that CBC has produced a documentary based on the work of Drs. Arjun and Shobha Rayapudi’s Gift of Health program. This plant-based food program is changing lives and health outcomes in an area of Newfoundland and Labrador where diabetes and heart disease rates are some of the highest in the country.

This Absolutely Canadian documentary Plantify focuses on our work to educate people in rural Newfoundland and Labrador about using a Plant-Based lifestyle as Medicine.

We would love for you to tune in to CBC or watch online at CBC GEM!”

Date: Saturday, July 13
Time: 4pm PDT           8:30 PM (NLT)

Travel Tips #3–West Coast Airports

Have you ever wondered what the best airport on the West Coast might be for vegan food?  Well, after some serious flying…we’d like to nominate San Francisco Airport, Terminal 2 for a wealth of restaurant / take-away eateries.  Two of the best places to visit are Napa Farms Market and The Plant Cafe Organic are two of the best stops in Terminal 2.

Napa Farms Market has it all…breakfast, lunch, dinner and to go.  Looking for a bowl of oats?  Napa Farms has it.

Bon Voyage!

Travel Tips–Plant Based Meals Around the Globe #2

Breakfast–The most important meal of the day!

Europe has amazing options for breakfast…from muesli to pates, vegan cheeses and meat alternatives (that can look like the real thing) to soya and other dairy free options.  Here is a sample of Sojade yogurt and milk.  Other brands unique to Europe include Alpro and Provamel.

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Pure 100% pomegranate juice is fairly easy to find in Europe.  Typically, lifestyle medicine physicians do not recommend beverages other than water unless someone is trying to enhance brain health or using antioxidant rich beverages for a specific time-frame for health restoration.

Berries (1 cup daily) for breakfast, along with 4 walnut halves is recommended by leading researchers and physicians, several of whom presented at the International Congress on Vegetarian Nutrition at Loma Linda University in February 2018.   According to researchers, a cup of berries daily provide antioxidants and the walnuts help with metabolism stabilization.

When traveling in Europe, especially in the summer, fruit is plentiful and outdoor markets abound.  Ask the locals the best place to shop and step out of the comfort zone and try something new.  Here are a few berries that I’d never eaten before and gave a try.  The dark purple berries were unique in flavour and the red ones somewhat tart.  Neither were sweet, however loaded with antioxidants.  And my mystery berries are …black currants and red currants.

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The largest grape shaped berries pictured below are gooseberries and came in the burgundy colour pictured and green.  They were the sweetest, however the other berries were good on cereal.  I found these berries at a outdoor market in Switzerland.  It was being held in a plaza square.  These berries were plentiful in France, Switzerland and Germany (in June/July), as well as Norway at the end of May.  I didn’t see them in Italy in June–however that doesn’t mean they weren’t available.  Finding an outdoor market in Italy was not possible due to the travel schedule.  Some outdoor markets are daily and others only certain days of the week.  Ask the locals.  They are always eager to help.  When in France, ask “Parlez-vous anglais?”.  Opening any conversation in France with this is helpful.   IMG_0268 (400x178)


A bowl of muesli loaded with a cup of frozen mixed berries (the red and dark blue ones above along with black berries, strawberries and raspberries in this mix), some plant based milk, kiwi (or sometimes other fruit) and small (100ml) bottle of pomegranate juice (before the meal) plus beans (not pictured) made up a typical breakfast.  The two small wholegrain buns with a vegan pate were what was available this particular morning, however was not always part of the morning fare.

This was my breakfast in the Waldensian Mountains of Northern Italy.

Sending an email and checking with your hotel or host in advance for special meal requests is highly recommended unless someone is arranging the trip for you–even then make sure that everyone has confirmed your dietary needs.

Depending on what country in Europe, breakfast could be croissants and coffee (not part of a healthy WFPD) or it could be a heavily laden meat and cheese with a baguette spread.  Searching out the local markets or grocery store and asking your host to hold things in a fridge for you is another option.  Be sure to mention that you have special dietary or medical needs and they are typically extremely accommodating if there is not a fridge in your room or one that you can access.

Dr. Luken a lifestyle medicine physician in California also recommends two 8oz glasses of water upon rising, an hour of walking followed by a hearty breakfast including about 1 cup of beans and 6 almonds.  The second meal Dr. Gallant recommends mid-afternoon (2pm or so) with water up to 15 minutes before meals and beginning 2 hours after again.  Drinking 2 litres of water will help ensure hydration and aide in weight maintenance/loss.  He notes that WFPD with 2 meals per day can aide in digestive issues, mental clarity, weight loss–unless thyroid irregularities or medication induced side effects are present, and provide ample calories and nutrients.

A word in closing about hydration and travel.  Drinking at least 2 litres of water in the heat and humidity daily is a must.  Avoid heat stroke (sunstroke) which can dampen travel plans.  Here’s what to look for:

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!  A quick way to help boost electrolytes is with some coconut water if needed.




Vegan Travel Around the Globe #1

Vegan meals in Paris, France and Oslo, Norway—Travel News

Travel is always exciting and full of possibilities! Exploring local cuisine‘s around the globe is fascinating and at times can be exciting when trying to explain that you would like to order a meal without any animal products and you don’t speak the local language.  Having some resources to rely on as well as ideas of where to look for health food stores and restaurants in any given country is always helpful.   In this enews we’re going to not only review a restaurant chain, but offer ideas for finding a food store in Paris and share a good resource for finding your next meal.

When landing in Paris and looking for food in the airport Marks and Spencer Food has a variety of inexpensive takeaway salads that are vegan.  Many of these food markets are located pre-check in or on the arrivals level. They also have a good selection of nuts and fresh fruit, ready to eat.  If you’re heading out on the airplane be sure to pick up your food before going through security screening and remember there is a 100 ml limit on liquids.

A great resource for finding vegan, vegetarian or veg-friendly restaurants as well as food stores is the HappyCow app.  It helps with finding options, the phone number, hours, website, reviews and yes, even directions to your destination.  This app is a must have for global travel!  Happy Cow also maintains a website that lists information if you are using a desktop computer.  Another web based resource is VegDining which only maintains a website and is currently undergoing construction / migration.

In Paris, there are a few more restaurant and health food grocery store options than in some other countries within Europe.  Check store and restaurant hours as well as opening days, as this tends to vary greatly in Paris.  There is only one Loving Hut in Paris–however the vegan cheesecake is one of the top in the world next to San Diego, California Loving Hut–in my opinion.  There are also Naturalia markets throughout Paris which sell vegan foods including Tartex a delicious spread for a picnic sandwich along the Seine or by the Eiffel Tower.  Soya brand non-dairy yogurt is also widely available here.  Soya yogurt is much tastier than the brands we have in Canada or the USA.  Fresh delicious pomegranite juice is easy to find as well.  Some labels in Naturalia stores may have English, however if your French is rusty, just ask “Parlez vous le anglais?” and likely someone who speaks French will help you figure out if there is any animal products in an item.

Eating the local food prepared by yourself is a great option if staying in a Hostel or an Airbnb. For example in Oslo, Norway there are two Loving Hut locations as well as a few other vegan restaurants.  Be sure to check the hours before heading off.  Norway restaurants hours vary greatly from France.  Another option that I found helpful was shopping at the regular grocery store which has helped save money in Norway.  KIWI Markets have a good variety of healthy vegan food options.  Finding legumes pre-cooked in KIWI Markets was quite easy. Here, I discovered an oat milk by the brand name of Oatly which is delicious over whole-grain cereal for breakfast. In the freezer section I was able to find a multi berry frozen fruit mix that is delicious for breakfast. It also serves as a delicious evening snack in the 31°C weather that has hit Norway for the last few weeks.

Wishing you delicious plant based meals on your travels!  Bon Voyage!

Volunteer with Victoria Healthy People at CarFreeYYJ on June 17, 2018 and have an opportunity to WIN a special prize from France!  Sign-up with donation under regular tab or for free under student volunteer:  VOLUNTEER SIGN UP


Benefits of a Plant-Based Diet

diet based diet includes vegetables, legumes, fruits, and whole grains, which is also low in fat and sugar, can lower blood sugar levels and often reduce or even eliminate the need for medication. Protective against cancer, plantbased diets are lower in fat and higher in fiber than meat-based diets.

Science today supports a low fat, plant based diet as both nutritionally adequate and as preventive. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) in the United States states that,  “vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. Well-planned vegetarian diets are appropriate for individuals during all stages of the lifecycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence, and for athletes.”

Hundreds of studies and papers support plant-based diets can aid in preventing and reversing lifestyle diseases such as Type 2 Diabetes, Cardiovascular Disease, preventing Alzheimer’s, kidney stones, some types of cancer (especially colon, prostate and breast cancer) to name a few.  Plant based diets are typically low in saturated fat as cholesterol is found only in meat, dairy and eggs, making it easy to eat cholesterol free.  Coconut oil is the exception as it is 87% saturated fat–therefore not good for you.   Plant foods are also high in fiber found in legumes, fruits and vegetables and it decreases the loss of calcium from the bones, helping prevent osteoporosis.

Lowering blood pressure is made easier as well on a plant based diet.  Decreasing sugar, fat and eliminating animal products combined with an exercise / daily walking program and plant based diet can increase your longevity, prevent and reverse chronic disease conditions and add to your overall health and well-being. Sign-up for a special event and join us on your journey towards living your best life!


March Nutrition Tips to Maintain Your Healthiest Self

Hydration is Key
The average person requires 30 to 50 ounces of fluid per day (1 to 1.5 litres) according to a Harvard Health.  Active adults, athletes and persons in hot climates may require more water daily.  Drinking adequate amounts of water helps transport vital nutrients, feed cells, flush out toxins and keeps your body functioning properly.  Your body is made up of 70% water and while fruits and vegetables contain higher amounts of water, it is vital to ensure that we drink adequate amounts of pure fresh water.

Food is Fuel
What we put in our mouth does make a difference!  A whole food, plant-based diet gives your body the best nutrients possible from the earth to provide strength, energy and vitality.  Choosing fresh, good quality vegetables, fruits, grains, seeds and legumes is key.  Organic foods are a wise choice with foods known to be GMO (genetically modified) to avoid both health problems and allergies, as well as chemicals.  Athletes today are turning to a plant based diet for strength and endurance as well,  Abdullah Zeinab who won at epic 5,500km cycling race across Australia.  There are many others who’s stories can be found, including at OneGreenPlanet.org and this new advertisement Switch 4 Good.

Receive Essential Nutrients from the Food You Eat
Most micro-nutrients your body needs can be found in plant sources.  Vitamin C is abundant in fruit such as strawberries, pineapple, mango and oranges to name a few.  Carrots are high in beta-carotene, good for eye health.  Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of not only Vitamin A, but also potassium.  Other nutrients such as iron are found abundantly in lentils, black strap molasses and dark leafy greens to name a few.

Supplements for Essential Nutrients
Eating a plant based diet is easy and getting all nutrients required typically.  There are two essential nutrients however that are generally recommended for the general population and consideration to using a plant-based supplement of Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D3 are highly recommended in the medical community.

Fight Disease with Your Food Choices
At the 7th Annual Congress on Vegetarian Nutrition, over 750 top researchers, scientists, physicians, dietitians, nurses and public health personnel gathered from around the globe to learn and exchange information on the latest scientifically backed and evidence based research.  Time and again, researchers demonstrated that cancer can be avoided from 20% to as high as 90% by choosing a whole food, plant-based diet.  In fact, on October 26, 2015 the World Health Organization issued a statement that red and processed meat cause cancer.

The world’s largest and deadliest pandemic today, is the rise of obesity which is directly linked to the rapid increase in diabetes and other chronic disease.  The consumption of animal products and processed foods are major culprits.  Scientists are taking note and recognize that whole food, plant-based diets lower BMI, decreases cardiovascular disease in obese children, and that reversal of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and obesity, to name a few, may be aided by a plant based diet.

One of the speakers, Dr. David Katz, the founding director of Yale University’s Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center and the Integrative Medicine Center at Griffin Hospital.  He is author of a medical textbook many research papers and wrote the book, Disease-Proof, Slash Your Risk of Heart Disease, Cancer, Diabetes, and More-By 80 Percent.  As a leading specialist in preventive medicine Dr. David Katz draws upon the latest scientific evidence and decades of clinical experience to explain how we can slash our risk of every major chronic disease—heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, dementia, and obesity—by an astounding 80%.

In closing, Dr. Katz said,  “There are many ways to eat bad and Americans are committed to trying every one of them!”.  Canadians are not far behind in their quest to follow the SAD diet (Standard American Diet) and other ‘options’.

Next Month…Benefits of a Plant-Based Diet




Enter our 2017 Holiday Giveaway

You could be the winner of the World’s best plant-based cookbook in 2017 that won the prestigious Gourmand Award in May 2017.  “Food As Medicine:  Cooking for Your Best Health” by Sue Radd will take you on a culinary journey that will delight even the pickiest eater in your family.  You’ll also receive our email updates that include events, recipes, links to articles and information related to health and wellness.  Share with your friends too!  Winner must attend a Victoria Healthy People event in person in January or February 2018 to be eligible for the cookbook prize.  Share with your friends too!  We’ve got a special gift for the 2,000 person on our list!

Enter our 2017 Holiday Giveaway