Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture, or cosmetic acupuncture, is a centuries old technique given a modern twist. Often touted as the non-surgical facelift, acupuncture has some pretty effective results when it comes to taking the years off.
How does it work? Compared to the conventional strategies of botox and fillers, acupuncture is an effective and non-toxic alternative.
Let's start with the botox. This is the toxin of the bacteria that causes botulism (bo-tox... get it?). It works by paralyzing certain muscles in the face. If you can't move the muscles to make your face wrinkle, you don't appear to have wrinkles. The thing is, when you're able to move naturally again, those wrinkles haven't left. The average time it takes for it to wear off is 3-4 months. It must be done by someone trained because if they miss the target muscle, some unfortunate drooping may occur. Allergic reactions, bruising, and local irritation are always a possibility.
Then, there's the fillers. These work to plump up the area in a line or wrinkle to make it appear fuller. Once your body processes the filler, the wrinkle appears again. That happens anywhere from months to years, depending on the type of filler that's used. They may be made of your own cells (from fattier pockets on your body) or of hyaluronic acid which helps plump the areas between the cells. Allergic reactions are always a possibility, and local reactions such as redness, bruising, swelling, pain and irritation are also common side effects.
And finally, the acupuncture. Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture is effective for fine lines, deeper wrinkles, and sagging skin. It helps to boost your skin's natural collagen production within each line to naturally correct lines and wrinkles. It also increases circulation, balances oil and moisture, improves skin elasticity, and improves muscle and skin tone. And yes, there are studies on it. Treatments are more frequent initially to allow your body's awesomeness to kick in (weekly is recommended for 4-6 weeks depending on your goals), then maintenance treatments once a month or so can help keep the circulation and collagen up and running! It's relatively painless, non-toxic, safe, and effective. Worst case there's a little bruise, but since all options involve needles, this is a risk that's there anyway, except acupuncture needles are much, much smaller.
Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture must be done by someone trained in this, since the techniques used are a bit different from regular acupuncture. I did my training with Virginia Doran, M.Ac, L.Ac in 2011 and home visits are available by arrangement. For more info, feel free to reach out!
Barrett JB. Acupuncture and facial rejuvenation. Aesthetic Surgery Journal. 2005;25(4):419–424.
Donoyama N, Kojima A, Suoh S, Ohkoshi N. Cosmetic acupuncture to enhance facial skin appearance: a preliminary study. Acupuncture in Medicine. 2012;30(2):152–153.
Doran VC. An introduction to facial revitalisation acupuncture. European Journal of Oriental Medicine. 2007;5(5):4–8.
Younghee, Y, et al. Effect of facial cosmetic acupuncture on facial elasticity: An open-label, single-arm pilot study. Evidence-Based Complimentary and Alternative Medicine. 2013;2013:424313.
Limited options exist in the medical world for chronic pain. Many patients are offered pain medications indefinitely without shedding light on other alternatives, and the most common complaint I hear from people put on these hefty meds is, "my brain no work good".
There are alternatives and quite effective ones at that. I'll shed some light on the top 3 here. Long-term medications will always be there as an option if you don't find any alternative options work for you.
1. Acupuncture. This is very effective for arthritis, bursitis, nerve pain, muscle pain, acute injury, and pretty much any other kind of pain. Needles are placed around the painful site, as well as some in other places on the body, which help to stimulate blood flow and encourage endorphin release. By stimulating blood flow, this can also encourage healing of the tissue in cases like bursitis, muscle pain, and acute injury. As a bonus, electrical current can be added to the needles to increase the effects. TENS works well for pain relief and microcurrent helps stimulate cellular energy production (called ATP) which promotes healing of damaged tissue. Healing! Let's see naproxen do that.
2. Turmeric. This is the most potent anti-inflammatory herb out there with extensive research on it, particularly for arthritis. Since arthritis management is often long-term symptom relief, taking something that's actually beneficial for your liver and digestion seems like a better option. Turmeric's main active component is called curcumin which is often the bit that's concentrated in supplements. There's a catch though: curcumin needs to be paired with a fat to absorb. Good quality supplements will already have this taken care of, but if you're just taking good ol' turmeric, be sure to have some coconut oil with it.
3. Ginger. Recent research has shown ginger to be as effective as a triptan when it comes to reducing severity and duration of acute migraines. My own personal n=1 study recently concluded similar results (what is with this weather?) and removed all trace of a migraine hangover. Ginger is also effective for osteoarthritis pain and period pain.
Depending on what type of pain you're dealing with, the best treatment for you might not be listed here. You may also find you need the occasional acetaminophen or ibuprofen for if you overdo it, and that's totally fine. Reducing the dose or amount of meds you're taking might be your goal. Either way, talk to a licensed ND about options that would be good for you so that you can get out there!
Kwon YD, Pittler MH, Ernst E. Acupuncture for peripheral joint osteoarthritis: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Rheumatology (Oxford) 2006;45:1331-7
Manheimer, E., Linde, K., Lao, L., Bouter, L. M., and Berman, B. M. Meta-analysis: acupuncture for osteoarthritis of the knee. Ann Intern Med 2007;146(12):868-877.
Bjordal, J. M., Johnson, M. I., Lopes-Martins, R. A., Bogen, B., Chow, R., and Ljunggren, A. E. Short-term efficacy of physical interventions in osteoarthritic knee pain. A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised placebo-controlled trials. BMC Musculoskelet Disord 2007;8:51.
Daily JW, Zhang X, Kim da S, et al. Efficacy of Ginger for Alleviating the Symptoms of Primary Dysmenorrhea: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Randomized Clinical Trials. Pain Med. 2015;16(12):2243-55
Pattanittum P, Kunyanone N, Brown J, et al. Dietary supplements for dysmenorrhoea. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2016;3:CD002124.
Terry R, Posadzki P, Watson LK, Ernst E. The use of ginger (Zingiber officinale) for the treatment of pain: a systematic review of clinical trials. Pain Med 2011;12:1808-18.
Maghbooli M, Golipour F, Moghimi Esfandabadi A, Yousefi M. Comparison between the efficacy of ginger and sumatriptan in the ablative treatment of the common migraine. Phytother Res 2014;28(3):412-5.
Yu C, Hu ZQ, Peng RY. Effects and mechanisms of a microcurrent dressing on skin wound healing: a review. Mil Med Res 2014;1:24.
When it comes to making dinner, there are two types of common mindsets that I see in practice: the "By the time I get home from work, I'm waaaaay too tired to make anything" and the "By the time I get home from work I'm just so hungry I could eat the countertop and will destroy anything that gets in my way". I'm the latter. Both of these mindsets do have one thing in common: they both end up just throwing a frozen pizza in the oven.
Here's where meal planning can change your nutrition.
Admittedly, we just started doing this this year. I had a fun crafternoon and made an awesome chalkboard for the kitchen, so this seemed like the perfect use for it other than drawing happy stick figures on it.
Of course, meal planning helps with grocery shopping. This helps keep you focused on what you need to get and prevents straying too far over to things that just look so good, and makes sure that you have everything you need for the week. You can also resist the urge to visit the frozen food section. So no "there's nothing in the fridge" excuse.
Secondly, meal planning helps prevent the over-tired or hangry impulse to continually reach for frozen or pre-packaged meals. I don't know about you, but when I'm hangry I have ZERO brain power to figure out what to eat. There is no voice of reason. Piecing together a healthy option just wastes too much valuable time that I could be using to eat something. Of course, if you tend toward the over-tired side of things, you are also likely in brain-energy-conservation mode.
When you have a week planned out of meals, your dinner-making is simply an extra, pre-formed task, like how you need to get gas on your way home. You look at your chalkboard/fridge/post-it note and see that it's Thursday, therefore I make a stir-fry. Great. Get the rice on. Get out the chicken, etc. Chop chop veggies. Done. Zero brain power. Healthy meal.
Thirdly, meal planning helps cut down on prep time. Here's where strategy comes in. You can make sure you have healthy lunches and can make the rest of the week easier. For example, if you know you'll need quinoa in the next day or two, why not cook an extra cup now and just reheat it later? Less cooking time needed. Same goes for chopping veggies. Just chop up the whole pepper or the whole broccoli once, then grab-and-cook throughout the week.
Happy planning, healthy people!
It's that time of year when parties and cheese plates and cookies are everywhere you go. We all want to avoid looking like this plump Mr. Snowman over here by the end of the holiday season, so here's some quick survival tips to help get you through.
1. Indulge at events only. The holidays are about gatherings and social events, a lot of which are awesome fun. Enjoy the dinner and have some cookies. The reality is that these events aren't all-day affairs; they're single events. You don't have to have a bagel or croissantwich for breakfast just because it's December. Focus on eating well for those meals that you do have control over. For many, breakfast and lunch are pretty easy meals to have packed with fruits, veggies, and lean proteins. Snack on veggies, healthy nuts, and seeds. My general rule is 70-80% healthy, 20-30% treats. Don't let the treats overtake the healthy!
2. Don't focus on weight loss, focus on maintaining. This is also what I like to call "damage control". The reality of December is that we're all going to indulge (myself included). It's really hard not to indulge with all of the delicious treats that we get in the clinic here from our culinarily-gifted patients! If your goal is weight loss, don't be discouraged if that slows down and don't feel guilty when you're out at a social event. If you're going to have a cookie (or two), really, really enjoy them. Remember, over the grand scheme of the week or year, you're still coming out ahead.
3. Have a team. Most peoples' kryptonite is the treat table at work where, ironically, treats get dumped to get them out of the house. Chances are your work neighbour is also fighting the urge to get up and get just-one-more-and-that's-it-I-swear treat. Help talk each other off the ledge.
4. Eat or drink your way to the treat. Let me explain this one. Say you want a cookie (again). Take that cookie and put some veggie sticks and hummus in front of it, or even just a big glass of water. Eat the veggie sticks and hummus, or drink the glass of water, then you can have the cookie. You'll be a bit more full by the time it's cookie's turn, and you'll be helping your brain link "I want a snack" to healthy options. This helps you bounce back in January much easier as we all try to rip our brains out of the addictive clutches of the sugar.
Also, don't forget that if you have benefits, now's the time to use them up before the end of the year!
I'm so happy with these, guys.
I always speak with people about the importance of a simplified skin routine. Especially when there's a zit, our initial response is to smother it in a multitude of ointments, gels, creams, and green concealer. When our pits are stinky, we slather them in all sort of smell-blockers.
Our skin wants to breathe. It wants to expel water and oils. It is the largest organ that we have and is our first line of defence against the outside world.
I have given the recipe for homemade-holy-crap-it-works-deodorant (now called "Happy Pits") to countless patients... only 1 has made it and I haven't seen him since. Why? Because it worked (his wife told me this and excessive sweating was his only complaint). I did a seminar here at the clinic a few months ago on natural beauty tips and a lovely participant kindly said "can't you just make it for us?". And thus, Happy Pits was born.
Happy Pits is moisturizing organic coconut oil as a base, with baking soda as the odour-absorbing powerhouse and arrowroot powder as its thickener. You'll still sweat, but let's be honest: don't you sweat through antiperspirants anyway? And guess what? You're supposed to sweat. It's what your pores want to do to detoxify the body and eliminate cellular waste products. When you clog them up with aluminum from a conventional antiperspirant, they will try and push more out resulting in an increase in sweating. Not what you want, right? It takes a month or so for your pores to adjust, but eventually you'll notice you sweat less, it's less stinky, and it stains your clothes less. Win-win-win.
Happy Pores is another 3-ingredient cleanser with the light and lovely apricot kernel oil as its base along with a local, raw honey with powerful cleansing and antimicrobial effects. These don't mix, so it's blended with a smidgeon of Emulsimulse which is a vegetable-based emulsifier that's EcoCert certified for use in organic cosmetics. So wait, wash your face with oil? What? Yes. Oil dissolves oil, so this cleanser can be used to remove make-up with ease. It also keeps oil on the skin to help regulate oil production: your skin needs oil as its protective barrier, so when you continually strip the oil away, it will make more in response. Not what you want again, right? By using oil on your skin, you're giving it what it wants. By using antimicrobial honey, it works to combat p.acnes which is the bacteria responsible for causing zits. Win-win.
Bye Bye Bug Bar is a summer special, using a solid base of pesticide-free local beeswax and skin nourishing coconut oil and shea butter. Studies have shown that a combination of essential oils were more effective than DEET at repelling mosquitoes - so why don't we use these instead? These Bars have lavender, eucalyptus, lemon, lemon balm, and catnip in them and smell great. They're not overpowering like most essential oil products but effective enough to keep them away from a bug-magnet like me!
All of these are available at Peak Health and Wellness for purchase! They are made for you by yours truly, and yes, they work. I'm happy to share the recipes with you if you're not nearby - feel free to ask!
Adams TF, Wongchai C, Chaidee A, Pfeiffer W. "Singing in the Tube"--audiovisual assay of plant oil repellent activity against mosquitoes (Culex pipiens). Parasitol Res. 2016 Jan;115(1):225-39.
Choi WS, Park BS, Ku SK, Lee SE. Repellent activities of essential oils and monoterpenes against Culex pipiens pallens. J Am Mosq Control Assoc. 2002 Dec;18(4):348-51.
Making dietary and lifestyle changes can certainly make a huge impact on your health. They can also totally cramp your style.
Making realistic, long-term changes start slowly. Complete and abrupt overhauls typically result in sliding backwards once a few cravings hit or when life just happens. The best way to ease your way into it is to seriously half-ass it.
1. Brown rice. Some people love it, some people hate it. The husk of the rice contains lots of minerals such as magnesium, zinc, iron, and copper, and a good dose of B-vitamins. Start by mixing half white rice with half brown rice (you may have to cook separately) until you get used to the taste and texture. You'll be increasing nutrients and fibre.
2. Coffee. 2-3 cups (actual cups) per day are good for you and can help prevent diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and dementia. Over this limit means your risk starts to go up. If you're overly anxious or are drinking way too much, the best way to start to cut down is by switching to half-caf. This will keep enough caffeine to reduce withdrawal symptoms and help with the step-down approach.
3. Pop. While you work on cutting this completely out of your life (really, it's that bad for you), make friends with club soda. Dilute half of your pop with club soda to cut your sugar intake in half while maintaining all of the happy fizz. As a further step down, use a splash of juice or wedge of lemon to flavour the fizz. Then end the relationship by telling the pop, "it's not you, it's a healthier me".
4. Salty snacks. Peanuts, chips, pretzels: you name it, this trick works. You can get reduced-sodium chips (Kettle Chips has some with virtually no salt... I can personally verify this one!), unsalted nuts or pretzels at any bulk or grocery store. Mix half salted with the unsalted. Your tastebuds won't notice the difference but your blood pressure certainly will!
5. Meat. Embrace the year of the pulse! Get yourself a food processor and make some bean or lentil burgers or meat balls. Reducing meat consumption by starting with a Meatless Monday can reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Plant-based diets have the best health outcomes and one of the best to follow is the Mediterranean Diet. This includes meat in moderation and uses plants as the main-stay of nutrition.
Rotating between salad, stir-fry, or steam? Getting more veggies into your diet can be quite monotonous and there’s only so much hummus one can eat before your insides start rumbling (or is that just me?). I’m always encouraging people to think differently about their veggies and educating on ways to get more in. The health benefits of a plant-based diet are numerous and I’ll tell you my favourite gadgets to transform these for even the most picky eaters. I’m not talking about fancy, high-tech, totally obscure gadgets, I’m talking about easy, multi-use, oh-so-practical gadgets. Here are my 3 kitchen must-haves that I cannot live without:
#1. A food processor. This is the #1 best gadget in my kitchen. I’m not a meat-eater and the thought of eating plain beans and lentils is far less appealing than black bean burgers, tacos, spaghetti and meatballs, tacos, falafel, tacos, and, of course, tacos. I generally try to educate my patients on the value of incorporating more plant proteins into their diet due to the overwhelming research backing the associated health benefits and investing in a basic food processor is a great way to do that. This will not only transform your beans, chickpeas, rice, quinoa, lentils, and veggies into something completely different, exciting, and delicious, but will also help you make some amazing snacks such as energy balls and granola bars. Many processors will also have a grating/slicing blade that helps to quickly slice things like potatoes, beets, and apples into fine slices ready for baking into homemade chips. So, with one gadget, we’ve made healthy burgers, chips, meatballs, and snacks. That's what I'm talkin' about.
#2. A good, high-powered blender. These blending machines, such as a Vitamix or Blendtec, function quite differently than a standard blender and can do more than just whiz up milkshakes. These are the easiest way to make smoothies, sauces, creamy soups, almond/rice/coconut/cashew/etc milk, sorbets, and even flour. I use my blender daily since I’m partial to smoothies: this is where lots of my fruits, veggies, whole flax seeds (it’ll grind for you), coconut shreds, and whatever-else-I’m-feeling-that-day go into for my “brain juice” to get me going.
#3. A spiralizer. Got kids? You need this one. Raw veggies are much more exciting when carrots and beets are in fun noodle shapes and these are great additions to simple summer salads. Spiralizing a zucchini is a great way to sneak more veggies into spaghetti or mix with spaghetti squash for some different noodle textures. This gadget doesn’t make too many main dishes with the exception of spaghetti noodles, but it sure does make a star out of a side dish!
Bonus! The immersion blender deserves an honourable mention for a couple of reasons. I have a soft spot for this one since it was my first ever favourite kitchen gadget. I've run two into the ground so far. The are great because I don’t like pouring anything hot into my blender because it’s plastic. Even though it’s BPA free, some of those new substitutes are proving not to be any better. A stainless steel immersion blender helps to puree anything that’s hot and I love it for soups, sauces, and dairy-free nacho cheese dip. It’s also incredibly easy to use and a great starting point if you’re just getting into home cooking since many come with a mini food processor attachment so you can test drive it.
Well, after 3.5 great years at the YSHC, it's time for me to move on.
As you may know, I moved out of the city a little over a year ago... and I'm loving it! As such, it's time for me to retire the 401 rage and ditch the commute. I'm continuing my full-time practice at Peak Health and Wellness in Brooklin.
If you're an existing patient, I'll be in contact with you with some pertinent info so keep an eye on your mailboxes.
Thanks for your wonderful support over the last few years and it's been a pleasure working with you, North York! Stay healthy.
Oh that time. That wonderful, glorious time when your world comes crashing down because your shoe's untied and your boobs feel like they're going to explode. Amiright?
Ladies, there is help beyond the pill.
PMS (premenstrual syndrome) most often occurs when estrogen and progesterone are approaching their peak before the period. These high levels cause breast tenderness, weight gain and bloating, headaches, acne, fatigue, irritability, and a general feeling of "get out of my unsexy way". Getting to the root of these issues often requires a bit of detective work to figure out the best approach, however there are some awesome natural treatments that are incredibly effective.
Food. Refined carbohydrates, sugar and dairy worsen PMS by increasing inflammatory markers. This one gets tricky because who doesn't want sugar pre-period? It's so unfair. Cutting these out/down can be effective not only for PMS but for PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) as well. Ramp up the fruits, veggies, and healthy fats to help control this inflammation.
Also called mastalgia, sore boobs are super common symptom of PMS. It's also super uncomfortable, especially if you like to run for exercise (ahem, personal experience...). A big contributor here is coffee which is high in methylxanthines, and also chocolate. It's pretty well documented that, unfortunately, this is a big contributor to sore and fibrocystic breasts. BOO.
So, now I've just stated that removing sugar, bagels, cheese, ice cream, coffee, and chocolate pre-period is a good idea. I realize the irony.
Calcium and magnesium. One of the best supplements for symptom management on many accounts: cramping, breast tenderness, mood swings, back pain, etc. This can be taken throughout the cycle or from ovulation onward with similar efficacy. It's a pretty simple one to try first that can take care of a lot of common physical symptoms, so may give you the best bang for your buck. Always ensure you're taking one that has vitamin D in it, as taking calcium on its own may lead to some cardiovascular issues.
Chastetree. Getting a little cranky is one thing, getting angry is another. Depending on severity, this may be PMS or it may be PMDD (premenstrual dysphoric disorder) which is the Incredible Hulk of PMS. This is best treated with herbs and Chastetree definitely effective here, though you need to make sure this is a good option for you. To get the right dose and a good quality supplement, be sure to chat with your friendly neighbourhood ND. Chances are buying whatever's on sale won't work so I don't want to you feel discouraged!
Keep in mind that while these recommendations do have some solid research behind them, they're pretty general. You're an awesome lady, but you're very different from the other ladies around you, and you may need some tailored advice. What I do want you to know is that there's lots of options beyond what's mentioned here to help resolve your PMS and have a happy month... the whole month.
References:Abraham GE. Nutritional factors in the etiology of the premenstrual tension syndromes. J Reprod Med. 1983 Jul;28(7):446-64.
Jang SH, Kim DI, Choi MS. Effects and treatment methods of acupuncture and herbal medicine for premenstrual syndrome/premenstrual dysphoric disorder: systematic review. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2014 Jan 10;14:11.
Nevatte T, O'Brien PM, Bäckström T, Brown C, Dennerstein L et al. ISPMD consensus on the management of premenstrual disorders. Arch Womens Ment Health. 2013 Aug;16(4):279-91.
I talk nutrition with all of my patients. Food is fuel and has the potential to keep you around for a long time.
The most common excuse I hear for why people can't eat healthy is "I don't have time to eat well". If this is you, I have a newsflash: saying you don't have time to eat well is like saying you don't have time to stop for gas because you're too busy driving.
I certainly don't have a 100% perfect diet and I don't expect any of my patients to either. But eating well 70-80% of the time, well, that takes no added time at all. I'm a busy gal with non-typical business hours. I get home at 9pm some days and I'm tired. A patient recently asked, "you must be healthy, what do you eat? How do you do it?". I thought I'd share my answer here.
Breakfast: Smoothie 5-6 days per week and always on workdays. I fill my blender the night before so that the frozen fruit melts and I don't get a brain-freeze for breakfast. In about 45 seconds flat, I add frozen strawberries, frozen blueberries, handful of baby carrots, baby spinach, kale, broccoli, 1 scoop vegetarian protein powder, 2 tbsp flaxseed, and sometimes coconut if I'm feeling fancy. There are always at least 3 colours of fruits and veggies. In the morning, I take this out of the fridge and turn on the blender. Another 30 seconds of my day. Protein, healthy fats, tons of vitamins and minerals. Definitely worth the 75 seconds. When I'm not working, eggs are my go-to. Or sometimes homemade banana pancakes because they're delicious.
Snack: Usually this will be part 2 of my smoothie because I make a huge one. No extra prep time here!
Lunch: I've always been a lunch-bringer and it's usually leftovers. Sometimes I'll take my favourite perfect-salad-sized tupperware container and throw whatever's in the fridge into it. I always make sure there's a good protein source (hardboiled eggs, extra beans or lentils, nuts, seeds, edamame, etc) and some health fat (nuts or avocado in addition to my homemade dressing that I make a jar full at one time).
Snack: I keep Lara bars in both of my office drawers for hanger-related emergencies. Trail mix is another go-to snack as are veggies and hummus.
Dinner: My husband and I split the cooking even though he's better at it. We always focus on whole foods and never/rarely eat from a package. We also never spend more than 20-30 minutes making dinner, and sometimes it's 10. Making large batches of things helps me out with lunch the next day and with future dinners when we know we'll both be home late. Here's what we've had this past week: Thai red curry (tons of veggies, brown rice, tofu), spaghetti squash with walnut & lentil 'meatballs', tacos with mashed leftover walnut & lentil meatballs as the 'meaty' base, crockpot roasted organic chicken with roasted veggies & quick kale salad, veggie burgers with portobello mushrooms and sweet potato fries, mishmash bowl of deliciousness (lots of extra brown rice, black beans, sautéed veggies, shredded cabbage, and avocado slices). On recounting this, only the taco shells and veggie burgers were pre-made. I made oatmeal cookies last night. With chocolate chips.
This is what my typical workday looks like. What happens on my days off stays on my days off.
You may be thinking that this is all great, but when there are kids in the house, none of this is possible. I whole-heartedly disagree. Starting kids with whole, real food and keeping them on whole, real food leaves them with the knowledge that whole, real food is, simply, food. To get them back on it, involve them in the food prep process so they can be proud of what they've made. Praise that they made a delicious dinner. You'd bake cookies with them, what about making a mishmash bowl of deliciousness? Show them how to be healthy and you're setting them up for life.
If you have more mouths to feed, the extra prep time is minimal as the cooking time will still be the same. Spend 1 hour on Sundays chopping a huge bowl of veggies to grab-and-go in the fridge or freeze a bunch of them to grab-and-cook. Freeze individual portions for homemade TV dinners or easy lunches (mason jars are amazing). Our pantry is always stocked with canned beans for when we don't have time to boil the dry ones, chickpeas, brown rice, lentils, quinoa, coconut milk, and taco shells.
What's in your pantry?