How I Learned to Cook Whole Foods

Undiet Book

It’s my favourite time of year! I love these months filled warm weather, swimming, biking, soaking up the sunshine, farmers markets, backyard vegetable gardens, camping, cottaging, and more. With the energy of the summer and the availability of fresh fruits and vegetables galore, I wanted to share with you something I’ve been very excited about.

Confession time – I did NOT know how to cook whole, real foods before taking a handful of live and in person cooking classes from Meghan Telpner, a Toronto-based nutritionist, a few years ago. Brought up on Chef Boyardee and Kraft Dinner, my family had a challenging few years when we learned of our children’s allergies from diary, gluten, soy, eggs, corn and more. We know many families are struggling with similar stories, and Meghan came along right when I needed her most. If you’re unable to join her in the kitchen for a live class, her online courses and now her recently released book, are the next best thing!

In her new book UnDiet, Meghan proves it’s possible to look and feel your absolute best while eating the most delicious food, and avoiding the trap of diet deprivation and calorie counting. Infused with her signature humor, enthusiasm, and accessibility, Meghan inspires readers to question paradigms and take ownership of their health, one small change at a time. Best of all, these are recommendations that fit your life. Nothing in here is too over the top. These are easy changes for any family to incorporate into their already hectic and busy lifestyles.

I strongly encourage you to add UnDiet: Eat Your Way to Vibrant Health to your summer reading list. You won’t regret it! As an added treat - order your copy of UnDiet from before the end of July and we’ll include a FREE Anointment Natural lip balm with your purchase! This is our favourtie handmade lip balm, and we’ve just received a new shipment of samples to share. Happy Summer!

Tamara Champion, Founder
Parenting By Nature

A Gathering of Allergy-free Tips

Young family making a meal

A lot of customers ask us about allergy-free cooking. I am really lucky that my family members and I don’t have food allergies, but Nature Mom has to be more cautious about gluten-free, egg-free, and dairy-free meals. Since I’m no expert in this area, I have gathered tips for you.

Food Allergy Basics

  • Food allergies seem to be on the rise
  • The top 8 allergens account for about 90% of food allergies
  • There are a BUNCH of really excellent resources for you. You are not alone

Dairy-free Cooking

  • There are a lot of drinking options available in many stores with soy, rice, and almond milk
  • For light baking, honey and molasses will help
  • For more dense baking (like cookies), vegetable shortening or margarine will help

Wheat-free Cooking

  • Try breads & crackers of soy, rice, potato, or corn
  • Look at ingredients, since wheat is often used as a thickener
  • Fast food? Just don’t. Even French fries are often dipped in wheat-based batter before deep frying

Egg-free Cooking

  • Don’t assume egg-substitutes are egg free
  • You will need to adjust differently for cookies, cakes, and other baking. There are great ways to avoid eggs in each
  • Look out for egg-free shampoos and cosmetics (yes, really!)

Allergy-free Birthday Cakes

  • Soy milk and vegetable oil are common substitutes for dairy in cakes
  • If you aren’t attached to cake itself, try a frozen dessert cake (yogurt or ice cream)
  • Better yet, go to a local vegan bakery. They have figured it out, and you won’t have to fuss.

Ask Your Buddies

Even given all of the great resources available, I still find that talking with peers gives me the in-depth reviews I crave. When a mother asked on Facebook for egg-free recipes for cakes, cookies, and pancakes, our followers rushed in with suggestions for recipes sites.

Looking for recipes or advice? Ask your friends. Ask on the Parenting by Nature Facebook page.

Image © Tyler Olson |