What Plant-Based ‘Milk’ is Best?

The Plant-Based Milk Industry is Growing!

In 2020, the retail sales of ‘milk alternative beverages’ were US$336.9 million in Canada and US$2.8 billion in the United States. That’s a lot of glasses of plant-based milk!  Agriculture Canada expects the plant-based market to continue growing, with a compound annual growth of 8.4% from 2021 to 2025. If those numbers aren’t enough to demonstrate the growth of this market, consider this fact: between January 2018 and February 2021, 161 milk alternative beverages were launched in Canada while 264 were launched in the United States. (1)

So Many Options! What to Choose?

With so many options to choose from, it’s tough to know which is best, especially given all the ‘features’ to consider, including:

  • Sweetened or unsweetened? If sweetened, how is it sweetened?
  • Flavoured (chocolate? vanilla?) or unflavoured?
  • Does it contain anything you are allergic to (e.g. nuts, soy, corn/high fructose corn syrup, etc)?
  • Does it come in environmentally-friendly packaging?
  • Does it taste good?
  • Does it have a nice texture?
  • Is it organic? Free from GMOs?
  • Does it contain a thickener that could cause gastro-intestinal distress (e.g. carrageenan)?
  • How much does it cost?
  • Is it nutritious?

I usually have some type of plant-based ‘milk’ in my fridge that I use for the odd time I have cereal for breakfast or do some baking. I’ve tried almond, cashew, coconut, macadamia, rice, and oat ‘milks’ (those of you who know me know I avoid soy for many reasons). I always choose unsweetened and unflavoured beverages and look for the ones that have the fewest number of ingredients, and no potentially harmful thickeners, such as carrageenan. I have tried pea and hemp milk at trade shows but have never purchased them (I don’t commonly see them in grocery stores and they are more costly than other alternatives).

Nutrition Isn’t The Whole Story

Another factor I take into consideration when choosing a plant-based milk alternative is its environmental impact. Some time ago, I read an article entitled: “Which Plant-Based Milk is Best For The Environment?’. What follows is my summary of some of the keys points the article made related to various plant-based milks. If you have time you can read the full article by clicking here.

Soy Milk

  • Lower greenhouse gas emissions compared to dairy milk
  • Uses less than 1/10 of the water compared to almonds
  • Better protein content compared to almond milk
  • Requires more land to grow compared to almonds or rice – parts of the Amazon are being destroyed to grow it (soy is in so many packaged foods)
  • Genetically engineered/Roundup-ready = pollutes ecosystems and potential carcinogen, so buy organic

Almond Milk

  • Growing almonds (and most nuts) requires a lot of water (3.2 gallons per almond)
  • 80% of the world’s almond supply is from California – where serious droughts are an ongoing issue
  • Although almonds are nutrient dense, the process that most manufacturers use to turn them into milk eliminates most of the nutrients (and not many almonds are used in a carton of milk)

Oat Milk

  • Canada is one of the top producers of oats
  • Production uses less energy/produces lower emissions than that of cow’s milk
  • Uses 80% less land than cow’s milk
  • Of all the plants turned into milk, oats generally use the least water (7x less than almond or cow’s milk)
  • More nutrient dense than almond milk
  • May be contaminated with glyphosate, so buy organic

Pea Milk

  • One of the newest alternatives so not easily found in stores
  • Need less water than other crops, so can grow where water is more scarce
  • Rich in nutrients, especially protein
  • Not genetically modified
  • Flavour may be a challenge

Hemp Milk

  • Environmental benefits – ranked among the top 5 in 16 common crops studied regarding pesticide use and erosion
  • Uses more water than oat, soy, or pea, but still much less than almonds or cows
  • Contains more protein than almond or oat, but less than soy or pea

Unfortunately, the article did not ‘declare’ a winner, as there are so many factors and not enough research has been done to be able to do an accurate comparison.

An important concept to remember related to nutrition is variety and moderation. That holds true for plant-based milks too; however, if I had to pick one, I’d pick oat milk. Why? Because even though other milks are supposedly more nutrient/protein dense, I don’t consider these plant-based milks as an important source of nutrients of any kind. If you want to benefit from the full nutritional value of oats, make yourself a bowl of porridge with steel cut oats! If you want to benefit from the full nutritional value of almonds, eat a hand full of soaked, raw almonds. If you want to benefit from the full nutritional value of yellow peas, make yourself a pot of split pea soup – you get the picture! I also like the flavour and texture of oat milk the best and value its other benefits:

  • oats are easily grown in Canada (please make sure the oat milk you buy uses oats grown in Canada – apparently the second largest producer is Russia)
  • growing oat crops is better for the environment on many fronts
  • oat milk is readily available in virtually all grocery stores
  • oat milk is affordable

Whatever type of plant-based milk you choose, read the ingredient label to ensure you are making the best choice, or better yet, make your own!

Making Your Own is Easy … and Economical!

I have made my own coconut, almond, and oat milk. It’s SUPER easy and only requires 3 ingredients:

  • 4 cups of filtered water
  • 1 cup of dry unsweetened coconut, or raw almonds, or rolled oats
  • a pinch of salt

You can add flavours/sweeteners if you like, for example some natural vanilla extract and cinnamon and/or a splash of maple syrup. Be aware that since there are no preservatives in home made versions, they need to be refrigerated right away and used up within 4 or 5 days. The ‘milk’ tends to separate, so give the bottle a good shake before each pour.

Click here to find out how I make plant-based milks at home. The instructions are for almond milk because I had almonds on hand (and because I wanted to end up with some almond flour to make my Greens & Feta Quiche with Almond Crust recipe!) but as mentioned earlier, you can substitute the almonds with oatmeal, dried unsweetened coconut, or other nuts/seeds and end up with interesting flours to use in your baking or other recipes.

Have fun experimenting!


Can Food Affect Your Sleep?

I recently read an article entitled “Nutrition and Sleep: The Best and Worst Foods for Quality Rest” (1). The article lists several common nutrition-related Do’s and Don’ts for better sleep including:


  1. Eat a balanced dinner e.g. a combo of healthy proteins, high-fibre carbs and veggies 
  2. Eat foods that promote serotonin production such as animal-based foods, oats, nuts, and seeds
  3. Eat around 3 hours before bedtime


  1. Avoid caffeine, sugary drinks, and alcohol before bed
  2. Don’t eat dessert close to bedtime
  3. Don’t overdo late-night indulgences

These are all good suggestions and there’s no doubt that what and when we eat (and drink!) can affect our sleep. Unfortunately, many people’s typical eating and drinking habits have a negative effect on their sleep and overall health – and these two are closely related.

The Importance of Sleep

Getting proper sleep (hours of sleep and the right amount of sleep in the various stages of sleep, i.e. REM and non-REM) is a key factor to our overall physical and mental health. It’s also interesting to note that when we don’t get proper sleep, we often reach for sugar-and-caffeine laden foods and drinks during our waking hours to give us an ‘energy boost’ … but what quickly goes up, also quickly crashes down, setting the stage for more sugar and/or caffeine cravings and a roller coaster of energy throughout the day.

Recently, a study was released suggesting that falling asleep between 10pm and 11pm is critical for overall health, in particular cardiovascular health. Check out this excerpt from the study (2):

Compared to sleep onset from 10:00 to 10:59 pm, there was a 25% higher risk of cardiovascular disease with a sleep onset at midnight or later, a 12% greater risk for 11:00 to 11:59 pm, and a 24% raised risk for falling asleep before 10:00 pm. In a further analysis by sex, the association with increased cardiovascular risk was stronger in women, with only sleep onset before 10:00 pm remaining significant for men.

Dr. Plans said: “Our study indicates that the optimum time to go to sleep is at a specific point in the body’s 24-hour cycle and deviations may be detrimental to health. The riskiest time was after midnight, potentially because it may reduce the likelihood of seeing morning light, which resets the body clock.”

It was interesting for me to see a study stating this as it is one of the first things I learned when I started my nutrition studies almost 20 years ago. I recall being told that it was likely linked to the fact that we can have a second surge of cortisol (our stress/alert hormone) after 11pm, making it difficult to fall asleep or have a restful sleep.

Beyond the ‘Do’s and Don’ts’

Unfortunately, it’s still possible to have sleep issues even if you are following the nutrition-related do’s and don’ts for better sleep as there are so many other factors at play, for example, stress, shift-work, hormonal imbalances, sleep apnea, not getting enough daily exercise, not getting enough daily fresh air, and not getting enough natural sunlight exposure, which is especially important early on in the day to reset our body’s internal clock. Hmmmm … sounds like going for an early morning walk/bike ride on a trail would take care of the last 3 items!

It seems that just about everyone has sleep issues at some point in their lives, and if following the above tips doesn’t help (along with those listed in a blog I wrote on sleep tips over 10 years ago … wow … time flies!),  there are numerous supplements that can help with sleep; however, finding the one that works best for you is often a process of trial and error.

Here are a few that I am familiar with and that work for many of my clients:

This product contains hydrolyzed casein and may be helpful for sleep issues associated with chronic mild stress.
This product contains valerian, hops, and passionflower – 3 herbs that are often cited to help with nervousness, irritability, and insomnia.
This organotherapy and homeopathic preparation comes in a spray (sublingual) format and contains Avena sativa, Chamomilla, Helleborus niger, Ignatia amara, Melissa officinalis, Phosphorus, pineal gland, Pulsatilla, and Valeriana officinalis (all 30K) in a base of 20% alcohol and 80% water.
This product contains magnesium bis-glycinate, GABA, and melatonin in a formulation designed to help people relax, reset their circadian biological clocks, and get better sleep.

All of the above are available through Perfect Resonance Natural Health Counselling. Simply email info@perfectresonance.com for more information or to request an order. Please check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking any sleep supplements, especially if you are on any medications related to the treatment of sleep issues, anxiety, and/or depression, or any other psychiatric or psychotropic medication.

Take control of what you can!


(1) https://www.cnet.com/health/sleep/nutrition-and-sleep-the-best-and-worst-foods-for-quality-rest/
(2) https://www.escardio.org/The-ESC/Press-Office/Press-releases/Bedtime-linked-with-heart-health

Cilantro-Lime-Jalapeno-Garlic Dressing/Dip

I first tried this dressing at a family celebration in Nova Scotia this summer. It was served on the side, to be drizzled over a roasted vegetable salad. I love roasted veggie salads and I LOVE cilantro, so this sounded like a winning combination to me … and it certainly was!

The hostess was kind enough to contact her friend who brought the salad and dressing and got the dressing recipe for me (if you are reading this, thanks Roxanne!).

I have made it several times. The first time, I made it exactly as it was written. Since then, I’ve experimented a bit by adding chickpeas and/or using an avocado instead of the mayo to make it a thicker dip rather than a dressing.  I’ve also added more or less garlic, and/or jalapeno, and/or lime juice, and/or salt. It has been delish every single time. Suit your taste!

I’ve used it as a veggie dip, as a salad dressing, and as a condiment with grilled chicken and fish. It would also be great as a taco or nacho topper! 

If you like cilantro, you’ll love this dressing/dip. The recipe makes a very generous cup, and it keeps well in the fridge for up to a week … as long as you don’t add any avocado. Avocado can taste a bit funky after a few days of being mixed into anything. 

By the way, cilantro isn’t just delicious – it also delivers significant  health-boosting actions. Cilantro is touted as having potent anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. It also has significant chelating properties, which means it can bind to heavy metals that can then be eliminated through the body’s regular excretory channels. Cilantro is often used in heavy metal detox protocols and has been cited to have a particularly strong affinity for mercury.

You Will Need:

  • 1 bunch of fresh cilantro. Cut off roots, wash thoroughly, dry thoroughly (I put it in a salad spinner to dry it)
  • 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup of mayo – look for ones made with healthy oils (e.g. not canola/vegetable oils) 
  • 1 TBSP apple cider vinegar – use Braggs – the good stuff!
  • Fresh squeezed  juice from 1 lime
  • 1 -2  jalapeno peppers. Cut lengthwise, remove and discard the seeds, then coarsely chop the pepper. Wash your hands afterwards! Those seeds are hot! I don’t like things very spicy, so I’ve only ever used one jalapeno pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • If you want a thicker dip, add 4 or 5 heaping TBSP of chickpeas or some ripe avocado. You can even completely replace the mayo with a small ripe avocado.

Step 1: Blend

Put all the ingredients in a blender and blend away! You may have to scrape down the sides a few times to ensure a nice smooth texture.

Step 2: Serve or Store

Serve as a salad dressing, veggie dip, or condiment to grilled chicken, fish, tacos … and on anything else you think it would go good with! In the above photo, I used it as a veggie dip. The cilantro and the veggies were all from my garden. Love harvest time!

I find it gets tastier as the ingredients have a chance to mingle, so make it a few hours – or even a day – in advance! Here’s a batch I made today to use for tomorrow. Such a gorgeous colour!


Nutrameltz – Exciting Supplement News!

I’m excited to let you know about a super easy new way to take supplements called Nutrameltz.

Nutrameltz supplements come in a variety of fruity flavours in the form of Fast Dissolving Tablets (FDT). What are FDT and what’s the big deal about them? Keep reading then watch the video at the end of this blog to find out! 

Benefits of Fast Dissolving Tablets (FDT)

FDT dissolve quickly when they come in contact with the saliva in your mouth. The benefits of FDT include:

  • Convenience – You don’t need water to take them. Just place the tablets in your mouth and let them melt.
  • Absorption – Since the tablets are orally absorbed (that is, you don’t swallow them), there’s no stomach irritation, they’re not affected by gastric fluids, and they’re 100% bioavailable.
  • Compliance – In the case of Nutrameltz FDT, not only are they easy to take, they also taste great! This combination makes them a perfect alternative for children, the elderly, or anyone who doesn’t like/has trouble swallowing capsules or tablets. 

So far, I’ve tried Nutrameltz vitamin D3, B12 max, and vitamin C + zinc and I love them all.

More Great News about Nutrameltz

Not only are Nutrameltz easy to take, they’re also easy to take along with you wherever you go as they come in small, compact boxes containing 4 blister pack sheets.

Each slim blister pack sheet contains 15 tablets … I’m thinking that’s perfect to pack for a 2-week vacation which we can all hopefully take soon!

Want more good news? Nutrameltz are gluten-free, gelatin-free, calorie-free, Kosher/certified Halal, and have no added preservatives or colours  … and they’re made in Canada (in Ontario in fact), using manufacturing standards that ensure purity, potency, and safety.

Does Nutrameltz Have What You Need?

Here is the current Nutrameltz product line that I can make available to you (with more coming soon):

  • Carbonyl Iron (18mg) – blueberry flavour
  • Zinc (25 mg) – lemon flavour
  • Multivitamin/mineral – mixed berry flavour
  • Vitamin D3 (1000 IU) – mixed berry flavour (vegan option also available made from whole cladina rangiferina)
  • Calcium + Vitamin D3 – strawberry flavour
  • Vitamin C (250 mg) – orange flavour
  • Vitamin C (75mg)  + Zinc  (25 mg)– orange lemon flavour
  • Melatonin (5 mg or 10 mg) a – cool mint flavour
  • Vitamin B12 (1000 mcg or 5000 mcg)– strawberry kiwi flavour (B12 is methylcobalamin form)
  • Folate L-MTHF (1000 mcg/1 mg) – lemon flavour
  • Biotin (500 mcg or 5000 mcg)– cherry flavour
  • CoQ10 (100 mg) – raspberry lemon flavour
  • Vitamin K2/menaquinone-7 (100 mcg) – coconut flavour
  • Nicotine (2 mg or 4mg) – peppermint flavour
  • Digestive Enzymes
  • Magnesium bisglycinate (200 mg) – raspberry lemon flavour
  • Vitamin B complex
  • Vitamin A (500 IU)

The retail prices (as of Jan 2022 – subject to change) range from $15.99 to $21.99 depending on the product – and at a dose of one tab per day, one box will last 60 days (note that dosage may vary depending on individual needs – consult a nutritionist like yours truly).

If a Picture Speaks a Thousand Words …

…. then check out this one-minute video to learn more about Nutrameltz:

Have more questions or interested in placing an order (in Canada only)? Email info@perfectresonance.com

Taking control of what you can has never been so easy!

Twelve Days of Christmas Recipes

With the holiday season around the corner, I thought it would be timely to share some of my favourite recipes for this time of year. There’s something for everyone, and for every occasion, including soups & starters, appetizers, side dishes, a one-pot chicken curry, treats (including an easy no-bake recipe), and a festive breakfast idea … and they’re all gluten-free! In no particular order, here they are. Just click on the recipe title to get the recipe!

#1 – Leek and Cauliflower Soup

I love making this soup any time of year, and its festive red and green garnishes are perfect for the holidays!

#2 – Kale and Sweet Potato Casserole

Skip the potatoes this year and try this delicious and nutrient-packed casserole. Don’t like sweet potatoes or kale? The try this Cheesy Cauliflower and Spinach Casserole.

#3 – Coconutty Cinnamon Baked Squash

This baked squash is an easy and tasty side dish served as is. You can also use the baked squash halves as edible bowls and fill them with your favourite stew or curry as pictured!

#4 – Gingerbread Coconut Flour Cookies

I’m usually told not to ‘mess with’ my original Christmas cookie recipes … but sometimes I do to accommodate guests with celiac or gluten intolerance. These gingerbread peeps are cute and delicioius!

#5 – No Bake Date/Nut/Coconut/ Chocolate Balls

Don’t like baking? Need a holiday treat in a hurry? Try these delicious grain-free, egg-free, and dairy-free treats!

#6 – Easy-Peasy Eggnog

I’m not a huge eggnog fan, but I usually like to have a glass when we decorate the tree. This easy home-made version is egg-free and has way less sugar than store-bought.

#7 – Hummus

You can make this delicious hummus in no time at all for a fraction of the price of store bought ones which often use unhealthy oils. Skip the starchy pita bread and use veggies to scoop this yummy dip. Belgian endive leaves are one of my favourites! Top it with some fresh pomegranate seeds for a festive look!

#8 – Guacamole

Holy Moly this is a good guacamole! I’ll leave it at that. Try it with bell pepper slices and other veggies instead of corn chips!

#9 –Chickpea and Arichoke Salad

This delicious and healthy salad is quick and easy, so it’s perfect to throw together as a last minute contribution to a holiday pot luck. Add some sliced baby cucumbers and or green bell peppers to make it look more Christmassy!

#10 – Cheese Snip Cheesy Crackers

No need for crackers with these yummy cheese snip cheesy bites. Made with just cheese! A favourite crispy snack for those who need to avoid gluten .. and those who don’t! (p.s. if you need other grain-free/wheat-free snacks, check this out:  5 Grain-Free Appetizer & Party Foods

#11 – One-Pot Winner-Winner Coconutty Chicken Curry Dinner

This delicious one-pot chicken curry is the perfect way to warm up a crowd on a cold winter day. One of my family’s favourite tried and true recipes. Even if you just need to feed one or two, this is a great recipe as it freezes beautifully. Make it vegan or vegetarian by replacing chicken with more veggies (turnip, parsnip, kohlrabi – basically whatever you like!) and using veggie broth. It’s a great way to use up leftover turkey too! Skip the chicken and add chunks of your left over cooked turkey about 10 minutes before the end of the cooking time just so it heats up.

#12 – Delicious (Gluten-Free) Buckwheat Pancakes

I’m not gluten-intolerant so I could eat regular pancakes if I wanted to, but these ones are so much better. These buckwheat pancakes are easy to make and so yummy. Top them with plain yogurt, cinnamon, toasted coconut, maple syrup, and fresh berries for a festive holiday breakfast.

Ho-Ho-Hope you’ll try one of these recipes! :o)


Squashing Out Disease

When we eat according to Mother Nature’s plan, we get just what we need at the right time of year.  For example, in fall, we are blessed with a bountiful variety of winter squashes. While they are harvested in the fall, these gorgeous vegetables keep well through the winter, hence their name.

squashWhen you think of squash, you probably think of their beautiful orange flesh. That colour is an indication that they’re loaded with carotenoids – orange pigments that are strong health-boosting antioxidants which support our immune system.

As we head in to cold-and-flu season, it’s great to know that winter squash is also a great source of cold-and-flu busting nutrients including:

  • Beta-carotene – a precursor to vitamin A, which is critical to immune system health and function
  • Vitamin C – a foundational immune system supporter
  • Manganese – a trace mineral which is needed for proper immune system function. It is also a component of superoxide dismutase (SOD), a powerful substance which helps fight disease-producing free radicals

Squash Out Inflammation

Winter squashes are also a great source of soluble fibre, in the form of pectins. Research has shown that in addition to supporting healthy gut function (including promoting regular bowel movements), pectins offer numerous health benefits, including the ability to:

  • Reduce inflammation and oxidation. Inflammation and oxidation are at the root of virtually every disease process in the body, including cancer and cardiovascular disease. Studies have shown that substances found in winter squash are beneficial in the prevention and treatment of numerous cancers, including prostate, colon, breast and lung cancers.
  • Help balance blood sugar. Winter squash is a great source of the B-complex of vitamins (B1, B3, B5, B6, and folate) which play an important role in glucose metabolism.

Out of My Gourd for Winter Squash!

It’s time to go crazy for winter squash! I love winter squashes of all kinds. I have made mashes (aka squishy-squashy), casseroles, stews, desserts, puddings, cookies, and more with them. If you’ve been avoiding squash because you’re not sure what to do with it, here are a few links to some easy and delicious recipes on my website:

Winter Vegetable Stew

Glten-free Baked Pumpkin Spice Donuts

Coconut & Gingery Pumpkin Soup

Coconutty Cinnamon Baked Squash

Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese Sprouted Grain Pasta

Kabocha Squash Oishii-ness

There are many more that you can find by typing “pumpkin’ or ‘squash’ into the search tool that is located in the top right hand corner of every page of my website.

Finally, here’s a fun resource to help you get to know and love 12 delicious varieties of winter squash.  Not sure where to start? Why not have some fun substituting spaghetti squash for the regular pasta in your favourite spaghetti dish? It’ll be delicious … and if you have kids (even big ones), they’ll love helping you scoop out the stringy squashy spaghetti!



Looking For Some New Ideas For Your Thanksgiving Meal?

We all have our favourite (and not-so-favourite!) Thanksgiving sides, but if you’re looking to try something new, maybe even a completely plant-based Thanksgiving, here are a few ideas that you might want to include in your Thanksgiving spread this year. Who knows …. they may become a new favourite! Just click on the Recipe title heading to get to the recipe.


Roasted Cauliflower

I try to avoid starchy side dishes such as rice and potatoes. An easy, delicious and nutritious alternative to both is cauliflower. In this recipe, I’ll be showing you how to make roasted cauliflower as a substitute for roasted potatoes. It’s super-easy, delicious, and packs a greater nutritional punch compared to roasted potatoes.

Kale & Sweet Potato Casserole

This recipe incorporates two of the most nutrient-packed veggies into one delicious casserole! Kale and sweet potatoes are loaded with fibre and nutrients, especially beta-carotene, which our body can convert into Vitamin A.

Roasted Cauliflower & Butternut Squash Salad with Tahini Dressing

This salad is one of my go-to’s for summer BBQs, pot lucks, and big family gatherings. It’s a delicious and healthy alternative to traditional potato salad. This recipe makes about 12 cups of finished salad, so adjust the ingredient amounts as needed. Leftovers keep well in the fridge for several days.

Coconutty Cinnamon Baked Squash

It’s hard to visit a Farmers’ Market or grocery store at this time of year without seeing a wide variety of winter squash available. These veggies are a great source of powerful antioxidants, such as beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin. Winter squash are also a great source of pectins, which have been shown to have anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, and insulin-regulating properties. 

Cheesy Cauliflower & Spinach Casserole

This casserole is inspired by a signature dish that is served at the Green Door Restaurant – Ottawa’s oldest vegetarian restaurant. The Green Door’s dish is called ‘Mashed Potato Kale’. I use cauliflower instead of starchy potatoes, and spinach instead of kale (you can use any cooked greens that you like actually). I also add in some coconut oil. I love my spin on this potato side dish! I hope you’ll try it and enjoy it as much as I do.

Start with Soup!

Chicken soup for a cold or flu. Bone broth for gut health. Pumpkin or squash soup to support bowel movements. These are recommendations that have been passed down for generations, so there must be something to them! Soups are heart-warming and health boosting and a great way to start a Thanksgiving meal!

Go Turkey-Free

This slow-cooked veggie stew is loaded with health-boosting and tummy-warming goodness. It looks gorgeous and tastes amazing. It’s one of my favourite fall/winter meals!


Image by J Lloa from Pixabay