Roasted Chickpeas

Roasted Chickpeas

My Roasted Chickpeas recipe published in alive magazine is now available online. Click on the image to view the recipe on alive‘s website. Photo credits go to alive‘s food photographers.



Fruit Brulé au chocolat

Another one of my healthy dessert recipes published in alive magazine is available online on alive‘s website. Click on the image to view the recipe. Photo by alive‘s food photographer.

Banana Chai Muffins

My recipe for these Banana Chai Muffins was published in alive magazine earlier this year. Click on the image to view the recipe on alive‘s website. Photo by alive‘s food photographer.

Cranberry Chocolate Cookies

Holiday cookie season is over, but my Cranberry Chocolate Cookie recipe published in alive magazine is still available online. Click on the image to view the recipe on alive‘s website. As usual, this dessert recipe is fruit-sweetened and made with whole grain flour. Photo by alive‘s food photographer.

Hummingbird Cake

An article featuring a few healthy holiday dessert (no, that’s not an oxymoron! Moderation is key) recipes created by yours truly was published in alive magazine’s December 2011 issue. Click on the image of Hummingbird  Cake (coconut, pecans, bananas, and pineapple–a southern favourite) to get the recipe on alive‘s website. Photo by alive‘s food photographer.

Shad Valley Lakehead 2011

Around this time last year, I remember awaiting the letter that would tell me whether or not I would be spending the month of July at Shad Valley with a mix of excitement and anxiety. I was thrilled when the letter arrived and informed me that I would in fact be able to attend Shad Valley.

Shad Valley is a science and entrepreneurship enrichment month-long summer program for high-school age students that can be coupled with a month-long Shad Valley internship at a Canadian business. It’s a wonderful learning experience and a fantastic opportunity to meet other motivated and interested students from across Canada and even from other countries (shout-out to the Saudi Arabians in our group!). Shad Valley is held at ten Canadian university campuses each summer, with approximately fifty students attending Shad Valley at each campus. You can learn more about Shad Valley at the Shad Valley website,

If you’re thinking of applying, go for it. If you’re naturally curious and interested and motivated to learn, you’ll love the experience and learn plenty from it. Applying to Shad Valley entails writing a statement highlighting why you want to attend Shad Valley, writing a personal essay, sending transcripts and a résumé, and making a creative page. It’s not the most difficult program to apply to, but then again it isn’t the easiest to apply to either. Keep in mind that approximately 50% of applicants are admitted to the Shad Valley program, therefore it’s worth your while to carefully groom your application before sending it in. If you’re researching Shad Valley well in advance of the application date, I suggest you put as much effort into your academics and fields of interest as possible in the time you have left as Shad Valley does put a lot of weight on these components in comparison to the others. Being bright won’t be enough to attend Shad Valley or achieve other life goals–it’s what you do with it that counts.

Shad Valley Blog Posts

Shad Valley Internship Blog Post

Shad Valley Business Presentation Webcast

Repetitive Stress Injuries : /

From my Healthy Living column in Moncton’s Times & Transcript.

Warning: do you spend hours staring at your computer screen and typing away on the web? Then you could be at risk…(drumroll, please) for repetitive stress injuries!

What are repetitive stress injuries? According to, repetitive stress injuries are defined as “injuries that happen when too much stress is placed on a part of the body, resulting in inflammation (pain and swelling), muscle strain, or tissue damage.” While repetitive stress injuries (also referred to as musculoskeletal injuries)

can be caused by playing a sport or a musical instrument, they can also be caused by doing something seemingly harmless – spending large amounts of time on the computer, whether it be chatting on Facebook or working on a school project.

Like many people, I use the computer often and spend large quantities of time typing. Technology is well integrated to my life; I use it to study, communicate (i.e. e-mailing and blogging), and write this column. Since I depend on technology so much, it was devastating when I recently had to cease typing for a few days after being diagnosed with a repetitive stress injury. Although my injury wasn’t serious, it made me question my working environment and inspired me to feature computer-related repetitive stress injuries and ergonomics (which is the science of keeping workplaces safe and running smoothly) in this week’s column.

Now, I realize that repetitive stress injuries may not, at least for some people, seem to be the most fascinating health problem that teens face. Nor are they the most prevalent. However, since repetitive stress injuries are relatively easy to prevent and since they can be quite painful and annoying (I speak from experience!), learning how to prevent them can be worthwhile. That’s why I turned to Nancy Black, president of the Atlantic Chapter of the Association of Canadian Ergonomists and associate professor at Universite de Moncton for advice. Since Dr. Black conducts studies on ergonomics, she was able to offer plenty of useful information.

So, how to know if your work environment is ergonomic? Dr. Black explains that equipment is considered ergonomic if it suits or is adjusted to suit the user, both physically and psychologically. Published studies have found that, contrary to previous beliefs that furniture should be as comfortable as possible to prevent injury, staying in an overly comfortable position for long periods of time could lead to less activity in the muscles and measurable compression. The best injury prevention technique is to change the general position of the body every twenty minutes. For example, you could spend twenty minutes sitting on a chair and then take a short break in a different position (e.g. standing up) before returning to your original position .

Dr. Black remarks that some equipment can actually be too comfortable. Ideally, a computer chair, for example, should keep you “on your toes”. Small tools (like a keyboard or mouse) though should be as comfortable or neutral as possible. That being said, you should still regularly change positions, no matter how small the working body part (Take a break from your continuous texting!).

Although we teenagers usually don’t have control of the environment outside our bedrooms, we should apply these tips when we can. Many believe that technology will become even more integrated into our workplaces as time goes on, meaning that we, the future generation, will have to learn how to function in a high-tech environment. Remember though that Dr. Black’s tips can also be applied to activities where computers aren’t involved, such as reading.

 Originally published in the Times & Transcript on April 4th, 2010.