It’s a word that we rarely hear when speaking about the food we put into our bodies, but having spent some time with Brenda Beattie, owner of Healthy Cravings Holistic Kitchen in Shelburne, ON, it is a word that we should always be thinking about when it comes to the way we fuel our bodies.
Brenda has a unique approach to her menu, but one that makes perfect sense and addresses every need that our bodies and minds require on a daily basis. “The inspiration for the way I eat and the way I feed my customers came from a place of personal necessity and growth” explains Brenda. “Recently I’ve lost 150 pounds and have kept the weight off, so on my journey I made it a goal to understand everything there was to know about eating healthy food and the way in which our bodies work …. good, and bad. The ‘reason’ for food has been lost these days, actually it has been lost for some time now, but simply put, food is nutrition”.
A simple thought, but there is so much more to it than just that.
Brenda lures me into the kitchen, and as she roasts some fresh acorn squash for the incredible “Buddha Bowl” she is making, she explains just how much this savvy “foodie” knows. “On my journey to weight loss and weight management, I wanted to know more about the science between body and food. I decided to go back to school and attend The Canadian School of Natural Nutrition. Their approach is to literally strip down foods so that every fragment is considered, including all of the chemicals and preservatives that much of our food is made with today.” The large and surprising issue with chemicals and preservatives in our foods is that our organs spend so much time breaking them down, so by the time they get to the “nutrients” our systems are tired. “Our organs and their functioning become lazy” explains Brenda, “so our bodies don’t get the nutrients at the deep cellular level that we need.
It was amazing to hear just how much Brenda knows about our bodies, and how food can heal us from the inside out. Brenda goes on to explain “As we get older our bodies don’t regenerate and heal from cellular damage as quickly. When I was on my weight loss journey I was constantly reading food packaging to count calories and see what was in the products I was eating. I was shocked to see that a lot of food is more chemical than actual ‘food’ itself. The nutritional value in these types of foods doesn’t stand a chance when it gets into our systems.”
This is why at Healthy Cravings Holistic Kitchen Brenda uses locally sourced food from local farmers and retailers. “Everything is locally sourced from companies and farms which have the same vision for the products they produce”.
Brenda makes most of the menu items such as drinks, and smoothies “in-house”. Everything you see on the menu is fresh, organic and meets all dietary requirements, including vegan, and soy free. Even the small things, such as mayonnaise in the house dressings, fresh ground pepper, pink Himalayan salt, in-house almond milk – everything is made so that no preservatives are required. The taste is better, the ingredients are better, and everything Brenda serves in her café is meant to be nurturing to her customers…Mind, Body, and Soul.
The word “nurturing” also lends itself to so much more than just the feeling Brenda wants her customers to have. She wants people to understand that nurturing ourselves with food leads to better sleep, less stress, improved stamina, and of course a happy, healthy spirit!
Here are just a few menu items that you might find when you visit Brenda’s lovely location:
- Raw juices
- Fresh green & fruit smoothies
- Antibiotic free & organic meat, freshly roasted & sliced for sandwiches
- Sandwiches made with fresh baked bread
- (wheat & gluten-free options)
- In-house baked desserts (scones, muffins,
- butter tarts, cookies)
- Quinoa, lentil, & green salads
- Buddha Bowls
At the Kitchen Brenda has achieved her goal of having a café full of customers who all have individual needs and requirements and yet are all able to dine at the same table. To fill the dessert portion of the menu, Shine Baking Co has joined forces with Healthy Cravings. Shine owner Rosie Cornelius creates daily Vegan and gluten free pastry and baked goods. Rosie’s “Ultimate Brownie” has become a popular treat on their front counter.
As for that roasted acorn squash we began smelling in the kitchen? It was part of the incredible “Buddha Bowl”, made with other fresh root vegetables and Brenda’s house-made cashew dressing. Beyond the fact that it was absolutely delicious, Brenda definitely was right; there is something special that happens when you feed your bodies with “Good Food”…“Real Food”
Fresh ingredients for Brenda’s menu are supplied by Fiddle Foot Farm, Beasley Farm, Sheldon Creek Dairy, Speer’s Quality Meats, K2 Milling, Fromage, Mochaberry Coffee, Landman Gardens and Bakery, Amanda’s Country Bakery, Foodland Shelburne (Local Fresh Produce!), Big Thunder Farms, Niagara Escarpment Teas and Lavendale Farms.
The best way to experience this unique culinary delight is to try it for yourself, and Healthy Cravings Holistic Kitchen in Shelburne ON, will make you glad that you did!
Written By: Kelli M. Maddocks | Photography By: Cory Bruyea