Saturday, December 6, 2014

Healthy Muffins made Easy

a quick blog post showing some healthy baked good recipes. they are all sugarfree, dairyfree, egg free. can easily be nut-free by swapping coconut milk for almond milk. if you want to make them gluten free swap in the flour you would usually use.
i often add a little protein powder to carbohydrate rich meals, to help stabalize blood sugar levels.  
my big guy is not the best protein eater so this is another way i can add that into his diet easily.

hope you and yor little ones enjoy these as much as we do!

Banana Oatmeal Muffins:
Photo: Another late night #veganmuffin creation to go into kiddies #healthylunchbox. My sweet B squealed with delight.  These are #sugarfree, #dairyfree, #nutfree and #proteinrich. 
3 mashed #bananas (1 cup)
1/2 cup milk alternative (I used unsweetened almond)
1/4 cup grapeseed oil
Mix the above together. 
Then mix,
1 cup #glutenfree #oatmeal
1 cup flour (your choice)
2 scoops @genuinehealth #proteinpowder (I used vegan fermented)
1 tsp baking powder 
1/2 tsp baking soda
Pinch salt. 
Mix wet into dry. Add chocolate chips. Bake at 375F for about 20 min. 
Have a sweet and healthy day!
3 mashed bananas (1 cup)
1/2 cup milk alternative (I used unsweetened almond)
1/4 cup grapeseed oil
Mix the above together.
Then mix,
1 cup oatmeal
1 cup flour (your choice)
2 scoops @genuinehealth protein powder (I used vegan fermented)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
Pinch salt.
Mix wet into dry. Add chocolate chips. Bake at 375F for about 20 min. 

Applesauce Vegan Muffins
Photo: Applesauce #veganmuffins made last night for today's #healthytreat for kiddies lunch. 
Super easy, as per usual 
Mix together 
1 cup #applesauce
1/2 cup milk alternative (I used unsweetened almond milk)
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/8 cup maple syrup
In a separate bowl mix
1 cup #glutenfree #oatmeal
3/4 cup flour (#spelt or gluten free)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda 
Pinch of salt
Mix wet into dry. Add vegan chocolate chips if you wish (I think the kids wish )
Bake at 375F for 20 min
Mix together
1 cup applesauce
 1/2 cup milk alternative (I used unsweetened almond milk, use nut-free option such as coconut milk)
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/8 cup maple syrup
In a separate bowl mix
1 cup oatmeal
3/4 cup flour (i used spelt, or gluten free)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
Pinch of salt
Mix wet into dry. Add vegan chocolate chips if you wish (I think the kids wish )
Bake at 375F for 20 min

Vegan Banana Bread
Photo: Perfection every time. A simple, healthy, vegan #bananabread that my kids (and me) devour.
3 mashed #bananas (=1 cup)
1/4 wedge lemon squeezed
1/4 cup oil (I use grapeseed or coconut)
1 cup flour (spelt of #glutenfree)
1/3 cup #groundflaxseeds
1 scoop @genuinehealth #proteinpowder (whey, vegan or fermented) 
1/2 tsp baking powder and baking soda. 
Few shakes of sea salt 
Mix wet and dry ingredients separately. Then mix dry into wet. Add handful of vegan chocolate chips. Bake at 350F for 30-35min. Enjoy! 3 mashed bananas (=1 cup)
1/4 wedge lemon squeezed
1/4 cup oil (I use grapeseed or coconut)
1 cup flour (spelt of glutenfree)
1/3 cup ground flax seeds
1 scoop @genuinehealth protein powder (whey, vegan or fermented)
1/2 tsp baking powder and baking soda.
Few shakes of sea salt
Mix wet and dry ingredients separately. Then mix dry into wet. Add handful of vegan chocolate chips. Bake at 350F for 30-35min. Enjoy

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Got Milk?

After reading yesterday's NY times article titled  "Got Milk? Might not be doing you much good". I thought I'd write a little something on dairy and calcium sources. While I do think calcium is an important nutrient to consume, especially for our osteopenic/osteoporotic patients, based on the research cited in this article, our average bones don't seem to be better off by guzzling down litres of milk.
I do think it's strange that humans consume so much milk. We really are the only mammals that wean from our mother's breastmilk and then consume the milk of another mammal.
I think we have been sold on this idea that milk is crucial to our diets otherwise our bones will wither and crack. I don't think I've ever drank a glass of plain milk and I've never broken a bone or fractured a hip (maybe I'm just not that daring :-) ).
Calcium has very important functions.  1% of our body's total calcium is needed for healthy heart function, muscle function, nerve transmission, intracellular signaling and hormonal secretion. The other 99% is stored in our bones and teeth.
Something to consider is how much calcium we absorb from a certain food. Milk is actually not as well absorbed compared to some of our vegetarian options. So while you may see high milligram per serving, you need to consider how much your body will actually absorb.
An example: 
1 cup of skim milk is 300 mg, and 30% absorbed, thus 90mg absorbed by the body
Broccoli has 180 mg per cup, and 60% absorbed, thus 108mg absorbed by the body

Calcium Absorption amounts:
Milk: 30%
Kale: 50%
Broccoli: 60%
BokChoy: 54%
Pinto Beans: 27%

Calcium Rich Foods that are dairy free:
Collard greens (1 cup cooked): 357 mg
Spinach (1 cup cooked): 276 mg
Oatmeal (1 cup cooked): 208 mg
Seaweeds (1/2 cup): 200 mg
Tofu (6 oz): 200mg
Broccoli (1 cup cooked): 180 mg
Chia seeds (2 tbsp): 179 mg. 
Swiss Chard (1 cup cooked): 138 mg
Blackstrap Molasses (1 tbsp): 137 mg
Kale (1 cup): 122 mg 
Almonds (1/4 cup): 95 mg
Orange (1 mdm): 55 mg
Tahini (2 tbsp): 42 mg

Just like anything in life, I believe it's all about balance and moderation.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Smoothie Love

I've rekindled my relationship with smoothies and it feels great! It's a great way for me to get the protein and pack a drink full of nutrients. I often make them in the morning and take them with me when I'm on the go, drinking them several hours later. I like letting them sit to room temperature especially on cooler days.
I keep them pretty simple. They go something like this.

I always add:
Fruit-something like mango, strawberries, blueberries, maybe 1/2 banana, or handful of spinach
Unsweetened almond milk, although I may add some boiling water to warm the smoothie, especially on these cooler day.
Genuine Health fermented protein powder or vanilla whey protein powder. 1 scoop. The fermented protein is really easy to digest and helps feed the friendly bacteria in the digestive tract. I love it. The whey vanilla is super smooth and tasty. It's kinda like dessert :-). I also add the whey to pancakes, muffins etc...
Manitoba Harvest hemp hearts- a heaping tsp. This adds healthy fats and fiber to the smoothie.

Depending on my mood I may add Ashwaganda powder, Amla Berry, Cacao, or Probiotics.
Ashwaganda 1 tsp. It is amazing at helping the body balance stress and has a calming effect to the nervous system.
Amla Berry. 1/2 tsp. Super high in vitamin C. Great for those days I need an extra boost.
Cacao is high in magnesium and isn't everything better with chocolate?
A few times per week I add a capsule of Genestra HMF forte, for some good ol' tummy love.

I like to top them with goji berries. These are high in vitamin C and become re-constituted in the smoothie,  cacao nibs (high in magnesium), cinnamon (balance blood sugar levels) or hemp hearts.
This is really for the wow factor!
 mango peach with cinnamon, hemp hearts and cacao nibs
 strawberry, spinach, cacao powder with cinnamon, goji berries and cacao nibs
 strawberry, banana and i used coconut milk instead of almond milk (just because the store was out). 
topped with unsweetened coconut flakes, goji berries and cacao nibs
bluberry, banana, cacao with goji berries on top

Monday, November 10, 2014

This is your brain on stress

I see so many people that are stressed. Heck, I'm stressed! Constantly multi-tasking, running from one place to another. I had written this post last night and saw this post this morning. How fitting. Stress actually shrinks parts of our brain. Awesome. 
Here are a few tips that just might help you, help your brain. 

There is nothing more soothing than a bowl of oatmeal. This is one nutrient rich food! It is calming to the nervous system, high in fiber, lowers cholesterol, protects the heart and balances blood sugar levels. It’s like a superfood! I will encourage you to cook your own the old fashioned way, on the stove and avoid those flavoured quick cook packs that are full of sugar. If you want your oatmeal sweet, add a swirl of maple syrup. Delicious!

Begin focusing on magnesium rich foods. Magnesium has several important functions. It regulates the absorption of calcium, which we need for healthy bones and teeth. It also regulates the contractility of the heart, a deficiency could cause heart palpitations. It also has a relaxing effect, and it’s for this reason that it is a great stress buster. Some excellent food options are; dried figs, almonds, chard, brown rice, avocados, bananas, oatmeal and dark chocolate.

I love herbal teas. There’s something so nourishing to me about a warm cup of tea. A simple cup of chamomile tea is relaxing to the nervous system as well as the digestive system.  If you’re not a fan of chamomile, give lemon balm a try. This is an aromatic herb that reduces anxiety and has relaxing effect.

Eat some chocolate daily! Isn’t this the best news ever? But before you get too excited, it has to be dark chocolate, fair trade or organic, and it can be a max of 2 squares per day.  This is a calorie dense food that can pack on the pounds if you eat a package a day, which just might give you something else to stress about.

If all else fails supplement. One of my all time favorites is ashwagnada. This is an excellent herb for people that have a lot of nervous tension, mixed with insomnia and are fatigued in the day. You can purchase it in a powdered form and add it to a smoothie or some warm almond milk. Alternatively, you can buy it in a tincture from and add some drops to water.

Lastly, don’t forget to breathe! Deep breathing has been shown to reduce anxiety, blood pressure and slow down the heart rate.  A few deep breathes can go a long way!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Dissecting granola bars and a healthier option.

Store bought granola bars are often full of sugar and perservatives.  Let's dissect.

All those underlines, of which there are 10! are all forms of sugar! and sucralose is an artifical sweetener!

Caramel colour; an artifical colouring agent making golden granola bars. Mine are golden without it. 
BHT; a perservative
Artifical flavours; i don't know where these are from, but safe to say they're artifically made :-)

Another Option! Make some.
I promise these homemade granola bars are super quick and easy to make and are such a healthier option than the packaged ones.

Here's what it looks like, fresh outta the oven!
4 cups oats
2 scoops of protein powder (I use GH vanilla whey)
1/4 cup brown sugar (it needs a little sugar for it to stick together)
Variety of nuts/seeds ie. pumpkin, almonds, hazelnuts, flax. I tend to avoid nuts and just uses seeds so i can send them to school.You can also leave this out if you're working with allergies.
Spices such as cinnamon, ginger. allspice
Optional. A handful of chocolate chip (everythings better with chocolate!)

In a separate bowl whisk; 1/2 cup olive oil with 1/2 cup maple syrup and 1 tsp vanilla.
Pour over dry ingredients and mix well.

Bake on parchment paper at 325F for about 30 min (my oven runs hot).

Let cool and break into desired pieces. enjoy!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

something about sleep

The pineal gland, also known as the “third eye”, as it is located deep in your brain between your eyes, is responsible for secreting melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone that promotes sleep and is secreted at its highest amounts around 3 am. What’s interesting about this gland is that the more light it absorbs during the day, the more melatonin is secreted at night and the darker the room is you sleep in, the more melatonin that is secreted.
As you get older your pineal gland shrinks, this we can’t control. However, if you wake up at 3 am to go to the bathroom and turn the light on, you have now decreased your melatonin production for the night. So try walking to the bathroom, carefully, with your eyes half closed and avoid turning the light on, in order to support your melatonin production.
There is research connecting low melatonin production to insomnia, as well as to increased cancer rates ie. nurses with shift work and increased breast cancer rates and male shift workers with an increase in prostate cancer.
So, to summarize, focus on supporting your melatonin production. You can do this by getting outside daily, and sleeping in a dark room at night (so dark you can’t even see your hand!).

Monday, September 29, 2014

homemade applesauce and muffins

so i went a little crazy with the organic apples we picked from avalon organics.
the kids are eating tons, and if you happen to come for a personal or patient visit, you will likely leave with a tasty snack.
so today, i made some applesauce.
i did not have a recipe. i chopped up a pot full of apples. added some cinnamon, a splash of water and a glug (i love how jamie oliver uses this term) of maple syrup. i cooked it until the apples looked done and then pureed with my stainless steel braun handblender. easy and tasty.
i then used a cup of this applesauce into these muffins.
1 1/2 cup spelt flour (you can use a gluten free blend)
1/2 cup oats
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
mix all of the above dry.
in a separate bowl mix 1/4 cup coconut oil, 1/4 cup maple syrup, 1 cup applesauce.
i then added in some vegan chocolate chips, which then melted as the applesauce and coconut oil were hot. kids didn't seem to complain.
i baked at 375 for about 12 minutes.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

the juggler.....

i'm not sure when i mastered the art of juggling. i don't mean the kind where you juggle 3 balls. this kind of juggling i'm doing is alot harder. it's the kind where you toss endless responsibilities into the air and try to carefully catch each one as they descend. not letting a single item hit the ground.

this is what i believed the "art" of being a perfect working mother was all about.

i thought this september would be easier as the kids went back to school. nope. it was crazier. timely drop offs and pick ups. playdates and programs. perfect lunches and healthy dinners. homework and assignments. and then one day your son gets bit by a mink and you spend the night in ER. ahhhh.....

oh, and let's not forget i work. i am so fortunate to love being an ND. september was a super busy month. 3 natural births, patient visits, corporate work and teaching at CCNM. and then there's social media to keep up with. i know it's the busy energy of the fall and i'm grateful, but it adds to the art of juggling.

we also experienced 2 sad losses this month. an old friend (as in years known) and our old dog (as in aged). it's only been a few days without our beloved dex, but adjusting to our house without the sounds of the clickety clack nails is harder than i thought.

so, all this being said, i thought i would share 5 simple tips that deal with stress and bring forth calmess.

herbal teas: i love tea blends. i usally go to a health food store and pick up loose herbs and mix them together. my favorites are chamomile, oatstraw, lavender and nettles. these help calm the nervous system, aid in digestion and are rich in vitmains and minerals, which are in higher demands when your body is stressed.

exercise: i don't seem to have enough hours in my day, but i can't go without being active. for me, it's yoga and tennis. it can be anything you like. just find something you enjoy and move your body. it calms the mind, releases endorphins (happy hormones), and keeps your blood and energy moving at a time when things feel hectic. i prioritize these.

healthy food: a good friend teases me for all my chopping. it's true. i chop alot. i find it therapeutic and enjoy making heathy eats. it's not fancy food, at all. it's simple and fresh. cutting up fresh fruit or vegetables, making a quick stir fry, or soup. i'm mindful of sugars, processed foods and additivies. when our bodies are fueled with good nutrients it helps us power through the tasks at hand.

adrenal support: our adrenals support our bodies in times of stress. a simple b-complex taken daily can help maintain energy levels and keep us balanced in stressful time. there are endless herbs and products for the adrenals so ask an expert for what is best for you.

learning to let things fall. i try to be the perfect mom for my children. i try to be the best and most attentive ND for my patients. i'm realizing, i can still be those things without pushing myself to my limit.

i'm now practicing the art of not being the perfect juggler and realizing it's ok.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

herbal infused oils

i really love these "DIY" herbal home creations. they are super simple to make and are very useful. so, i wanted to share my creations here! If you make anything let me know how it goes and feel free to share.
This week......i made some infused oil. Once you have the tools (ie. mason jars) and ingredients (herbs and oil), really quite simple, you are set to go.....

I picked up this organic olive oil at costco. I believe it was 13$ for 2 bottles. can't beat that price.
the lavender i collected from the cottage we were at in august. the 3 other herbs i picked up at Noahs at bloor and spadina (my old stomping ground)!
i decided to make 2 separate jars. 
one soothing, the other more healing
the first is calendula and lavender, both soothing. 
calendula is bright yellow/orange and is very well known for its healing properties to the skin. it is wonderful for inflammation, cuts, bruises, burns and even diaper rash. i mixed it with a bit of lavender for its aromatic and soothing properties. once the herbs are in the jar (fill them to the top), cover the herbs with olive oil until it reaches the top of the jar. done.

the next jar is 3/4 comfrey and 1/4 chickweed. comfrey brings healing to any part of the body in about half the normal time it would take. so topically, it is wonderful for minor wounds to the skin, bruises, and even to broken bones. it also has wonderful facial benefits as it is able to tighten and moisten the skin, really acting as a wonderful anti-aging agent. chickweed also reduces inflammation for minor burns, skin irritations and also speeds up the healing process. i then did the same and topped this jar with olive oil.
i am going to let the jars sit for the next month so the herbs can infuse as i'm not in a rush. if you wanted to speed the process up you could place them on the base of a heat plate for a few days or place the jar in the oven on a low heat ie. 200F for about 3-4 hours.
once the oil is infused, you can cheesecloth the oil out and use it as is. you could also combine it with some shea butter or cocoa butter to make a salve. i will get to that part when my oil is ready!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Back to School Grind

It is hard to believe the summer is coming to an end and the back to school feeling is in the air. Here are a few tips to help get your kids and yourselves ready for the back to school hustle.
      1. A bedtime routine. The summer is great for that laissez faire attitude, but now that we need to get to school on time, those carefree summer days are going to have to come to an end. Children between the ages of 5-12, need 10-12 hours of sleep per night. Lack of sleep is connected to poor attention and memory, lower grades and mood disturbances.  Start by turning technology off at least an hour before bed.  Try to keep the lights dim and mood calm. Set a bedtime routine with bath/shower, reading, snuggles, and lights out.

2. Bring back the healthy diet and take out the summer treats. We’ve all had our fair share of summer ice creams but now that school is back we want to decrease the sugar load, which is excitable to our nervous systems. Also, being back to school means being surrounded by large populations of germs and in order to maintain healthy immune systems we need to keep the sugar out.

3. Increase fruits and vegetables.  We want our children (and ourselves) to “eat the rainbow” daily. With such bounty this summer of fresh and local produce it should come easily. Fresh produce is rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants. These food choices keep us energetic and healthy, which are two essential ingredients for successful learning.

4. Get kids moving and active outside everyday! The downfall of school, is the need to sit at desks for large periods of time. The recommended guideline is for our children to have 1 hour of outdoor activity daily and sadly only 7% of children are reaching this. Try to make this a priority.

5. It might be the time to bring the supplements back. If you feel your child needs an extra boost consult with someone about an appropriate multi-vitamin, fish oil or greens drink to help power your child through those first few weeks of school.

I hope everyone enjoys these last few carefree days with their children. I know firsthand how hard it is to be at home with children during the summer months.  I try to remind myself that “the days are long and the years are short”. So on that note, enjoy your sweet ones while they still want to spend all their time in the world with you. Good luck with the back to school craze!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

acupuncture, moxibustion and breech babies

i've had several pregnant women connecting with me this past month to help them turn the breech presentation of their babies. i'm happy to report, success with all!  love my job.
i set them up with a few acupuncture sessions and teach them how to use moxibustion so they can do this daily at home. i use the "indirect" method where i place a moxa stick near the acupuncture point UB67 for a minimum of 20 minutes daily. The stick applies heat, and i leave it alternating sides every 5 minutes.

we also talk about positive visualization, which body positions are supportive to help baby turn, we use homeopathics and i even recommend diving in a pool (a tip from a good friend who's a midwife).

here's a study on moxibustion and breech babies. it's worth a try :)

Friday, August 8, 2014

simple simple salads.

this is a kale salad with a tahini dressing. you want to clean and pull all the kale off the stalks. the stalks are bitter. i then chopped the kale into small pieces. i added some diced cucumbers and peppers. (you can add whatever you like!)

the dressing is a about 2 heaping tbsps of tahini, 1/2 freshly squeezed lemon, few cloves of galic, and a handful of cilantro (you could omit this, but i simply love it so had to add it). i then hand blend the dressing but it's thick so i slowly add water to the consistency i like.
toss the salad in the dressing and done.
it's great for several days after it's made and almost gets better a few days later as the kale softens.

i made this quinoa salad with all the veggies i picked up at the dufferin grove farmers market.
i cooked 1 cup of quinoa
added chopped rainbow chard, dill cucumbers, and fresh basil
i was a bit lazy to make a dressing, so i used the sunflower kitchen pesto. it's delicious, dairy free and vegan.
once again, super simple and really healthy.

Monday, July 28, 2014

dying. need drugs. and it's ok.

people always blog about the joyous occassions in their lives. never the crap. do the "soulemamas" out there ever have a crappy day and talk about it? and somehow even when they do, it's still cute and picturesque.

well, this blog is about me being sick and needing drugs, and it sucks....
yesterday morning i woke up and was tired and achy. i rested and took it easy and began my slew of remedies. as the day progressed, i started feeling worse and worse. i kept up with my naturopathic prescriptions like a religion. i've got this.
at 10 pm, my throat felt like fire, swallowing was difficult, and those lovely white "pus" spots were all over. i still thought i could beat this and continued with my medicines.

fastforward to 1 am. i am now dying. tonsils so large, red, inflamed with white spots all over. can't swallow. taking the tinctures was like swallowing fire. so feverish with chills and sweats. i'm in tears.

i needed drugs. i (obviously) am not one to take antibiotics, but am also thankful to have them when they are needed. the problem i have is with the over-prescribing, and writing scripts without proper testing. ie. a swab in this case.

so here i am. 10 days with amoxicillin. my new best friend. i love you.

i am going to take my probiotics with them, but only a low dose. the antibiotics will kill the good bacteria along with the bad, so not much point right now.
when i'm done the 10 day course, i will do a week of HMF Replete and then a month of HMF Intensive. I will also drink the GH Greens + Whole Body Nutrition daily for the 70% fermented foods, to help re-establish a healthy flora.
so that's it. hope these bad boys kick in soon and i can enter the land of the living. my kids need me.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Vegan Peanut Butter Cups

i love chocolate and peanut butter. together, it's like perfection. when i was younger we didn't really get reese's peanut butter cups, so i used to take the kraft PB and mix it with the nutella and make my own.
it was good.
well, the other day i made these. they were amazing and of course a much healthier option than my childhood ingredients.
i got the idea from pureella's blog.  chocolate, coconut oil and peanut butter. that's it. 3 ingredients.
I made half the batch, so used 100gm of organic dark chocolate. I melted it with the 2 tbsp of coconut oil and then layered into the little cups i had. i did not measure the PB and just put in little spoonfuls. i also didn't add more coconut oil on top of the peanut butter.
that's it. delicious and super simple.
 as you can see no complaints with this customer...

Sunday, July 20, 2014

a sick kai kai.

It's amazing. One minute your kid is happy and avoiding bedtime, the next they wake up in the middle of the night hot and miserable. That was me last night with Kai. This morning, so tired and with basically one eye open, I checked him out.
Ears; clear. Lungs; clear. Mouth. Yup. Swollen glands.
I did a rapid strep; negative. (will send one out to the lab tomorrow morning for a more accurate test).

Most likely it's viral. I gave my usual combo of basic supplements and homeopathics (aconite was my first for its acute onset with fever). I also did the much beloved (insert sarcasm here) cold wet sock treatment. I will blog about it this week.
I use this wonderful product made by John Redden, a local herbalist in the junction, that is wise beyond belief. His company is called Viriditas and he makes a Children's and Adult's Cold and Flu product that tastes great and is wonderful when the little ones are sick.
A few herbs to highlight. 
Eupatorium perfoliatum, also known as boneset. It is immune boosting, a febrifuge (reduces fevers) and a diaphoretic (brings forth sweat) and soothes aching bones.
Usnea is a potent antibiotic (as well as anti-viral and anti-fungal). Think of this herb as the anti-"anything".
Glycyrrhiza Glabra (licorice root), has so many wonderful properties, but to highlight in this case; immune stimulating abilities to fight viruses and anti-inflammatory properties to soothe the inside of the mouth and respiratory system are amazing.
The slew of berries, are nutrient dense and thus are nutritive to the body in a time when it needs it most, and well echinacea, we are all familiar with that one.

If you are interested in trying this product out or having it on hand at home, just get in touch with me.

So.... that's what I've done so far. We'll see how that day goes. I do love my sleep and hope tonight is smooth sailing.....

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Vegan Chocolate Zucchini Beet Muffins! Say What?

House was quiet, with all the little people sleeping, so I decided to make some muffins. 
I had a base of a recipe but as per usual altered it. 
They turned out delicious!
Healthy. Vegan. Kid-Approved (fingers crossed!)
1 1/4 cup spelt flour (use a gluten free blend if you wish)
1/4 cup cacao (the real deal, like this or this)
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
Mix the above in a bowl
In a separate bowl mix together
1 banana, mashed
1/4 cup sweetener (I used maple syrup, brown sugar will do)
1/2 cup applesauce
1/4 cup milk (I used almond)
Once these are mixed add in 1/2 cup grated zucchini and 1/2 cup grated beet (I did not have a enough zucchini for a full cup so improvised with the beet. It worked)

Mix the dry into wet.
I then added a handful of dairy free chocolate chips. 
Place into muffin tray.
 Bake at 375F for 20 min. 

Saturday, July 12, 2014

the no bake ball

i made these healthy balls for a ladies party tonight. 
hope they're a hit :-)
 1 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup ground flax seeds
3/4 cup unsweeneted coconut
1/2 cup nut butter (i used peanut)
1/3 cup honey
handful of chocolate chips

mix all the above together except chocolate chips. 
i used my hands.
then mix chocolate chips.

roll into balls and roll into coconut. 
refrigerate for an hour. 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

the divine blueberry

We were at the dufferin grove farmers market this afternoon and I splurged on organic wild blueberries. 11$ for a container! when I got home my smart boy Aidan says, "they are worth it mommy, they are so delicious"! Whenever I buy blueberries he quickly asks if they are wild. I think I created a food snob! The 3 kids gobbled them up by the handful in minutes flat.
I was interviewed recently for a magazine about the health benefits of blueberries and thought I would share a few points with you here.
  • Blueberries are one of the few fruits native to North America. Forget the goji berry, go for the local and less expensive blueberry!
  • the US department of Agriculture determined out of 24 fruits, 23 vegetables, 16 herbs and spices, 10 nuts and 4 dried fruits, that blueberries were the highest in total antioxidant capacity per serving. Sounds good to me!
  • Wild blueberries are much smaller than the big, juicy cultivated ones. About 80-90 cultivated blueberries fit into a cup, while the same size can hold up to 150 wild ones. The supernutrients are in the skin, so we find a cup of wild blueberries have almost twice the blueberry skin as the cup of cultivated ones. Twice the skin, twice the antioxidant power!
So go support your local farmers and pick yourself up some local blueberries! 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

an everything salad

i'm really not a great cook, but i can put together a darn good salad.
it's not that hard really, after all no cooking is actually involved, just organizing of food (which i am good at!)
today's creation is arugula; i like the bitter quality of this leaf and so does our livers.
grated carrots and beets; also really supportive for liver health.
avocado; for healthy fats and substance to the meal
cilantro and parsley; these are heavy metal detoxifiers and support the kidneys.
cucumbers;  are nice and cooling on humid days.
walnuts are rich in omega 3's, and support the nervous system and brain function. they are actually shaped like the brain with 2 hemispheres (we call this "doctrine of signatures")
the dressing is a tahini one i make often. you can actually use it as a dip as well. i'm really bad with measurements but it's something like this; 1/2 lemon, 2 garlic cloves (today i put in 1 garlic scape from my garden and 1 clove), a handful of cilantro and parsley (whatever fresh herb you have on hand will do), and then i slowly add some water while i handblend to the consistency i want.
easy. quick. healthy. 
it's what i'm about.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

first days of summer...

we kicked off summer with a trip to drayton. i have shown pictures of this place before, i just find it so inspiring and beautiful and the property just keeps getting better and better. you can find out more about what they do here.
the garden is amazing! flourishing with veggies. they built a greenhouse over the winter that has tomatoes, cucumbers and even a  peach tree. how amazing is that! i can't even manage to get some raised beds on my small piece of nothing land, yet alone what they manage to accomplish! maybe one day.
they have about 30 chickens, ducks and a sweet little bunny. the chickens basically graze in a pack all day long. 
the kids had a great time, as they always do and we all came back exhausted.

 above is the crew. 
all 1 grade apart. 
5 boys and a girl. 
(and a kai.)

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

first and last

first day of grade 3
 last day of grade 3 (has he ever changed!)
i love surprising him with secret notes and a rare treat
 first day of SK
 last day of SK (she kinda looks the same....)
her secret note. which she can read on her own.
"The days are long, but the years are short." Gretchen Rubin
time sure does fly, my loves....

Monday, June 23, 2014

saturdays and watercress

saturdays are long and busy days. 3 kids and moi. 
all. day. long. 
our mornings start like this.
aidan then might have a drum lesson or we head over to the wychwood barns farmer's market
sometimes i get adventurous in the kitchen 
(other times we have mac and cheese and i take a nap)
  i'll show you the adventurous side. 

marinating organic tofu skewers

veggie sandwich on pita break's one bun with watercress, tomato, avocado and olives. 
it was divine. (obviously, the kids did not eat this....)
did you know that watercress tops the list of "powerhouse" fruits and vegetables?
take a look at this link to read more about it. who knew?

Monday, June 16, 2014


We went to the Evergreen Brickworks on Saturday for the market. We had a wonderful time. Surrounded by nature, great food, the kids were thrilled. We got these ice pops that were coconut pineapple flavoured and I decided to re-create something similar at home. A healthy and delicious popsicle treat.

1/2 pineapple, cut into chunks
1/4 cup unsweetened organic shredded coconut
2 scoops of GH proteins + (I use the whey, but they have a vegan protein as well). A simple way to get some extra protein into my kiddies.
I put all of the above in a blender and topped with a almost a whole can of coconut water.
Coconut water is rich in electrolytes (and a much better option than gatorade).

 drinking the leftovers. makes a great smoothie too!
 couple of pranksters making bunny ears over their little brother. it's only just begun.