Deanna

Friday, 10 March 2017 17:48

Raw Brownie Batter Bites

I love love, love, chocolate.  These tasty little bites are loaded with chocolatey goodness and antioxidants from the raw cacao nibs.  The addition of a little sea salt makes them addictive and good for balancing your electrolytes too.  ;)

Soaking the almonds allows for easier digestibility, and it is also easier on your food processor.  The dates are soaked as well and the water is dumped off.  You can save it to use in another recipe if you wish.

 
I used peanut butter for the nut butter as that was all I had on hand, but any type of nut butter would work here.  I'm not so good at measuring, I just throw things together and taste along the way, so if you want more of something (like cocoa) then just add it.  My tbsps were heaping!
 
 
Raw Brownie Batter Bites
 
1 1/4 cup dates (soaked)
1/4 cup nut butter
1 cup almonds (soaked)
3 tbsp cocoa powder (heaping)
1/2 cup hemp seeds
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup oatmeal flakes
2-3 tbsp raw cacao nibs
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp sea salt (to taste)
 
Soak the dates and almonds for 2-3 hours to soften the dates and to begin to activate the enzymes in the almonds for better digestibility. 
 
In a food processor, start with dates and nuts and keep adding till all ingredients are combined.  Roll into bite size balls and store in an airtight container.
Place the airtight container in the bottom of the freezer behind frozen vegetables so your kids don't find them.
 
 
3 Ways To Get Back On Track To Healthy Eating
 
 
Feeling bad about overeating on the holiday? Don’t worry about it! It’s good to indulge every once in a while – everything in moderation, including moderation! The trick now is to get back on track as soon as possible and return to your normal healthy routine.
One day of over doing it can send your hormones and metabolism into a tizzy as it tries to process the onslaught of calories. This can directly affect the hormone insulin because the pancreas goes into overdrive to break down the excess blood sugar. This can leave you with a food hangover- and with symptoms like drowsiness, dizziness, and an unsettled stomach.
Another hormone that becomes messed up is leptin. When you overeat, your body is unable to recognize when it is legitimately full and it is harder to feel satiated. Occasionally, this can actually work to your benefit because higher leptin levels lead your body to think it is lacking food and can cause the release of fat from cells to provide energy.
We should see how many calories there are in a holiday meal.
May I present the average Christmas dinner- turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, green beans, pie, ice cream, and wine- you are looking at about 2,500 calories and more than 100 g of fat! And that is without going for seconds!
Like I said, it is okay to overdo it from time to time, if you know how to get back on track. Here are some “day after” tips for you to try:
 
1. Eat some Salad
Do yourself a favour and buy a large package of the pre-washed baby lettuce greens and whip up a large batch of salad dressing. If you make it easier on yourself, by having the ingredients on hand and ready to go, you might feel more compelled to eat a healthy lunch and dinner. To complete the meal using the greens, add a hard-boiled egg or some lean protein – like white turkey meat or chevre (goat cheese). Top your big salad with some grated carrot and then sprinkle on some pumpkin seeds.
 
2. Drink some tea
Holiday meals, though delicious, can also be salty. High-sodium foods can cause weight gain and register as increased poundage on the scale – all because of water retention. Weight gain from water retention is temporary because your kidneys can flush excess sodium from your body. One way to jumpstart this process is by drinking a detox tea that is designed to get things moving. I like the effect of dandelion tea because it flushes out the excess sodium and also improves transit time – meaning your colon will also be flushed – and then you can flush the toilet! Healthy elimination is the first step to getting rid of toxins and losing excess fat.
 
3. Go for a walk
Chances are your exercise routine was put on hold over the holiday too! While you might not want to get out and move it after dinner (what with the turkey coma and all), going for a walk the next day can give you the motivation you need to get back on track with your exercise program. It is a wonderful time of year to get out to see the snow covered trees and hear the crunch of the snow beneath your feet, de-stress, and appreciate nature with its fresh crisp air.
 
That’s it – 3 simple steps to return to healthy eating– salads, tea, and walking. Getting and staying on track is important in balancing hormones, losing weight and feeling great. 
Monday, 02 January 2017 13:44

Chia Pudding

Chia Pudding is so easy to make and is loaded with fibre. 
Saturday, 31 December 2016 15:47

Are You Getting Enough Fibre?

 
A general recommendation for adults is 25-35 grams of dietary fibre per day. Children need fibre too, different amounts depending on the child's age and how much they eat.
 
When increasing the fibre in your diet, start gradually. Too much fibre too quickly can cause discomfort.  
 
Remember to drink plenty of fluids daily with a high fibre diet, fluids help your body to use fibre properly.
 
Here are some quick and easy ways to boost your fibre intake:
 
1. Start your day with a fibre-rich cereal: oat bran, bran flakes or oatmeal.
2. Top off your high-fibre cereal with a scoop of raisins, a sliced banana or some orange sections.
3. Take a high-fibre bran or oatmeal muffin to lunch. It's even better if it contains fruit like apples, apricots, raisins or dates.
4. Fibre-boost your salads with carrots, apple slices, dried fruit, raw broccoli and cauliflower pieces, chickpeas (garbanzo beans) and kidney beans. You can also add ground flax seed or chia as a topper.
5. Choose whole grain breads as often as possible.
6. Load up your plate with extra vegetables.
7. Work some beans and peas into your meals; try split pea soup, baked beans, three-bean salad or chili.
8. Try hummus (chickpea spread) in a pita pocket; have lima beans for dinner.
9. Add green peas to casseroles, stir-fry meals, rice or noodles.
10. Boost the fibre in casseroles and mixed dishes by tossing in a handful of oat bran, wheat bran or a crunchy high-fibre cereal.
11. Snack on fibre-filled fruits: pears, raspberries, apples, oranges, nectarines and bananas.
12. Have a sweet tooth? Cookies such as sultana raisin cookies or fig bars offer some fibre. A real winner is a homemade oatmeal and raisin cookie.
13. When a recipe calls for 1 cup of flour, use whole grains like Spelt, Kamut or whole wheat 
14. Whenever possible, for maximum fibre, eat the whole fruit or vegetable (including its skin).
 
Remember:
* Increase the fibre in your diet slowly. Eat fibre often to reduce gas and bloating.
* Drink at least six to eight cups (2 L) of fluid such as water, juice, milk, or soup each day. Fibre holds fluid, which keeps stools soft.
* Eat regular meals and snacks to keep food moving through your bowel.
* Establish a routine and allow enough time for bowel movements.
* Exercise - physical activity promotes regular bowel function.
 
Fibre is important to eliminate constipation and increase our feeling of satiety so we don't eat as much.  It will also aid in sweeping the colon of toxins. 
 
Saturday, 24 December 2016 19:17

Perfect Pumpkin Pancakes

Perfect Pumpkin Pancakes 
 
 
My daughter is always having friends over on the weekend, so I like to make something fun for them.  These wheat free and dairy free pancakes are certainly kid approved, and they always ask for more.  In fact, most moms call me later for the recipe.  What is it about kids and they will try something different at a friend's house? 
Saturday, 24 December 2016 15:14

Pumpkin Muffins

Pumpkin Muffins 
 
Autumn leaves are falling, and the pumpkins are ready to be picked and baked into something spicy.
Saturday, 24 December 2016 15:08

How Stress Can Affect Your Weight

I realize this is not always an easy thing to do.  Most of us are juggling way too much and going through the day at warp speed, trying to get more and more accomplished.  By having a high-stress level, not only is it harmful to your health, it’s harmful to your waistline as well. 
 
When you are constantly under stress, hormone levels, like cortisol and insulin are elevated.  The elevation of these 2 hormones can sabotage your weight loss efforts and actually cause weight gain.  
 
‘Feeling stressed can create a wide variety of physiological changes, such as impairing digestion, excretion of valuable nutrients, decreasing beneficial gut flora populations, decreasing your metabolism, and raising triglycerides, cholesterol, insulin, and cortisol levels.’  – Mercola.com
 
So, while you may think you can “handle it” as far as your stress level goes, we aren’t meant to be under constant stress and it takes its toll. If you are doing everything right as far as diet and exercise, but you’re under stress every day, you’re not going to see or feel the results you want. 
 
What are some ways you can reduce your stress level? 
 
Is there something you can start with this week? 
 
Some of my favourites include exercise, yoga, going to the beach, getting outside in nature, meditation, listening to music, reading a book.
 
I also find that Reiki is a great stress reliever, and in fact have many people book sessions with me for that very reason.  
Saturday, 24 December 2016 14:59

6 Ways to Avoid the Winter Flu

Avoid Sugar
Sugar decreases the function of your immune system almost immediately, and as you likely know, a strong immune system is key to fighting off viruses and other illness, including the flu. It is especially imperative to avoid sugar if you feel you are coming down with something, but keeping sugar out of your diet for the long haul will do wonders for your health and make your body stronger, which will make it harder for the flu to bother you.
 
Get Enough Rest
Just like it becomes harder for you to get your daily tasks done if you’re tired, if your body is overly fatigued it will be harder for it to fight the flu. 
 
Eat Garlic Regularly
Garlic is a triple-whammy: it’s antibacterial, antiviral and anti-fungal. Garlic is one food that you should be eating every day. 
 
Don’t Let Stress Become Overwhelming
We all face some stress every day, but if stress becomes overwhelming then your body will be less able to fight off the flu and other illness. It has been estimated that up to 90 percent of illness and disease is stress-related.
 
Exercise
When you exercise you increase your circulation and your blood flow throughout your body. The components of your immune system are also better circulated, which means your immune system has a better chance of fighting an illness before it has a chance to spread. In a sense, exercising helps your immune system to be more efficient in weeding out and acting upon viruses and diseases. 
 
Wash Your Hands
Washing your hands will decrease your likelihood of spreading a virus to your nose, mouth or other people. If your immune system is strong, it should be able to fight off the virus if it does enter your body, but washing your hands provides a bit of extra protection.
Saturday, 24 December 2016 14:56

Food Allergy vs. Food Intolerance

Food Allergy vs. Food Intolerance
 
I remember as a child eating my cereal for breakfast and then developing a tummy ache.  This would happen every morning until I stopped drinking the milk that was added to it.  Eventually, while in college, my roommate told me I must be lactose intolerant as this was something she was learning about in her kinesiology class.  Glad to have something to go on, I proudly renounced dairy from my food choices.  I have since come to learn a lot more about food sensitivities and intolerances.  Read on.
 
There are two different kinds of food sensitivities – food allergy and food intolerance. Often times, they are confused because they are both reactions to foods that we eat and some of the symptoms can be very similar. However, it’s worth taking a moment to distinguish their differences.
 
Saturday, 24 December 2016 14:32

Salsa with Cilantro and Lime

Tomato Salsa with Cilantro and Lime 
 
My friend Laura and I made this awesome batch of salsa a couple years ago and since then this recipe has become a family favourite.  Salsa takes some time to make, so getting together with a friend and doubling the batch makes the work that much more fun.  You will eat this stuff by the jar!  
 
 
 
 
12 to 14 500ml jars
8 to 12 hours - 2 1/2 to 3 hours working
 
8 quarts plum tomatoes
pickling salt
6 large onions (red are good if you can get them)
2 to 3 heads of garlic
450 grams (1 pound) Jalapeño peppers
6 large yellow peppers
2 1/2 cups minced cilantro
1/4 cup cumin seed, ground
1 156ml (5 1/2 ounce) can tomato paste
PER JAR 3 tablespoons lime juice
 
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Blanch the tomatoes by dropping them in the boiling water for 1 to 2 minutes. You will need to do them in batches. Transfer the tomatoes to a sink or tub filled with cold water.
 
Peel the tomatoes, and chop them coarsely. Layer them in a large strainer - such as comes in a set for cooking spaghetti - with the salt. I try to use about 4 tablespoons, but a bit more is okay. Much of it will run out with the water. Let the tomatoes drain for several hours to overnight, in a cool spot (but not in the fridge.) Don't forget to keep them a little raised from the bottom of whatever pot you strain them into, so they are not sitting in their own water.
 
When you are ready to proceed, put the canning jars into a large canner with water to cover them by one inch at least, and bring to a boil. Boil the jars for 10 minutes. If your water is very hard, add a shot of vinegar to the water to prevent lime build-up on the jars.
 
Meanwhile, peel and chop the onions, de-stem and deseed the Jalapeños (wear gloves!) and other green peppers, and peel and mince the garlic. Squeeze the juice from the limes and set it aside.
 
Take the strained tomatoes, and chop them to the texture you would like - a food processor is fine for this. Mix them with the chopped onions, garlic, and chiles in a large canning kettle or other large, deep pot. Chop the cilantro and mix it in, along with the ground cumin seed.
 
Mix the tomato paste with a cupful of the salsa, until it is lump-free. Mix it into the pot of salsa. Taste the salsa, and add some salt if you think it needs some more. Bring the salsa to a boil.
 
Lift the sterilized jars from the boiling water bath and empty them. Half should be emptied into the sink, and half should be emptied back into the pot to keep the boiling water level up.
 
Add three tablespoons of lime juice to each jar. Fill each jar with salsa, to within 1 cm of the rims. Wipe the sides of the jars.