I may not have fully expressed the full realm of what is taking place at the end of next week. I have known about it for nearly two years, you’ve probably heard bits and pieces but I have yet to give you the full story or my version of it!
My fiance Ryan, is headed to the North Pole in April. That’s right you heard me, the North Pole! I know this may sound a little extreme but if you know Ryan (or get to know him) you would very quickly learn that this is a boy who likes to do things that the average person just wouldn’t do. I mean, how many people would willingly choose to trek to the North Pole? I am not going to spend my time here explaining why he is doing this or what his race entails for those details you can look in his website Ryans Race.
What I will say though is this. He is doing this race for his own personal feat, but with a greater plan. When he gets back he not only wants to integrate this into his line of business, events and motivational speaking. But he also is passionate about raising awareness around childhood obesity and health. This is the ultimate goal!
There are a number of reasons why this race is so extreme. Its not only about the fact that he is going to be -40 degrees whether or that he will encounter a polar bear or fall through ice, I mean there are much worse things – like eating dehydrated food-like substances out of a package and snacking on broken pieces of refined candy and milk chocolate all day long. Yup, that’s right. That is what the other racers (all of 8 of them) will be consuming day in and out during the race. Ideally he needs foods that will dissolve easily in his mouth as he is going to be in below freezing temperatures. This is the rational for providing refined “junk” if you will, as the main source of energy as part of the race. But this was no roadblock for me as I was determined to find the equivalent amount of nutrients for Ryan using wholesome alternatives!
There was no way that the man I am about to marry is going to sabotage his body (after building it up for 5 years) for one month on junk food. So we made sure to get in touch with the race organizer and confirm that Ryan can provide his own food and fuel for the days of the race. Luckily this wish was granted – not that I would have it any other way!
My full wish would actually be that everyone on this race would be on these very same foods. If only there was full comprehension of the immense super powers of the foods Ryan will be consuming, I am positive the others would want to be on the same stuff. As Ryan will be building up and nourishing his body with living, pure, wholesome plant based energy. This will not only provide what he needs while he treks through this race, but will also ensure that he will recover and adapt sufficiently to the extreme measures he is about to endure. I can’t say the same thing for all the dehydrated, over-salted, highly sugared processed food that is actually supplied on this race.
Ryan is going to be burning approximately 12,000-14,000 calories, and this needs to be replaced by quick, easy to burn high energy foods and needs to consume approximately 10,000-12,000 per day to replenish his body. With these sources of incredible slow burning carbohydrates, essential fats and plant protein sources, Ryan will be nourishing his cells, organs and brain all at the same time.
It’s too bad there is no prize for winning this race. It is just about accomplishing getting to the North Pole, which as you can imagine is a feat in itself. But as the winner of this race, (which I know Ryan is striving for and won’t accept anything less), I will be thrilled to say that he did it on the world’s best superfoods!
On that note, I want to deeply thank all of these companies for supporting, sponsoring and supplying Ryan with the best foods I could have imagined for him to be consuming on this crazy amazing adventure of a lifetime!
Here is the menu of what Ryan will be eating during the race.
Goji Berries: the goji berry is one of the most nutrient rich food on hearth, packed with protein, essential amino acids, vitamins A and C and trace minerals.
Cacao Nibs: cacao contains a rich supply of antioxidants, magnesium and is pure energy!
Chia: chia is incredibly rich in omega fatty acids and are an excellent source of dietry fiber. It is bioavailable and provides long lasting energy.
Maca: maca root is a stress fighting adaptogen to increase stamina and combat fatigue. It is packed with vitamins, minerals and amino acids.
Ryan will be munching on this all day as a trail mix. He will also add it into his morning breakfast for a super fueled start to the day!
Sha Sha Bread Co:
Special high-energy bread: ShaSha himself is formulating a special sprouted high energy grainy bread for Ryan to consume.
Sprouted Buckwheat Snacks: delicious bites of high energy nutrients, fiber and protein.
Ryan will eat this throughout the day as snacks or in the morning as breakfast.
Sun Warrior Protein:
You didn’t think I would let Ryan leave town with out a bag or two of this now, did you?
This pure, raw, sprouted plant based protein will supply Ryan with his essential protein for the day. He will put this into his morning vegan cereal with water.
If you haven’t had the pleasure of trying these incredible high energy snacks you must get your hands on some. They can be found at most health food stores if not order directly from their website.
They are dried shredded strands of coconut covered with cinnamon and organic cane sugar (or tamarind or sea salt). This will be Ryan’s main source of fuel as it is loaded with calories. Just so you have an idea 1 pound of coconut will provide Ryan with 3000 of calories! This is when coconut functions at it’s best!
These little packets of contain an array of nutrients, including 1,000 mg of immune supporting vitamin C,* 7 B vitamins to enhance energy naturally, loaded with electrolytes to refuel and replenish the body during any and every workout.
These will be added to Ryan’s water to sip on throughout the day. Keeping him hydrated and keeping his immune system strong!
Endangered Species dark chocolate
This is one of the creamiest most delicious organic dark chocolate bars I have ever tried. It is pure chocolate at least 72% of goodness. So instead of broken pieces of Kit Kat and Crunch Bars, little bits of Endangered Chocolate will be mixed into his daily goodie bag. It will be easy enough to melt in Ryan’s mouth on demand, to provide a good source of sugar along with much needed antioxidants.
This is one of Ryan’s absolute favourite snacks. I don’t even think he would last the month without them. He can pretty much stuff the entire bar into his mouth. Halvah is made from pure sesame seeds which are loaded full of calcium, healthy fats and protein. These will be broken up to munch on through out the day.
Ryan of course needs GREENS on this race and Amazing Grass has offered to supply Ryan with Superfood Greens. This will give Ryan energy, antioxidants, boost his immunity, keep his mind clear and infuse his cells with pure green goodness.
Manitoba Harvest will be kindly giving Ryan Hemp Pro 70 which is their only water soluble protein concentrate. This will fuel his body to enhance muscle development, speed up recovery and optimize his overall well being. It is also loaded with omega 3 fatty acids and all 10 amino acids. Ryan can add this directly into water to shake it up on the go!
Big Tree Farms
This company will be supplying Ryan with dehydrated coconut water. He can add this directly into his water as well for an incredible boost of electrolytes and nutrients.
So there you have it, the array of amazing treats and snacks that will be infused into Ryan’s body everyday for 1 month. I just hope he doesn’t come home sick of chocolate, goji berries and coconut as these are staple ingredient in our everyday life!
I will surely be letting you know how his trek goes when he gets back. There will be lots of stories to share! But if you want to track Ryan while he is on his race, please check into
RYANSRACE every couple of days to see where he is in the great north! Feel free to contact me to wish me luck as well, as this race is just as much about me as it is Ryan!
A couple of weeks ago I took on the Canada am Cookie Challenge. I thought that for whatever it was worth, I would submit one of my favourite cookie recipes to see if it would win and Canada would realize just how delicious this cookie really is. My cookie wasn’t the winner, but made it as one of the finalists, ( I didn’t even want the prize: $500 to the Bay), I wanted people to taste a cookie that was made without butter, sugar, flour and cornstarch. If you didn’t know it already – cookies can be made WITHOUT these ingredients – and still taste amazing.
I selected this recipe in particular because as a little girl, nothing made me happier than creamy, white Jam Cookies. When I decided to give those up as I transitioned into healthy eating, I still longed for something that tasted similar. I came across a recipe that used all of the above “traditional” ingredients and began by converting them over one by one and landed with this recipe!
Which to me, is not only super simple, but it is also super delicious. I have tested it out on many a family member and have had nothing but a great response. So I thought the team at Canada AM would think the same?
Maybe next year my Jam Dot Cookies – filled with coconut oil and maple syrup will get the recognition and glory that they deserve. These ingredients may be new some some people, but they are responsible for making every one of my baked goods turn out perfectly and taste incredible. Others eventually will learn this – and it will become public delicious knowledge. Until then, enjoy the recipe below!
Jam Dot Cookies
1 cup almonds, ground to fine meal
1 cup spelt flour
1 cup rolled oats, ground to a fine meal or oat flour
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ cup melted pure coconut oil
½ cup maple syrup
Pinch of sea salt
Strawberry or raspberry jam (fruit sweetened or no sugar added)
Preheat oven to 350, line 2 baking sheets with Parchment paper.
- In medium bowl, combine almonds, flour, oats and cinnamon. Mix well to combine.
- In separate bowl, blend oil, maple syrup, and sea salt. Add to nut mixture and stir to combine.
- Roll into walnut sized balls. Place on baking sheet and press down with thumb.
- Fill indentation with jam and bake for 15-20 minutes.
Seaweeds or sea vegetables are known as a super-food. And as a super-food, seaweed has many super qualities that can benefit us when we utilize seaweed either by eating or soaking in it. Luckily, here in Canada and in the US, we have some of the best seaweed varieties in the world. With over 25,000 varieties occurring world wide, we should have no lack of choices. Since Canada exports much of it’s bountiful seaweed harvest to Japan for food consumption, it is difficult to find a Canadian source of food-grade seaweed, though not impossible. As more and more people discover the health benefits of these sea vegetables that grow organically in our oceans, we’ll begin to see the healthy long life that is associated with it’s consumption.
All we have to do is look to the East; the Japanese have the lowest rates of cancer in the world because they enjoy seaweed served in 20 different ways everyday. It’s the brown seaweeds that are most commonly eaten by the Korean & Japanese for everyday consumption. The brown kelps are known for their delicious, mild taste, containing over 60 trace minerals that are 10-50X the concentrations of vitamins & minerals of any vegetable that grows on land. Minerals are the driving force behind all cellular mechanisms, and as such, are vital for our healthy bodies. They are required for cellular structure, fluid equilibrium, protein building and hormone production. Iodine was the first trace mineral classified as ‘essential for life’; therefore is one of the most important minerals that is concentrated within the brown kelps that plays an important role in thyroid health, immune strength, in preventing & reversing cancer, among other benefits.
We enjoy most of our seaweed from Maine Sea Coast Vegetables, they are carried at most health food stores including Big Carrot & Ambrosia in Toronto, they’ve been harvesting certified organic raw seaweed for over 30 years. The Kombu is best for salads & seaweed chips and the Alaria is also a favourite as a soup stock. Ancient Korean post natal care includes ‘Mi-yuk gook’ soup 3 times/day for 100 days following pregnancy for the new mother. This practice is still done today with the mother-in-law supplying the new mother her soup. The Japanese use a lot of Kombu in their dishes, it’s very common, most of us recognize that sushi is wrapped in Nori sheets which are flattened and mostly toasted, though there are raw varieties available. Nori is also known as Laver, which is enjoyed lightly toasted at 150 degrees C for about 10min. This gives it a crispy texture that can be crumbled over salads & soups and has a delicious nutty flavour, you wouldn’t guess that it’s seaweed. Laver is very high in all the major vitamin groups including an excellent source of B vitamins.
mi-yuk gook soup
1 package (2oz) of dried seaweed (1 ounce is fine for four servings)
Cut seaweed thinly while dry with scissors into water.
12-14 cups of water
2 teaspoons of organic miso
unrefined sea salt or Himalayan salt to taste
2 cloves of minced garlic (optional)
1 green onion
Just the word Apple Cider makes you feel all warm and cozy, especially this time of year. But apple cider doesn’t just mean a delicious drink that you sip on that is pipping hot, it also includes a nutritious wonderful vinegar that has more health benefits than I can keep track of! Both are pure extracts from organic apples that produce incredible products for our health, appetite and enjoyment!
Apple Cider Vinegar:
There are many varieties out there, so I am going to help the confusion and direct you to Filsingers which is a local Canadian brand. They have the purest products I have ever tasted. Their vinegar is fresh, pure unpasteurized and unfiltered. Which means nothing has been done to it along the process. You are getting their own certified organic apples, which are pressed and aged without preservatives or additives. In case you didn’t know this Apple Cider Vinegar has been used for centuries to help with a variety of ailments because if it’s powerful cleansing qualities. Apple cider vinegar is a naturally occurring antibiotic and antiseptic.
Home Body Remedies: for skin, wounds, burns, acne, sunburns, insect bites
Weight Loss and Metabolism: I don’t like to promote “weight loss”, but apple cider can speed up your metabolism, making your body more efficient at burning energy (place 1 tbsp in a glass of water and drink first thing in the morning or throughout the day)
Home Cleaning: this may be an expensive way to clean your house, but apple cider vinegar makes a great disinfectant, deodorizer and over all household cleaner
Food and Recipes: Apple cider vinegar is an amazing addition to salad dressings, stir fry’s, and can be used to add acid (or make buttermilk) in recipes such as cookies, pancakes and muffins
(If you are not local to Ontario, just be sure to look for products with similar standards – Bragg’s, Eden, Spectrum etc..)
Sweet Apple Cider:
Filsinger’s sweet apple cider is made the old fashioned way from whole apples. They blend several varieties of apples such as McIntosh, Cortland, Spy, Golden Delicious, Red Delicious, and Ida Red. Using a variety of apples according to them enhances the flavour. They also don’t use any preservatives or additives in the preparation of the final product.
“Since 1953 our soils and trees have been balanced with seaweed extracts, trace minerals and compost. Our apples are grown without the use of chemical herbicides and pesticides. We are certified organic by OCIA International.”
Sweet Apple Cider can be enjoyed:
Warmed up with a cinnamon stick any time of day! You can have apple cider cold as well, but it just isn’t the same. So if you can, warm it up in a pot, sprinkle with cinnamon, nutmeg and a large cinnamon stick. Get into your comfiest clothing and curl up on the couch in from of a fire!
Filsinger’s also makes amazing: Applesauce and Apple Butter
Sweet Apple Cider Dressing
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup Filsinger’s apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp Filsinger’s sweet apple cider
1 tbsp local honey
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger powder
Place all the ingredients in a blender or small processor and blend until well combined and creamy. Tastes delicious on spinach or arugula with fresh sliced apples, walnuts and hemp seeds!
If you have never used or tried Apple Cider Vinegar, now is your chance!!
Tell me why, what and how you would like to use it and you just may win your very own bottle of Filsinger’s Apple Cider Vinegar
(You must be able to pick it up in Toronto)
Here’s how to win!
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At the end of the week I will do a lucky random draw – good luck Torontonians!