This post was inspired by this article!
I am not a parent yet, but I intend to be one day – for at least 3 kids and I can’t wait to raise my kids with healthy habits that they have control over. This may be easier for me to say now. But what I do know is that there is no excuse when it comes to giving your kids junk food. With the plethora of unhealthy, toxic choices that are available today, there are just as many healthy tasty and fun options too.
I know that my good friend, and fantastic mom Lisa Borden can vouch for this. As a mother of 3, she is a true example of this. Her kids know and appreciate what it means to eat well and have their “ cake” (albeit from Sweets from the Earth or Kelly’s Bake Shoppe) and eat it too. They have been raised to understand that there is JUNK food, chemically processed kind and ethical homemade or naturally derived kind of junk food, which I would rather refer to as healthy indulgences or “good” junk food. These are still treats, still with sugar and fat, but they are a much better option than what is typically available for kids.
To that matter, please check out Lisa’s son Ryan Storm, an acclaimed Toronto food critic who knows what it means to eat well – at 12 years old!
What infuriates me the most is that some parents even claim to be prisoners to their kids choices. Blaming them for what they buy – “because that is all they will eat!?” Rather, it should be the parents as the decision makers and the nurturers in their child’s life. Granted marketing claims and media are not helping with this. Making parents believe they are actually doing a good thing and giving their child a “treat” or something “special” and most importantly putting a smile on their face. Which in the end makes the parent feel like a hero. To me, that is NOT proactive parenting. That is a passive cop-out, letting kids rule and not doing the due diligence required to find better “junk” alternatives – that still taste good! I don’t even like to use the word “junk” as no junk should ever go into your kids body!
I know there is the argument of the birthday parties, school pizza days and other occasions that a parent may not have control over. I understand, and believe that there is room for moderation and exceptions but if the healthy habits and standards aren’t there to begin with, then this becomes more difficult to implement as a child grows up.
I know this, because one of the biggest contentions I get from parents is that their 8 year old just won’t eat that piece of fruit, or “healthy” chocolate chip cupcake – because it’s just not the same as a the chemically processed and toxic version. At that point it becomes too late, and the child had not only developed unhealthy eating habits, but also unhealthy behavior habits towards food, believing that “healthy” food is gross and not cool. I would just like to mention that my whole philosophy on food, is that healthy food HAS to taste good and be enjoyed no matter what. Or what’s the point?
It is up to the parents to instill values in their kids at home. Kids should be sent to school with healthy and fun snacks. Of course in addition to loading them up with apples and carrots, they need a tasty “treat” too. Ones that actually make their friends jealous! This can be done, however instead it is typically easier for parents to say, well I may as well just give them “this cookie” or “those chips” because they will just want it anyways (I come across this too often with my clients). The truth is, if you create at that, then they will. So instead why not get involved with your kids and come up with some snacks that are colourful and tasty, sweet – whether store bought or homemade. The good news is there are lots of options & also if they are part of making their own yummy treats, they will be more likely to eat them too!
Here are some ideas to start with:
- Instead of candy, gummies TRY dried fruit – okay so that may sound boring, but get some blueberries, raspberries, mango, apricots and cut them up in little pieces and you’ve got the best tasting naturally sweetened “gummies” that you can find. Colourful, sweet, chewy, not food dye or white sugar – it’s a perfect match! (make sure you are buying varieties that are sulphite free and non-gmo)
- Instead of soda and sugared juices TRY to get some 100% fruit juice and mix it with water and even put some berries in there. The ultimate naturally-sweetened vitamin water.
- Instead of potato chips TRY Organic corn chips, sweet potato chips, zucchini chips, spelt pretzels, homemade organic popcorn, kale chips, even chocolate covered kale chips.
- Instead of jello or pudding TRY Yoso coconut yogurt top it with fresh fruit or dark chocolate chips – this is a perfect nut free snack to pack up or for after school.
- Instead of Ice cream TRY Coconut Bliss coconut ice cream. Flavours include vanilla, chocolate, peanut butter fudge, berry swirl, coconut – plan an Ice Cream Sundae night!
- Instead of Cookies TRY Better cookies from Sweet from the Earth, New Moon Kitchen or make a trip to Kelly’s Bake Shoppe, or Bunner’s Bakery–just note these are still “treats”, and should be treated as such but they are much healthier options! Of course making some of your own cookies at home would also be a nice way of knowing what is going in your treats and it also gets your child involved in the making. Try these Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches
- Instead of dairy milk chocolate bars TRY Giddy yoyo, Endangered species, Zazubean Chocolate, Chocosol or Cocoa camino.
Some Nourishing KID Resources worth checking out are:
If you are at a loss for ideas and want to get inspired in a fun and friendly environment, luckily we’ve got many upcoming opportunities to give you the chance to learn how to make some new healthy recipes for the family:
Better baking – May 13th
Weekday meal Planning – April 15th
Killer Kids recipes- May 14th
Pro-teen – May 21st
And the most exciting news is our very first offering of a Delicious Kids Day Camp this summer!
Register early before spaces fill up!
It is my goal to inspire you to stay on track, find alternatives, eat well, live well and nourish yourself & your kids….if you have them
By participating in Marni’s Fully Nourished Lifestyle Program, Kristy is committing to putting her health first. This year she has decided to not eat something simply because it’s available or cheap or chocolate-flavored. With Marni’s help and support she would like to become more mindful of what she’s eating and how it affects her body. Kristy has had her initial consultation with Marni and has started implementing some healthier habits, specifically incorporating healthier snacks in her diet. Below she shares her favourite easy to make snacks for at home and on the go.
Snacks are the greatest, little bursts of delicious energy throughout the day. Unfortunately snacks are a really easy way to slide out of your healthy eating ways, a few cookies here, a bag of chips there. Now as a huge fan of snacking, my latest goal has been to upgrade the quality of my snacks. As an actress/writer/jack of many trades, my schedule is constantly changing. It’s hard to know what food options will be available to me in between auditions,work,meetings, etc, so Marni suggested I make a habit of always toting “just-in-case” snacks with me.
In addition to this, my husband Chris and I made a goal to not eat out at all for the month of January, so this has meant a lot more planning and prepping than we’re used to. We’ve been prepping a ton of veggies, beans and grains on the weekend to use in wraps,salads and stir frys throughout the week. It’s so awesome to open the fridge and have a variety of prepped healthy options at your disposal. This has made meals so simple, and I’ve had a little more time to experiment with some healthier snack alternatives. Here are some of the snack foods I’m obsessing over this month.
1. Kale Chips
Chris and I are big Kale lovers, so last week I pulled out our dehydrator to test out a no-bake Kale Chip recipe. These were one of the greatest snacks I’ve ever had, and such an awesome alternative to potato chips. It only takes a few minutes to prep, then throw in the dehydrator overnight. We’ve baked Kale chips before, but I much prefer dehydrating them. As Chris stated upon tasting them “These are amazing! Make them every day”! This will definitely stay in the regular snack rotation and I’m looking forward to experimenting with new flavors and seasonings.
2. Carrots & Dip
Hummus,Salsa,Black Bean Dip. The combinations are endless. Something about the miniature size of these little orange morsels make them seem so appropriate as an in-between-meal go to. They’re easy to transport, healthy and refreshing. It’s fun to mix in sliced cucumber, celery, and other veggies but the carrots are definitely easiest with basically no prep time required.
3. Trail Mix & Lara Bars
This has been a standard of mine for a long time, but I’m trying to make more of an effort to always have some kind of nuts on me for a quick energy boost. The Coconut Lara bar feels like such a decant treat and only has a few, natural ingredients!
4. Homemade Popcorn
Coconut Oil. Popcorn Kernels. Sea Salt. Three simple ingredients, five minutes and you have a delicious treat without any of the nasty chemicals from Microwave or Movie Theatre popcorn for a fraction of the price. Chris and I make this every time we have a movie night or feel like a little treat. This is replacing me grabbing a bagel or other white-flour comfort food I’m constantly drawn to, it has that same filling effect.
I look forward to sharing this journey, and I’d love to hear from you! What are your favorite snacks? Have you found healthy alternatives to some old favorites?
If you want to add some healthy new flavours to your meals, it’s time to move beyond your salt and pepper shakers. There’s an entire world’s worth of herbs and spices out there for you to try, and they’re full of flavour and nutritional benefits. Many of these spices instantly bring to mind a particular part of the world or type of cuisine, – lemongrass goes well with Thai food and curry powder goes well with Indian cuisine. But that doesn’t mean that you can only use these spices for their authentic dishes. Have fun exploring the many different, innovative dishes that you can create using spices and let your taste buds be your tour guide as you experiment with new tastes in the kitchen.
With the many options of herbs and spices that there are to choose from, make sure your spice rack is stocked with these six essential and healthy ingredients to get started:
Health benefits: Turmeric is a concentrated source of anti-inflammatory properties (curcumin) are shown to promote liver function and heart health.
Nutritional benefits: Turmeric is rich in iron and manganese, fibre, B6, and potassium, and is the highest known source of beta carotene. The bright yellow pigment of this spice might have a role in halting the development of colon cancer.
How to use it: Add turmeric to salad dressings, mix it into brown rice, add some extra turmeric into curry for even more flavour, and add it to lentils or Indian-themed dishes.
Health benefits: Cumin soothes the digestive system, improves liver function, helps you absorb nutrients from other foods, and relieves abdominal bloating, gas and colic as well as digestive-related migraines and headaches.
Nutritional benefits: Cumin is a good source of iron and helps to stimulate the secretion of pancreatic enzymes.
How to use it: Add this spice to black pepper and honey to flavour vegetables, boil the seeds for a warming tea, add it to legumes for spice and flavour, add it to brown rice with apricots and almonds, add it to sautéed vegetables, and use it in dips, pilafs, and soups.
Health benefits: Parsley contains volatile oils that have been shown to inhibit tumour formation, and has flavonoids that function as antioxidants that prevent oxygen-based damage to cells.
Nutritional benefits: Parsley is loaded with iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium fibre, vitamins E and C, manganese, and tryptophan. This herb is medicinal for the stomach, treats anemia and rheumatism, promotes lactation, and helps contract the uterus.
How to use it: Use parsley in tabbouleh, chop and sprinkle on top of soup, and you can use it to make pesto.
Health benefits:Cinnamon blocks inflammation and bacterial growth, as well as helps to regulate blood sugar.
Nutritional benefits: Cinnamon is a source of calcium, manganese, dietary fibre, and iron. It helps to increase digestive fluid secretion and relieve intestinal gas. This spice counteracts congestion and aids blood circulation, and its aroma relieves tension and helps steady the nerves
How to use it: Sprinkle cinnamon on toast with honey, add it to warmed rice milk with honey, add it to water when cooking quinoa, or add it to black beans for burritos or nachos.
Health benefits: Ginger soothes the stomach and reduces nausea, as well as relaxes the intestinal tract and reduces gas. Ginger prevents motion sickness (especially seasickness) as well as reduces nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. It contains anti-inflammatory compounds called gingerols, which is why people with arthritis may experience reduced pain and improvements in their mobility when they consume ginger regularly.
Nutritional benefits: Ginger contains a source of magnesium, B6, potassium, manganese, and copper. By increasing circulation, ginger helps you cleanse through the skin, bowels and kidneys. It is anti-inflammatory and helps destroy many intestinal parasites.
How to use it: Add ginger to vegetables, use it to make ginger lemonade, add it to rice dishes with sesame seeds and strips of nori, combine it with tamari, sesame oil and garlic to make a delicious salad dressing, or add it to sautéed vegetables.
Health benefits: The volatile oils in oregano can inhibit the growth of bacteria. The numerous phytonutrients found in this herb are antioxidants that can prevent oxygen-based damage to the cell structures. On a per gram, fresh-weight basis, oregano has demonstrated 42 times more antioxidant capacity than apples, 30 times more than potatoes, 12 times more than oranges, and four times more than blueberries.
Nutritional benefits: Oregano is a source of fibre, iron, manganese, calcium, vitamins C and A, and omega-3 fatty acids
How to use it: Garnish pizza with fresh oregano, add the nutritious herb to sautéed mushrooms and onions, add a few fresh sprigs to a container of olive oil to infuse it, or add it to omelettes.
This article was originally featured on Chatelaine.
Can we say enough good things about coconut water? If you’re a follower of this blog, then you’ve read our internet version of ‘singing praises’ to the stuff. As you saw in the title, this drink has multiple uses. Sometimes we can get a little carried away on these warm summer nights, back yard parties, and veggie-q’s (yes, that’s how we refer to barbeque parties here in the office!) and we end up feeling like coconuts are knocking us on the head. You may have guessed that I’m talking about hangovers – the lovely dehydrated state of regret that we sometimes find ourselves in. Instead of reaching for the ibuprofen, why not grab a glass of nourishing, electrolyte rich coconut water that hydrates your body? Coconut water is fat free, naturally sweet, and loaded with essential minerals (or electrolytes) such as potassium and sodium that help re-balance our electrolyte levels and make for a fully charged you! Coconut water is especially good for dehydration. Since alcohol robs our body of water, replenishing with coconut water is the perfect solution.
As mentioned before, coconut water also makes an excellent sports drink for the same reasons listed above. When we exercise we end up using our electrolytes and water, and drinking coconut water is a perfect way to replenish yourself to optimal functioning.
Coconut water has many other beneficial properties outside of being a hangover remedy. In fact, drinking coconut water regularly encourages bowel movements, boosts immune function, helps to prevent bacterial and viral infections, and helps our thermoregulation during the warmer months as it keeps the body cool.
Living in Canada, which is clearly not tropical, it can be hard to access fresh coconuts year round, so we recommend trying Coco water, which can be purchased at Shopper’s Drug Mart starting on July 26th. Coco the natural drink has no additives and is the closest thing you can get to drinking straight from a coconut. Also, try drinking through a glass straw if you’re going to sip from a coconut directly to avoid any toxins that come from cheap plastic.
So go ahead, indulge in some coconut water – it’s ever so good for you!
- 2 cups coconut water (Coco the drink)
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp ginger juice (from freshly grated ginger)
- 1 tsp coconut nectar
Stir together in a tall glass and sip with a glass straw!
Hot summer days beg for cool and refreshing drinks. They just go hand in hand. And when the sun is beaming, it’s vital that you’re properly hydrated. Sometimes you actually don’t even realize you’re thirsty until a big glass pitcher filled with water and lemon is put in front of you.
But this is not always the choice people make to quench their thirst. Unfortunately, juices, sodas, lattes and other
high sugared, empty calorie drinks filled with artificial flavors, and even aspartame, are just too readily available.
If you want to curb this completely, get a hold of a just a few simple ingredients to make your own homemade summer refreshments.
Here are a few reasons why:
- They are refreshing, easy and can be kept in your fridge
- They will be full of natural ingredients and flavors (choose from either steeping some herbal tea and chilling it, adding mint, lemon, honey, or ginger)
- Fruits such as oranges, lemons and limes slices added to water make an amazingly simple drink. You can even put this into your water bottle for when you are on the go.
Here is what to avoid and how to change things up!
- Colors from sports drinks or juices. They are full of artificial dyes and other preservatives. Instead choose drinks that are 100% natural from fruit or use your own fruit juices or purees!
- Fizzy beverages such as sodas. Not only are they filled with calories and syrups, but they can actually dehydrate you. Choose filtered, flat or spring water instead and add in mint or ginger for something refreshing and different.
- Added sugars (such as glucose, fructose, corn syrup) which just means added empty calories! Use natural sweeteners if necessary such as honey, maple syrup or from fruit.
- Cream or milk based beverages are loaded with fat and often sugar. If you are feeling like something thick and creamy, make a smoothie or have one made with pure ingredients.
It’s easy to avoid unnecessary sugars, fats, and chemicals – it just takes a little planning. Check out this refreshing recipe for Pink Ginger Lemonade to keep you feeling fresh and cool!
Pink Ginger Lemonade
What You Need:
- 2 tbsp fresh raspberries or strawberries
- 2 cups water
- ½ tsp ginger, minced
- 1 lemon freshly squeezed
- Pinch sea salt
- 1 tbsp raw honey
How It’s Made:
- Soak berries for 4-8 hours in 2 cups of pure or filtered water (with ginger)
- Place all ingredients in a blender and blend on high until smooth.
Need a little help in creating fresh summer drinks, or just want to learn the benefits of new delicious recipes? Then, quench your thirst with me this July!
There’s nothing like spending your summer afternoons or evenings among friends devouring some delicious food. Whether it’s a potluck, barbeque, patio party or just an excuse to get together on a summer day – you want your dish to be the life of the party! Don’t spoil it by bringing something that isn’t vibrant with colour, flavor, and texture. You don’t need to “give in” when it comes to eating summer favourites; in fact it’s your chance to take advantage of local produce and make something that will have everyone begging for more!
Here are some tips of what not to bring to your next party:
- Trays or platters with cheeses and dips loaded with calories
- Bags of potato chips, loaded with sodium and fat
- Soda pop or fruit juices loaded with sugar
- Coleslaw salad loaded with mayonnaise or a creamy dressing
Try making this tasty Quinoa Tabbouleh for your next summer party!
Yield: Approx 2-3 cups
Quinoa is a light dish that is easy to digest. It makes a delicious and wholesome summer lunch, snack or side dish with dinner.
- 1 cup rinsed quinoa
- 1 large cup of chickpeas
- 1/2 cup chopped red onion
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
- 1 bunch of spinach, finely chopped into shreds*
- 1 cucumber, seeded and chopped into small pieces
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in halves or quarters
* grab a bunch of spinach leaves together and thinly slice into medium or long shreds depending on size of spinach leaves.
- 1 large clove garlic
- 1 tsp dry or fresh basil
- pepper to taste
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp Apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp honey or agave
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup olive oil
1. Bring 3 cups water to boil. Add rinsed quinoa and cook on medium for 15 min.
2. Drain, rinse with cold water. Spread out on a plate to dry the grains. Then place into a bowl and combine with chickpeas, onions, tomatoes, cucumber, spinach, parsley and mint.
3. Mix dressing and toss into the quinoa mixture, and gently stir from the bottom up.
It’s probably safe to say that summer is the favorite time of year for most of us. It means swimming, sun tanning, not having to bundle up in layers of clothing to go outside, and most importantly – cold treats! This week on the blog we’re going to look at summer treat options: vegan style!
The sound of your neighborhood’s ice cream truck likely floods you with childhood memories of sticky, sweet, cold goodies. Most of those treats however, are loaded with highly processed sugars, syrups, dairy products, and even fillers containing gluten which aren’t really that great for you. The good news is that there are plenty of alternatives that actually provide your body with some nutrients.
To start with, let’s look at some dairy alternatives so that you can still enjoy cold creamy treats without the nasty side effects of consuming cow’s milk*.
Ice cream can be made with any milk alternative, but we highly recommend coconut or other nut milks given their creamy consistency. Using a dairy alternative as a base, you can add any flavor you like and completely customize your ice cream. Try chocolate chips, nut butters, fruits, cocoa powder, or even just honey. Check out the bottom of the page for a delicious ice cream recipe!
It’s a common misconception that you need an ice cream maker to make your own ice cream. Whereas having an ice cream maker might make the process a little easier, it’s not too difficult to do without one – it just takes a bit more dedication! Once you have mixed your ingredients together, put them in a freezer safe bowl and place your mixture in the freezer. Every hour the mixture needs to be stirred so that it freezes into a fluffier, more ice cream like consistency. An ice cream maker simply does the mixing for you. You can also pour your ice cream mixture into popsicle molds for delicious healthy popsicles!
You can also try making a sorbet, which is super simple and tasty, consisting of only three ingredients: fruit, sweetener (honey, agave, rice syrup), and lime juice. This can also be frozen into popsicle form. Again, compile your ingredients, blend, and freeze! It’s that easy.
I fully sympathize with not having the time to make frozen goodies yourself, so if you’re at the store and looking for something cold and nutritious, what should you choose?
We highly recommend Luna and Larry’s Coconut Bliss coconut ice cream. It’s free of major food allergens (although this varies slightly with different flavors) including dairy, soy, and sugar, yet it’s creamy and tastes amazing. Coconut Bliss can be purchased at most health food grocery stores. Luna and Larry’s also makes ice cream bars if you’re looking for something to enjoy on the run.
So there you have it- 3 alternatives to unhealthy summer treats that do not involve processed sugar or dairy ingredients!
As promised above, check out this delicious recipe below for coconut mango ice cream!
*What’s wrong with consuming cow’s milk? A few things come to mind: it has high artificial hormone and antibiotic levels, it can suppress your immune system, and it makes the body acidic. This is a big topic and will be explored in detail in another blog post soon, we promise!
Tell us your favorite summer treat and you’ll be entered to will a coupon for a free tub of Luna and Larry’s Coconut Bliss ice cream!
Coconut Mango “Ice Cream”
What’s In It?
- 3 cans of organic coconut milk
- 3⁄4 cup maple syrup
- 1⁄4 cup rice syrup
- 2 tablespoons grated ginger
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 4 cups of chopped mango
How It’s Made
1. Combine coconut milk, maple syrup, rice syrup, ginger, mangoes, vanilla extract and salt in blender. Process mixture until well blended. Pour into large mixing bowl.
2. Pour mixture into ice cream machine or food processor and turn on, occasionally scraping sides of bowl, until creamy and somewhat firm.
This non-dairy ice cream is a treat suitable for any and all types. With no sugar, preservatives, or colours, it allows the natural exotic flavours of mango and coconut milk to come out.
Nearly at their seasonal prime, blueberries will be bursting their blue richness on Canadian soil over the coming weeks. If there were one berry to be consuming on a regular basis, it would be the blueberry. Blueberries are ranked among the top superfood fruits and vegetables for their antioxidant activity. Not only that but they are loaded with vitamins, minerals and other beneficial nutrients that make them even more delightful to consume.
If you don’t already have enough reasons why you should be consuming these blue gems…here’s a few more.
5 Benefits of eating blueberries
- Blueberries are a source of the antioxidant ellagic acid which blocks metabolic pathways that can lead to cancer
- Blueberry skins contain resveratrol – which has proven to have anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and blood sugar lowering properties
- Blueberries are an excellent source of vitamin C, E and fiber.
- They are only 81 calories per cup!
- They’re a cool and refreshing fruit perfect for hot summer days!
5 Uses for Blueberries
- Combine them in a fruit salad with other berries
- Blend them into a smoothie for liquid nutrition
- Bake them into muffins or pancakes
- Eat them fresh right out of the container
- Make a blueberry pie!
Wild Blueberry Tart
- 1 cup almonds, roasted and cooled
- 3/4-1 cup oat flour
- 2 tbsp maple crystals or organic sugar
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- Pinch of sea salt
- 3 tbsp melted coconut oil
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 2 tbsp agar flakes (natural form of gelatin)
- 1 3/4 cup apple juice
- 2 tbsp tapioca (or cornstarch) dissolved in 1/4 cup apple juice
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- Sea salt
- 2 cups fresh wild blueberries, washed and drained
Preheat oven to 350F. Oil a 9” tart pan.
For the Crust:
- In food processor, grind nuts to a meal. In mixing bowl, combine nuts, flour, maple crystals, baking powder and salt.
- In separate small bowl, whisk together oil and maple syrup.
- Mix wet ingredients (oil and syrup) into dry ingredients (nut meal and flours).
- Press crust mixture into tart pan. Refrigerate 15-20 minutes, then bake 20-25 minutes. Let cool completely.
For the filling
- In a small pot, simmer agar flakes in apple juice until agar completely dissolves. When agar dissolves, add tapioca/juice mixture. Whisk until mixture thickens. Add maple syrup.
- Add pinch of salt and berries. Cook 6-8 minutes. Remove from heat and let mixture cool partially. Pour into cooled crust pan.
- Let set completely. Garnish with mint before serving. There may be a small amount of filling left, you can enjoy as a pudding by blending in food processor.
It seems like more and more lately we keep hearing about superfoods. The question is, do you know what a superfood is and what qualifies it as a superfood?
What Are Superfoods?
Superfoods are a category of foods found in nature; they are superior sources of essential, super-power nutrients, nutrients we can’t make ourselves. They are the most powerful foods on the planet, and are powerhouses for the transformation to a slender, healthier you. If you are what you eat, why not be super?
Where Can I Find Them?
Superfoods can be found everywhere. You are likely using many of them already everyday. Not all superfoods come from exotic places like Costa Rica and Thailand – but many are right here in North America and can be found at your local health food store, grocery store or farmer’s market.
Everyday foods such as kale, quinoa, sweet potatoes, blueberries, and raw honey are amazing superfoods to start with. If you want to get exotic – include superfoods such as nori seaweed, cacao, goji berries, maca, Maqui, and mesquite as well.
Superfoods Also Include:
- Raw foods – (food not heated above 48 degrees Celsius or 120 degrees Fahrenheit),
- High enzyme foods - (foods that easily break themselves down are easier on our digestive system, such as mangoes, pineapple, papaya and avocados)
- Organic foods - (foods grown without pesticides, herbicides, and chemicals)
- Fresh, local foods (visit local farmers markets and taste the difference that local foods make!)
When Choosing Your Superfoods:
Look for foods with a variety of colour, texture, flavour and shapes. This makes your meals and snacks exciting! No one wants a boring meal that doesn’t taste good.
Focus on high nutrient-dense foods over low calories. Calories don’t determine how many vitamins, minerals, enzymes or overall nutrients are in a food item. Superfoods have concentrated nutrients (protein, carbohydrates and fats) and provide so much nutrition in every bite. It’s also important to get away from focusing on calories all the time. It can become obsessive and you may loose sight of actually consuming good quality food!
They make you happy! They help you to actually lose weight because you will be eating foods that satisfy and satiate, rather than make you crave other foods! Your cells become saturated with nutrition. Plus:
- They give you energy
- They help your body to detoxify
- They give you mental clarity
- They promote activity and weight loss
- They improve immunity
- They clear and brighten your skin
If you want a FREE spot in this class see details here!
Superfood Power Balls
What’s in it?
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
2 tbsp hemp seeds
1 cup chopped dates
1/4 cup goji berries
2 tbsp cacao nibs or cocoa powder
1 tbsp raw honey or coconut nectar
1/2 tsp vanilla powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 tbsp Sun Warrior Protein Powder (Use code MW007 when checking out at RAW ELEMENTS for 5% discount)
How it’s made!
Place all the ingredients into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until you get a thick “doughy” consistency. Roll into bite size balls for quick power bites –perfect for your purse or a midday snack or after a workout.
What are your favourite Superfoods?
As explained in my previous blog, I tested out the new Vega One protein powder and sports hydrator drink. I also had my team give it a try to see how it affected their lifestyle. The fun part about this is that they all used Vega for different reasons. Read on to see how it turned out!
Stephanie – The Fitness Buff
When it comes to training and nutrition a rule that I live by is to train smart and fuel properly. Many people can get to the gym, follow through with their workout but not have the right combination of nutrients to provide their body with the fuel they need to repair, re-energize, and make gains towards their fitness goal.
The focus of my training is to build lean muscle and increase my strength. I’d mix 1 scoop with 350ml of water or rice milk and consume it within 30 minutes after my session. Not only did I notice a difference in my energy levels but my delayed onset muscle soreness was greatly decreased, I experienced less fatigue throughout the day and my workouts the following day always felt better and stronger.
Most recently I have started using the Electrolyte Hydrator. I mix the Hydrator in some water and drink it during my work out on the days that include more anaerobic work, such as sprints, intervals and plyometric training. I also pack it with me for long days at school or work and when I need a little more energy to keep me feeling refreshed.
I have seen huge gains since starting to supplement with Vega’s Sport Performance line and these three items have become a part of my daily training routine! Keep training and re-fuel the right way!
Sophia – Vegetarian Taking it to the Next Level
My non-vegetarian friends always ask me, “Where do you get your protein from if you don’t eat meat?”, and I’m sure vegetarians (and vegans alike) always sigh when they have to give a listed answer. Protein does not exist only in meat – it’s in many foods like grains, beans, nuts, soy or tofu, and yes, protein supplements like powders. And although this isn’t breaking news, you’d be surprised at how many people ask me this question!
I’m picky about what goes into my food and body – I like knowing that my protein shake (among other foods) is full of natural, plant based ingredients, vitamins, and nutrients. Which is why I was so happy to test out the new Vega One Vanilla protein powder. Because I am a petite girl and I tend to lose weight very easily, I like to incorporate high-protein based foods into every one of my meals in the day. I used Vega One Vanilla protein powder as a nutritious liquid meal rather than after the gym like Stephanie and Jordana. I combined 1 cup of hemp milk, ½ cup of sliced strawberries, and 1 tbsp of goji berries, flax seeds, chai seeds, cacao nibs, and coconut nectar (thanks Marni for this simply divine recipe!). I sipped that down with my glass straw and I was full and chock full of nutrients for the next 2 hours. I didn’t feel bloated, stuffed, or heavy like some other protein drinks with questionable ingredients had made me feel previously. It was a great tasting meal that left me full and satisfied knowing that I got both a healthy and generous serving of protein, all in one cup.
Jordana – Before and during a Workout
Chocolate Protein Powder
For breakfast I made myself a chocolate shake using the protein powder. My smoothie consisted of ½ a banana, blueberries, chia seeds, water, almond milk and protein powder. Not only was it delicious, but I was satisfied for hours and it lowered my cravings throughout the day. I’m very much the type who snacks out of boredom, however; I was so full from the shake that I didn’t have these cravings!
For the first time I did back to back fitness classes (2 hours in total) so I knew I needed something to refuel after the first workout. I’m pretty skeptical adding anything to my water, but I figured I would try for the sake of testing it out. After my first workout, I filled up another bottle of water and added the lemon lime hydrator. I’m surprised to say it tasted delicious and quenched my thirst, although on a daily basis I prefer the pure taste of plain water.
After assessing the day, the combination of a balanced breakfast and the electrolyte hydrator definitely contributed to a successful workout!
So there you have it. All my girls found the Vega drinks to accommodate their days pretty well based on their needs and uses. If this post has inspired you to incorporate more protein or fitness foods in your routine, then my Fit and Fabulous class is something you don’t want to miss out on!
Tell us why you want to use Vega and what you’d use it for and we’ll enter you in the contest for a chance to win free samples! At the end of the week, I’ll choose the best answer to be rewarded with the prize. Good luck Torontonians! Contest closes May 11th, 2012.
Note: (Winner must be in Canada)
You can get more delicious knowledge by checking out Marni’s Purely Fit e-book, available here: http://www.marniwasserman.com/ebooks/