Kim, our Face of FNLer, is now able to accommodate her family’s different tastes and diets down to a “T”. Kim eats a plant-based diet while her children and husband do not. Kim shares some tips on how she balances making predominantly plant-based meals with the inclusion of a few “meat nights” that everyone enjoys.
At this stage in my life, I consider myself vegan. Do I quiz the waitress about whether or not my salad dressing has honey in it, or if there is egg in that veggie burger? No. So I know I’m not perfect. But for the most part, I avoid animal products in all areas of my life. I was not always this way. For the first 39 years of my life I ate the “standard” diet. But a particularly bad stretch of poor health sent me searching for a change. That is when I decided to give plant based eating a try; a particularly tricky feat considering that my husband, children, family and friends do not share my way of eating. So, what does this mean for making healthy meals for my family?
This is a tricky topic for me. I tend to go back and forth on it. Some days I want to cut all the animal products and processed foods out of our lives completely. And as the Mom, I know that my kids’ nutrition is primarily my responsibility. However, my husband is their parent too, and while supportive of my choices, he has not chosen to take this journey with me. My solution so far is to strive for balance and moderation. So what does that translate to at meal times? Well, I would say about 3 nights a week, we all eat a vegan supper. Veggies stir fried over brown rice, whole grain or rice pastas with Italian or Thai inspired sauces, soups, chili, stews and salads are the most common. And I can honestly say that my husband and daughter really enjoy these meals. My 6-year old fussy son is another story. Other nights, I still make a vegan side (which I eat as my main), and I prepare an animal protein to go with it for the other members of the family. Any baking I do now is vegan, and I have replaced dairy milk with almond in cooking and smoothies for everyone. So, I have not converted them to my way of eating, but I have greatly reduced the animal products they consume.
April being Earth month also has me thinking about the ways in which our eating habits effect the environment. Again, there is room for improvement. But some of the things that we do to reduce our footprint include:
- Eating fewer animal products (veg proteins take far less water to produce and create far less pollution than their animal counterparts)
- Shopping for produce at the local farmer’s market from May to October.
- Baking lunch box snacks (like Marni’s Blueberry Banana Spelt muffins!), thereby purchasing less packaged goods.
- Packing drinks in reusable metal water bottles.
- Using more Tupperware and less plastic wrap.
- Walking to school instead of driving when the weather is nice.
- And most obviously, recycling.
How do you strive to keep yourselves, your family and your planet healthy? We would love to hear your tips and tricks.
I must admit, I do LOVE Vega products – it’s that simple! And when I heard about Vega’s new Vega One Bars I was keen to try their new creation! Of course I am a fan of making my own homemade protein bars or energy whenever I can. As you may or may not know, there are a lot of “really bad bars” out there that have many low quality and filler ingredients. But Vega knows what they are doing, and their products truly reflect that.
If you haven’t yet been acquainted with this delicious, nutrient dense bar, you’ll definitely want to try one (side note: see how you can score a free box of Vega One bars below). These bars are a power packed snack or meal replacement (if necessary) with all of the essential nutrients needed for optimal energy and nourishment and they are delicious too!
Everything I love about the Vega One Nutritional Shake is now conveniently packaged in the first ever, all-in-one nutrition bar. In addition to making a delicious Vega One Smoothie every morning…
…you can also have the convenience of grabbing and enjoying a Vega One Bar! These are perfect to put in your bag on the go or for traveling.
Each bar has a balanced combination of essential vitamins and minerals and antioxidants and contains:
- 15 grams of complete protein
- 6 grams of fiber
- 1.5 grams of Omega-3
- A full serving of greens
- 1 billion dairy-free probiotics per bar.
The Vega One Bar is gluten free and contains no artificial flavors, colors or sweeteners. It comes in three delicious flavours: Chocolate Almond, Chocolate Cherry and Double Chocolate flavors.
And to top it off, this nutritionally complete, plant-based bar is dipped in chocolate. =)
For a chance to win a box of these delicious bars, tell @NourishedFully and @VegaTeam how this bar will benefit you. Make sure to include the hashtag #VegaOneBar or #1ofaKind. The contest ends on April 17th!
And come sample the Vega One Bar at Weekday Meal Planning on April 15th!
When you eat a plant based diet, people never tire of demanding you’re not getting enough protein. I have literally never had anyone ask me about my calcium intake.
I have a pretty hectic schedule that is constantly changing. One day I may be taking acting classes and running to Hot Yoga class, the next I’m auditioning for commercials and then babysitting the world’s cutest toddler. As much as I love cooking, I don’t always have time to micro-manage every single aspect of my daily diet. This means it’s so important to have a well-rounded diet that includes lots of Calcium rich foods.
One resource that I’ve found invaluable is CalciYum!, a vegetarian calcium based cookbook by David & Rachelle Bronfman. Marni gave me this book at my first consultation, and it has a ton of great recipes along with information about Calcium dense plant foods. This has helped me to consider Calcium in addition to protein when I’m choosing different ingredients for my meals. I love beans, tempeh, and tofu which are great sources of Calcium. Incorporating leafy greens into my everyday life has made a big difference. I put kale, spinach, and collards, into my soups, salads, stir-fries, and baking. You get countless benefits from consuming leafy greens, and there are so many to choose from and experiment with. The other high calcium food that I try to eat everyday is Almonds, I am a huge Almond lover. I like to have a little container of almonds with me or a Lara bar on hand as an emergency snack.
A great part of living in Toronto is the plethora of Vegetarian stores and restaurants at our fingertips. Last fall I was doing a class at Second City, and I would often have to rush to another audition, appointment or class, right after. Thankfully I could stop at Fresh on Spadina for a quick nutritious pick-me-up. Smoothies are an awesome way to get some extra Calcium into your diet! The Date Almond Smoothie and Tropic Thunder at Fresh are two of the most delicious beverages I’ve ever had. They both have Almond Butter, and the Date-Almond Smoothie can also have Almond milk in it, and you can add Kale to any juice or smoothie!
I also participated in my first cooking class with Marni this month called Grain Goodness. She showed us just how versatile vegetables and grains can really be. All of the dishes we made were so delicious, and I will definitely be recreating them all at home.What about you? Do you give much thought to the Calcium in your diet?
Kim Thompson, one of our Face of FNLers shares her excitement about heart health month and our goal for her of increasing her legume intake this month! She also shares her progress thus far since starting the program and the baby steps that she is successfully achieving on her journey. Way to go Kim!
When I learned that February is heart health month and we that I should be focusing on incorporating more legumes in my diet, I had one problem. Where to start? I must say, I had not eaten very many beans in my pre-vegan days. With the exception of a few kidney beans in my chili, beans and legumes were just not something that I had grown up eating very often. I’ve read that as you change your eating habits, your tastes change as well. That must be true for me because in the past three years, I haven’t met a bean I haven’t liked.
My current go-to dishes for a heart-healthy blast of protein include a spicy Indian inspired lentil soup, an Ethiopian lentil stew, homemade hummus, channa masala served over wilted greens, and one of my favourite quickie lunches which is chick peas mashed with avocado, green onion, lime juice S & P and cilantro spread high on Ezekiel toast. Yum! I also love Black Bean Burgers. Marni has a great recipe for them and they are really easy too!
Often people ask me about eating out. How can you possibly find anything to eat? And yes, it is a bit of a challenge and something I have had to work on. But beans and legumes are more and more common at both fast food places, and sit down restaurants. Mucho Burrito has a whole wheat burrito that you can customize with black beans, pinto beans, veggies, salsa, cilantro and guacamole. While I’m sure it is not all organic ingredients, when it comes to nutrition per calorie it sure beats the heck out of a burger and fries. And recently I was hunting high and low on a chain restaurant menu for something more interesting than salad. I spoke with the waitress, and she was happy to accommodate me, having the cook prepare a vegetable curry, replacing the animal protein with a hearty helping of chick peas. Ask and you shall receive….
On the Fully Nourished Lifestyle journey front, last month I talked about adding in more nutritious items. This month I was working on taking out some of the nasties. Am I there yet? A resounding NO. Am I making progress? Definitely. A big first step has been cutting my coffee consumption in half so far. I am still having my morning cuppa, but have replaced my afternoon one with herbal tea. Baby steps. This coming month I’m going to try to pull out the juicer from the back of the dark cupboard and see if I can start replacing my morning caffeine jolt with a jolt of fresh green juice instead. Just typing that here is a bit unnerving, but I’m willing to try. I heard something really helpful about giving up addictions (and yes, for me coffee is just that…an addiction). In order to maintain your willingness to change, you need to set an intention every day. You wake up and say to yourself “I am willing to let this go today”. Don’t worry about tomorrow or next week. Just focus on today. I will keep that in mind as I move forward.
With the help of Marni and the Fully Nourished Lifestyle Program, Kristy LaPointe is hoping to make 2013 her healthiest year yet, and she is excited to be sharing the journey! She is an actress, comedian and writer based out of Toronto.
In honor of heart-health month, Kristy is sharing with us the legume that holds a very special place in her heart and her favourite ways to prepare it.
Chickpeas For A Healthy, Romantic Heart
Chickpeas (or Garbanzo beans, as my father often insists on calling them) are versatile, healthy, and so delicious. A lot of people are familiar with Hummus, but these magical little beans can be used for so much more. Plain chickpeas are amazing in salads. They can be mushed up into a kind of tuna spread alternative for sandwiches. Falafel. Soups. Salads. The possibilities are endless. One of my favorite things to do with chickpeas is roast them in the oven or fry them in a pan with a small amount of seasoning. These roasted chickpeas make a great snack on their own, or in a salad.
This week I made a nice, fresh salad with a mound of wasabi roasted chickpeas on top, and it was so satisfying! See the recipe below. I’ve also been experimenting with different varieties of hummus, from roasted garlic to lemon to red pepper.
Wasabi Chickpea Salad
This month as I continue on my FNL journey, my biggest struggle has been with moderation. I tend to adopt an “all or nothing” attitude when it comes to health. This is great when it’s in full swing, and I’m consuming 4 bowls of Kale and going to yoga every day.
The trouble is, without balance, it’s very hard to sustain a healthy lifestyle. I get burnt out on plain oatmeal for breakfast, and then instead of spicing it up, I want to have a bagel and a cinnamon roll. A lot of my cravings have to do with carbs and sweets, so I’ve been trying to add healthier versions to my meals. The best sweet replacement I’ve come up with this month is frozen bananas. At the beginning of the week I sliced up a bunch of bananas, and separated them into small, freezable containers. Now whenever my sweet tooth strikes, I can go to the freezer and find a delicious, frozen treat. I still have chocolate and baked goods occasionally, but this has definitely helped me cut down.
With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, it’s time to treat your heart with the utmost love and care it deserves. There’s one easy fix to this and it includes incorporating legumes into your diet. Legumes are one of the most heart-healthy plant-based foods and are packed with nutrients that are essential to your heart-health and every day functioning.
Being very high in protein and one of the best sources of soluble fiber, legumes are a staple in cuisines from all over the world. Legumes are a staple source of protein with moderate caloric intake, making them ideal for any diet.
Here are a few key reasons why we love beans and why they are our favourite heart-healthy ingredient especially during the cold winter months:
- Controls your weight: Beans are high in soluble and insoluble fibre, which slows digestion and makes you feel full longer.
- Great source of fibre & protein: Combining iron-rich beans with good sources of vitamin C increases the body’s ability to absorb the iron.
- High in protein: Legumes are one of the best sources of protein. They are low in cholesterol and have almost no fat.
- Incredibly versatile: Beans are easy to cook and can be used in everything from Indian curry, bean dip, salad, veggie burgers, soup, falafel and hummus, chilis, and many varieties of salads and stews. While some legumes benefit from soaking before cooking, this step is not necessary for lentils and dried peas. It is important to prepare dried beans, as opposed to canned beans, as they are sodium-free. You can use a one-inch piece of Kombu to reduce the gas. But if you’re in a pinch, you can opt for canned beans the occasional time. EDEN brand is all organic, natural and BPA-free.
- Colorful and flavourful varieties: You will never get bored of them because there are so many different types of legumes that you can eat including kidney, black, navy, lentil, chickpea (garbanzo), adzuki, and mung. They vary in color and size, which makes for a creative presentation of your meals.
- Great for digestion and elimination of toxins: Eating beans helps move things along in the digestive tract. The fibre in beans passes through the gastrointestinal tract relatively intact, and speeds up the passage of food and waste through your gut.
Join us this month at a legume-focused cooking class and help cupid look out for your heart by incorporating more beans in your diet!
Black Bean Salad with Fresh Mint
What’s in it?
1 cup black beans, soaked* or use Eden canned organic beans
3 cups filtered water (no water needed of canned beans are used)
1 tablespoon mustard
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
½-1 teaspoon sea salt
¼ extra virgin olive oil
3 red radishes, small dice
3 scallions, minced
¼ cup parsley, minced
¼ cup fresh mint, minced
How it’s made:
- Drain soaked beans and rinse well with water. Drain again.
- Combine beans and water and bring to a boil over high heat. (Alternatively, you can use canned beans but only by EDEN organics)
- Lower heat and cook for 1-1/2 hours. Drain beans
- Whisk together the next five wet dressing ingredients and pour over warm beans.
- When beans have cooled, toss together with vegetables.
Our Face of FNL, Kim Thompson, shares how the first month of her fully nourished lifestyle transformation is going. She also reveals a few very helpful tips that Marni shared with her, such as taking baby steps and not focusing too much on what the scale says, just how she feels and mentioned her few goals. Her mindset is a great one and we’re looking forward to seeing her reach her goals. Kim is off to a great start!
Meeting with Marni and Muffins (Oh My!)
Is anyone else breathing a sigh of relief at the end of the holiday season? Don’t get me wrong. I love the magic of the season…the way people seem to behave with a little more kindness…the celebrations with family and close friends. But oh, the food. Does the term “food hangover” resonate with anyone out there? I’m so excited for this clean slate that is January, and the opportunity to begin working with Marni and her team in earnest.
I had my first consultation with Marni the second week of December. We had a great chat about “baby steps”. I love that her approach was not to have me jump on a scale right away. In fact her advice was to stay away from the scale and trust that the changes we’ll be making this year will naturally result in the loss of weight and inches I’m looking for. After a lifetime of yo-yo dieting and obsessing over the scale, this approach is radical, and somewhat scary. But I’m game to try.
So, what steps have I taken so far? Well, the first month was about getting through the holiday season unscathed. I liked Marni’s post about not trying to lose weight over the holidays, but rather focusing on maintaining. So, instead of trying to take a lot out of my diet at the busiest time of year, I concentrated on adding more of the good stuff in. Adding chia seeds to my morning smoothie and beans to soups to make them more filling and higher in protein. Adding goji berries and walnuts to my oats for their superfood qualities. Adding an afternoon snack with some nut butter or hummus to keep my hunger in check. And adding water throughout the day.
Oh, and on behalf of my husband and two children (one of whom is the world’s fussiest eater…) thank-you for the Banana Spelt muffin recipe. I chose the chocolate chip version for my first attempt, and as you can see from the photo, they came out beautifully! They were a huge hit in the lunch bags yesterday, and replaced the usual processed and packaged granola bars I typically pack for the kids’ afternoon snack.
Now that I’ve gotten more of the good foods in, I’m ready to start getting more of the nasty ones out. For the next couple of weeks I’m going to start working on reducing my caffeine and sugar, and doing more cooking. I’m determined to try at least one new whole foods recipe each week to start making this journey as delicious as possible. I’ll keep you posted!
Take care, and Happy New Year!
Thanks to all of our fabulous FNL applicants!
We were absolutely blown away by the number of fabulous entries that we received for the Face of FNL contest. Originally we had intended to find one winner. We were so overwhelmed with the inspiring submissions that we couldn’t narrow down our choice to a single face of FNL. Which means that we have decided to have not one, but two faces of FNL!!
We are so happy to welcome Kristy and Kim to be our two faces of FNL! We are looking forward to helping you both achieve your health and nutrition goals over this next year!
Meet Kim & Kristy – our two inspiring faces of FNL.
Kim is a stay at home mother of two. She started following a plant based diet about 3 years ago. Kim’s plant based diet has been leaving her unsatisfied, and without energy. Kim is hoping that upon participating in the FNL program, she will learn how to eat a more balanced plant-based diet. She hopes to finally reach a healthy and maintainable weight, achieve her fitness goals, and be a great role model to her children and family. Check out Kim’s inspiring story!
Kristy is an actress, and writer. In the past 3 years she has started following a plant-based diet, given up her microwave (too many toxins!) and started practicing yoga. Kristy has been battling with her sweet tooth, and has been struggling to eat healthy on a budget. Kristy’s goals for FNL is to help her conquer these battles, along with incorporating more exercise in her daily routine, and being more aware of nutritious, whole foods. Check out Kristy’s motivating story!
We are so looking forward to helping Kim and Kristy reach their goals! We will be documenting their transformation throughout this exciting journey including their challenges, improvements, and progress. Stay tuned for some motivation and inspiration from these two fabulous women!
Yours in good health,
-Marni Wasserman & Team
Have you ever found yourself looking in the mirror in the morning thinking “I just want a fresh start”!?
More than that you are just aching to transform your health and your lifestyle, but you just don’t know how?
Well the good news is that I have the perfect program to help you get there! It is called the Fully Nourished Lifestyle Program
This is a program that was designed to help you reach your nutrition and lifestyle goals. It can be difficult and overwhelming to do it alone. You are probably tired of trying diet plans that don’t work and eating foods that deplete your energy and more importantly take away from your vital well-being. You are likely to reach your personal goals when you have someone keeping you accountable and that would be me and my team! Even with support, I believe that you need to be an integral part of your journey. To achieve a fully nourished lifestyle– you actually have to be directly involved! Whether you are overcoming an illness, looking to achieve a healthy weight, want more energy or just want to plan weekly meals with wholesome alternatives – the only person in control of reaching these goals is you!
That means making your own meals and recipes (after learning them in my cooking classes), reading valuable insights, tips and information (from my guidebooks), and getting your personal questions answered (in a private consultation). Along with so many other goodies that are part of this all in one program. Whether you choose to join us for 3 months or a full year, I want you to get the most out of your life and it all starts in the kitchen and what goes into your mouth! When you have the tools to make nourishment a priority, you are going to be more likely to let this extend into other areas of your life.
This is your chance to make the changes you have been looking for and to become “the face” of the Fully Nourished Lifestyle Program.
This is the first time EVER I am giving away this full year membership!
As the face of the Fully Nourished Lifestyle, you will have the chance to follow our 1-year program for free, while documenting your transformation, and inspiring others to join you, and change their connection to food and healthy living.
You will be given the tips, tools, ingredients, recipes, and hands on experience, so that you can pave the path of health for the rest of your life. You will learn how to master your meals and become empowered in the kitchen with me!
This opportunity includes:
Life Changing Consultations
All of Marni’s Ebooks
2 Fully Loaded Packages of Products
10% off all Marni’s Products and Services
This program will change your connection to food and healthy living. You will be empowered to master your meals everyday in the kitchen!
YEARLY MEMBERSHIP to the Fully Nourished Life is a value of more than $3000!
Here’s what we need from you to WIN and become the FACE of FNL:
Share the real you and your real, inspirational story with us!
To enter the contest you can answer the questions below by either:
1. Submitting a 1 page letter and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. Leaving a detailed comment below
3. Liking our facebook page and leaving a comment there
4. Or if you are savvy enough create a video!
Please let us know about yourself including:
- Where are you at with your health and nutrition goals
- What is your biggest challenge
- What does being part of a Fully Nourished Life Mean to you?
- What will you create in your health, your life and in the world when you reach your goals.
If you are creating a video upload it to YouTube.com and tell us why you or someone you know is the perfect fit for this program. Your Video Title: Fully Nourished Lifestyle Program with Marni Wasserman video by (your name). Description: http://www.marniwasserman.com – Live the Fully Nourished Life with Marni.
You also MUST submit a comment below either to let us know you have entered!
Social Media & Blog Bonus Points!
Boost your chance of winning! Spread the word about this FREE MEMBERSHIP giveaway contest with comments on my blog below, Twitter and Facebook.
Here’s what we need from you to WIN and become the Face of FNL:
I want to win a membership to @marniwasserman ‘s Fully Nourished Lifestyle Program http://ow.ly/dVtwZ #winFNL
I am ready to change my life with @marniwasserman ‘s Fully Nourished Lifestyle Program http://ow.ly/dVtwZ #winFNL
I want to be FULLY NOURISHED with @marniwasserman ‘s Lifestyle Program http://ow.ly/dVtwZ #winFNL
And mention that your are entering and tell us why on our Facebook Page!
All tweets must have the hashtag #winFNL
The submission deadline is October 31st, 2012 and the winner will be announced November 5th, 2012
We can’t wait to see your entry video’s and write up! Have fun and good luck!
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!