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
Calcium is a very important subject for me so I was to learn that this month is calcium month! A hysterectomy, shortly after my second child was born pushed me into menopause at the age of 35. Along with this came an increased risk of osteoporosis, making bone health an important consideration in my diet. Like everyone else, I had grown up believing that eating my 2-3 servings of dairy a day was the healthy way to go. I never questioned the absurdity of consuming another species’ breast milk. Through my research and my experiences with Marni to date, I have learned that dairy actually impedes my goal of strong bones by contributing to an acidic body. When this happens the body will try to reinstate an alkaline state by leaching calcium from the bones.
So, where is a girl to get her calcium? I start several days a week with a hearty dose of calcium from a smoothie made with banana, organic berries, calcium rich kale and fortified almond milk. This is a favourite of my daughter’s as well. Trust me, you can not taste the kale. Adding some ground flax seed ups the calcium even more.
While there is a long list of veg-friendly calcium sources out there, two personal favourites are edamame and sesame seeds. Edamame pods are a popular snack in our household; steamed and tossed with a bit of EVOO, salt and pepper. I also add shelled edamame to quinoa dishes, pastas, and salads. Most things I cook are finished off with a healthy sprinkle of sesame seeds as well, adding flavour, texture, and giving the food a nice presentation.
I was happy to see these two ingredients front and centre at Marni’s Amazing Asian cooking class earlier this month. My two favourite recipes were the Nappa Cabbage Salad, and the Arame Soba Noodle Salad. I recreated both of these dishes at an Asian-themed pot luck this past weekend to great reviews. One of my reasons for wanting to win the Fully Nourished Lifestyle prize was to be an example to those around me. I find people can be pretty sceptical of vegan cooking, so it is very heartening to bring healthy vegan fare and have it be as well received as the meat and sugar-laden foods around them. Thanks Marni!
March is calcium month and there is no better time to clarify the myths of calcium and bone strength! Despite what dairy companies lead you to believe, building strong bones is a lot more complicated than consuming calcium. There are three misconceptions when it comes to dairy, calcium and bones.
1. Building strong, healthy bones depends only on calcium
2. Your calcium intake is the only thing that matters
3. Dairy is the only good source of calcium
Let’s clarify these myths one at a time:
Clarification #1 – Calcium + Vitamins Build Strong Bones
Bone development is influenced by a number of factors, including nutrition, exposure to sunlight, hormones, and physical exercise. There’s no denying that calcium is important for bone health but bones need more than just calcium to grow and stay strong. Other important sources include Vitamin C, Vitamin D, and Vitamin K.
Enjoy these foods that are bursting with calcium!
- Green Leafy Veggies – kale, chard, beet tops, collards, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, dandelion, mustard greens and bok choy.
- Root Veggies – parsnip, rutabaga, sweet potatoes, squash, okra.
- Nuts and Seeds – almonds, pine nuts, hemp seeds, sesame seeds.
- Beans, Legumes and Whole grains – kidney beans, black beans, quinoa and amaranth.
- Fermented and Organic Soy – Tofu, tempeh, miso and edamame.
- Sea vegetables include arame, nori, dulse, wakame and kombu. They can be found at your local health food store or in the condiment section of your grocery store. Another great place to look is at authentic Asian markets.
- Other: carob, tahini, almond butter, cocoa, goji berries, figs and molasses.
Clarification #2 – Importance of Calcium Absorption & Retention
As we just discussed, calcium-rich foods is one source that helps build strong bones. But what you may not realize is that calcium is for more than just your bones – almost every function in our body requires calcium. Many degenerative diseases such as osteoporosis among others are a result of poor quality supplementation and an imbalanced diet. Reaping the benefits of calcium is also about how much we’re able to absorb, and retain. Factors including our dietary habits, lifestyle, and aging process all contribute to calcium absorption and retention.
- Stress impacts normal digestion and can have a negative effect on calcium absorption.
- Age also impacts calcium absorption – on average, adults absorb approximately 20% less calcium than children.
- Protein increases calcium absorption and stimulates the production of hormones that promotes new bone formation.
Clarification #3 – Avoid Dairy as a Source of Calcium
People have grown to accept that you can only get your daily intake of calcium from conventional dairy and a calcium supplement. What you need to also focus on is whole food sources that are naturally loaded with calcium. These foods don’t contain dairy, but will provide your body with the calcium it requires to function in an easy-to-assimilate way along with a whole bunch of other minerals and nutrients that are vital to good health!
So skip the dairy, eat your greens, get some sunshine and exercise regularly and enjoy all of the health benefits of a whole, natural diet! For calcium-rich, plant-based recipe inspiration join us on March 18th for Veggin’ Comfortably where you will learn some delicious calcium-rich recipes and you will receive a free copy of Marni’s best-selling eBook Veggin’ Comfortably.
Try this calcium-rich treat — Carob Fig Frozen Fudge
What’s In It?
1 cup figs, soaked
1 1/2 cups filtered water
1 tablespoon pure vanilla
1/2-1 cup nut butter (almond or sunflower)
1/2-1 cup raw carob powder
1/2 cup Manitoba Harvest hemp seeds
How it’s Made:
1. Place the figs in a bowl and cover with water and soak for about an hour, until soft. Drain reserving liquid.
2. In a blender, blend the figs, and vanilla until smooth, slowly adding soaking water as needed to form a creamy consistency.
3. Transfer the fig mixture into a large bowl, add the nut butter, and stir to combine.
4. In a separate bowl, mix the carob and hemp seeds.
5. Gradually add the dry carob mixture into the wet fig mixture. Stir well. Press evenly into a 10 by 18 inch brownie pan, 1 inch thick and freeze until firm (about 3 hours).
6. To serve, cut into 1 inch squares.
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 been misled by corporations marketing their food products? Most of us have. And we now mistakenly rely on food labels for an accurate picture of the nutritional value of the foods that we consume. If you want to achieve an overall healthier lifestyle, say goodbye to the following misleading terms:
Carb Free – Depriving your body of carbs, will lead you to be craving sugar sooner or later. Stick to complex carbohydrate sources such as brown rice, sweet potatoes and fruit.
Low Calorie – Consuming too few calories, will leave you feeling weak, tired and ineffective during your workday and your workouts. Not to mention you’ll be grumpy because you will be hungry!
Low Fat – When fat is removed from a diet, usually sugar is added right back in to compensate for the nutrients that your body is craving. This is deceiving because sugar can actually make you fat whereas “good healthy” fats won’t make you fat!
No Sugar – If you think that artificial sweeteners are better options than sugar you are setting yourself up for disaster. Chemical sweeteners like aspartame trick your body into thinking it is getting sugar when it’s not and will actually make you crave sugar. Stay natural and choose natural sweeteners like honey, maple syrup and coconut sugar.
Gluten Free – Just because something is labeled gluten free does not mean it is healthy. The gluten-free label is being over used on products that are naturally gluten free (like pickles or apples). For more information on this topic read Marni’s latest article on gluten free living here.
The key to ultimate health will not be achieved by focusing on these claims. Incorporate natural, whole foods in your diet even if they are higher in fat or contain more calories than we have been taught will effect weight loss. Your body will thrive off of healthy fats and complex carbs. They are needed to achieve a healthy, lean weight.
How can you ditch this unhealthy way of thinking?
First and foremost, most of your food selections should be fresh whole foods – items like vegetables, fruits, legumes and nuts. These should be the focus of your diet. Ignore the nutrition claims including fat, calories, and carbs listed. Your body will thrive off of these foods.
When you do choose processed foods, take all label claims with a grain of salt. Realize they may or may not be true, and base your primary decision on the ingredients list instead. You want to look for foods that have only a few ingredients listed, and they should be items that you recognize. Avoid foods that contain unfamiliar additives, preservatives, and artificial flavors and colors. Always use common sense. A sugary breakfast cereal is not going to be your healthiest choice, even if it claims to be a “low calorie” one on the label.
What is the secret to achieving a healthy weight?
Focus on whole, natural foods. Fuel your body with foods that will help build muscle, speed, and recovery. Use these tips below to start seeing the healthy, lean results that you want.
- Boost your veggie intake. Include lots of leafy greens in your salads and smoothies.
- Drink more water. To add some flavour to your water, add a squeeze of lemon or enjoy a delicious herbal tea.
- Fill up on soup loaded with veggies. Get some delicious soup recipe inspiration here.
- Choose complex carbs over refined. A low carbohydrate diet is not the answer either – your body needs carbs in all its forms (except refined ones of course!) along with good quality essential fats and protein! Complex carbs including grains such as quinoa, wheat berries, and more will leave you feeling great with exuberant amounts of energy allowing you to achieve your health and fitness goals.
- Choose healthy fats over bad fats. Healthy fats include avocados, nuts, and seeds. Bad fats include non-saturated fats contained in chips and highly processed foods.
- Eat enough protein. Protein is an important nutrient required for the building, maintenance and repair of muscle and tissues in the body.
- Cut out sugars. Choose fruit instead which contains natural sugars. To curb your sugar craving check out these wholesome desserts that provide nothing but essential, whole foods that your body craves.
- Focus less on weight and calories and more on eating whole, natural foods. The health benefits of consuming superfoods will out-weight the number of calories in it.
- Eat 4-6 meals a day. This way, your metabolism will always be working and you will avoid devouring your meals if you eat nothing in between each meal.
- Exercise by doing weight bearing exercise and interval cardio. Take a fitness class or start by doing 15 minutes of cardio a day and slowly build up your endurance each week.
What is the secret to a healthy and lean YOU?
Choose foods that are unprocessed and in their freshest form. They are almost always superior to processed varieties. When choosing between processed foods, look for those with the most wholesome ingredients possible.
When it comes to making your own recipes, don’t get caught up with calories and fat, just enjoy eating balanced and nourishing meals to keep yourself fueled. I promise this will make a difference!
& the Fully Nourished Team!
For recipe inspiration and to learn how to make delicious, satisfying and healthy meals, check out Marni’s upcoming cooking classes here.
Take your health to the next level and join our nourishing lifestyle program. Marni can help you reach your goals one on one!
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 email@example.com.
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!
In just less than a month, I will be running my second 1/2 marathon on veggies in support of the Toronto Vegetarian Association. I ran my first half marathon two years ago and decided I would tackle this challenge again and try to run faster, run longer (without taking breaks) and overall just feel great before, during and after my race.
For those of you runners out there, you know how physically demanding and tiring running can be. You have to prepare yourself mentally, physically and nutritionally. If any one of these components is missing, then you are setting yourself up for even more of a challenge.
If you support the idea of running on veggies then I would love any messages of encouragement below or your support.
In return, I am going to give you some helpful tips on how to approach your next race powerfully.
You need to prepare yourself. You need to know the details of the race, the course you are running and making sure you take the think out of it so that you can approach each run with pure determination and enthusiasm.
You’ve got to TRAIN! I learned this the hard way for my first 1/2 marathon. I figured, I run on a weekly basis a couple of times, do interval training, strength train, yoga – so I am good. If I can run for 45 minutes then I can surely run for two hours!? Well I was wrong. I completed the race but I did not feel like I achieved my goal or ran the way I wanted to, and my recovery after the race was difficult. So I would advise you to take the time and train a couple of times a week. Get involved with a running group and have an action plan to run a certain amount each week. Increase your distance every time you run and add in some hill training. There are various resources online to give guidelines and several local running groups wherever you may be living. So hook up with one and you will see and feel the difference.
My group and I have actually already ran the full 21K. So now I know I can do it again on race day!
Another tip is to make sure that you cross train. Spend time doing other forms of exercise to condition your body in more than one way. Try things like strength training, yoga, cycling or swimming.
This is of course the most important one. Most marathoners and runners in general actually focus very little on nutrition or have adopted the old school way of eating which includes lots of white carbohydrates and the mentality of “I run, so I can eat anything”. Not true! Don’t get into this mess because your body will feel it and not perform at it’s optimum. Below I have listed some of the things I choose to eat when training and in my diet in general throughout the week so that I can prepare and recover effectively.
For more recipes and guidelines on this please see my book PURELY FIT!
Here’s what I do:
I have been using the VEGA sport performance line to help with each phase of my run.
Before I run:
- Vega Sport Energizer (Lemon or Acai) – mixed with coconut water and Sun Warrior’s Ormus Supergreens
- If I have enough time I will also have either Vega Vibrancy Bar or Vega Endurance Bar
While I run:
- I like to have water on me in my fuel belt. I do one just plain and one with Vega Electrolytes (especially for long or hot runs)
- Endurance Gel – I carry this on me just in case I need some extra fuel, however I am usually good with just water. (For full marathoners, I would consider keeping a couple of these on you!)
After I run:
- I take some water and sip on the Vega recovery accelerator. I try and finish it but even just having some of it helps. To be honest I am not overly hungry right after I run.
- About 20 minutes later I have the Vega Sport Performance Protein with some rice or almond milk. I love making my smoothies, but after a long run, I just like something simple and easy to digest.
Later on in the day (as I usually run in the morning) I will have a healthy veggie lunch consisting of quinoa, beans, salad, sprouts, sweet potatoes – or some variation thereof. For more ideas see some of the recipes resources in my PURELY FIT book to get a better idea of the meals I make to compliment my training.
Sport nutrition or just fitness nutrition is a passion of mine. With a background in Kinesiology, exercise comes easily to me and is a an important part of my lifestyle. I have set myself up to run this race and reach a new personal best. I am also raising money for the Toronto Vegetarian Association. My goal is $1000. I want to achieve my goal by the end of September and really show people that plant based nutrition is optimal for effective training, performance and recovery. If you agree or just want to help me get there then please:
Your support to me and the Toronto Vegetarian Association to accomplish my race powerfully would be greatly appreciated!
If you are a runner and you also run on veggies, then you know what it takes and how you feel to perform at your best. If you can share below your experience with running on a plant based diet, please enlighten my readers.
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 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?
These words describe one of the world’s healthiest and most renowned sweeteners, honey. Just the word itself makes people happy – and is used commonly in expressions of endearment and love. Nutritionally, honey loves to do sweet things to make your body just as happy on the inside.
It has been around for centuries and there are thousands of varieties. No matter what essence or flower based honey you choose, blueberry, clover, wildflower, buckwheat or orange blossom – just be sure that it is local, pure, unpasteurized or raw. Some people rule it out honey because it is a sugar or because it comes from an animal, but if you choose to savour in its incredible taste and healing properties, just enjoy and use it in moderation, as with all sweeteners.
Why is Honey so good for you?
- Honey helps to heal the stomach, pancreas and lungs – as it tonifies, soothes and nourishes the linings of these organs.
- Even though honey is a sugar, it is loaded with nutrients, enzymes and minerals – so you are getting more than just a sweet flavour.
- Honey contains antibiotic properties that can help to protect against various diseases, ailments and illnesses. From a sore throat to diarrhea – honey can help to build up your immunity and keep your body strong.
- Honey can be used topically to heal wounds (especially Manuka Honey) like abrasions, burns, sores and chapped skin.
How to use honey:
- Be sure to use honey raw or at very low heat temperatures to preserve its natural properties. High heat can destroy its natural enzymes and minerals.
- Honey can be stirred into herbal tea, spooned on hot cereal or smeared on sprouted bread.
- Honey can be added to dips, spreads, sauces and dressings.
- Since honey retains moisture – when it is used for baking instead of sugar – your baked goods will stay fresh longer.
Buying and Storing:
- Honey is available in liquid form but is also available in the comb or creamed.
- See your local grocery or health food store for different varieties. If you are able to get your honey fresh from a farmer’s market or honey farm directly, that is always the best!
- Store honey at room temperature away from direct sunlight. Do not refrigerate as this speeds crystallization, which thickens honey and turns it cloudy and grainy. (To liquefy– remove the lid place the honey container in a saucepan with water and heat slowly until crystals dissolve).
One of my favourite ways to use honey is raw by putting it into a salad dressing. See one of my favourite summer dressings below!
Raw Waldorf Salad
What’s In It?
1 cup of arugula, spinach or mixed greens
1 large head of red leaf lettuce (or two cups arugula)
1⁄4 cup peeled jicama or carrots
2 stalks celery, diced
1 apple, diced
1 cup sunflower sprouts or mung bean sprouts
1 avocado, peeled and chopped
1⁄2 cup walnuts, chopped
1 tablespoon hemp seeds
1⁄4 cup hemp oil
2 tablespoons raw tahini (or 1⁄2 cup if no hemp oil)
2 tablespoons Filsingers apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon Nude Bee honey
2 tablespoon Bragg’s Aminos
2 tablespoons to 1⁄4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
Filtered water (add slowly, only if needed without hemp oil)
How It’s Made
1. Combine the dressing ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. 2. Pour over salad ingredients and toss until well coated.
Delicious Knowledge by Marni
When making a salad it’s important to think of colour, texture and flavour to make it interesting and enticing, and this salad has it all. Change up the veggies based on season, maybe use pears instead of apples, spinach instead of arugula, or try olive oil instead of hemp oil. There are endless possibilities. There is enough sustaining energy in this salad to make a complete spring or summer lunch or dinner.
I’m giving away a bottle (330g) of Blueberry Nude Bee Honey! Tell me why you love honey and your favorite uses, and I’ll enter you in the contest for a chance to win the bottle! At the end of the week, I’ll choose the best answer to be rewarded with the prize. Good luck Torontonians! Contest closes June 7th, 2012. (Winner must be in Toronto).
Looking to buy a bottle of Nude Bee Honey? Just email firstname.lastname@example.org.