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
If you haven’t heard the exciting news, I have just signed a lease for a new commercial space – Toronto’s first plant based cooking studio – 510 Eglinton avenue to be exact!
As you can imagine this is a big undertaking. I am over flowing with pure positive emotion right now as I get the chance to do more of what I am doing while reaching more people. The best part is that this new “home” to my classes will help you to get inspired and create delicious, simple plant-based recipes and meals. The new studio will act as a place to connect with food first hand and the impact good nutrition has on your health.
My new cooking studio will also be a place to meet health-focused foodies, discover new tastes and truly explore the depths of what it means to be fully nourished!
It has taken me five years to reach this incredible milestone and I am honoured that nourishing people with delicious food and education has made a huge impact on the community in Toronto. I am looking forward to continue to do so on a much larger scale.
This not only means more of my amazing cultural and health focused cooking classes in the evenings, but daytime classes, weekend classes, and specialty workshops with local like-minded businesses will also be introduced. Additionally, the new cooking studio will be a venue for hosting private parties, events and other special gatherings. I will even be offering the studio to rent to those looking for a fully equipped space in which to teach classes and workshops.
In staying consistent with my philosophy, this new studio will be constructed from the ground up keeping your utmost health and comfort in mind. The studio will be green, sustainable, fresh while remaining cozy, intimate and inspiring. You will also be able to buy your favourite superfoods, appliances and eco products, from green cream to glass straws and so much more.
There are so many class packages and programs to take advantage of before the price of my offerings increases when we move to the new studio. Be sure to check out the many available options here.
I want to also sincerely thank Borden Communications, Sustainable TO, Blendtec, Navitas Naturals, Salad Master, and Urban Cultivator for being an integral part of this project. I am looking forward to working with the many companies and individuals that will also jump on board for sponsorship and support the creative and exciting development of this new cooking studio.
Thanks to all of you for your continued support!
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!
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.
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.
The Toronto Vegetarian Food Festival is just around the corner. For those of you who have never been the Toronto Vegetarian Food Fair, it’s like a big party of some of the best of friends, brands and of course, food!
This year we are fortunate enough to have a created a community that will be representing some of the most delicious and nutritious brands of veg-friendly products. These are companies whose products are healthy, environmentally conscious and happen to just taste delicious!
Each one of these companies products will influence and inspire you to make healthier choices in your everyday lifestyle.
The brands that are part of our community are:
You know all about the power of coconut oil… or do you? If not, coconut oil can be used in cooking as it has a high smoke point, in baking as an alternative to many overly refined oils, as a skin moisturizer and as a source for energy before a workout. Coconut oil is composed mainly of medium-chain triglycerides, which means they are used for energy and not stored as fat. Our favourite brand to use is Bali Sun, whose virgin coconut oil that has a smooth, mild coconut flavour, it is made in Thailand and is cold-processed using no harsh chemicals. Bali Sun will be sampling their delicious coconut oil at our booth so make sure you stop by and taste the superior quality of this coconut oil. We will also have their newest product available as well coconut nectar and coconut ambrosia (coconut butter). So come early before it all sells out!
For a long time, the only store-bought version of non-dairy ice cream was soy-based. When coconut ice cream was available to Canadians, well let’s just say we were pretty darn happy. Luna and Larry’s Coconut Bliss is made from coconut-milk and is dairy and soy free! Not to mention all the delicious flavours including Island Vanilla, Chocolate Hazelnut Fudge and Mocha Maca Crunch. If you really want to be convinced, come visit our booth for samples (you’ll be wanting seconds!)
Organic, gluten-free, wheat-free, dairy free and vegan crackers, cookies and snacks? Is this too good to be true? Nope! This is Mary’s Crackers, a fantastic brand with products such as caraway crackers, chocolate chip cookies and Pretzels! We love Mary’s Herb Crackers with hummus and veggie sticks as an afternoon snack. Mary’s is such a great option for those with gluten allergy or sensitivity as the products are so delicious. Come by our booth and go crackers!
The word ‘superfood’ gets thrown around a lot, everything wants to be a super food but Navitas Naturals brand provides true superfoods such as acai powder, raw cacao, golden berries and mesquite powder. This is also a company with ethics! Navitas Naturals believes in a whole foods philosophy (just like we do!) and provide organic products with minimal processing. We love all of their products!
There are a lot of protein powders on the market but Sunwarrior has stolen our hearts. Made from sprouted, whole grain brown rice making it easily digestible and hypoallergenic, so it’s a great option for those with dairy issues. Sunwarrior Vanilla flavour is our fave, it has a delicious flavour with no funny after taste. We love to make protein smoothies with Sunwarrior after our workouts and have noticed that our recovery time is much faster (when compared to other protein powders on the market). We get asked which protein powders are good all the time, no seriously all the time and we tell people “Sunwarrior” and have received lots of positive feedback. Stop by our booth and see what the fuss is all about!
We are suckers for snacks! And we love to pack snacks for trips, hikes or strutting around town but carrying our snacks in plastic bags is not only dangerous (has the plastic baggie ever broken it’s seal and left you with chocolate chips at the bottom of your handbag? It stinks) as well, plastic bags are not good for the environment. That is why we love our Wean Green containers. These little glass tubs will fit perfectly into any bag and have an extra tight seal. We should also mention that they are made from recycled glass and are 5 times more durable than regular glass. They come in a variety of sizes and cute colours too, they are the perfect container for the whole family!
Keep up with us:
Follow @nourishedfully for #TeamFN updates
There will be discounts on class packages, products and lots of delicious samples!
See you there!
The Marni Wasserman Team.
September 7th-9th, 2012
Saturday – 12pm-9pm
235 Queen’s Quay West Toronto
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!
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.
I am still just coming down from my high after leading another successful retreat in Collingwood, Ontario. This is now the 4th one I’ve led and each time they just get better and better! I have this pure, positive feeling of satisfaction that I’m making a difference in people’s lives. I know this because my participants couldn’t stop sharing with me all weekend how good they were feeling, how much they were learning, how their perspective on nutrition has changed. This is all as a result of fully immersing themselves in a power-packed intensive weekend that was completely catered to their needs.
I also didn’t expect to come out of this retreat having them affect my well being. It has only just enhanced and justified that what I do with passion everyday, and the fact that I am someone that’s contributing to people shifting their views on their health and well being. I know that each and every participant on my retreat is going to make significant change in their life – and there are just no words to describe how rewarding that feels. I know I’ve got at least two ladies starting a juice cleanse this week. Another couple is thrilled to have more raw recipes to tackle and then there are those that just feel so good, they are going to continue to eat a pure, clean, and predominantly, a plant-based diet with emphasis in raw food.
I know that in my heart this is why I do what I do. I love to teach, period. I love to educate and share my knowledge about food, but more importantly I love to show people that this can be done! It is easy to eat well. It’s not some far fetched difficult thing that you have to overcome or start doing after this vacation or that diet. You can start right here, right now. If it means adding in a new vegetable, or buying a blender or your starting to juice – these are all components to a better way of living. My ultimate goal is that people enjoy it and don’t look at this new approach as a chore but a lifestyle. It should be fun, easy and of course, delicious.
“Loved the retreat. Everyone was so great there! We have already incorporated so much of what you have taught us. We have already been a week tomorrow without coffee and 98% raw all week. Have also done sprouting of a couple of things and incorporating seaweeds into our diet. We feel amazing! We both had such a wonderful time.”
There is no greater thrill than to be the catalyst in peoples lives and I can’t wait to continue spreading my passion and delicious knowledge. I hope you will join me at one of My Cooking Classes, Retreats – like my Delicious Bliss Escape to Costa Rica – or take the journey on my Fully Nourished Lifestyle Program. Or, if you live away from Toronto, get started with my easy to read Ebooks. This is who I am and I want to share it with you!
Some of the most beautiful and heartfelt testimonials I have ever heard!