Fuel up First!
Seriously, three of my favorite things, blended into one delicious glass. The combo of fibre (banana) and protein (milk & pb) keep us full and satisfied! The chocolate milk (sugar reduced version by DairyOh!) makes us feel like we are having a treat! Not to mention has some extra goodness snuck in there with the naturally occurring DHA in the milk (cool eh?) plus the 16 essential nutrients found in milk!
- Frozen banana (sliced in chunks)
- 1 cup DairyOh! Chocolate Milk
- 1tbsp Peanut Butter
Combine all ingredients into blender, blend until smooth, enjoy!
350cal, 10g fat, 13.1g protein, 4.5g fibre
Pumpkin Pie Smoothie
Fun & perfect for the pumpkin season. Make sure you use pure pumpkin and not the pumpkin pie filling (loaded with added sugar). I like extra spice, so feel free to adjust the pumpkin pie seasoning ratio! Don’t have pumpkin pie spice, use cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and or cloves!
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 frozen banana
- 1-2 cups DairyOh! Milk (skim or 1%)
- 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1-2tsp honey (optional)
Combine all ingredients in blender, pulse until smooth. Add additional milk until desired consistency is reached.
Nutrition Analysis Per Smoothie (Serves 2):
145cal, 2.7g fat, 60mg sodium,4.6g fibre, 6g protein
It’s here…the holiday that starts the sugar rush and leads us (it seems) right through into the New Year!
Now, I’m all for moderation and certainly do enjoy the occasional treat…but some of the Halloween treats that exist just seem plain ol’wrong. Electric green in color, stain your teeth black, rolled in sugar, stick to your teeth, ingredient lists of just sugar, or even worse, ingredient lists full of words we can’t pronounce! I don’t want these things going in my body, let alone that of my kiddo!
(Thankfully, at 14 months, she still doesn’t really get this Holiday! Save that battle for another year!)
Let’s talk strategy:
1. Offer Halloween Alternatives- Who says we need to trick-or-treat for candy? What about mini Play-Doh? Spider rings? Pencils? Bouncy Balls? Stickers? Want to stick with food- how about 100% fruit packs?
2. Discuss It- As a family, talk about how much candy is reasonable to eat? When? Where? Be open and be ready to negotiate and maybe even bargain. Perhaps the deal is a few treats can be eaten after supper at the table vs. eating mindlessly in front of the TV! Use it as a learning opportunity around healthy eating and what it means to you, your family and the kids! Giving everyone a little ownership on the situation means you don’t have to be the candy cop!
2. Fuel up First- Fill up with a healthy supper before trick-or-treating! A balanced meal will keep the lil’goblins satisfied and will help cut back on the “re-fueling” with candy!
3. Sort it- Have the kids sort the candy into things they love, dislike and only kind of like. Trash the dislike, give away the maybes and keep the love! Don’t want to trash it? Set up “shop” and buy back the Halloween treats from the kids! The kids can “sell” their Halloween treats back for cold, hard $$$ or actual items (i.e. 4 chocolate bars = $1 OR 4 chocolate bars = sticker book).
4. Out of Sight…Out of Mind- Package up the remaining candy into appropriate snack-sized portions. Stick it away in the cupboard and portion it out accordingly.
5. Have Fun- Eating healthy doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy Halloween. Practice moderation, choose to indulge in the treats you actually enjoy and enjoy them!
Have a Happy & Healthy Halloween!!!
Let’s talk food. Not nutrition…but food. The impact of food, the social aspects of food, the relationships and ways we celebrate using food, the bonding and sharing of stories over food…you get my point!?
Then let’s combine these experiences with a community…your community. Picture a shared centre, in the heart of your community where people can unite over food- the planning, the preparation, the eating and sharing of food. Partner that with resources to provide the skills, education and confidence for people to then take this food experience back to their own families, friends and homes.
Sounds amazing right? It is. Well it will be…Dartmouth will be the newest home to our very own Community Food Centre. Modelled off of The Stop Community Food Centre in Toronto and as an initiative of the Community Food Centres Canada, the CFC will be a space where people can come together to grow, cook, share and advocate for good food. All programs will be free and open to anyone in the community who is interested in sharing a good meal, joining a cooking group, growing a garden, learning about healthy eating and getting active on issues in their community.
I was lucky enough to have been invited to a spend an afternoon in the temporary CFC home at the Dartmouth North Community Centre with the CFC Team, Chef Lynn Crawford and the people from IOGO! We learned, we cooked, we shared our food, just as participants in the CFC would experience.
Not only was the afternoon a blast, I left with new recipes, new friends and a renewed energy to step up to the plate and be a more active member of our community.
PS- I’m part way through this book…great read…greater story.
Just thought I’d share a few things I have extra love for right now!
- Mel’s Kitchen Cafe! I’m pretty sure I am slowly eating my way through her website. Seriously…great inspiration, recipes and “Do it yourself” guidelines!
- This chocolate milk! I have a chocolate tooth at the best of times and not only is this a sugar-reduced version, it naturally contains DHA! How cool!?!
- This app! I’m a newbie with my iPhone; however, upon first few uses, this is a pretty cool app. I can enter in my meals for the week and/or upload from a few recipe websites, and it AUTOMATICALLY generates a grocery list. Yes please!
- This granola…mmm…available at Costco and meets my single digit sugar & more than 4g fibre guidelines!
- Loving this plant-based resource…again amazing recipe inspiration.
- Eat local!!!
What is on your current fav thing list?!?!
The air has changed! With that brings the return of our fall favorites! In Nova Scotia, apples (especially from the Valley) are a delicious and healthy treat!
After a morning at Noggin’s Farm, it was time to find some new apple recipes!
- 2 cups apples, diced and peeled (peeled is optional)
- 1 red pepper, diced
- 1/4 cup red onion, finely diced (optional)
- 1/3 cup fresh lime juice
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 tablespoon honey
- pinch of salt and pepper to taste
- jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced (optional)
Combine all ingredients & refrigerate until serving.
Use topped over grilled chicken or pork, or enjoy with toasted pita chips! I’ve dumped it on top of my salad- was a delicious crunch with a kick! The sky is the limit for this fresh twist on a fruit salsa!
This week’s theme is Supper!
Share your favourite meatless supper recipe with us and be entered to WIN!!!
- Practice the “perfect plate!” Fill ½ your plate with vegetables, ¼ of your plate with a whole grain and ¼ of your plate with a lean protein!
- While cooking from scratch is ideal, a “healthier” pre-packaged meal is often still a better alternative than the drive-thru! Add a side of vegetables to round out the frozen lasagne or turkey burger and you’ve got a meal in minutes!
- Bump up the fibre and cut the saturated fat! Incorporate meatless meals into your weekly menu! Be careful- don’t just skip the meat! Replace the beef, chicken or pork with a plant-based protein to still meet your nutrition needs! Tofu, lentils, legumes, TVP (textured vegetable protein), quinoa and more!
- Planning makes perfect! Having a plan when you hit the grocery store, will ensure your nutritional needs are met, in addition to saving you money and time!
- Making a meal plan seem overwhelming? Pick your busiest nights and start from there! A meal plan doesn’t need to outline every snack, meal and drink- choose a version that works for you!
- Bored? It’s time to experiment! Sick of spinach- try Kale! Brown rice is getting old- try quinoa, bulgur or wheat berries! Sweet potato surplus- use pumpkin, squash or turnip!
- Hydrate! Skip the high calorie, empty nutrition pops, juices and cocktails! Instead focus on water! Add some flavour with slices of lemon, lime, frozen berries, mint leaves or cucumber.
It’s SNACK time!!! What is your favorite snack combination?
- Snacks should include two food groups!
- Fibre + Protein = Fullness! Choose sources of each at your snacks- hardboiled egg/veggies, 10-12 almonds/fruit, fruit/Greek yogurt, veggies/hummus.
- Skip the fat-free! Fat tastes good, so often the “fat-free” products have higher levels of sugar and/or salt. Choose 1% sodium reduced cottage cheese or a plain Greek yogurt to amp up your protein without the added sugar/salt!
- Stock your desk- unsalted almonds, no-sugar added fruit cups, small tins of tuna, 100% fruit leathers or trail-mix are all examples of things you can have on hand, to avoid the vending machines!
- Check the portion size- most healthy snacks should be around 100-200 calories.
- Post-workout, a combination of carbohydrate (reload energy) and protein (rebuild and repair) are ideal and should be consumed within a 30min power window for effective refuelling!
- Set yourself up for success! Say “no” once at the grocery store vs. having to say “no” every time you open the cupboard! Only stock your house with the foods you know you should be eating!
This week’s theme is LUNCH!!!
Share your favourite low sodium lunch find with us and be entered to WIN!!!
- Leftovers are a great timesaver for lunch; however, the vegetable portion is often low! Ramp up your leftovers to include a full half-plate serving of vegetables!
- Sick of salad? Warm up your leftovers over a bed of spinach or other greens! They will cook while your leftovers warm and you will sneak in extra veggies!
- Sodium beware! Almost 80% of our sodium intake comes from packaged foods! Check your soups, frozen dinners and more for <5% Daily Value of sodium! (Heart health recommendations are 1500mg/day)
- Work through lunch? Set a timer or email reminder that it is time to eat! Our body’s need regular fuel- choose to eat every 3-4hrs to maintain a steady energy level!
- Sandwich lovers! Choose lean deli meats (turkey, ham, chicken) that are also low in sodium and nitrite free!
- Big on bread? Check your slice size! Canada’s Food Guide recommends a 30-35g serving. Most breads are now 45g per slice! Your sandwich may really be the equivalent of three grain servings!
- Always in a rush? Batch cook! Make a one-pot meal that will last you for the week- soup, chilli or quinoa & bean salad and then all you have to pack are the sides!
March is Nutrition Month! Best Food Forward: Plan, Shop, Cook, Enjoy!
Healthy eating begins at the grocery store. It’s where most consumers purchase much of their food. Yet this is also where they are faced with a multitude of choices. This year’s Nutrition Month Campaign– Best Food Forward: Plan Shop Cook Enjoy! – is dedicated to serving up practical advice on navigating the grocery store from dietitians, the food and nutrition experts.
Check out our Nutrition Month Challenge at Canada Game’s Centre. Each week, there will be a nutrition theme with corresponding daily tips to incorporate into your lifestyle. Don’t worry if you’re not a member, all of the information will be available here! Stay tuned!
This week’s theme is Breakfast!
Share your favourite breakfast meal with us and be entered to WIN!!!
- “Break-the-Fast!” Fire up your metabolism by eating within 1hr of waking!
- Aim to include a source of protein at breakfast- hard-boiled egg, nut butter, sliced almonds or add a scoop of protein powder, silken tofu or skim milk powder to your smoothies!
- Not a breakfast eater? Something is better than nothing! Start with a piece of fruit and build up from there! Your body will retrain itself to eat in the mornings.
- Check your cereal boxes! Choose cereals that are high in fibre and low in sugar! Aim for >4g fibre and <8g sugar.
- Add some flavour to your plain oatmeal with cinnamon, fresh or dried fruits, unsweetened coconut, chia, hemp hearts, flax or even a spoonful of nut butter- yum!
- Looking for a high protein, wholegrain alternative? Try quinoa (hot) in the mornings instead of your oatmeal!
- Meals should include at least 3 of the 4 Food Groups! How many does your breakfast contain?
By popular request, I’m reposting my recipe for “cookie dough hummus!”
A great snack option–packed with chickpea fibre and protein, plus just a touch of sweet! Serve with sliced apples! Yum!
- 1.5cups chickpeas, drained (1 can)
- Pinch of salt (optional)
- 2tsp vanilla
- ¼ cup peanut butter (or other nut butters)
- 2-3tbsp brown sugar
- 2-3tbsp oatmeal (you can omit if you want a “smoother” mixture)
- 2-4tbsp skim or non-dairy milk (add 1tbsp at a time until desired consistency)
- 1/3 cup chocolate chips
- Combine all ingredients, excluding chocolate chips and milk in a food processor
- Blend, adding 1tbsp milk until desired texture is reached
- Stir in chocolate chips
- Serve with apple slices & graham crackers
Nutrition Analysis: (makes ~25servings of 2tbsp each)
51 calories, 2g fat, 6g carbohydrate, 1.6g protein, 51mg sodium, 1g fibre