Cookies for Breakfast?

by Lauren on May 31, 2016

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When I think of healthy breakfast I think of smoothies, healthy muffins, sprouted toast with coconut oil and natural nut butter, yogurt with healthy granola, cookies…wait, cookies? Yup!

I recently discovered a recipe for Healthy Breakfast Cookies that taste good, and are full of the breakfast staples: bran flakes, oats, milk, Greek yogurt, eggs and apple sauce. My son loves them, and so do I. They’re high in fibre, protein and naturally sweetened with honey. They’re the perfect healthy breakfast to grab when you’re on the go!

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Healthy Breakfast Cookies
Makes 15 – 20 large cookies

Ingredients
3 cups Nature’s Path Heritage Flakes, crushed (when crushed, it equals 2 cups)
2 cups oats
2 tbsp. flaxseed
1-2 tbsp. cinnamon
½ cup plain Greek yogurt
1 cup unsweetened applesauce or mashed banana
1 tsp. vanilla extract
½ cup raw, unpasteurized honey
1 large free-from or organic egg
½ cup unsweetened nut milk
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
¾ cup organic raisins*

Method

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. In a medium bowl, combine bran flakes, oatmeal, flaxseed and cinnamon. Mix well and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine yogurt, applesauce, vanilla, honey, egg and milk. Mix well. Add baking soda and baking powder and mix well. Gradually add the cereal-oatmeal mixture to the yogurt mixture and stir after each addition. Fold in the raisins.

Scoop 1/4 cup of the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet. Lightly press down to flatten. Bake in the preheated oven for 18-20 minutes. Let cool on baking rack and store in fridge for 1 week or in the freezer for 3 months.

*Other possible additions: berries, chopped peach, shredded carrots or zucchini.

Recipe adapted from Pip and Debbie

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I love cooking and trying new healthy recipes. There’s always the hope that I’ll stumble across one that becomes a new staple in my weekly meal plan. Well I recently found one – the Chicken Mango Superfood Bowl with Avocado Cilantro Dressing. It’s a creamy, flavourful blend of healthy ingredients that is so satisfyingly delicious.

I love recipes like this because it’s easy and versatile. As long as you stick to the main ingredients (the black beans and mango are non-negotiables for me) and the dressing, you can use whatever greens, raw veggies or whole grains that you like or have left in your fridge or pantry. It’s the perfect easy, healthy summer recipe. Enjoy!

Chicken Mango Superfood Bowl with Avocado Cilantro Dressing
Serves 4
Adapted from ifoodreal.com

Ingredients
1 cup quinoa or long grain brown rice, uncooked
1 small can organic black beans, drain and rinse
4 cups kale or romaine lettuce, stalks removed, finely chopped
1 large ripe mango, peeled & diced
3-4 cups leftover chicken, diced or 6 barbecued chicken thighs
1 small avocado, pitted and sliced
1 cup cilantro, finely chopped (use some as garnish for bowl, and the rest for dressing)
1 cup unsalted roasted cashews, finely chopped
Cilantro Avocado Dressing (see recipe below)
1 tsp. Sriracha hot sauce

Method

Cook quinoa or brown rice as per package instructions, and make Cilantro Avocado Dressing (this can be done ahead of time).

Chop kale, mango, avocado, cilantro and cashews. Drain and rinse beans. Chop leftover chicken or barbecue thighs.

Divide ingredients evenly among 4 bowls in this order:

  1. Quinoa or Rice
  2. Black Beans
  3. Kale or Romaine
  4. Mango
  5. Chicken
  6. Avocado
  7. Cilantro
  8. Cashews
  9. Drizzle with Cilantro Avocado Dressing
  10. Drizzle with Hot Sauce

Enjoy warm or cold.

Avocado Cilantro Dressing

Ingredients
1 medium ripe avocado, pitted
½ – ¾ cup warm water (depends how thin/thick you like your dressing)
4 tbsp. cilantro, coarsely chopped
Juice of 1 lime
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. real maple syrup or raw honey
¾ tsp sea salt
½ tsp black pepper, ground

Method

In a food processor or blender, process all ingredients until smooth. Add to a dish of choice right before serving.

Storage Instructions: Dressing doesn’t turn brown if kept refrigerated in a glass airtight container for up to a few days. Shake before use.

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Long Weekend Healthy Meal and Snack Ideas

by Lauren on May 18, 2016

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I feel like I’m starting every post with an apology for not writing more often, but it’s hard to find the time for it these days. I only have a few mornings a week with Jack in daycare, and they quickly fill up with article writing for Respoken Magazine, creating client meal plans and preparing for baby boy #2 who will be here in the next 3 weeks – ahh!

IMG_5591For as long as I can remember the weather on the May two-four long weekend in Ontario is always hit or miss, but this weekend it’s going to be a hit; mid-twenties and sunny from Friday to Monday – oh yeah. My OB gave me the clear to go to the cottage for the long weekend so I thought I would share with you a few long weekend healthy meal and snack ideas for inspiration.

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When the weather is nice at the cottage no one wants to spend a lot of time indoors cooking a big breakfast. I’m bringing some fruit and a big batch of Creamy Overnight (no cook) Steel Cut Oats. This recipe is perfect for taking to the cottage because it can be made the night before, travels easily in a sealed container, and it includes all the essentials (protein, whole grains and healthy fats) to keep you going until lunch. I bring my Whole-Wheat Banana Muffins with me wherever I go, and we’ll also pack a loaf of sprouted bread, aged white cheddar cheese and organic eggs.

Lunch is usually simple; homemade pizzas, leftovers and salads. My sister-in-law is in charge of salads and veggies, and nothing is better than the Costco pre-packaged kale salad – jam packed with cancer-fighting kale, raw Brussels sprouts and broccoli! The dressing is kind of gross, but we usually substitute my homemade Apple Cider Honey Dijon Vinaigrette. Apple cider vinegar has so many health benefits (made from fermented apple juice; it puts good bacteria back into your gut; making it amazing for healthy digestion, it aids in weight loss, lowers cholesterol & high blood pressure, and stabilizes blood sugar), but it can be hard to drink straight up. Mixing it into a salad dressing is a great way to incorporate it into your diet.

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The cottage just isn’t the cottage without happy hour on the boat, and of course a few appies. Guacamole is a fan favourite, but there are months of summer ahead and if you want to keep your calories in check, I’d recommend making my Slimmed Down version that uses zucchini in place of the 2nd and 3rd avocados.

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I’m not a big chip person as they’re typically high in trans fats and calories, but Kettle Chips recently sent me samples of their new Classic Caesar flavour (just in time for National Caesar Day on May 19th), and they’re delicious. Being pregnant, this is a great way for me to enjoy the flavours of a classic Caesar cocktail without the booze. And as far as real chips go (as in real I mean made from potatoes and not lentils or brown rice); I’ve seen worse in terms of ingredients. They’re non-GMO, contain no trans fats, no preservatives and no artificial colours or flavours. I’m not promoting eating chips as regular healthy snack option, but if you want to treat yourself this weekend, give these a try.

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Dinner plans are organic burgers (now available frozen and pre-made at Costco) and I’m making one of my favourite summer meals: Maple Ginger Cedar Plank Salmon with Sweet Potato Fries and salad. Superstore sells my favourite salmon from True North Salmon Company. Their salmon is farmed, but unlike most farmed salmon, the feed is all-natural – no dyes, chemicals or growth hormones.

I hope this gave you a few healthy meal and snack ideas for the beautiful long weekend coming up. Cheers!

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Sorry for the break in posts, but things have been crazy busy! Between attempting to potty train my son, getting ready for baby #2 (coming mid-June), working with clients and my new freelance writing job with Respoken Magazine; my poor blog has been put on the back burner. I’ve also been asked to write a review on a new cookbook that’s just been released called “Nourish, Whole Foods Recipes featuring Seeds, Nuts and Beans” (stay tuned for the review on my blog in the next couple weeks as it includes a giveaway for the cookbook!).

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I flipped through the cookbook today while my son was napping, and I love the overall nutrition message and there are so many delicious recipes I want to try! The nutrition aspect of the book is written by Registered Dietician Cara Rosenbloom and her introduction really stood out to me as it echoes thoughts that I’ve been having lately.

Rosenbloom talks about keeping it simple when it comes to healthy eating; stock your pantry with whole foods, which she defines as: “these foods are as close to nature as they can be. They have not been highly altered, and no further ingredients have been added to them.” She goes on to say that certain packaged foods are ok, like whole-wheat pasta or organic beans. They have only been slightly altered, mostly for convenience purposes but still have health benefits. She advises to cook most of your meals from scratch using whole foods and healthy packaged food choices. Processed foods, like candy, soda, and deli meats, “have been radically changed from how they once appeared in nature” and should be avoided most of the time. They are high in salt, sugar, food colouring and preservatives, which can have negative effects on our health.

What I love about her outlook is that it’s simple. It can be really easy to get caught up in everything you hear on Dr. Oz or what you read on the internet, and suddenly you lose your way. Even as a nutritionist I find there are so many messages out there about health and nutrition and it can leave me feeling overwhelmed and guilty – like I’m not doing enough for the health of my family if I’m not making bone broth on a weekly basis or if I buy canned tomatoes with a BPA lining once in a while.

Don’t get too caught up in the details. Keep it simple; eat as close to nature as possible 80% of the time. Don’t beat yourself up the other 20% of the time when you don’t have time to cook and order a pizza. Life is busy; do the best you can.

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Mac and “Cheese”

March 31, 2016

A big part of my job as a nutritionist is finding healthy alternatives to classic (not-so-healthy) favourites, like mac and cheese for example. There’s something comforting about the warm, creamy, salty cheese sauce with noodles. Unfortunately, classic mac and cheese is either from a box and full of preservatives, fake powdered cheese, artificial dyes and preservatives, or […]

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One Last Soup Before Winter’s Over

March 17, 2016

Photo Credit Spring is just around the corner, and I can’t wait. Because of daylight savings the light has changed and memories of warmer days are coming back to me. The snow is melting, birds are chirping and I saw some little green stems poking out of the ground this morning. We still have a […]

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Want to Plan, Shop & Cook Like a Pro? There’s an App for That.

March 9, 2016

A big part of my health philosophy as a nutritionist is that I don’t believe in diets or quick fixes; I believe in living a healthy lifestyle. What does that mean to me? It’s all about finding a healthy balance when it comes to food, eating and exercise (I always say to my clients: it’s what […]

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Tips to Successful Meal Planning

March 1, 2016

I always tell my clients that one of the most important factors in living a healthy lifestyle is to start meal planning. If you put the time and effort into planning and buying the groceries you’re more likely to make healthy meals from scratch rather than grab something quick and unhealthy in a pinch. Sit down […]

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Creamy Overnight Steel Cut Oats and Making the Best of Everyday

February 24, 2016

This past weekend we took a much needed weekend away to Mont Tremblant with some friends. Even though we didn’t ski (I would have loved to, but didn’t think it was safe being 24 weeks pregnant, and Jack’s a little young to start this winter) it was so nice to get away as a family […]

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Organic Chicken Noodle Soup

February 17, 2016

Photo Credit I love to cook, but I usually don’t make traditional old-school recipes like roast beef, casseroles or meatloaf. I like to cook veggie burgers, curries and hearty salads. However, the other day I made chicken noodle soup using the leftover carcass from my Easy Juicy Roast Chicken and I felt very domestic. The […]

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