Smart Snacking. Do Good. Love With Food

by Lauren on August 10, 2016

IMG_2039A couple weeks ago I was approached by a company called Love With Food, a snack discovery service that just announced it will begin shipping to Canada on August 2nd, and they wanted me to share the good news.

As a nutritionist, I promote the idea of real food and avoid packaged foods as much as possible, but I’m also a busy mom of two boys aged 2 and 2 months so I understand the need for healthy snacks that I can grab in a pinch for me and my toddler!

The challenge these days is navigating the grocery isles and knowing which snacks are healthy. Love With Food takes the guess work out of choosing healthy snacks, and also provides variety because as most parents know, kids get bored of the same old snacks. The box included things like organic popcorn, roasted pumpkin seeds and healthy protein and power bars with ingredients like dates, walnuts and almond butter.

IMG_2045

The way it works…

Love With Food is a snack discovery service that focuses on bringing affordable, all-natural, organic or gluten-free snacks to consumers on a monthly basis. There are different types of boxes you can purchase depending on the size of your family, allergies (there’s a gluten-free box) and if you’re in a home or office setting. The best part is that with every purchase, Love With Food donates to organizations like the Global Food Banking Network. To date, it has donated more than ONE MILLION meals to food banks.

Canadian customers have the option to order The Deluxe Box, a sampling of 16-20 new surprise snacks starting at $16.50 USD/month, or The Gluten-Free Box, a sampling of 10-12 surprise celiac-safe and mostly dairy-free snacks starting at $19.99 USD/month. In addition, a portion of the proceeds will be donated to Canadian food banks to help fight world hunger. Love With Food is offering an introductory shipping cost of $3.99 for the first 5,000 international customers to sign up.

To learn more about this tasty discovery service, visit www.lovewithfood.com.

Share

{ 0 comments }

Lessons I’ve Learned from Baby #2

by Lauren on July 14, 2016

The last 5 weeks is probably the longest I’ve gone without posting a blog since I started writing in 2010. The reason you ask? I had another baby!

TIA_5512

Maxwell Andrew Follett was born on June 6th, 2016, and wow life is next level busy with a two-year old toddler and a newborn. Every minute in a 24 hour period is filled with breastfeeding, cleaning, laundry and toddler needs, ie. searching frantically for his favourite stuffed animal while putting sunscreen on him and getting his lunch packed for daycare. This leaves little time to have a longer than 10-second conversation with my husband, cook dinner, shower, brush my teeth, and have any personal time.

Before having Max people said to me that I’ll wonder what I did with all my free time before he was born, and they were right, but I know what I did with my free time – I blogged, worked with nutrition clients, wrote nutrition articles, and tried new healthy recipes; things that will have to go on the back burner for the next few months while Max is so young. Being a parent is not about you; one of many lessons I’ve learned in the last few weeks. Other things I’ve learned:

  • When you only have time to choose brushing your teeth or going to the bathroom – choose going to the bathroom
  • It’s impossible to be everything to everyone in your family
  • Having kids is friggin’ hard sometimes, and it’s ok to admit that
  • With every bad moment, there is a good moment on the horizon
  • The newborn stage doesn’t last forever; “this to shall pass” (I’ve never said that phrase more in my life)
  • Eat fast (opposite of what I tell my clients, but I’m going to retract that recommendation for people with young kids) and when you can. My favourite healthy grabs lately: boiled eggs, baby carrots with hummus, blueberries, granola bars, apples, nuts, cheese and crackers
  • Learn to be content with your circumstances. When the going gets tough, a natural response is to look ahead and want to speed up time; long for the day when your children are more independent, but I look at Jack who’s already two, and I miss the days when he was a bouncing, cooing baby. Things go so fast, and I have to force myself to enjoy the moment regardless of how hard it may be
  • Dinner is no longer a relaxing time to unwind in front of Etalk – it’s pure pandemonium
  • I’m so blessed to have two healthy, beautiful boys and an amazing husband – something I remind myself everyday
  • Taking 10 seconds to breath deeply can work wonders
  • A positive attitude is everything – when both boys are screaming sometimes it helps to just laugh out loud
  • Try and do one thing everyday for you that makes you feel like yourself. Whether it’s painting your toenails, curling your hair, working out…it’s important…the laundry can wait
  • For the next year, I can only wear shirts that allow me to whip out my boob at a moment’s notice
  • I need to put “shower” on my to do list or it won’t get done

Despite the craziness of life, and no matter how hard it gets we have so much to be thankful for, and before I know it Jack and Max will be all grown up and I’ll miss these days (at least that’s what I keep telling myself).

Unfortunately, I’m going to put blogging on hold for a few months until I get the hang of this “mother of two” thing, but I will be back – hopefully with some awesome tips on how to whip up healthy meals for a family of four in 30 minutes – stay tuned!

Share

{ 0 comments }

Cookies for Breakfast?

by Lauren on May 31, 2016

IMG_1567

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!

IMG_1565

IMG_1566

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

Share

{ 0 comments }

bowl-mango-black-bean-superfood-bowls-recipe

Photo Credit

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.

Share

{ 0 comments }

Long Weekend Healthy Meal and Snack Ideas

May 18, 2016

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 […]

Read the full article →

Eating Healthy Doesn’t Have to Be Complicated

April 18, 2016

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 […]

Read the full article →

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 […]

Read the full article →

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 […]

Read the full article →

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 […]

Read the full article →

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 […]

Read the full article →