Tuesday, August 23, 2016

#BacktoSchool Let's not bother with the cute stuff this year

As life gets busier and busier with my boys growing up, me being back to school, and my husband working weekends, I've decided to take a load of pressure off myself. And I suggest you do the same. As you scroll through Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, don't be wowed by cute bento style lunches, sandwiches in adorable shapes, and out of season fruit. Instead, keep it simple.

My goals for the 2016/17 school lunches are: They eat it, it's super simple, and it is mostly healthy. I'll make up the deficits at breakfast and supper. We eat supper as a family, we try new breakfasts and recipes all the time. I'm done with feeling pressured to have lots of variety and cute containers of things.

If they eat the same thing all week, or all year, so what? 
So I recommend sandwiches, the occasional thermos of something, fruit or veg, and a cookie or muffin. All year long. If your kids don't like it, they can make their own lunches, right?

Our list:

"Mushed tofu" (Tofu "Egg" salad)
Wow butter or seed butter, and jam
Bread, crackers, or they just got into lettuce wraps
Pasta with nutritional yeast and dill
Carrots and apples (except for the fall, when there are more choices)
Cookies, energy balls, or a muffin
Water to drink

And that will be it. If this isn't what you're looking for, check out my other earlier, more inspired posts! The only cute stuff I'm going to bother with are my boys!

Saturday, September 19, 2015

September Updates #BacktoSchool

Summer got away from us, so I'm here now and resolved to blog more regularly.

July was lovely and the month ended with my sweetie and I heading to San Francisco and running the marathon. I PR'd there, although I really want to PR more in the next couple years, before I hit 40. (although I'll keep getting faster after that too!) My mantra is 4 hours by 40.

Unfortunately, first week of August Greg was hit by a car biking to work. Thankfully he's okay, a few broken bones and a month filled with appointments, but he's here and he's going to mend. He has reminded me that in the almost 4 years of bike commuting this is his first accident, because I'm VERY resistant to him ever biking again. This also happened three days after I took my new road bike out for the first time, and I'm embarrassed to report I haven't been back on it.

So that takes us to September and it is time for me to confess my double life! I have returned to school to study Education. I dream of combining nutrition and teaching in the future, but for now I feel the only way to become competent at educating children is to become a teacher. My first 2 weeks of school has confirmed this. I feel like I'm in "Dead Poet's Society" every day. The professors are all incredible and they all began as teachers.

Right now, the two careers seem to have quite a gap between them. Although there is some overlap in counselling skills and creating materials for the public, I never felt I could reach children and families the way I would like to. I dream of education for kids that doesn't focus on nutrients and nutritionism, or Canada's Food Guide.  I envision an education that focuses on where our food comes from, why we should choose to eat more locally and ethically, how and why we cook, and how food fuels not just our bodies but our souls. But as I said, there is a gap between these two careers right now, so I am stuck living a double life for a couple of years while I study by day and see clients by night!

Monday, July 6, 2015

The harvest begins! #Fermenting your produce.

KIt's harvest time again, and now that I've mastered tomatoes, sugar free jams and dehydrated everything, it's time to add fermenting vegetables.

The research on fermented foods and probiotics continues to grow and this truly seems to be our missing link to optimal health. As more studies are published, we realize that we know very little about the microflora in our gut, but everything from depression, obesity, allergies, immunity and better digestion is being linked to these little guys. Consumption of healthy bacteria from fermented foods and maybe even the soil our food is grown in is something that our modern day culture has become unfamiliar with. In addition to eating the bacteria themselves, consuming prebiotics to help the  proliferate is also overlooked as a means to optimize health.

Even people who are consciously trying to choose a healthy diet but are buying pre-washed greens may not be achieving the results they want. There is something to the soil and the microbes present that may help us achieve better health. Try to grow a few of your own greens or make friends with a farmer who grows greens without pesticides in healthy soil. Then you don't have to wash the vegetables as well. This science is in its infancy so far, but it is worth the shot!

Counting on sugary or artificially sweetened yogurts for your probiotics may not be enough either. Fermenting your own vegetables is a great way to increase your intake of healthy bacteria. The beauty of fermenting is that you can preserve the harvest in small batches. At this point, I'm not an expert, but I suggest getting yourself a book on it and just trying a mason jar or two at a time.

Day 2 and my cucumber pickles smell amazing already!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

I'm Back!

I realize that was an incredibly long break from the blogging world! It was the busiest few months I have ever experienced. I was taking courses, taking clients, coaching, being a mom and training for a marathon. My last exam was early May and since then I've been to Edmonton to visit my sister, my parents came to visit, and I am typing this in beautiful Tofino!

Being idle for the first time in months has led to falling asleep every time I sit in the sun. Getting up in the morning has crept back later and later each day we're away. Initially I was checking work emails many times a day, then I graduated to one quick daily check, then filling any downtime with knitting washcloths and reading. At first I wanted to see how many cloths I could finish during the trip and how quickly I could get through my book, but now I'm fine to read menus online and plan my next meal. I think this was a much needed break for our bodies and brains!

Instead of doing one long run and a couple shorter runs, I have modified my training to include almost daily runs on the beach with the sound of the ocean crashing beside me. We also hike and walk hours a day.

One of the questions clients ask me is how to manage holidays and stay healthy (and not sabotage
 all their efforts.) It is simple, really.

1. Cook your own food 2/3 of the time. We eat out once a day or less. We still fill up on vegetables at most meals and breakfast is always at home. The rest of the time we relax and savour.

2. When you are eating out, choose higher quality restaurants. Higher quality satisfies more, and you can feel good about the choices you've made vs feeling guilt. We choose sustainably caught local fish. If we go for ice cream we look for homemade ice cream using local and/or organic ingredients.

3. Stay active. There is no better way to see a new place than by walking, hiking and running it.

When you get home, wait a few days before you take your weight and go back to normal eating/exercising  as soon as you're home.

You're on holidays, relax and have fun instead of stressing about your body!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Getting sentimental about the kitchen

I love the kitchen. Obviously. But the kitchen is where our life happens. Greg proposed to me in the kitchen. The first room I set down my tiny newborn in his car seat was the kitchen. Our first meal in Kelowna was in our new kitchen.

Now at any given moment we are prepping food, visiting, eating, learning. Bedtime stories are sometimes at the kitchen table with a warm cup of tea.  From 6:00-6:45 every morning I'm making breakfast and lunches. On weekends, as supper is cleaned up, sour dough pancakes are started for morning

So why is it so hard for so many people to get in the kitchen and make food prep a priority? Why isn't the time valued?

What are the benefits of making this leap?

Healthier food
Increased vegetable consumption
Family connectedness
Teaching kids cooking, healthy eating, fractions (why not?)

And the warm memories your family will have.


Monday, January 12, 2015

Rejecting Resolutions!

Happy 2015! 

I wanted to completely avoid the whole New Years thing. No talk of dieting, or even being healthier. Our obsession with health has made us one of the least healthy nations in the world. I also avoided reading posts on tips for a healthy new year, anything about weight loss, any of the "swap this for that" type articles. I didn't even make a list and usually I love listing goals. For some reason it all really saddened me this year. Why do we need organized closets or to lose the last five pounds? Will we really be happier?

If you haven't made any resolutions yet, here's my advice. Stop worrying about your weight or being "healthy". Fall in love with cooking. Learn where your food comes from. Be active because it feels good, not because it is exercise. Stop calling food "carbs" or "protein". 

Find something that makes you happy, every day. But don't feel the need to post your status or tweet it. Just be happy, in that moment.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014


I recently took part in a bloggers challenge for the product Molkosan Berry from A.Vogel.

Molkosanberry is a probiotic made from fermented whey with aronia and pomegranate added. It is a good source of calcium and potassium and it is a probiotic. Ongoing research is telling us again and again how great probiotics are. Research is linking healthy gut flora to better weights, better digestion, and better immunity. There appears to be a link between the unhealthy bacteria and increased allergies, autoimmune diseases, gluten sensitivity and even psychological and behavioural conditions.

I am blessed with great digestion. I feel well 99.9% of the time, and when things aren't great in my stomach, it's because of something obvious I did, like eating too much of the wrong foods. So I decided to approach the challenge differently. Being a dietitian, I thought I'd help out a client of mine and see how the product helped her. She is the perfect candidate for probiotics. She has been on several rounds of antibiotics in the past year, has ongoing digestive problems and struggles to loose weight. She also struggles with depression. For two weeks now she has been taking the Molkosan Berry.

Initially my client found she had increased stomach upset and discomfort. However, that seems to be subsiding now. In addition to adding the probiotic, we are adding foods that will feed her healthy bacteria and help it flourish. We are gradually increasing the fibre in her diet and adding other fermented foods, such as miso and sauerkraut. I want her to continue taking the product and I'll continue to report back.