Monday, December 30, 2013

Resolve to eat better, get help with Snackbox! (Coupon code for $15 off!)

The December Snack box arrived, and is loaded with great snacks!



My number one choices for snacks to take with you were the following:

The Good Bean- crispy roasted chickpea snacks that are a great source of fibre nad protein. I love that they are so crunchy, healthy and a nut free choice to send to school. The sample we received in December's Snackbox was Smoky Chili Lime which I loved, but the boys (6 and 4 years old) found them a little spicy.

SunButter- easy open packs of sunflower seed butter, with just a touch of salt added. These are great to throw in a lunch kit or work bag with a sliced apple.

Peeled Snacks- dried mango slices.- I love dehydrated mango, especially when it isn't the sugar coated kind. These were great, although I only got one slice. My four year old ran off with the bag, never to be seen again.

A Good Portion- Pistachios.- Another snack that's great to pack along. They're interactive, because like all pistachios you have to crack them open. So that slows you down. These were roasted saffron and sea salt. We all loved them.

Blue Diamond Nut Thins- although the first ingredient is rice flour, these were different enough to be exciting. They are wheat free but still light and crispy, which is unusual. They'd be nice topped with any of the usual cracker pairings (hummus, nut butter, cheese).

Tutti Gourmet - Bana Crisp- another wheat free treat, these were really interesting tasting! Banana, run, coconut, almond- they were also really light and crispy. These would be great to stash in your desk for those times the vending machine is calling.

Pamela's Product- Whenever Bars.- I wouldn't really say whenever, but these wheat free bars are tasty and lower in sugar than many other snack bars. I'd love to see higher protein and fibre in a snack bar, but paired with an apple and PB, they'd make a nice substantial snack an hour or two before a workout,or as a recovery snack when your next meal is a ways out.

The rest of the box was more in the treat category, although treats with less processing and better ingredient lists.

Hardbite Kettle Cooked Chips- Crunchy and Tasty. The portion size of this bag is great for lunches when you crave a little treat. They are still chips, just good quality chips. 

Wai Lana Cassava Chips- a lighter alternative to chips, these were crunchy and tasty.

Whistler Pocket Chocolate- Very well made dark chocolate in eco-friendly packaging. Made in Whistler, and we all know dark chocolate is full of antioxidants. Just watch your portion size.

Glee Gum- gum is currency around here. The boys took off with the whole pack, but I love the ingredients!

Camino Fair Trade Milk Hot Chocolate- Still full of sugar, but the cocoa is organic and fairly traded. And everyone needs a hot chocolate now and then.

The Ginger People- Ginger Soother- This beverage was really kind of special. Spicy ginger, honey and lemon. I like my drinks a little less sweet, but loved the taste of this. 



Help yourself succeed by arming yourself with healthy snacks for when you're hungry. Just plan ahead when you'll use your snacks.

Use this coupon code for $15 off your first SnackBox until January 31st. Visit www.getsnackbox.com

Coupon code: OkanaganRD 

Disclaimer: I received a free SnackBox but the opinions expressed are my own!



Monday, December 23, 2013

New Year's Resoulutions

I think I get more excited for making New Year's resolution then I do for Christmas. I love setting a new goal and reaching it in the new year. I love that there's this entire year waiting for you to be a better you. I spend weeks before January 1st thinking up what I'll change in the upcoming year. And I stick to them, which is especially exciting because for the most part, people forget about their resolutions before January is over.

The best way to make a resolution you can keep is to change the focus. If you resolve to lose weight and things don't happen quickly, you're likely to become frustrated and give up. But if you change the focus to "I'm going to run a 5 km race in June", or "I'm going to weight lift three times a week.", it's something you can measure.

Here are a few measureable and achievable food goals that could have the added benefit of weight loss:

Make a menu plan every week
Eat 7 servings of vegetables and fruit a day
Make your own supper at least 6 days per week
Pack a lunch every day

Write down your resolutions and post them somewhere you'll see them daily. Give yourself the tools to succeed. Have a calendar and put a check mark on the days you completed your workouts, or packed your lunch, (or a sticker, if you're like me and still motivated by stickers!). Print out a menu plan template and make your weekly menu. Reward yourself for successes, with something other than food.  Good luck and Happy 2014! Let me know how your resolutions are going!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Gingerbread Bites

On to Gingerbread season! At our place, dark blackstrap molasses ginger made with whole wheat flour reigns supreme. I bake a couple of huge double batches and we make gingerbread houses (with real candy!) and gingerbread people, trees, bells, stars... I've also been making gingerbread smoothies, gingerbread pancakes, gingerbread lattes, and gingerbread oatmeal.



So I decided a healthy gingerbread ball would be a great addition to the gingerbread repertoire. So we don't just stuff ourselves with the cookies.

Blackstrap molasses is a great source of both calcium and iron. These bites are sweetened only with the molasses and date purée, but they'll take the edge off any sweet tooth.

Gingerbread Bites

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1 cup oats
2 Tbsp puréed dates (soak dares overnight, then blend with some of water to make a smooth, thick paste. It'll keep for at least a week on the fridge)
1-2 Tbsp blackstrap molasses
Cinnamon and ginger to taste
Pinch of salt

Grind pumpkin seeds in food processor until finely chopped. Add other ingredients and pulse a couple times. The process until a ball forms. Taste a bit and add more spice if needed. Roll in balls. Made about 18.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Cooking with Kids!

My kids and I are writing a cookbook, and it got me thinking about how important time spent in the kitchen together really is. If you don't learn how to cook and eat healthy delicious food, you're at the mercy of the food industry, and who wants to put their health in those hands?

Cooking with kids does double duty as homework too. We're reading, writing and learning fractions. Plus learning peeling, chopping, measuring. Oh, and to keep hands away from hot things and sharp things.


Don't limit what your kids help with, just help them be safe! 


The boys loved helping make this soup, we had a nice cozy afternoon together cooking and chatting. 

 

Monday, December 2, 2013

Snackbox Review and Coupon Code!

As a Registered Dietitian, I advocate for whole foods snacks. Foods that are ingredients rather than lists of ingredients. But honestly, there are times that even the most organized of us needs to eat something from a package. In fact, when I conduct grocery store tours, I dive right into the centre aisles with their packaged goods, armed with a list of healthy parameters to guide my clients.

Enter, Snackbox. This is a Canadian company based in Vancouver. They deliver a box of delicious, healthier snacks monthly. The package arrived two days after confirming it was coming.

And how fun would it be to receive this each month??


A few of the items weren't new to me. And some items fell more into the treat category, vs the healthy snack category. But it only comes once a month, and they were definitely healthier treats. And everyone deserves a couple treats a month!


We've tried most everything now, and here's what I am loving about Snackbox...

There was a card with info on each product, price, where to buy. There was even a recipe for the Arora Creations Gobi Spice to make crispy chickpeas. (The recipe on the package is for a delicious sounding cauliflower curry, but the chickpeas sound more snacky).

Larabar- love them. All natural ingredients, fruit and nuts, that's it. I recommend them to clients and they're great to have on hand when hunger strikes. They taste great.

True Nature- another great bar. They meet the parameters I give for granola bars, with 7g protein and 8g or fewer of sugar. They fell 1 g short in fibre minimums (I recommend at least 4g), but 1 g is easy to make up in a healthy day!  They taste great too.

The La Fourmi fruit and nut medley was outstanding. Dried strawberries, cranberries, blueberries and goji berries, dark chocolate and almonds. Half the bag counts as a serve and there weren't enough almonds for RD Kelly, so I would cut it with a handful of almonds and stretch it to 3 servings, but it was delicious and all natural!



My Smoothie was good too. It was supposed to be green, but I guess I ordered later in the month so I got a berry one. It was chunky, full of real fruit and very tasty. I'd love to try the green! The side of the package had a cute graphic showing how much of each fruit it contained.

Enerjive Skinny Quinoa crackers are literally skinny, not calorically. Good ingredients, great taste and crunch. But be careful! Three are over 100 calories and I could eat the entire package! They're gluten free.

There were also dried pears (yum, and just pears!) My kids thought they tasted like vanilla. They are really buttery. Loved them.

An iced green tea came with my box, it was supposed to be a juice infused tea, which I'd be interested in trying, but it still looks good. Just green tea.

The Sensible portions veggie chips are tasty. I consider them more of a healthy treat because they don't really add nutrients to your diet. But they also don't add a bunch of unwanted things to your diet, so they're a good go-to when you need some crunch with you sandwich and salad!

Same with the pirates booty cheese puffs.

Finally, there was a decadent Toffee Coconut Dark Chocolate from Cocolico. Very tasty, rich, a hint of buttery toffee and a touch of sea salt. It's satisfying with just a couple squares, I'm all for this being part of your life!

Try out GetSnackBox.com, you can do 1 month, 3 months, or 6 months. Use the coupon code OkanaganRD to get $15 off your first snackbox! Coupon expires December 31st, 2013.










Tuesday, November 19, 2013

A warming breakfast

I'm not over pumpkin yet. Seems the rest of the internet is moving on, but not me. Monday was cold and wet in Kelowna, and mornings are dark. So it was lovely to wake up to pumpkin pie millet. Because breakfast is a big deal around here, I sugared up a few nuts and seeds to top it.

 

1/2 cup millet
1/2-3/4 cup pumpkin purée
1/2 cup apple juice
1 1/2 cups water
Dash salt
Cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves as desired (a dash of each works well).

Cook on low overnight. Serve topped with milk of choice and nuts and seeds. 

I tossed a bunch of nuts and seeds in a fry pan with a bit of brown sugar and a pinch of salt. The sugar wasn't melting, so I sprinkled a bit of water in, which did the trick.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Creating an Allergy?

With all the clean eating I've been doing, and the healthy diet we follow 90% of the time, I have noticed when I indulge in something processed, something is happening. My throat feels bumpy and puffy for about a day after. I first noticed this during the summer. I was craving corn chips, Fritos to be exact. Not flavoured Fritos, just the old school curled corn chips. But the next day, I noticed the throat thing. It didn't happen again for a while, and then it happened with a "natural" snack. They were corn twists, with only corn, salt, oil and nutritional yeast as the ingredients.

Lately, it has been happening more frequently. I can't pinpoint what it is from exactly. But it doesn't happen when I eat unprocessed, whole foods.

I did a little research to see if there is anything on causing an allergy, but guess what? That's the million dollar question. If we could figure out how an allergy is caused, we could also figure out how to prevent it.

Because mine hasn't been life threatening, and because avoiding processed foods isn't a bad thing, I'm just going to observe and see what happens for now, making note of what I ate the day it happens. Anyone else notice anything like this?

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Updates

So I'm in the midst of two more 30 day challenges. This one http://pipersrun.com/2013/05/30/30-day-arm-challenge-are-you-up-for-it/ this on http://30dayfitnesschallenges.com/classes/30-day-abs-challenge/#_

They are crazy difficult! I've decided it will take closer to 60 days as I build more gradually, and take more time off between.

I finished my green smoothie challenge with a bang, enjoying apples, ginger, lemon and greens. I often throw in an unfinished carrot my kids leave behind. Also enjoyed vegetable rich soups, purée ing any leftover roasted vegetables, rice, tomatoes, peppers....whatever.

And I'll leave you with this Pumpkin Smoothie:

1cup milk of choice
1/2 cup puréed pumpkin
Handful of pecans
Cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves as desired
A couple of dates, for sweetness
Ice

It was amazing!





Monday, October 28, 2013

Halloween


I'm a dietitian, I try eat well most of the time and too much candy makes my kids insane. But guess what? I'm not against Halloween! In fact, I love it! Despite the fact that my older son recently whined "I only get homemade candy! I just want something from a box!", candy is actually part of our lives. My kids will go from supper, to dessert, and back to their broccoli.

Halloween is a fun tradition and I think one of the best times to teach kids how to navigate our world of processed and high sugar foods. Start the night with a healthy, but favourite, supper. Don't make a big deal about it, or demand all the vegetables be eaten. Just enjoy supper together, talking about the fun night ahead. 

For parents of young children, control the number of houses you visit. That automatically controls how much candy you collect. Giving candy out is just as fun for young kids. That night, don't really sweat how much candy they eat. I believe restricting it, forcing them to choose just one etc. is just going to make them want it more. Sort the candy, have a few pieces and then pack it away, brush their teeth, and head to bed. You can even offer a healthy bedtime snack like an apple if they are hungry.

For older kids, start the evening the same way. Then, they may go out for a while, but put a reasonable time limit on it. Cut off at 8:00 pm or so. Then end the night the same way, offering up a healthy bedtime snack and heading to bed.

Teens shouldn't be trick or treating anymore!! Offer up other fun ways to celebrate Halloween. A party, or dressing up and making the house spooky for younger kids. They can still have candy that night, don't feel sad for them!

Adults? Don't buy too much candy. Don't buy a lot of your favourites, although a small amount can be fun while you're handing candy out. Get more generous as the night progresses! And don't buy discount candy afterwards!

Treat Halloween as a fun, one off kind of night! Don't buy snack size chocolate bars all year. There is far too much focus on good or bad foods, and that feeling of trying to deprive ourselves generally leads to over-indulging. 

Want more info on feeding kids? Visit www.RaiseHealthyEaters.com

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Eating in Seattle!

After a wonderful long weekend in Seattle, we've had a crazy busy week to follow it up. My parents left at 7:45 Wednesday morning, and the little boys and I had a few minutes to compose ourselves and start the day. An hour after my parents drove away, the four of us were in separate places and the week had begun. Thankfully it was Wednesday and the weekend came up fast. My younger son is sick today, and although I may be a bad mum for admitting, the down time today has been great! I do feel sad for him though...
 
Greg and I ate like kings in Seattle. There are so many fresh, plant based, local restaurants around, it was hard to choose. But we researched like scientists before going, poring over menus, strategizing...I often agonize over what to order, and then make a mistake and end up wanting something else, and Greg always orders perfectly. So on this trip I turned all my ordering over to Greg, we even shook on it. And it was fun to surrender and allow him to make the decision for me.
 
Day One, after the drive and outlet mall, we hit up the Wayward Vegan, for plant based diner food and generous portions. I had the vegetarian ribs, with a side of sweet potato fries and garlicky greens. Greg had Pull no Pork over the greens. It must've been 2 cups of kale on my plate, and I counted it towards my green smoothie challenge, I couldn't fit in anything more. We worked out in the hotel gym and walked a lot that night.
 
Day two, we had granola and coconut yogurt in our room before heading out for a run around Green Lake. Getting lost forced me to do a 15km run, but in the end I was thankful. We had coffee in "Tangle Town" (aptly named, and the reason I got lost) before some shopping and walking. Then headed to Chaco Canyon Café for some more great food!
 
I stuck to the Green Smoothie challenge as able, or at least ate greens a lot.


The delicious "Hippie Bowl" for me, and a steamed green salad for Greg, topped with tofu.

Not to be missed, although I was full. A doughnut shop that has taken all the garbage out of doughnuts using whole, plant based ingredients. Still high in calories, but it's good to support companies doing things "right"!

My raspberry doughnut. Fresh raspberries in the icing. I couldn't eat the whole thing, but made sure to eat all the icing!
 
We headed out for another run, I managed 6 km along the ocean. Then it was supper. We made this our fancy meal, "The Plum Bistro", where I had Tempeh Vermouth, with Brussels Sprouts and Mashed Potatoes. Greg had the Mama Africa salad, over millet (whooo, one of my fave grains!) The water was full of cucumber and lemons and ice cold.



 
Day three, we were feeling a little food logged. We ran after having breakfast in the room, and then decided a light coffee and muffin "lunch" was more than enough. Another workout in the hotel gym and walking all day (over 10km of walking), we were ready for supper. Thrive serves up healthy, organic and local food. And we had an amazing supper. Warm grain bowls, topped with kale chips and "bella burger" crumbles. Loaded with vegetables and served over quinoa and red rice. It was amazing.


Our last meal out was breakfast on the final day. Another run along the ocean, then off to Portage Bay Café. They have a breakfast bar and after your order comes, you load it up with local organic berries, organic whipped cream and shaved almonds. It was beyond amazing. We both ordered the whole wheat, oat and huckleberry pancakes. Then topped it with mounds of delicious berries! Sadly, it was so delicious, I didn't get a shot of it! Just the breakfast bar... sorry.
Not to be missed, Molly Moon ice cream. They use local, organic ingredients and had a few coconut milk options. I don't actually recall which day we managed to squeeze dessert in, but we did! We walked all night every night too.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Weekend in Seattle!

We're heading to Seattle this weekend, without the kids. There's always worry for a mum leaving her kids for any stretch of time, but Greg and I are going to eat and walk our way through another city and the boys are in good hands. My parents flew in for the weekend to stay with them. Everyone is excited, which takes away any guilt!

Greg and I usually create bootcamp style weekends, with double daily workouts, lots of great food, and walking non-stop between. It's a great way to see a new city and make room for the eating we'll do!

Stay tuned for my adventures!


Sunday, October 6, 2013

Know Yourself

The key to successfully improving your eating or exercise habits is knowing yourself. When someone picks up a diet book with meal plans that stray so far from what they're used to and what they like, they are setting themselves up for failure.

One thing I've learned about myself is that I love challenges and goals for a set period of time. The 12-week half marathon training plan, a 16-week marathon plan and recently, smaller challenges that can be accomplished in a few minutes a day.

It started with a 30-day ab challenge from www.delicious-knowledge.com. There was no way I'd miss a day. Well, actually once I planned to skip a day, because my shoulders were so sore from planks, but I doubled up the next day, and come day 30 I had done all the workouts.

Then I found this fun website www.30dayfitnesschallenges.com and I'm currently doing the 30 day strength challenge for runners. I occasionally double up on the workouts and take a day off, but I have the chart printed and I initial each completed day, and I know I'll make the 30-days.

This month, I also signed up for a 30 day green smoothie challenge. Today, I ate my green smoothie as a salad, but ultimately, I'm sticking to it. I'm also not following the recipes because I have so many apples and pears to throw in the smoothies, but it's fun, they send a shopping list and five green smoothie recipes each week! Their next challenge runs in January, check it out at www.simplegreensmoothies.com

Next up for me, a 30-day arm challenge from www.pipersrun.com.

So figure out what works for you, or talk to a registered dietitian or personal trainer to get help in figuring out what works for you.

Friday, September 27, 2013

This weeks food prep


Calzones, red pepper hummus, baba ghanouj, a very strange almond spread, zuchinni/apple/carrot muffins and bars (iced for fun), apple pie millet (ready to go in the slow cooker), breaded tofu "pumpkins", and a bunch of market fresh vegetables! Oh, and home made pitas in the centre!

This week's lunches were a breeze thanks to a few hours of prep on Sunday. I still had time for a run, a hike with the family and other mum duties. It is so worth it! 

Check out www.theleangreenbean.com for more inspiration. I've also been freezing half the lunch items so my boy doesn't tire of them. Getting a nice frozen variety now, he can choose the night before and I'll pull out a tamale or calzone. It's going well, I'm totally going to keep it up!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Millet is the New Oatmeal!

Millet is one of the most easily digested grains, and one of the most non-allergenic. Long thought of as bird seed in North America, millet seems to be making a comeback in this gluten sensitive time. The internet has claims of the grain having high anti-oxidant activity and being one of the only alkalizing grains available. It is also a pre-biotic, like most fibres, and feeds the healthy bacteria in our gut allowing them to flourish.

All that aside, it is tasty and I am a promoter of diversifying the diet and including a variety of many different foods, including grains (thinking beyond rice, wheat and oats.)

This tasty recipe is easy to throw together before bed, and is ready for you when you wake up. It is a good amount for a 3.5-4 quart slow cooker, if yours is too big, double the recipe and freeze some or use it within a few days.

Apple Pie Millet

1/2 cup millet
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup applesauce or a pureed apple
1/4 cup apple juice
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup raisins
1 apple, peeled and chopped

Lightly oil the slow cooker to prevent sticking. Then mix together all ingredients. Cook on low overnight (8 hours). In the morning top with milk of choice, pecans, pumpkin seeds, brown sugar, maple syrup...whatever you like.


Sunday, September 22, 2013

Apple Upside Down Baked Oatmeal!

We have been lucky enough to get free apples! After processing the fruit and tomatoes of the past month, I wasn't even sure we should head out to Summerland for a second round of apple picking, but having grown up in Manitoba where amazing, organic and free apples are VERY hard to come by (well, crab apples are pretty tasty...) we couldn't pass up the opportunity. Many jars of applesauce later, plus at least two apple crisps, several batches of apple/zuchinni muffins and a few rounds in the dehydrator I used the inspiration of Chocolate Covered Katie to come up with this recipe. We also got an apple corer and the apple rings it makes are inspiring many other recipes (I'm dreaming up apple ring/oatmeal cookies, apple pancakes, apple upside down cake...)  
 
I followed a basic baked oatmeal recipe and made a few adaptations:
 
 
Per ramekin:
 
lightly grease the bottom and sides. Add an apple ring from a peeled, cored apple to the bottom of each ramekin. Add 1/4 tsp Earth Balance or butter, and 1/4 tsp brown sugar, and dust with cinnamon. In a bowl, mix together (for each ramekin):
1/2 cup oatmeal
1/4 cup applesauce
1/4 cup milk of choice
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
a dash of salt
a dash of cinnamon
a touch of liquid sweetner
 
Then press onto the top of each apple ring. Bake at 375F for 15-20 minutes, then on broil for another two. Remove from the ramekin and place upside in a bowl. Add milk, chopped nuts, cinnamon, maple syrup, raisins, chocolate chips (whatever you like) to taste.
 
I double this and fill three ramekins for my little boys and me.
1/2 Tbsp nut butter, butter, Earth Balance or coconut oil



 
Yum!

Monday, September 16, 2013

A Couple of Nut Free Granola Bars!

I'd wanted to post a trio, it just sounded better. But my third bar wasn't perfect. Delicious, but not perfect, so I'll keep working on it.

Bar #1

2 cups oats
1/4 cup wheat germ
1/4 cup chia seeds
2 Tbsp coconut 
1 cup flour
1 cup date purée
1/4 cup coconut oil, butter, or Earth Balance
1/4 cup honey, agave, or maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
Cinnamon to taste
Chocolate chips to taste

Mix it all, pour into a 9x13 parchment lined pan. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Cut into bars, then cool.



Bar #2

1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup oats
1/2 cup wheat germ
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Dash of salt
3/4 cup dry sweetener ( brown sugar, coconut sugar)
3/4 cup coconut oil
1 cup milk or non- dairy milk of choice
1/4 cup chia
1 teaspoon vanilla
Chocolate chips to taste

Mix wet ingredients, add dry. Bake in a greased 9x13 pan at 350 for 25-30 minutes. Cool and gently slice. It's delicate! Freeze individually wrapped.




Sunday, September 8, 2013

Half Marathon Update!

Well, the Wine Country Half Marathon was this weekend. I spent the day before cleaning up a huge paint mess that my four year old and his buddy made for me. It was insane the amount of paint they got everywhere. I also spent the week before canning/freezing and drying which meant a lot of time standing on my feet. Felt like shopping. Ugh.
I also spent the night before wondering if I'd done enough to prepare for the day. And why didn't I eat more on the day before? Oh, right, the paint mess. I spent a good portion of the day on my hands and knees scrubbing green paint out of a carpet!

But I did it!! I achieved my modest goal of breaking two hours (1:58:54!). I completed all my runs as scheduled except the last 40 minute run when I couldn't tear myself away from 50 lbs of tomatoes!

The day started off quite rainy so I made the call to leave the family at home and go alone. I met a wonderful woman, the owner of "Living Water Vineyard" and spent the hour before the race with her. I can't wait to try her wine, reviews of their certified organic wine sound great! (There's also a carriage house on site where you get a bottle of wine and a lovely place to stay.)

The beginning was a lot more uphill than I had imagined and I'm just thankful I live in Glenrosa and almost always do hill training. My first 6 miles were great, I ran them in 49:14 (my best pace ever!).  But I started to fade in the last few miles. My hip had been bugging me most of the week before, likely a canning injury. But as I neared the last mile I was so close to my goal I knew I had to push.

The event was followed by a wine and music festival. But I was cold and wanted to hit up the Farmer's Market for our weekly produce haul and one of Master Bakery's cinnamon buns. So I didn't even have a sip of wine, just headed out to the car and off to market. Sweaty and happy!

Today, I'm already wondering what's next. I'm making my new training plan and searching for events. I feel like with a proper rest week prior to the event, I could push it even more and I can't wait to try!
Took me a while to figure out this giant medal is a coaster! Cute idea!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Back to School lunchbox prep

I've been inspired by other RD's spending a bit of weekend time preparing food for the upcoming week. ( http://www.theleangreenbean.com/) Well, school starts tomorrow so I spent some time this weekend making food for the lunch box. Earlier in the week I made a couple of healthy granola bars too, nut free so they can go to school but more substantial and less sugary than store bought bars.


Cooked millet ( the new oatmeal-a future post dedicated to millet is coming), Desi's Favourite Yellow Sauce (carrot, 1/2 cup cashews, salt, 1 tsp apple cider vinegar and water to blend), roasted cherry tomatoes, roasted chickpeas, cocoa date balls, millet bean balls, zucchini apple muffins and Tofu Stromboli. 

I'm learning about hyperlinks, so for now, please scroll down for recipes and links! This is a long post- trio of granola bars is coming soon!

http://okanaganrd.blogspot.ca/2013/04/by-special-request.html (cocoa date balls)

http://tastykitchen.com/recipes/breads/zucchini-apple-muffins/

Millet bean balls

1 cup cooked millet
1 cup cooked white beans
1 cup steamed vegetables (broccoli, carrots, green beans, onion, garlic- whatever)
1/2 cup ground pumpkin seeds
2 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp Arrowroot powder
Onion powder, garlic powder, chilli powder,basil, oregano- whatever you and your kids like)

Mash it all together,chill if you want it to be easier to roll. Roll into balls, place on a greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 for about 30 minutes,turning a couple of times till browned and dry. The kids stole four when I was folding towels!

Tofu Stromboli- the dough recipe comes from "Vegan Lunchbox Around the World"

For the dough:
1cup + 2Tbsp warm water
1 Tbsp yeast
1 tsp sugar
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2-3 cups flour

For the filling:
1/2 block tofu
1 cup kale
1 Tbsp lemon juice
Dill, garlic, onion,basil and salt to taste

Add yeast and sugar to warm water. Let rest 10 minutes. Add oil. Add 2 cups flour and salt, mix well adding more flour until dough forms, then sprinkle with flour and knead about five minutes, adding flour as needed to keep dough from sticking. Let rise covered in a greased bowl about an hour. 

While dough is rising, blend filling ingredients in a food processor.

Roll out dough into a rectangle and spread with filling, then roll it up pinching the sides. Place in a greased loaf pan or on a cookie sheet, for a flatter bread. Bake a 375 for30 minutes, until loaf is browned and sounds hollow. Slice and freeze individual slices.


Monday, August 26, 2013

Another Green Smoothie

This one kind of tastes like Orange Julius to me, but it has been a while! Don't be afraid of vanilla and kale together, somehow it works!

Green Julius Smoothie- Serves 1
1 cup kale or spinach, or more if desired
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp spriulina or chlorella if desired

Some of the highlights of the nutritional info, without the chlorella:

241 calories, 9 g protein, 125 mg calcium, 2.27 mg iron, 3.72 mg zinc

A Note on Sweeteners

I had planned to write a very scientific article on sweeteners, complete with references and a riveting conclusion. Unfortunately, in researching both scientific and popular literature I was filled with the feeling I so often have in the field of nutrition. There is no absolute answer. So I have come up with a few sweet rules to simplify things.

The following sweeteners were a part of my research:

Agave Syrup
Barley Malt
Coconut Sugar
Date Sugar
Erythritol
Honey
Maple Syrup
Molasses
Raw Sugar (also called Turbindo Sugar)
Rice Syrup
Sorghum Syrup
Stevia
Xylitol
Yacon Syrup

In general, all of these alternative sweetners are somewhat less refined than white table sugar. The ratios of fructose and glucose vary, as do the glycemic indexes. There are studies showing negative results with high and even moderate consumption of glucose and fructose, but often it is difficult to apply to humans. Generally, the studies are done with mice and the diet is very controlled with a very specific amount of the sugar in it's most basic form (ie: just fructose and 25% of the diet).

Some studies on humans encouraged consumption of a drink that contained high amounts of varying sugar, usually with a prescribed number of drinks per day. I feel like we already know that sweetened drinks are to be enjoyed in moderation, not several times a day- we know that is harmful. Let's move on and study something else. These controlled studies aren't often applicable to daily life.

Let's take agave for an example. Recently it has come under fire because of the high fructose content. This is why it has a lower glycemic index (Fructose is absorbed differently than glucose, and it takes longer to be absorbed), and the reason glycemic index doesn't give us a full picture of the health benefits of a food. Studies of diets high in fructose show that it contributes more to heart disease risk factors such as blood triglycerides, and may not signal to the body that it is full the way other foods do.

But other research done with high fructose products, consumed in normal amounts, showed no increase in risk factors. Further to that, nearly every recipe I have come across that contains agave nectar, and other alternative sweeteners, is a "healthy" dessert recipe, and includes other beneficial things like whole grains, nuts, seeds, dried fruit etc.

Another recent study showed that "Safe" amounts of sugar in the diet also posed health risks. They called this 25%. I don't think 25% of our diet should come from added sugar!!

Therefore, we need to take research on anything sweet with a grain of salt (salty and sweet, yah!)

So here are my sweet rules- if you want more details, references etc. please get in touch with me- I have many! (a great place to start: http://naturallysavvy.com/Eat/the-high-fructose-corn-syrup-debate)

Sweet Rules to Live By

1.. Learn to enjoy foods that are naturally sweet- like fruit
2. Don't drink your sugar- wean yourself off of sweetened coffee, tea and any other beverages. Water with lemon? Learn to love it!
3. Don't buy foods that are already sweetened, make your own- then you're in control of the sugar in your diet. Buy plain yogurt, look for recipes with low sugar and other healthy additions like nuts and seeds or recipes sweetened naturally with banana, dates, raisins vs. a sweetener
4. Use any of the above sweeteners, and a variety of them because they're good for different things, but use moderation (think very small amounts)

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Mini Fruit Crisps

We've had the opportunity to pick a few blackberries in the last few weeks. It's hard work, the thorns are crazy and you come back bloodied with a couple cups of fruit for your efforts. It isn't like the coast here, bushes aren't lining the shore bursting with berries, so to make anything substantial is heartbreaking! (6 cups of berries for a pie? That'd be hours of work before even starting on pie.)

Enter mini crisps. The world of ramekins is wonderful and I strongly suggest you pick up a few at IKEA or somewhere else. (mine were $1.99 each). The other benefit to a mini dessert is you can eat it and be done with it. You don't have to eat dessert all week! (although that's not always a bad thing). These crisps are healthy enough to enjoy for breakfast.

Mini Blackberry Crisps (or any fruit)

1/2 cup of fruit per ramekin (or fill the ramekin a little over half way)
1 tsp sugar mixed with 1/4 tsp cornstarch per ramekin
Per Ramekin Topping Mix
1/4 cup rolled oats
1 1/2 tsp whole spelt flour or any flour (easy to make gluten free- choose quinoa or millet flour)
1/2-1 tsp ground chia seeds
2 Tbsp chopped nuts
1 1/2 tsp butter/Earth Balance/coconut oil
1 tsp brown sugar
pinch of salt

Fill each ramekin half way with fruit. Sprinkle fruit with sugar/cornstarch mix.
In a small bowl combine topping ingredients. Sprinkle over fruit, then press down. Place ramekins in a pan to catch any fruit dripping out and to make handling easier. Bake at 350F for about 1/2 an hour until the top is browned and fruit is bubbling. Cool a little before serving. Good with soy milk, ice cream, coconut milk etc.
 Fill ramekins halfway with fruit
Sprinkle with sugar/cornstarch mix
Sprinkle topping mix on top and press down

Place in a pan to catch any fruit drips.
Bake until browned on top and fruit bubbles out.



 

Saturday, August 10, 2013

My week

Well, another week of training under my belt. The half marathon is just under a month away. This week was another hot one in Kelowna. I did my shorter runs in the morning, on the treadmill. Because we were spending our weekend in Vancouver, I switched a run for a ride on the bike trainer, then ran two beautiful mornings in Vancouver. There's something special about running on the Sea wall in the morning, with so many other people out and about too. One of my runs felt amazing! I seemed fast (for me), and most importantly, almost effortless. The next was a little sluggish.

We drove home Sunday, so I did my long run Monday. It was a holiday, so I'm lucky to have my husband home so I could run off for two hours! My run is now up to 18 km. I ran 3 km uphill, then 7 km downhill and finished on the flats. The boys met me at the beach and I recovered in the lake with a smoothie (almonds, soymilk, cocoa powder, cinnamon and lots of ice.) I didn't feel as great as I would've liked, but after two big runs in Vancouver and walking non-stop for two days, my legs were done.

Even two days post long run, I was still hurting a bit! But the rest of my runs this week weren't too bad. I moved my "magic mile" to next week to up the quality of it.

In other news, we're still loving summer, loving the beach, and I'm loving the freedom school holidays have given us. The boys are best buds, and fall will be tough on them! Thankfully, it's early August still, lots of summer to be had still. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Zuchinni Day- August 8th! (aka Sneak some zuchinni onto your neighbour's porch day)

I have a GIANT muffin recipe for you. Lower in sugar and fat then most zuchinni chocolate muffin recipes, and huge to use up whatever is in your garden, or what was on your doorstep this morning!

7 scant cups flour (whole wheat works well)
1 cup cocoa
1 cup sugar
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
salt (a couple pinches)
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 cup oil (I used half coconut, half canola)
6 eggs/egg replacer
3 cups milk of choice
4 tsp vanilla
4 cups shredded zucchini
chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350F. Mix dry ingredients together. Mix wet in a separate bowl. Then add zucchini to wet ingredients. Add wet to dry, fold in chocolate chips. It will be really dry, but as the zuch bakes, it releases moisture. I'm going to try it with six cups flour next time and see how it goes. Made 24 big muffins and one loaf. Muffins take around 25 minutes, loaf around an hour. Check with a toothpick to see if done.




Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Harvest Time

Seems like harvest is all summer long here! We started with cherries and apricots. Now corn and beans and tomatoes are coming in. Peaches, nectarines and plums too. Well, almost everything is out at the Farmers' Markets now.

I love preserving food, knowing we'll have locally grown, organic produce all winter long. We do huge days of canning, freezing and drying. But we also work on a smaller scale when we only have a little. We had excess kale so we put aside a few bags to freeze. And I was gifted a giant zucchini so I baked with some, froze the rest. It got me thinking that many people don't have time or the knowledge to put food by. Of course, getting 50 lbs of tomatoes and spending a weekend preserving it would be great, but if you can't, the effort is still worth it. Here are some tips:

1. For a family of 4- but a dozen cobs of corn instead of 6 for each week they're at the market. Cook it all (3 minutes in boiling water is all you need.) Eat what you normally would, then cut the kernels off the other cobs and put aside a few bags for winter.

2. Buy an extra bunch of kale or spinach at the market. Cut off the stems, chop it to desired size, and put in bags to use in smoothies and other recipes calling for frozen spinach (go ahead and use kale instead).

3. Get a few extra tomatoes, chop them and freeze in bags. Thaw them when you want a tomato sauce. Sauté onion and garlic in olive oil, then add pureed tomatoes, salt, pepper, basil and oregano. Simmer until reduced to desired consistency. It takes a while. Do this on a winter weekend day. It will keep in the fridge for a week after cooking, so you can use it on any week day following.

4. For any fruit, buy an extra pint, bag, basket....whatever. You can rinse and dry on paper towels, pit, chop, peel as needed, then bag and freeze for smoothies, chia jam (thaw, mix with chia, let sit overnight, enjoy on pancakes, oatmeal...), whatever .

Just buying a few extra things each week will add up over the course of the summer, and won't dominate your weekends.

What tips do you have to preserve the harvest?



Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Summer

We continue to enjoy the beautiful Okanagan summer. It has been hot! Salads have been the centre of most meals for weeks now, and with so many different ways to make a salad, we aren't bored yet. It seems true that the more you eat, the more you crave. During my parents visit, I ate a lot less salad, and enjoyed baking, coffees, and take out for their brief visit. When they left, I definitely craved those things for a few days! We've settled back into our regular pattern of eating for the most part, and I'm feeling great.

This past weekend we only had a few sour cherries to process. We froze several bags and dried a bunch. The dried, tart cherries are amazing! It seems very few people know what to do with sour cherries, so if you find someone offering them up, say yes! (and call me, if you don't want to process them yourself!) They make better pies, crisps and cobblers than sweet cherries do, and if you have access to a dehydrator, dry as many as you can.

Nutritionally, both sweet and tart cherries are full of antioxidants and vitamins and minerals. Tart cherries are a natural source of melatonin, the body's sleep hormone. Research finds that drinking tart cherry juice before bed helps you have a more restful sleep. They've also found tart cherry juice reduces post workout muscle inflammation, reduces uric acid and inflammation of gout, and possibly activates fat burning molecules.

Between training, beach suppers, work and family, summer is busy. But so worth it! I'll clean the house when fall comes! We have had about half our meals at the water's edge since the heat wave began. We pack healthy salads, fruit, tofu sandwiches or bean and nut balls. The kids eat more than at the table and we all feel refreshed when it's time to come home for bed. Happy Summer!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

A quick update!

It's been busy here! Fruit season is upon us. We picked two huge bags of apricots early last week. I am now experimenting with sugarless canning and it seems to be going well. If my Home Economics roots serve me well, we will enjoy pure fruit preserves all winter long! Saturday we got cherries too, and with a new, faster pitter, a step up from the hand held, a few hours later most were frozen and processed. I also made a sugar free cherry preserve.


Sunday, my 6 year old was in the SunRype Kids Triathlon. He swam 25 m, Biked 1.5 km and ran 500m. It was one of the cutest events I've ever been to! Next year they both want to do it.


I also invented a raw chocolate chip cookie recipe. It needs a little refining to blog it, measurements weren't too precise. I'll make them again next week and share the recipe. But they were great!


I'm heading camping with the little boys for a night, the bag full of groceries does not scream dietitian!! I'll be supplementing the white hot dog buns, soy dogs, S'mores and chips with cherries, coleslaw and carrot sticks. It's one night, we should be okay.

More to come, I haven't forgotten the planned post on sweeteners and I'll likely do one on fats. Also, just got Michael Pollan's book "Cooked", and when I read a book, everyone around me is also "reading" the book. 





Monday, July 15, 2013

A healthy bar

It has been a busy week! We had my parents and neice and nephew visiting from Winnipeg. And my brother/client was here briefly before heading to Oregon to run the Mount Hood 50, Ultra event. It's a 50 mile race. He stuck to the pre-race carb loading plan i developed and felt strong during his event.

My week of training has been nothing in comparison! But I still feel like I'm training! My "easy" run for the week was on the flat lakeside in Peachland. I pushed my heavy 4 year old, while my speedy 6 year old biked ahead! After, we played at the playground and had a nice dip in the clear waters!

My "magic mile" was on a makeshift track at the Boys and Girls Club soccer pitch. Bumpy and not quite 400 metres around, it wasn't the fastest I've ever run! I warmed up with my brother, and my parents were here to babysit, so that was nice.

Sunday's long run was 800m repeats. I like it, just need to make the workout a little longer to get more miles in. I finished with a swim, and I can't get enough of that.

Again, all my workouts were an hour or less. I packed a recovery smoothie for after the Peachland run, only because I knew I wouldn't be anywhere near a kitchen afterwards. Otherwise, no special nutrition was required this week. Particularly because company for me means coffee stops and second breakfasts!

Here's a great bar I developed. Great pre/post workout, healthy and delicious.

Kelly's Healthy Bars:

1 cup chocolate chips, melted
1 cup dates, soaked overnight and pureed with about 1/4 cup of the soak water
1 cup wheat germ
1 cup quick oats
1/2 cup coconut
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup chopped pecans (or cashews, or more pumpkin seeds or whatever!)

Melt chocolate chips, add date puree and stir in the rest of the ingredients. Spread in a 9x9 parchment lined pan and refridgerate for an hour or more before cutting into squares.




Monday, July 8, 2013

My weekend and an amazing supper

Another hot, beautiful weekend in the Okanagan! I love it here!

Sunday was long run day again. I had an 8 mile/13 km run scheduled. It was not crazy sunny when I was leaving (I did try leave earlier, but the little boys found me before I left and delayed departure.) After a quick breakfast (rolled oats, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, soy milk, agave, cinnamon, vanilla, chocolate chips, raisins and fresh cherries! Yum!), I managed to get out around 7:30.

Originally I had planned to drive down to the water front and run there, to reward myself with a dip after the run. But it seemed cloudy and cooler, so I just ran from home. 6.5 km down hill, followed by 6.5 km back up hill- filled with regret that there was no lake at the end of the run! Halfway through I had a gel- the run was over an hour. And I drank a slightly watered down sports drink, 500 ml, just because I'm very thirsty.

Getting home, we decided coffee and fresh cinnamon rolls on the balcony were in order. So for my immediate recovery food, I had a spoonful of peanut butter and finished my sports drink while I baked up the rolls. (recipe here: www.vegweb.com/recipes/quick-and-easy-mini-cinnamon-rolls).

I also had an almond, cherry, peach, Vega smoothie. And for supper, delicious "Chickpea Pumpkin Seed Burgers", from Dreena Burton, homemade buns, giant salad, snow peas and roasted salad turnips (why not? Oil, salt, garlic, red onion and diced, white salad turnips). I plan to do an entire post on radishes, turnips and other forgotten vegetable gems! And I'm just wrapping up research on a post on sugars and sweetners. I could probably research it for life, but I'll stick to a couple of days of reserach and give you some food for thought!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

This week in half marathon training

Another week of training is under my belt, and I'm starting to feel like I'm training. This past weekend had me doing 800 metre repeats, something I've never done before. And I liked it!

As far as fuelling my training, nothing special was really required. All my workouts were under an hour, and none of them were less than 8 hours apart, so glycogen restoring wasn't really a concern. Some of my workouts were also timed with meals, so the meal can serve as recovery.

It has me thinking, so much of what we read on nutrition for training and exercise is really geared towards elite athletes. In an average person, working out for an hour a day does not require any special nutrition strategies. It is very individualized, which is why it's great to talk to a dietitian. When I see somebody complete a 45 minute workout and hour before lunch and their next workout is 2 days away, they don't need a 400 calorie protein shake right after the workout. If you've had a full breakfast, and your workout follows closely, but is only an hour long and you take a day off between workouts, you don't need a special snack for that workout. If lunch is 4 hours away, you may want something regardless, because getting too hungry may lead to less healthy choices, but in terms of glycogen restoration, you don't need to do anything special. Yes, glycogen restoration is accelerated in the first hour. But 24 hours later, it's a wash. This info on glycogen restoration is great for tournaments, people doing multiple sessions in a day, or those with a high training volume and daily workouts. For the rest of us, there's a chance it's interfering with our weight loss goals.

For me, today I ran 40 minutes after breakfast. I knew I was spending the rest of the day at the beach and that lunch was several hours away, so I had a smoothie on the way to the beach. It helped me play with my kids for a bit before I needed my lunch. And I know my body, I'm hungrier in the morning. The other day, I had a 40 minute run in the morning, but nothing scheduled the next day, so I had nothing until lunch and I was fine. Get to know your body and what helps you feel best, talk to a dietitian about your training schedule and goals. There is no single answer to a training diet.

What are we supposed to do??

As a dietitian, particularly one in private practice, I spend a large part of my day reading articles. Those in the popular press and peer reviewed, scientific journal articles. The goal is that when people ask me about a diet or a study, I'll know what they're talking about, and I'll be able to back it up or dispute it with solid science.

In the last week, the following topics have come across my desk, all backed by a scientific study: Skipping breakfast won't make you fat, Eating breakfast will keep you slim, Three meals a day is best for health, 6 mini meals a day is best for health, intermittent fasting will keep you slim, frequent meals charges up your metabolism... So what are you supposed to do??

If you look at most of these studies, the bottom line is always that if you eat fewer calories then you burn, you'll lose weight. If three meals fits into your schedule, then have three well planned meals a day. If you'd prefer 5 or 6 mini meals, then plan that and have snacks prepared. The problem people run into is when their meals are unplanned, whether it is an unplanned snack or an unplanned stop for fast food at 6:00 because you got too hungry and didn't know what was for supper. Generally, this leads to overeating, cravings for less healthy foods and lower nutrient intakes. (Not too many people stand starving in front of the fridge and grab a bunch of vegetables to devour mindlessly).

Plan your day, eat mindfully, eat slowly, choose foods you enjoy.. Follow a pattern of eating you can sustain for life, don't diet. And eat more vegetables and fruit.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Sprouts for Supper!

Tonight I was home alone with my little one. My older son was celebrating kindergarten graduation with dinner and a movie with his Dad.

So to make things special for my little one, he got his favourite pasta- with Earth Balance and nutritional yeast. And half an avocado with a bit of salt.

Cooking for one isn't so hard with sprouts on hand! I sauteed a couple of cloves of garlic in olive oil, then added a couple handfuls of the "Fitness Mix" sprouts. They shrunk quite a bit, so I threw a cup of white beans in and mashed it all around. My first impression (and the reason there's no photo) was that the meal looked a little too wholesome, vegetarian and a little weird with all the stringy roots mashed into the beans. But I added a little shake of herbamare (courtesy of A.Vogel- sea salt blended with herbs) and after the first tentative bite, the rest disappeared quickly! The garlicky crunch of the sprouts, the creamy beans, the herby salt! Mmmm. Make it! I'm having it again for lunch tomorrow!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Sprout Recipe Success

It's been a busy week with kindergarten wrapping up, along with the usual client, home and family stuff. Today was an all day field trip to a Splash Park with the kindergarten class. I had my little son in tow and our friends little girl too. Since I'm in the heart of my sprouting challenge (##bioSnackySpouts), I decided for a packable snack I'd try a mung bean date and cocoa ball idea that came to me during a sleepless night (another topic all together) It worked! 5 year olds were asking for seconds and nobody knew they were eating freshly sprouted mung beans and I felt virtuous watching my kids eat these instead of processed granola bars and other packaged goodies.

Kelly's Mung Bean Sprout, cocoa date balls (I need a better name for these...)
1 cup mung beans
1 cup dates, soaked overnight and drained
1/2 cup oats (could probably handle up to 3/4 cup)
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Blend everything in a food processor. I started with the mung beans, pumpkin seeds and dates, to be sure those would blend up finely enough. Roll into balls and roll in shredded coconut. Enjoy!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Sprouting Challenge

Halfway through the sprouting challenge, and I thought it was time to report on how things are going. The sprouter is three tiered and has little drains on each tier. I'm used to rinsing sprouts twice a day, but with this sprouter, you don't do a thing after pouring the water in the top tray. It flows through the three tiers and then you just remove the bottom tray which collects the water and dump it, or as A.Vogel suggests, water your house plants.

The trays are big and the sprouts had started sprouting by day 2! And as of yesterday (day 4!), we were adding them to salads or just snacking on them for fun. And not just out of impatience! They are big and beautiful, with so much green!

On day 2 I was worried because I noticed fluffy white everywhere- but the instruction book says not to confuse the fibrous roots that may form with mould. There is absolutely no mouldy smell, or wet smell, or any unpleasant smell at all, just a fresh, green smell!

Tomorrow will be my day of sprouts. I have several recipes I plan to try- I'm imagining some sauteed with garlic and greens, some blended into a snack ball, and maybe even some in the oven to get crunchy? We'll see and I'll write more tomorrow!

For this first round of sprouting, I did radish, mung bean and "fitness mix", which contains radish, mung, French turnip seeds and wheat. A.Vogel has many other mixes and sprout seeds to check out. Also, you can follow others participating in the sprouting challenge by going to A.Vogel's  facebook page or following #bioSnackySprouts on twitter.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

The Wine Country Half Marathon!

So I registered for the Wine Country half marathon a few days ago, and training started last Monday! This will be the first time I have a time goal for a half marathon, and it is the first time I plan to have no excuses for how I've performed. I'll explain. I have run 2 full marathons, three half marathons and countless other events, like a trail running festival with a 10k, 5km hill run, and 25 km run over 2 days. Every time there's been something.

My first marathon was my first. I'd been running a year. I should've started with a 10 km event, or even a half marathon, but I jumped right in. There was my excuse.

I ran a half marathon 12 weeks pregnant. There was my excuse.

I ran another half marathon and thought I'd try carb loading with potato chips (just to see if the research was right that this was not a good idea- please don't judge, I wasn't a dietitian yet!) There's the excuse.

My most recent marathon was in the midst of moving. My husband was already in BC. I had to find childcare or push the double stroller for every run. I cut many long runs short for house showings as I tried to pack up and sell our little place in Winnipeg. There was my excuse.

So join me as I try to do this "perfectly". My training plan was designed by Stephanie Swaisland, an amazing personal trainer at Global Fitness- see her profile on the gyms website to understand how amazing she is!  I know training plans sometimes need to be adjusted, and I know some runs I do will be with kids in tow. But I'm really going to give it my all.

My diet will be designed by me, a Registered Dietitian, and better still, I'll follow it! My first long run was today, but at just over an hour it didn't require much in the way of special nutrition. I had a bit of cereal before leaving, and with my mum in town for the night, I recovered with Bliss Bakery and good company afterwards. On the way to drop my mum at the airport, we stopped at BreadCo. for a Hummus Platter to round out the day. But stay tuned, things will get more techinical!

I don't want any excuses this time, I want to say- that was my best, and I'm proud of myself.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Chocolate Covered Katie is on to something!

More on www.chocolatecoveredkatie.com- there's something to be said for dessert for breakfast! A study in the March issue of the journal "Steroids" found that when men and women were given a 600 calorie breakfast containing high protein and carbohydrates along with a dessert (they used cookies, doughnuts or small slices of cake), they were more likely to retain weight loss when compared to a group who had a lower calorie breakfast and no morning dessert. Study participants found they had fewer cravings among other benefits. Katie offers the best of both world, her breakfast "dessert's" are healthy but feel like an indulgence. We tried cherry oatmeal parfaits (although made with strawberry oatmeal),containing silken tofu with chocolate melted in and topped with coconut whipped cream (so easy to make, just use cold cocount cream!). They were pretty to look at and tasted amazing. And gave us a good dose of whole grains, fruit and protein from the tofu. I may try a layer of chocolate chia pudding next time. (like this one here:  http://vegan-magic.blogspot.ca/2013/04/chocolate-chia-seed-pudding.html) It doesn't have to be dessert, it just has to feel like dessert!