52 weeks of good health....

every week I will share with you a tip to improve your eating habits or lifestyle to help you reach maximum energy levels and increase overall physical and emotional health.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Recipe of the Week

Another Brownie Recipe....I'm sure not too many of you will be complaining about that!! I did a talk this week on going gluten free (see this weeks blog post for more info on that), and these are the gluten free brownies I served up! They. Are. Good.

Chocolate Chip Brownies (taken from http://www.elanaspantry.com/brownies/)


  • 1 (16) ounce jar salted almond butter, smooth roasted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ¼ cups agave nectar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup cocoa powderhttp://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=elanaspantryc-20&l=as2&o=1&a=B001K2HWNU
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup dark chocolatehttp://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=elanaspantryc-20&l=as2&o=1&a=B001K2FUNY


1. In a large bowl, blend almond butter until smooth with a hand blender

2. Blend in eggs, then blend in agave and vanilla

3. Blend in cocoa, salt and baking soda, then fold in chocolate chips

4. Grease a 9x13 pyrex pan

5. Pour batter into dish

6. Bake at 325° for 35-40 minutes

Makes about 24 brownies

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Recipe of the Week

Artisan Bread Recipe
If you like homemade bread, here's a great, quick recipe for one that even easy for a non-baker to make! And the beauty of this recipe is that you can add whatever you like to it...artichoke/goat cheese, garlic...play around and see what you come up with!


3.5 cups Whole Wheat Flour
1 tbsp. Sugar
1 to 2 tsp. Salt
1 Packet Dry Active Yeast
1 cup Mixed Unsalted Seeds (any kind, any combination)(optional)
Additional 1/2 cup Seeds(optional)

How to make it:

1. Sift flour into a large bowl. Mix in salt and sugar with hand. Move the ingredients to the sides of the bowl, creating a large "well" (an empty space) in the middle.
2. Pour the yeast into the "well" and pour 1 cup of
lukewarm water over the yeast. Sprinkle about 1 tbsp. of flour over top. Wait (about 10 minutes) for bubbles to appear in the yeast.
3. Once the bubbles have appeared, you can start to mix together the ingredients (hands work best) to form the dough. The best way to do this, is to gradually incorporate the flour that is "waiting" on the sides of the bowl. Doing it all at once will be too difficult. So, go bit by bit, if it's too liquid, just add a bit more flour at the end. Once flour is incorporated,
add 1 cup of seeds and continue working until they are evenly dispersed. You should finish this "pre-kneading" stage with a round, firm ball of dough. Again, if it's too sticky, add a little more flour.
4. Kneading: remove the bread from the bowl and place on a lightly floured surface. Knead it by pushing your palms into and then turning it one quarter. Keep kneading and doing quarter turns for about 5-10 minutes, or until the bread is supple and non-sticky.
5. Place the bread in a lightly floured bowl and cover with a damp dish cloth. Let it rise for about 1 hour (depends on the room temperature, you want it to be fairly warm). It should double in size.
6. Re-sprinkle a counter top (or other surface) with flour. Prepare a baking pan by lightly oiling and flouring it (or bake on top of parchment paper). With your hands, remove bread and place on floured surface. Punch it down once, hard, with your palms. Now, re-shape it into a ball. Roll the top and sides of ball in rest of seeds (1/2 cup)(optional). Put the ball on the baking pan. Cover with dish towel and let rise for about 1 hour. It should double in size.
7. Put in oven at 375°F and bake for 30 minutes (more or less, depending on how much you like it browned).


Whole Grain Goodness

Recently someone asked me my opinion on the Atkins diet...my response was that I am against any diet that makes you restrict yourself from an entire food group. In case anyone else was wondering about the same, I thought I'd go into greater detail, why I think that grains hold an important place in out diets.

It's important to mention, that when I say whole grains, I mean the grain in it's whole form...products that state wheat in the ingredients, contain wheat that has had 40% of the original wheat grain removed, leaving 60%. This may not seem too bad, but the 40% that has been removed is the part that includes the bran and the germ - the most nutrient rich parts! Grains that are left whole are a great source of fibre, magnesium and manganese just to name a few.

The high fibre content in whole wheat (or any other whole grain - spelt, kamut, brown rice, etc...) helps keep you regular, which promotes gastrointestinal health. Fibre rich foods also help you feel full faster, longer and slows down digestion...so, they can actually help with weight loss!

So, as you can see, whole grains definitely have a place in our diets, as long as you're choosing whole grains. As for the Atkins diet; if you are removing carbs and starchy vegetables from your diet and following a high protein and fat diet, where are you getting your fibre from? I think that following a low carb diet may work for some people, but to avoid all carbs and starches just isn't healthy.

Like I tell my clients, first focus on becoming healthy; educate yourself on healthy eating; keeping an active lifestyle; and making time for reflection and relaxation; and the weight loss will follow...the slower the weight loss, the better chance you'll have of keeping it off!

In good health,

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Recipe of the Week

This weeks recipe is a simple one, but tastey...

Kale Chips

  • 1 bunch of kale
  • 1/2 a lemon1 tsp olive oil
  • pinch of sea salt
  • pinch of pepper
  1. heat oven to 350degrees.
  2. stem, wash, dry and cut kale into bite size pieces.
  3. put kale in a medium size bowl, add olive oil.
  4. Massage oil into leaves (using hands), then add salt and pepper.
  5. place on parchment paper on cookie sheet, squeeze lemon over top and bake for 12 min.
These are best eaten right out of the oven!


Get your Greens!

This week I have had a request to write about smoothies...green smoothies, in fact. This couldn't have come at a better time, since I have been experiencing a little creative block this week!

Smoothies are a great way to get in extra nutrients during the day, they are an especially great way to start the day off. And there are all kinds of "green" things that you can add...spinach, lettuce (any variety), kale, chard, avocados...dark leafy greens are nutrient dense, full of essential vitamins and minerals and they give a great, fresh taste when added to a smoothie. Avocados are a great substitute for bananas in smoothies; they help with the texture and are a great source of healthy fats.

The greens I want to review today, though, are greens that can be picked right from your herb garden, as well as some wild greens.

Herbs and their benefits:

Cilantro: controls blood sugar, lowers cholesterol and helps detox heavy metals from your system.
Parsley: contains healthy antioxidants, like flavanoids, to help with detox.
Sage: has anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal effects.
Basil: has anti-inflammatory effects.
Dill: is anti-bacterial.
Mint: aids in digestion, relieves indigestion and acts as a blood cleanser.
Oregano: has anti-bacterial properties.

Wild greens and their benefits:

Dandelion: supports digestion and acts as a diuretic, supporting kidney and liver function.
Wheatgrass: cleanses the body, and eliminates bad breathe and odors.
Nettles: treats allergy symptoms and reduces inflammation.
Chamomile: used as a sleep aid; and treats fevers, colds and stomach ailments.

There are obviously many, many more...but, this is enough to get you started on adding greens to your drinks. Be adventurous, play around with different recipes using these tips:

  • use 60% fruit to 40% greens
  • use at least 2 different varieties of fruit and up to 2 types of greens
  • rotate your ingredients and blend different fruits and greens everyday

In good health,

Friday, April 9, 2010

Get some Professional Help!

How many of you have been eating well & exercising, then bam...you hit a weight plateau, or keep getting sick? Sometimes the best thing to do in this situation is hire someone to help you or motivate you. Whether it's a personal trainer, a life coach, a nutritionist, or a yoga instructor; sometimes you just need a push in the right direction to keep moving forward.

So, if you're thinking of hiring a nutritionist, but aren't sure what one could do for you, or what the difference is between a dietitian and nutritionist, here are some things to consider.....

  • base their food recommendations on the Canadian Food Guide
  • often work with Doctors to provide dietary guidelines to treat the symptoms of an illness
  • will recommend artificial sweeteners over natural ones, margarine over butter...
  • take a holistic approach and treat the whole body (mind, body, spirit)
  • work to get to the root of the illness or imbalance and help the body to heal itself
  • treat each person individually, and make recommendations specific to each persons own unique needs
By working with a nutritional counsellor you can achieve higher energy levels, increase your chance of reaching your health goals, find ways to prepare healthy and tasty foods and learn about your own unique biochemical needs.

So, the next time you're losing faith in yourself; call up a professional to get you moving back in the right direction!

In good health,

Recipe of the Week

I have lots of moms asking me how to get their kids to eat more veggies...one way to do it, is to add it to meals where they wouldn't expect it. This is a great dish for that....and it's packed with vitamins!

Squashed Macaroni

2 cups cooked winter squash (butternut, pumpkin, etc.)

1 1/2 cups milk (dairy or non-dairy)

1 tablespoon miso

2 tablespoons tahini

1-2 tablespoon nutritional yeast flakes

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Black pepper to taste

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 cup spinach

1/4 cup minced fresh parsley

1 pound whole grain elbow macaroni, cooked

1/2 cup walnuts, minced

Puree squash, milk, miso, tahini, nutritional yeast, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and parsley in blender or food processor until smooth. Pour sauce into medium-size pan, and warm over low heat while pasta cooks.

Toss hot sauce gently with hot pasta until evenly mixed. Pour into a serving bowl. Sprinkle minced walnuts evenly over the top.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings



Friday, April 2, 2010

Happy Easter!

I won't be posting a recipe or article this week...my husbands off work for the weekend (a rarity!) and I am looking forward to some family time...

I hope you all enjoy your holiday weekend, with the ones you love!

In good health,