Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Cooking Creative

Ahhh yes my daily struggle... trying not to get bored with meals when I have so few foods to choose from. I've been on an elimination diet for a while, meaning (for me personally) no eggs, beef, pork, legumes, raw vegetables (unless juiced), oranges, gluten, spices (!), nuts, seeds etc. I'm on this diet for the time being to help my digestive issues heal.
So, since I'm always in a rush to make my meals (student life!) I usually stick to thin chicken breast fillets or fish plus vegetables, possibly with a side of rice or rice noodles. Requires minimal preparation and is super quick. But, as you can imagine, I get extremely bored with this meal combo. Today's supper was a little more unique, so I'll share it with you. Best of all, it's done in 20 minutes.

Cashews and Veggies with Quinoa:

1. Cook the quinoa! (Rinse the quinoa first) I used 1 cup quinoa and 2 cups water. You can also use stock for more flavor. Takes about 15 minutes.
2. After getting the quinoa going, steam the vegetables. I used from frozen carrots, broccoli and cauliflower, so there was no chopping preparation to do. Because I can't have raw nuts, I also steamed the cashews with the vegetables. I also threw in some frozen chopped parsley, just because.
3. Wait for the timer to go off! Everything was done at the same time, which makes me incredibly happy. Eat up :)
Bonus: sprinkle some nutritional yeast on top for a mild cheesy flavor and a boost of vitamins!!

Protein from cashews and quinoa
Fats from cashews
Carbs from veggies and quinoa

Having the occassional vegetarian (or vegan) meal is extremely healthy & is a nice change of pace. I hope this "recipe" inspires you to think vegetarian today and realize it really is just that easy!

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Food for kids

I was reading this blog post from "I Quit Sugar" and I absolutely 100% agree with how this father packs his son's school lunches.

My favorite quote from the post:
"Don’t tailor lunchboxes to a “kids palate.” I pack Tashi’s lunchbox as If I’m packing my own lunchbox. In my experience kids will always go for the sweet or sugary option, so if you include those foods then you will begin to change their palate and preferences. It’s a hard road back from there."

It's normal for preschoolers and young children to have inconsistent likes & dislikes of foods. In addition, they may not be prepared to try new foods until they have seen it 20-30 times. Present new foods with foods they like and don't give up!

I get a great sense of what kids get for school snacks because I teach at a German School every Saturday morning. I see a small portion of children that consistently have non-processed, whole foods for snacks. The great majority of students bring candies, chocolates, fruit-gummies, granola bars etc. for snack. These are loaded in sugars and nutrient poor... Diets high in processed foods and low in nutritious wholesome foods in children can negatively impact them in the future (related to chronic diseases).

Today, for St. Patrick's day at German School I served my students a fresh fruit salad (topped with some whipping cream). It fit into the theme because it was rainbow-colored and I was happy to be giving them a healthy snack instead of cupcakes, cookies or candies. :)

I Quit Sugar Blog Post: See more at: https://iquitsugar.com/scott-gooding-healthy-eating-for-kids/utm_source=iqs%20edm%2013%2F03%2F15&utm_medium=email&utm_content=link&utm_campaign=scott%20gooding%20healthy%20kids&inf_contact_key=56aab3b62d127c48b8a6d63d300692bd7c5804c4a12beb4b6c1123156626376f#sthash.v7EnGYQR.dpuf

Image from: http://pixabay.com/

Saturday, 7 March 2015

Sugar Sweetened Beverages

Homemade smoothies are
delicious and nutritious!
Drinking for Beauty...
Glow from the inside out by avoiding sugary drinks

Sugary drinks are drinks with lots of added sugar. The sugar is not added by you, it is part of the drink you buy. This makes it tricky to know just how much sugar you are drinking.
Sugary drinks like pop are high in energy but low in nutrients:
Extra energy from sugars = body stores as fat
No nutrients = poor growth
Sugar in drinks also gives you cavities. This means longer dentist visits... Sugar may also slow down your learning and memory.

Pop vs. Milk or Water:

Coca-Cola Nutrition label
Avoid any added sugars!! 
Healthy Drinks:

  • water
  • water infused with fruits etc. (eg. lemon water)
  • milk (raw is best in my opinion...)
  • homemade smoothies!
  • teas
  • fermented drinks like kombucha
In moderation: 100% juices, bought flavored waters or milks
Best to avoid: Pops, fruit punch, powdered drink mixes, cocktails

Craving fizzy drinks? Try 100% fruit juice with seltzer.
Looking for something warm? Heat up a mug of milk, then melt a teaspoon of honey in it. Delicious!
Water too boring? Add sliced strawberries to your water. Shake. Enjoy the flavoured water!

Bea, J.W., Jacobs, L., Waits, J., Hartz, V., Martinex, S.H., Standfast, R.D., Farrell, V.A., Bawden, M., Whitmer, E., Misner, S. (2015). Need for Specific Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Lessons for Fouth- and Fifth-Graders. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 47, 36-43. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jneb.

Briefel, R.R., Wilson, A., Cabili, C., Dodd, A.H. (2012). Reducing Calories and Added Sugars by Improving Children’s Beverage Choices. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 269-275. doi:10.1016/j.jand.2012.10.016

Kendig, M.D. (2014). Cognitive and behavioural effects of sugar consumption in rodents. A review. Appetite, 80, 41-54. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2014.04.028

Steyn, N.P., Temple, N.J. (2014). Dietary Sugar: Public Health Perspective. Encyclopedia of Toxicology, 2, 125-127. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-386454-3.01243-4

Wyckoff, E. (2014). Super-Simple, Kid-Friendly Smoothies. Rachel Ray. Retrieved from http://www.rachaelray.com/2014/05/super-simple-kid-friendly-smoothies

Zheng, M., Rangan, A., Olsen, N.J., Andersen, L.B., Wedderkopp, N., Kristensen, P., Grontved, A., Ried-Larsen, M., Lempert, S.M., Allman-Farinelli, M., Heitmann, B.L. (2014). Substituting sugar-sweetened beverages with water or milk is inversely associated with body fatness development from childhood to adolescence. Nutrition, 31, 38-44. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nut.2014.04.017

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

30 day Yoga Challenge - Day 3

So, I am 3 days into a 30 day yoga challenge offered by That Yoga Place. Unfortunately I started off the challenge sick with a cold, but the warm yoga classes have worked out well for me. In fact, I'd say that they have helped me get over my cold - the deep breathing along with gentle exercise seems to be exactly what my body needed. 

Today was the first day back at a hot flow yoga class! (I've actually only gone to warm yoga classes three times...) Today's class was great, and despite my congestion I was able to breathe deeply through my nose during the class. Success.
Also, I was finally able to hold the position shown in the picture for a while today! It's incredibly hard to do when you're dripping with sweat...

So far 3 for 3 in this yoga challenge. I'm not planning on missing any days. :)


Image source (for noncommercial reuse): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Somatics