I love walking through a fall forest, even when our west coast November rain is pouring down and the trees are shrouded in mist. Actually I sometimes love it even more because the forest leaves are glistening with dewy rain drops and transformed into a mysterious, enchanted forest.
An afternoon spent in this kind of weather, however, calls for a big bowl of warming and soul soothing chicken soup.
I happen to have an easy and tasty recipe for our cold, snowy and, in Vancouver, damp Canadian winter. It’s not fully home-made (packaged chicken broth instead of bone broth) but close enough and is 100 percent comfort food.
Soul Soothing Easy Chicken Soup
- one package organic vegetable or chicken broth
- one chicken breast, sauteed and cubed
- 1/4 head cauliflower
- 1/2 cup cilantro
- 2 red peppers
- handful cherry tomatoes
- 1/4 onion
- 2 carrots, thinly sliced
- cubed tofu, optional (I like this to add extra protein)
Bring to a boil in saucepan, then simmer for about 15 minutes.
In my last post, I promised you a yummy, low sugar, dessert recipe.
Well, this one is more of a breakfast or snack item but it is definitely low sugar, nutrient-packed and very delicious.
A Perfect Parfait
- fresh berries of your choice
- Greek or plain, full fat probiotic yogurt
- Homemade granola (recipe below)
Layer items, or as in pic below, arrange in a bowl and top yogurt with a drizzle of dark chocolate syrup for extra yumminess.
- 2 cups raw, whole rolled oats
- ½ cup raw nuts
- chopped ¼ cup raw seeds (sunflower or pumpkin seeds are great)
- ½ cup unsweetened dried fruit of your choice
- 2-3 tablespoons maple syrup or raw honey (or a combo of both)
- 2 tbsp virgin coconut oil
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 1 large pinch fine sea salt
Recipe: Preheat the oven to 300º F. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
Bake for 10 minutes.
The feeling of freedom I get from doing yoga and meditating in nature keeps me balanced, happy and somewhat sane.
I practice yoga in a studio over the winter but when spring hits and I can do a few Sun Salutions gazing at the Pacific Ocean and the mountain range behind it, well nothing indoors can really compare to that. Going barefoot in the sand and letting my feet, usually imprisoned in some sort of high heel, sink into the cool, grains of dark sand feels better than the most luxurious spa treatment. And if you believe in earthing, it is better than the most luxurious foot treatment.
The beautiful ocean air, the sweet sound of the waves lapping the shore and my own little yoga practice on a deserted beach is my recipe for re-balancing and relaxation.
Then I like to go home, chilled out and stress free, to work on some other recipes.
This week I have a raw energy ball recipe that’s full of nutritious ingredients and easy to pack in your bag when you’re in the run. Clean eating approved and delicious, here it is:
Almond Oatmeal Energy Balls
- One cup oatmeal
- One cup almond butter
- 1 T honey or maple syrup
- 1 T flax seeds
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips
Mix all ingredients together. Form into balls. Refrigerate.
The Grind is taking up a fair amount of my spare time right now so it’s going to be the subject of another blog post. This one to be exact.
The stairmaster-esque climb, the intense sweating, the checking of the heart rate every few minutes and the unbelievably long time it takes to get to the first quarter mark can make this hike feel like a special form of torture. But, that said, it’s the best and quickest way for me to achieve my summer fitness goals. And, for this reason, in spite of all of my complaining, I kinda love it.
However, my fitness level is at a point where I definitely have to sit and take a break part way up. I stare into space for a while, gulp down some water and text a few friends the exact same message “I’m in actual hell right now”. Then I usually hear my stomach grumble angrily. The last time this happened I devoured a sugary granola bar but…no more. I’m eating clean and sugar free now. So for my grumbly, half way up the mountain hunger pains I’ve made a yummy, no-sugar alternative. I tried these snacks for the first time a few days ago and my verdict is YUM.
Disclaimer: this recipe is only delicious after you’ve been sugar free for a while and have reset your taste buds.
Here’s my easy as (sugar free) pie recipe:
2 ripe, mashed bananas
1/2 cup quick cooking oats
1 tbsp natural peanut butter
a dash of cinnamon
Mix all ingredients, drop by spoonfuls on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes.
There you have it. Take these on your next trek into the woods and your body with thank you.