Beach Yoga & Energy Balls

 

The feeling of freedom I get from doing yoga and meditating in nature keeps me balanced, happy and sometimes 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 poor little 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 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
  • 2 T honey or maple syrup
  • 1 T flax seeds
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Mix all ingredients together. Form into balls. Refrigerate.

 

 

Nice Cream

I’m loving the raw food recipes I’ve been sampling as I continue with my nutrition course.

You can’t be perfect though, and sometimes I just want to leave the uber-healthy green smoothies behind and indulge in a messy, gooey, rich and delicious dessert. But a dessert that won’t make me feel unhealthy and bloated and give me a sugar rush. Well, The raw food recipes I’ve been experimenting with have got that covered too.

Let me introduce you to Nice Cream.

Nice Cream

  • 3 frozen bananas cubed
  • Splash of maple syrup
  • One T coconut cream
  • Two T raw cacao for chocolate (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries etc. for other flavours)

Blend all ingredients together and indulge in this rich, delicious ice cream-like dessert that is actually good for you!

MSG Free

I’ve been learning a lot about MSG lately and none of it is good. Did you know that MSG is an excito-toxin that does a bunch of terrible things to our bodies? First, it contributes to ADD, mood disorders and the “dumbing down” of our society by causing neurons in our brain to fire too quickly. It also exacerbates Alzheimer’s disease when eaten in excess (and, since it’s in everything, it’s very easy to unknowingly eat in excess). And, as an explanation of why North Americans are getting bigger and bigger as time goes on, it suppresses the mechanism in our brain that tells us when we’ve had enough food. Oh, and to top it all off, this cheap little flavour enhancer is addictive too. Clearly big food corporations aren’t interested in our health and well-being – only their profits – by adding MSG to literally every processed item in our food supply.

So, after reading all of this, I’ve decided to eliminate MSG from my diet and I’m discovering that it’s literally everywhere, hidden behind some very sneaky labeling in a lot of cases. It was even in my toothpaste, vitamins, vegan protein powder and “healthy” granola. Basically, if a food is processed and packaged, it’s got MSG in it. So I’ve realized that the only way to avoid this nasty little toxin is to make my own food for every meal.

I’ve been doing just that and it’s been a wonderful experience the past few days. Time consuming for sure, but the food I end up with is wholesome, yummy and, most importantly, real. It tastes like the food I ate as a child when we picked our own veggies out of the garden, added butter and salt and chowed down. No health-robbing chemicals needed.

I’m looking forward to sharing all of my healthiest and prettiest raw, MSG free recipes here as well as any changes I notice as I go along.

There’s nothing more important than nourishing our bodies with delicious, healthy food made with love. I’m excited to be on this journey and to share it with you.

Happy Valentines Day ❤

5 Reasons to Love Fruit 

Did you know that fruit is the biggest player in a healthy, kick ass, anti-aging diet? And if you want to be your healthiest, happiest self you should be eating a few serving of this sweet, juicy goodness every single day.

raspberries Here are 5 reasons why it’s so amazing:

  1. Naturally low in fat Eating fruit can help keep you slender and keep your heart healthy too.
  1. Contain lots of water. Certain fruits like watermelon contain over 90% water. Even solid looking vegetables like carrots are made up of approximately 80% water. There isn’t a more hydrating food in the world and being hydrated means better body function and younger looking skin.
  1. Low in calories. Did you know that a 100g chocolate bar contains approximately 9 (yes – 9!) times more calories than a medium sized 100g apple. You could never become overweight from eating fruit.
  1. Contains soluble fibre. This fibre forms a jelly-like substance in your stomach and helps to make you feel full. It also lets food stay longer in the stomach, which has the effect of keeping your blood glucose nice and stable over time. When blood glucose fluctuates, it causes the ‘I need something to eat NOW’ state, which causes the not-so-good food choices we can make. Fibre also helps maintain a healthy gut and prevents constipation and other digestive problems.
  1. Vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. Populations who have diets rich in fruits and vegetables have lower levels of certain cancers, heart disease and stroke. Our immune system benefits as well from a diet rich in fruits and vegetables.

There you have it; five excellent reasons to fill up the fruit bowl.

 

Delicious Chocolates and a New Path

Do you ever get the feeling that you’re not living the life you’re supposed to be living? And, when you get this feeling, is it so uncomfortable that you try to push it down and ignore it until it goes away? That’s what I do but, this time, it didn’t go away.

A bunch of bad things have happened to me recently. It started with my dog getting really, really sick (see here), then I had some dental work that went sideways and kept me in chronic pain for about a month until it was resolved. Then water started dripping out of my bedroom ceiling at an alarming rate on Jan. 30th (my upsatirs neighbor’s washer in her closet had sprung a leak), necessitating a couple of big, ugly, noisy blowers in my bedroom, my track lighting being trashed and my ceiling dotted with drilled holes and water stains. Oh, and then I broke up with my boyfriend the next day. You’d think that would be enough, right? But, no, about a week later a bunch of binders fell off a top shelf at work and the sharp edges hit me in the face, causing angry, red, stripy cuts across my nose. And that’s when I hit rock bottom emotionally. I was sad, angry, resentful, in grief over my relationship, in fear over my dog’s health and underneath it all was that niggling feeling that I wasn’t living the life I was suppose to be living.

chocolateAt the same time I cut my nose, I was hit with the flu so had to take a couple of days off of work. I was in healing/hideout mode so all I wanted to do was put on oversize sunglasses and walk along a secluded beach with my dog and think about all of these unpleasant things that have been happening and also think about that little voice telling me to change the path of my life. As, I thought about the future, the expression “It hit me in the face” kept going through my mind. Then I thought how maybe that feeling of the past few months, that I haven’t been living my best life, finally hit me in the face, both literally and metaphorically. This led me to think about my passions – psychology and nutrition. The ones I’ve been pretty much either ignoring or downplaying. Now, I love psych but I also know that I don’t have what it takes to be a full-time counsellor. I love nutrition just as much, especially raw food nutrition and I’m always making raw goodies and coming up with eating plans for people who want to lose weight or get healthier. The brambles cleared (both metaphorically and physically) and I started to see a path.

Not one to waste time when something feels right, I quickly walked home, found a local raw food nutrition institute and signed myself up. So I am now on my way to becoming a Raw Food Educator and then continuing with more nutrition and wellness courses.

To get myself in the swing of things, I made these little goodies last night. The healthiest, and maybe most delicious, chocolate you’ll ever taste.

Raw Dark Chocolates

  • 1 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup organic raw cacao
  • 4 T pure maple syrup

raw-chocolatePlace all ingredients in saucepan over low heat. Stir together until melted, place in empty ice cube trays. Freeze.

These are total people pleasers. They’re a hit with healthy folks and junk food junkies too.

 

 

Raw-berry Smoothie Bowl

And, continuing the raw, fruity theme, here is a pretty, pink smoothie bowl.

I love this recipe because it looks as good as it tastes. It’s also full of good-for-you ingredients. Enjoy.

raw smoothie bowl

Ingredients

  • 2 frozen bananas
  • ½ cup frozen berries or cherries
  • 1 tablespoon hemp seeds
  • ½ cup almond milk
  • fresh raspberries
  • fresh blackberries
  • 1 teaspoon chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon coconut flakes

 

Instructions

  1. Add frozen banana, cherries, hemp seeds, chia, raspberries and almond milk to a blender. Blend until smooth and pour into a bowl.
  2. Top smoothie with blackberries and coconut flakes.

It’s that easy.

3 Steps to De-Sugar your Life

Have you been thinking about reducing sugar in your diet? Read on to find out what you need to know to help you get this health buster out of your kitchen and your beautiful body.

1. Find hidden sugar.  Did you know that the average North American eats 31 teaspoons per day of added sugar. That’s almost 500 calories! How does this happen? Well, lots of packaged foods contain sugar, but it’s hidden under different names. Here are some to look out for: barley malt, corn syrup, dextrose, fruit juice concentrate, maltose, maple syrup, molasses, and turbinado. Read the fine print on labels and don’t be fooled by food manufacturers. Sometimes I think their biggest goal is to get us all hooked on sugar, salt and msg. The more hooked we are and the fatter we get and the more money they make.

2. Avoid high fructose corn syrup. This sweetener is made by changing the sugar in cornstarch to fructose and it’s more inflammatory than other types of sweeteners. Because HFCS extends the shelf life of foods and is sweeter and cheaper than other sugars, it’s an ingredient in soda, fruit drinks, packaged bread, crackers, and tons of other snacks. Look for it on labels and avoid it like the plague.

3. Take B vitamins.
B vitamins help lessen withdrawals symptoms for people coming off of addictions. And, since sugar is addictive, the b’s will help you through your withdrawal symptoms.

And, when you do get a craving for something sweet that just won’t go away, try munching on a big bowl of fruit instead of something sugary and fatty that might mess up your health and fitness goals..

Naturally Sweet Fruit Salad

·         Blackberries

·         Raspberries

·         Peaches

·         Strawberries

Add any other fruit you might like. Fruit is fresh, natural, good for you and will kill a sugar craving in an instant.

And, if that doesn’t do the trick, check out my next blog post featuring a delicious, sugar free peach parfait.