Category Archives: HEALTH & NUTRITION

Pre-Christmas Peace

Holiday Drinks

Okay, is this not an oxymoron in a parent’s world?!  But there are a few SIMPLE things we CAN do to bring more peace to our families and to our kids with healthy drink recipes this time of year.  Reminding ourselves of what REALLY matters is a great way to keep the holidays in check.  I have a saying that I use for this time of year:  Less presents, more presence! 

Spending precious moments with people we care most about and energy on things that really matters most! As we know, peace comes mostly from within us.  If we, including our kids, can add fuel to our bodies that will assist in keeping us in a state of peace, this is certainly something that we can do to help bring Christmas peace!  Sugar imbalance tends to rise at this time of year.  The abundance of candy, chocolate and baked goods seems endless.  One way we can cut back is to have fruit and veggie sticks readily available in a bowl on the counter or in the fridge at all times.  With the cold weather, it easily becomes a habit to have a hot chocolate or other high sugar drink post game or after an outdoor event.  How about a new hot drink tradition: HOT-SPICED APPLE CIDER?  And no, I don’t mean the packets of artificial powder, but cider that’s only made from real apples. This will not only create more peace in our bodies from the greater nutrition and less sugar, but apples are also beneficial for the lungs ( important with all of the coughs at this time of year) and the spices are warming – to the body and the soul!  This can easily be prepared ahead of time and kept warm in a thermos for the drive home from an outdoor game. 

Another option is WARM-SPICED MILK , easy to prepare and delicious to drink. 

I have added a smoothie recipe that we find especially great for the winter and is great for those few that are not much into hot beverages.  The minerals from the molasses, as well as the spices added, are warming compared to the often cooling properties that a berry smoothie might have on the body. Both of these drinks contain molasses, which due to it’s high mineral content has many benefits including stabilizing mood, assisting in muscle contraction, improving concentration… all things we can certainly use at this time of year!

So, happy holidays, and let me know what you think…

Spiced Milk

1 cup organic milk, warmed to just before boiling,
Then stir in:
1 teaspoon organic, unrefined molasses
optional:  Add a dash of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cardamom etc.

Yields 1 serving

Banana Spice Smoothie

2 large or 3 small soft bananas
2 teaspoons cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon organic, unrefined molasses
1 cup yogurt

Blend everything in the blender. You may need to add water, organic milk or juice to reach desired consistency

Yields 1 – 2 servings.

Apple Cider

6 cups pure, unsweetened apple cider
3 cinnamon sticks (preferred, but 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon will do)
5 – 10 whole cloves (or 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves)
1 thin slice ginger root (or 1 dash ground ginger)

Bring everything to a boil, then let simmer on low for 20 – 40 minutes.  This can be prepared ahead of time and left on the stove (with it turned off) while you are at your outdoor activity.  When you come home, simply heat up to desired temperature. You may also store this in the fridge after simmering, and it will keep there for a week for reheating at any time.  Remove whole spices and enjoy!
Yields 4 – 5 servings

Janelle Beedie

Mom and RHN Registered Holistic Nutritionist

janellebeedie@shaw.ca

Mmmm – Improve your day with a Great Granola Recipe

We have been told many times that one of the most important meals of the day is Breakfast, yet we often choose to skip it or grab the first thing in our way to work. Think about it, your body has been without food for at least 8 hours, sometimes 12, and needs energy to go through the day. This applies especially for children and their school performance.

Cereal tends to be the first option and let’s face it, we are fueling our body mainly with sugar… A recent report by the Environmental Working Group reviewed 84 popular brands, finding comparisons of the sugar content with some popular cookies and snack cakes.

At nearly 56 percent sugar by weight, three cereals (Kellogg’s Honey Smacks, Post Golden Crisp, and General Mills Wheaties Fuel) weigh in with 20 grams of sugar in a one cup serving. (Equivalent to FIVE teaspoons of sugar) — roughly the same as one Twinkie snack cake.  Here are the worst 10 children’s cereals as written up at http://today.msnbc.msn.com

Based on percent sugar by weight:

1. Kellogg’s Honey Smacks 2. Post Golden Crisp 3. Kellogg’s Froot Loops Marshmallows 4. Quaker Oats Cap’n Crunch’s OOPS! All Berries 5. Quaker Oats Cap’n Crunch Original 6. Quaker Oats Oh!s 7. Kellogg’s Smorz 8. Kellogg’s Apple Jacks 9. Quaker Oats Cap’n Crunch’s Crunch Berries10. Kellogg’s Froot Loops Original

Source: Environmental Working Group

A single one-cup bowl of an additional 44 cereals, including the popular Honey Nut Cheerios, Apple Jacks and Cap’n Crunch, are equivalent to eating three Chips Ahoy cookies (about three teaspoons of sugar).

This means we will have a lot of energy for a little while and then will have a big LOW. As shown in these previous findings, most commercial cereals are packed with sugar. Why? Because kids and adults loooove and CRAVE sugar.

Well, our love and responsibility towards our kids should reflect in the food we have available for them. With that thought in mind, here is a quick, healthy, Granola Recipe (Well, not really mine… passed along from hand to hand and modified over time). My kids LOVE to have it for breakfast and it is a handy snack for them to have when they come back from school:

Healthy Granola Recipe

Ingredients

  • 6 cups of Old Fashioned Oats
  • 2 cup of coarsely chopped Pecans (substitute for any other nuts -Walnuts, Almonds etc-)
  • 1 cup of unsweetened shredded Coconut
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of ground Cinnamon
  • 1  teaspoon of Ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt (Kosher or Sea salt is better. Some table salts have sugar in them)
  • 1/3 cup of honey
  • 2 tablespoons of Sunflower oil (Coconut oil will work as well)
  • 2 cups of assorted Dried Fruit ( Cranberries and Dates are some of my favorites)

Preparation

  1. Preheat Oven to 300 F ( Nuts shouldn’t be roasted at high temperatures). Have 2 cookie sheets ready. Mix first 6 ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Stir honey and oil in a saucepan over medium-low heat until smooth.
  3. Pour honey mixture over oat mixture and toss well. 
  4. Spread over the two baking sheets.
  5. Bake until golden, stirring every 10 to 15 minutes for about 40 minutes.
  6. Let Granola cool down and mix in fruit.

Store air tight ( It lasts about a week) and ENJOY!

Yield : About 10-12 cups

Some recipes call for 3 tablespoons of brown sugar. I find it sweet enough as it is, specially when the dried fruit I’ve added are dates. They are really sweet! However, some people prefers it with a bit of brown sugar, so it’s your choice.

Mix of Oil and honey ready to be poured over the Oat mixture Granola Mix ready to go in the oven on baking sheets
Mix of Oil & Honey ready to be poured in the Oat mixture Granola on Baking Sheets ready to go in the oven

 

Granola ready to eat with mix dried fruits in it
Granola ready to eat. Dried fruits in it.

 

Yum, yum… Quick nutritious snacks for school

Now that school is back, let’s get the kids into the routine of eating healthy snacks. Yes, it does take a bit more time than just buying a pre-made lunch box in the supermarket, but believe me, it is worth it! Making sure the kids fuel their bodies with the best fuel you can give them, is setting them up for success!

Nuts About Veggies Dip

1 ¾ cups nuts (total) – use a combination of whatever you like eg. almonds, walnuts, pine nuts…

½ cup chopped red or orange bell pepper (I doubt they’ll even know it’s in there!)

Juice from 1 lemon

1 clove garlic, crushed

½ teaspoon sea salt

½ teaspoon thyme

Fresh ground pepper to taste

About 3 tablespoons water

½ cup fresh basil

Combine all in food processor and puree until fairly smooth. Add more water if too thick. Use as a dip with veggies, or spread on bread as part of a sandwich

Cinnamon Fruit Dip

¼ cup nut butter – preferably almond or cashew but any will do.

¾ cup plain unsweetened yogurt

2 tablespoons apple butter

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Mix all until well combined. Enjoy as a dip with apple slices or any other fruit, or mix with a bowl of fruit to make a fruit salad.

 

 

 

Janelle Beedie

Mom and RHN Registered Holistic Nutritionist

janellebeedie@shaw.ca

Great Grab and Go Snacks for Happy, Healthy Campers!

Kid eating a stick full of vegiies and fruitsWe wouldn’t expect our cars to run without fuel or on inadequate fuel, yet how much more important is it for our children to have optimal nutrition as their bodies are developing and are in such an active physical and mental state!  I believe society today is returning to recognize the links between proper nutrition and mood, energy and illness.  So many diseases are on the rise, and yet what has changes in society?  One of the major changes is foods – especially those we feed our children.  I bet our ancestors wouldn’t believe what’s in the highly processed, packaged, store bought foods of today!

One of the easiest ways to keep good nutrition in mind is to think about foods in their whole, most natural state.  As much as it seems easy to grab prepackaged foods, it is so important to keep in mind that we are creating a base that will be the foundation of a life time for our children!  Nature itself has “packaged” many foods for us – like fruit.  And when you combine them with a few nuts or seeds, they become an energy boost that will sustain us for much longer than the high sugar, processed, packaged foods.  The high sugar foods will create initial energy but can leave kids feeling energy depleted, craving more sugary foods and/or irritated after a few hours.

A great way to incorporate whole foods  (while saving money) is by making simple energy bars (see recipes below).  Although this takes a little time, having the kids help is a great way to spend a little time with them. There are also many no bake recipes that they could prepare on their own which gives them a sense of pride – and of course somehow it always tastes better when they’ve prepared it themselves!  It’s also a great way to instill into them that proper fueling is essential and certainly worth taking the time for. 

Here are some great, sustainable snack recipes that my kids and their friends have enjoyed:

Berry Energy Bars

 1 1/4 cup dates

1/4 cup almonds

1/4 cup blueberries

1/4 cup cocoa or carob powder

1/4 cup hemp seeds

1/4 cup flaxseeds (  fresh ground if you can)

1/4 cup sesame seeds

juice from half a lemon

1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup frozen blueberries

 Mix all except 1/2 cup frozen blueberries, in mixer or food processor to desired consistency.  Fold in frozen blueberries.  Form into balls and roll in hemp seeds or sesame seeds.   Or, to make bars, press down in wax or wrap lined pan.  Refrigerate or freeze for a firmer bar.  Feel free to substitute other seeds, nuts or fruit.   

 

Berry Fruity Smoothy

I make the first 3 ingredients listed “requirements”, then let my kids choose the rest.

2 teaspoons Chlorella or other Greens powder

1 cup plain yogurt

1 Tablespoon Hemp or other Protein Powder

2 – 3 cups fresh (or frozen) fruit –eg. blueberries, strawberries, kiwi, raspberries, pear…

1-2 soft bananas

1  – 2 cups juice (to desired consistency)

1 teaspoon vanilla or cinnamon (optional)

Blend all and enjoy.  Yields 2 servings

This is all might take some time of adjustment for kids if they are use to high sugar snacks.  But remember, it’s much easier to make changes when we are young.  Also, just as we as parents need to set boundaries on things that we feel might be dangerous to them, boundaries also can be set around foods when you believe in proper nutrition that will help to keep their bodies strong to ward off diseases and all the many illness of today. It is extremely important to talk with our kids about the importance of proper nutrition.  Really, with a very small investment of time, the benefits of this will be a lifetime of better health and wellness – what better gift could we give our children?!

Stay tuned for more recipes!

 

Janelle Beedie 

Mom and RHN Registered Holistic Nutritionist

janellebeedie@shaw.ca