Food Friday – PB&J treats

So I know last week I said I wouldn’t have much time to post recipes but after making these delicious treats there was definitely no way I couldn’t share them with you.

With Easter happening and aisles and aisles of chocolate eggs, jelly beans and other tasty sweet treats my Digestive Clean Up challenge was well challenging. So I did some looking around and eventually concocted a treat that would satisfy my sweet tooth and not derail all of my effort over the past month.

So here they are some tasty clean eats in the form of PB&J cacao cups.

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Makes approximately 10 minis or 5 large.

1/3 cup organic coconut oil
1/2 cup organic caco powder
Splash (about 2 tbsp) maple syrup*
Jam – see my blog post on how to make this stuff.
Organic peanut butter or nut butter of choice

1. In a sauce pan melt coconut oil and stir in cacao and maple syrup. Melt slowly, there is no need to boil.

2. Line a muffin tin with paper or tin cupcake liners. If you have a silicon tray that will work great too and no liners will be required.

3. Take 1-2tsp of the coconut/cacao mixture and poor into muffin tin. Depending on the size of muffin tin you have selected you may need more or less. You just need to coat the bottle of each muffin liner with the mixture. Place in freezer for 15 minutes.

4. Once “chocolate” bottom is set add a dollop of PB and jam and cover with the remaining “chocolate”. Place in freezer for at least 2 hours.

5. Serve and enjoy.

*maple syrup…I did put this in my recipe but upon reflection I wouldn’t do it again. The coconut oil has its own sweetness and it would have definitely been more than enough on its own. Also if you like dark chocolate you will be a happy camper.

Note: the jam doesn’t have a load of sugar in it so it will freeze completely. I loved this however my husband wasn’t such a big fan. If you aren’t a fan of biting into something frozen place your treat in the freezer for 20 minutes before chowing down.

Also the chocolate is made of coconut oil so it will melt quickly so don’t leave it out on the counter for too long.

Well I hope you like these tasty little treats. And remember although they aren’t filled with processed sugars, preservatives and chemicals they are still treats so do your best to resist eating them all in one sitting. I found keeping them freezer where I wasn’t likely to look often helped with this.

Happy Easter and have a great weekend everyone.

Updates and things

So it has become official I am becoming terrible at remembering my weekend round ups. I am going to go ahead and pass the blame for this on over to school. I swear I try just with an exam or test literally every other day my mind has been going there as opposed to doing a weekend round up.

I know it isn’t really the best excuse but it is all I got. This will be my last weekend round up and then I am going to be mixing up the format a little bit so that I am less likely to forget or skip a Monday post. I am actually pretty excited for the new Monday format and I hope that you all enjoy the little refresher.

Anyways, my weekend round up. Well this weekend was another busy one but not quite as nutty as the week before.

We had some beautiful weather so I was in the garden and doing some spring cleaning outside before some beautiful April showers took over for the rest of the weekend. I love cleaning out my garden after a winter of that awful white stuff. I make me so excited to see the blooms and smell the lavender.

I also did my regular yoga teaching, yoga going, and went on my first outdoor run of the season.  I am still starting off pretty slow for the running because my back isn’t quite at 100% still so I just went on a calm 2km loop with my husband to test things out.  Besides some slight stiffness I would say that I am definitely getting there and will hopefully be back up to my regular 10km runs in no time.

20140415-091529.jpgAfter my Saturday afternoon running around, I spent most of my Sunday snuggled up on my couch reading and studying for my Monday morning final exam.  But in all the studying and reading I found the time to take a little break in the morning to make these delicious treats….PB&J Cups (recipe will follow later this week).

20140415-091543.jpgThen Sunday evening my husband and I sat down to a tasty healthy filled dinner of roast beef, homemade potato crisps and a salad with my new favorite homemade tahini dressing.  It is my new favorite because I don’t really eat creamy style dressing but this one is vegan so no belly ache from dairy for this girl.

20140415-091559.jpgThen I ended the weekend with some kitten cuddles. My little orange guy (Morris) has some hot spots and has been going to town on them so he is on another dose of medicine from the vet.  We are hoping this will get him all cleared up.

20140415-091609.jpgAll in all the weekend was pretty great. Felt so very short but it was great.   Hope you all had a great weekend and a great Monday.

Keep your eyes peeled next week for our new Monday installments.

Friday Fooducation – Let’s Become Friends with Fat

Just browsing the title of this post you might be thinking I have full on lost my mind. Perhaps you are thinking “isn’t she on a healthy life journey?” or maybe your thought process is more along the lines of “isn’t fat the devil?” and well my answers to these questions are yes and no. Yes, I am on a journey to make myself the healthiest happiest version of myself and no, fat is not the devil, it is actually an amazing thing and a main component of most of our body.

Seeing how I am doing all this book learning these days I haven’t had a ton of time to quarantine myself in the kitchen in the name of creating a healthy and more importantly tasty dish to share.  Then on days where I do have the time I generally blank on writing down ingredients and quantities so I am unable to share the recipes with you afterwards anyways. So my Food Fridays might take more of a fooducation spin for a little while.  I will definitely attempt to get a new recipe out to you every now and then but it won’t be as frequent as it has been in the past.  However, my hope is that with providing you with more information about food in general you will be more inspired to go out and see what you can make on your won.  As you have probably guessed I am going to be focusing this week’s fooducation on FAT.

In the past fat has been given an incredible awful wrap. This likely started because 1 gram of fat is equal to 9 calories, so the diet industry assumed “want to lose fat stop eating it!” and I mean the logic kind of make sense if you are cutting out the bad fat.

I am not here to tell you to stuff your face with all the fat out there, because fat is not made equal.  The fat found in french fries is not the same as the fat found in an avocado, transfats are not the same as saturated fats which are not the same as unsaturated fats.  If we are going to go ahead and demonize anything here it should be Transfats, those things should be avoided like the plague! Transfats are liquid fats which have been transformed into solid fats, it is an unnatural process and because of this your body has no idea what to do with this man made fats.   Having no idea what to do with these fats the body ends up getting a little confused and it can take our body’s up to 7 years to figure out how to get rid of them.  Who wants to be walking around with 7 years worth of man made fat in their body’s?  Not me that is for sure.

So this post is not about transfats, I am talking about more natural forms of fat (saturated and unsaturated) because our body knows what to do with these fats, and they help to establish healthy cells within our bodies.

Focusing on the goal of making healthy smart choices here is a list of why fat is so amazing, and why we shouldn’t restrict it in our diets.

Top 10 Reasons Why Fat is Amazing:

  1. Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) like Omega 3 and Omega 6 will help to make your hair shine and your skin soften.  EFAs help to provide nourishment to your body allowing it to moisturize your skin and give your hair the beautiful luster.
  2. Sore joints be gone.  EFAs help to lubricate your joints and reduce inflammation helping your body to recover from injuries, strenuous workouts and other stresses we load onto our bodies.
  3. It’s everywhere.  Perhaps this one doesn’t sound like so much of a positive, but each and everyone one of our cells is literally made up of fats. There are different types of fats and oils that help our body’s cell membranes remain supple and flexible, while remaining strong.  Our regular intake of saturated (coconut oil, avocado…etc) and unsaturated (olive oil, flax oil…etc.) fats help our body to find this balance.
  4. It protects! Yup that is right, fat helps protect us. Fat helps surround our internal organs to protect them from trauma and to keep you safe and sound.   I don’t know about some of you but I fall, walk into things, and hit myself with stuff on a regular basis so I would say my fat is getting it’s moneys worth.
  5. It is full of energy.  Although Fat is not the most efficient source of energy (carbohydrates are) our body is able to store fats for use later on.    So when doing strenuous work (heavy lifting, endurance training, other regular workouts) it is important to get a healthy balance of fats in our diets to help fuel us and as mentioned in #2 to help protect our joints from inflammation.
  6. Our brains are primarily fat. Each and every one of us has a brain that is made up of fat, this fact alone should let you know just how important fats are.  Fat literally allows our motherboards (brains) to be what they are and do what they do.
  7. It is delicious! Fat is nature’s way to encourage us to eat foods that we would likely otherwise think is disgusting. I mean pork fat aka bacon, dollars to donuts none of us would think that it was delicious without fat inciting us.  Other things, like nuts, seeds, avocados, dairy products, etc are also partly so delicious because of their fat content.
  8. Great looking skin. A healthy dose of omega 3 will help our skin and hair feel and look soft and supple.  North Americans get a pretty substantial does of omega 6 (because of how much packaged food we normally eat) so it is important to help balance this out by upping our omega 3 levels.  Omega 3 is found in nuts and seeds but mostly in fish. If you aren’t interested in fish it might be good idea for you to look into supplements and just adding a dash of something into a morning smoothie.
  9. Boost your metabolism.  Having a healthy balance of healthy fats in your diet might actually help to increase your metabolism.  This isn’t a free pass to go out and eat all the pizza your stomach can possibly handle, but I am encouraging you to add some avocado or a hand full of seeds to your next salad.  It will help you feel full for longer and your body will be thankful for the extra energy. Also combining fats with your veggies might help you absorb more of nutrients available.
  10. Sex Hormones.Many healthy fats (including saturated fats) are precursors to our sexual hormones (progesterone, testosterone, estrogen).  If you are interested in a healthy sex life don’t skip the fat.

Fat is more than just some evil force stopping you from walking around in a new bikini, or from fitting into those skinny jeans.  Fat is a wonderful substance created by nature to help our bodies function optimally.

All of that being said I am not advocating that you toss out a healthy diet for one completely centered around fats, but I am suggesting that healthy nourishing fats are essential to a healthy diet and lifestyle.

Hope this information comes in handy next time you are doing some meal prep, don’t skip the fat, just do your best to make healthy natural choices.

Happy Friday!

Weekend Round Up – A day late

This weekend/ Monday really just got away from me. Last week I had the opportunity to sub in some other teacher’s yoga classes, as well as teach my two classes per week. It was really great to have such and opportunity and it also kind of three my regular weekend schedule of meal prep, studying and maxin’ and relaxin’ out the window.

This weekend I kind of resembled the Flash. Zooming from one place to the next.

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Besides my zooming back and forth and not actually sitting down until Sunday evening I had a pretty great weekend. Lots of yoga (teaching and for myself), lots of reading, and starting to get ready for a deep and dirty spring clean!

Oh my goodness I know this is super weird and maybe a little sad but I just can’t wait to do a huge spring clean through the house. Open the windows amp up the air purifiers and wash EVERYTHING.

20140407-214042.jpgIt is just something about cleaning away the winter that makes me feel so happy, light, relaxed and peaceful. Also seeing how for the past month I have been cleaning up my insides and digestion it only feel fitting for my home to follow the same process.

Am I the only one that goes bananas for spring cleaning? Is anyone else excited to give their home a good scrub down?

Happy Tuesday!

Food Friday – Vegan Wraps

With my new weekly food boxes I am getting loads and loads of foods I wouldn’t go out and buy on a regular basis, which is forcing me to experiment more, vary my vegetable sources more, and to get a little bit more creative with my meals to make sure I don’t let anything go to waste.

With our second shipment of rainbow chard I figured it was time to see what else I could do with this delicious green besides juicing or sautéing. So I got on the internet and started researching how to make a gluten free wrap with the leaves of the chard and what I made was so delicious.

Now there are many components to the wraps I made, however you can make it as simple or as complicated as you would like.  But if you are going to make this recipe I would recommend maybe trying it on the weekend or when you have a bit more time on your hands.  With making the slaw, bean spread, quinoa etc. it took me about an hour and 20minutes before I had a final product for eating.  I am sure this would go a bit faster if you had a friend helping you chop everything up so if you have the opportunity get your friends involved.

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Now let’s get down and dirty, here are all the fixings for the wraps.  Also a little side note the black bean dip is DELICIOUS with veggies, so if you have extra don’t fret just chop up some carrots and enjoy.

Black Bean Dip

20140403-061450.jpg1/2 can black beans
1 clove garlic
1 tbsp garlic Farm Boy salad dressing
2 tbsp Cilantro

Blend in food processor until smooth set aside until assembly.

Carrot and Beet Slaw:
beet and Carrot SlawIngredients:

1 Beet chopped into match sticks
3 large Carrots chopped into match sticks
1 lemon juiced
2 tsp Olive Oil
2 tsp fresh Parsley
Salt and Pepper to taste

Process:

I used a mandolin to chop the beet and carrots into match sticks, but you can also use a grater or if you want to take the time to chop it all up by hand that is an option too.  Once everything is chopped, juiced and ready combine all raw ingredients into a large bowl.  Add parsley, salt and pepper and toss.  Set aside for later.

Other Fixings:

20140403-061515.jpg1 cup Quinoa cooked according to package.
1 small Zucchini sliced
1/2 can of black beans
Sprouts of your choosing
Any other veggies you like, sliced for easy rolling.

Prepare and set aside for wrap making.

Preparing the Rainbow Chard:

Chop off the hard ends. Flip the leaf to the vein side and slice off some of the thick stem end, this will help you to wrap them.

chard prepGet water boiling in a large pot and fill your sink up with freezing cold water. Blanch the chard leaves.  Place the leaves in the boiling water for no more than 2-3minutes, then immediately transfer them into a cold water ice bath.  I did this with one leaf at a time so that I had a bit more control over the cooking time.

Dry them off and get ready to assemble your wraps.

Assembling Wraps:

20140403-061554.jpg1. After drying off the leaves lay them flat on a cutting board or other hard surface.

2. Spread the bean dip down the center of the leave and then I would recommend placing quinoa and beans first so they kind of stick to the dip.

3. Add all other fixings, zucchini, sprouts, carrot slaw and wrap.  Starting at the end with all your fixings fold over the sides (inward) and being rolling. You will want to keep curling in the outer edges so you get a nice tight wrap without anything falling out.  The first one might feel like a disaster but trust me you will get the hang of it.

20140403-061526.jpgI ate mine with a fork and knife but if you want to get in there and get dirty feel free to attack these bad boys with your hands.

Happy Friday!  I hope you enjoy these veggie packed tummy filling meal.

 

 

Weekend Round Up

This weekend started out with one of the longest sleeps of my life. After not having the greatest sleep Thursday evening I was ready to come home from work and just crash. After attempting to get in a full workout at the gym Friday evening I came home took a wonderfully relaxing and detoxifying Epsom salt bath and packed it in all before the sun went down.

I woke up Saturday feeling refreshed and ready for the day. My morning was filled with yoga plan revision and heading to the gym bright and early to get warmed up. I taught a super relaxing and rejuvenating restorative yoga class and then headed home to cram in some school work before heading out again to teach my regularly scheduled Rock N’ Roll yoga class that afternoon.
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After all the yoga teaching was done for the day it was time to get ready for the evening. I was having some ladies over for a nice evening in. We played some Just Dance on the wii and got the opportunity to chat and catch up. For the evening I made some sweet potato kale bites which were pretty tasty and everyone else pitched in and brought other tasty snacks to share with the group. It was great getting everyone together to say hello, between kids, work and other life commitments it can be challenging to get everyone in a room together.

Sunday was much more relaxed with some more school work, food prep and watching some bad TV on Netflix it was a nice and relaxing afternoon.

Now it is Monday and my school/work week has started up again. I am excited to dive into my new course and learn more about healthy lifelong diet planning.

I hope you all had wonderful weekends and that your Monday is a great start to this week ahead
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Food Friday – Spring Inspired Round Up

I am operating on a bit of a sleep deficit today so I thought the best way to share Food Friday with everyone would be to do a recap of some tasty recipes from past posts.   I haven’t done this in a while and it is always fun to look back at old recipes.  I have picked a couple that would be great for spring and will fit into the whole Digestive Clean Spring Clean I am doing.

Here are a couple recipes that are sure to help you stay excited about eating clean, while getting us all a bit more ready for spring even if the weather doesn’t seem to want to agree.

Broccoli and Turkey Sausage Oven OmeletteGluten Free, High Protein
Kale and Quinoa SaladGluten Free, Dairy Free, Vegan_DSC0141Shrimp Asparagus and Grapefruit Salad Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Sea Food
BBQ shrimp asparagus and grapefruit saladSpicy Southern Tilapia - Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Fish

Whoops sorry no picture but trust it is delicious!

Warm Spaghetti Squash Salad Vegetarian, Gluten Free, Dairy Free
squashPortobello Mushroom PizzaGluten Free, Vegetarian

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