Sunday, April 21, 2013

Green Smoothies and support my walk for MS!

Hey all...I have 3 friends with MS, and I want to do everything I can to support the MS Society to support them and others with MS. I am walking in the MS Walk in Ottawa next week., and to raise money, I have created a recipe book of Green Smoothies. If you support my walk for any amount, I will send you an e-copy of the book. It would mean a lot to me and you would get a great e-book that would help you meet Canada's Food Guide recommendations of 7 to 10 servings!

You can pledge me here:

Sunday, March 24, 2013

More food...

Just a quick little post about healthy things this weekend. First - Mandolin + low heat convection oven for a few hours = apple chips. I'm addicted.

Another smoothy. Kale + mango + strawberries + milk + unflavoured North Coast Naturals Whey Protein. Creamy and not too sweet. A perfect way to start the day. (No, this is not paid advertising! I've tried a lot of whey, I really like this one.)

Dragon fruit. So pretty, but rather bland. More nourishment for the soul than the body.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Green smoothie shake up

I live with an autoimmune disease. It's been particularly bad lately, and I'm trying to help as much as I can through nutrition (in addition to a bunch of allopathic and complimentary medicine).

 This morning's green smoothie: Green mango lassie

1 cup frozen collard greens
1/2 ripe mango
1/2 cup whole milk yogurt
1 cup milk (or water, or juice)
Add all ingredients to your blender and mix on highest speed until smooth. Enjoy, knowing that you are filling your body with:
vitamins A, C, K
(Note, vitamin K can modify the effectiveness of blood thinners.)

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Sweet Potatoe Fries

It's been too long since I've last posted! I've got a back log of photos for tasty recipes to post about, and some thoughts about being well that I want to share. Things have been a little crazy up here in Ottawa due to a massive storm this past week (I got stranded at my parents' house!) and a variety of little things here and there.

But to keep you full of healthy food I bring you Sweet Potatoe Fries. These are delicious, and packed full of vitamins and fiber. Who needs fast food when you can bake these up in less time than it takes to drive to a fast food joint to get some less than healthy food that is no where near as tasty?

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Get out a baking pan.

Take a big sweet potatoe and peel it. Slice it into 1/2 inch thick slices and then into fries. (i.e. first cut along the long end into flat pieces and then cut your pieces into strips).

Source: Me!
Put your sweet potatoe strips into a bowl and toss with 2 tbsp of olive oil, 1/2 tsp of salt, 1 tsp of paprika and 2 tsp of rosemary. Spread onto your baking sheet. Pop into the oven, and roast for 20 minutes or until done. It you want to be really fancy, you can flip half way through the roasting time at 10 minutes. I usually don't bother.

Source: Me!
That's it! Now you can enjoy tasty  healthy, inexpensive sweet potatoe fries.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Biochar - interesting!

I found this project on Indiegogo this morning (Indiegogo has so many amazing projects, I want to fund them all!)

BioPreta Sample Project

I looked up biochar in wikipedia, and learned some interesting things about how the ancient technique of smoldering agricultural waste on farming land contributed to keeping the soil and environment healthy.

Sometimes I have to wonder if in many ways (not all!), our ancestors were so much smarter than we are. Or perhaps not smarter, but wiser. Why go through the trouble of producing chemicals to put on our land if we can use what we don't need to augment the soil instead. Seems like far less work (but alas, would contribute less to the "economy", oh my! note sarcasm in this sentence, which is not always easy to convey in writing).

Trepanation is one way that our ancestors clearly were not smarter nor wiser!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Caraway Rye

I got a bread machine at the Sally Ann a year or two ago, and use it for kneading my bread. I still like to bake the bread in the oven if I can, as I prefer the crust and shape of an oven baked loaf, and I can better control how it comes out.

Last night I made caraway rye dough, and this morning baked it up on my pizza stone. It is delicious!

150 ml of water
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp honey (for a lighter bread) or molasses (for a darker bread)
1 cup rye flour
1 1/4 cup white bread flour
2 tbsp caraway seeds (or more, if you like)
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 tsp bread machine yeast

Put in the bread machine in the order listed. Use the dough cycle.

Let bread do final rise in a oblong shape. I rise it on a silicone matt so I can just pop it into the oven with no fuss. Preheat oven to 400 C. Heat pizza stone

When the bread is doubled in size, pop in the oven. Pour 1/4 cup of water into the bottom of your oven (please please please check your over instructions and follow them - this is fine in my oven, it may not work in yours). Bake until the bread sounds hollow when tapped, for me about 30 - 40 minutes in my convection oven.

Delicious plain, or with butter or honey.

Friday, February 1, 2013

uBiome project

In December I got my own genome partially sequenced to help me better understand the health issues I am dealing with. I also learned a lot about my genetic history, including my matrilineal line (that is, where my mother's mother's mother's mother's mother's ... mother came from ).

I have a new arthritis diagnosis that is associated with inflammatory bowel disease. I don't have IBD, but I am curious about the bacteria in my gut. Gut bacteria are really important to health, and provide a variety of functions such as assistance with digestion, vitamin production, and synthesis of a variety of substances. Gut microbes have been associated with a number of disorders, including depression, autism, several types of arthritis, eczema and even sinusitis!

So, along came uBiome, which I found on Indiegogo, a crowdsourcing website. I'm going to get my gut biome sequenced and see what they find. Should be very interesting! In the meantime, I continue to try to eat food that are wholesome and healthy, close to their natural form, and have a wide variety of naturally occuring microbes such as kefir, yogurt and saurkraut.

Two books that will help you cook more healthily in a microbe friendly way are Wild Fermentation and Nourishing Traditions:

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Oatmeal for breakfast

Just a quick update, here is pretty much what I eat everyday for breakfast. These are large flake oats because I ran out of steel cut, but the general idea is the same. Cook up several days of oatmeal at a time, and just reheat in the microwave before adding your goodies.

The oats are topped with pecans, hemp hearts and some brown sugar. Depending on how thick the oatmeal is, I'll add some milk or soymilk on top as well. Delicious!

Hearty oatmeal with pecans, hemp hearts and brown sugar

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Warming roasted squash soup with apples

1 roasted acorn or pepper squash, mashed
1 apple chopped
1 onion chopped
2 stalks celery chopped
2 carrots chopped
1 L chicken or veggie broth
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp all spice
1 tbsp canola oil

Saute onion, apple, carrot, celery in canola oil over medium heat in a medium pot. When onions are translucent, add mashed squash, broth and spices. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove 3/4 of soup and blend on low speed for 20 - 30 seconds (we like a soup that is not too smooth). Mix in with the unblended soup and serve with whole wheat bread and Havarti cheese. Excellent dinner on a cold Saturday night.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Eating well in a rush

I'm a busy person. We're all pretty busy. It may be kids, it may be dogs, it may be our jobs, our hobbies, or other things in our life.

But, if we don't take time to eat well, we won't have the right type of energy to keep up. I have a habit of esorting to coffee to keep me going when I'm running on empty, which isn't really a healthy or sustainable choice. Coffee is great and everything, but shouldn't be what keeps you moving.

Here are some quick snacks I keep handy to eat when I'm in a rush. Having them around makes it less likely I'll reach for a cup of coffee and a cookie to push me through a low point.

Steel Cut Oats - every Sunday I cook up a pot of steel cut oats. 1 cup of oats to 4 cups of water, simmered until they are soft and tender. I keep this in the fridge and take out single portions (about a quarter of the batch) at a time. I reheat, chop some banana on it, and sprinkle some walnuts. A sprinkle of brown sugar and a splash of milk, and I have a breakfast or snack in two minutes. This keeps me going for a good three hours before I need to eat again. Oats are also a good source of fiber, including soluble fiber which can lower cholesterol. Oats are also the only food source of GLA (gamma linoleic acid).

My family's yogurt muesli with berries

Yogurt muesli - My mom adapted this recipe from the Movenpick restaurant's delicious Swiss Muesli (Before they were bought out by Peachtree foods in Canada).

2 cups of plain yogurt
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup currants
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 cup of frozen berries
1 apple, grated or finely chopped
1 tbls honey

Mix all this together and store in a contained in the fridge for up to 3 days. Add a bit of milk if it is too thick for you. Makes a delicious snack, breakfast or dessert. My family also traditionally makes this on Christmas morning, so that the family can eat at their leisure while we are opening presents.

Mixed unsalted nuts - I always keep a jar of unsalted mixed nuts around. A handful of these have protein, fiber and healthy oils, everything I need to give me a mid afternoon energy boost. I'm careful not to overeat nuts, as they are also calorie dense. But, they beat a chocolate bar any day.

Banana shake - I often have a bottle of plain kefir around, which I don't like on its own but I love blended with a ripe banana and a small scoop of cocoa powder. The sweetness of the banana balances the sour of the kefir, and makes a refreshing, filling and tastey snack on the go in under 2 minutes. Have I mentioned I love probiotics, and I try to get a variety of different ones into me on a regular basis (thus the yogurt and the kefir).

All of these choices are also easy on your budget, when you compare them to what you would pay to eat a snack outside of the house. $2-3 for a toasted bagel, add another two for a coffee, and you have lightened your purse but not filled your body with much that will really help it.