Healthy Holiday Gift Ideas

With Christmas only a few more sleeps away, most of my shopping is done but i know some of you may still have people you are struggling to buy for. This is why I wanted to share some of my favourite things to help you out with gift ideas for those friends/family members (or yourself).

Here are my top picks:

  1. Saje Essential Oils

saje-wellness

I have recently started using essential oils and have fallen in love with the company Saje Wellness. They are a Canadian company and the majority of their products are manufactured locally, which means we can make sure they are made with the freshest ingredients. All of their products contain plant-derived essential oils and base ingredients and they combine pure essential oils with all-natural base ingredients to create 100% all-natural products that are free of parabens, SLS, SLES, PEGS, glycols, petrochemicals, synthetic colours and synthetic fragrances. Check out their website here and look to see if there is a store near you?

2. Routine Natural Deodorant.

routine-deodorant

I have searched for a long time to find a natural deodorant that actually works (even when i work out) and here it is. Routine natural deodorant contains only clean, wholesome ingredients. No nasty aluminum zirconium, aluminum chlorohydrate, parabens, triclosan, or propylene glycol that you will often find in the more commercial brands. Again, it is Canadian made and they offer vegan and sensitive skin options. My favourite one is called “A Girl Named Sue” and it smells like raspberry and sage.

3. Tea Cups & Bowls

bowl

My family are used to me by now, as a Nutritionist I spend alot of time in the kitchen and I am always taking pictures of my food. To make it more fun i like to buy fun bowls or cups or even aprons. If you make the kitchen a fun and pleasing environment, you are more like to enjoy the time you spend in there.

There are no particular brands I go to, whether i am in a local store or farmers market, or Homesense and Ikea, there can often be some great buys to find.

4. Giddy YoYo Chocolate

giddy-yoyo-chocolate

If you’ve been following me for a while, you know how much i love this chocolate. Not only is it made here in Orangeville but it’s made with raw ingredients which means your body will actually benefit from this type of chocolate due to the high source of antioxidants and an excellent source of magnesium which helps with sleeping and enhancing energy levels.They don’t just sell chocolate but also a wide range of other superfoods, check them out!

5. Healthy Cookbooks

I LOVE cookbooks, I mean REALLY LOVE cookbooks, i may even have a slight problem as i have so many of them!! Here are some of my favourites:

I could go on for hours but i know how busy you all are with the holiday season so close, so I hope these favourites of mine will help you out a little for those last minute gift ideas.

Enjoy!

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

I love treats just as much as the next person but since becoming a nutritionist I am always on the lookout for healthier versions.

Lately, I have come across a few different versions of a dark chocolate peanut butter cup and thought i had to give one a try and no better time but at my streets Christmas party last weekend.

Super easy to make and if you have an allergy to peanuts or just don’t like it, you can easily substitute almond butter or any nut or seed butter. Pumpkin seed butter is a great low allergen alternative.

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

chocolate-peanut-butter-cups

Makes 24 minis

2/3 cup organic coconut oil
½ cup organic cocoa powder
½ cup pure maple syrup
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp pure vanilla extract
12 tsp organic peanut butter

  • Melt coconut oil on low heat and add cocoa powder, maple syrup, cinnamon and vanilla. Stir until smooth.
  • Pour 1.5 teaspoons of the mixture into mini muffin papers.
  • Freeze for 10 minutes.
  • Take ½ teaspoon of peanut butter and flatten onto chocolate cups.
  • Pour a thin layer of the chocolate mixture on top of the peanut to cover.
  • Freeze for another 10 minutes.
  • Remove and enjoy!
    *Best kept in the freezer, but can also be kept in the fridge

chocolate-peanut-butter-cups-2

Recipe courtesy of Miranda Malisani, fellow nutritionist http://www.mirandamalisani.com

Breakfast Egg Muffins

Breakfast is key for me, if i start off the day right then there’s a good chance the rest of the day will follow.

Smoothies are normally my go to for breakfast as i can pack them with veggies, healthy fats and fiber and they are super fast but now the weather is getting colder i wanted another option but still with the goodness you’ll find in a smoothie. I also wanted an option that was just as fast as throwing everything in a blender so i came up with these egg muffins, i can make them on a Sunday and only have to reheat them in the morning (they also taste good cold if you’re in a real rush.) They don’t have to be just a breakfast meal, I use them as a snack or a quick lunch or dinner. Here’s the recipe:

Egg Muffins

036-5

1 sweet potato, peeled and diced

1 onion, diced

1 clove garlic

1 head of broccoli, chopped small (i didn’t waste the stalk as i used it in my juicing)

2 cups kale

1/4 cup goats feta

12 eggs, preferably local and free range

Coconut oil

Sea salt and black pepper

  • Preheat the oven to 400F and place the sweet potato in a oven-dish, add some salt, pepper and a little coconut oil and bake for 20 minutes or until tender.
  • While waiting, oil a 12 muffin pan using butter or coconut oil.
  • Once the sweet potato is cooked take a large saucepan and heat 1 tsp of coconut oil on medium heat.
  • Add garlic, onion and saute for 3-4 minutes then add the broccoli and kale and cook for a further 5 minutes or until the kale has wilted.
  • Add the cooked sweet potato and goat feta and mix well then divide this mixture between the 12 muffin cups.

029-4

  • Whisk the 12 eggs, salt and pepper together in a bowl or large measuring jug and pepper and add to the veggie and cheese mixture in the muffin tin.
  • Bake for 20 minutes or until the eggs are set.

031-5

You can use whatever veggies you have in the fridge for these. They freeze well or can store in the fridge for 3-4 days. Enjoy!

Gingerbread Cookies

I am definitely not a Julia Childs or Martha Stewart in the kitchen, my husband Dave is the more talented one for sure. When i first arrived in Canada 12 years ago, my meals were very bland to say the least, i didn’t know how to cook without relying on jarred sauces or packaged food so i can say with confidence that i have definitely improved.

Now being a nutritionist, when i cook at home whether it’s making meals or snacks I will always look for a healthy option and this weekend was no different as it was time to make gingerbread cookies with the kids.

This is a tradition in our house but my previous efforts I have to admit, have been inedible. The cookies just get decorated and then thrown out, so this year i was determined to make this right and it must have worked as the boys, Dave and my extended family at Sunday dinner all loved them. Even Ben (my eight year old) told me that my baking has definitely got better this year – now that is a BIG compliment!  Here’s the recipe, hope you like them and have as much fun making them with your family as we did:

Mel’s Gingerbread Cookies

018-5

3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

3/4 tsp baking soda

1 Tbsp Epicure Gingerbread Spice

1/2 cup butter, room temperature

1/2 cup coconut sugar

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla extra

2/3 cup unsulphered molasses

 

  • Mix the flour, baking soda and gingerbread spice into a medium sized bowl.
  • In a large bowl add the butter and sugar and mix (using either a hand held or standing mixer) until light and fluffy.
  • Add the egg, vanilla and molasses and mix well.
  • Gradually add the flour until well combined and form into 2 dough balls. Wrap the balls in parchment paper and place in the fridge for a couple of hours.
  • Preheat the oven to 350F. Lightly flour your surface, cut the dough balls into 2 or 4 and roll them out until 1/4 inch thick.
  • Using your favourite cookie cutter shapes, cut out the cookies and place on a parchment lined baking tray and bake for 10-12 minutes (mine is a convection oven and 10 minutes was perfect).
  • Let cool, then decorate with icing and dried fruit, candy, chocolate chips (see recipe below for icing – this part is not very healthy but hey, it’s all about balance right?!)

Icing:

2 cups icing sugar

2 Tbsp unsalted butter

1 tsp vanilla

3 Tbsp milk or milk alternative

  • Mix ingredients in a medium bowl.
  • Place icing in a small ziploc bag and cut a tiny hole at one end and squeeze!

Recipe was adapted from weelicious.com

 

 

 

 

Curried Butternut Squash Soup

 I took the kids for an awesome walk Sunday morning to make the most of the beautiful Fall weather we are having. By the end the kids were hungry so we headed to Euphoria Smoothies on Broadway for some lunch, they had curried pumpkin soup on the menu so it gave me an idea.

I got home and headed into the kitchen for my meal prep time. I had a butternut squash that needed to be used so I made a curried butternut squash soup, it turned out awesome, so I thought I would share the recipe with you.

 Curried Butternut Squash Soup

028-6

1 butternut squash

2 onions, peeled and cut into wedges

2 garlic cloves, unpeeled

¼ cup coconut oil

1-2 cups chicken stock (I used bone broth*)

1 Tbsp curry powder

¼ tsp cinnamon

1 – 14 oz can of coconut milk (I like the Native Forest brand)

1 tablespoon pure, local maple syrup

½ tsp sea salt

  • Preheat the oven to 350F.
  • Cut the squash in half or quarters and remove the seeds.
  • Place ¼ cup coconut oil in a baking dish, coating the bottom and place the squash, cut side down in the dish, prick the skins with a sharp knife or fork
  • Wrap the 2 unpeeled garlic cloves in tin foil and add them to the dish, add the onions too.
  • Bake for 45 mins or an hour, until tender. Remove and let stand.
  • Scrape the baked squash, onions and garlic into a stock pot and add chicken stock, curry powder, cinnamon, coconut milk, maple syrup and salt and bring to a boil medium heat.
  • Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Transfer to a blender or using an immersion, puree the soup until smooth.
  • Taste and adjust the seasonings if needed

 *Bone broth is made by adding 2 tablespoons of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar when making homemade stock, this will draw nutrients such as minerals and collagen from the bones and provide more nutrition, immune supporting and anti-inflammatory benefits.

Melanie Grime is a holistic nutritionist at the Collective Health Clinic serving the Orangeville, Dufferin, Wellington and Caledon areas. Melanie Grime RHN treats everyone as an individual with their own specific needs and helps clients suffering from health issues by looking for the root cause of symptoms and working with them to reach their health and nutrition goals. She specializes in weight loss, hormonal issues, detox, meal planning, nutritional consulting and family nutrition.

10 Nutrition Tips for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a holiday tradition filled with family, fun and food, food and more food. The average person will consume approximately 3000 – 4500 additional calories during the Thanksgiving eat-a-thon weekend.

Most Nutritionists would tell you that Thanksgiving is just another day and there is no need to indulge or overeat. While that might be true, it’s just not realistic for most people. Staying on track with your health goals means understanding how to balance your meals and enjoy your favorite Thanksgiving foods in moderation. Check out my tips below to help you stay on track.

10 Nutrition Tips for Thanksgiving

  1. DO NOT SKIP MEALS! Eat a protein packed breakfast and/or lunch before the big feast. If you starve yourself during the day, you could wind up SO hungry that by the time you sit down at the dinner table you eat WAY too much food and that mindful eating goes right out the window.
  2. Go for lean, white meat turkey to get the most bang for your calorie-buck. Dark meat has about 15% more calories and 30-40% more fat than light meat. If you prefer the dark meat, then at least take off the skin since that is where most of the fat (added calories) is.
  3. Start with the protein (animal or vegetarian). Start with your protein choice and then work on the vegetables. Leave the starchy carbs until the end. The protein will help slow the brake down of the starchy carbs. All that chewing will help you to feel full before you get to the starch.
  4. Pause and take some breathes. After you finish each dish on your plate put your fork down. Take a couple of slow deep breathes. Enjoy what you’ve previously eaten before starting on the next dish. The deep breathes don’t have to be obvious. Taking pause and some deep breathes will also help aid digestion.
  5. Choose calorie free beverages. If you are going to be having alcoholic beverages then everything else you drink should be calorie free. Skip the pop, coffees and juices. Drink lots of water to avoid the dehydration that comes along with drinking too much.
  6. Ask if you can make a side dish or salad; make it a tasty guilt free dish so you will have at least one thing to splurge on. Veggie dishes don’t have to be boring. Check out the recipes below!
  7. Burn calories! The more calories you burn with activity, the more food you can consume without feeling terrible about it. Do not skip the exercise leading up to the feast or on the day of. Make time to get to exercise and raise your heart rate. Your metabolism will thank you for it.
  8. Wear form fitting clothing and you will be less likely to overeat. No sweat pants or stretchy pants. No one wants to see you with your pants unbuttoned after the meal.
  9. Use a salad plate instead of a regular dinner plate. If your plate is smaller you will not have as much room on it and won’t overload it with too much of the stuff you shouldn’t have a lot of. Also, this helps trick your eye; no one likes to see half their plate empty.
  10. Keep your goal in mind! Although you may only overindulge a couple times over the holidays; a little plus a little plus a little adds up to a whole lot. Remind yourself why you want to stay healthy or lose weight and keep that goal in the forefront of your mind.

 

Mock Mashed Potatoes

Serves 4

thanksgiving-survival-guide

1 medium head cauliflower

1 tablespoon cream cheese, softened

¼ cup grated Parmesan

½ teaspoon minced garlic

1/8 tsp chicken bouillon (may substitute ½ tsp salt)

1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper

½ tsp chopped fresh or dry chives, for garnish

 

  • Set a stockpot of water to boil over high heat.
  • Clean and cut cauliflower into small pieces. Cook in boiling water for about 6 minutes, or until well done.
  • Drain well; do not let cool and pat cooked cauliflower very dry between several layers of paper towels.
  • In a bowl with an immersion blender, or in a food processor, puree the hot cauliflower with the cream cheese, Parmesan, garlic, chicken base, and pepper until almost smooth.
  • Garnish with chives.
  • Hint: Try roasting the garlic and adding a little fresh rosemary for a whole new taste.

 

Balsamic Roasted Vegetables[i]

Serves 4-6 as a side

4 beets, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes

4-5 loose cups Brussel sprouts, ends cut off, outer peel removed and cut in halves or quarters

3 cups shredded cabbage

1 large yellow onion, coarsely chopped

5 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 tsp sea salt

¼ cup balsamic vinegar

 

  • Preheat the oven to 400F.
  • Place all the veggies including the garlic in a large mixing bowl and toss with the oil and salt. Transfer to a glass roasting pan or a parchment lined cookie sheet and roast for 30 minutes.
  • Removes from the oven and mix, cook for another 10 to 15 minutes until the veggies are tender.
  • Serve warm or at room temperature.

 

Melanie Grime is a holistic nutritionist at the Collective Health Clinic serving the Orangeville, Dufferin, Wellington and Caledon areas. Melanie Grime RHN treats everyone as an individual with their own specific needs and helps clients suffering from health issues by looking for the root cause of symptoms and working with them to reach their health and nutrition goals. She specializes in weight loss, hormonal issues, detox, meal plans, nutritional consulting and family nutrition.

 

 

 

 

[i] ‘UnDiet’ Meghan Telpnerxture.

 

My Interview with Love Yoga Founder Megs Jamieson

14341885_10154458190663788_799071510_n

Megs Jamieson is an amazing yoga instructor, reiki teacher and the founder of Love Yoga. I have had the pleasure of not only being one of her students but more recently interviewing her about her journey into yoga and tips for any potential yogis out there.

Keep reading right to the end of the interview where we will be sharing details of an exciting new project Megs and myself will be working together on!

How did you first get interested in yoga?

I was in college when I first got introduced to yoga. A friend of mine went regularly and said that she thought it could be a good fit for me. My first class (and several after) were a bit of a disaster. I was wobbly, inflexible, uncoordinated. But what had me hooked was the feeling after class was done, it was like nothing I had ever experienced before.

How many years have you been teaching and how did you get into teaching?

I got into teaching yoga to help people heal. I was hospitalized for anxiety and a panic attack years ago and that really woke me up. I know how stress can impact your life and sneak up on you without really realizing it. That is when my practice really deepened and I did my teacher training.

What do you love most about teaching yoga?

My favourite thing about teaching yoga is watching the personal transformation during the practice. Watching people step away from the stress and the stories they live off their mats and settle into their breath and relax into their bodies.

What do you love most about practicing yoga and yoga itself?

I love arriving to my mat and letting intuition guide me. My practice is so different day to day, sometimes I want to spend a long time moving and sweating on my mat, then other days I spend 5-10 minutes simply focused on breath work. Yoga has and continues to draw me down a path of self-discovery, there is always more to learn and explore.

 14331785_10154458197208788_1477145607_n

What is the greatest challenge you have overcome because of yoga?

Yoga has taught me to be comfortable in my own skin, my practice has built my self-confidence, strengthened my creativity and taught me how to handle my stress. I wouldn’t say that because of yoga I no longer have stress in my life but I know what to do when it creeps up, it’s a very comforting feeling.

What advice do you have for people who have never tried yoga as some people may feel intimidated by it?

This is absolutely OK, I was nervous when I first started as well, but my Mum said something when I was younger that always stuck with me: “you never know until you try”. So why not try? Take a leap of faith and trust in yourself and try something new. There is a yoga teacher and a yoga style out there waiting for you.

What in your opinion are the greatest health benefits of doing yoga?

So many! Yoga promotes weight loss, increases flexibility, combats stress, and detoxes the system. But if I had to pick one…..for me, it is mental health and well-being which is often under-valued.

What impact can diet and lifestyle have on yoga practice?

Personally, I found that yoga can actually change your diet and lifestyle, not the other way around. Do not feel like you need to conform yourself to fit yoga. Yoga teaches us to respect ourselves and through the physical and mental connection you build with yourself you start to understand what feels good for YOUR body.

14365448_10154458195373788_1039093302_n

What tips can you offer for avoiding injuries in yoga and getting the most health benefits out of it?

The best advice, and one that I try to give in every class, is that you need to listen to your body. You are your ultimate teacher, you know when something does not feel right and it is so important to honor that and remember we are not all made the same! So, take your practice slow, listen to your body and if you are ever unsure ask for help.

Where can people find you and your classes?

I have my own business called Love Yoga where I travel out to your home and teach you. Classes are designed with you in mind, your time, your home with your intentions built around the structure of the class. You can also catch me at Discover Your Yoga on Broadway in Orangeville. Find more online: facebook; loveyoga.ca and Instagram @canadian_yoga_girl

 

Now it’s time to share some exciting news about a vision that Megs & I have been working on together…….

14359852_10154467129198788_231569328_o

Yoga & Nutrition Workshop

Tuesday 18th October 7-9pm

Location: 11 Fieldgate Drive, Orangeville

Cost: $40 per person

In this two-hour workshop you will learn the fundamentals of holistic nutrition and healthy eating as well as explore the fundamentals of yoga with a grounding practice focused on floor based asanas, breath work & a guided meditation. All levels of practice welcome.

Contact Megs or Mel to register. Space is limited.

Melanie Grime is a holistic nutritionist at the Collective Health Clinic serving the Orangeville, Dufferin, Wellington and Caledon areas. Melanie Grime RHN treats everyone as an individual with their own specific needs and helps clients suffering from health issues by looking for the root cause of symptoms and working with them to reach their health and nutrition goals. She specializes in weight loss, hormonal issues, detox, meal plans, nutritional consulting and family nutrition.