OatFree Hot Cereal (Gluten Free, Vegan)

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This is a great option for anyone who needs to follow a gluten free diet, psyllium husk is gluten free and gives this cereal a great texture!  Psyllium husk is rally high in soluble fibre, so it makes it really filling as well, and as a bonus psyllium is great for regularity (for those with IBS-D it may help you out!) and cholesterol lowering. 

  • 1/2 scoop protein powder (I used Vega Sport)
  • 4 tbsp psyllium husk
  • 1/2 cup plant milk (unsweetened)
  • Optional: 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder, frozen fruit

Mix protein powder with enough water (or milk) to form a paste. Add to the bowl the psyllium husk and milk. Mix well and let it sit for 3 to 5 minutes (mixing occassionally), adding more liquid as needed. Serve with toppings of choice. 

Product Review: Engine 2 Plant Strong Ravioli

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Exploring grocery stores is actually one of my favourite things to do - I love looking around for new products that may be useful for my clients, and also pick up a few new things to try.  I know a lot of bloggers and people personally who talk down on packaged foods - and yes in an ideal world would make all our foods from scratch, but we don't always have the time.  Some days you may be able to prioritize meal planning and cooking, and other days kids after school sports or work might be number one. 

I'm glad there aren't any Whole Foods in town, because I think I'd end up spending waaay to much money on fun convenience meals.  I came across this Engine 2 Plant Strong raviolis last time I was there and they are SOOO good.  I wouldn't even know where to begin making ravioli from scratch, so this is definitely a keeper for those busy nights.  The noodles are whole wheat (with vital wheat gluten) and and beans in the filling. Really quick and easy to prepare as well. 

Cookie Dough Breakfast Muffin

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  • 1/4 cup chickpea (besan) flour
  • 1/2 very ripe banana, mashed well
  • 2 tbsp peanut flour
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 tbsp plant based milk
  • Sprinkle of chocolate chips

Grease a microwave safe bowl, and add all ingredients together. Microwave for 2 minutes at power level 70. Cook for an additional 30 sec increments (on high) until the cenre is a bit firm to the touch. Enjoy!

Healthy Nutrition Packed Cookies

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These cookies! I wanted to make a high protein cookie that could work for breakfasts or snacks. And these turned out GREAT!  What's even better is that I found a way to sneak some vegetables into them.  Personalize these babies with any dried fruit, chocolate chips, coconut or nuts. 

I used Iron Vegan Vanilla protein powder, but any protein powder will work. They can also be school friendly for kids if you use a seed or soy butter, instead of peanut or treenut.  In a pinch, coconut oil would work too. 

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  • 1 medium banana, mashed
  • 2 tbsp nut butter
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup flavoured vegan protein powder
  • 1 cup oats
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup shredded zucchini
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrot

Line a baking tray with parchment paper, and pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Shred your zucchini and squeeze out some of the water. In a large bowl, combine the banana, nut butter, vanilla extract and water.  Add in protein powder and mix well to prevent any lumps. Next, add the oats, cinnamon and salt, mixing until combined.  Finally, add the shredded zucchini and carrot and mix. 

For small cookies, use a tablespoon to measure out your cookies.  If you want a breakfast cookie, I would suggest making them a little bigger.  Use a fork to flatten the cookies out slightly. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown.  Let sit for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. You can store for a couple days in an air tight container, however these are pretty moist cookies so I would recommend storing in the freezer and taking them out as needed.

Enjoy xo

 

Vegan Poke

I saw online that some specialty stores and restaurants were selling a vegan sashimi-style fish, and I thought to myself why not just make my own!  I had never had a poke bowl (pronounced Pok-ay) so I thought this would be a perfect opportunity!  This is an amazing dish to bookmark for summer when tomatoes are in season. YUM!

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  • 2-3 ripe plum tomatoes
  • 2-3 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 1-2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/4 tsp powdered ginger
  • 1/2 tsp siracha (or to taste)

Boil water in a medium pot. Wash your tomatoes, and pierce the skin a few times with a fork. Prepare a large bowl of ice cold water, set aside. Place the tomatoes in the boiling water, and watch carefully. Once the skin starts to split, remove the tomatoes with a slotted spoon and plunge directly into the ice water. Once cool to the touch, peel off the skin, slice into small sections and remove any seeds and ribs. 

In a shallow bowl, add the rest of the ingredients and mix.  Coat the tomatoes in the mixture, and lets them set for 10 minutes or so in the bowl. Remove and add on top of sushi rice, in collard green sushi rolls or a poke bowl!  Remember, unlike sushi this is low in protein.  Edamame is a great compliment to this vegan sashimi!  Enjoy xo

Better than Boxed Crackers

These crackers are awesome! They are really easy to make, I was surprised how great they turned out.  They are also vegan, gluten free and high in protein.  Each cracker (for a recipe of 30) has 3.5 g of protein.

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  • 3/4 cup shredded carrot
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 tbsp flax seed
  • 1/2 cup plain vegan protein powder
  • 1 tbsp sesame seed
  • 2 tbsp hemp seeds
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp oil

Directions:

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Place grated carrots onto a baking tray lined with parchment.  Bake in the oven and bake for 20 to 30 minutes (flipping a few times), or until a bit dry. Add water and flax seed into a bowl, mix well. Set aside. 

In a larger bowl, mix together protein powder, sesame seeds, hemp hearts, chia seeds and salt. Add in flax egg, oil and carrot, mixing together into a dough ball. Place dough into a 8x11 pan lined with parchment and greased.  Use your hands to press down the dough into the pan, trying to reach close to the edges. Score the top with a sharp knife into the desired size of crackers you want.

Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hr, then flip and bake for 10 to 15 minutes. Using a knife, break apart your crackers into squares and store in an airtight container.

Eating 101: Do you know how to eat?

HOW you eat.  I believe this should be the number one area of focus for individuals looking to eat well and manage their weight.  And, trust me, it is definitely challenging one to tackle.  Our society isn't set up for us to use mindful eating practices with ease.  Majority of individuals are born with both natural cues to know when to start eating and when to stop.  And we also are born without predisposition to label foods as "bad" or "good".  As we move through our lives, external cues like set meal times, time constraints at meals, the media and social influences (family and friends) begin to shape our hunger/ satiety cues and relationship with food. Unless you want to live away from the modern world, many of these factors are just the new normal. What is important, is to recognize the effect our environment has on us and find the best way for you to navigate through that environment; basically make the environment work for you! Two key areas of mindfulness I want to touch upon today is the anticipation of eating and deprivation patterns.

I recently listened to a webinar from Dietitian Helene Charbonneau and she talked about how we have lost anticipation with eating.  And this really spoke to me. We often graze on food while we are making dinner, eat something because it's "there", or have a meal just because its "time". These patterns make it difficult for us to really savour in the process of eating, from enjoying in  preparing and eating the food, as well as finding satiety.

Deprivation rarely leads to sustaining a healthy weight, and definitely does not nurture a positive relationship with food.  Between the media, health professionals and other friends, we hear a lot about what foods are "bad" or "toxic" for us. With all the labels we put on foods, it's hard to eat without feelings of guilt and negativity. I find my clients who have a long "bad" list tend towards a pattern of deprivation/ binge. In this pattern, you end up eating a food that is on your "bad" list, which makes you feel negative because you "failed" (I mean you ate something "bad" according to your list!). These negative emotions lead to more eating, and more guilt.  It's not realistic to say that you will "never" eat fun foods like chocolate, chips, etc. so why set yourself for failure.  Often telling yourself you "can't" have it makes you want it even more (just like a 3 year old really wants to touch the breakable thing you just told them they can't touch). Avoiding the bad and good food labelling is especially important around children; it's important for them to begin at a young age building a positive relationship with food.

So, try this year to focus on the "how's" of eating: build a positive relationship with food, listen to your appetite and learn to savour your food.  If you need some help in the process of mindful eating, I like this youtube video from The Mindful Guy.  One reason why I like it may be his accent.. haha. 

Happy eating xo

Lauren