Spring Frenzy

Spring has officially arrived, yay! It may not feel like spring if you live in Southern Ontario like me, but it’s just around the corner…I promise!

Spring is the perfect time to reset your body and mind and start eating healthy. We give our house and wardrobe new life in the spring – get rid of the dust bunnies and stale air, bring in bright colours and lighter fabrics – so why not do the same thing to our diet and refresh our body.

I have some great light and refreshing recipes on the blog that would be perfect to get you started.

Delicious spring quinoa salad – the perfect transition meal between winter and spring as the warm quinoa blends with the crisp fresh vegetables.

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Looking for a boost of nutrients, check out this refreshing green juice – packed with vitamins and minerals it makes the perfect cleansing drink.

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Looking for additional recipes and nutrition information – I’ve got you covered for that too! Head over to our nutrition packages page and check out our 14 day online detox and 4 weeks to better nutrition packages. They are the perfect starter guides to help you get back on track and revamp your nutrition!

Happy Spring!

XO Deanna

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Cookie Cravings: The Perfect Satisfying Recipe

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The other night the cookie craving monster attacked and I couldn’t shake it. Generally I try not to surrender to my sweet cravings but instead reach for a balanced snack. Except the other night I decided to go to my happy place and whip up a batch of warm coconut chocolate chip cookies.

 
Cravings generally surface when our body is lacking in a certain nutrient or our blood sugar drops triggering that demanding craving for something sweet. Our body is incredibly smart, it knows that certain foods will fill the void and that baked goods quickly raise blood sugar – hence the craving to stop at the bake shop around 3pm. We have to be careful when these sugar cravings arise since the aftermath of the baked goods is a sugar crash, which triggers those sugar cravings all over again. Instead of reaching for the sugar it is best to reach for protein based snacks. Protein helps to satisfy hunger and will help balance our blood sugar without creating the resulting sugar crash.

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For those times you just can’t shake the need for something sweet, try these delicious gluten-free and vegan coconut chocolate chip cookies. They are made with less sugar than the conventional and contain healthy fats and protein (coconut, chia seeds, and brown rice) to help balance the insulin spike. Don’t get me wrong…they are still DESSERT – but with a healthier spin.

Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:
1 chia egg (1 Tbsp. ground chia seeds + 3 Tbsp. warm water)
½ cup coconut butter
¼ cup maple syrup
¼ cup vegan butter or coconut oil (can also use regular butter if not vegan)
½ cup dark brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla
¾ cup brown rice flour
½ cup potato starch
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp guar gum
½ tsp salt
1/3 cup dairy-free chocolate chips
¼ cup shredded coconut

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a small bowl make your chia egg by whisking together the chia seeds and warm water. Let stand for 5 minutes to form a gel.

In a small sauce pot gently soften coconut butter over low heat. Once softened remove from the heat and whisk in maple syrup.

Add coconut mixture to a large mixing bowl and cream together with the vegan butter using an electric mixer.

Add brown sugar and vanilla and continue to beat with the mixer. Once combined add the chia egg and beat to combine.

In a separate bowl combine the dry ingredients and whisk to combine. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet and combine with the mixer. Once all dry ingredients are combined add chocolate chips and shredded coconut. Combine with a rubber spatula.

Spoon dough onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet using a tablespoon and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until bottom is lightly golden.

Let cool and enjoy!

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Hope these satisfy your next sweet tooth craving
XO Deanna

Spring Fever: Warm quinoa salad

Spring Fever: Warm Quinoa Salad

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I can’t wait for the warmer weather and the warm embrace of sunshine. Not to mention the bright and vibrant flavours of spring – light salads, fresh veggies and juicy ripe fruit. I was craving the light meals of spring earlier this week and made this delicious warm quinoa salad. It was perfect on its own, but would also pair nicely with a juicy burger or herb crusted chicken breast – of course once the snow melts and your butt doesn’t freeze while BBQ-ing.

I love light and fresh meals that don’t weigh you down or leave you feeling bloated and in need of a nap (you know what I’m talking about). This dish is the perfect solution – the war quinoa still provides some comfort on these cold winter days while the fresh greens and splash of lemon bring the crisp lightness of spring. It’s the whole package.

 

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quinoa salad

Ingredients:

1 ½ cups quinoa

2 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken stock, divided

½ cup water

1 bay leaf

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp coriander

1 Tbsp. olive oil

2 small bell peppers, diced

½ onion, diced

1 cup frozen peas

1 cup grape tomatoes, quartered

Salt and pepper to taste

½ lemon

mixed greens

Directions:

In a sauce pot combine quinoa with 2 cups stock, ½ cup water and spices. Cook according to package directions.

In the meantime sauté onions and peppers with 1 Tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat until softened. Season with salt and pepper.

Add cooked onions and peppers to the cooked warm quinoa along with remaining ½ cup stock and frozen peas. Place the lid on the pot and let stand for 10 minutes over low heat, until stock is absorbed.

Pull the quinoa off the heat and let rest for 5 minutes with the lid on. Remove lid and fluff with a fork.

Fold in tomatoes and serve over a bead of dressed mixed greens and a squeeze of lemon juice.

 

– Enjoy on its own or alongside a burger or herb crusted chicken breast.

XO Deanna

 

 

Meal Prep Tips & Tricks: Plan for success

Meal Prep Tips: Plan to succeed or plan to fail

Do you find yourself scrambling for weekday meals? Are you constantly grabbing fast food? Do you think eating healthy is too hard? If you answered yes, you are not alone. Many people think cooking homemade meals during the week is to time consuming and not realistic. I am going to teach you how to organize your meals so you can enjoy fresh, homemade meals throughout the week.

Plan for success

Making a plan and organizing your weekly meals is the key to maintaining a stress-free healthy diet. Meal plans keep us organized, remove the guess work and help keep us on track. Taking things one step further and preparing snacks and meals ahead of time saves time during the week. If you don’t plan to succeed you plan to fail.

Tips to succeed

  1. Write a menu plan for the week – choose a variety of vegetarian and meat recipes. Plan your snacks and dinners for the week, making sure to make enough for lunch leftovers. Variety is best – soups, salads, pastas, casseroles, chicken, beef, fish, chili, etc.
  2. Gather recipes and write a grocery list. Make sure you stick to the list – this will prevent food waste. Focus on recipes using whole foods and a variety of veggies and protein to keep things healthy. Shopping the perimeter of the grocery store also helps prevent purchasing unhealthy items.
  3. Set aside a couple of hours one day to prep food for the week – most people find Sunday morning is the best time for meal prep. Make snacks and meals in advance and store in airtight containers.
  4. Package food in airtight containers. Organize food in fridge or store individual servings in the freezer – this makes it easy to grab food on the go or have a healthy meal on the table in less than 20 minutes.

Foods to prep ahead

  1. Clean and cut veggies
  2. Make snack foods – hummus, trail mix, granola, granola bars, date balls (store in airtight containers)
  3. Make large batches of soups and chilies (store in freezer for weeks to come)
  4. Make large batches of quinoa, brown rice, salads to use throughout the week.
  5. Prepare burgers, meatballs and chicken strips/nuggets – store uncooked in the freezer.
  6. Cook meats for salads and wraps

Try these simple and effective tips for healthy homemade weeknight meals. Remember preparation is the key to success. Staying organized and prepared allows you to have healthy snack and meal options on hand all week long. Grab your favourite cookbooks or head to your favourite recipe website and start planning your weekly meals NOW!

Bonus Recipe: Delicious Date Balls

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Date balls

10-12 dates, soaked

1 cup almonds, chopped

1 cup walnuts, chopped

2 Tbsp cacao powder

1 Tbsp hemp seeds

1 Tbsp maple syrup

Place dates in a food processor and pulse to chop. Add almonds, walnuts, cacao powder, hemp seeds, and maple syrup and pulse to combine. Mixture should be sticky, if needed add a little extra maple syrup. Roll dough into balls and place in the fridge to set. Store in a zip-top bag in the freezer and keep for months – if they last that long 😉

Plan to succeed

XO Deanna