Monthly Archives: November 2012

Foodie pen pal

About a month ago I signed up online to be a foodie pen pal. I’m always on the look out for new healthy treats and thought it would be a great way to be introduced to something new, especially from other cities. This month I had Krista (no blog) from Toronto and she sent me such a yummy package.

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It included some multi coloured brown rice pasta made from different added veggies, this will be great for an anytime dinner, you can never squeeze too many veggies in. She also included a package of apple cinnamon chia goodness cereal, which is going to be great to take with me on my upcoming Christmas time trips. I find travelling with food allergies can be quite challenging and this cereal is awesome become you can just add water. It’s super easy and full of protein, fibre and healthy omega 3 fats! She also included 2 new to me snacks: a package of apple crunchers and a package of chocolate drizzled quinoa bites, I’m OBSESSED with anything apples and anything quinoa so she really got it right! The package also included some new to me teas as well as 2 recipe cards. Can’t wait to give those a go! maybe with her permission I can post them on the blog once i’ve made them.
This was such a great activity to take part in, I loved putting together a package to send off (which you can check out here) as well as waiting like a little kid for my snail mail package of goodies… Who doesn’t like getting mail that isn’t bills!
If anyone is interested in taking part next month head over to The Lean Green Bean, you don’t even need a blog, just an interest in all things food 🙂

Raw avocado banana coconut cream tart

Things have been pretty busy busy around here but I wanted to pop in and share my newest obsession, i’ve been eating it for breakfast, snacks and dessert… Can’t get enough!

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Raw avocado, banana, coconut cream tart 🙂 (submitted to wellness weekend and slightly indulgent Tuesday): I made a few mini tarts
Crust: ½ cup walnuts, ½ cup dates, pinch of salt… pulse in the food processor until its crumbly but comes together when pushed in the tart pan. once pressed in tart pans put in freezer to firm up while prepping the filling

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Filling: ½ avocado, ½ coconut milk (canned full fat-remember fat is your friend!), ½ banana, 3 dates,1 tbsp chia seeds, ½ tsp cinnamon,1 tsp vanilla,1 tbsp coconut oil,2 tbsp coconut flakes, a few drops of stevia if needed (taste as you go). Blend together in food processor, fill tart shells and place in fridge or freezer to set.

I’ve been making a little extra filling to enjoy as a quick easy pudding

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such a yummy but healthy treat! hope you enjoy it as much as I do 🙂

Sweet but deadly

Get comfy… this is a long but very important post! Please think twice before you reach for/order that diet pop!

Aspartame, 200 times sweeter than sugar, was accidently discovered in 1965 by a scientist testing anti-ulcer compounds. Aspartame is made of 40% aspartic acid, 50% phenylalanine and 10% methanol (poison).

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Because aspartic acid and phenylalanine are amino acids, building blocks of protein, the companies responsible for aspartame (NutraSweet, Equal, Spoonful, Equal-measures) can promote aspartame as a healthy sugar alternative. This could not be farther from the truth!

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Lets look at the constituents of aspartame:

Methanol, aka wood alcohol/poison, breaks down into formaldehyde in the body-a known deadly neurotoxin and carcinogen. Formaldehyde is responsible for destroying the myelin tissue, which protects your nerves and allows nerve signals to travel properly. Once destroyed, people can experience symptoms similar to those of MS: headaches/migraines, dizziness, fatigue, irritability, heart palpitations, vision problems, breathing difficulties, anxiety … No thank you! I think I’ll pass on the diet soda

But there’s more! It also has the ability to exacerbate chronic illnesses such as brain tumors, MS, epilepsy, chronic fatigue, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, lymphoma, birth defects, fibromyalgia, and diabetes. Because of the potential damage methanol can cause in the body the EPA has set a limit of 7.8 mg/day, well… a 1 liter aspartame sweetened beverage contains about 56 mg of methanol but, most people don’t consume just 1 beverage per day, ‘heavy users’ can consume as much as 250 mg of methanol daily or 32 TIMES THE EPA LIMIT! (mercola.com).

Phenylalanine, an essential amino acid normally found in the brain, when consumed in excess can cause significant damage. It can decrease serotonin in the brain which leads to emotional disorders and can cause schizophrenia or make one more susceptible to seizures! That diet coke is looking less and less appealing!

And finally Aspartic acid, an amino acid, has the ability to destroys neural cells, the main issue with that is that most of the neural cells are destroyed before any symptoms are noticed! These symptoms can be MS, ALA, memory loss, hormonal issues, hearing loss, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, hypoglycemia, dementia, brain lesions… AKA, not a good time!

Most ‘heavy users’ are dieters that assume by consuming products with zero calories from ‘sugar’ they will automatically lose weight, this couldn’t be farther from the truth. When you consume a diet pop you get all of the sweet taste but zero of the calories. Although this seems like an ideal situation for your waist, your body is searching for the calories to match the intense sweetness, obviously they aren’t there and this actually stimulates hunger because your body is searching for satiety. Instead of consuming minimal calories, most people end up consuming way more than they would to satisfy your body’s satiety needs!

How can the FDA consider aspartame safe you ask?  Mostly because the FDA is ‘in bed’ with the aspartame industry either as stockowners, through funding or even offering post FDA employees jobs. Essentially the companies manipulate government agencies and flood the scientific community with flawed studies sponsored by the makers of aspartame (mercola.com)

So, now I ask, are the MS related symptoms, seizures, behavioral disturbances, birth defects, visual problems and potential death worth that diet coke? I don’t think so! The key is everything in moderation; why not just use a small amount of the real thing instead of over consuming highly processes dangerous chemicals? Try sweetening with fresh fruit, maple syrup, raw honey or even natural green leaf stevia, at least these sweeteners contain valuable vitamins and minerals that do the body good! Just remember, a little goes a long way. If you wean yourself off of a high sugar diet you will find just a small amount of sweet will actually satisfy your craving.

Aspartame is not just found in diet pop, it can be found in instant breakfasts, breath mints, cereals, sugar free gum, cocoa mixes, coffee drinks, frozen desserts, juice, laxatives, multi vitamins, shakes, instant drinks, wine coolers, yogurt and much much more! Please please check labels and just say NO to aspartame!

As a sweet treat the other day I made up a batch of apple cinnamon muffins, they hit the spot!

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Apple cinnamon muffins (submitted to wellness weekend and slightly indulgent Tuesdays): 1 cup spaghetti squash (its what I had on hand, you could use apple sauce, pumpkin or any other squash), 2 tbsp ground flax seed, 6 tbsp water, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp vanilla, ¾ cup almond milk, 3 dates, 1 cup brown rice flour, 1 cup almond flour, ¼ cup coconut flakes, 1 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp baking soda, ¼ tsp fresh nutmeg, 1 apple chopped, ¼ cup walnuts. Blend wet together to breakdown dates, mix dry, stir wet into dry,  gently fold apple and walnuts into batter, spoon into paper lines muffin tins and bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.

What are some of your favorite ways to naturally sweeten your treats?

Pizza, yes please!

Sulfur, although largely ignored by the health food world, is arguably the most essential element in our body’s detoxification processes, as well as its ability to reduce oxygen based damage (such as the free radical damage discussed previously). When we are exposed to potentially toxic substances, they must be attached to sulfur in order to be detoxified and removed from the body. I don’t know anybody who couldn’t use a little help detoxing, we are surrounded by so many environmental and chemical toxins!

Sulfur is also a part of 4 amino acids, and therefore, performs a number of different functions in the body. It is necessary for the formation of collagen, the protein found in connective tissue in the body, and thus is very important in joint health. It is also present in keratin, which is necessary for the health of skin, nails and hair, aids in carbohydrate metabolism, proper digestion, proper brain function and all cell activities. Sounds like a pretty important mineral eh.

Sulfur is readily available in protein foods, egg yolks being one of the better sources, as well as in ‘smelly veggies’ such as onions, garlic, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, kale, collards, mustard greens, chard, broccoli, cauliflower, kelp and other seaweed.

One of my new favorite ways to get enough sulfur in my diet is a cauliflower crust pizza, a great gluten free alternative! I’ve seen a ton of different varieties floating around the internet so I thought i’d give it a go, it turned out great!

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Cauliflower pizza crust: 1 head cauliflower, 1 egg, 1/3 cup soft cheese, such as goat cheese, 1 tsp Italian seasoning, pinch of salt. Plus toppings of your choice.

This processes is a bit nitty gritty so I’ll walk through the steps, if not done properly you end up with a bit of a soggy mess!

First you want to remove the cauliflower from the head and pulse it in a food processor until it resembles rice.

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Then you want to steam the cauliflower, either in a pot of boiling water or in the microwave. Once steamed it is very important you drain well, this is the most important step. Let the cauliflower cool slightly in a fine sieve, once it is cool to the touch put in the centre of a dish cloth, twist and squeeze all of the liquid out, the drier the better.

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Once your pleased with the moisture level put in a bowl, add the egg, cheese, spice and salt and mix well. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and pour the mixture on the sheet forming into a crust.

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Then bake the crust in a preheated oven at 400 for about 40 minutes, until nice and golden.

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Now your ready to top! pile on whatever you’d like then just pop it in the oven for another 10 minutes or so (keep an eye on it) and your left with a very yummy, low carbohydrate (for the diabetics out there), treat.

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Not so hard to get your sulfur rich veggies is it! What are some of your favourite ways?

Hope you enjoy 🙂

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