Monthly Archives: August 2013

Cinnamon love

I don’t know about you but when the weathers a little lousy I tend to crave warming spices such as cinnamon. Cinnamon is one of those spices that elicits lifelong memories of moms apple pie 🙂

Cinnamon is one of the oldest spices known and has long been used for its many medicinal purposes:

  • Most commonly, cinnamon has been used to manage blood glucose levels as well as triglyceride and cholesterol levels, which are concerns for those with type II diabetes. Sprinkling cinnamon on higher carb foods will help minimize the spike in blood sugar after eating.
  • Properties in cinnamon (cinnaldehyde) have also been proven to prevent unwanted clumping of blood platelets thus helping lower blood pressure.
  • The common comforting scent has been shown to increase cognitive function making cinnamon the perfect afternoon pick me up when your feeling that 3:00 slump.
  • In addition to being a glucose moderator, anti-clotter, and brain function enhancer, cinnamon’s essential oils are also recognized as an antibacterial agent. The essential oils are able to stop the growth of bacterial as well as fungi, making cinnamon the perfect Candida remedy.

With all these amazing benefits your probably wondering how you can incorporate more cinnamon in your life. My go too’s are:

  • Sprinkled on slices of apple
  • Sprinkled on my morning hot cereal
  • Sprinkled on my morning almond butter, raw honey, banana toast
  • Added to my smoothies
  • Added to any baked good
  • Sprinkled on top of your morning coffee (cinnamon helps minimize blood sugar spike as a result of the caffeine)

Or… you could make my delish paleo, gluten free honey almond butter cinnamon rolls. These are not your traditional doughy rolls but instead a delicious crisp roll, I promise you, they are equally as good.

Almond butter honey cinnamon rolls:

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  • 2 Cups Almond Flour
  • 1/8 Tsp Sea Salt
  • 1/2 Tbsp Baking Soda
  • 1 Tbsp Baking Powder
  • 2 Tbsp almond butter +1 tbsp almond butter (in filling)
  • 1 Tbsp non dairy milk
  • 1 Tbsp Honey (In Dough) 3 tbsp Honey (In Filling)
  • 1 Tsp Cinnamon (In Dough) 2 Tbsps Cinnamon (In Filling)
  • 2  Eggs
  • 4 Tbsps Ground Flax Seed

Mix dry ingredients together, mix wet together, add wet to dry and stir until a dough forms.  Shape into a ball with your hands and place in fridge for about 30 mins. After 30 minutes, roll out dough on a piece of greased wax paper into a thin square. Cut dough into 5 long strips, mix the 1 tbsp almond butter and 3 tbsp honey together and drizzle on top of the cut dough. Sprinkle heavily with 2 tbsps of cinnamon before tightly rolling each strip. The dough is quite sticky and easily breaks, just be sure to squeeze the dough tightly together so it sticks together. Once the strips are all rolled up you can either bake them as is or cut them in half to make mini rolls. I baked these up in a greased muffin tin at 350 for about 25 minutes.

There are endless possibilities for the filling… I’m thinking basil, sundried tomato and goat cheese next… I’ll keep you posted 🙂

Hope you enjoy these little treats as much as we did.

Taffy says hi 🙂

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The Usual

As I’ve stated a few times before I am a creature of habit. I get up at the same time, eat my meals at the same time, workout at the same time and generally eat similar meals.

I know this meal time repetitiveness can lead to nutritional deficiencies so I always try to squeeze as many nutrients into my meals as possible. For the past few months I have been on a serious smoothie kick, with the weather being much warmer theres nothing better than a post workout smoothie. Smoothies are the perfect vessel for nutrient overloading, you can basically keep adding and adding whatever you’d like and as long as you have a banana it will generally still taste delicious.Image

When making my smoothies I always make sure to include lots of healthy fats, fresh organic fruits and veggies and a clean source of protein.

My go to these days is a delicious blueberry banana protein smoothie: 1/2 ripe avocado, 1-2 tbsp chia seeds, a few handfuls of kale, 1/2 frozen banana, 1/2-3/4 cup frozen blueberries, 1 scoop vanilla protein powder (I use raw sunwarrior sprouted protein powder) and 1 cup almond milk… blend until nice and creamy 🙂 Avocado in your smoothie is a game changer! honestly it makes the smoothie so thick and creamy.

Another favourite of mine is a almond butter, banana and date smoothie: 1-2 tbsp almond butter, 2-4 dates (depending on sweetness), 1 frozen banana, 1 tbsp chia seeds, 1 tsp cinnamon, a handful of kale, 2 tbsp hemp hearts, and 1 cup almond milk… blend until smooth 🙂

The balance between protein, fat and carbs really helps keep you satiated, it’s the perfect start to the day!

I don’t know about you, but I find starting the day with lots of fruits and veggies really sets me up to make more nutritious decisions throughout the day.

Hope you enjoy 🙂

It’s the little things

A couple people have asked me about the changes I alluded to in my previous post. These are not major changes and upon reflection they seem so obvious.

So what have I changed since starting at IHN?

1-    Drink water, lots of it. I know, duh! The funny thing is until I truly understood why drinking lots of pure clean water was so important I just couldn’t get myself to drink it, now that I’m informed I can’t get enough! Water is needed for every single bodily function. It is needed to help move fiber through the body and GI tract, it flushes toxins, it lubricates the joints, speeds up your metabolism, it assists in protein and enzyme production, it acts as a solvent in the body, aids in transport, aids in chemical reactions in the body, is needed for the transmission of messages within the body, etc… It is needed for everything! Since I started drinking water I have noticed my skin is clearer, my digestion is much better, my cravings are reduced, I’m not as stiff first thing in the morning, I have more energy, I could go on and on. Moral of the story drink more water! I used to think herbal teas were sufficed, nope! Your body needs clean fresh water to perform all of its many jobs so make sure your drinking a minimum of 8-10 glasses a day.

2-    Food is for fuel. Again, duh! But until I started at IHN I really only saw food as something super delicious and something to make the hunger pains go away. Now I see food as a way to support my work outs, support healing and support my well-being (emotional, physical, mental). I used to look at food as a certain amount of calories, fat, carbs… Now, I could care less how many calories or grams of fat a food has, I much more care for how it is going to support me in feeling my best. I used to be hungry all the time, never ever feeling fully satiated. Now, because I focus on including as many minerals and vitamins in my diet, I never feel that voracious hunger.

3-    Slow down, especially at meal times. I used to almost always eat on the run or when I was working but now I’m trying (note: still trying, its tough) to take a step back and eat in a more relaxed, present state. I don’t know about you but when I’m eating in front of the computer, TV, while driving etc., I often don’t even remember what I’ve just eaten and how it tasted. It’s so easy to think of eating as something that just slows you down and gets in the way when, like I said in #2, food is our fuel and if we want to live optimally we need to not only be conscious about what were putting in our bodies but the state in which we eat. Our bodies have 2 different autonomic nervous system responses: sympathetic-fight or flight and parasympathetic-rest, relax and digest. When we are stressed, working, distracted, on the go, etc., our bodies are not designed to digest, they are designed to either fight the lion or run from it however, when we are relaxed and present, we are able to digest and assimilate our foods. You often hear the saying ‘you are what you eat’ but really it should be ‘you are what you digest and assimilate’. By taking time out of my day to prepare and enjoy my food I’m actually tasting my foods and enjoying them much more, I’m also able to detect my hunger and fullness factor which is very important for weight loss/weight management.

4-    The importance of chewing your food properly– your stomach doesn’t have teeth! I already wrote about the benefits from properly chewing your food

5-    If you can’t eat it, don’t put it on your skin. This was a big change for me, before IHN I didn’t own a single organic natural beauty product. All of my shampoos, conditioners, detergents, soaps, lotions, etc., were chemically laden goods. If you really think about it, your skin is your largest organ and is highly absorbable; whatever you put on your skin is going to end up inside your body. I would never ever think about ingesting some of those un-pronounceable ingredients so I decided to change things up, out with the old in with the new. Another resource that helped me learn the dangers associated with each product and each brand was the Environmental Working Groups consumer guide website– it’s so eye opening, go check it out! My skin and hair has never looked as good and my poor liver finally has a chance to do it job instead of being overloaded by all my chemical producsts.

6-    Choose organic foods when possible, especially produce. Really this picture says it all…

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Clearly I have learnt a lot, and I could go on and on for hours (just ask my friends and family). Again, these all seem like duh! Things to do but I was not doing them prior to IHN. It is so easy to get brain washed by the ever constant flooding of advertisements and social media telling us to eat a certain way, use a specific product, live a certain way that we are no longer listening to our intuition. Our bodies know what they need to act optimally, we just need to slow down and listen.

If you are keen to make some changes you can start small. Here is a really effective homemade deodorant: ¼ cup melted unrefined coconut oil, ¼ cup baking soda (aluminum free), ¼ cup corn starch, 10 or so drops of essential oils (I like using lavender and tea tree oil) and a glass jar with a lid… basically all you do is mix everything together really well and pour into a glass jar. I like to put it in the fridge to set but I keep it out on the counter for easy application. This easy to make deodorant has complete bacteria and odour fighting power and is completely chemical free!

Summer lovin

Hi Hi its been a while! well I have officially finished my first year at IHN! one more year until I have to make some big girls decisions on what I want to do with this education. This year has been a whirlwind, lots of ups and downs but i’m really really happy I stuck it out, I have learnt so much and I already feel like i’ve made some positive changes from this past year. On to the next!

Since being off I have enjoyed many a good meal.

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(my first homemade poached egg-yum!, smoked salmon dill eggs benny, gluten free waffles with fresh strawberries, chocolate avocado cupcakes, maple bacon pancakes, eggs and sweet potato hash, double bison bacon avocado burger)

An amazing girls night potluck, everything was so delish!

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As you can see i’ve been very busy enjoying elaborate delicious meals 🙂

I’m still farmers market obsessed, in fact I normally hit up 3 a week: 1 Friday night, 1 Saturday morning and then 1 Sunday morning. I love walking around checking out the goodies and chatting with all the different farmers and vendors. My favourite things to do these days is to gather a bunch of random ingredients and then pretend i’m on the show chopped (I get cooler every day I know) and try to create something super yummy.

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A super simple local kale, strawberry salad sprinkled with roasted almonds and hemp seeds

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Local cherry tomatoes, steamed green beans and avocado with a hearty glug of EVOO, salt and pepper.

ImageA beet, carrot, apple, parsley, quinoa slaw with fresh lemon and EVOO

ImageLocal organic chicken and BBQ veggies (peppers, onions, zucchini)

I still have a few weeks off from school to relax and enjoy the gorgeous weather we’ve been so blessed with. I will be sure to squeeze in some quality cooking time and will pop in from time to time when I land on a goodie 🙂

Just thought i’d check in and say hi, hope everyone is having a gurreat summer so far.

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Taffy says hi too 🙂

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