Today I am going through three toast combinations, that can be enjoyed as a healthy breakfast or snack.
Bread often gets a bad reputation but I personally love bread and think that it can be part of a healthy diet.
Reasons I like bread:
1. It is a great source of carbohydrates to provide the body with energy, as well as a source of fibre and other vitamins.
2. It can be quite cost effective.
3. Easy + quick!
4. Restricting or limiting bread ( especially if you love it!) can lead to cravings and binge eating.
5. Satisfying + versatile!
Now, when choosing bread, there are a few things I typically try to keep in mind. I try to keep it whole grain, so that you are in fact getting fibre. I also keep the ingredients minimal. You can read the ingredient list of bread and see 10 + ingredients, most of which are unnecessary. I also like a sourdough bread or bread using a sourdough culture, instead of yeast, which can be easier to digest. Lastly, I prefer an ancient wheat like spelt, rye or kamut, or a sprouted grain, which is also often easier to digest and generally more nutritious.
My favourite bread brands include:
1. Ezekial Sprouted Grain Bread
2. Silver Hills Sprouted Grain Bread
3. Stone Mills Sprouted Grain Bread
4. Dimpflmeier 100% Rye Sourdough Bread
6. Little Stream Bakery
St. John’s Bakery, sourdough bread
Cock-A-Doodle-Doo, gluten-free sourdough bread
Praire Boy Bakery
Now that you know why I love bread, and the brands I choose, here are three different toppings that you will commonly see me make.
1. Avocado Toast
How to make:
Add 1/2 avocado sliced, with 1 tbsp hemp hearts, sea salt, a squeeze of lemon, a pinch of nutritional yeast + any spice or herb of choice (I added zaatar spice here).
2. Coconut Cream + Jam
How to make:
Spread sunflower seed butter as a base, top with a spoonful of coconut cream and a dollop of your favourite jam.
3. Nut Butter + Fruit
How to make:
Spread almond butter as a base, and top with sliced apple, pear + banana. Sprinkle with cinnamon.
Now, I would love to hear from you! What are your favourite bread brands? Do you have toast toppings you love? Let me know in the comments!
As we are enjoying (or suffering from) the hot weather in Toronto, I wanted to compile some popsicle recipes as a delicious way to cool down!
Below you can download the ebooklet with 5 recipes for healthy popsicles.
These popsicles are all made with whole food ingredients, low in sugar and even a bit nutritious!
Enjoy and stay cool out there!
Today I am focusing on health tips for the work week. I know that many of you find it difficult to stay healthy during the work week. Busy schedules, lack of time and stress can make it difficult to make healthy choices. I commonly hear that lunch is a rush, and that it is easier to pick up something quick on the go, or that the food choices around the office are not the healthiest. I also commonly hear my clients talk about sugary office snacks, and constant exposure to baked goods and desserts that are brought into the office and difficult to resist.
Since we spend the majority of our life at work, the health tips that we establish at work, or throughout the work week, are important. Healthy habits at work can help maintain energy levels throughout the day, decrease stress and increase focus.
Below I outlines some tips to stay healthy during the week!
5 Tips to Stay Healthy During the Work Week
1. Keep a BIG bottle of water at your desk. Most of us do not drink enough water. A strategy is to keep a big bottle at the desk and either set intervals on your phone to drink, or simply make a rule that you drink 1/2 of the water bottle before lunch, and half after. Having your water be at your desk, can also be a constant reminder to drink when you are thirsty.
2. Bring snacks. Instead of “resisting” the baked goods and sweet treats at the office, bring your own. If you are hungry, or experiencing low blood sugar, combined with potentially feeling stressed and tired, there is no way you can resist a cupcake! I want to say that it is OKAY to enjoy treats and desserts throughout the day. I am talking to those who do not feel good after these treats, but find themselves eating them anyway.
Keep non perishables at work like nuts, dark chocolate or a bar. If you are able to keep snacks in the fridge try for fruit, hummus and sliced vegetables.
3. Prep lunch. Now this is a big one, but finding time on a Sunday ( or whatever day) to prepare your lunches for the week, can be helpful. If you constantly find that you are not bringing lunch, but you want to, this can be a tip for you. Creating jar salads, batch cooking an item for lunch or always cooking extra dinner exclusively for leftovers, are all great options!
4. Keep a list of healthy take-out. I know that many of my clients find they can not bring a homemade lunch to work, however they still want to eat healthy. Creat a list of healthy take-out by your office, or through uber eats/foodora with a typical order planned out so that you can have a healthy lunch easily and without thinking about it too much.
5. Take 5 deep breaths before you eat. Now, this may seem a bit extra but eating in a “relaxed” state is important. Now, I know it may be impossible to relax when we are at work, but that is where the 5 deeps breaths come in. 5 deeps breaths is enough to relax our system. Why do we care to relax before we eat? When we are stressed our digestive system stop working optimally and we may find we experience acid reflux, indigestion or stomach aches. If we are not digesting properly our body uses extra energy to digest food, leaving us more tired after we eat. 5 deep breaths can also bring oxygen to the brain and help us focus more throughout the day. A win/win!
I hope you enjoyed these tips and that you find them helpful!
We hope you are enjoying the Monthly Nourish segments on the blog. In case this is the first time you are checking in, each month we highlight three foods, discuss the health benefits of these foods along with recipes and new ways to include them! The purpose of this is to embrace healthy foods whenever you can, and in ways that you enjoy. We hope you are encouraged to try new foods, or new recipes, a little bit at a time!
Parsley is notably high in vitamin C, which is a vitamin that is good for our skin, immune health and stress. It is also full of antioxidants, and ones that are not found in many other foods.
Enjoy parsley in your salad, in chicken soup or even in your smoothie!
Dandelion greens are a nutrient-dense vegetable and a good source of vitamin C, B6, calcium, magnesium and potassium. Dandelion greens are particularly healthy due to the bitter flavour, which can stimulate enzyme production in the gastrointestinal system and help with your digestion.
Dandelion greens are bitter, and so we find them best lightly sautéed (which takes out some of the bitterness) or added to a salad with a sweeter dressing.
These bright coloured fruits are not only bursting with flavour but with loads of antioxidants, specifically querccetin. Quercetin can lower histamine in the body and help with seasonal allergies, as well as being noted as a potential cancer-fighting antioxidant. Berries are also a low sugar fruit, and contain fibre, so a great fruit to include if you are trying to manage blood sugar levels.
We hope you try some new foods this month! Please tag us with #monthlynourish with all of your recipe creations an experimentations this month!
Eating for $1.00 a day.
Seems impossible, right? For the average person, it very much is impossible. I tried to eat for $1.00 a day ( 3 meals) and today I am going to describe the experience, as well as explain why I attempted to do this.
Eating for $1 a day is part of the #summerhungerchallenge and Every Plate Full campaign. This campaign aims to bring awareness to summer hunger across Canada. Summer hunger is a real issue in Canada, as the need for food banks increase while donations in the summer months decrease. Food banks are able to provide 3 meals for $1, which is incredible. However, it is very difficult to do and to me, shows the importance and value of each donation.
When I was planning my meals, it took a lot of time. I thought about the most nutritious and nutrient-dense options. Obviously, this is very difficult to do and below is my attempt.
MY MEALS FOR THE DAY
BREAKFAST | Oatmeal with an Egg
1/2 cup oats
Carbohydrates: 27.4 g
LUNCH | Millet & Lentil Stew with Chipati
1/4 cup millet
1/4 cup red lentils
Chapati; 1/8 cup flour with water
4 pieces spinach
1 baby tomato, chopped
4 pieces sliced carrots
DINNER | Millet & Lentil Stew with Chipati
1/4 cup millet
1/4 cup red lentils
Chapati; 1/8 cup flour with water
4 pieces spinach
1 baby tomato, chopped
4 pieces sliced carrots
TOTAL COST: $0.92
The main challenges that I came accross, other than eating enough food, was maintaining variety, eating nutritionally, enhancing the visual appeal and adding flavour.
My priority was to try and eat enough calories and as nutritionally as possible. This was not enough food for an average woman who is busy and active. I found I compromised on variety and made the same meal for lunch and dinner, as this kept the cost down while calories and nutrition up. For the odd day, this is okay but for me I would not want the same meal for lunch and dinner, every day.
The visual appeal of my food is also something that I value and enhances the experiences of enjoying my food. Eating bland and boring looking food, every day, is not something that I would like, longer term. I found adding the few pieces of colour, made a difference.
Adding flavour is also an added expense. I did find that a little bit went a long way and I added a small bit of cinnamon to the oatmeal, and salt to the soup. However, the meals were definately flavourless.
It is clear that when living with food insecurity, every decision is a difficult one. Every bite of food is and can be a huge sacrifice. Not only that, but making healthy choices and make food exciting is likely the last thing on the list. You just need anything.
Food banks are very important and this is an issue I have been passionate about for a very long time. Any donation helps, while it is important to be mindful of the food you are donating and think about whether or not it would be something you like, and would like to eat. I use this judgement whenever I donate to any food bank.
Now, I challenge YOU to take on this challenge. See how difficult it is to eat for under $1 a day. Donate to food banks if you can, and spread the word about summer hunger in Canada.
Today I am posting a recipe for a kale salad. If you do not like kale, you can use any green- spinach, arugula, romaine – or anything else you like!
A Kale Salad Recipe
1 head of kale, chopped
handful of baby tomatoes, chopped
1 avocado, sliced
1 cup black beans
handful cilantro, chopped
5 green onions, chopped
1/2 cup crumbled feta
2 parts oil
1 part lemon/lime juice or vinegar
salt + pepper
1. Add all ingredients together in a bowl.
2. Mix dressing ingredients in a container. Add to salad.
I am slowly announcing new contributors to the blog. One new regular contributer, which you may have seen around here before, will be my friend and fellow Nutritionist, Kelly Boaz. Kelly specializes in eating disorders, and she is a wealth of knowledge. On the blog she will be writing about eating disorders and developing a healthy relationship with food.
Everything Your Health Class Didn’t Teach You About Eating Disorders
Whenever I do talks at high schools on eating disorders, I always start by asking the students what they already know on the subject. While there are usually one or two who are willing to share their more comprehensive knowledge on the subject, the majority of the feedback I get goes something like this:
“Anorexia is when you don’t eat. Bulimia is when you eat a lot, and throw up. And I think there might be another one in there, too . . .”
Sadly, this seems to be about as much as the general population knows about eating disorders, too. And, even more unfortunately, it’s not entirely correct.
Today, I thought I’d give you a little primer in the various types of eating disorders, so hopefully you’ll know if you or someone you love might be suffering.
When people think of anorexia, they tend to think of emaciated bodies who only ingest lettuce. In reality, those battling anorexia have very different eating patterns. Some will focus on low-calorie foods, while others will practice “clean eating”, while others still will eat restricted quantities of higher calorie foods. Some will only restrict, but others will also engage in binging and/or purging symptoms, as well.
While the diagnostic criteria for anorexia puts a big focus on low body weight, people at any size can experience the symptoms of anorexia. Many “weight loss transformation” stories are only achieved through restrictive tendencies that would be diagnosed as anorexia in a smaller body. No matter what size someone wears, anorexia and its associated symptoms can be deadly. In fact, anorexia has the highest mortality rate of any mental illness.
This is another misunderstood eating disorder. In fact, a lot of people could be diagnosed with bulimia without even realizing it. Because we tend to associate bulimia with vomiting, it’s easy to forget that there are other methods of purging that are more “socially acceptable”. One of the most common methods of purging is excessive exercise.
Have you ever been bored at home, eaten more food than you’d intended, then worked out extra hard at the gym the next day to compensate for it? You’ve engaged in a form of bulimia. While this must occur at least once a week, and over a period of at least three months to meet the diagnostic criteria for bulimia, it is definitely a warning sign that you may need help with your relationship with food.
Binge Eating Disorder
Binge Eating Disorder is similar to bulimia, but without the purging factor. If you feel out of control around food, and eat quickly, to uncomfortable levels of fullness, or in secret, you might have binge eating disorder.
People binge for many reasons. Sometimes, it’s for emotional comfort, or out of boredom, but quite often it’s a response to restrictive eating patterns. It happens a lot with people who try to only eat foods they deem “clean”. Say you avoid eating ice cream. You’ve convinced yourself that banana “nice cream” is the same thing. Then, one day, your husband leaves a pint of ice cream in the freezer. You can’t stop thinking about it. You grab a spoon and promise yourself only ONE bite. Next thing you know, the whole container is empty.
This isn’t because you can’t control yourself around ice cream. It’s because you’ve controlled yourself TOO MUCH around ice cream, and this is the pendulum response. It takes a lot of work, but it is possible to be a person who eats ice cream every once in a while, and stops when they’ve had enough. In fact, it’s possible to be a person who has ice cream in the house and just forgets it’s there.
OSFED (Formerly EDNOS)
OSFED is a catch-all term which stands for “Other Specified Feeding And Eating Disorders”. (It used to be known as Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified). This is the diagnostic term for those who meet some of the criteria for eating disorders, but not all. In my experience, most people with eating disorders fall into this category. Being “subthreshold” for any of the other diagnoses doesn’t mean your eating disorder isn’t as severe as that of someone with anorexia or bulimia, it just means that the limited criteria we have don’t account for everyone’s experience.
While orthorexia isn’t an officially recognized eating disorder yet, it affects a lot of people. Orthorexia is a preoccupation with “healthy” eating to the point where it affects a person’s quality of life. In many cases, orthorexia is typified by the removal of food groups from one’s diet. Often, orthorexia is a stepping stone to other eating disorders.
Sometimes known as “anorexia athletica” or “exercise bulimia” this is a preoccupation with exercise that can interfere with normal life, feels out of control, and/or is affecting one’s health.
If you’re feeling out of control in your relationship with food, you don’t have to suffer alone. There is life outside of food prep and calorie counting and hours at the gym. It doesn’t matter if you meet the diagnostic criteria, or weigh a certain number, or wear a certain size, if you’re suffering you deserve help. Reach out. You’re worth it.
Hi friends! we hope you enjoyed using last month’s Monthly Nourish foods in your diet and we are so excited to feature three new foods for June! Don’t forget to tag us in your recipe creations this month and use the hashtag #MonthlyNourish for all of us to share!
It’s finally strawberry season! Strawberries are rich in anti-oxidants and are one of the most vitamin C dense foods on earth. Strawberries are also a good source of dietary fibre, which is an important component in regulating blood sugar levels in the body to sustain energy and manage weight. Strawberries are a low glycemic fruit, which makes them a perfect summer snack.
Strawberries are great on top of porridge, oatmeal, added to fruit salad or enjoyed on their own. Freezing a batch and having them in your smoothies are also a great option for the summer. They are also nice to add to a salad with greens, cucumbers and walnuts for a fresh and sweet flavour.
We love cucumbers because of their potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. The antioxidants include vitamin C, beta-carotene and manganese, as well as numerous flavonoids, lignans and cucurbitacins to protect the body against free radical damage and boost our immune system.
Cucumbers add a delicious fresh flavour to any salad, sandwich or dip. We love snacking on cucumbers with hummus to keep us hydrated and energized throughout the day. Adding sliced cucumbers into water will also enhance the flavour, with the added nutrient-boost!
Check our Monthly Nourish board on Pinterest to find more recipe inspiration like this Chilled Cucumber, Dill and Yogurt Soup from the Olive Magazine.
Cashews are an excellent source of manganese, magnesium, phosphorus and zinc. Surprisingly enough, cashews are lower in fat than most nuts. They are made up of mostly monounsaturated fat, making these nuts extremely heart healthy, a great snack for those struggling with diabetes and a great food for your brain!
Cashews are not only a delicious and easy snack, but they make a great add-on to any salad or smoothie. Adding crushed cashews to a homemade stir-fry is an easy and healthy option to keep you satiated. Due to the creamy consistency, cashews are also a perfect dairy-free ingredient to make Caesar salad dressings or raw cheesecake desserts!
Check out our Monthly Nourish board on Pinterest to get more recipe inspiration like this Creamy Cashew Goddess Dressing from The Bojon Gourmet
We are you are excited to try out some new recipes for the month of June using these three foods! We can’t wait to see what you make. Make sure to tag us in your creations and use the hashtag #MonthlyNourish for all of us to share!
-Sarah + Jass
Another monthly Q&A! This month we had questions about working out, student life and energy!
What should I eat before and after a workout?
This answer is quite individualized, and it depends on the type of workout you are doing and the time of day you are exercising. Generally, carbohydrates provide you with quick energy while protein and fat provide sustained energy, which is helpful for most forms of exercise. Enjoying a source of a complex carbohydrate (i.e. sweet potato, whole wheat bread, oatmeal, a grain etc.) with protein ( i.e.nut butter, egg) and fat (i.e. nut butter, hemp hearts, avocado) can be great for sustained energy during a workout. If you are in ketosis, having a snack with fat is what you need to keep energy up during a workout. Some of my clients like to start the day with a fasted workout, which may be helpful for specific fitness goals, but is not for everyone!
Some of my favourite pre-workout snacks or meals include toast with peanut butter, sliced banana and sprinkled hemp hearts or a homemade energy ball.
Post-workout meals or snacks typically include a good portion of protein with a good source of carbohydrates. When we think of post-workout nutrition we think of “recovery”. Right after you exercise your muscles are open to receiving amino acids from protein, which help to form and build muscles. You actually need carbohydrates for the protein to enter the muscles properly. If you have a sweet tooth, enjoying something higher glycemic (aka higher in sugar) is best during this time compared to other times of the day.
Some of my favourite post-workout snacks or meals include a smoothie with protein powder and banana, or a meal that includes chicken, salmon or lentils with sweet potato or brown rice.
Do you have any tips for students?
Here are my tips for students!
1. Healthy Snacks; you can not control all meals (i.e. crazy schedule, cafeteria meals), but keeping healthy snacks in your dorm or purse is a great way to get quick energy. Nuts, seeds, trail mixes (no sugar or oil), Lara bars or bounce bars are great options.
2. Meal Prep/Batch Cooking; this tip can help you save time and is usually cost effective. Allocate 1-2 hours on one day a week and make large batches of a healthy dish. Soups, chili, curry, stews are all great options.
3. Buy in Bulk; buying food in bulk is a great way to save money. You can buy healthy ingredients like beans, lentils, whole grains, pasta and more.
What are the best foods for energy?
Other than medical conditions or nutrition deficiencies that can contribute to fatigue, the first thing I think of when I think about sustainable energy is focusing on balancing blood sugar.
Nutrient dense foods help to provide the body with energy that it needs to thrive, however balancing blood sugar levels is key. Lowering sugar intake, and including a source of fibre, protein with healthy fat at each meal and snack is something to strive towards.
If you struggle with low energy note the times of day or days of the week that you feel more lethargic as this can be helpful at determining the reason behind it. In my practice, I often hear my clients feel tired around 3 or 4, or right after work. This is often when blood sugar drops and is typically due to processed foods, sugar, caffeine and lack of balanced meals and snacks throughout the day. If you struggle with low energy, or with creating balanced meals or snacks for yourself, a Nutritionist can help!
Thank you to those of you who sent in your questions! If you want to see your nutrition question answered, please pop on over to our Instagram and send us a DM!
Today I am sharing a recipe for a noodle salad. This is one of my favourite go-to recipes, especially for the summer. It is fresh and satisfying, and great base for whatever protein source you like- grilled fish, chicken, tofu, tempeh, edamame etc. This recipe can be made ahead of time, and keeps well for a good three days in the fridge.
Noodle Salad Bowl
8 oz noodles approx.
1 cucumber, julienned
1 carrot julienned
3 sprigs green onion, chopped
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
1/2 Napa cabbage, sliced
Mix all together:
2 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp tamari
2 tbsp rice vinegar
Juice of 1 lime
grated ginger, to taste
- Mix all salad ingredients together, and mix wth dressing. Top with extra cilantro, lime + sesame seeds.
I hope you enjoy this recipe! Please let me know if you like it by tagging me on Instagram, or commenting below!