Homemade Granola

They say, “Make hay while the sun shines”. Lately, we have had more cloud than sun, but I decided to take advantage of the cooler temperatures by doing a little baking. One of my favourite things to make for a quick breakfast (or snack) is granola. It is really simple to prepare, and by making it at home, I can ensure that I avoid refined sugars and unhealthy fats. Plus, in my humble opinion, it tastes so much better than store bought.

Pictured here is this morning’s yummy breakfast: raspberries from my garden, water buffalo yogurt (so rich and creamy), and homemade granola. There are a couple of recipes I use. This particular one is from Cookie + Kate. I love the toasty oats and nuts, and the slightly salty and sweet taste. I used olive oil, maple syrup, walnuts and cranberries in this batch. I might double the cinnamon next time.

Instant Pot Chicken

It is no secret that I LOVE my Instant Pot. I don’t only use it for full recipes. It is also great for proofing bread, making rice and… cooking chicken for my salads. This morning I put a cup of chicken stock into my Instant Pot, popped two chicken breasts into my vegetable steamer, seasoned with salt, pepper, and garlic powder, and then pressure cooked them for 6 minutes. I let the Instant Pot slow release for 10 minutes, and then the chicken rested for another ten.

I dressed this yummy salad with this amazing Chipotle Lime Salad Dressing from tasty.co. Don’t worry. It’s not too spicy. Just the right amount.

Salad Dressings

Preparing food at home is one of the easiest ways to avoid overly processed items. Salad dressings are a good place to start. For very little time and effort, you can have a tasty accompaniment for your salad greens. 

This week I made Garlic Sesame Salad Dressing from Mason Jar Salad Dressing 9 Ways at tasty.co

Because I used coconut aminos instead of soy sauce, which already have a little sweetness, I cut back on the brown sugar.

You can compare the ingredients in this dressing with those found in a popular bottled brand.

Ingredients

Ingredients: WATER, SOYBEAN OIL, SUGAR, SOY SAUCE (WATER, SOYBEANS, WHEAT, SALT), CIDER VINEGAR, SESAME OIL, WHITE VINEGAR, NATURAL FLAVOUR (CONTAINS BARLEY), SALT, SPICES, XANTHAN GUM (THICKENER), SESAME SEEDS, POTASSIUM SORBATE (MAINTAINS QUALITY), POLYSORBATE 60 (PREVENTS OIL SEPARATION), PROPYLENE GLYCOL ALGINATE (THICKENER), DRIED GARLIC, COLOUR, CALCIUM DISODIUM EDTA (MAINTAINS FLAVOUR). (B391C)

I’ve also made, and enjoyed, the Italian Salad Recipe from the same site.

Be Your Own Valentine: The Ultimate Gift of Self Care

What do you want this year to look like for you?

Do you want to feel relaxed, stress-free, energized, healthy, and happy?

If you want to take better care of yourself, but you don’t know how to get started, my new online workshop is for you, for the investment of only $99.

Over four weeks, you’ll learn….

  • Week 1 – Positive Self Talk – Shifting your inner voice can have a huge impact on how you feel and what you do. Learn how to do this.
  • Week 2 – What Brings You Joy? – (Re)discover the activities that fuel you and how to find time to include them.
  • Week 3 – All About Your Body – What we eat plays a role in how we feel and what we do. Learn how to include healthy, easy and delicious meals.
  • Week 4 – A Nurturing Space – How transforming your space can help transform your life.
  • And so much more!

This workshop will give you the unique opportunity to work with a certified coach for a fraction of the cost of a one-on-one program. You will be able to ask questions, gain personalized insight about your situation, and learn from others in the community.

Sorry guys, this group is for ladies only, but it would make a great Valentine’s Day gift!

Space is limited as I want to ensure I have time to work with each of you.

It all begins on February 1st.

To reserve your spot, get in touch!

And remember: Self-care is not optional, and it is not selfish. Only when you are mentally and physically healthy can you live your best life and be your best for others.

With love,

Coach Heather

Eat More Fish

This week, I have been focusing on decluttering my pantry. Who knew that I had so many packages of rice noodles? I have been inspired to use up my pantry ingredients, along with what I find in the fridge and freezer, in an effort not only to declutter, but also to save some money on my ever increasing grocery bill. All I needed to pick up for this delicious Weeknight Red Curry from Bon Appetit was a pound of firm white fish. I chose cod. I will definitely be adding this to my monthly menu!

Tonight, I will be making another Asian inspired fish dish that we have enjoyed before: Spicy Miso Ramen with Chili Roasted Salmon from feasting at home. You guessed it. I have salmon in the freezer and ramen in the cupboard.

There are many health benefits to including more fish in your diet:

  • It is high in important nutrients
  • It may lower your risk for heart attacks and strokes.
  • It may help with depression.
  • It’s a good dietary source of vitamin D.
  • It’s delicious, as you will soon discover when you try the recipes I have shared.

Enjoy!

Focus On What You Gain!

“One reason people resist change is because they focus on what they have to give up instead of what they have to gain.” Rick Godwin

Did you start 2019 with a goal in mind? Healthy eating? Weight-loss? Stress management? More family time? Only four days in, your focus and enthusiasm are hopefully still strong. However, research conducted by Strava, suggests that January 12th is the day when your motivation might begin to falter. How can we ensure that we make it past that fateful date? I encourage my clients to do as Rick Godwin suggests, and focus on what they are gaining from the changes they are making, rather than what they are giving up. Really, attitude IS everything!

Let’s look at healthy eating as an example. Whether they are trying to lose weight, or for other health reasons, many people believe changing their diets will involve restriction and deprivation. They focus on having to give up ice-cream, cookies, french fries….

Now, I feel the need to mention, at this point, that I don’t believe in “good” or “bad” foods. I think that there are some foods you should eat less often and in smaller amounts, or perhaps learn to make healthier versions of. But telling yourself that you will never again eat cake could lead to cravings that would derail your attempts to improve your weight and nutrition.

Keeping that in mind, you will still need to make sure that most of the food you consume, most of the time, is real: unprocessed/additive free.

So what do you gain out of eating that way? Well first of all you get to eat great food! As your taste buds recover you will discover just how delicious foods are in their natural state. Cravings for salt and sugar will be reduced. You’ll have more, stable energy. More focus. You’ll reduce your risk for diseases like type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer. You’ll improve your heart health. You’ll likely lose weight (if that is your goal), and if you have children, you will be an excellent role model for them. Wow! That’s a lot! Feeling more motivated?

Focusing on what you have to gain will increase your chances of reaching any goal. Give it a try.

I want to leave you with a recipe I tried recently: Roasted Vegetable Quesadillas from Taste of Home. They are very easy to make. I actually made the filling (there was a lot of it) a couple of days ago, and then have used it to make lunch for the last two days. You could add black beans. The cumin is very mild (kid friendly). You might want to add a smidge more. I topped mine with homemade guacamole. Yum!

Turkey Tips: Day 3

Okay. We are getting to the end of our turkey supply. Yesterday, I made a family favourite: “Turkey” Pot Pie Turnovers. Thank you Melissa D’Arabian! The salad recipe she shares to go with the turnovers is also excellent. I would include a photo of mine, but… they were not nearly as pretty. The still tasted great, though, which my family assures me is what matters most.

I also had some cranberry sauce to use up, and a search led me to this One-Bowl Cranberry Sauce Bread from Always Order Dessert. This was SO easy to make, and SO good! I will definitely be making it again… soon.

There might be just enough turkey left to share one more recipe tomorrow if my husband doesn’t use it all up in a sandwich.

Meal Planning

In last week’s post, I mentioned meal planning as a way to create a little more time for self-care, so today, I want to share how I go about planning my week (along with a few recipes).

I usually do my meal planning on Friday: creating a shopping list. I shop on Saturday and do meal preparation on Sunday, so I will be ready for the busy week ahead.

Key for me is thinking about what I can cook once, and then use at least twice. So on Sunday, I might make Crispy Roast Chicken with Vegetables. Leftover chicken could be used later in the week to make yummy Chicken Pot Pie Turnovers: great served with a simple salad. If you have a large family to feed, you could roast two chickens on Sunday to ensure that there are leftovers. I also like to make a huge batch of Roasted Vegetables. You don’t really need a recipe for this (although the one included is delicious). Any vegetables of your choice, tossed in a little olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper, will work. There are SO many ways to use roasted vegetables: topping for pizza (a fast meal with a pre-made crust, sauce and cheese), soup (pureed in broth with your choice of seasonings), lasagna, on a salad…. Often I’ll also make a lot of brown rice. If I still have some roasted chicken left, I can make Classy Chicken. Cold rice is perfect for Easy Better-Than-Takeout Shrimp Fried Rice. It’s also great for rice and bean burritos (and you can throw in some of those roasted vegetables!)

I love working with clients to help them plan and prepare meals. If this is something you’re interested in, let me know.

 

Easy Home Cooked Meals

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I believe that preparing and eating home cooked meals more frequently is good for our overall wellness. However, I also know that it can be difficult to fit shopping, prepping and cooking into a busy schedule, so I am always looking for ways to simplify. About a year ago, I purchased an Instant Pot after reading about it on many of my favourite cooking websites. It took me a while to make the purchase as I already have a well equipped kitchen, but I haven’t regretted my decision. The Instant Pot is a programmable multi-cooker that can act as a slow cooker, electric pressure cooker, rice cooker, steamer, yogurt maker and sauté pan. I have also used it to warm food and proof bread. I think what I like best is that I can pretty much throw everything into one pot and then forget about it: no checking or stirring. It will even keep dinner warm until we are ready to eat, and clean-up is quick and easy.

Pictured above is a delicious and filling vegetarian lentil tortilla soup from the website Peas and Crayons. It made just enough for five, two cup mason jars: an inexpensive and healthy lunch I could throw in my bag in the morning before I left for work.

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