Thank you to my good friend Natalia for sharing this picture. Hope everyone had a fantastic spooky night!
My friend introduced me to Chow, which a video series you can find on youtube with lots of great recipes and quick cooking tips.
Personally, I'm not a big fan of microwaved eggs. They always taste a little spongy to me. However, if you are in a hurry or if your cooking space has limited equipment, a microwave can be really helpful. Watch the video below to learn how to cook scrambled, sunny side up and poached all in the microwave!
Matcha green tea is a special form of green tea where the tea leaves are broken down into a powder. When you buy it, the powder is a brilliant green color and very fine. Matcha is very potent and rich in antioxidants. You only need about 3/4 of a teaspoon for a cup of tea. Matcha should be stored in an air tight container to maintain it's freshness. Here is a nice latte version to start off your morning:
Matcha Green Tea Latte
3/4 teaspoon Matcha green tea powder
1 cup hot water (just before boiling)
1 tbsp honey
1/4 cup 1% milk
1) Place green tea powder in the bottom of a tea cup.
2) Meanwhile in a microwave, heat milk for about 30 seconds until just warm.
3) Optional: If you have a milk frother, at this point place warm milk in it and froth. The recipe will still taste good just adding in the warm milk but will lack the foam.
4) Pour hot water in to the tea cup. Place in tablespoon with honey on it and stir until smooth.
5) Add milk. Serve.
Note: Your tea may be a little grittier than classic green tea because you are drinking the whole leaf, but this is often normal.
My posts have been a little sluggish the last week or so thanks to this great cold I picked up (Oh the joys of weather changes). So I thought I'd share my go too comfort beverage to help soothe an irritated throat. It isn't the tastiest drink but the ginger and mint are great for calming the stomach and the lemon and hot honey water feel great on a sore throat. Kind of a virgin hot toddy with a few extra items (Note: I've found hot toddy's can be effective but just be aware that alcohol while it makes you drowsy can sometimes prevent you from a deep sleep).
Lemon Mint Soother
1 tbsp honey
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 cup hot water
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp mint
1) Place lemon juice, ginger and mint in the bottom of a coffee mug.
2) Measure out the honey and place the spoon with honey in the mug.
3) Pour in hot water and stir. Drink as soon as the temperature is tolerable.
**I sometimes add in a little cinnamon to improve the flavor but it isn't necessary.
If you are suffering from a cold, I hope you feel better soon!
Can you see it? This is in the healthier food choices section of Shoppers Drug Mart. No it isn't the juice (Though I'm generally not a pro juice person). It's the top shelf that from end to end is full of Red Bull.
In what universe is Red Bull a healthy choice?
It has the nutritional value of a cup of coffee topped up with jujubes. Kids gobble these drinks up like water and with this kind of promotional set up, it's hard to blame them.
Not a happy dietitian. :(
Thank you to everyone that forwarded me this link. For those that didn't see the CBC Fifth Estate special on sugar, please follow the link below. It's a 45 minute special but well worth looking at.
I have mentioned in past posts that we live now in a fat phobic society that misses out on one of the key culprits involved in weight gain, diabetes and even heart disease: SUGAR. The big question now is if sugar will be the new big tobacco scandal. It certainly looks like it could go that way.
When you have the facts, it really is disturbing how much added sugar there is in our foods. Another reason that limiting prepared and processed foods can do wonders for your health.
Please watch. You'll be shocked what you find in your cupboard after watching it. :)
Let me start this post off by saying, I'm not a very good runner. It takes a lot to convince me to go out and do it. I was always more of a swimmer. I could swim for miles really, but put me in a pair of runners and I'm tired and bored within one lap of the track.
I tend to prefer activities that in my mind have a clear goal like reach the top of the mountain or score a point against your opponent. Running seemed like a never ending activity where the only reward was a decreased amount of guilt around eating the Klondike Bar in the freezer when I got home.
Over the years I've been trying to embrace running more since a decent pair of runners costs a whole lot less than a gym membership. Knowing myself however, I needed to have a goal if I was ever going to get out the door.
Enter smart phone apps.
If you can think of it, there is probably an app for it and running apps are all over the place. So decided to pose a little experiment on myself and tested out 6 different popular running apps. Of those six I am going to talk about my two favorite ones on here that I would recommend.
Map My Run
Map my run is a free app available for Apple and Android users. The reason I love this app is for all the tracking features. It allows you to set the type of activity you are doing from running to power walking to even push-ups. It tracks your calories burned (though I questions the accuracy of this), shows you a map of your route and even lets you follow pre-set routes that other users in your area have posted. It tracks your overall mile pace using your GPS which I found motivating to try and beat each time.
It also has a food log feature which is nice if you are trying to watch your calorie intake. The food database has a lot of user data in it which isn't accurate and it can be hard to search, but it can help with general tracking. Overall a good free app for someone that wants to monitor their progress with biking, running or walking.
A very appropriate app with Halloween approaching!
This app does cost between 4-8 dollars depending on the time of year (there is a Halloween sale on right now), but for me it was worth the cost. Unlike more serious running apps, this one pitches itself as a game rather than a workout program. Zombies run is a story based app with 'missions' to complete each time you run. Each mission is about 30-35 minutes long, but there is a 'radio mode' between runs that allows you to keep going if you are feeling motivated. It incorperates your own music playlist into the game and between songs plays little story snippets.
In the story, you are 'runner number 5' that has been dropped near the community of Abel in post apocalyptic times. Zombies roam free and your task is to run and collect items to help the community survive. As you go on, you learn more and more about the cause of the apocalypse. The story is fun to listen to and the voice acting is pretty good. As you run this British computer voice will announce when you pick up items. Anything from food to clothing. You can set the game to also have "Zombie Chases". This means at random the the voice will announce "Zombies, 100 meters." When you hear this you had better run, because they can catch up to you, which Robo-Brit is more than happy to keep you aware of. If they do catch up, you will lose the items you collected and fail the mission. I found myself quite motivated every time, especially with the added zombie noises it would add in.
I honestly at times forgot about the running, which is ideal for me because again I find running very boring. When I got home I would go and divide up my items I had collected to build up my base. The graphics of the base leave a bit to be desired but I found it made me want to run longer to get more items.
The game also works for walking, rollerblading and on a treadmill, so anyone can use it. The zombie chases do adjust to your pace so for example if you are walking you just need to speed walk to keep them at bay. They even have a version that is a 5km trainer for those that want to work up to that distance.
So if you are a fan of games, Walking Dead/Zombies or prefer your running with a little distraction, this can be a fun one to try. Just be prepared to pay for it, unlike other running apps.
Overall I would suggest MapMyRun for the more serious runner or those that like lots of data on how they are doing. Zombies, Run! lacks a lot of that information, only really providing your time and mile pace. If you have a good imagination and prefer games to focused workouts, Zombies, Run! may be more your cup of tea.
You can get these apps in your itunes/google store on your smart phone or visit the links below:
Need a quick appetizer for your holiday party this weekend? Give this dip a try. Serves well warm with whole wheat pita or cold with fresh veggies. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
Cheesy Roasted Red Pepper Dip
Recently I have has a number of young parents come in concerned about their children's weight. While in some cases education has been needed around sugary drinks, including a good variety of foods from all four food groups and healthy snack ideas; a major theme that keeps coming up is the constant bombardment of unhealthy foods outside of the home. Many of these parents are trying to offer healthy foods at home and pack well balanced lunches but are feeling like it's an uphill battle when so many other establishments their children attend are loaded with nutrient empty junk food.
Parents mention things like their children's sports teams rewarding the kids with McDonald's Gift Cards, Skipping Challenges for the Heart and Stroke Foundation at school sponsored by Boston Pizza, Popcorn day at school, pizza day at school, selling chocolate bars for fundraising and children being given sweets as part of awards they receive for good marks, volunteering or even public speaking.
If you are trying to teach your children to eat well, it's enough to make a parent want to climb up a tree and call it a day.
I admit that when I was a kid we sold chocolate bars on occasion and perhaps at the end of the year we would have a pizza party, but what these parents describe is not the occasional event with food....some of them talk about it being almost a daily event.
So what can be done? When did nutrient empty foods become such a daily norm in our schools and public establishments?
It's all about shifting baselines.
This unhealthy movement didn't just arrive over night. Slowly over the years one rare event including treat foods turned in to two, then monthly and then weekly. The thing is, it happened so slow no one really noticed enough to say "Hey, this doesn't seem right."
I understand that many schools rely on the selling of these types of foods and sponsorships to maintain extra curricular activities and services, but there has to be a balance. This over exposure to junk foods and linking it as a reward for good behavior is going to create a new generation of people that associate feeling good and reward with eating junk. This is a very challenging habit to break as you get older. Many of us already struggle with this connection.
Ever cried over a bucket of Ben and Jerry's because your sweetie broke up with you?
Ever downs a bag of chips because you were stressed out from work?
Ever gone out for cake, dinner or a treat as a reward for a job well done?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you likely developed that connection with food as a reward or comfort back when you were too young to know what the word advertising even meant.
So again, what can we do? My best suggestion would be as parents to speak up. Many schools have connections with the parents of their students either through meetings or having boards/associations with parent representatives. Let them know that constantly offering junk food as a reward isn't okay. Suggest alternatives like dollar store toys or fresh fruit as part of events rather than fat and sugar laden junk.
It isn't easy but if you can speak up. Silence won't change anything.
Does anyone have a personal experience with their children being over exposed to processed junk food outside of the home? Please share your story!
Normally I try to just post my own recipes on here but when I found this recipe on about.com, I absolutely fell in love with it! Jambalaya is a great dish because it is a classic comfort food. This recipe has a nice spice to it and even uses brown rice which made it extra filling. For a link to the original recipe: click here. The recipe listed below is the way I prepared it with a few changes.