Thursday, June 27, 2013

Sprouts for Supper!

Tonight I was home alone with my little one. My older son was celebrating kindergarten graduation with dinner and a movie with his Dad.

So to make things special for my little one, he got his favourite pasta- with Earth Balance and nutritional yeast. And half an avocado with a bit of salt.

Cooking for one isn't so hard with sprouts on hand! I sauteed a couple of cloves of garlic in olive oil, then added a couple handfuls of the "Fitness Mix" sprouts. They shrunk quite a bit, so I threw a cup of white beans in and mashed it all around. My first impression (and the reason there's no photo) was that the meal looked a little too wholesome, vegetarian and a little weird with all the stringy roots mashed into the beans. But I added a little shake of herbamare (courtesy of A.Vogel- sea salt blended with herbs) and after the first tentative bite, the rest disappeared quickly! The garlicky crunch of the sprouts, the creamy beans, the herby salt! Mmmm. Make it! I'm having it again for lunch tomorrow!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Sprout Recipe Success

It's been a busy week with kindergarten wrapping up, along with the usual client, home and family stuff. Today was an all day field trip to a Splash Park with the kindergarten class. I had my little son in tow and our friends little girl too. Since I'm in the heart of my sprouting challenge (##bioSnackySpouts), I decided for a packable snack I'd try a mung bean date and cocoa ball idea that came to me during a sleepless night (another topic all together) It worked! 5 year olds were asking for seconds and nobody knew they were eating freshly sprouted mung beans and I felt virtuous watching my kids eat these instead of processed granola bars and other packaged goodies.

Kelly's Mung Bean Sprout, cocoa date balls (I need a better name for these...)
1 cup mung beans
1 cup dates, soaked overnight and drained
1/2 cup oats (could probably handle up to 3/4 cup)
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Blend everything in a food processor. I started with the mung beans, pumpkin seeds and dates, to be sure those would blend up finely enough. Roll into balls and roll in shredded coconut. Enjoy!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Sprouting Challenge

Halfway through the sprouting challenge, and I thought it was time to report on how things are going. The sprouter is three tiered and has little drains on each tier. I'm used to rinsing sprouts twice a day, but with this sprouter, you don't do a thing after pouring the water in the top tray. It flows through the three tiers and then you just remove the bottom tray which collects the water and dump it, or as A.Vogel suggests, water your house plants.

The trays are big and the sprouts had started sprouting by day 2! And as of yesterday (day 4!), we were adding them to salads or just snacking on them for fun. And not just out of impatience! They are big and beautiful, with so much green!

On day 2 I was worried because I noticed fluffy white everywhere- but the instruction book says not to confuse the fibrous roots that may form with mould. There is absolutely no mouldy smell, or wet smell, or any unpleasant smell at all, just a fresh, green smell!

Tomorrow will be my day of sprouts. I have several recipes I plan to try- I'm imagining some sauteed with garlic and greens, some blended into a snack ball, and maybe even some in the oven to get crunchy? We'll see and I'll write more tomorrow!

For this first round of sprouting, I did radish, mung bean and "fitness mix", which contains radish, mung, French turnip seeds and wheat. A.Vogel has many other mixes and sprout seeds to check out. Also, you can follow others participating in the sprouting challenge by going to A.Vogel's  facebook page or following #bioSnackySprouts on twitter.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

The Wine Country Half Marathon!

So I registered for the Wine Country half marathon a few days ago, and training started last Monday! This will be the first time I have a time goal for a half marathon, and it is the first time I plan to have no excuses for how I've performed. I'll explain. I have run 2 full marathons, three half marathons and countless other events, like a trail running festival with a 10k, 5km hill run, and 25 km run over 2 days. Every time there's been something.

My first marathon was my first. I'd been running a year. I should've started with a 10 km event, or even a half marathon, but I jumped right in. There was my excuse.

I ran a half marathon 12 weeks pregnant. There was my excuse.

I ran another half marathon and thought I'd try carb loading with potato chips (just to see if the research was right that this was not a good idea- please don't judge, I wasn't a dietitian yet!) There's the excuse.

My most recent marathon was in the midst of moving. My husband was already in BC. I had to find childcare or push the double stroller for every run. I cut many long runs short for house showings as I tried to pack up and sell our little place in Winnipeg. There was my excuse.

So join me as I try to do this "perfectly". My training plan was designed by Stephanie Swaisland, an amazing personal trainer at Global Fitness- see her profile on the gyms website to understand how amazing she is!  I know training plans sometimes need to be adjusted, and I know some runs I do will be with kids in tow. But I'm really going to give it my all.

My diet will be designed by me, a Registered Dietitian, and better still, I'll follow it! My first long run was today, but at just over an hour it didn't require much in the way of special nutrition. I had a bit of cereal before leaving, and with my mum in town for the night, I recovered with Bliss Bakery and good company afterwards. On the way to drop my mum at the airport, we stopped at BreadCo. for a Hummus Platter to round out the day. But stay tuned, things will get more techinical!

I don't want any excuses this time, I want to say- that was my best, and I'm proud of myself.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Chocolate Covered Katie is on to something!

More on there's something to be said for dessert for breakfast! A study in the March issue of the journal "Steroids" found that when men and women were given a 600 calorie breakfast containing high protein and carbohydrates along with a dessert (they used cookies, doughnuts or small slices of cake), they were more likely to retain weight loss when compared to a group who had a lower calorie breakfast and no morning dessert. Study participants found they had fewer cravings among other benefits. Katie offers the best of both world, her breakfast "dessert's" are healthy but feel like an indulgence. We tried cherry oatmeal parfaits (although made with strawberry oatmeal),containing silken tofu with chocolate melted in and topped with coconut whipped cream (so easy to make, just use cold cocount cream!). They were pretty to look at and tasted amazing. And gave us a good dose of whole grains, fruit and protein from the tofu. I may try a layer of chocolate chia pudding next time. (like this one here: It doesn't have to be dessert, it just has to feel like dessert!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Blog Love

I absolutely love cooking and baking. I love coming up with healthy ways to modify recipes and I am never scared to adapt a recipe to improve the nutrients in it. We almost always have some sort of healthy dessert or snack around the house and baking is an activity that my 4-year old and I enjoy doing when we're home alone.

But my real field is nutrition, which isn't always recipes and food prep. I am busy with clients and the other aspects of my home based business, and many of the foods we eat aren't my own invention, so I don't post them. Recently, I've fallen head over heels for I've been working my way through the healthy oatmeal section. Recipes have worked out amazingly well. I've also tried the "Healthy Cookie Dough Dip", with great success. Sure the RD in me sometimes adapts the recipes to make them even healthier, but most of her recipes don't need me! And to be honest, sometimes I take it too far and end up being the only one who'll eat it!

Check out her website, it's amazing. My favourite oatmeals are the baked recipes. Many are done as single serves, I triple it for the little boys and me, but still cook in little ramekins and muffin cups. They come out so cute and appealing, the boys eat twice as much.

So, if I'm not posting enough ideas and recipes for you, I invite you to check out Katie's website. You won't be sorry!

Monday, June 17, 2013


Well, on June 20th I'm starting a sprouting challenge thanks to A.Vogel. I got the Canada Post notice that my package is at the post office (I was home all day, so there isn't really a reason why they didn't deliver to me-or is my driveway that steep?)

I can't wait to see the sprouter and get started! Please follow along, through my blog and on twitter @KelownaRD. I'm picking up the package tomorrow and sprouting will begin on Thursday. I'll also post info on sprouts and their nutritional benefits, recipes and whatever else comes up during the 10 day challenge.

Off the top of my head, I can think of a couple great things about sprouting. 1. It guarantees safe sprouts. I'm not planning on contaminating mine!
2. It's a very affordable source of nutrients!
3. Kids love it, there's almost instant gratification since most sprouts only take a few days to start germinating.

More to follow, stay tuned!

Friday, June 14, 2013

To snack or not to snack

Turns out snacking is a sensitive subject. People tend to be defensive about their habits, myself included. After finishing "French Kids Eat Everything" and "Outside the Box", I realize that North America is very snack-centric. Often we hear we should be consuming six "mini meals" every day for optimal health and a revved up metabolism. But many healthy cultures with low rates of obesity don't snack at all. Why the disconnect?

First of all, what we choose to snack on is important. If we're reaching for packaged carbohydrates for our snacks, we're left feeling unsatisfied and prone to overeating. Where we snack- in our cars, on the go, at our desks, also leaves us unsatisfied. Finally, how much we eat comes into play. If our six mini meals are unplanned snacks and we're really just grazing all day, it is very easy to overeat.

The North American work day isn't really set up for long lunches taken together with friends. In many healthy parts of Europe, everything shuts down for the mid day meal and when we slow down and eat with family and friends, we eat less and feel more satisfied. It is proven that eating is more than just calories and nutrients. There is a level of satiety that comes with food lovingly prepared and eaten in good company that goes far beyond the science of nutrition. But how can we adapt this to our North American way of life?

I am on holidays and have mostly cut snacks out of our children's day, while I work through what I feel is best. Right now, most of our meals are with family and bigger than a bagged lunch would be. They are  hungry at meals and they sit politely and eat well. It's made me rethink the snack culture we are a part of. During the school year, we need to snack. My son has about 20 minutes for his 11:30 lunch. They have a fruit or vegetable snack mid-morning. But without an after school snack, he would gof from 11:30-5:30 with nothing. So he needs something at 2:30 when school lets out. But this snack should be planned and contain healthy items. It should be taken at the table with friends or family (whoever is around- daycares and after school programs should take note!)

Think about this in your own life. Are you hungry for that bar you pulled from your purse or desk drawer and ate in 2 seconds? Is your snack a whole food? Even if you aren't able to eat with someone else, take 5 minutes to slow down. Smell the food. Chew slowly and think about what you're eating. See if this satisfies you more. Whatever approach, snacking or not, a plan in place will help you make good choices and prevent overeating.

Please visit my blogger site to share your thoughts in my comments section! I'm still working through my own, and that is another topic all together- no matter what you know you can always evolve nutritonally and in your fitness.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Catching Up

Hey, it's been so long! I'm having a lovely time in Winnipeg visiting family and friends. Also wrapped up the fifth and final, which is very close to my heart.

A few quick updates for you all. First off, my four year old son had his birthday salad. He ate a green leaf and a red leaf, with apple juice vinaigrette and told me that was enough. Later he has confessed that the "dip" was a bit sour. Oh well, we'll try again when we get back to Kelowna.

Local, organic greens in Winnipeg are a struggle to find. They had an extremely late spring here and there is very little produce available. I did find some Californian greens, they were okay. Nutrition aside, greens picked close to home are so much better tasting, I eat three or four times as many! But Greg, who is back in Kelowna, sent me a picture of our garden and I think as soon as I get home I'll be just fine, there is enough salad for weeks!! The grass may not be greener in Kelowna (at least not without a lot of effort), but the produce sure is!

Being on holdiays and constantly in visiting mode can be hard on your diet. My advice and what I'm finding works is to make sure you have a great breakfast (I'm doing 1/4 cup oats, 2 Tbsp Chia, 1 Tbsp hemp and 1/4 cup nuts/seeds mixed with soy milk, cinnamon and fresh berries). Bring something healthy to every family supper. And get a work out in before you start your day. Running is the easiest to fit in for me. Also it is great to have a goal following a holiday. I'm going to register for the Wine Country Half Marathon on September 7th and training begins next weekend!

Last update: I'm taking part in a sprouting challenge. You can follow along! The challenge starts June 20th and is sponsered by A.Vogel. Follow on my blog (visit to comment), on twitter (#bioSnackySprouts. @kelownaRD), and on facebook. My three tiered sprouter should arrive this week, I'm so excited to check it out!

Next post, snacking. I'm finally ready to blog about it. I finished reading "French Kids Eat Everything" and between that and my own research, the post is ready in my mind. Stay tuned!