Monday, December 30, 2013

Resolve to eat better, get help with Snackbox! (Coupon code for $15 off!)

The December Snack box arrived, and is loaded with great snacks!

My number one choices for snacks to take with you were the following:

The Good Bean- crispy roasted chickpea snacks that are a great source of fibre nad protein. I love that they are so crunchy, healthy and a nut free choice to send to school. The sample we received in December's Snackbox was Smoky Chili Lime which I loved, but the boys (6 and 4 years old) found them a little spicy.

SunButter- easy open packs of sunflower seed butter, with just a touch of salt added. These are great to throw in a lunch kit or work bag with a sliced apple.

Peeled Snacks- dried mango slices.- I love dehydrated mango, especially when it isn't the sugar coated kind. These were great, although I only got one slice. My four year old ran off with the bag, never to be seen again.

A Good Portion- Pistachios.- Another snack that's great to pack along. They're interactive, because like all pistachios you have to crack them open. So that slows you down. These were roasted saffron and sea salt. We all loved them.

Blue Diamond Nut Thins- although the first ingredient is rice flour, these were different enough to be exciting. They are wheat free but still light and crispy, which is unusual. They'd be nice topped with any of the usual cracker pairings (hummus, nut butter, cheese).

Tutti Gourmet - Bana Crisp- another wheat free treat, these were really interesting tasting! Banana, run, coconut, almond- they were also really light and crispy. These would be great to stash in your desk for those times the vending machine is calling.

Pamela's Product- Whenever Bars.- I wouldn't really say whenever, but these wheat free bars are tasty and lower in sugar than many other snack bars. I'd love to see higher protein and fibre in a snack bar, but paired with an apple and PB, they'd make a nice substantial snack an hour or two before a workout,or as a recovery snack when your next meal is a ways out.

The rest of the box was more in the treat category, although treats with less processing and better ingredient lists.

Hardbite Kettle Cooked Chips- Crunchy and Tasty. The portion size of this bag is great for lunches when you crave a little treat. They are still chips, just good quality chips. 

Wai Lana Cassava Chips- a lighter alternative to chips, these were crunchy and tasty.

Whistler Pocket Chocolate- Very well made dark chocolate in eco-friendly packaging. Made in Whistler, and we all know dark chocolate is full of antioxidants. Just watch your portion size.

Glee Gum- gum is currency around here. The boys took off with the whole pack, but I love the ingredients!

Camino Fair Trade Milk Hot Chocolate- Still full of sugar, but the cocoa is organic and fairly traded. And everyone needs a hot chocolate now and then.

The Ginger People- Ginger Soother- This beverage was really kind of special. Spicy ginger, honey and lemon. I like my drinks a little less sweet, but loved the taste of this. 

Help yourself succeed by arming yourself with healthy snacks for when you're hungry. Just plan ahead when you'll use your snacks.

Use this coupon code for $15 off your first SnackBox until January 31st. Visit

Coupon code: OkanaganRD 

Disclaimer: I received a free SnackBox but the opinions expressed are my own!

Monday, December 23, 2013

New Year's Resoulutions

I think I get more excited for making New Year's resolution then I do for Christmas. I love setting a new goal and reaching it in the new year. I love that there's this entire year waiting for you to be a better you. I spend weeks before January 1st thinking up what I'll change in the upcoming year. And I stick to them, which is especially exciting because for the most part, people forget about their resolutions before January is over.

The best way to make a resolution you can keep is to change the focus. If you resolve to lose weight and things don't happen quickly, you're likely to become frustrated and give up. But if you change the focus to "I'm going to run a 5 km race in June", or "I'm going to weight lift three times a week.", it's something you can measure.

Here are a few measureable and achievable food goals that could have the added benefit of weight loss:

Make a menu plan every week
Eat 7 servings of vegetables and fruit a day
Make your own supper at least 6 days per week
Pack a lunch every day

Write down your resolutions and post them somewhere you'll see them daily. Give yourself the tools to succeed. Have a calendar and put a check mark on the days you completed your workouts, or packed your lunch, (or a sticker, if you're like me and still motivated by stickers!). Print out a menu plan template and make your weekly menu. Reward yourself for successes, with something other than food.  Good luck and Happy 2014! Let me know how your resolutions are going!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Gingerbread Bites

On to Gingerbread season! At our place, dark blackstrap molasses ginger made with whole wheat flour reigns supreme. I bake a couple of huge double batches and we make gingerbread houses (with real candy!) and gingerbread people, trees, bells, stars... I've also been making gingerbread smoothies, gingerbread pancakes, gingerbread lattes, and gingerbread oatmeal.

So I decided a healthy gingerbread ball would be a great addition to the gingerbread repertoire. So we don't just stuff ourselves with the cookies.

Blackstrap molasses is a great source of both calcium and iron. These bites are sweetened only with the molasses and date purée, but they'll take the edge off any sweet tooth.

Gingerbread Bites

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1 cup oats
2 Tbsp puréed dates (soak dares overnight, then blend with some of water to make a smooth, thick paste. It'll keep for at least a week on the fridge)
1-2 Tbsp blackstrap molasses
Cinnamon and ginger to taste
Pinch of salt

Grind pumpkin seeds in food processor until finely chopped. Add other ingredients and pulse a couple times. The process until a ball forms. Taste a bit and add more spice if needed. Roll in balls. Made about 18.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Cooking with Kids!

My kids and I are writing a cookbook, and it got me thinking about how important time spent in the kitchen together really is. If you don't learn how to cook and eat healthy delicious food, you're at the mercy of the food industry, and who wants to put their health in those hands?

Cooking with kids does double duty as homework too. We're reading, writing and learning fractions. Plus learning peeling, chopping, measuring. Oh, and to keep hands away from hot things and sharp things.

Don't limit what your kids help with, just help them be safe! 

The boys loved helping make this soup, we had a nice cozy afternoon together cooking and chatting. 


Monday, December 2, 2013

Snackbox Review and Coupon Code!

As a Registered Dietitian, I advocate for whole foods snacks. Foods that are ingredients rather than lists of ingredients. But honestly, there are times that even the most organized of us needs to eat something from a package. In fact, when I conduct grocery store tours, I dive right into the centre aisles with their packaged goods, armed with a list of healthy parameters to guide my clients.

Enter, Snackbox. This is a Canadian company based in Vancouver. They deliver a box of delicious, healthier snacks monthly. The package arrived two days after confirming it was coming.

And how fun would it be to receive this each month??

A few of the items weren't new to me. And some items fell more into the treat category, vs the healthy snack category. But it only comes once a month, and they were definitely healthier treats. And everyone deserves a couple treats a month!

We've tried most everything now, and here's what I am loving about Snackbox...

There was a card with info on each product, price, where to buy. There was even a recipe for the Arora Creations Gobi Spice to make crispy chickpeas. (The recipe on the package is for a delicious sounding cauliflower curry, but the chickpeas sound more snacky).

Larabar- love them. All natural ingredients, fruit and nuts, that's it. I recommend them to clients and they're great to have on hand when hunger strikes. They taste great.

True Nature- another great bar. They meet the parameters I give for granola bars, with 7g protein and 8g or fewer of sugar. They fell 1 g short in fibre minimums (I recommend at least 4g), but 1 g is easy to make up in a healthy day!  They taste great too.

The La Fourmi fruit and nut medley was outstanding. Dried strawberries, cranberries, blueberries and goji berries, dark chocolate and almonds. Half the bag counts as a serve and there weren't enough almonds for RD Kelly, so I would cut it with a handful of almonds and stretch it to 3 servings, but it was delicious and all natural!

My Smoothie was good too. It was supposed to be green, but I guess I ordered later in the month so I got a berry one. It was chunky, full of real fruit and very tasty. I'd love to try the green! The side of the package had a cute graphic showing how much of each fruit it contained.

Enerjive Skinny Quinoa crackers are literally skinny, not calorically. Good ingredients, great taste and crunch. But be careful! Three are over 100 calories and I could eat the entire package! They're gluten free.

There were also dried pears (yum, and just pears!) My kids thought they tasted like vanilla. They are really buttery. Loved them.

An iced green tea came with my box, it was supposed to be a juice infused tea, which I'd be interested in trying, but it still looks good. Just green tea.

The Sensible portions veggie chips are tasty. I consider them more of a healthy treat because they don't really add nutrients to your diet. But they also don't add a bunch of unwanted things to your diet, so they're a good go-to when you need some crunch with you sandwich and salad!

Same with the pirates booty cheese puffs.

Finally, there was a decadent Toffee Coconut Dark Chocolate from Cocolico. Very tasty, rich, a hint of buttery toffee and a touch of sea salt. It's satisfying with just a couple squares, I'm all for this being part of your life!

Try out, you can do 1 month, 3 months, or 6 months. Use the coupon code OkanaganRD to get $15 off your first snackbox! Coupon expires December 31st, 2013.