Monthly Archives of: January 2015

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Kale and Cauliflower Meatballs

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I am constantly trying to get more vegetables into my kids. It is NOT an easy job. Charley has a super sensitive gag and vomit reflex and Xavier isn’t old enough to have a conversation about why he needs vegetables. He also isn’t old enough to understand bribes either…and I’m only half kidding. I get tired of the constant battles over vegetables and fruit and so sometimes I resort to hiding vegetables in food that I know they will eat with minimal complaints. It’s not solving any problems BUT it’s better than nothing and we are doing the best we can. I threw these together with some veggies I had in the fridge and they gobbled them down. Husband gave the thumps up sign as well so I thought I’d better share the recipe!

Ingredients:

-2 lbs grass fed ground beef

-3/4 cup of finely chopped kale

-3/4 cup of grated cauliflower (use a cheese grater or food processor to grate until it is the size of grains of rice)

-2-3 cloves of garlic

-1 egg (This can be skipped if you are allergic to eggs but it does help hold the mixture together.)

-1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

-1.5 tsp dried basil

-1.5 tsp dried oregano

-1.5 tsp dried parsley

-1 tsp dried rosemary

-1 tsp dried thyme

-1 tsp sea salt

-1/4 tsp black pepper

Note: I often buy this Freeze Dried Italian Herb Blend from my local grocery store when I’m in a rush and use it instead of combining all of the above herbs together. The flavour is fantastic! I also like to use the Freeze Dried Poultry Herb Blend for roasting whole chickens.

Directions:

1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2) Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly. It is best to do this with your hands to get the ground beef and vegetables mixed really well and sticky together.

3) Roll into meatballs about 1 inch in diameter and place on a baking sheet lined with tinfoil or parchment paper. You will need to really squeeze these meatballs with your hands to make sure the vegetables and meat stick together. Depending on your beef, you may need to add another egg to help with the sticking.

4) Bake for 20-25 minutes and then remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.

My children ate theirs alongside some almonds, carrots, and raw cheese. My husband and I enjoyed ours with some steamed broccoli, roasted mushrooms and roasted yams. I wish I had doubled the recipe to have enough to freeze for emergency snacks, but they were too yummy and we gobbled the leftovers up for breakfast this morning.

Enjoy!

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Q&A: Organic and Other Labels

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I posted on my Facebook page last week, asking for people to leave any questions they have that they would like answered in a blog post. I’ll be working on answering these questions as they come up. Please feel free to shoot me an email (joanna@wellnesswithjoanna.com) or leave a comment at any time with questions!

Here’s a great one that I think a lot of people get confused about.

Question: What is the difference in “terms” you see in your grocery store? Organic, grass fed, grass finished etc. They all sound healthy but I’m sure some of it is marketing and you aren’t getting what you think you’re buying.

Answer: Yes, a lot of it is marketing! Here’s a list of some common terms and labels and my simplified definitions. 

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Organic: If a food is labeled organic, then it means that no synthetic chemicals have been used to grow it or make it. That means no GMO ingredients, food additives, antibiotics, sewage sludge (yes, this is used in conventional food!), or pesticides. Animals must be fed organic feed without animal byproducts.

Natural: In the USA, this term really has no meaning. It is not regulated at all, and so can be used by anyone on any product. Of course the term implies minimal processing, but because it is not regulated, it cannot be trusted and is often used to trick consumers into paying more money for a less than desirable product.

However, in Canada, the term is regulated and can only be used as a label on foods that do not contain any food additives, artificial flavouring, and have not been significantly altered by processing.

Cage Free: This means that the animals were not raised in cages, but does not tell you what the animals were fed or describe any other living conditions. These animals could still be packed into barns with no room to move and no access to pasture.

Pastured: This indicates that the animal has been raised outside, but it does not tell you the amount of time spent outside. (It could be outside for a very limited time each day, making the term misleading).

Free Range: Free range hens must have access to the outdoors for the majority of the year. Their feed cannot contain antibiotics or hormones. (These are the eggs I insist on buying.)

Free Run: Free run hens are not confined to life in a cage, but are allowed to only roam on the barn floor. They are not required to be allowed access to outdoors, and they eat the same feed as conventional hens, including antibiotics and hormones.

Grass Fed: Grass Fed is a term that is quickly becoming over used and misused. Originally, grass fed implied that the cow was raised on grass exclusively, and allowed to range free. Recently, because of the increasing demand for grass fed beef, the term has sometimes now been used to describe cows that have been only partially grass fed. Often, farmers will feed the cow grain to sweeten and fatten the cow for a few months before it is butchered. This alters the nutrition immensely (negatively). This is one example of the importance of knowing where your food comes from. Get to know your local farmers and the people you buy your food from!

Grass Finished: This means that the cow has been grass fed for the entire duration of it’s life. No grain, no corn and no antibiotics or hormones.

Hormone Free: This means that no synthetic hormones were administered to the animal at all. This one is tricky and often used to mislead consumers into paying a higher price for food than is necessary. Federal Law permits the use of hormones in poultry or hogs, but the meat is often labeled ‘Hormone Free’ anyway. Do not pay more for chicken labeled hormone free, as it is no different than chicken without the label. However, keep in mind that ‘hormone free’ still does not tell you what the chicken has been fed or how it was raised (humanely or squished into horrible cages).

Antibiotic Free: This means that no antibiotics were used over the animal’s lifetime. Again, this is a good thing, but still does not tell you how the animal was raised or what it was fed.

Farmed (referring to seafood): This means that the fish have been raised in tanks or enclosures. They are often contaminated, given antibiotics, and have two to three times less Omega 3’s than wild fish.

Wild Caught (referring to seafood): This means the seafood has been caught by fishermen in the open water, in their natural habitat.

Any more labels you’ve been seeing in your grocery store that are confusing? Leave a comment and I’ll add it to this list.

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Health Coaching – Let Me Help You!

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About 6 months ago I was in a grocery store with my kids when a woman approached me with a sad, desperate look in her eyes. “Excuse me, but you look like you work out, and I can see you have kids. How do you do it? I just can’t seem to make it work.” (I was decked out in Lululemon running clothes and dripping in sweat from running to the store from my house, pushing the kids in the stroller).

I completely panicked. I totally blew it. A million things ran through my head but nothing came out. I don’t even remember what I said, but I think I just fumbled around a bit and then referred her to my Facebook page. She looked a bit dejected and left the store with her young daughter. As soon as she walked away, a million things that I could have said ran through my mind.

I work out because I’m a better mama when I do. I’m kinder and have more patience when I’ve taken some time for myself.

I often work out WITH my kids. Some days, that’s the only way to fit it in. 

I’ve surrounded myself with people that support me. My husband is my champion and always supports my strive for health and balance. He helps me carve out time.

The path to health and wellness is 80% nutrition and 20% exercise. Let’s start with food.

You can do this. There are ways. I believe you can.

Here’s my card. I would love to help you.

For the next few days I mulled over the conversation and kicked myself for not offering her a big warm hug. I’ve been there. I remember how I felt like I was drowning after my daughter was born. I could barely keep my eyes open, never mind think about food and exercise. I needed a hug and some guidance.

If you’re feeling like this, then I’m here to help you.

I offer a one on one program where you and I discuss your wellness goals and work towards them. I will coach you through the ups and downs of implementing health and wellness into your life in a permanent way. I will become your confidant, your cheerleader, your workout buddy, your accountability partner or whatever you need to help you reach your goals. We will be partners in the journey.

I offer different packages of different lengths. You can choose to meet twice a month for 4 months (intro), 6 months (standard, and recommended amount of time to implement a life change), or 12 months (for those who would like extra encouragement and accountability). Each coaching session will be 45-60 minutes. Free gifts are included, and extra opportunities (things like trips to the health food store, pantry/fridge content makeovers) are available for those who are interested. Full access to my cookbook library is also included.

A few words about what I will NOT do:

-I will not prescribe drugs or medication of any kind. I’m not a doctor and I will refer you to one if necessary.

-I will not be your personal trainer. I can give you the tools to exercise and suggest all kinds of fun ways to incorporate it into your life, but I will not be conducting a personal training session. I’m not certified (yet!) for that and will not cross any lines. I will be happy to refer you to some amazing personal trainers that I know if that is what you are looking for.

-I will never ever try to sell you any products. No shakes, no pills, no fad diets, no wraps. I don’t believe in those things and will never push them on you. I believe in real food and real exercise, and we’ll stick with that.

-I will not put all my clients on Whole30. If you follow my blog, you know I’m passionate about it and you know I live a Whole9 lifestyle. However, I’m fully aware that not everyone is interested in that. We will work with YOUR needs, goals and wants. It’s about you, not about me.

That’s the gist of it! If any of this sounds appealing to you, contact me and we can start with a FREE health history evaluation. We’ll meet for coffee, discuss your concerns and hopes, and figure out if this program is right for you.

You can contact me by email at joanna@wellnesswithjoanna.com for more information, pricing, and a health history evaluation. Introductory pricing is in effect until September 2015.

I look forward to hearing from you!

(Photo credit to the wonderful Vanessa Voth Photography. Hair and makeup by the exceptional Becky Austin of Make It Up.)