Monthly Archives of: November 2015

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Healthy Holiday Tips

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Every Wednesday morning I lead a walking/running class at Breakaway, a program that runs out of North Langley Community Church. For this week I’ve been asked to speak for about 5 minutes to the collective group of women and give them some fun and light healthy holiday tips.

I met with my sidekicks Jessica and Sheena and we came up with 5 simple tips for staying on track during the holiday season, and they encouraged me to share them on this blog as well, so here you go (the long version)…

  1. WATER. Don’t forget to drink it. ‘Tis the season of hot drinks – and usually these drinks are full of sugar, dairy and alcohol. It feels natural and instinctive to drive through the Starbucks drive through a few extra times during the Christmas season, and to almost always have a red cup in hand while grocery shopping or running errands. I’m not against the occasional fancy Christmas drink and I’m certainly not against coffee, but I am strongly against mindless, excessive consumption. My advice is this: pay attention to how much you are consuming. Choose consciously. Enjoy every sip, but enjoy less of it. A cup of coffee when you wake up in the morning is fine, but you don’t need one every time you leave the house, or every time you sit down to relax, and you don’t need 4 glasses of wine at the Christmas party. One will do. If and when your hand feels empty (I’ve noticed that for many people, it just feels natural to be holding a drink in their hand), replace those extra drinks with WATER. Water is your friend! Try it with lemon or fruit in it. If you want something hot, try herbal tea. Keep flushing out all that extra sugar and caffeine that most people ingest during the holidays by drinking water, water, and more water.
  2. SLEEP. More than water, sleep is your best friend. It’s healing and restorative in so many ways. It’s essential for full enjoyment of the holiday season. Aim for 8-10 hours on as many nights as you possibly can. If you start to feel sickness coming on, rest and sleep as much as you can. Sleep heals. Moms with young children and those who struggle with insomnia – just do the best you can. About an hour before you want to fall asleep, turn down the lights in your home. Put away your phone and laptop, and make sure there are no lights on in your bedroom, including computers or digital clocks.
  3. JUST ONE BITE is okay. This one is something that Jessica mentioned she learned while doing her Whole30 challenge. She explained that the permission to STOP eating something if you don’t like it really made a difference. For example, if you’re at a Christmas party and you fill your plate with Christmas goodies. and then take a bite of something and don’t like it, you don’t have to finish it. For some of us, this can be revolutionary. Give it to your partner, or throw it out. Don’t finish it just for the sake of finishing it. Let it go. Eat something if you really enjoy it, and don’t eat it if you don’t enjoy it. Sounds simple, but next time you’re at a party, be mindful of what you’re tasting and see how often you eat something even if you don’t really enjoy it. It happens more often than we think!
  4. CROWD OUT. One of the first techniques I discuss with clients is the “crowding out” rule. When you fill your plate during a meal, start with the healthy options. Fill your plate with protein, vegetables and fruit FIRST. Eat what’s on your plate, and then decide if you need or want anything else. Crowd out the less healthy food with healthy food. The more you fill your stomach with nutrient dense, filling food, the less space there is for empty, useless food.
  5. MOVE. Move your body as often as you can, in as many ways as you can. Find a way that you like to move your body: dancing, running, walking, hiking, yoga, etc. The possibilities are endless. Think outside the box! Jessica and Sheena had the cute and clever idea of making up short, effective workouts to do while your Christmas baking is in the oven. A quick scan on Pinterest led to these, and there are many more ideas out there.

A favourite fun exercise that the three of us love is called the Squatty Potty. Make a pact with a couple of friends to do the Squatty Potty challenge for a full week. The challenge is to do 10 (or more!) squats every time you use the washroom. It’s silly and light hearted, but a good way to get moving. Every little bit helps!

Take care and enjoy this wonderful Christmas season with your friends and family.

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Balsamic Beef Stew

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Wellness With Joanna

I woke up to the sound of pouring rain this morning and immediately thought to myself that today is a good day for stew. A couple of hours later I got a text from my sister in law asking if I had any good stew recipes. Great minds think alike! There’s just something comforting about curling up with a bowl of hot stew while the rain comes down outside….

Ha! Who am I kidding? No mom ever gets to eat their stew while it’s still hot. I’m usually scarfing down my dinner as fast as I can while simultaneously doing the airplane move, trying to shovel food into my 1 year old’s mouth and chanting “You can do it!” to my 3 year old, desperately trying to convince her to eat her carrots. Bonus points if I can get the dirty dishes loaded before the 1 year old climbs out of his…

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Brussels Sprouts + Potatoes + Eggs

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If you follow my blog then you know by now that I eat weird things for breakfast, including brussels sprouts. Roll with it. And try it!

This recipe is relatively quick, filling and delicious. We especially love having this breakfast right before a hike, like we did this past week.

She asked for 5 eggs; we settled on 3.

She asked for 5 eggs; we settled on 3.

Hiking Mount Seymour

Hiking Mount Seymour

charleyhike

Make this recipe quicker by doubling or tripling the potatoes and brussels sprouts so you can reheat them throughout the week. The following recipe serves 2 very hungry people, and is Whole30 approved.

Ingredients

2 cups diced golden or red potatoes

2 cups halved brussels sprouts

1 tbsp paprika

2 tsp arrowroot powder

2 tbsp coconut oil

salt and pepper, to taste

4-6 eggs (2 or 3 per person)

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, toss the potatoes in 1 tbsp of melted coconut oil.
  2. Add the paprika, arrowroot powder and salt, and toss again until the potatoes are evenly coated.
  3. Heat a large pan on medium heat and add 1 tbsp coconut oil. Add the potatoes and fry for 5 minutes.
  4. Add the brussels sprouts and stir in the pan to combine. Continue to fry the potatoes and brussels sprouts for approximately 10 more minutes, or until potatoes start to crisp and cook through. Be sure to stir every few minutes.
  5. When the potatoes and brussels sprouts are almost finished cooking, prepare your eggs. My favourite way to eat them is poached, on top of the potatoes and brussels sprouts. (For instructions on how to poach an egg, click here.)
  6. Serve your potatoes and brussels sprouts in a bowl or on a plate, with your eggs. Enjoy!
Ta da!

Ta da!

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Pulled Pork Lettuce Wraps

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It’s been awhile since I’ve spent any extra time creating new things in the kitchen. To be honest, recipe creating is not my jam. I only started cooking from scratch a couple of years ago and I’m much more comfortable following recipes from some of my favourite cookbooks and blogs.

This recipe was born from a lack of proper meal planning leading to a lack of ingredients. I was aiming for this recipe (which I’ve heard is absolutely delicious and I can’t wait to try it once I’ve collected the ingredients), but ended up doing the following:

Ingredients

For the pulled pork:

3-4 lb pastured pork roast

1 cup beef bone broth

1 jar salsa verde

4 tsp crushed garlic

1 tsp salt

1 tbsp dried cilantro

1 tsp oregano

For the cauliflower rice:

2 heads cauliflower

1 tbsp coconut oil

1/2 tbsp dried cilantro

Salt

Butter lettuce or preferred lettuce for wraps

Directions

For the pulled pork:

1) Rub the roast with the garlic, cilantro, oregano, and salt.

2) Place the roast in crockpot with the beef bone broth, and then pour approximately 3/4 of the jar of salsa verde on top of the roast. (Reserve the rest of the salsa for topping off the wraps.)

3) Cook the pork in the crockpot on the low setting for 24 hours.

4) After 24 hours, remove the roast from the crockpot and shred it with two forks.

For the cauliflower rice:

4) Grate the cauliflower with a cheese grater or pulse in food processor until it resembles grains of rice.

5) Heat the coconut coconut oil in a large frying pan on medium heat.

6) Add the cauliflower to the pan, with the dried cilantro and salt. Fry it on medium-high heat for 5-10 minutes, stirring often, until it begins to get slightly crisp on the outside. Remove from heat.

For the wraps:

7) Wash and dry lettuce leaves. I like using butter lettuce or even cabbage leaves for extra crunch.

8) Fill lettuce leaves with cauliflower rice, pulled pork, and a dab of salsa verde on top.

Enjoy!

There's no way to make these look appetizing but I promise they were delicious.

There’s no way to make these look appetizing but I promise they were delicious. Trust me.