All Posts Tagged ‘healthy

Post

Meatloaf with Whipped Yams

Leave a reply

I made this last night and my husband ate more than half of the loaf in one sitting because he enjoyed it so much! As always, there’s as many vegetables as I can fit in a meal without it falling apart and without my kids noticing too much.

shrooms

This recipe is large and yields three meatloaves. One for you, one for a friend who needs a pick-me-up, and one for your freezer. It does take some time (about 1 hour and 40 minutes cooking time) so be aware of that before you start.

Ingredients:

-3 lbs grass fed ground beef

-2 eggs

-1 large sweet onion, diced small

-6 cloves of garlic, divided, diced small (4 for meatloaves, 2 for yam topping)

-4 strips of pastured, sugar free bacon, diced

-2 large bell peppers, any colour, diced small

-6 large crimini mushrooms, diced small

-3/4 cup of kale, diced small

-4 large yams, peeled and chopped into 1 inch pieces

-2 tbsp sugar free dijon mustard (I really like the Organic Simply Natural brand)

-1 tbsp gluten free Worcestershire sauce (omit for Whole30 unless you can find a brand without any sweeteners)

-2 tbsp tomato paste

-1/4 tsp salt

-1/2 tsp pepper

Directions:

1) Preheat your oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit.

2) Fry your diced bacon in a pan over medium heat. Once it’s cooked through, remove the bacon and set it aside.

3) Scoop out the leftover bacon fat from the pan and toss it with the chopped yams and 2 of the diced garlic cloves in a large bowl.

4) Spread your yams out onto a lined cookie sheet and sprinkle with sea salt. Place in the oven and roast for approximately 40 minutes, or until yams are soft when pierced with a fork. Once they are soft, remove from the oven and set aside to cool. Leave your oven on at 400 degrees.

5) While the yams are roasting, mix your ground beef, bacon pieces, eggs, onion, garlic, mushrooms, kale, and peppers in a large bowl. It is best to do this with your hands to get everything fully combined and mixed well.

6) Add the tomato paste, dijon mustard, and Worcestershire sauce and mix again with your hands.

7) When everything is mixed well, divide the meatloaf mixture evenly into 3 loaf pans.

One for you, one for a friend, and one for your freezer.

One for you, one for a friend, and one for your freezer.

8) Once the yams have cooled, take them from the pan and blend them in a blender, NutriBullet, Vitamix, or whatever machine you have. You may need to do this in two batches to make sure everything gets whipped smoothly enough.

9) Evenly spread the whipped yams over top of your meatloaves. (In my photo, I only put the yams on two of the meatloaves and left the freezer loaf bare. I haven’t tried freezing whipped yams yet so wasn’t sure how well it would work, plus I was short on yams anyway.)

10) Place two of your meatloaves into the oven and bake for approximately 1 hour. Wrap the remaining loaf in tinfoil or saran wrap and place in the freezer.

11) When meatloaves are cooked through, remove them from the oven and allow them to rest for 5 minutes before slicing. Enjoy!

meatloaffinished


I’m big on community and loving each other. You’ll probably hear (or read) me talk about my “village” a lot. When my children were born early and in the NICU for weeks, our community showered us with love by regularly bringing us meals to help get us through the rough time. I can still remember how incredibly loved and taken care of we felt, and I strive to pass that on now. If you know someone who could use a hand, drop this meal off for them. They will never forget it.

Post

Shepherd’s Pie

1 comment

I think Shepherd’s Pie is one of the ultimate comfort foods. It reminds me of my childhood and especially church potlucks. The mashed potatoes were of course the best part, right?

I’ve tried a few paleo versions of Shepherd’s Pie and finally tweaked enough until I’ve got one that I’ll stick with. The main difference for me is in preparing the mashed cauliflower (faux mashed potatoes). Most recipes call for you to steam the cauliflower before mashing it, but I always find that this makes mine too runny and not close enough to the texture of real mashed potatoes. This time I tried roasting the cauliflower instead and the texture was perfect!

My little guy was shoving this into his mouth by the messy handful and Charley managed to swallow five bites, so I am definitely considering this a picky toddler approved recipe. (She did, however, refer to it as the Pie of Bravery, and suggested that maybe next time I should call Nana and ask for her recipe).

Ingredients:

-1-2 tbsp coconut oil

-2 lbs ground beef

-1 onion, diced

-3 cloves of garlic, minced

-3 large carrots, diced (about 1 cup)

-1 head of broccoli, chopped into small pieces

-3 tbsp tomato paste

-3 tsp coconut aminos

-2 tsp rosemary

-2 tsp thyme

-1.5 tsp paprika, divided

-1 cup beef broth

-salt and pepper to taste

-1 large head of cauliflower or 2 small heads

Directions:

1) Heat a large pan over medium heat and add coconut oil.

2) Throw in your onions, garlic, carrots and broccoli and fry for approximately 5 mins or until they begin to soften.

3) Crumble your meat into the pan, season with salt and pepper, and cook for 5-10 minutes or until browned and cooked through. (My pan isn’t very large, so I actually had to scoop out some of the vegetables to make enough space for the meat to cook evenly. Once the meat was cooked through, I add the vegetables back in).

4) While the meat is cooking, preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Chop or slice your cauliflower (I slice the cauliflower into about 1 cm thickness so it will roast faster) and spread it on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and olive oil or coconut oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. For a little extra kick you could sprinkle with some minced garlic as well.  Roast at 400 degrees for approximately 25 minutes or until the cauliflower just begins to brown. Remove when roasted but leave the oven set at 400 degrees.

roastedcauli

5) Once the meat is cooked through and is no longer pink, add your beef broth, tomato paste, coconut aminos, rosemary, thyme and 1tsp of paprika. Taste and add salt if necessary.

6) Bring the mixture to a boil and then let it simmer while some of the excess liquid dissolves and the flavours meld.

7) While the meat and vegetables are simmering, puree your roasted cauliflower in your food processor, Vitamix, or blender. I did not need to add any liquid to mine, but if it seems to dry then add some bone broth, water, or coconut milk, just a tablespoon at a time. I prefer it on the dry, fluffy side.

8) Remove your meat and vegetable mixture from the pan and press it into a 9×11 baking dish. Spread the mashed cauliflower on top, and sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 tsp of paprika.

9) Bake it for about 25 minutes or until the top is nice and browned. Enjoy!

*This recipe is paleo and Whole30 approved.

shepherdspie

Post

Chorizo Egg Muffins

Leave a reply

I’m always on the hunt for quick protein fixes, especially when I get home from the gym and want to fill my belly right away. In It Starts With Food by Melissa and Dallas Hartwig, they advise to eat protein 15 minutes after a workout. I try really hard to make sure that happens and sometimes it’s difficult because I’m really not into shakes or fancy drinks. These egg muffins are perfect! You can pack them to take to the gym with you and eat cold, or pop them in the microwave for 30 seconds when you get home. There are all kinds of variations you could do with these: ground beef and salsa, bacon and veggies, ham and raw cheese, etc.

Ingredients:

-10 eggs

=3 chorizo sausage links

=1 tbsp coconut oil

-1 red bell pepper, diced

-half of a leek, diced

-1 small yam, diced

Directions:

1) Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

2) Melt the coconut oil in a large pan over medium heat.

3) Remove the casing from the chorizo sausage and crumble into the pan. Fry until cooked through.

4) Add your veggies to the sausage in the pan and fry for 2-3 minutes, and then remove your sausage and veggies from the pan and let cool. (If you cook them too long they will become mushy when baking in the oven.)

5) Crack the eggs into a large bowl and whisk them until well blended.

6) Add in your sausage and veggies and mix well.

7) Pour into a lined or well greased muffin tin and bake for 20-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of a muffin comes out clean and dry. This recipe yielded 15 muffins.

Post

Brussels Sprouts Breakfast Skillet

4 comments

A few years ago I would have never imagined eating brussels sprouts for breakfast. When I adopted the grain free, sugar free, dairy free lifestyle, one of my biggest struggles was figuring out what to eat for breakfast. I got sick of scrambled eggs pretty quickly and so started combining meat and veggies and now breakfast has become my favourite meal. I love starting off the day with a full stomach and tons of energy.

I use ground pork for this recipe because it’s relatively cheap. Our family only buys pastured, hormone free, antibiotic free, and humanely raised meats and that really adds up over time and makes a huge dent in our budget. Pork is a cheaper option than chicken, beef or turkey and works well for a meal like this.

As for the brussels sprouts…just try it! My kids won’t touch them on their own, but they’ll gobble them up mixed into this skillet without even noticing. Victory!

This recipe is enough for 3 breakfast meals for myself, or you can stretch it farther by adding 2 eggs to each portion.

brusselshash1

Ingredients:

1-2 tbsp of coconut oil

1 lb ground pork (pastured, hormone and antibiotic free, humanely treated)

1 large yam (or 2 smaller yams), diced

10 brussels sprouts, quartered

1 large apple, diced

2 bell peppers, diced

1 bunch kale, roughly torn into bite size pieces (stems removed)

1-2 tbsp of rosemary

1-2 tbsp of sage

Sea salt to taste

Directions:

1) Heat the coconut oil in a large pan over medium.

2) Crumble your ground pork into the pan and season with sage and rosemary. Sprinkle with salt.

3) Once the pork begins to brown, add the diced yams and brussels sprouts. Mix to combine and continue cooking until yams being to soften to your liking, about 10 minutes.

4) Add your diced apple and peppers. Mix to combine and continue to cook for another 3-5 minutes.

5) Lastly, add your torn kale. Mix to combine, fry for approximately 3 minutes, and then serve and enjoy.

Post

Potato Soup with Kale and Italian Sausage

Leave a reply

All of a sudden winter has hit us here in Vancouver. It’s been beautifully sunny and absolutely chilly and we are loving it! We’ve spent hours outside each day soaking up the sunshine and everyone’s mood has been lifted.

IMG_2793

The fresh cold air makes me crave hot soup, and so that plus the fact that kale was on sale at our local market had me coming up with this for dinner last night. This made quite a large pot, probably enough for about 6 bowls.

IMG_4268.JPG

Ingredients:

-6 slices of nitrate free, sugar free bacon

-4 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed

-1 leek, white and light green parts only, chopped

-2 celery stalks, chopped

-4 medium sized potatoes, peeled and chopped (I used red potatoes but any kind will do)

-3 potatoes, diced into bite size pieces (I prefer to leave the peel on for this part)

-6 sausage links, Italian flavoured or chorizo (I did a mix)

-2 large red bell peppers, diced

-2 bunches of kale, stems removed and roughly torn or chopped

-fresh chives, chopped

-4 cups chicken broth

-1 cup water

-salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

1) Fry the bacon in a large soup pot over medium heat. (Put the bacon in your cold soup pot and then turn on the heat to medium to get the most fat rendered out of your bacon – thanks Cherie for that tip!)

2) Once the bacon is cooked, remove it and set it to the side. Remove all but 1-2 tbsp of the bacon fat. (Save that removed bacon fat in a jar for another day…it’s gold.)

3) Fry your garlic, leek and celery in the pot with the 1-2 tbsp bacon fat until it smells wonderful, about 2-4 minutes.

4) Add in your 4 peeled and chopped potatoes and fry for another few minutes.

5) Pour in your chicken broth and water. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 10 or so minutes, until potatoes are soft.

6) While your potatoes are cooking, heat a large pan over medium heat. Remove the sausage casing and crumble the meat into the pan. Cook until there is no longer any pink.

7) When the potatoes are soft, puree the whole pot of broth, potatoes, garlic, leeks and celery. Use a hand held immersion blender or remove the mixture and blend it in a Vitamix and then return it to the pot.

8) Add the rest of the potatoes and the cooked sausage. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer for 10 minutes or until the diced potatoes begin to soften.

9) Add your chopped kale and diced red pepper and simmer for 3-5 minutes.

10) Ladle the soup into bowls and serve topped with chives and bacon.

Enjoy!

Post

On Why We Don’t Use the F Word – And Other Family Rules

12 comments

No, I’m not talking about THAT F-word.

In our home, we do not say the word fat. Ever. Sound extreme to you? Maybe. But if you’ve ever spent time in that dark place of self-loathing because you can’t seem to starve away every single tiny piece of fat from your body, then you will understand my intense feelings surrounding that word. (Someday I will write in more detail about that dark place, but not yet.)

That’s my sweet daughter Charley in that photo on her first day of preschool. She’s three and a half and as happy as can be. It kills me to know that because I have suffered from an eating disorder, and even though I consider myself healed, she is at a higher risk of developing one in her lifetime. I’ve read the research, and it’s enough to make some very firm rules for our household, to protect her from becoming another statistic. (Even still, if I had never had an eating disorder, the statistics of women developing eating disorders these days are still frightening.)

You may see it as helicopter parenting or keeping my child in a bubble. But have you experienced the hell of an eating disorder? Or the hell of an addiction? The hell of mental illness? If you have, you will understand my desire to build that bubble around her as long as possible. Yes, she will encounter the outside world eventually, but not until our family beliefs and words are imprinted so deeply in her mind and heart that when she comes across the confusing ideas of fat that our society presents, she will be so strong in her beliefs that they will not be shattered by Victoria’s Secret commercials, false advertising, rude comments from men, outrageous diet claims in magazines, etc.

In our home:

We do not use the word fat as an adjective (or at all). Our society focuses on size so much. Why do we always comment on the shape of a person first? Instead of describing someone as fat, large, skinny, chubby, thin or huge, we use other characteristics. “Your Auntie Julia has curly hair, blue eyes, and wears glasses sometimes.” This is a tip that I learned a few years ago in therapy and have made a rule in my life since then, even when I’m not around my kids. The obsession with size in our society needs to end, and this is one tiny place to start.

There are no good foods or bad foods. Food is food. In our home I do my best to not label foods as bad or good, positive or negative, junk or treats. This is especially difficult for me as a Health Coach because I find the nutritional value and science behind food so fascinating. We do discuss that some foods can make us feel sick, slow, or tired and that other foods can give us energy and make us feel good.

Food does not make you bigger or smaller, fatter or skinnier. Yes, if you eat pizza all day, every day, you will get fat. And if all you eat is lettuce all day, every day, you will wither away into nothing. But neither of those are options in Charley’s life right now so she doesn’t need to know that. I never want her to look at ice cream and think it will make her fat.

That scene in Little Miss Sunshine makes me so angry. I want to punch my screen. I remember watching that before I had my own kids and vowing to never let that happen in my family.

We walk everywhere, as often as possible. The walking thing started out not by my choice. Charley was an extremely spirited toddler and absolutely refused to ever sit in the stroller. She was walking confidently soon after her first birthday and at that point we just packed the stroller away into storage and she walked every where from then on. It was annoying at first, but now at age 3.5, she can walk for hours without whining. She loves hiking and running and knows no difference. I absolutely love it. We go for long walks almost every day. We make it a priority so that it is part of her lifestyle now, and not something we have to worry about incorporating later on.

She sees my love for exercise. This one can be tricky and leads right into the next one.

I do not exercise to get smaller or skinnier. My kids see me exercise. I take them for runs, I lift weights while Xavier naps, and they watch myself and other moms workout at our Mommy Workout Group that my friend leads in a park. They know that once a week I wake up early to meet a good friend for a morning workout, and they know that once a week Daddy puts them to bed because I’m at a running clinic. The thing is, my exercise has nothing to do with shrinking. I’m not “working off that ice cream”, “shrinking my love handles”, or trying to achieve the impossible “thigh gap”. My children will NEVER hear those words from me. Instead, I tell them that I’m building muscles so that I can be strong to pick them up, that I’m getting fast so I can run with them and play with them, and so my body has more energy. And those things are true. I’m not exercising to get smaller or reach some goal. I’m exercising so I can keep up with my kids, lift heavy things when I need to, and open my own darn pickle jar.

I do not stare at myself in the mirror. It’s amazing how much little children observe and absorb. I don’t do it anyway (anymore), but I especially do not stand in front of a mirror and critique myself in front of my children. I need a mirror to do my hair and makeup, but I am careful with my facial expressions. No deep sighs of dissatisfaction, no grimaces or squeezing and pinching any extra skin. I don’t have a scale, but if I did, I would not weigh myself in front of my children. So many women I know weigh themselves every single morning. What kind of habit is that to instil in our children?

I am IN our photos. I am in those photos with my kids.  I will not stay out of a photo because I don’t think I look my best or because my outfit isn’t especially flattering that day. And I will NEVER say out loud that I don’t like the way I look in a photo. I avoid negative self talk internally and externally as much as humanly possible. With this same mindset, when we are at the beach or at the pool, I will be there in my swimsuit as confidently as possibly. (It has taken me a long time to get there, but my children are a great motivator.) I will be in the water, swimming and playing with my kids, and not caring if my make up runs or my hair gets drenched and stringy. I still don’t love being in a bathing suit in public, but I’m going to fake it until I make it and make sure my children don’t pick up on that.

I compliment Charley on more than just her beauty. Charley is beautiful, and she hears it all the time from family, friends and strangers. And I’m totally okay with that. I tell her she’s beautiful all the time. It won’t take long before our society tries to make her feel ugly, so I’ll tell her as many times as I can until then that she was created perfectly. I don’t think you can tell your children they are beautiful too often, as long as your compliments of their other strengths outweigh the compliments of their appearance. For every time I tell her she’s beautiful, I make sure to magnify two or three other strengths of hers. For example, things like “I love that you are so kind to your brother”, “You are so good at sharing”, “You are so helpful”. I learned this from a very wise friend of mine who is parenting a few years ahead of me and aim to use this tool with all people I come in contact with, not just my own children.

Food is GOOD. So many people have negative issues surrounding any and all food. In my darkest times, I would be kept awake all night from the shame of eating a plain chicken breast. I would imagine all the fat accumulating on my body as I lied in bed and how much bigger I would be in the morning. I know better now. Now I know that food equals life. Food is fuel for my body. Food is energy and strength, and strength is beautiful.

This all my sound crazy to you. I might sound paranoid and maybe I am a little. These rules may evolve as my children mature and can understand nutrition and science more.

But for now, instilling these values in Charley’s mind and heart is one of my biggest passions.


To read a bit about my story and why I’m so passionate about this, click here.

Post

Whole 30 – Week 2 – Meal Plan

1 comment

Hey there! Wow, this no caffeine thing has been ROUGH. For the first 3 days I had a non stop pounding headache, was exhausted during the day, and awake in the middle of the night. By day 4 I was feeling way better though, and I’m excited to see how things improve even more over the next few weeks.

Here’s my meal plan for this week. A few breakfasts that I will double, and leftovers for lunch every day. 

Breakfast:

Yams and Eggs (There isn’t much to this “recipe” but it’s one of my favourites. I chop the yams into cubes and fry them in coconut oil and steak spice until cooked through. I remove them from the pan and cover them to keep them hot. Then I quickly fry 2 eggs and put them on top of the yams. You could partially boil the yams at the beginning of the week to make them quick and easy to fry up in the morning.)

Sweet Potato Breakfast Skillet

Potatoes with Kale and Bacon

Crustless Quiche

Dinner:

Mexican Meatza

Chocolate Chili on spaghetti squash

Spicy Coconut Shrimp Bisque (skip the corn)

Sweet Pineapple Ginger Meatballs 

Lemon Garlic Chicken on Zoodles and Kale

Italian Sausage and Zoodles

Moroccan Spiced Salmon

I suggest tripling the Chocolate Chili and Spicy Coconut Shrimp Bisque and freezing them for Whole30 emergencies. Those are two of my favourite recipes…you won’t be sorry!

Enjoy!