How to cut out sugar for good (5 things you need to do)

How to cut out sugar for good (5 things you need to do)

New Years is a motivating time to make some changes to our life - and health.  So I ran a poll with the moms who follow me and asked what they wanted to change in 2017.   Virtually every response fell into two categories: I want to be better at meal planning.   I want to cut out sugar for my family. I feel you on #1.  Meal planning is so rewarding (when you can find the time to do it).  Here’s what I have for you: To DIY, read this post: How to Meal Plan (with tips for Picky Eaters) For help, grab this 5-Day Meal Plan for Families with “Picky Eaters” Any check out this Meal Planning Bundle from my friends at Meal Garden too! I also feel your pain on #2.  Sugar. Ugh. Isn’t it incredible how a substance like this controls so many of us.  This holiday, I had a internal debate at every party over whether I should have that Santa-shaped Shortbread Cookie or itsy bitsy slice of Tiramisu.  It wasn’t difficult to ryhme up reasons to devour that sugar-laden desserts: Why not?  Everyone else was eating them It was just one small cookie/slice (at least that’s what I told myself.  It always ends up being 2) I will workout super hard tomorrow It’s the holidays and I deserve a cookie! But of course, being a nutritionist, I knew all the reasons why I should stay the heck away from that Tiramisu. Why sugar is WORSE than smoking (yup) Cutting out sugar is one of the hardest resolutions one can make.  After all it’s an addictive substance!   You and I will need some help. The hard facts in this article by...
What Makes Cheddar Cheese Orange?

What Makes Cheddar Cheese Orange?

Last week in my Facebook Group I posted a photo of a child’s lunch that included cheddar cheese.  As I was brewing topics for my next blog post, a question popped up in the comment’s section of my Facebook post: “Doesn’t orange cheese have food colouring in it?” A great question indeed. That’s when this blog post was born. Cheese makes a regular appearance in children’s lunches and snacks.  It’s an easy protein source for parents and easy to like for kids. I’m a secret cheese lover myself (an old sheep cheese goes oh so well with wine, right moms?).  Although, I eat cheese and drink wine very rarely these days, I still have an interest in what cheese we are eating, when we eat it.   I also want the families I work with to know what’s going into their food (especially those with “picky eaters” who have a limited repertoire of foods). Let’s start here… But isn’t cheese naturally white? Actually, it *should be* yellow. Before the days of factory farming, cows actually roamed outdoors and ate grass. The result was a more yellow milk in the spring and summertime because of the beta carotene present in fresh grass.   During the winter however, dried grass (has lower amounts of beta carotene) was their primary source of nutrition.   Hence, these cows produced a milk that is paler in colour. The more yellow the cheese, the better it was. That was the perception.   The cheese industry caught on to this and started adopting ways to give their cheese a darker hue throughout the year, by adding colour to cheese.  A tradition that continues today. The history behind cheddar cheese is deeper than this, but we are not...
10 Last Minute Gifts for Moms

10 Last Minute Gifts for Moms

Let me introduce you to the World’s Worst Procrastinator when it comes to gifting. ME. However, this year I am trying (emphasis on the word “trying“) to turn a new leaf and get all my Christmas shopping done a week in advance.  I’m setting the bar LOW.   Unfortunately, Christmas shopping falls to the bottom of the list when balancing clients, kids, and the other craziness life throws you.  If anyone else is falling behind and needs some Christmas gift inspiration for the mothers in their life - you’ll love these “Last Minute Gifts for Moms“. My hope is that this list will get into the hands of the wonderful partners and Kris Kringles in our lives, so they can gift us with things we will actually USE and WANT as health-minded moms.  And take some of the stress out of shopping. What I love most about this list is that it is supports mom entrepreneurs - mostly local moms who have been busting their butts to turn their passion projects into successful businesses.   Businesses I trust and am proud to support. So while you are gifting that special mom in your life, or yourself, know that you are also gifting a hardworking, health-minded mom (just like you). Last Minute Gifts for Moms – Products My Spice Box For the “Culinary Mom” These are the businesses I trust and am proud to support.We may only use a few sprinkles of spices in our cooking, but quality still matters.  Spices may not be on the “Dirty Dozen” but they should be! Unfortunately, conventional spice mixes can contain harmful preservatives and additives like artificial colours, MSG, wheat/gluten and salt. Even whole or freshly ground spices are...
9 Healthy All-in-One Snacks

9 Healthy All-in-One Snacks

In one of my last posts I shared some snack inspiration.  I simplified snack prep with a mix & match list of foods to combine - foods that included a protein + carb + fat. Being a nutritionist, I love that list of simple ideas that I (and you) consisting mainly whole foods. Being a foodie, I love THIS list with fun combinations of whole foods with healthy all-in-one snacks.  No need to pack 2-3 separate foods because these snacks contain carbohydrate, protein and fat - in every bite. It’s so easy to fall into a rhythm of offering similar foods over and over. I recently noticed I was getting a little lazy and uninspired when it came to packing snacks.  Clementines, avocado, roasted chickpeas, pear, hardboiled eggs were the staples being rotated around throughout the week.  That gets boring for everyone - and doesn’t help my little ones expand their palate. So I had to give myself a kick in the butt and start thinking outside the snack box.  Starting with these yummy all-in-one snacks. Healthy All-in-One Snacks No-bake energy balls (Raspberry Coconut Balls) Granola balls (Made Good Granola Minis) Smoothies (Blueberry Hemp Smoothie - you can omit maca powder) Egg muffins (Zucchini Frittata Cups) Cookies (Pumpkin Cookies) Dip (Roasted Red Beet Hummus) Pudding (Avocado Carob (Chocolate) Pudding) Granola bars (No-Bake Hemp and Chia Protein Bars) Brownies (Black Bean Brownies) Do you have any quick, healthy and complete snack favourites for your family?  Please share them below! If you’re feeling stuck on what to pack for lunch grab this FREE Cheatsheet.  You will learn which 5 things are needed to create a balanced lunch (and meal) for your...
How to make quick and healthy snacks for kids

How to make quick and healthy snacks for kids

I’ve had the pleasure of meeting with loads of awesome moms lately at local workshops with Mommy Connections, MumNet, and other “mommy groups”.  At every single one of those workshops, I can bet my bottom dollar that I will be asked this ONE QUESTION: What quick and healthy snacks can I give my kids [before bed, on the go, for school]? I’ll rhyme off a list of my favourite quick and healthy snacks for kids, often forgetting most of them.  So I thought it would be wise to get this list of snacks for kids down on ‘paper’ as a reminder for me and a reference for parents. Before I dive, let me step back and give you a few pointers: Food for Thought: Every snack should have some protein (or fat) to keep kids satiated longer, and those blood sugar levels stabilized.  In other words, a banana or a biscuit on its own isn’t sufficient.  You’ll feel satiated briefly and then the sugar cravings (and tantrums) will rush in. Include a veggie or fruit in all snacks for nutrient-density.  Crackers, bread, and cookies have their place but don’t offer the same nutrition bang for every bite. Quick and Healthy Snacks for Kids This mix & match list will help you crete quick & dirty clean healthy snacks for your kids (most with no cooking required)! Pick one of these 10 foods These foods contain mostly carbohydrates. Fresh fruit (berries, banana, melon, plum, pear, etc) Fresh cut veggies (peppers, cucumbers, carrots, snap peas, etc) Dried fruit (apple chips, banana chips, prunes, unsulfured apricots, mango, etc) Roasted nori sheets Crackers (TIP: choose a brand like Mary’s Crackers for more nutrition)...