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Beetroot’s deep, overpoweringly red juice has earned it the reputation as the most bossy of vegetables.  It is difficult to resist the ruby red juiciness especially when you know just how good they are for you. It is a great source of iron and folate while also containing antioxidants and magnesium.
As a Fitness Trainer, I adore beetroot because it is suggested to enhance exercise performance.  Beetroot is packed with nitrates which our body converts into nitric oxide, a molecule that enhances blood vessel dilation. As a result, this increases blood flow capacity, lowering the amount of oxygen your muscles need. Beetroot also enhances energy so grabbing a beetroot juice or shot around 3pm, when most find their energy dips, is much healthier than consuming caffeine (which causes a crash and burn effect).
So with all the benefits beetroot provides why not spice up our regular hummus with this superfood? I say Hell YA!
This sophisticated twist on the breakfast sandwich will liven up your day! Enjoy xx
Ingredients
Beetroot Hummus:
  • 1 boiled beetroot
  • 1 can cooked chickpeas
  • 2 garllic cloves
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 a lemon (juiced)
  • fresh parsley to garnish (optional)
Bread:
  • Brown Rice Sourdough
Topping:
  • 1/2 hass avocado
 Instructions
1. Place 1 peeled medium size beetroot in a pot of boiling water. Boil on medium-heat for approximately 15 minutes or until soft.
2. Place lemon juice, olive oil, garlic cloves, tahini, chickpeas and the beetroot (in this order) into a high speed blender (a blender will give you a smoother texture than a food processor). Process until smooth. If the mixture is too thick, add some cold water until the mixture is a smoother consistency.
3. Season the mixture with salt, cumin, extra olive oil (optional)
4. spread the beetroot hummus on sourdough bread and top with 1/2  an avocado and then top with fresh parsley (optional).

I am super excited about this recipe as it is simple and sooooo good! It is both creamy and tart. I taste tested this on a few of my family and friends who are not dairy free nor vegan and they loved it!

The crust is only 2 ingredients and the filling only 5 – must I say more? Go on and give this recipe a try. Enjoy xx

Ingredients:

Crust:

1 cup pitted dates
1 cup raw pecans (you can use any nut here)

Filling:

1 1/2 cup soaked cashews
1 large lemon juiced
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup full fat coconut milk
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted

Blueberry Jam:

2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup lemon grind

Instructions:

  1. Add dates to a high speed blender or food processor and blend until it forms into a ball. Remove and set aside.
  2. Add nuts into blender or food processor and blend into a meal. Then add dates back in and blend.
  3. Lightly grease, with coconut oil, a spring foam pan
  4. Place crust into the foam pan and press with your fingers to fill the old. Pack the crust mixture down using the back of a spoon. Set in the freezer to firm up.
  5. Add the filling ingredients to a blender and mix until very smooth.
  6. Pour the filling mixture on top of the crust and smooth with a spatula
  7. Pour the blueberry jam on top of the cheesecake mixture and cool in fridge until served

Blueberry Jam:

  1. Put the blueberries, lemon juice and lemon grind in a pot, cover and bring to a boil.
  2. Remove the lid and cook on medium heat for approximately 15 minutes. The mixture will reduce by 1/3 and thicken.
  3. Blend the mixture until a smooth consistency.
  4. Pour the mixture into a jar and store in the fridge.

 

Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free

Yields: 8-10

As a child Brussels sprouts was one of those vegetables that I cringed even at the thought of eating them.  They have become one of my favourite adult vegetables (when in season of course).  Brussels sprouts are a great source of iron and potassium (important for bone health) and offer other benefits that can boost your overall health. Butternut Squash is a staple in my household in the fall and winters months.  It delivers an ample dose of dietary fibre as well as potassium and vitamin B6 (essential for the proper functioning of  both the nervous and immune systems). I try my best to incorporate vegetables, herbs and spices that boost the immune system during the fall and winter months to protect us from the common cold.

I adore the combination of ingredients here with all the flavours of winter. This dish is not only low-maintenance but it makes a beautiful presentation too – it was a wonderful holiday side dish that made a great addition to our Christmas menu.

Enjoy xx

Ingredients

  • 4 cups Brussels sprouts (halved)
  • 1 medium size butternut squash (peeled and cut into chunks)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup pecan halves
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (Roast). Place the butternut squash chunks in a large bowl and toss with olive oil, salt, pepper and oregano. Place the Brussels sprouts halves into another large bowl and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss with your hands to distribute the oil evenly.
  2. Place the butternut squash on one baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Place the Brussels sprouts on another baking sheet lined with parchment paper (tip: place the Brussels sprouts cut side down so they caramelize much more evenly).
  3. Roast the vegetables for 25-30 minutes, flipping them gently 1 to 2 times.
  4. Place the pecan halves in a pan and toast for 5-7 minutes until golden.
  5. Gently place the roasted vegetables in a large serving bowl or platter. Drizzle olive oil and toss the vegetables gently until they are lightly dressed. Serve warm.

Yields:  8 Bars

Matcha boosts the metabolism and detoxifies the body effectively and naturally.  It is rich in fibre, chlorophyll and vitamins. This Japanese green tea enhances mood and aids in concentration.  I enjoy a Matcha latte (made with coconut milk) in the mornings as it gives me the energy boost I need to start my day without the headaches that can sometimes come with coffee.

Green tea and chocolate may make you second guess this recipe but both ingredients compliment one another very well.  Both matcha and cacao have a bitter taste but that is offset with the sweetness of the pure maple syrup.

Why does chocolate make us happy? Because it tastes good and it provides us with an escape from our busy and often stressed-out lifestyles. Dark chocolate made with raw cacao is good for more than curing a broken heart. Scientific research has provided explanations around the idea that chocolate does in fact make us happy. There are over 300-naturally occurring chemicals in chocolate and some of them can affect the brain by releasing neurotransmitters. Certain neurotransmitters can be responsible for your emotions and the way that you feel. Eating chocolate releases endorphins into the brain. Endorphins are known to decrease levels of both stress and pain.

Not all chocolate is weighed the same. I am speaking about high quality chocolate made with cacao not the sugary junk.  Chocolate doesn’t have to be a guilty pleasure. These plant-based, healthy, vegan, dairy free, gluten free chocolate bars will increase your mood and enhance your taste buds leaving you feeling comforted, alert, excited and HAPPY.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil (melted)
  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 1/4 cup cacao powder
  • 1 Tablespoon organic matcha powder
  • 3 Tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup Naturespath organic brown rice crisps

Instructions:

  1. Line a loaf pan with plastic wrap for easy removal
  2. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl and stir until smooth
  3. Scoop the mixture into the prepared loaf pan and smooth out
  4. Freeze for 20 minutes or until solid
  5. Slice into 8 chocolate bars and enjoy! These bars will melt at room temperature. Store into a container in the fridge to avoid melting.

 

Most of us have been perpetually reminded since childhood, that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. This meal influences how we perform physically and mentally throughout our day.

The average adult gets 8 hours of sleep per day (or should) and 10 hours for children. In those 8 to 10 hours hours that the body is resting it is also essentially “fasting”. If breakfast is not consumed in the morning the body does not get the energy needed for the day, affecting concentration levels (particularly in children), mood and weight maintenance. Eating a nutritious and balanced breakfast (protein, veggies, good carbohydrates) maintains blood sugar levels and sets the tone for a day of healthy eating.

5 reasons why breakfast is the most important meal of the day:

  1. Increase metabolism
  2. Maintain or lose weight
  3. Enhance mood
  4. Enhance immune system
  5. Stimulate the brain improving memory and concentration

However on the days when we are scrambling to get out the door, we tend to push it off. What we really need is a breakfast that can rush out the door with us. By taking the time to prepare and eat a healthy breakfast, you eliminate grabbing or picking up the high-sugar breakfast options at your local coffee shop.  My simple and nutritious egg muffins prepped in a muffin tin are tasty, healthy, and totally transportable, making your mornings easier and your days energized.

These delicious and healthy breakfast egg muffins can be made in advance and even frozen for more convenience! When you’re busy, portable breakfasts make all the difference. I have created three difference recipes below but you can swap out or change up the ingredients as you desire.

Yields: 12

Ingredients

Kale & Spinach

  • 8 eggs
  • 1 cup sliced mushroom
  • 1 cup kale
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 shallot diced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper

Broccoli Cheddar

  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup cooked broccoli florets
  • 1/4 cup sweet yellow onion chopped
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast

Pomodoro

  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves (chopped or minced)
  • 1 handful fresh basil torn
  • 1 cup quinoa cooked

Instructions

  1. Coat muffin tin with coconut oil and set aside. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Whisk the eggs in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Dice the vegetables into small pieces and add to the egg mixture (for the broccoli cheddar add the nutritional yeast at this stage as well).
  4. Fill the muffin cups 3/4 full and bake for 20-25 minutes until centres are set and no longer runny.
  5. Allow to cool slightly before serving

** Please note that extras may be stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or in an air-tight container in the freezer for up to 1 month.

Everything in moderation. Except for Avocado

Guacamole is an avocado-based dip, originating in Mexico. Mexican cuisine uses guacamole as a condiment or side to their more snack-type dishes (burrito and tacos). However guacamole has become an addictive and very popular dip internationally and rightfully so!  Avocados are a unique type of fruit in that they are high in healthy fats.  Where most fruit contain primarily carbohydrates, avocados are also incredibly nutritious containing powerful health benefits.

Avocados have made the `superfood` list and it is not surprising considering its high nutrient content and health properties. Avocados are rich and creamy making them a fantastic addition to smoothies, desserts, salad dressings and guacamole. Guacamole has become well admired by most vegetarians and vegans, mainly because they contain 2 grams of protein, 2 grams of carbohydrates, 7 grams of fibre and 15 grams of healthy fat making this fruit a low-carb friendly plant food.

Avocado is a high fat food in fact the majority of the calories are from fat, making it loaded with heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids. It is important to note that the majority of the fat in avocado is a monounsaturated fatty acid called oleic acid. Oleic acid is proven to reduce inflammation and is also resistant to heat –induced oxidation, making avocado oil a healthy and safe cooking option.

Fat does not make you fat! I am persistent when it comes to demolishing this myth. Our bodies need good fats. When we eat healthy fats we are more satiated which allow our bodies to indicate to our brains that we are full and content (eliminating over eating or cravings for junk food). Most people confuse fat itself with the junk food that it is associated with. Do not be afraid of the heart-healthy fats that exist in avocados. Not only are they packed with healthy fats, vitamins, minerals and dietary fibre but they are loaded with powerful antioxidants, making them a healthy addition to any diet.

Avocados add that smooth and creamy texture and flavour to guacamole, making this dip an ideal snack or side dish. My guacamole bowl takes less than five minutes to make with very minimal utensils to clean afterwards.

Ingredients

3-4 ripe Hass avocados

Juice of 1 lime

¼ cup diced red onion

¼ cup diced ripe tomatoes

3 tablespoons of cilantro (chopped)

1 teaspoon kosher sea salt

A dash of black pepper

1-2 jalapeño (stems and seeds removed) – optional

Instructions

  1. Cut the avocados by running a knife around the avocado (top to bottom) and twist in half. Once the avocado is open, firmly press the knife onto the pit and twist to remove. Pull out and place the pit in a bowl to the side. Slice the avocado in strips vertically (top to bottom) and then repeat horizontally. Scoop the flesh out with a spoon into a medium sized bowl.
  2. Using a potato masher, mash the avocado until a smooth consistency. Cut the lime in half and squeeze both halves into the bowl with the avocado.
  3. Dice the onion and tomatoes and add to the avocado, mixing until well combined. Stir in all other ingredients. Place the avocado pits back into the bowl (this keeps the guacamole from browning).
  4. Serve with non-gmo organic corn chips

Guilt-free indulgence: A healthy alternative to the classic cinnamon roll

Have you ever smelt something that reminds you of your childhood? I can still remember the warm and cozy feeling I had as a child when I smell freshly baked cinnamon rolls. This sensory experience takes me back to my childhood in an instant. Fluffy, soft, doughy and bursting with cinnamon I just had to re-create the classic home-style cinnamon roll recipe to be gluten, dairy and refined sugar-free.

This recipe’s combination of brown rice flour and coconut sugar produces rolls that are pleasantly doughy with a subtle touch of sweetness. If you are like me and love cinnamon, you will adore the filling of these rolls as they are filled with the aroma of ground cinnamon while also delivering a healthy dose of fibre with the organic chia seeds. This recipe is not only delicious but it is also versatile. You can add nuts to the filling and even top with raisins once glazed.

I really want to speak a little about balance. As a holistic nutritionist I am very pro-balance when it comes to indulgences (and life in general!). It is funny, I usually see shock on people’s faces when I tell them about the indulgences that I have weekly. YES I indulge, I am not a rare creature who lives life restricted. I believe that depriving yourself will only lead to overeating or bingeing.  An overly healthy lifestyle can be restrictive and although I advocate for healthy eating habits, I also encourage my clients to indulge from time-to-time.  There are many healthier treats to indulge in and having something homemade is always a better option than out of a package.

My tips and tricks on exercising healthy indulgences:

  1. Commit to a healthy lifestyle with balance: Eating healthy most of the time (80%) with a few indulgences here and there (20%) and developing a healthy relationship with food eliminating all guilt
  2. Plan for your indulgences: By planning your treats you can ensure your indulgences are a healthier option rather than running to the grocery store to purchase anything that looks tempting. Getting excited about the indulgence, you’re less likely to feel any guilt.
  3. Release the need to eat overly healthy all the time: Food can be the most incredibly beautiful experience or the worst. If you have an intolerance or allergy, stick to indulgences that your body can tolerate. No one is perfect and no one can upkeep an overly healthy lifestyle, it is not healthy! Indulge, enjoy it and let it go!

 

Ingredients

For the dough:

  • 2 cups glutenfree baking flour
  • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 1 teaspoon unrefined sea salt
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon organic vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons ghee melted and cooled slightly

For the filling:

  • 2 tablespoons ghee
  • 3 tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 1 tablespoon organic chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoon arrowroot powder

For the glaze:

  • 2 tablespoon ghee
  • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder
  • 1 teaspoon coconut milk

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. Grease a 12 muffin tray with coconut oil.
  3. Dough: In a large bowl place all dry ingredients. Place all wet ingredients into a medium bowl. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well. Set aside while you prepare your filling.
  4. Filling: In a medium saucepan melt the ghee over low heat. When melted add sugar, maple syrup, cinnamon, chia seeds and arrowroot flour until consistency is thick.
  5. Roll out the dough, on lightly floured parchment paper, into a rectangle. Then spread the filling on the rolled out dough.
  6. Roll up the dough into a log and with string feed it under the roll and cut into 12 rolls.
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

There is something about warm baked apples topped with crunchy crumble that makes me drool.  It is one of my favourite winter desserts and when you see how simple it is to make it will quickly become yours too! I also love apple crumble because it is made with simple ingredients that you likely have in your kitchen.

I have taken the classic apple crumble recipe and swapped out the ‘not so healthy’ ingredients for more natural options.

By using brown rice flour in place of all purpose white flour, this winter dessert is gluten-free. I have substituted coconut oil for butter and naturally sweetened the dessert with maple syrup and coconut sugar.

Enjoy this warm, comforting and incredibly delicious Winter dessert! Serve with Coco whip for an extra treat!

Ingredients

5-6 Apples peeled and sliced thin

1/2 cup maple syrup

2 tablespoons Coconut Sugar

2 tablespoons Lemon Juice

1 teaspoon Cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg

1/2 cup Rolled Oats

3/4 cup Brown Rice Flour

1/2 cup Coconut Oil

Pinch of salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease a baking dish with coconut oil and set aside.
  3. Place the sliced apples into a medium bowl and mix in lemon juice, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and maple syrup.
  4. To make the crumble, place the oats, coconut sugar, brown rice flour and coconut oil in a bowl. Using your fingers, mix the ingredients until crumbly. If it is too dry add more coconut oil.
  5. Sprinkle the crumble over the apple and place into the oven for 25-30 minutes.