Healthier recipes

Oatmeal with Pears

oatmeal and pearsOn cold days I sometimes have homemade oatmeal for breakfast.  If I wanted to take the time to make it in the healthiest way, I would cook slow cooking oats in a pot on the stove.  Usually I want it quickly, so I pour boiling hot water over quick oats.  Technically those are supposed to be cooked on the stove too, but I find they cook enough for my taste with the hot water.  Here is a recipe for the oatmeal I made several times in the past couple of weeks:

1/2 cup quick oats or instant oats
1/2 cup water
1 tsp maple syrup
1 tbsp pumpkin seeds
1/2 pear, diced
7 almonds, chopped
dash of cinnamon

The fiber from the oatmeal and the protein from the almonds keeps me full all morning.

Buying healthy food

Healthier Holiday Baking

holiday cookiesIn the grocery store I see specials on white flour, sugar and walnuts, just in time for baking season.  Consider modifying some of your holiday recipes.  What about using half whole wheat flour?  I recommend Camino sugar (at Save-on and health food stores) as a substitute for white sugar.  It is less refined and easier for your body to digest.  Be careful with walnuts – because they are so high in Omega 3 oils they go rancid quickly.   The process starts as soon as the nut is broken.  Rancid nuts are toxic in your body.  I suggest you buy them in the shell or somewhere they are purchased frequently (I like Costco and Grecos Mediterannean store near King George Hwy in Surrey).  Store all shelled nuts in the fridge or freezer for longer life.

Buying healthy food

Quality of Berries in Juice

Bremner's blueberry, bluepom and cherry juicesOn Saturday I went to the Westcoast Women’s Show in Abbotsford. Bremner’s juice was in the food aisle and we sampled a few of their juices. Yum! They use blueberries from Delta to make their blueberry juice and cranberries from Fort Langley to make their cranberry juice. I like that the fruit is local. The fellow pouring the juice said that some juice companies use juice-grade berries that are not suitable for selling (bruised, not ripe, overly-ripe), whereas Bremner’s uses the highest quality berries. He also mentioned a couple of anecdotes about people whose health conditions had improved by drinking a glass of their juice daily. The health value of whatever you drink or eat will depend on the quality of ingredients and the life energy of the food. My favourite was the blueberry pomegranate juice and my daughter’s favourite was the blackberry juice. Bremner’s juice is available at Save-On-Foods, London Drugs, Choices and IGA.

Detours and distractions

Healing a stiff neck

neck painSomehow I injured my neck on Saturday. I woke up Sunday morning and found it extremely painful to hold up my head. Every jerk of my standard transmission car was painful. It hurt whenever I wasn’t holding my neck with my hands.  I was almost tempted to ask someone to get me one of those soft neck braces that doctors used to recommend.  I even tried ibuprofen to get to sleep even though I dislike pills, but it only helped a little bit.  After trying EFT, BSFF and time without any relief, I started making calls to find help. On Tuesday I had a massage and my first ever chiropractor appointment. I think the magic combination was a treatment by my chiropractor James Rice followed by a treatment by my Reiki energy healer Virginia Smith and then sleeping with one of my subtle energy disks under my neck.  I had substantially less pain and was able to move my neck enough to look people in the eyes.  After several days and treatments I am able to move my neck (almost) normally again and I don’t have any pain, only discomfort.  The best explanation for the cause of the neck injury came from my chiropractor’s receptionist – I must have hurt it when I pushed a school bus full of screaming children out of the way of danger 🙂

Thank you also to my massage therapist Cindy at Langley’s Spa Utopia for the wonderful relaxing and pain-reducing massage.

Healthy snacks

Celery with Goat Cheese

Celery with goat cheese
Celery with goat cheese

Today I had a yummy snack: celery with goat cheese, and celery with peanut butter.  I got the crunch I love and some protein to keep me full for awhile.  I use organic celery because I’d rather avoid the pesticides and it tastes healthier to me.

Eating celery is helpful for hydration since it is 95% water.  It is also high in Vitamin K as well as containing other vitamins and minerals.  Vitamin K helps your blod clot and may help your bones get stronger.

Buying healthy food

Healthier Meats for Carnivores

During the summer we often use our barbecue to grill meat for dinner.  There are many places to buy organic meat and meat without antibiotics in BC and the Vancouver area.  In addition to purchasing it in some health food stores, you can also find it in these stores:

In Surrey/Langley/White Rock:

  • JD Turkey Farms – free range turkeys, turkey sausages, meatballs, soup and more.  Other healthier products such as honey and spelt flour are available in their store.  10% discount for bulk sausage purchases.
  • Farmer Ken’s Meats
  • Heritage Meats – organic beef, chicken, and more
  • Thomas Reid Farms – Langley; organic chicken in bulk by appointment only
  • Hazelmere Organics – Surrey

In Vancouver:

  • Big Sky Natural Meats – beef and lamb from Lumby, BC
  • The Butcher
  • Tango’s Gourmet Meats – the West End
  • Nature’s Prime

In Port Coquitlam/Coquitlam/Port Moody/Pitt Meadows/Maple Ridge:

In Burnaby/New Westminster/Richmond/Ladner:

  • Superior Fish Market – Ladner; fish, organic chicken and beef, bison, other organic products
  • Queens Park Meat Market – New Westminster

In Abbotsford/Chilliwack/Mission:

  • Sumas Mountain Farms – Abbotsford; grass-fed organic beef, free-range chicken
  • Little Farmhouse Country Market – Yarrow
  • Organa Farms – organic turkey and hogs

In North Vancouver/West Vancouver:

For other locations across Canada:

Easy healthy food Healthier recipes Healthy snacks

Frozen Bananas

bananaAn easy, healthy and creamy frozen treat that we like is a frozen banana. 

Peel bananas that are yellow but not yet spotted
Break or cut the bananas in half
Stick a popsicle stick or chopstick into the broken half and push it into the banana
Wrap the bananas with plastic wrap
Put several bananas in plastic bags with the sticks sticking out to minimize freezer burn
Wait a few hours until they are frozen.

Remove from plastic bags/wrap and eat!


Walking with my Puppy

Our puppy Mylo
Our puppy Mylo
In March we got a puppy at the request of my older daughter.  Mylo is the newest member of our family.  He’s very friendly and full of energy.  To channel his energy into something less destructive than chewing all the plastic lids in the house we have been taking him on walks five times a day.  He is a Brittany and ideally could use an hour run everyday.  I’ll have to work up to that, but for now he is good motivation to walk more often than I had been.

Making changes

Using George Foreman Grills to Lose Weight

George Foreman grill
George Foreman grill

I used to think that George Foreman grills were over-hyped and not worth purchasing – just another electrical device to take up room in my kitchen cupboards. If my husband didn’t want to barbecue the chicken breasts, I could cook them on my frying pan. Then my 7 yr old daughter and I were visiting garage sales, looking for toys and other things she didn’t need, when I came across a George Foreman grill. At a cost of $9 I decided to give it a try. They were selling it because they felt that burgers cooked on it were not juicy enough. Since we rarely cook burgers I didn’t feel that would be a problem for us.

The first thing we tried was cooking raw chicken breasts. Wow – was it fast. And they tasted good! Since then we have cooked pork chops, lamb burgers, frozen chicken breasts, lamb skewers and bison burgers. I have also used it to quickly grill sliced red peppers and red onion. We still use the barbecue outside sometimes, and we can’t grill a whole salmon on it like we can outside, but it sure is nice when it is raining or we are out of propane. It is also faster than our outside barbecue. I’m a George Foreman grill convert!

Healthier recipes Healthy snacks

Homemade Baked Corn Chips

Homemade corn chips

Lately we’ve been making homemade corn chips when we have guests for dinner.  They are a bit time-consuming, but so yummy when they are warm.  They are also healthier than store-bought as most store-bought tortilla chips are deep-fried.

Use a pastry brush to brush olive oil on both sides of corn tortillas
Place tortillas on pizza stone or cookie sheet
Cut into triangles with pizza cutter or knife
Bake for about 10 minutes at 350°F, or until they start to turn light brown
Remove from oven
Sprinkle with sea salt and put in a big bowl
Cover bowl to keep them warm while you bake another batch

Can be served with salsa or other dips, but they break easily.