Thursday, December 27, 2012

Thrive Forward, Breakfast Smoothie!

 I love smoothies! And this is a great start to my day, I feel so happy in my body to nourish it perfectly and start the day off right!

In the Thrive Forward 30 day challenge this smoothie is the blank canvas smoothie. There are so many varieties to mix it up, this was my choice today!


  • 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 banana
  • 1  cup of raspberries
  • 1 scoop of chocolate performance protein
  • a handful of baby spinach
  • 1/2  cup of ice cubes
Blend and enjoy!

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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Thrive Forward Challenge!

I am ready to begin a very exciting challenge! The Thrive Forward Challenge created by Brandan Brazier the maker of Vega! The challenge is right in line with my goals of eating clean, but taking it a few steps further.  Its a 30 day wellness program focused on achieving long term health and enhanced performance through  plant-based nutrition.

Thrive Forward program launches in January. Pre-Register now to get your FREE Thrive 101 starter ebook. http://thriveforward.com


Eat clean and Thrive. Thrive Forward is your FREE, personalized online guide to help transform your health through clean, plant-based nutrition. Your journey to optimized health begins with a customized wellness program, built with topics that are most relevant to you, such as nutrition, energy, sleep, weight management, libido and more. Each personalized plan includes comprehensive lesson videos, health tips and useful tools like eBooks, recipes, shopping lists and more.
Pre-register now to get your free starter eBook — Clean Eating 101 and be among the first to transform your health with your own personalized plan when Thrive Forward launches in January of 2013.
It’s your turn to Thrive Forward
This is the book that I have and it gives some fantastic recipes as well as the background information of why our nation is need of a change, not only for our bodies but for our world.

I hope you decide to thrive forward with me! I will be blogging along about my experiences and challenges as well as posting recipes that I love! 
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Sunday, December 9, 2012

Ancient Grain Muffin and Loaf




I discovered Grainstorm Heritage Baking Mixes and I am so excited to say they are awesome!

I am usually not too keen on baking mixes as I question alot of ingredients put into the package, however this is a no brainer! Its better than from scratch, all ingredients are natural and follow a clean eating lifestyle. 

I added cacao chips (of course) to the mix and when I greased the muffin tin, I used coconut oil.


So easy and so perfect!

Enjoy the simplicity of making from scratch with so little room for error. LOVE IT!

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Saturday, December 8, 2012

Listening Challenge~Yoga Teacher Training

I am 8 weeks into the Yoga Teacher Training program and am starting to remove an exterior layer of myself that I wasn't aware it existed.

We have been learning about the Yama's and Niyama's (Yoga Ethical Guidelines for building a foundation of skillful living) and have begun journalling about how these show up in our lives and learning to mediate about these issues that arise. 

I am not an experienced mediator, so what I found was that I started 'praying' to overcome obstacles and realized that "praying"was actually me speaking and asking for things...but "mediating" was more about quieting my mind and listening. 

Totally different and super cool!!  I finally got it! 



I am coming to realize that my personality on the mat is who I am off the mat too! This is not exactly stuff I am proud of either! 
It's a self discovery like nothing else. I 'rush' to get to my practise and it takes me a while to centre myself and just stop and be with the practice. With a more profound awareness, I find myself in conversations with people and I realize I am not listening...I am not even good at pretending to listen either...and in fact, I am aware that they know I am not listening too! Yikes, what is this...oh my..."Just stop thinking, quiet the mind and listen".


Or I am in auto pilot...just going through the motions, mindlessly. Oops, I ended up driving to the gym instead of daycare?!? Oops I just finished my lunch and cant remember tasting it...and I am still hungry?!



And sometimes worrying about things I cant control.



WOW! So here I am, a human being in need of Yoga every minute of my life. Not just on my mat. This is so much more than a physical practice.  I need more union and connection to myself and others. I am prepared to put that mirror up and face myself and focus on grounding my thoughts, and becoming much more present. And recognizing that when I am not present, to be honest about that too. 



Thanks for listening! 

Namaste!
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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Oh Natural Berry Smoothie!


Usually I start my day off with a hearty bowl of oatmeal but this morning, I was craving a fruity smoothie! So I whipped up this one that nourished my taste buds and my body! Fuelling me just right after a hard work out at the gym!


Blend together and enjoy! 


Mmmmmm loving every sip!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Yoga! Training to be a Yoga instructor!



My passion for fitness and eat clean foods has lead me to my next challenge. One that I have contemplated since being pregnant. I admit that I never really appreciated Yoga for the craft that it is. 

I am known to be super active and busy bodied, and rather be out running, spinnning, doing crazy bootcamps, high impact aerobics or weight training, I found Yoga to be something that was too 'slow' paced for me. Then I got pregnant in the Fall of 2010. My high intensity workouts continued and I was introduced to Pre-natal Yoga by a means of 'stretching' and found it to be a place that I just melted into my mat. This was so much more than 'stretching'. How ignorant I was! 

I grew a huge connection to my body and my baby. I practised Yoga weekly and found such incredible benefits to my mind, body and spirit. Since Chloe was born in July 2011, I have focused my energy on training for  a few runs, including a 1/2 marathon. My hight intensity workouts started up again..but this time something was wrong! Since returning to my 'big girl' job...I have discovered how stress has crept back into my life. My hard workouts helped, but it seemed temporary. How did I forget Yoga? I have recently returned to my mat and found that I am rediscovering it again with such gratitude. The awesome feelings I have after a great practice, continue much longer than the time of the session. The learning of my mind and body and its capabilities are starting to unfold and I am truly excited.




I decided to take a huge leap and challenge myself to go deeper, I will take on the next 7 months to focus my desire to become a Registered Yoga Teacher with Yoga Alliance with Yoga by Sarah. Here I am now...my first weekend of classes in, and I am already feeling the transformation. I am excited for the open road ahead and looking forward to sharing my journey with you! 
Embracing the challenges as they arise and maintaining the balance and strength to succeed. I will do this! 

Namaste,


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Sunday, October 7, 2012

Thanksgiving Eat Clean options!

Fall is my favourite season and Thanksgiving is simply my favourite holiday! I love this time of year, the crisp air, the beautiful colour of the leaves on the trees and the food...oh the food. I am a little crazy for pumpkin pie and all the other pumpkin concoctions out there. I have found some variations to make it through this holiday without turning into a pumpkin myself. I thought I would share a few tips to help you enjoy this special time!

No Added Sugar Pumpkin-Apple Butter Recipe
from Spark People







Introduction

I love this spread this over whole wheat toast for breakfast with nut butter or to thicken my fall soups. My son Josh loves it with bananas. You won't believe I didn't add any sugar!
Number of Servings: 24

Ingredients

1 (29-ounce) can pumpkin puree or fresh steamed pumpkin
1 cup apple cider
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and diced

Tips


Directions

Try this on acorn squash, too!
Give away small canning jars of pumpkin butter as gifts. Due to the low acid in the pumpkin, it is not suitable for canning. Place a label on the jar with the date made. Note that it will keep in the refrigerator for one week or up to three months in the freezer.
Be sure to use pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie mix, which contains spices and sugar.
--
Place all ingredients in a lidded saucepan. Cover and simmer over moderate heat for 10 minutes. Remove the lid and cook for an additional 20 minutes. Stir frequently, as the mixture gets quite thick.

Puree with an immersion blender or in a food processor. Pour into canning jars or sealed containers. Refrigerate until chilled.

Makes 3 cups, 2 tablespoons per serving.




Saturday, September 29, 2012

Earth's Best Fruit and Grain Purée and 1st and 2nd Foods

Chloe was shaking these with excitement that I couldn't get a focused pic of the product! 
She certainly loves these convenient little puree pouches!



Earths Best  3rd foods offers a savoury blend of organic fruits and vegetables that appeal to our growing babies! 

The motto for getting kids to learn to like vegetables is "early and often", and autumn is a perfect time to get in the spirit. Children are exited to imitate the actions of their parents and those close to them. Match the seasonal veggies your eating with the flavours your offering your children as encouragement! 

All Earth's Best vegetables are made with organic ingredients grown from the earth without harmful pesticides !  And remember-dont get discouraged! When introducing a new vegetable to your baby, keep expectations realistically low. Expect the first taste, on day one, to be spit out, but try again the next day, and the next. More than likely, by the end of the week, baby will be eating several spoonfuls.
This one is Chloes favourite! I added a little to her morning oatmeal too! YUMMY! I even snuck a few bites in!
The Pumpkin Apple combination is perfect!

Earths Best is giving away an assortment of Earths Best 1st and 2nd Foods-Seasonal Vegetables!





a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, September 28, 2012

Quinoa salad and my favorite bevy!!

Fresh organic spring mix with crumbled feta cheese, quinoa, plump cranberries topped with a fig dressing! Mmmm I love lunch!!!

Equally...I love my black coffee! Today is just one of this'd days that I need it and love every little sip!

Happy Friday!

Friday, September 14, 2012

ALL IN ONE-OATMEAL with Vega!

 I know that this may not be the prettiest oatmeal concoction that I have made and eaten, but it is incredibly tasty and super healthy!!! You have gotta give Vega One a chance and try many different ways! 

My oatmeal consisted of:

  • 1/4 cup of oats
  • 1 tbs of milled flax seed
  • 1 tbs of chia seed
  • 1 serving of Vega One French Vanilla
  • 1 tbs of agave nectar at the end (not shown in pic)


Good for your body and the planet, Vega One 

Nutritional Shake is the clean, plant-based choice to 

fuel your healthy, active lifestyle—without 

compromise. Made from natural, whole food 

ingredients, Vega One is a convenient, all-in-one 

supplement, packed with: 

  • 50% daily intake of vitamins and minerals

  • 15 g protein, 6 g fibre, 1.5 g Omega-3

  • Antioxidants, probiotics, greens

Vega One is free from dairy, gluten and soy, and 


contains no added sugar, artificial flavors, colors or 

sweeteners. 
Available i nFrench Vanilla, Berry, Chocolate, Vanilla 


Chai and Natural flavor.

Enjoy Vega One shaken with water, juice or a non-


dairy beverage of your choice, and as a delicious, 

nutrient-supplementing addition to your favorite 

smoothie recipe.

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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Neon Smoothie!




I just love the color of this healthy and refreshing smoothie! I stumbled across this recipe and had to post to share! ENJOY!!!!


Neon Pink Smoothie Juice


I call this smoothie juice because it’s a cross between a smoothie and a veggie juice. The texture comes out thick and foamy, but you have the added benefits of the fibre in there to move the digestive track right along. These juices aren’t overly sweet or filling, so I enjoy them as an addition to a normal breakfast or simply as a refreshing drink on its own.
Yield: 2.5 cups
Ingredients:
         1/2 English cucumber, peeled & roughly chopped
         1/2 small raw beet, peeled & roughly chopped
         1 apple, cored & roughly chopped
         Fresh Grapefruit juice, to taste (I used 6 tbsp fresh grapefruit juice) or other citrus to taste
         3-5 ice cubes

1. In a high-speed blender, add the cucumber and blend on low speed to break it up. Now add the beet and apple. Blend, starting on a lower speed, and gradually increase the speed. I used my Vitamix plunger stick a lot to push it down and stir it as it was coming together. If needed, add a bit of water.
2. Blend on highest speed for 1-2 minutes. Add in citrus juice to taste and about 4 ice cubes. Blend again until smooth.
3. Serve immediately.




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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

NEW Clif Crunch Granola Bars!



I have had the pleasure of sampling these fantastic Clif Crunch Granola bars! I especially love that they are:


·         Free of trans fats, hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners, artificial flavours, artificial preservatives and ingredients sourced from GMOs.
·         Available at Whole Foods, Bulk Barn, Choices Markets, London Drugs, the natural aisle in grocery stores and most independent health food stores  
·         Flavours: Chocolate Chip, Blueberry Crisp, White Chocolate Macadamia Nut and Peanut Butter

My favourite flavour was the Blueberry Crisp! It was different from a traditional granola taste, and had a light fresh feeling that I truly enjoyed!!!








All flavours were crunchy and flavourful! The special blend of whole grains and rice crisps give it that light crunchy texture that is perfectly balanced! Its a convenient and healthy snack that is made with organic ingredients!

These bars are:




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Thursday, August 2, 2012

Organic yummy tummy oatmeal (Earth's Best)




My baby is a  year old now and her taste buds are developing! She is starting to enjoy chunky solids and textures. I just introduced her to Earths Best Yummy Tummy Instant Oatmeal (Maple and Brown Sugar) and it was a success! She loved the Elmo character on the box, and the stuff inside was breakfast success!



Yummy Tummy Instant Oatmeal is great because: 

  • Quick, easy and nutritious way to serve up a hot breakfast to start the day
  • 30 grams of whole grain per serving
  • Fortified with 8 essential vimins and minerals
  • Excellent source of iron, zinc and vitamin B
  • Made with whole grain oats
  • 3 grams of fiber per serving
  • USDA organic: no growth hormones, antibiotics, steroids or potentially harmful pesticides or herbicides
  • No artificial flavors, colors, preservatives
  • Thursday, July 12, 2012

    Organic Crunchin' Crackers (Earths Best)


    Chloe and I enjoyed these lovely veggie snacks during our day at the park! They are wholesome and tasty! We ended up polishing off the whole box! A bit addictive too!!!

    Did you know that Earth’s Best has a strategic partnership with Sesame Street that includes several Sesame Street themed products and meals? Specifically, Earth’s Best works with Sesame to promote the Healthy Habits for Life initiative. Healthy Habits for Life is Sesame Street's program to help young children and their caregivers establish an early foundation of healthy habits. Earth’s Best harnesses the power and reach of Sesame Street to make overall health and well-being a crucial part of young children's development.

    More details on the partnership and Healthy Habits for Life can be found here: http://www.earthsbest.com/sesame-street/healthy-habits.

    Just this past month, Earth’s Best and Sesame Street released a brand new organic veggie variety to their line of Earth’s BestTM Crunchin’ Crackers® Wholesome Snacks. Currently available in original and cheddar varieties, each cracker is shaped like Sesame Street® favorite friends, Big Bird and Elmo.

    The new veggie variety is made with organic dried vegetables including sweet potato, broccoli and carrots, and each serving contains 2 grams of protein. An organic vegetable cracker that is fun for your child to eat makes it easier to introduce healthy foods into a toddler’s diet! Like all of the Earth’s BestTM line of Sesame Street® products, Organic Crunchin’ Crackers® Wholesome Snacks in a veggie variety is specially formulated with iron, zinc and six B vitamins, nutrients essential to toddlers’ diets, making them a perfectly nutritious treat. 




    Friday, July 6, 2012

    Yoga Tips for your first practice

    I am in love....with YOGA! I recently gave Hot Yoga another try and really loved it! This article from Vega is a great introduction to some of the frequently asked questions about how to prepare for your yoga practice.



    What brought you to the mat? 5 tips for your first yoga practice


    It’s your first yoga class…you enter the studio, sweating before you even roll out your mat, wearing your best-guess at what will make you look the most ‘yogi’, worrying if you should have had that second glass of wine last night, or if you should have first asked for forgiveness for flipping off the old lady that cut you off on your way here. Your mind is spinning: “am I flexible enough, calm enough, pure enough, balanced enough, yogi enough to be in here??”


    STOP.

    Breeeaaaaathhhhe….

    Feel better? Good. That is the first step in yoga. Get out of your mind, come back to the present.

    For all the twisted pictures (quite literally), body-hugging clothing, books, videos and hype that surround the practice, many people have become turned-off, thinking they won’t be ‘good’ at yoga. In reality, there is nothing more you need than your body and your breath to have success. Yes, everyone’s experience in yoga is different, but it is your presence and intention in showing up to practice that will give you results.

    To help you put out the mental fire and allow you step on your mat with confidence, here are 5 essential tips for your first yoga practice:

    1. Come with an open mind.
    Sounds easy, but subconsciously you’ve probably already built an image of what should/could happen in your class. Drop it. Even your teacher doesn’t have complete assurance of what a class will entail! Comforting? We are all human. We all come with fears, founded or not. Don’t allow your fears to change your experience.
    2. Accept how you show up.
    Whether you’re coming to yoga to gain fitness, heal an injury, lose weight, get centered, because your sister told you to, or to get flexible like Daniel Browning Smith (seriously, look him up), you’re in the right place. Acknowledge where you are starting from—the present state of your physical and mental body—and work with what you have! Change will only happen when you work with what is real. Be patient and compassionate with yourself.
    3. Breathe.
    …Sometimes we all need a reminder. Inhale, exhale. Enough said.
    4. Keep it simple. 
    Yoga is not a competition. You do not have to out-do—or even match—your neighbour’s poses. Yes, yoga involves moving your body, but it’s called a practice (not a sport!) for a reason. Your first few times on the mat, just do the basics. Focus more on connecting to your breath, and being present with—and listening to—your body, rather than trying to twist yourself into a soft pretzel. Trust me; you will look more graceful and masterful if you keep it simple.
    5. Nourish yourself.
    You can’t get anywhere in your car if there’s no gas in the tank—it is the same with your body. Make sure to drink lots of fresh water and take in foods that make you feel good. Sometimes, finding nutrition that gives you energy for yoga is a trial-and-error adventure. Practicing yoga will really bring to light how you treat your body—be present and learn from this. Arrive for practice satiated, but not full. And, as much you can, choose easy-to-digest foods to fuel you.

    To power my own yoga practice, I love using Vega Vibrancy bars, a primarily raw and sprouted blend of plant-derived protein, carbohydrates, enzymes, vitamins and minerals in a YUMMY and convenient form. With these you will forgo the bloat and discomfort of having a big meal, but they will leave you with the satisfying nourishment to get you through.
    Finally, nothing combats nerves like eliminating a little of the unknown. As a last step before you step on the mat for the first time, get familiar with some simple, common yoga postures to build your confidence.

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