Saturday, March 31, 2012

Vegetarian pho soup


I recently discovered Pho soup! Seriously! Where have I been? I was out for a lovely Mama and Baby lunch with a couple of my friends yesterday and I decided to order something warm! I was excited that my soup portion was massive, and filled with vegetables, which I added sprouts, basil leaves and of course a dollop of hot sauce. I tend to order vegetarian when I am out, but seeing my friends dishes, I would have added the chicken next time. It looks like really great quality.

Seeing that this was a lunch date that included Chloe, I only could eat about half...so I wrapped up the other half and decided to have it for dinner! To make it go even further, I added...
  • 4 cups of organic vegetable stock
  •  more chopped veggies (carrots, cauliflower, broccoli)
  • 1/2 cup of these sprouted beans (from Costco!) 

This dish was so filling and yummy! (I even shared with Ronnie)


Pho (pronounced "fuh" not foe) is traditionally a Vietnamese broth based dish, with many textures. Rice noodles, a melody of spices, vegetables, and assorted garnishes like lime, sprouts, basil leafs, chilis and sauces to spice or sweeten to your taste. 

To make this Vegetarion Pho dish at home:
Serves 2
Broth
1 large onion, peeled and halved
2-inch piece fresh ginger root, peeled and halved lengthwise
3-inch cinnamon stick, preferably Vietnamese cassia-cinnamon
1 star anise
2 cloves
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
4 cups unsalted vegetable stock
2 teaspoons soy sauce
4 carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
Noodles
1/2 pound dried flat rice noodles (known as bánh phở; use 1/16", 1/8", or 1/4" width depending on availability and preference)
Toppings (optional)
Protein such as fried or baked tofu, bean curd skin, or seitan
Mushrooms
Vegetables such as bok choy, napa cabbage, or broccoli
Garnishes
1/2 onion, very thinly sliced
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1 chile pepper (Thai bird, serrano, or jalapeño), sliced
1 lime, cut into wedges
1/2 cup bean sprouts
Large handful of herbs: cilantro, Thai basil, culantro/saw-leaf herb
Hoisin sauce, sriracha (optional)
For the broth
Char onion and ginger over an open flame (holding with tongs) or directly under a broiler until slightly blackened, about 5 minutes on each side. Rinse with water.
In a large pot, dry roast cinnamon, star anise, cloves, and coriander over medium-low heat, stirring to prevent burning. When spices are aromatic, add vegetable stock, soy sauce, carrots, and charred onion and ginger.
Bring broth to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes. Strain and keep hot until ready to serve.
For the noodles
While broth is simmering, place noodles in a large bowl and cover with hot water. Let stand for 20-30 minutes or until tender but still chewy. Drain. (If soaking does not soften the noodles enough, blanch them in a pot of boiling water for a few seconds.)
For the toppings (optional)
While broth is simmering, prepare toppings as desired – slice and cook tofu, lightly steam or blanch vegetables, etc. Toppings should be unseasoned or only lightly seasoned so as not to interfere with the flavor of the broth.
To serve
Divide noodles between two bowls. Arrange toppings over noodles. Ladle about 2 cups of broth into each bowl. Serve with garnishes on the side, which diners should add to taste.


Friday, March 30, 2012

10 Things to bring on your run!

Loved this article from Alessia on lululemons website, and thought it would be great to share!!


10 things to bring on your run
Whether you’re heading on vacay or out for a run – packing is a skill not easily mastered. We asked seasoned runners who have gone the distance (like, every distance) for their ‘take-it or leave-it’ run gear.

10 things to bring on your run


1. house keyTwo things that suck: being robbed and getting locked out. Bring your house key.
2. money (cash or credit)Good for emergency fluids (or recovery drinks), transit (hey, there’s nothing wrong with running as far as you can one-way and bussing it back) or making a SOS call (contrary to popular belief payphones still exist).
3. identificationYou should never go anywhere without ID and your run is no exception.
4. ipod (optional)iPhone, iTouch, iShuffle, i-can’t-remember-the-latest-gadget – whatever your tech heart desires, tunes add a little extra spring in our step and that’s music to our ears.

5. spf lip balm
Lip balm (with SPF) not only soothes lips (which can dry out after long periods of heavy breathing) but also protects your kisser from the sun. Bonus: It can also double as emergency Bodyglide for those “sticky” situations.
6. bandaidsGood for unexpected chaffing emergencies and spontaneous blisters.
7. fuel belt filled with electrolytesHydration is key.
8. gelsOur running guru Tess recommends one for every 45 minutes (plus one extra for good measure).
9. some dry socks (those of you blessed with a sunny climate, skip to number 10). 
We’ve been caught in one too many rainstorms to head out on a 42K run without at least an extra pair of socks. Dry feet are happy feet and happy feet mean strong finishes. ps. we have the perfect pocket to store them in!
10. bodyglideKeep things going smoothly with a little extra help from our dear friend Bodyglide. You’ve already got 30K on your mind, you don’t need to be worrying about chaffing too.


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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Crunchy Cookies (Enjoy Life)

OK, seriously addictive...these cookies from Enjoy Life are definitely hard to stay within the 2 cookie serving size!  The cookies are a great size, perfect crunch and so delicious!! 


I can honestly say that each one of these flavors are awesome, I dont have a favorite!! LOL! I love them all!! 
I enjoyed these cookies sprinkled on top of my greek yogurt!




Of course I attempted to eat the Chocolate Chip first...but lets be honest, I opened up them all...so what? I had 1 of each!! Hahaha!

Even little Harley was guarding the cookies....mmmmmmm 
So whats so great about these cookies other than the taste?
  • No artificial ingredients
  • No trans fat
  • Gluten Free
  • Vegan

These cookies are....




Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Earth's Best Pop Snax

Gotta love how food canisters become the best toys! I put these in front of little Chloe and she played with them for a good 15 minutes! It was awesome, as I made myself breakfast, and sipped my coffee! Ahhh.....
So...here we go, small snax! I decided to go with the Earths Best Carrot, Spinach and potato flavor of the two.

I was seriously impressed with her hand and mouth coordination! Chloe really seemed to enjoy these!

YUM, YUM, YUM


Chloe is 8 months old today!! So if you are going to introduce this type of snack, ensure your child is sitting in a chair, supervised and able to chew. Chloe seemed to master this! Hahaha! As she gobbled it all up! 

I feel good giving her this type of snack as well. Its healthy, organic, and made without artificial flavors or preservatives. It is also a good source of Vitamin A, E, Zinc and 6 B Vitamins. 

Gotta love the fact that the canister is resealable and easy to take on the go as well!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Vega One (all in one nutritional shake)





Vega One sent me samples of their re-invented all in one nutritional shakes. I have sampled all flavors and simply love the Vanilla Chai and Chocolate (surprise, surprise!!)


































Here is my favorite recipe that I will now consider my daily smoothie!!
Double Chocolate Almond Smoothie
  • 1 scoop of Chocolate Vega One
  • 1/2 cup of Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • 1/2 cup of Chocolate flavored Almond Milk
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup of ice



I simply love the fact that it contains so many super ingredients that my body needs to fuel itself with. 


You cant go wrong with these shakes as you are getting 50% of the recommended daily intake of vitamins and minerals!


The protein in these shakes are from peas, sprouted whole grain brown rice, hemp seeds and SaviSeed (sacha inchi) protein. 


Vega One is....






You can buy these products online or at most health foods stores. 

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Sunday, March 25, 2012

Super Food Chart



Are you looking for simple ways to increase your energy, manage stress, or boost your immune system? Look no further: Superfoods can help, and most of them can be found at your local SUPER-market. 
Superfoods have high concentrations of vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients that are shown to have specific health-promoting properties.  Some would be considered “exotic”, and others can be grown in your own backyard…
To get started, download Peggy K’s Superfood chart and decide which of these foods will be on your next shopping list.  



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Saturday, March 24, 2012

DOS AND DON'TS OF RUNNING WITH A BUDDY

This is a great article for some of the etiquette in running!! I usually run alone, with the exception of my long runs on Sunday. I join a group, as its much easier to pace myself and I feel like I push myself harder too!


This article is from Fit Sugar


Most days I fit my workout in whenever I can, so I tend to sweat it out alone. But I love the days when I can meet up with my running buddy and we hit the trail together — I run a lot longer when chatting it up with a friend. There are definitely some dos and dont's when it comes to running with another friend, so keep these in mind the next time you head out with a partner.
  • DO call if you're going to be late: It's hard enough to find an hour in your busy schedules that you're both free, so when you do, make every effort to show up on time. If you're running late, be sure to text or call to let her know — you don't want to keep her waiting, or worse, worrying that something is wrong.
  • DON'T bring your headphones: Unless you both prefer listening to your personal tunes and not conversing, save the headphones for when you're running solo. Or if you both want to listen to the same running playlist, put your iPhone on speaker so you can enjoy the music but still hear each other.
Keep reading for more dos and dont's when it comes to running with a fitness buddy.
  • DO keep a pace you're both comfortable with: Depending on your height, running experience, and energy level, your pace may differ drastically from your partner's. If you sense that your buddy is struggling to keep up, slow it down a bit. Likewise, if your friend is a speed racer, don't be shy about asking if she can take it down a notch.
  • DON'T be a conversation hog: Talking and running is hard work, so to give your lungs a break (as well as your partner's ears), try to keep the conversation equal.
  • DO take turns choosing the route: Before I started running with my neighbor, I only ran on flat woods trails, so I'm grateful that my partner encouraged me to tackle hills in our neighborhood. Every time we head out, we alternate leading the run. It keeps the workout exciting, and mixing up your route and terrain also challenges your muscles, making you a stronger, faster runner.
  • DON'T invite someone else along unless you ask your partner first: She'll probably be psyched to have someone else join the efforts, but it's respectful to ask in advance in case your partner thinks three's a crowd.
  • DO suggest new running workouts: Aside from motivating each other to run regularly, you also want to improve your technique and endurance. Do this by throwing in some interval training, negative splits, hill work, and tempo runs.
  • DON'T call your friend to persuade her to go out to Sunday brunch instead of running the eight-miler you had planned: We all have days when we don't feel like lacing up our sneaks, but that's what our running partners are for. Be the motivation your partner is counting on, and she'll get you back the next time you need a kick in your running shorts.
  • DO sign up for races together: What better way to keep up with your regular running routine than to train for a race, and doing it together will make it easier and more likely to happen. And the best part is once you cross the finish line, you'll have someone to hug and celebrate with.
Source: Thinkstock

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Monday, March 19, 2012

Chocolate Infusion (Amazing wheat grass)

 
Yesterday I ran 10K with the Running Room and was totally excited with my run pace! I ran faster than usual at 5'30" per kilometer and noticed that by running with a group, it really pushes me to go harder! This has been so awesome for me!! I learned that for a pre-run meal...do not to eat too much! 

I had 2 slices of Ezekiel toast with peanut butter, agave nectar and a black coffee...TOO MUCH! 
Next time I will try just a banana and a couple of dates and coffee. Any other suggestions??

However...I had the perfect POST-run meal!!!

Chocolate Infusion Protein Superfood by Amazing Grass!
This company provides exceptionally high quality ingredients to recharge your body and supply it with a balanced blend of protein and superfoods!


I used one portion package of Amazing Meal Chocolate Infusion with a scoop of Natural Peanut Butter (of course) and almond milk, 1/2 a frozen banana in the blend and yum, yum, yum!!! This was such a frothy and tasty little post workout meal! I felt like it was literally feeding my tired muscles and healing them instantly!! :)


What happens when you combine organic Green Superfood with plant based protein, fruits and vegetables? You get Amazing Meal, the 100% whole food nutrition mix. Each serving has 10 grams of complete protein and 6 grams of fiber. 
 
Would you like to WIN a free 15 serving container of Amazing Meal, your choice of favorite flavor? Of course you would! 
 
2 lucky winners will be winning this awesome prize!

To enter the Contest: Comment below on this blog post, and tell me WHY you would like to try this product

Deadline: Wednesday March 21st at 5pm

Note: This contest is open to Canadian and USA residents only


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Earths Best Wipes

As part of keeping our little babies healthy with the foods we eat, and that we provide them with, we also should consider the products that we use. I have to admit, I didnt even know that Chlorine Bleach was in the baby wipes that I have been previously buying...this is very harsh on our babies bums!

After trying Earths Best Chlorine Free Baby Wipes I could really notice the difference in the feel of the wipes and the softness. They are so gentle that they can also be used on the face and hands. (Especially important now that my little princess is eating!!)



I also got a little clean crazy after opening up the Nursery Wipes (it must be the awesome Spring weather we are having) and I cleaned up Chloes room with these clothes and was so impressed with the soft lavender and lemongrass scent. I felt like the room was super clean and I know that it is a healthy clean too! These wipes are also Chlorine bleach free and dont leave any residue. I even used them on her toys that she puts in her mouth! These would be great to toss in your diaper bag, for a quick clean on the fly!

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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Raw Food Snacks!

 I am so excited to provide this review from Foods Alive ! I have sampled devoured each one of these tasty morsels and love them all! Of course I am slightly biased with the Chocolate ginger Krumbleez and Raw-Some snacks. These were so great! 


You can buy these online or if you live in B.C or Alberta they are available at some of the local shops. 


Trust me, these snacks are worth getting your hands on, your taste buds and health deserve it!


These snacks are perfectly crunchy and the flavours are well balanced. 


Why eat raw, uncooked foods?

sprout2Raw foods contain a full life force of enzymes and vitamins, that would otherwise be compromised by the cooking/heating process.
sprout2Raw foods aid in healthy digestion.
sprout2Raw foods are extremely satisfying, giving you more energy on smaller meals.
sprout2Raw foods enhance your immune system protecting you against the advance of many chronic & acute diseases.
sprout2Raw foods promote healthy weight loss that stays off!
sprout2Raw foods aid in mental clarity & hormonal balance.

These snacks are...





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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Whole Wheat Banana Streusel Coffee Cake

This is a super random recipe that I made up today! I love surprising myself with baking up a new something something!!
My house, smells like a bakery..ahhhh, just love fresh baked goods that are enjoyably healthy too!

INGREDIENTS
  • 5 cups of whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 cups of organic cane sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup of butter (I used earth balance buttery spread)
  • 1 cup of unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 teaspoons of cinnamon
  • 1 cup of toasted and chopped pecans
  • 6 medium bananas (pureed)
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons of orange zest 
DIRECTIONS
  • Preheat oven to 350
  • Spray a large glass baking dish (I used my largest one 12x12) This recipe makes a lot!!
  • In a bowl add the flour, sugar and salt. Then add 1/2 cup of the butter,1/2 cup of the applesauce, mix well (I used my fingers as I dont have a pastry blender)
  • In another bowl pour in 3/4's of the above mixture and add in cinnamon, and remaining butter and applesauce, add pecans (mixture should be nice and crumbly as this is your topping) SET ASIDE
  • In another bowl, whisk together the banana puree, eggs, vanilla, baking soda and orange zest. Stir into remaining flour mixture and mix until just combined
Pour the batter into the baking dish, and add the topping.

Bake until cake is golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.

My cake took me 55 minutes.

Cool in pan for at least 1/2 an hour before cutting into squares and serving.


Sunday, March 11, 2012

Eat Clean Chocolate Chunk Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookiess


This morning I got up nice and early (6am) and went for my first run with the Running Room in St.Catharines.
I was motivated to see how many other people got up (despite the changing of the clocks) for an early morning run! 


I joined in on the 1/2 Marathon training runners group and aimed to do a modest 9K with them. I was a bit nervous at the onset, and realized as soon as we got started that I absolutely need to run with this group. Running alone I run way to fast!! The group helped me pace myself and also push myself to completion. I kept up with some of the more experienced runners and surprised myself in just how great I felt! 


By the end, the group was shocked that this was my first run  with them! Guess my spinning and treadmill training is paying off!


My time:
9.88 km
57:09 time
5'46" pace


So that run deserved a great treat!!!


Sticking with my peanut butter problem...I decided to whip up a batch of Chocolate Chunk Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies! Its gorgeous outside today...why am I baking? Oh, because I love to and deserve it! No matter what the weather, baking makes me happy! Probably because I love to taste it in the end! 


INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups of all natural crunchy peanut butter (no sugar/salt added)
  • 1 cup of quick oats
  • 1/2 cup of organic sugar cane
  • 2 organic eggs
  • 2 teaspoons of sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup of chocolate chunks/chips
Mix all ingredients until well combined and fold in chocolate at the end

Form into little balls (no need for major spacing, as they dont spread when baking)

No need to grease a cookie sheet either because the peanut butter has natural oils and it wont stick!

Bake in your oven at 350 for 13 minutes

Oh, these are just so moist! Not too sweet and perfect for an eat clean treat!






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