Ready Set…Meals Are Prepped! Our exclusive ONLINE program is here!

This summer I’ve teamed up with one of the best holistic nutritionists I know, Sonia Turingia from Kick Ass Nutrition to bring you an exclusive ONLINE program called Ready Set…Meals Are Prepped!

This 2 week program is only $19.99 if you sign-up by September 7th, 2015.

What you’ll get from our Ready, Set Program 

8 Elements to Soulful Meals 

2 action packed podcasts giving you 8 essential elements to kitchen hack your way to healthy, soulful meals.

Discover your Inner Chef

Learn how healthy meals can be prepared in 20-30 mins – allowing you to find your Inner Chef every day of the week.

FREE BONUS GIFTS! 

Get our Super Shopper Secrets – get in and out of the grocery store in under 30 mins with everything you need. PLUS… receive 10 healthy recipes that can be prepared in 20 mins.

Our special bonus gifts to you!

Please share with your friends and sign-up today!

Healthy nut-free snacks for back to school

It’s back to school time and lots of parents are asking the question, “What nut-free snacks can I pack for my child?”.  Having a nut-free policy is essential to ensuring the safety of those children with nut allergies.  However, removing nuts can make it challenging to provide snacks that are high in protein.  Protein is essential for maintaining your child’s energy level and cognitive function.

Here are 5 nut-free high protein snacks:

1. Nut-free trail mix: Make a baggie of sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, pretzels, toasted soy beans and dried fruit.  Easy to prep and portion in advance.

2. Hard-boiled egg: To make this boring snack a little more interesting, provide turmeric, curry spices, cayenne, paprika, chopped dill or sage to sprinkle on the egg or to dip the egg into for extra flavour.

3. Edemame: These are whole soy beans in their pods.  Easy to find in the frozen vegetable section, they can be pre-boiled and portioned for the week.  Sprinkle a little salt on them them the morning of to enhance their flavour.  Edemame make a fun snack as kids love to pop the beans out of their pods.

4. Greek yogurt: Greek yogurt is high in protein and easy to find in pre-packaged containers for convenience.  For a healthier option, purchase pure, unsweetened, unflavoured Greek yogurt in a larger bulk container.  Divide into individual portion and add honey, cinnamon, berries, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds or hemp hearts for added flavour and protein.

5. Mixed bean salad: Mixed beans are readily available canned.  Be sure to rinse the beans thoroughly before use.  You can also purchase the beans you like in dried form and make your own personalized mix.  Dried bean require soaking and boiling before use so will add to your prep time. Mix all beans and flavour with olive oil, lemon, salt, pepper, ginger, garlic, chili flakes, balsamic vinegar, basil, dill, thyme, cumin, etc.  Bean salad is easy to make and you can basically flavour it however you like.  An even simpler option is to mix a vinaigrette salad dressing into the beans for flavour, therefore no chopping/crushing of herbs required!

Involve your children in the snack decision making and preparation to figure out what flavours and textures they like!

Image purchased from: www.dreamstime.com

Image purchased from: http://www.dreamstime.com

It’s back to school time: Supplements for brain function

The end of the summer signals back to school season.  We are accustomed to the familiar commercials for school supplies, fall clothing and autumn activities.

Another back to school essential we don’t often think about includes nutritional and herbal supplements to support healthy brain function during the school year.  Nutritional and herbal supplements can help to optimize brain function leading to improved memory, concentration and learning in the classroom.

 

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photo-back-to-school-image19997055

 

Top 5 Supplements for Back to School:

1. Multivitamin: A multivitamin includes a combination of vitamins and minerals to ensure the body has an adequate daily supply to prevent deficiency.  With our busy lifestyles it can be difficult to have great nutrition everyday and a multivitamin can be helpful for ensuring our brains are nourished with the nutrients we need.

Choose a multivitamin appropriate for your age and take the recommended dose with meals to increase absorption.  Liquid and powder multivitamins are great for children because they can be mixed into juice, smoothies, applesauce or yogurt.

2. B-complex vitamin:  In addition to a multivitamin supplement, additional B vitamins can be helpful for improving cognitive function.  B vitamins are essential for producing neurotransmitters that influence mood and can be helpful for anxiety and depression.

Make sure you take a b-complex vitamin with meals to prevent nausea.  It is best to take it in the morning with breakfast because it also helps improve energy throughout the day.

3. Omega-3 fatty acids: A fish oil supplement is the best way to get an appropriate dose of omega-3 fatty acids.  The two major types are ecosapentanoic acid  (EPA) and docosahexanoic acid (DHA).  A combination of EPA and DHA is important for supporting nervous system function leading to improved learning, attention and concentration in the classroom.  Nourishing the brain with omega-3 fatty acids is essential for improving mood.

Fish oil is available in liquid or capsules.  You can freeze the capsules to prevent it from repeating or purchase an enteric coated brand.  Liquid fish oil is great for children because it can be mixed into a smoothie or juice.  There are even delicious gummies and chewable capsules for the picky eater!

If you follow a vegan diet or are allergic to fish, omega-3 fatty acids can be found in flaxseed oil, chia seeds and hempseed.  However, much higher doses are needed to absorb the same amount that is found naturally in fish oil.

4. Gingko biloba:  Once you ingest the essential vitamins, minerals and omega-3 fatty acids, gingko biloba is a great herb for increasing circulation to the brain and ensuring those nutrients are delivered to where they need to go.  Gingko biloba itself increases neurotransmitter function in the brain helping to improve cognition and short term memory.

Gingko biloba is available in capsule and liquid tincture form.  Putting drops of the liquid tincture into a cup of boiling water will evaporate the alcohol leading to a more pleasant taste.  Adding a bag of your favourite herbal tea will also mask the flavour of the gingko.  Cooling this tea and making popsicles are a wonderful way to help children ingest herbal remedies.

If you are taking blood thinning medications it is best to be cautious and speak to your primary healthcare provider before starting gingko biloba.

5. Water: We don’t often think of water as a supplement but I frequently prescribe water as part of one’s  daily lifestyle routine.  Increasing water intake prevents dehydration and improves brain function, restlessness and focus in the classroom.

Schedule breaks to the water fountain or carry a water bottle to remind you to drink water frequently.  Adding slices of lemon, lime, orange, cucumber, apple or berries to your water will give it a fresh taste so you don’t get bored with plain old water.  Peppermint or spearmint leaves are also a refreshing twist!

We all know the recommended 8-10 glasses of water per day and it is important to make this a priority.  Such a simple lifestyle change can make a significant impact on how you feel.  Go ahead and give it a try!

It’s back to school time: 5 tips for packing a healthy lunch

It’s back to school time, and whether you are a pro at packing school lunches or you are new and looking for ideas, the following 5 guidelines will ensure you pack a fun and healthy lunch everyday!

1. Choose a rainbow of colour for fruits and vegetable snacks to ensure your child receives a variety of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Fruits and vegetables are also excellent sources of fibre.

2. Pack a protein source such as chicken, fish, tofu, beans and nuts.  Eating protein with a meal will provide energy to build strong muscles and bones for your growing child.

3. Water is needed for your child’s body to function optimally and can help improve concentration in the classroom. Ensure your child is well hydrated, especially when they are active outside in the sun.

4. Invite your child to be involved in the process of packing a lunch by asking them what their favourite fruits and vegetables are.  Choice increases the likelihood that fruits and vegetables will be eaten.

5. Make lunch fun! Write a note, allow your child to decorate their lunch bag, pack some stickers, etc.

Feel free to share your healthy lunch ideas in the comments section below!