shakes for dinner — giving my tummy a break when it’s late!

In the past few days, I have started to prepare health shakes for dinner, specifically on days when I don’t get around to eating until a later hour, say 8 or 9 pm.  Although eating a late dinner is not ideal, a girl must nourish herself regardless!  Having a shake in this situation is a very healthy choice, as it is easy for your stomach to break down the pre-pulverized contents, even when it goes into sleep mode.  Thus, your body is still able to absorb all the nutrients, and the food isn’t sitting there undigested all night, as is the case with heavier foods.

To make it easier for me to prepare shakes quickly, I purchased a huge quantity of bananas and strawberries last week, cut them all up, and placed them in freezer bags so I can easily scoop a few out at a time and get blending!  It is well worth the time and effort to have these prepped!  I always look for bananas on special, typically the ones that are just on the verge of being too ripe.  I managed to get two bags of bananas (25 in total!) for $2, from one of my local produce stores.  Seriously!  They were in pretty good shape when I was chopping them up too!  I don’t think it necessary to purchase pre-packaged frozen fruit, as making your own is half the price and just a small amount of effort.  🙂

Here is a very simple shake recipe that is full of nutrition and very filling.  For anyone who likes the banana/strawberry combo, this shake is for you!

I call it…

Spinanaberry It’s-Not-Too-Late Shake!

1/3 cup frozen banana bits

1/3 cup frozen strawberry bits

1 cup Silk pure almond milk  (or soy or regular for those who don’t drink almond)

1/3 cup strawberry yogurt (2%)

1/2 cup fresh spinach

1 tbsp ground flax

1 tbsp Dr. Ben Kim’s probiotic greens (if you have these, adding them to shakes is a great idea!)

Use whatever setting is best on your blender and mix until smooth.  I always add a bit of water also to thin it out if I find it’s too thick and icy.  This makes enough for one large shake or two smaller shakes.  🙂

Enjoy!

Over’N’Out

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healthy food, why do I forget how good you make me feel??!

Well.  This week has been a GREAT week foodwise.  I’m eating so healthy that I feel like maybe I am going to turn green…like a healthy plant green colour!  I have more energy, I feel more positive, I’m sleeping well, the inflammation in my joints is going away, I am motivated to exercise (and have been!), and I feel, most importantly, that general sense of well being and wholeness that comes with good self care.  Thank goodness for being allowed to have a healthy re-start and get this feeling back again, and for the amazing healing power of whole foods!  It’s no lie, my friends, healthy food heals us!  🙂

Speaking of healthy foods, I have found a new favorite snack that combines two of my favorite foods — guacamole and Ryvita crackers!

guacamole!

ryvita crackers!

Never thought to combine them before, but they make for a spectacular taste experience! And for those of you who believe in the health benefits of avocado (please read here for some great info!), this quick snack recipe is a great way to incorporate some healthy fats into your diet!

It’s no coincidence that I’m post this snack recipe today, because guacamole is green, and it St.  Patrick’s Day here in Canada!  WOOHOO!  Another nationwide excuse to drink a lot of beer and wear ugly green clothing!

I shall call it this recipe….

Guacavita!

You will need:

the fruit of 1 avocado, scooped out into a bowl

1 pinch of salt (whenever I use this expression “pinch of salt” I always picture a bowl of salt with big eyes looking up at me saying “stop it, that hurts!”…it’s my brain, it just does these things, I can’t control the fact I think in cartoons!)

1 clove of garlic, minced

the juice of 1/2 a lime or lemon (I prefer lime) — roll it on the counter with your hands first to get the most juice out of it!

1 snag (I can’t think of a better word?) of cilantro, chopped up

a couple squirts of CHIPOTLE TABASCO, which, if you don’t have, you should most definitely purchase, ’cause it’s a-maaazing!

chipotle tabasco!

So, mix all those ingredients together until your guacamole has a smooth, creamy texture, then spread it on three Ryvita crackers (which is only 120 calories for all three!), and voila!  Something very yummy is about to happen…in your mouth.

🙂

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Over’N’Out

making progress back to balance

Now that I have had sufficient time to process through some of the more emotional and personal challenges of the last month, I have started to direct as much energy as I can into setting myself up properly for a healthy re-start!  Regular strenuous and toning exercise is the most important activity I need to reincorporate into my weekly routine, but in the meantime, while waiting on the funds for yoga and balancing out time consuming work and family responsibilities, I am doing what I can to make health a priority in every other area.

This week I managed to remove all non-whole-foods from my kitchen and have repacked it full of beautiful, healthy, body-nurishing foods.  I have a fridge stocked with all kinds of leafy greens, a variety of legumes (which are currently soaking in preparation for a scrumptious all-bean chili I’ll be whipping up tonight!), lots of nuts and seeds, and plenty of fresh fruit.  I’m excited about all of the great dishes I’m going to be creating this week.  A BIG shout out to Donald’s Market on Hastings for their LIFE-SAVING grocery delivery service!!!

Sidenote:  Something you may not know about me — I don’t drive.  And actually, although I will have my license by the end of this month, just for the sake of having it and being able to drive in an emergency, help grandparents, etc, I plan on NOT having a car for as long as I can hold out (i.e. until I have kids or something).   I consider myself a budding environmentalist, and in light of all of the heart-breaking natural disasters happening in our world right now, I want to do everything I can to take better care of this earth and use as little of its natural resources as possible!  And it’s not just about protecting ecosystems, it’s about protecting human lives, which is what matters to me the most.

So, back to the grocery delivery service from Donald’s.  Being able to send in a HUGE grocery order and have someone take on the responsibility of carefully selecting everything on said list, pack it into boxes, and deliver it right to my front door FREE OF CHARGE, is something I am extremely grateful for!  They keep an online record of what I usually order, so when I need to re-order, I can just send a quick-list of what I’ve run out of, and they have my main list for detailed reference of brands and amounts, etc.  It’s very easy and they always bring me the BEST quality produce.  Conveniences like this help keep me healthy!

So, after refurbishing my kitchen with goodness only, I decided to bake some muffins.  Mmmmmm.  Muffins.  *I love*.   I came up with a low-fat banana/chocolate chip muffin recipe ON MY OWN, that happened to turn out amazingly good.  Here it is for you to try.  I promise, you won’t be disappointed!

Ingredients:

3/4 cup fruit yogurt of your choosing

1/4 cup plain yogurt

2 tbsp demerera sugar

2 medium bananas, mashed

1 egg, free range/organic

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 tbsp milk

2 cups whole wheat or whole grain  flour

1/2 cup rolled oats, organic

2 tbsp ground flax meal

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup dark chocolate chips

1/4 cup walnuts, crushed

Preheat oven to 375.  Grease or line muffin tin.  Mix yogurt and sugar together.  Add egg, mashed banana, olive oil, and milk.  In a separate bowl, mix whole wheat flour, rolled oats, ground flax meal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Add dry ingredients to wet mixture, blending well. Add chocolate chips.  Sp0on into muffin tin.  Sprinkle crushed walnuts on top before putting in oven.  Bake for 15 minutes or until fork comes out clean!  ENJOY!

This Monday I get to visit my grandpa in the hospital again (who is very much on the road to recovery!) and spend time with my grandma and uncle at home in Chilliwack.  I’m going to take a walk by the Chilliwack River while I’m there, and continue to take deep breaths in and out, being aware of how alive, how able, how strong, how beautiful, how creative, and how blessed I am.  There is nothing to fear on the road ahead.  I’m looking forward to enjoying a healthy week and taking good care of myself.  In doing that, I will enable myself to take better care of the people in my life who I love with all my heart.  It’s a win win!

Hope you are all enjoying your weekends and feeling grateful for all the good things in your possession.  In light of what is happening in Japan,  I will end this post with a prayer I found this morning on Facebook written by a Hawaiian Elder about the healing and care of our Mother Earth.  We are all connected in loss.

“We give thanks to you, our Creator, (or Source name) for all the wonderful gifts you have bestowed upon us. We are grateful to you for helping us endure as long as we have on our beloved Mother Earth. At this time of critical change, Creator, we ask you to help each one of us gain the understanding and wisdom we need to heal, to love one another, and to finally realize peace. We ask you to help each one of us become more aware of our responsibilities in caring for all life on this beautiful planet.
Creator, we know deep inside that we are a part of you and all creation. We want to take back our roles as caretakers of our planet. We want to open our hearts to honoring, respecting and caring for our natural environment. The global warming that is occurring all over the Earth is a blessed wake-up call. It is time to make a more loving, compassionate, thriving, vibrant world. Together, we can restore the integrity and healing powers of our water, air, and land to build a sustainable future for our children. Together, we can do this as One family working in unison to fulfill our purpose on this Earth.
Creator, we are grateful to be as one heart with you in this very special moment. We thank you again for giving us your love, your wisdom and your joy.”

Over’N’Out