Sunday, March 15, 2015

Seedy Granola

So many recipes for granola bars include flour and do not respect the integrity of the healthy fats. This whole food, high fibre recipe is my answer to that problem. I have made it here with only seeds so it can be sent to school but you could add nuts if you wish. It is sweetened with local raw honey from Cornect Family Farms.

Small Batch                           Regular Batch
¼ c oats                                  ½ c oats
¼ c unsweetened coconut      ½ c unsweetened coconut
1 tsp of coconut oil                  1 ½ tsp coconut oil     
1/8 c sunflower seeds             ¼ c sunflower seeds
1/8 c pumpkin seeds               ¼ c pumpkin seeds
2 TBS raw honey                     3-4TBS raw honey
3 TBS hemp seeds                  ¼ c hemp seeds

  1. Place oats and coconut and coconut oil in glass pan in a 350 degree oven and toast until golden brown. Takes only a few minutes. Careful not to burn.
  2. Remove from oven and add in pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds. Stir. The heat of the pan will slightly toast the seeds without overheating.
  3. Add in honey. Heat of pan should allow this to be easily incorporated into the mixture. 
  4. Place this mixture in a separate bowl and allow to cool a bit.
  5. You can add in hemp seeds when mixture is just warm not hot in order to preserve the delicate fats in this seed.
  6. Line small loaf pan with parchment or wax paper. Place mixture in pan. Press down evenly.
  7. Refrigerate.
  8. Cut into small 1.5" fingers when cooled. Enjoy!
  9. Keep in refrigerator.

Keeping Your Fats Healthy

Article written for The News on February 24, 2015
I am not afraid of fats – even “Saturday” fats. I eat them every day of the week. Some of you may remember a little girl mispronouncing this fat in a commercial in the 1970s, when saturated fats and cholesterol first became vilified. As Dr. Amy Punké explained in last week’s column, cholesterol may not be the enemy it was once thought to be. The true culprit is inflammation. When it comes to inflammation, fats can work for you or against you.
There are three categories of fats: saturated (animal fats, coconut), monounsaturated (olives, avocado) and polyunsaturated (omega6 – sunflower, sesame, omega3 – hemp, cold water fish, walnuts). All of these fats can be a component in a healthy diet. BALANCE is the key word here.
Saturated fats from animal sources contain a fatty acid called arachidonic acid. This acid is a precursor to the prostaglandin that turns on inflammation in the body. This is a natural and needed process in the body in response to injury when it is balanced out by the anti-inflammatory essential fatty acids found in sources of omega3 rich foods. Essential fatty acids are just that – essential. You must include these in your diet because the body cannot make them on its own.
When it comes to fat, quality is as important, if not more important, than quantity.
The best fats to include in your diet are those in their whole food form. Coconut, olives, avocado, nuts and seeds, meat, fish and poultry. These foods are nutrient dense and add other important components to your healthy diet.
Low fat and no fat products have replaced the fat with fillers and mostly sugar. Excess sugar in the body is turned into excess fat. These products should be avoided since excess sugar is a major player in promoting inflammation in the body.
Fatty foods should be organic to reduce the toxic load on our systems and prevent injury. Herbicides and pesticides as a rule are lipotrophic, meaning they adhere to fat just as they do in our own body so you cannot just wash them off.
When good fat goes bad...
Fats and oils are very sensitive to air, heat, and light. Overexposure to any of these three can compromise its integrity. To maintain integrity, fats and oils should be:
  • stored in a cool dark place like the refrigerator
  • opened minimally
  • not heated beyond its capacity.

Processing of fats can destroy the fats’ integrity rendering them an inflammatory agent in the diet. This would include all those colourless, tasteless clear bottled oils you see (canola, corn, soybean). Also oils that are chemically extracted like grapeseed and palm kernel. Oils should be cold pressed, unrefined and be sold in a dark bottle.
Trans fats are another inflammatory fat and should be avoided in the diet. How can you tell if there are trans fats in a product? Check your nutrition label. If the listed fats do not add up to the total fats in grams, then you have trans fats in that food. Ingredients that include a form of hydrogenated oil such as shortening is also an indicator.
Some like it hot… but most fats do not.
No fat is going to handle a deep frying. It’s that simple.
Medium to high heat as with sautéing and roasting, the best choices are coconut oil or ghee (clarified butter).
For low to medium heat as with baking or finishing, olive oil or butter are good choices.
No heat, no way, so only to be used as additions to smoothies or making of salad dressings are hemp, flax, walnut, sunflower.
 Fun fat facts:
  • Local grass fed beef is higher in omega 3s than industrial grain feed beef.
  • Dark leafy greens and sea vegetables are a good source of omega3s.
  • Omega6 fatty acids can turn off inflammation if there are plenty of omega3s in diet. They can turn it on if too much arachidonic acid is present.
  • Including fats with our greens help us absorb both the calcium and vitamin A that are present.
  • High smoke points can be created through refinement and processing.

Chronic inflammation is the root of so much dis-ease. So as I tell my clients regularly, make your plate work for you. 
Keep your foods whole and keep the quality high. 
Feast for life.

Monday, February 2, 2015


Sometimes when you read a recipe you think it sounds good. Well, when I actually tasted this one. 
Wow. Better than I imagined.
This one is staying on my menu.

Eggs Benny is one of my favourite breakfast treats though I don't get very excited at all over the processed English muffin that often is at its foundation. Many find making hollandaise sauce fussy. This recipe is simple and nutrient dense. Once the sauce is made it is quick enough for any day of the week not just Sunday brunch.

1 Portobello mushroom per person sauteed to warm
Fresh spinach chopped
1 Poached egg per person

1 medium onion (I used a white onion)
1 Tbs ghee or coconut oil
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 tsp dry mustard
1/4 tsp turmeric
Pinch of sea salt

Thinly slice the onions into rings. Heat ghee in fry pan. Add onions and allow to caramelize on medium heat. Once done, place onions and remaining ingredients in a blender and process til creamy.

Lay warm portobello on plate
Layer chopped fresh spinach
Place poached egg on top
Spoon sauce over egg
Sprinkle with paprika (optional)


Monday, December 29, 2014


It’s that time again when we are either making or avoiding New Year’s Resolutions. So often we set a list of a remote goals or ideals that we strive to meet. This very idea of trying to become something removed from us is exactly what sets us up for failure. Instead I suggest we take this time to discover the perfection already found within us.

Winter Solstice saw the sun cross the line and promises the coming light. It is a time of new beginnings. We more often associate new beginnings with spring but fail to recognize that the spring produces the fruit of what has begun now.  The activity that is found deep within that emerges on the surface as the abundant spring light warms the earth.

So as 2014 seamlessly becomes a new year. I ask you to consider, to explore, what is at your centre. It is not our job to become a societal ideal but rather to become ourselves. Do you know or can you feel who that is? Is it buried under to-do lists, excess weight, pain, loneliness or fear? Are you ready to nurture yourself over the next few months to allow who you really are to emerge along with the light?

During our time of hibernation over the winter months is the perfect time to look inward. Support growth physically and emotionally.  I know you already know the tools that are available to you. Every blog and advertisement will be telling you to meditate, do yoga, exercise, eat well and so on. I ask that you create your regime based on centre and not some remote goal.  Create joy. This is the compass that lets you know you are on the right path. A path that is supportive of your transformation, your emergence.

I look forward to supporting many of you on this journey towards centre in the new year. May 2015 bring you great joy and abundant health.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

A little slaw to offset the richness of the season.

Many of the foods we like to indulge in over the holidays tend to be heavy and rich. A slaw on the side can be the prefect way to balance out all that creamy goodness. We all like a little crunch and there is nothing like cabbage and carrot to fit that bill in the veggie world.  But this crunch packs a healthy punch.  This slaw is loaded with fibre, vitamin A, C and calcium. Purple cabbage and kale especially are noted for phytonutrients associated with cancer prevention. With a dressing touting lots of healthy fat and anti inflammatory herbs, you can’t go wrong. Oh and it's pretty too.

Combine in large bowl
  • 1 medium purple cabbage, shredded
  • 3-4 carrots, grated
  • 3 kale leaves, stems removed and chopped fine.

In a blender, place the following items. Blend until smooth. 
  • 1 avocado
  • ½-1 c cilantro including stems
  • ½ c organic coconut milk
  • Juice of one lime
  • 2 Tbs raw apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbs raw local honey
  • 1 Tbs of minced fresh ginger
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Pinch of cayenne (optional)

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Tis The Season To Be Merry

Christmas is a time for feasting. When the love and celebration of friends and family is traditionally expressed with food and drink. Though much of what we eat this time of year is not recommended in a healthy diet, it doesn't all have to be processed and nutritionally deficient.  

Here is a simple Christmas cookie that has lots of fiber, plenty of protein, healthy fats AND tastes great. The perfect treat all year round but can be made to look just as fun and festive as many of the other treats at the party. It is also simple and fast giving more time to enjoy the season.

No Bake Christmas Balls
Makes 12-15 balls

            1 c medjool dates
            ½ c oats
            ½ c organic unsweetened coconut
            ½ c raw organic walnuts
            2 Tbsp organic peanut butter
            pinch of Himalayan sea salt

Optional Add-ins:
            Organic dried fruit
            Organic 70%+ dark chocolate chunks


1. Put pitted dates in food processor and blend until small. 
2. Add in walnuts and pulse until finely chopped.
3. Add remainder of ingredients one at a time and process until mixed well.
4. Hand roll into small balls.
5. You may roll balls to cover in coconut or hemp seed if desired. 
6. Place in air tight container and refrigerate.

*Feel free to personalize. This recipe is just a template. As long as it sticks together and tastes good your are good to go. Substitute the walnuts for any other nut or seed as well as the peanut butter for another nut or seed butter. Make it your own.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Pleasingly Pureed: Leek, cauliflower, potato soup.

I don't know about you but I love a pureed soup. This one was inspired yet again by the market's bounty. It is simple in prep as well as flavours. I was going to take a lovely picture with green onions as a garnish but my stomach had other ideas after coming in from a crisp morning of yard work.

Leek, Cauliflower, Potato Soup

1 white or yellow onion, chopped
3-5 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 TBS of ghee or coconut oil
1 medium head of cauliflower chopped
3 potatoes peeled and chopped
3 leeks, white ends chopped
4 cups of stalk
3 TBS or roughly 1/2 fresh squeezed lemon
pinch of traditionally harvested sea salt
generous amount of fresh ground pepper

  1. Chop the leeks and put in bowl and cover with cold water to remove any sediment. Just lift out the floating leeks when ready to add to pot. Leaving water and sediment behind.
  2. In a good sized soup pot add the ghee, leeks, onions and garlic and saute til onions are translucent and beginning to caramelize. Careful not to burn the garlic.
  3. Add in the potatoes and cauliflower. Stir to coat in onion mixture and oil.
  4. Add in the stock. Homemade is always recommended but you may use either veggie or chicken stalk here. Just check your ingredients list to make sure it is without sugar and additives like MSG.
  5. Bring mixture to boil and let simmer until potatoes and cauliflower are soft.
  6. Puree with a stick blender, regular blender or food processor until smooth.
  7. Stir in fresh lemon.
  8. Add salt and pepper to taste.