What is your physical activity plan? 

Or maybe the questions are: 

  • do you SCHEDULE for exercise
  • are you AFRAID of making a plan 
  • does your MOTIVATION quickly evaporate
  • what are you THINKING AND BELIEVING about yourself
  • are you DOING IT ALONE

Let's look closer at these questions to help keep you moving ahead, rather than getting stopped in your tracks.

Do you schedule for exercise

How do you keep track of ALL the stuff that happens in your life? I'm guessing it's jotted down - on a wall calendar, day-timer, online calendar, etc. Those appointments for haircuts, your work schedule, your kids' soccer schedule, the dentist appointment, a lunch date with a friend, committee meetings, movie nights, vacation dates, etc. etc. The things you can't or don't want to forget - some things you will be excited about (lunch with a friend) and others not so much (i.e. dentist!).  All important - just like exercise. Not everyone is going to train for and run a marathon but it's old news, keeping physically active at every age is vital for health. Getting exercise in the schedule indicates its importance to you and you can check it off your schedule when you show up!

Afraid of making a plan 

Fear shows up regardless of what new plan we set our minds to. You can be afraid of not following through and then feeling embarrassed that you're 'a loser'; scared of how your desires might evoke negative responses from those around you; fearful that exercise might hurt; afraid you might get hooked on exercise! Really - you can even fear being successful at something you wish for! You can choose to either let fear stop you in your tracks, or to have faith in yourself that you can change. Make the plan, exercise in spite of the fear. Face it down - one day and one step at a time - and you will be the winner.

Does your Motivation quickly evaporate

Motivation is a wonderful thing - it helps us show up for exercise and basically the whole lot of life! Affirmations, quotes, scriptures, etc. you post on your mirrors and fridge are great ideas BUT don't rely solely on these for motivation. Number one: know WHY you want to exercise and be active. Whether it's because you want to play with grandkids, go hiking with your spouse or a friend, be able to live longer in your own home, feel physically well, sleep better, etc. Write it down. Number two: just do the activity regardless of feeling motivated. i.e. If it's going for a walk, tell yourself you can turn around and come home after 15 minutes. The odds are good you'll want to keep going, and if not you'll have walked for 30 minutes! Key point: action=benefits=motivation. Along with the affirmations post that sequence-formula that gets the cycle going. 

What are you thinking and believing

"I would love to but I could never do it." "I don't have what it takes because I have zippo will power." "I am too out of shape to do physical activity." If you have told yourself these thoughts, have written them in a message or in your journal, and have said them outloud - please count with me - that's three ways these thoughts have been reinforced through your physical senses. Multiplied by however many zillion times they have been repeated, these negative thoughts become a very set belief pattern that influences behaviour. Don't beat yourself up - we all have challenges with our thoughts and beliefs. It takes work, but we can change the way we think! 

One way is to choose what we are going to think and meditate on. For me, it's applying the principle from the Bible to "dwell on what is good in my life - not on what's wrong; ruminate on faith-filled thoughts - not on the problems. Not denying that there are difficult, uncomfortable things, but intentionally renewing the spirit and the mind."  

Doing thought-changing exercises like this one is also helpful:

Write down:

  • the problematic thought
  • what is the verification for this thought to make it true for you
  • what are the consequences of thinking this way
  • what are the reasons how this thought could be distorted
  • what would be different if I wasn't thinking this thought, and how could I think differently? 

Are you doing it alone

Research supports that we have better results (that would be success!) for making changes when we do it with others. Being in community provides accountability, a cheering squad, an empathetic ear, and a place to say "I did it!" To link with others focused on vibrant health and wellness, I invite you to come over and join my FB Group, Community for Vibrant Inspired Living. It's a safe and fun place with opportunity to learn - even (especially) while doing some hard things! 

Why don't you jump over to the group here now? We're  in a 13-Day Move-into-May challenge. It's not too late to start!

Posted by karen
karen's picture

special promo:  DON'T WAIT FOR SPRING!

Over the past seven years I’ve worked with many of you in nutrition workshops and one-on-one consultations - helping you redirect for a healthier diet and lifestyle. Thank you for this privilege and hurrah for you in your achievements!

Don't stop now.

But....over these years I have noticed something. Womens' thoughts and emotions often get them stuck in emotional eating patterns, which interfere with their long term health and weight goals. Whether personally, or for my clients - this is not a fit with my vision for longstanding, sustainable success for wholeness! 

some of the thoughts that capture and crush hope for healthy change

  • self-blame for lack of control and having no will power over eating habits - leading to frustration
  • why bother buying a new outfit - I am so fat I look horrible in whatever I wear
  • I just don't have what it takes - I'm done with trying to lose weight and make changes!
  • if I could exercise harder I might not be so uncomfortable in my body

some coaching tools to help you change your mindset to shift from shame and disgust towards freedom

  • becoming aware of triggers
  • recognizing and re-structuring limiting thoughts
  • focusing on progress not perfection
  • nourishing ALL of you 

Thoughts that aren't true can trigger emotions which lead to actions, choices you aren't happy with. 

I want to help you with this introductory deal-of-all-deals offer to help you be able to stop the track you're on and not wait any longer. Real food will always matter......and so does breaking through emotional eating road blocks to discover a healthy and emotionally solid relationship with that food

DON'T WAIT FOR SPRING PROMO - Nutrition and Mindset Coaching Package 

 THREE 1-hour Sessions: online or in-person

 Additional Support by Email, Private FB Group 

$225.00   $175.00 CDA -  OFFER ENDS MARCH 21, 2017 

 

Not sure if you are stuck in faulty thinking or emotional eating?

Look at this checklist to help you find out.

If you are ready for hopeful, healthy change, first contact me here and book a FREE discovery call. This is a non-obligation 20-minute conversation when we can discuss whether your needs and my services are a good fit for working together. 

I'm excited to hear from everyone who takes advantage of this offer! March 21/17 it's over

Here is what others are saying about this coaching approach.

"Karen is an invaluable coach in dealing with issues of emotional eating.  She helped me to look inward through a variety of exercises to discover what my emotional triggers were in regards to unhealthy food choices.   Karen is a great listener, asks the right questions, empathizes and makes you feel understood.  She leads you on a journey to see the positive in yourself, set boundaries and to deal with those nagging thoughts that trip you up.  I highly recommend Karen to help you start a healthier journey in life."  

2016 Heather Drysdale, Artist  -Heather Drysdale Studios  

Stuck

23 Sep 2016
Posted by karen
karen's picture

 

I'm tired of being stuck.

Not writing on my blog because it desperately needs a renovation and feeling guilty because the steps to fix it have been SO slow!

Not having clarity on the direction of my vision and mission.

Not feeling congruent in my work and my values.

The redemptive part of being stuck is being forced to look at what's happening around you, and within you.

Which for me has been discovering....

Through social media and email it has been possible to meet and stay connected to my "tribe".

Coaching clients to lose excess weight and gain health is rewarding - a meaningful extension of the health fundamentals I believe in and live myself. 

But yet...

It's apparent to me my blog is an important web landing and launch pad. I don't want to lose thecreative writing juices I have. Sorry for the neglect!! 

Partnering with In Balance  and its successful program syncs with my philosophy for a holistic lifestyle. AND, in my Real Food Matters message, I want to reinforce a vital part to empower people (predominantly women) to live vibrant, inspired healthy lives for body, spirt and soul.

So...I'm reaching for my paddle to get moving!

My blog will have a face lift. It's in the works - my "plastic surgeon" and I are meeting in May and I can't wait!

I'm digging within, listening to nudges and nigglings of what I feel to be true, and nailing down my vision.

One thing for certain is 'my truth'. My relationship with God and what he thinks and believes about me (us) is foundational to my life. Embedding this in my work is vital for congruency for me as a Christian woman, facilitator and coach.

We all get stuck. Thankfully some helpful coaching has me moving on the journey to figure out the "why and how" to move beyond it.

 My blog will take a deep breathe, survive and thrive.

Thank you for your patience. Please stay tuned for the changes I am excited about, ready for, and which I believe will serve my readers well.

I welcome comments and please get in touch here if you too are feeling stuck.

Posted by karen
karen's picture

 

Getting ready to fly back home as an unattended minor. A little nervous but not anxious. That is "huge".

I have been planning to post this blog about Stosh, one of my three grandsons, for....years! I cannot put my finger on why today is the day but I do know this is the right day. This past summer Stosh spent a week with his Papa and me, first time without his parents and siblings. We had a wonderful time; watching the FIFA World Cup on television, hiking along the ocean, and camping.

 

Getting together during summer vacation is a very common story for grandparents and grandchildren. What makes it so special for us is that several years ago Stosh was diagnosed with autism. Watching his journey towards health and overcoming obstacles has been amazing, heart-warming, and with much gratitude to his parents - especially his Mom, Dawna, as she researched and worked so hard (doggedly) in changing dietary and lifestyle habits, as they determined this diagnosis was not going to be a limiting label for their eldest son.

At my request in 2012, Dawna wrote this article about autism and their own specific journey. Now, two years later, after just spending a week in their home taking care of Stosh and his two younger siblings while his parents were away, it is so apparent to me that diet has totally turned our grandson's life around. I honestly feel that nobody would have any idea of Stosh's former diagnosis. I'm not sure if there is such a thing as a typical 10-year-old. But this guy (and yes, he's my grandson but I'm being as objective as possible :) is affectionate, engaging, helpful, responsible, in control of his emotions (...and pain, "when I hurt myself, instead of crying, I close my eyes and just take lot of deep breaths"!), and attends a "regular" school.

Autism covers a broad spectrum. And sadly it sweeps with a wide brush. My research tells me that 30 years ago autism affected 1 in 10,000 children. Today it is estimated to afflict as many as 1 in 50. Mainly boys. Dawna has written a very informative article which includes hope and help and courage. I encourage you to read it and share. This is her website if you wish to contact her. Or you can also contact me and I will be happy to forward your request.

 

Posted by karen
karen's picture

Parents and Grandparents: the younger set in your world can be Happy Healthy Kids

Online program to help support achieving and maintain a health weight  is being launched October 2016. This is the perfect time to begin new and healthy changes for you and your family. To find out how to get started contact me here.

Posted by karen
karen's picture

I recently had the pleasure of meeting Lisa Zahn, a life coach and woman of varied skills, interests and roles.

It was December. I was in a work flatline slump (thankfully, I was still breathing!). Through an online meandering, I discovered Lisa's website and knew I wanted to connect with a woman who is 'living the life of her dreams'. Making contact and arranging a coaching session via Skype went seamless. The coaching session gave me precisely the clarity I needed - Lisa asking the right questions to help me identify some blockages - and equally as important, working together to arrive at some practical and personal steps how to move forward. A plan and accountability. Knowing I was checking in with Lisa three weeks later kept me honest! It is still working - to this very day, as returning to a writing routine was one of my roadblocks. Part of my personal action plan was writing an interview for Lisa and now I get to share the other half of our interview exchange. We all have seasons when we need help - please read on and meet Lisa, a wholehearted, professionally trained life coach who can help 'transform your everyday life'.

 Please tell me about yourself and what is your work as a life coach? How is coaching different or similar to consulting?

The heart of my work is one-on-one coaching with clients who are feeling stuck or uncertain in their lives and want to move forward but need clarity on what they want and how they'll get there. I also write my blog (and now a new ecourse on self-kindness) and plan to lead workshops and retreats. My coaching style is called Co-active Coaching and it's different from consulting in that we meet our clients where they're at and consider them to be the experts in their own lives. This doesn't mean coaches like me don't have expertise and sometimes offer it, but a cornerstone of my model is that my client is naturally resourceful, creative and whole and I get to work with them to draw that out and, hopefully, evoke their own transformation. I get to be a catalyst, in other words.

I love this on your blog: coaching for clarity and joy. Can you elaborate on why you chose that for a tagline? 

Joy is one of my favorite words! I truly believe that, like Christian monk and mystic Henri Nouwen said once, "We have to choose joy and keep choosing it." I want to help people find their joy and choose it. We can do that through the practices of gratitude and vulnerability, and through creating places and communities where it's safe to be open to joy. I also know what it's like to lack clarity, to be stuck and uncertain of how to move forward. I can coach clients to move out of that, using coaching tools like asking powerful questions, finding metaphor, articulating what's going on, and acknowledging, championing and reframing. One of my favorite ways to find new clarity is to reframe what my client thinks is a character flaw into a gift.

What is it about your work that you would identify as the drawing card (or would like it to be) for people to seek out your services as a life coach?

I want to work with thoughtful, smart people who are ready to move out of stuckness--out of the boxes they or society have put them in--and move into a transformed life of joy and clarity. It's not easy and it's a continuous work in progress, but I know it's possible because I myself have been living this way. I have needed coaching to move out of my own boxes, so I know the power of having someone on your side, an objective listener and voice for your best life.

We share some things in common – knitting, gardening, keen on the healing power of herbs, married to the love of my life (over 40 years!). I’m curious to hear the story how you arrived at your current career, including the changes made after being a full-time Mom.

Gosh, it's been a long journey! Who would want life to be any other way, really? One of my other favorite quotes is by Seneca "It takes a lifetime to learn how to live." There is so much grace and optimism in that quote, and I feel I'm living it by continuously learning and stepping into new things. I found coaching through a friend. She introduced it to me and we ended up going through training together last summer, one of the best things I've ever done (thanks, Meg!). 

My background and education is in the ministry where I studied to be a Lutheran Pastor and served as Intern Pastor (Vicar) and Chaplain. Getting married and raising my kids was my true calling, however, and I happily stayed home for many years, all the while dabbling in those things you listed. Now that my kids are teens, it was time for me to find something to really take up my time so I wouldn't hover over their lives so much. I actually applied to finish my Masters Degree in Pastoral Counseling but knew I didn't want to work for the church again. I wanted my own business, and I knew coaching was the right model of work for me within the first 12 minutes of practice coaching someone during training.

There are so many opportunities for growth, personally and in our work. How do you navigate through all the clutter of the options – and within that potential, are there future areas of learning that resonate with your calling?

I know exactly what you're talking about! Just in the last few days I've been de-cluttering my email inbox and Facebook newsfeed as much as possible because it IS overwhelming. As someone who loves to learn, it's hard to shut it off. Your word "resonate" is perfect because I've been finding that the only way to decide who to pay attention to, what to learn and where, is to ask myself what truly resonates with me, say 'yes' to those and 'no' to the rest.

Areas of learning that are calling to me right now are in the area of personal growth and helping my clients navigate personal growth. I'm very interested in teaching about self-kindness and compassion because I see that too many of us are very hard on ourselves and we make our lives unnecessarily hard that way.
I will continue to work with that word JOY and bring it to others in the form of one-on-one coaching, retreats and workshops. In my new email freebie, my ecourse called Stop Being Mean to Yourself: 4 Commitments to Self-Kindness (accessed free via my website sign-up form), I've developed a framework toward loving ourselves that involves making joyful choices, learning self-awareness and self-acceptance, and being compelled by our values and purpose. I intend to keep thinking, learning and teaching on those themes.

As you know, nutrition and wellness (teaching, consulting, coaching) is my passion and work. How do you feel about your journey of developing healthy habits? If there are especially challenging areas, how do you make peace with them and remain open to making healthy changes? 

This is a great question and I think I could use some coaching on it! One thing I have been asking myself lately is "what would be the kindest thing to do for myself right now?" Whether it's about work or rest, what to eat, or how and when to move my body, looking at what's 'kindest' really helps. The kind thing is often not the easy thing! It sometimes involves eating oatmeal with yogurt instead of a bagel with cream cheese, or getting dressed instead of lazing around in my pajamas all day, or getting a task completed so I can truly feel at rest when I'm done. I'd like to look at getting more exercise in this way. The kindest thing has to be something I enjoy (I like oatmeal as well as bagels, truly. I do need to move my body more, and in ways that will give me some more muscle strength and energy as I age.
That said, I am quite forgiving of myself on these types of things, because I am certainly not perfect. I don't dwell in the past but instead try to keep moving forward. I have quite a positive body image, for the most part, and that helps a great deal in motivating me to take good care of my health. I believe strongly in focusing on nourishment rather than punishment. 

 

Thank you, Lisa, for sharing your story: it's been great getting to know you. I will be happy to coach you on developing those healthy habits. P.S. Thank you for giving me the freedom to choose photos that conveyed my perception of your supportive and joyful coaching!

If you would like to know more about Lisa and her work, please contact her through her website.

Gettin'er Done

08 Apr 2013
Posted by karen
karen's picture

Gettin'er done...

The shirt was included in my race packet (for the record, I ran the half and not the full marathon).

I did gett'er done. I expected to finish and I did.

Ten years of running a whack of races from 1K - 56K prior to that event inspired confidence; I did my usual routine by:

-- Registering.

-- Training.

-- And - to repeat myself - the expectation of crossing the finish line (upright and smiling!).

 

As a holistic nutritional consultant I love working with people who are accepting challenges to start making changes. In dietary and lifestyle habits. They may be seeking improved wellness, weight loss, increased energy, better sleep patterns, overcoming symptoms of disease - looking for long term benefits and results. 

In my work, clients express their sense of need by contacting me or making an office appointment. Like my race analogy, they "register." It's an act of commitment: "I need to change some things." 

We get started on a plan. This is where the training starts.

 

The plan will vary, but working with my In Balance health and wellness participants, it will look something like this:

-- logging food, activity, etc.

-- meeting with me once/week (in person or online) for 4-8 weeks for education and coaching on the factors to build a balanced life

-- being physically active

-- adopting a positive attitude

-- accepting the reality of consistent lifestyle and dietary changes for longterm healthy benefits (i.e change takes time!)

Change - or training - is never easy, even if/and/or when the plan is simple and straight forward. 

 

However: following through to gettin'er done will be more successful - and enjoyable - if you follow these five keys:

-- put aside perfection and "train" with your best efforts - go for excellence

-- accept your body type, your personality - not everyone "runs" at the same pace 

-- make both short and long term goals

-- grant yourself some grace and start a daily thanksgiving journal

-- expect to "finish" and align yourself with an accountability partner who believes in you too

 

It's within your power to knock down the roadblocks hindering you from getting to your finish line. You can make it - you're just not there YET.

I'd love to hear how you get to your finish line. And in the meantime, I'm going to follow through on today's "race plan" - to make a batch of my current favourite cookies: click on Sweet Potato Coco-Nut Cookies for the recipe.

Posted by karen
karen's picture

Emotions.

 
Need 'em - to add spice to our lives, fleshing out the spectrum of feelings associated with living.
Love 'em - for their ethos, their passion, their need for expresssion - particularly on special occasions like February 14th!
Hate 'em - their power can be frightening, depressing, confusing.
 
Emotions can be sneaky, tricky - creating a hunger that we think can be satisfied with food.
 

Here are some tips to help us decide if our hunger is a physical or emotional one.

 
* Emotional hunger comes on in an instant - with an urgency that's overwhelming. Physical hunger doesn't usually demand, "I need food right now!" (unless you haven't eaten in a long time), it gradually sneaks up on you. 
 
* Emotional hunger craves specific comfort foods, e.g. usually the refined sugars and refined grains kind - that provide an instant rush. It sends the message you NEED cheesecake or chips. Now. Physical hunger calls out, " I'm about to expire here, sure could use a spinach omelette, or a loaded salad, or chicken and stir-fry - even granola and fruit sounds good!"
 
* Emotional hunger often leads to eating a whole bag of chips or a pint of ice cream without so much as giving it a thought - and probably not really savouring it. You're usually more aware of what you're doing if you're eating in reponse to physical hunger. 
 
* Emotional hunger wants you to eat - and keep eating - often until you're uncomfortable. Stuffed. Physical hunger usually is satisfied when you are comfortably full.
 
* Emotional hunger doesn't have a growling hunger pang gnawing in your stomach. It's more tuned in to things like crunchy, salty, and other aspects of texture and smell. 
 
* Emotional hunger often leads to regret, guilt or shame. (Negative emotions that tend to get stuck on the "repeat" button in our brain.) Physical hunger is nutritionally satisfied..
 

At some point, we all are challenged by the temptation of using food to meet an emotional hunger.

The first step is start being aware of recognizing it as such.
 
Number two is being mentally prepared for alternative non-food solutions to meet that hunger:
** phone your grandkids or kids and treat yourself with a "visit"
** make yourself a cup of a special tea you've been saving for such a time as this
** get outside for a walk or if you work in an office building, do a short stretching session and walk the stairs to the next level
** pull out a handwork project or read a few chapters of a book (even in the middle of the day)
** go to the florist and buy yourself one Gerber daisy
** etc. etc.
 
Number three: as you gradually "read" the signs and meet the emotional hunger with ways that feed your emotions, you will be developing your will power muscle and become stronger in determining between the two kinds of hunger. 
 
We were created with emotions - and thankfully so. Embrace the discovery how you are emotionally wired.
 
Valentine's Day is this week -  a perfect day to experience and celebrate the gift of life and love. Be kind and gracious to those you love - and that includes you too. If chocolate speaks your" food love language", make this simple and delicious raw chocolate pie. Enjoy it with intention, pleasure and without guilt!
 
 
Click for recipe → Chocolate_Cream_Pie
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Posted by karen
karen's picture

For the last 10 days I've been on a sugar-free, grain-free cleanse. This has also meant no natural sugars, including fresh and dried fruits. The night before I started it I had a huge fruit smoothie - does that tell you anything about my relationship with fruit?!

 

This choice was made for several reasons:

- I'm presenting an In Balance wellness and weight loss program that has a gentle dietary cleanse as part of Finding Your BALANCE, and I thought I   should experience the process to understand what I'm teaching/asking the participants to do.
 
- I've never done a cleanse for an extended period
 
- I live in a real world with real toxins so my body could use some house-cleaning
 
- I wanted to start a habit of eating more vegetables than fruit rather than the other way around
 
- I wanted to test my self control
 
- I wanted to see how it would affect me - physically, emotionally, mentally
 
- I was curious to see how my body would react without grains
 
 

I've discovered a few things:

 
- it hasn't been as difficult as I thought it might be,  (i.e. I'm not feeling continually hungry and craving foods )
 
- when my husband grinds the coffee in the morning, it doesn't bother me all that much, that instead of java I will be drinking caffeine-free, herbal tea (I've renewed my friendship with Rooibos)
 
- as much as I love nuts and seeds, I have my moments when I feel like a squirrel
 
- I miss my fruit - cranberries are on the okay list, and I'm so very grateful for Terra Beata, a local bountiful cranberry bog)
 
- I rarely go out for lunch but two times in the last week it happened. One little cafe had the best roasted veggie soup that I could have asked for. (Well, thinking on it, there was more oil in it than I would have used.) Everything in it was legit - and the roasted flavour was delic. (Probably thanks to the oil :)
 
- the preparation and planning period has value, and not only in practical terms,  (i.e. even though my pantry and refrigerator was stocked with cleanse food ingredients, the first morning it took a few minutes to shift from my almost-daily default menu - home made granola or cooked hot cereal)
 
Here's what I whipped up: sauteed leeks and red peppers, scrambled in a couple eggs and served it up on a bed of greens. Protein and veggies - yummy!
 
 

Some Conclusions:

- I have plenty of energy (even without eating grains) - I was a little concerned that my running and other fitness activities might need to be curtailed. Thankfully, not so. 
 
- I can't help but think how very blessed I am. I decided to use self control in my food choices (which meant eliminating some regulars) -  compared to the huge percentage of people who exist on the barest of nutrition and food options because they have to.
 
- will I do it again? I might. After today, I have 3 days left of my two weeks and I don't foresee why I will cave now.
 
- I fortunately had only one day of a very low-grade headache (can a habit of one- (sometimes more) - cup of coffee/day really make you that addicted?)
 
- my mental alertness and stamina has been at par if not better than normal. 
 
- I got to digging through recipes to add some variety to " how many ways can you eat broccoli, cauliflower, greens, carrots, etc." and there are many delicious options
 
- I miss eating quinoa and brown rice and sweet potatoes  
 
- would I recommend a cleanse? A variety of variables weigh in here: the type of cleanse, the reason for the cleanse, if a person has strong cravings for refined sugar and other refined foods, the timing of doing the cleanse, etc. Generally, I'd say most people would probably benefit from an occasional  cleanse.
 
- Has it been dreadful? Not at all.  I have understood the feeling of being even more intentional about what foods I eat. And it's not about denial, but understanding some of the recalibrating my body can do when I say "no" to foods that I thought, "But I always have .... for breakfast."
 
- And this week I found an acceptable substitute for granola. Yeah!! So of course I'm going to make it to the end.
 
Click → Printable recipe for Sugar-Free, Grain-Free, Cleanse-Friendly Granola
 
 

Sugar-Free, Grain-Free, Cleanse-Friendly Granola

1/2 cup organic unsweetened coconut flakes (could also be shredded)

1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds

1/3 cup chia seeds

1/2 cup raw walnuts

1/2 cup sesame seeds

1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds

1/4 cup pecan pieces

2 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. ginger powder

 

Pulse ingredients in a food processor or high-powered blender until desired consistency. Store in a glass jar in the refrigerator.

To Serve:
 
Scoop 1/4 - 1/3 cup of granola into a bowl.
 
Pour 1/2 - 2/3 cup almond mik or yogurt over top and let sit for about 5 or 6 minutes.
 
Spoon fresh (or thawed) cranberries on top and enjoy!
 
Optional:
 
- sprinkle with hemp seeds for extra protein
 
- lightly toast granola before serving, using heavy stove-top skillet
 
 
 
Have you done a cleanse? I'd be interested to hear your experience and if/what you felt were the benefits.
Posted by karen
karen's picture

September. The month synonymous with the return to packing lunches: specifically, school lunches and the challenges that brings.

This doesn't apply to me anymore (the school lunch part) but my husband still regularly needs a packed lunch for work so I am always on the look-out for healthy take-along lunch ideas. These little mini quiches serve equally as well for breakfast, lunch or otherwise. Quick to make too.

Click → Printable recipe for Garden Mini Crustless Quiches
 

Garden Mini Crustless Quiches

 
Ingredients:
 
3 eggs
 
2 large stalks kale (swiss chard can be substituted)
 
1/2 cup frozen peas
 
1/2 small zucchini, finely chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
 
2 Tbsp pine nuts (yes, they're expensive, but the small amount needed here goes a long way with texture and flavour)
 
fresh herbs if available: I used about 1 Tbsp dill and 2 Tbsp basil 
 
spices of your choice: I used about 1/2 tsp each of cumin and a thyme seasoning mix called za'atar, 1/8 tsp chili powder, dash of sea salt and fresh ground pepper
 
optional: 3-4 Tbsp. cheese of your choice; I used grated Parmesan 
 
Directions:
 
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
 
In a medium-sized bowl, combine all ingredients (except for the optional cheese) and mix well.
 
Scoop out 7 - 8 equal portions into a muffin pan with lightly greased paper liner cups.
 
Bake at 450 for about 15 minutes - if using cheese, sprinkle a spoonful on top of each "muffin" for the last 4-5 minutes of cooking.
 
These are delicious and nutritious for "anytime" eating - and very transportable for take-along lunches.
 
 
I'm one of five siblings and for a few years we all caught the school bus at the road, making sure we had grabbed our lunch kits - or lunch bags when they became the cool thing - as the only other option in our country school was to beg off our friends. Amazing Mom made our lunches - no small feat considering we had to eat breakfast and be out of the house by 7:45. The lunch "prize" was the dessert, and we were rarely disappointed.
 
Kids still like something sweet. Peanut butter balls that my daughter got me hooked on last summer are my perfect sweet fix; because of the nut-oil content they travel best packed in a small container. Pesonally I don't mind them being a little soft so a couple stowed in a baggie where they're somewhat protected works for me.
 
I've adjusted the recipe a tad: click → printable copy of Raw Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls.  Make some for lunches of all kinds - kids, work, camping and cycling trips, etc.
 
Last week I came across a recipe the closest I've seen to the chocolate-roasted hazelnut spread we know as Nutella. In good health conscience (though on occasion I indulge in a spoonful from someone else's jar), I can't recommend it for great health benefits (even with its hazelnuts, skim milk, and cocoa). And I have a hard time believing some claims that "star" Italian soccer players are energized and nourished with the product -  eating this healthier version, however, wouldn't be such a bad idea. Here's the recipe, by another name.
 
Click → Printable recipe of Chocolate Hazelnut Spread
 

Chocolate Hazelnut Spread

Ingredients:

2/3 cup hazelnuts, with skins on
 
*1/4 cup raw honey and 3-4 pitted Medjool dates
 
3-4 Tbsp. organic cocoa powder
 
1/3 - 1/2 cup milk (I used soy milk: other options are dairy, rice, almond, hemp)
 
(* other sweetening options: 1/2 maple syrup or raw honey, without dates. This will make it sweeter and smoother; I chose part honey/part dates for a less-refined product.)
 
Directions:
 
Toast hazelnuts in a pre-heated 350F degree oven, for about 12-15 minutes. A toaster oven works well when toasting such a small amount.
 
Let nuts cool slightly before rolling through your hands to rub most of the skins off.
 
Process the nuts in bowl of a food processor, pulsing and scraping down sides as necessary, until nuts are like a nut butter. This might take about 5 minutes.
 
Add sweetener and cocoa to hazelnut butter and process until smooth, about 5 minutes.
 
Add as much milk as necessary to achieve the consistency of cream cheese.
 
Scoop spread into a jar or other airtight container and store in the fridge for up to two weeks. I doubt it will last that long!
 
 
To Serve/Pack-a-long Hazelnut Spread:
 
spread desired amount  (a.k.a. thick layer!) on favourite Ryvita cracker - top with another cracker
 
scoop spread into small plastic container with lid - pack along with rice crackers or cakes, pita chips, etc. Don't forget to send along a plastic knife!
 
spread desired amount on whole-wheat tortilla. Roll up, cut into wedges - and divide amongst the family!
 
What's your favourite healthy lunch idea? Please pass it along!

Pages