A Nutritionist’s New Year’s Resolutions

The New Year is almost here!!!! I already love 2018. I know it will be a year of exciting new endeavours, lots of good food, and wonderful times with my friends and family.

As the new year approaches, I always spend an evening looking back on the past year, thinking about what worked well and what didn’t work at all, and I start making goals for the year ahead. Past resolutions have been things like ‘pee clear all year’ (yes, really), write in a gratitude journal every night, lose 15 pounds (the same 15, every year….), work out every morning, stop eating sugar, etc. They are always somewhat health related. And they stick for a couple months. Then I let go of them, but hold onto the guilt of letting them go, wishing I had more willpower to keep them up all year. You too?

That guilt trap is exhausting and stressful – two things that New Year’s resolutions should never be. So this year, let’s make better goals! These goals should be simple, fun, gentle, and rooted in kindness to ourselves. Goals that keep our adrenals healthy, our immune systems boosted, and our sugar levels balanced so our minds and bodies are in balance and feel good. Because when we feel good, we naturally gravitate toward eating healthier foods, moving our bodies regularly, and practicing other healthy rituals because they make us feel even better.

So, want to feel great in 2018 without exerting all your willpower and then reeling from tidal waves of guilt? Here are a few simple goals that I plan to chose from. Hope you find something that you can’t wait to try out, too.

  • Establish a regular bedtime routine and bedtime and stick to it. Sleep is more important than most things.
  • Get a massage monthly! This is great for keeping your nervous system healthy.
  • Sip herbal teas throughout the day in your favourite mug. Be intentional about the tea you chose (these are just 3 of my faves):
    • dandelion root is great for your digestive system and your liver (especially if you’ve celebrated the holiday season a little too much 😉 )
    • chaga is great for boosting your immune system and keeping colds at bay
    • holy basic is great for helping to balance your blood sugar (which in turn minimizes those sugar cravings)
  • Try yoga. The gentle movement feels like you’ve just had a massage on your brain and body. Actually.
  • Say ‘no thanks’ to things that you don’t want to do. Or things that don’t make you feel ‘expansive’ and excited. Don’t fill your year with obligations.
  • Do what you love (as long as it feels good), without guilt. Love reading? Read more. Love taking Sunday evening baths? Get some bath salts made with high quality essential oils and do it. Love binge watching Netflix in bed? Dooooooo it.

These are just a handful of my favourites and I hope something here resonates with you. Either way, the main point is this: in 2018, take time to care for yourself because that self care will bring you a whole host of health benefits, helping you feel great all year long.

 


Sweet & Salty Granola

This is THE BEST granola ever. Honestly. It is both sweet AND salty! What a good idea. Homemade granola is easy to make, free of fillers, and can be made with certified gluten-free oats. Best of all, you can control how much sweet stuff goes into it, which is essential in my house where my sweet tooth easily gets the best of me.

Eat this on its own, on top of chia pudding, with yogurt, almond milk, etc. The options really are endless. Just make it :).

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Sweet + Salty Granola

The kettle corn of the granola world. This granola is a lot sweet, a little salty, and super delicious. 

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups gluten-free oats (old fashioned, thick cut)
  • 1 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut flakes
  • 6 tbsp coconut oil (melted)
  • 1/4 cup honey (local is best!)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla powder

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350

  2. Line your largest baking sheet with parchment paper

  3. Mix dry ingredients together

  4. In a small sauce pan, mix wet ingredients together. Heat over medium until the coconut oil melts.

  5. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients.

  6. Stir with a spatula (or use your hands!). Mix well, ensuring everything is well coated.

  7. Spread on the baking sheet.

  8. Bake (watching carefully!) for 6 minutes. Stir.

  9. Bake for another 3-5 minutes, again watching carefully, until the granola turns golden brown. Watch closely! This burns really quickly.

  10. Remove from the oven and allow the granola to cool.

  11. Once completely cool, pour granola into glass jars and store in your pantry!

Did you try it? Let me know what you think!


Gluten-Free Butter Pecan Shortbread Cookies

Straight-up, these are chock-full of butter. And while I am definitely a proponent of using good quality fats (including butter) on a regular basis, this recipe is definitely for special occasions.

That said, these are awesome. They are the perfect holiday treat: buttery and sweet.. I used a simple gluten-free flour mix (that your friends won’t know is gluten free!), coconut palm sugar (which punctuates these tasty morsels with delightful caramel notes), and so much butter.

Make these for your next cookie exchange (I did!)!

Gluten-Free Butter Pecan Shortbread Cookies

Sweet, buttery pecan shortbread cookies that are gluten-free and super tasty. 

Course Dessert
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 18 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups softened butter
  • 1 cup coconut palm sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla powder
  • 2 cups tapioca flour
  • 1 1/2 cups brown rice flour
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 cup well-chopped pecans

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350

  2. Line your largest baking sheet with parchment paper

  3. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and palm sugar until they are fluffy and well combined.

  4. Add the vanilla powder

  5. On low speed, mix in the flours and sea salt and mix until a dough starts to form. Stop and scrape the sides as needed.

  6. Add the chopped pecans and mix until combined.

  7. Form the dough into a disc, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate until firm (about 30 mins).

  8. Roll onto a floured surface (I used more tapioca flour for rolling). Roll the dough about 1/2" thick.

  9. Cut into desired shapes and place on cookie sheet.

  10. Bake for 8 minutes, or until the edges just begin to brown. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 2-3 minutes before placing on a cooling rack. 

  11. Store cool cookies in a glass container. They are best when eaten within 2-3 days.


Conscious Consumer, Part 1: Honeysuckle Farm

I blogged last week about my conscious consumer project, so if you haven’t read that yet, be sure to do that first.

Alright. Preamble complete. Here is my first post on the topic: Honeysuckle Farm!

I visited Honeysuckle Farm last week, had a fantastic chat with Leanne, and snapped some photos to share with you! My family always buys our veggie plants and garden flowers from Honeysuckle, and we were delighted when they started selling eggs this year. Their eggs are pretty perfect from a nutrition and culinary perspective, the yolks are bright, stand tall, and the whites stay together like they should. They also taste spectacular. I am certain this is because Leanne gives the chickens so much love and feeds them all of their favourite foods.

Anyway, when I arrived at the farm, Leanne was out plowing snow in her Bobcat and I was greeted by two wonderfully friendly pups who sniffed me and the baby thoroughly before bounding back into the snow. Leanne’s cheeks were red from being outside in the cold, and she positively glowed when she showed me around the farm. She led me to an old barn that was built by Viola Strimbold’s dad, Esbjorn Johnson. As she opened the door, I could hear the chickens and roosters compete for our attention and when they could see that Leanne was there, they ran to greet us.

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There are 45 of these beauties, all with their own distinct personalities. They even have an Ameruacna who lays green eggs! Leanne explained that some of these chickens were hatched by kids at Decker Lake Elementary, and then taken in by Leanne. Everything in the barn was presided over by two handsome roosters who played it cool, though they were still clearly vibrating with excitement over Leanne’s arrival. Each of these ladies and gents live in a gorgeous coop, are spoiled with great food, and are given all kinds of love. I had the best time visiting them.

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Interested in trying the eggs? You’re in luck! They are for sale now for $5/dozen. They are available at the Farm, in the main building of the garden centre, inside the fridge.

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You can stick your $5 in the box on the counter and take your eggs. Looking for more info? You can find them on Facebook at Honeysuckle Farm.

I can’t wait to head back there in the spring and give you an update on all of their new projects. Hint: new greenhouses, a big focus on market veggies, and healthy food box subscriptions! Super exciting stuff! Is it Spring yet!?