Healthy Eating · Inspiration · Wellness

VEGETABLE S O U P

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Cooking healthy meals is definitely something that we thrive for in our household – but, with both of us working full-time sometimes taking the time to put together a well-rounded healthy meal is not in the cards. We have learned a few tricks over the past years on how to meal prep and cook in a way that is both healthy, and that works for our busy schedules.

One of our favourite quick and healthy dinner options is soup – we have now managed to find a few easy go-to soup recipes for any season, which we often use on those busy evenings when neither of us feels like standing in the kitchen and cooking a full meal.

Vegetable soups are really one of the easiest and fastest way to get our daily vegetable and nutrient intake because there are so many great ingredients that can be added to the pot. For me, vegetable soups are a great way to actually eat all of my vegetables, especially when they are blended.

Although I would like to take the time to make my own chicken or vegetable broth, we have found a great alternative product; Organic Chicken Broth, which you can purchase at Costco has become the second best thing to the home-made broth. Since the broth is very delicate in flavor (as to keep it healthier there aren’t too many ingredients), we like to add a variety of spices such as turmeric and black pepper.

In terms of the vegetables we add, it really depends on the season and what is available fresh in stores and markets. Our soups always include carrots, peas, broccoli, and corn, but we also like to add zucchini, red pepper, green beans, cauliflower, etc. Sometimes, when we are doing a lighter version (less of a variety of veggies) we like to add in a pasta such as Ditali.

During the winter months, we tend to lean towards more blended soups; we add all or some of the above ingredients as well as sweet potatoes, yellow potatoes, butternut squash, pumpkin, etc. When everything is cooked, I blend it all together, and serve it with either soda crackers or toaster  baguette.

All in all, soups are a great and healthy choice for dinner, it’s a meal that you don’t have to stand next to for the whole time it’s cooking – put it on simmer and you’re free to do other things while it takes its time to cook. Also, all of the vegetables in the soup can cover a good portion of your daily nutrient intake, which is such an important factor to keep our bodies healthy.

Finally, doesn’t a bowl of soup just make you feel better – it’s great on our stomach and digestive system as it’s a warm meal, which we should have at least once during the  day! So, if you’re not on the soup-train yet, I highly recommend it for a quick, easy, and healthy warm meal!

Fitspo · Healthy Eating · Inspiration · Motivation · Wellness

FRESHLY SQUEEZED: FRUITS & VEGGIES

While on our vacation in Mexico recently, I realized how easy it can be to get into my body the necessary fruits and veggies each day. Every morning at the breakfast buffet there was an assortment of fruit and vegetable freshly squeezed juices.

The variety was great, and we could choose from single fruit/veggie juices such as papaya, orange, watermelon, melon, pineapple, beet, and many more; OR we could choose a blend of a few different fruits and veggies. We often opted for the mixed juices and regularly had two glasses of various juices each morning. The blended juices we enjoyed most were the carrot/ orange mix, and the pineapple/cactus/orange mix.

On this trip I realized how easy it can be to have juices like this at home each morning – realistically, all I’d have to do is prep the veggies either ahead of time, or even that morning to ensure they were extremely fresh. Either way, it’s all achievable.

So here’s my motivation to you; if you’re like me, and sometimes find it hard to get your vitamins in, in a natural way, get yourself a juicer and start mixing. See what suits your taste buds best, and go with it.

Personally, I am not a big fan of pineapple,  but I found that with the cactus and orange flavours mixed in, I was able to enjoy it. It’s so important to get these vitamins into our bodies naturally, and this, I think, is one of the easiest ways.

Also, there are plenty of different fresh fruit and vegetable juice ideas online that you can look up if you need some inspiration to get you going. Try searching places such as Pinterest, or simply going right to Google.

CW

Healthy Eating · Motivation · Wellness

SUPERFOOD: A V O C A D O

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The older I get the more I pay attention to the food I put into my mouth; and it’s not that I have to try, it just happens. For the past few years I have actually started to enjoy food and have become interested in the ingredients list on products.

I still find it hard to include more fruits and veggies into my diet though, so imagine how happy I was to find out that one of my favourite foods was actually a S U P E R F O O D.

Hello A V O C A D O and welcome to my diet.

The amount of proven health benefits that come with one of these little pear-shaped fruits is stunning – from various vitamins, to healthy fats, it’s loaded with great nutrients.

Not only is the avocado fun to peel; cut in half and twist out the seed, it can be eaten in so many different forms. My favourite form is freshly peeled and sliced on toast with salt, or diced into a salad with salted sunflower seeds.

Without even realizing all of the great benefits to avocado, my husband and I have also been using Avocado Oil for all of our cooking. I know the hype was all about the coconut oil, but I am here to say that I prefer Avocado Oil 100%. I think I love it more because there is no flavour to it really, and I am not entirely a huge fan of coconut.

So, do yourself a favor and google the health benefits to an avocado – and then add it to your grocery list for your next shopping trip!

CW

Fitspo · Healthy Eating · Inspiration · Wellness

HOMEMADE F R I T E S

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I know I should be writing about the healthy food choices that I make, but how can I be real, transparent, and truthful with you if that’s all I show. We are all human and we all need a little bit of unhealthy grease once in a while.

A few nights ago, my husband and I were having a very lazy and difficult evening of the “what to make for dinner” debate – this happens once in a while, but he’s tired of my trying to make soup night after night.

So, has anyone ever made home-made french fries? I had totally forgotten how much better they are than the store-bought frozen ones or the ones fast food/restaurant ones! So, you guessed it, we pulled out the sack of potatoes and started peeling. We cut them up into fairly thick slices, then once more to make a nice sized fry.

I agree, this is not the healthiest of options; though potatoes are considered a vegetable, and one of my favourite vegetables, the oil we fry them in is not so great. Instead of frying them, you could also put the slices into the over, sprinkle some spices and salt and let them bake their way to crispiness. But, when craving calls, you answer.

My grandmother taught me one of the best lessons in terms of eating;

“Eat E V E R Y T H I N G but in M O D E R A T I O N.

I have tried to follow that technique and I’d say it’s been working out so far. I am lactose intolerant to I don’t eat any dairy, and I am not a fan of seafood, but other than that, I am trying to be more open with my food to expand to more items.

Fitspo · Healthy Eating · Inspiration · Motivation · Wellness

HEALTH AND WELLNESS: VITAMIN DEFICIENCY + DEPRESSION

Taking care of our bodies can be one of the toughest jobs we take on – sometimes we just don’t know what’s best, whats wrong, or how we can fix it. Browsing Women’s Health yesterday, I came across an article asking if Vitamin Deficiency can cause depression. I think I actually answered that question out loud.

I won’t get into too much detail of my personal experience with this topic, but, let’s say I can relate and can speak to this topic.

Reading the Women’s Health article made me realize that it’s a much larger issue than I had imagined, and that I was not the only one with this issue. Hearing that someone who is a professional chef and blogs about food and nutrition daily can have a vitamin deficiency, actually makes me feel better.

This makes me realize that we can eat all the fruits and veggies in the world, but truth is, our bodies may not absorb them as well as our brain would like us to.  This is nobody’s fault. I am one for reaching for a helping hand – we all need a little help once in a while.

Realistically, I realized that many people possibly suffer from vitamin deficiency, but, leading it to depression… now it’s all coming together. Now that I’ve gotten myself back on track, I am becoming more and more interested in informing others about this matter.

As mentioned by Lo Bosworth in her article in The Lo Down on this topic, the depression is not the only effect of B12 vitamin deficiency – it also follows with mood swings,  high highs and low lows, confusion, etc (you get the idea).

Like Lo, I too was diagnosed with severe deficiency of B12 – luckily, within three months of  a daily B12 vitamin supplement I was back to my normal self. But, the months prior to my diagnosis were a daily battle and adventure.

So, the moral of this post is; don’t be afraid and don’t hold back – listen to your gut and get a blood test if you think you may have a vitamin deficiency. Something as easy as a small daily pill can help you so much.

Happy Wellness Wednesday!

XX

*I am not a doctor, and the information in this post is based on my personal opinions only

Fitspo · Healthy Eating · Inspiration · Motivation

BIKINI BODY GUIDE: WEEK ONE

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It seems like being fit and working out is ALL THE HYPE right now – which is absolutely great! I love all the motivation and inspiration that can be found everywhere; from outfits to routines, to tips and details.

Even with all of the motivation and inspiration everywhere, it’s so important to find your own personal routines and motivation – and it’s really not as easy as it looks. I’ve tried different routines, schedules, and workouts, but I think I have finally landed on one that will work for me.

For this last week, I have been completing the Bikini Body Guide by Kayla Itsines, and have been loving it! I think my favourite thing about her workouts is that they are not a daily thing – of course you do something to stay active everyday, but the main workouts are done every other day. This type of schedule is much easier for someone, like myself, who works full-time and has other responsibilities

I feel like her routines are really giving me a workout; let’s just say I’m feeling the pain, and since, no pain no gain, I know that I’m getting something out of it.

So, so far so good, but it’s only been week one, so we will see how the rest goes, but, POSITIVE VIBES ONLY!

Week One Workout Plan:

  • Monday: Legs and Cardio
  • Tuesday: LISS 35-45 minutes
  • Wednesday: Arms and Abs
  • Thursday: LISS 35-45 minutes
  • Friday: Full body
  • Saturday: LISS 35-45 minutes + Rehabilitation

XX