Every holiday and event is revolved around food, you can’t really escape it. Especially the Super Bowl, which is notorious for rich, decadent and not so healthy food. But does all your food have to be deep fried, covered in processed cheese, and breaded for you to enjoy it? No, not at all. You know this, you don’t eat like this all year long (hopefully) so you know you enjoy other foods. There’s no need to eat just plain green beans, but you don’t need bacon wrapped sausages either – time for balance, like bacon wrapped green beans 😉
It’s also good to remember the most important part of the Super bowl – THE GAME! But, you will be eating food, so let’s explore some options to change up some favourites to help boost their nutrition without losing some of that flavour.
As a goal, try to have some healthy choices available for you and your guests. That way, everyone has a choice.
Here are my top 3 suggestions to ramp up the nutrition without sacrificing flavour.
Try my Nothin but Beans n’ Flava black bean dip for your game satisfaction. Dip your chips or veggies in this without too much hesitation because you’re getting some quality protein and lots of delicious spices!
Have salsa available as a lighter flavour adder – I recommend a homemade version because they taste extremely fresh and have more nutrition to each bite. See below for my favourite recipe.
Switch sour cream for plain greek yogurt or a cashew sour cream (recipe below) – you can ramp up the protein and probiotics or ramp up the good for you fats without sacrificing creaminess. Well done! This works great in a layered dip.
Serve guacamole which is rich of healthy fats instead of dips filled with artificial flavour enhancers and loaded with processed cheese.
Even better – provide fresh sliced veggies for dipping in some of the dips to switch from chips every once and awhile.
See below for an amazing layered dip you won’t believe it’s dairy-free and packed with nutrition! (there’s nothing wrong with dairy, it’s just nice to switch up the nutrients every now and then)
Add black beans, chopped veggies like sauteed green pepper and tomato, add spices like chili powder, salsa, use less cheese (splurge on the great organic stuff) and use organic tortilla chips – the nachos won’t sacrifice flavour because it will be touched with a bit of cheese, cooked veg, spices, salsa, and black beans! Way more flavour to go around.
Serve guacamole, salsa, and plain greek yogurt as your dips for the nachos.
Baking chicken wings (if you buy organic you’re doing yourself even more of a favour) can have just as much juice and crunch as deep fried ones. Make sure you boil them in water for a long period of time (or cover and bake on low for a few hours before roasting). Instead of using a sugary BBQ sauce, try using a spicy dry rub instead, like my jerk seasoning (recipe below). Bake at a low temperature for a longer period of time, increasing the temperature in the last few min for that crunch. And these are spicy! A real crowd pleaser.
2 tbsp dry minced onion
1 tbsp onion powder
4 tsp ground thyme
2 tsp sea salt
2 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp cayenne (or less for less spice)
Brush meat lightly with extra virgin olive oil and bake or grill according to meat directions. The dry rub can be stored in a tight container for later use as long as no raw meat has touched it.
This dip is loaded with healthy fats, protein and real food ingredients – so don’t even worry about eating the whole thing 😉
Layer in a large dish – cashew sour cream (recipe below), Nothin but beans n’ flava dip, Guacamole (2 avocados, lime juice, sea salt), Salsa (recipe below), and top with cashew crumbled “cheese” (recipe below). Though, feel free to use good quality cheese on top or a greek yogurt in place of cashew sour cream – this is just an outside of the box idea 🙂
Place cashews in a cup or small bowl and cover by about 1/2 inch with boiling water. Let soak 30 minutes.
Drain cashews and place in a blender with vinegar, lemon, salt and about 1/4 cup water. Blend until very smooth, adding more water as required to purée the mixture. (I used almond milk and it gave it a better consistency)
1 cup cashew
1/8 tsp garlic, minced
1 tbsp lemon juice
¾ cup nutritional yeast
1 ripe tomato
1 tbsp red onion, finely chopped
½ tsp garlic, minced
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp cilantro, chopped
To taste, salt and pepper
Optional: jalapeno or Serrano chili for spice
Enjoy the game and if you’re going to be grazing all day long just get yourself a game plan, no pun intended. Know the food for the day – or if you’re heading to someone else’s party make sure to eat delicious whole food when you can that day. No need to aim for perfection, yet no need to make your pants burst at the seams too 😉
It’s not uncommon for me to consult with individuals and I hear them say “Oh, I already eat well”, but yet upon further investigation, I have to break the bad news – they don’t.
It’s often due to a misunderstanding of what “eating well” means. One of the best ways to help someone realize this is to ask “How is that working for you”.
If one is truly eating well, they shouldn’t have issues with decreased energy, feeling bloated, unable to lose weight, having digestive issues (of course, there are exceptions and underlying medical issues).
I find that some people may have goals to reach during our sessions but they put up a block “I already eat well” or “I’ve always eaten this way, it works for me”. Does it? If you’re not feeling well, is it really working for you?
Here are my top 5 reasons why you may not “already eat well” and it’s time to think about a change – some of these may surprise you!
1. Your belief of healthy food is revolved around low fat foods – your entire diet is low in overall fats, even the good ones, and you often find yourself buying packages that say “low fat”. This will lead to decreased mental acuity (which is 60% fat), decreased energy, elevated blood sugar levels (low fat products are high in sugar) and hormonal issues – not to mention feeling absolutely starving since fat sends a signal to your brain that you are full. Missing any key major nutrients is not a “healthy” diet.
2. You feel strongly about organic food (which you should) but 1/2 of your intake is organic treats – sugar is sugar! Just because it’s organic dessert, doesn’t mean it’s a meal replacement. Always check ingredients, even when it says organic.
3. You eat everything good for you in excess – key word being excess. Avocado? Great I’ll have 6 in my salad. Quinoa? Give me the whole bag – it’s high in protein after all. Or maybe you eat almonds like it’s your job. Nothing is awesome or healthy for you in excess. If it was, then everyone would be able to survive off one food entirely. Eat a ton of awesome food in variety – switch up the starches, fruits, veggies, proteins and healthy fats and make sure you get enough of each and don’t just survive off quinoa. Too much food is too much food.
4. Your diet consists only of fresh pressed veggie and fruit juices, all day, every day, with no end in sight. Your micronutrients are soaring high and shining! But your macronutrients – like protein and fat and carbohydrates, don’t exist. At least not in the quantities you need to live and thrive. In the long term, this will lead to health issues as each of these build hormones, muscular structure, and brain tissue, to name a few. The same applies for chronically replacing meals with smoothies more than twice a day – you are likely getting a whole lot of fruit sugar and not a great variety in your nutrition.
5. Your caloric intake has maintained the same for 10+ years, and numbers are incredibly important to you. Low calories = health, right? Nope – if you focus on a number you forget to look at what you’re putting in your body. Calories don’t equal nutrition, they equal “energy” to the body, but there are energy givers (fruit and veg) and energy stealers (potato chips). Not only that, but if your overall energy intake has maintained the same over 10+ years, but your fitness level changed (increased) or perhaps you had a baby or became diagnosed with a health condition – all of these affect how much actual energy, and which nutrients, your body needs. Nutrition needs change constantly as you and your lifestyle change. That’s also why the same breakfast since you were 8 probably won’t feel that fantastic after you’ve reached menopause 😉
If you say you “already eat well” and your day includes a balance of fresh vegetables, fresh fruit, a variety of proteins, a variety of carbohydrate sources and a variety of saturated and unsaturated (we need both) fats and you pay attention to the ingredients in food products (if you buy any), where your food comes from, the overall quality of your food and eat whole real food, and spend time making food a priority (as in preparing it) and you’re reaching your nutrition goals – then you are totally right – you DO already eat well! And then this is where I would refund your session because you don’t need a nutritionist 😉
No worries if you found out you have a blind spot – it happens. Now that you’ve identified it, let’s get you to your goals 🙂
Continuing on with the gifts in a jar theme, previously with gluten free cookie mix in a jar, then gluten free granola in a jar, and hot chocolate mix in a jar – today is gluten free gingerbread cookie mix in a jar! Or you could just use this recipe and bake them immediately because they are ultra delicious.
Normally when I post gluten free recipes on this website I use a mixture of flours, but this one I found best to use with Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Flour – it also makes it pretty simple to create for gifts since you don’t have to buy so many different types of flours.
I love that Bob’s doesn’t have xanthan gum and it contains unique high protein flours like sorghum flour, garbanzo bean flour and fava bean flour, amongst other flours.
I unfortunately didn’t pre-make printable labels for this one, and I can’t properly source it because it was originally a glutinous recipe somewhere in the online world found many many years ago and my brain has just plum forgot. All I did was swap in Bob’s GF flour for the wheat flour to change it up and it worked!
GF Gingerbread Cookies in a Jar – for one jar or one recipe
3 1/2 cups Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 L mason jar
Cookie cutter – optional
Directions for putting ingredients into the jar
Mix together all ingredients except the brown sugar. Add half of this mix to the jar, then add all of the brown sugar and press lightly down. Then add the rest of the flour mix pressing down as needed to fit it completely. You can attach a cookie cutter to the neck of the jar with a ribbon if you want for a nice touch!
Directions for the label or for baking right now:
1/2 cup butter or coconut oil at room temperature
3/4 cup molasses
Empty jar mix into a large mixing bowl. In a smaller bowl mix the butter/coconut oil, molasses and egg and then add this to the flour mixture until well combined. Cover and refrigerate for approx 1 hour. When ready, roll out the dough 1/4 inch thick on a gluten free floured surface to cut with cookie cutters. Preheat oven to 350F. Place cookies on a lightly greased cookie sheet about 2 inches apart and bake for 10 – 15 minutes until slightly darker brown along the edges – they will firm up after 15 minutes outside of the oven so do not over bake and allow to cool before moving from the baking sheet.
Note: Yield depends on how big your cookie cutters are. It makes approximately 60 3-inch cookies and works best with smaller cookie cutters.
Hot chocolate is pretty much synonymous with freezing weather and the holidays. However, not all store bought mixes or coffee shops are going to have your health in mind, not to mention those that have dairy allergies or sensitivities are kind of left out in the dark sometimes.
Don’t fret – there’s a solution! Make this dairy free hot chocolate mix to have on hand when you get that hot chocolate craving and knowing that it’s filled with ingredients that you know and are real makes this the perfect treat!
You also get to choose the flavour too – do you want more cinnamon? a hint of vanilla? spicy chili? You get to choose – that’s a super bonus!
This is also a great gift. It doesn’t look as purdy as layered jar mixes because it’s all the same shade when it’s mixed, but it sure does taste delicious and that’s all that matters! Enjoy the snowy week!
Makes approx 6.5 cups – 1 serving = 1/8 cup mixture for a small mug, 1/4 cup mixture for a large mug.
3.5 cups non-dairy powdered milk *see below for options
1 3/4 cup fair trade organic cocoa powder
1/2 cup shaved unsweetened chocolate
1 1/4 cup raw cane sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground clove
Optional flavour – pinch of gluten free chili powder, or cayenne pepper if you like spicy chocolate, yum!
*non-dairy powdered milk options
Stir all ingredients until combined and add to 6 x 250ml mason jars (or less if you omitted the milk powder)
Directions for the Jar:
Add 1/8 cup mix (small mug) or 1/4 cup mix (large mug) to a mug and pour boiling water over top. To ensure it’s not lumpy, mix slowly into a paste as you pour the water.
Directions for the Jar without milk powder:
Add 1 tbsp (small mug) or 1.5 – 2 tbsp (large mug) of mix to a mug and pour boiling water or hot milk over top. To ensure it’s not lump, mix slowly into a paste as you pour the water.
The other day I posted my cookie recipe for holiday jars which had such a great response so I decided to do some more! Today is another idea with granola. This one is a great gift for those who don’t enjoy making food or baking and just love eating! It’s ready to eat, healthy for you and delicious – extra bonus the majority of individuals can eat this because one of the recipes is allergen free (although take precautions for cross contamination for those who have serious allergies).
The dry cookie mix in a jar is great to make if you hate to bake, but the person who’s receiving it loves to bake! It’s a win for all 🙂
All you have to do is make one heck of a large batch of either my gluten-free crazy granola (also free of nuts, corn, egg, soy, dairy) or my gluten-free Fall for granola. 1 recipe makes approximately 3 x 1L mason jars so it’s best to quadruple it if you’re making gifts for lots of people.
The granola works well in the smaller 250ml jars as well.
NOTE – when baking in large batches make sure it’s stirred very well and everything is all combined. Only bake small amounts at a time for even baking.
Just like before I’ve made up some easy printable labels for you so this holiday season can be fun!
You need to use Avery Print to the Edge Round Labels #22807 for the lid and Avery Print to the Edge Oval Labels #22820 for the ingredient labels.
Have a delicious and healthy holiday season!
Can you believe it? The holidays are just over a month away! Which means, I’m thinking about baking.
Every year for the past few years I’ve gotten together with my best friend Ali and we’ve done homemade christmas gifts which includes cookies and awesome goodies in jars.
I realized I hadn’t ever shared how and what we do to make these gifts on my blog so this is the year! Now you guys can make yummy and thoughtful homemade gift ideas in a jar for your friends and family 🙂
But, it’s also cool if you don’t do the homemade thing – it’s not everyone’s cup of tea.
We use my recipe for the cookies but this is how you put the dry ingredients in the jar to make it look all purdy.
You’ll need a 1L mason jar (I prefer the look of the wide mouth ones) per recipe/gift
Layers Per Jar
Brown rice flour (2/3 cup)
Baking soda (1/2 tsp)
Cinnamon (1 tsp)
Sea salt (pinch)
Quinoa flakes (1 cup)
Unsweetened shredded coconut (1 cup)
Chocolate chips, semi sweet, dairy free so they are vegan (1/2 cup)
Quinoa flakes (1 cup)
Brown rice flour (2/3 cup)
Use a spoon to pack the ingredients down tightly into a wide mouth 1L mason jar. If the last ingredient won’t fit just keep pushing that air out – it will fit!
*in the picture above you’ll notice one jar with quinoa flakes as the last ingredient at the top, but that was because we ran out during the process and had to go buy more 🙂
You can print the tag and instructions by clicking here which will lead you to a PDF that can be printed with Avery Printable Tags with Strings #22802 2 x 3.5 – wide or tall options are both fine. If you prefer to use your handwriting you can use the instructions below to add to your own tag.
Instructions for the tag/jar
Yields 30 – 35 cookies
Dry Ingredients – quinoa flakes, brown rice flour, unsweetened coconut, semi sweet chocolate chips, cinnamon, baking soda, sea salt
Add to mixture:
4 – 5 frozen and defrosted bananas
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup 100 % maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
Combine wet ingredients. Add jar ingredients and stir. Place flattened spoonfuls onto parchment paper and bake at 350F for 20 – 30 minutes until browned.
I hope your loved ones enjoy the gift! 🙂
As a Holistic Nutritionist I see many food journals. And when I say many, I mean hundreds. Not everyone enjoys to do them, and that’s okay, I always work around it, but sometimes it’s the piece missing in the puzzle especially with regards to digestive complaints.
Food journalling has changed so much even since I started seeing clients 4 years ago. I had all these Microsoft Word templates created and I would neatly print them for clients to fill out and bring in, then slowly over the years I realized this was the most inefficient way to get client’s to write anything down.
Who carries a piece of paper with them everywhere? I decided that it doesn’t matter so much WHERE it’s getting done, just that it gets done. I provide a lot of options to try and make it as convenient as possible since I know it’s not the most fun thing to do.
I find anything to do with a cell phone or an app is a winner. What’s around you always? Your phone. What’s not around you always? A piece of paper or a journal. So really, it creates more efficiency, less annoyance and it helps me help you.
So now that we’ve found a way for you to record your food intake, let’s take a look at HOW to actually do it so all your hard work doesn’t go to waste.
Breakfast – eggs
Lunch – sandwich, yogurt
Snack – fruit, nuts, crackers, junk
Dinner – protein, vegetables, rice
This journal doesn’t show me anything about your lifestyle, your health, or how to help you
Breakfast – 2 eggs, scrambled, drizzle of olive oil, spinach, red peppers
Lunch – sandwich – 2 slices (brand) bread, 2 spoonfuls (brand) hummus, lettuce, tomato, grilled chicken with homemade spices (list)
Snack – apple, small handful of almonds and cashews, a few (brand) crackers
Dinner – salmon filet, steamed, with homemade pesto (list ingredients), green beans sautéed in olive oil with garlic on half the plate, palmful of brown rice cooked in vegetable broth (brand)
NOTES – stomach bloated immediately after lunch, energy was great today
This journal shows me the type of food that you consumed, what brands you’re buying, and approximate quantity. Now it’s much easier for me to recommend new brands that may be better for your health, or help you balance out your day better, or help you find the A-HA moment of what’s irritating you or preventing you from reaching your nutrition goal. It’s a win-win situation! Beverage intake is extremely important as well but as long as all the food is there that’s the most important.
Happy food journalling!
When I first went gluten-free a decade ago, I thought I knew what I was doing – but it actually took me years to get every teeny tiny piece of gluten out of my diet because of some common mistakes (or misunderstandings) I had about gluten (I wasn’t a nutritionist at this time – in fact, I was still in my teens).
So I thought I’d share some common misunderstandings/misconceptions to help you go gluten-free without as much trial and error as I had 🙂
We live in a world where we can’t always rely on our eyes, we must rely on our mouths to ask or say specific directions. Keep those bellies safe my gluten-free friends 🙂
I’m pretty sure I’m an expert mover by now. Since 2006 I’ve moved 6 times. That was never the plan but always how it seemed to work out. Whether I was moving cities, a lease ended or I just wanted some change, it’s been 6 moves in 7 years. I’m about to add my 7th move, believe it or not, and an 8th soon after but that will be it! I hope.
In honour of my multiple moves and knowing that moving is something everyone experiences in their life, I teamed up with Real Estate Agent Extraordinaire Jen Dumitrescu to help her clients, and all of you, make moving a healthy one by creating lists of the absolute essentials to start building a pantry, a fridge and getting some kitchen tools especially for those who are buying new homes, have never lived on their own before, or are changing cities or countries where you are literally starting from scratch.
To prevent feeling overwhelmed, taking finances into consideration (and not stocking up on completely unnecessary things) and eating take-out for a couple months make sure you check out these lists to make your new home a healthy one!
Haven’t bought a home yet but now you want to? Contact Jen now!
Today on my website please welcome Kathy Smart, Gluten-Free Expert and Co-Creator of The Gluten Free Smart Store. Welcome Kathy! Before we begin the interview why don’t you give us a little background info on yourself.
I am a celiac who loves good food! I was diagnosed with celiac disease when I was 12 years old and realized that if you change what you eat, you can change your life! My life’s mission has been to motivate and inspire others that THEY can too have a life filled with health and that celiac disease or gluten free does not mean you have to give up great taste! It motivated me to become a nutritionist, holistic chef, best selling cookbook author and I went on to do the world’s first gluten free TV show on Rogers TV and even ended up on the Dr. Oz show!
1. What inspired you to develop the Gluten Free Smart Store website?
What inspired me was in talking with Tammie from Allergic Solution and Lisa from Gluten Free Find that there was not a one stop shop of gluten free foods that people could easily find gluten free healthy products that they may not have access to. We decided to create the solution!
2. When you first went gluten free, what did you find was the hardest part for yourself?
The hardest part for me about going gluten free was eating out or being invited to people’s houses. I then learned to start cooking gourmet gluten free foods to bring and was delighted when even chefs and non- gluten free people devoured the food!
3. What’s your absolute favourite on-the-go snack?
My absolute favorite on the go snack is hands down peanut butter- anything with unsweetened organic peanut butter. Peanut butter on an apple, celery or a quinoa cracker…yum!
4. On the store’s website there are different sections to search by. What does your “Smart Approved” stamp mean?
This is a stamp that is not bought- and what it means is that a specific product is low glycemic, full of fibre, protein and made with WHOLE foods. As little processing as possible. Anyone going gluten free needs to see their food as their medicine.
5. Are there items that aren’t “Smart Approved” on the site? Why or why not?
There are a few items that are not ‘ Smart Approved’ as I believe in the 90 – 10 rule. 90% of the time eat the most healthy and nutrient dense food possible. 10% of the time- enjoy your treats 🙂
6. How does the Gluten Free Smart Store differ from other websites that may carry gluten free products?
What makes the Gluten Free Smart Store different is that you can purchase products without having to research them yourself to know if it is good for you. If it is Smart Approved, we have done all the research for you! It is also an exclusive store that just not any company is able to be listed. We go through a process of determining if this company shares our values and integrity for health and gluten free living.
7. If there was one thing you would like gluten free individuals to know, what would it be?
It would be that you CAN eat delicious gluten free food that is good for you! You do not have to sacrifice taste and nutrition. Let your food be your medicine and tickle your taste buds too!
Believe in yourself. If you are just new to gluten free or just newly diagnosed, believe that you CAN achieve an abundant life…that tastes good too!!
Thanks Kathy! It makes my heart sing that yourself, Tammie and Lisa have created a store to help those who need to be gluten-free do so in an easy and healthy way. There is nothing worse than the gluten-free industry taking advantage of people who have been ill and selling products that will only deplete their health further – even though they are gluten-free! I can see big things in the future and we all need to help advocate for gluten free + healthy, just like others are doing in the wheat-based industry. It can be done!
A FREE Gluten Free Beginnings Guide at www.livethesmartway.com/freebie
Kathy also has an online course that she developed for people wanting to learn how to Live The Smart Way too!
Kathy has shared with us a delicious gluten free recipe! Click the link to download the PDF.
Kathy Smarts Chia Cherry Powerball Recipe