Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Rock Your Crockpot!

October is here!  School and extra curricular activities are in full swing and eating healthy does not have to go down the tubes!  It's time to ROCK YOUR CROCKPOT!  I was in Pittsburgh last weekend for my son's hockey tournament and Owen Sound the weekend before.  My crock-pot comes with me as it keeps us eating healthy and prevents long wait times in restaurants.  I prepared a crock pot dish the night before and brought it with me to the hotel.  In the morning I just put it on warm and after the first game lunch was ready when we returned to the hotel, easy peasy!

Homemade meals can be made in a cinch and slow cooked dishes are healthier as the heat is low and cooked over time.  Any time we use high heat from a microwave etc. we are killing nutrients.  Crock pot cooking can also stretch small amounts of meal with flavorful sauces and generous portions of vegetables.  If you are following a certain style of eating like Paleo etc.  There are so many recipes that you can find.  Simply google crock pot recipes and you can find a bunch.

I love the convenience of crock pots because you only use one dish.  Just throw all the ingredients in and come home to dinner, no fuss.  I always double or triple a recipe so the kids have leftovers for school lunches.  I just put it in a thermos and they have a healthy lunch.

Most people use crock pots  for lunch and dinner but breakfast in a crock-pot is also amazing.  Oatmeal has always been know for it's stick to your ribs kind of meal that holds us over but in reality, eaten on its own, it has a high insulin potential (HELLO MUFFIN TOP!).  There are a lot of ways to buffer that insulin spike with oatmeal by adding some good fats, protein and fiber.   Of course if my boys are off to the rink in the morning I love oatmeal at least 1.5 hours before as it will give them the energy from the carbohydrates that they need.  Here is an easy recipe for crock pot oatmeal that is super festive for this time of year:

Pumpkin Pie Steel Cut Oats in the Crock-pot
Serves 6-8

  • 2 C steel cut oats
  • 3/4 C pumpkin mashed or can of pumpkin (no sugar added)
  • 1 400mL or 14oz can full fat coconut milk plus enough water to make 7C (about 5 1/4 C water)
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla
  • 1 tbsp. + 1 tsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice (4 tbsp. cinnamon, 4 tsp. nutmeg, 4 tsp. ginger, 3 tsp. all spice, 1 tsp. cloves).
  • 1/2 C honey or maple syrup (or leave unsweetened and add after it's been cooked).
Put all ingredients in your crockpot. Mix well and set to cook for 5-6 hours on low.  Serve hot with almond milk or a dollop of Greek yogurt, extra honey or maple syrup and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

If you have leftovers you can store in the fridge and use for a quick breakfast.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Eat Clean with Joleen - Blog for Healthy Active Families: Happy Second 'New Year'!

Eat Clean with Joleen - Blog for Healthy Active Families: Happy Second 'New Year'!: Most of us are in the swing of back to school routines.  Fall sports and extra curricular activities have commenced and most families are l...

Happy Second 'New Year'!

Most of us are in the swing of back to school routines.  Fall sports and extra curricular activities have commenced and most families are looking forward to getting back on track.  Some of you may have been working all summer and looking forward to a fresh start this Fall.  Whether you are a parent ready to get your family back into routine or the Corporate CEO, September is the perfect time to kick your health up a notch.  It's like a second 'new year' to the calendar year-and with it comes the opportunity to create resolutions - or rather solutions to your resolutions.

We've all heard the saying "fail to plan, plan to fail".  We all know how out of control we feel when we are not prepared for a meeting, a school test, or if we haven't prepared our food plan for the week.  I personally love to take  a couple hours a day to set up my week.  For me that day is Sunday.  Sunday Set Up's get my family rocking their health. I usually make a tea or have a glass of wine and make it fun.  You will feel great when you are done, trust me, and you will get faster at the prep. 

 It is so important to front load our day with nutrients.  For example,  making sure to eat enough good foods before 2pm as this is when are brains and bodies are working hardest.  If we eat enough healthy foods, our blood sugar will be balanced. We all know how hungry and angry we can feel when we are on the blood sugar roller coaster ride  as a result of too much sugar and refined flours.  Always start your day with protein. Make sure you have enough items in the kitchen that are easy for breakfast such as organic eggs and healthy protein to add to smoothies.  Nuts and seeds are great pantry items to snack on too.  For the kids school lunches I love to add lots of veggies.  It is so important for kids and adults to consume veggies with every meal.  If my kids fill up on the good stuff first they can handle  a treat in their lunches.  Veggie's with dip can be fun for kids but there are a lot of dips loaded with poor quality ingredients.  Here is a healthy  and super easy dip I make at home and it tastes like Ranch:

Healthy Veggie Dip:
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 avocado
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
2 garlic cloves
1 tsp Herbemere (fine sea salt)
1 tsp hot sauce

Blend in your Vita Mix or food processor.  Enjoy!

At dinner time we always want to include protein, healthy fats, and fiber.  Try switching out your current cooking oil for Coconut oil  as it has a high heat tolerance and so many nutritional benefits like vitamin A.  It is great for thyroid and brain health too.  Never cook with olive oil!

As a Sports & Registered Holistic Nutritionist, I firmly believe that once you have a solid foundation for healthy foods you need a supplement program that will help make up the the nutritional gaps in even a healthiest diet.  We have lost our mineral rich soils, our city water is loaded with chlorine and pharmaceuticals and lets not forget about the amount of stress in our lives today. Children and adults need a good quality supplement and omega 3's to fill in the nutritional gaps. Need suggestions on what to take?  I would be happy to recommend my top 3 supplements to you.  Feel free to email info@soccerpower.ca today and I will share my families supplement program.

Keep calm and welcome September,

Joleen Gruber