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

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Get Your Healthy Back!

I just returned from 5 days in Salt Lake City, Utah where I was trained by some of the worlds leading health and wellness experts.  I'm overwhelmed with the amount of information on health that was given to me.  I have always been a believer that whatever is passed down through heredity can be changed with lifestyle.  Lifestyle, the way we eat and the choices we make has the biggest influence on our health.  Usually when people are suffering from modern day health concerns we see that there parents and grandparents suffered in the same ways.  We see a commonality in the lifestyle and food choices.  Want to change your health for the better?  Change your lifestyle!  Here are some ways you can make some small changes:

1.  Feelings change minds more than facts.  Put your self in a positive  environment to feel good.
2.  Adore your solutions.  If you are not happy with the way things turn out then change your solution.
3.  Surround yourself with people you want to be like.  Your connections and your culture will allow you to grow and go higher.
4.  Appreciate what you have.

Don't get hung up on diets.  If you are celebrating life it is healthy.  If not, then what is driving you to make your food choices? 

How important are our genes to our health?  Dr. Oz told me that our genes control 1/3 of how we live and the biggest 5 life adjustments that drive how people age are:

1.  Blood Pressure.
2.  Exercise.  We need to exercise  30 minutes daily.
3.  Diet.  Find a healthy diet you love.
4.  Sleep more and work on reduces stress.
5.  Curtail addictions.

Just about everything in the body is reversible.  Even the brain can recover if you give it the right nutrients.  That's powerful!  Diabetes is a disease that YOU CAN CONTROL.  Dr. Oz says you can get off your medication or not go on them at all. I was happy to hear that Dr. Oz eats protein every morning in a smoothie or from eggs.  He also agrees  on the fact that diet soda is designed to trick your brain.  Aspartame is 300x sweeter than sugar and you end up craving foods sweeter and sweeter.

Play a game your body knows!  Chemicals vs Food, Food wins hands down. 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Eat Clean with Joleen!: Lunch Box Ideas Your Kids Will Eat!

Eat Clean with Joleen!: Lunch Box Ideas Your Kids Will Eat!: One week until kids are back in school!  Some parents are really excited about this and others are dreading the idea of back to school sna...

Lunch Box Ideas Your Kids Will Eat!

One week until kids are back in school!  Some parents are really excited about this and others are dreading the idea of back to school snacks and lunches.  Last week I blogged about the importance of a protein packed breakfast.  I truly believe that this starts your child's day off on the right foot.  Protein keeps blood sugars stable. When sugars are stable kids are calm, they focus better and are all around happier kids.  You all know I am a big believer in the connection between food and mood.  With all the allergies today and when you throw in the whole Gluten-Free thing, you might be quite concerned about what to send in that lunch box.  What if your kids don't eat sandwiches?  Limiting the amount of breads and processed foods only benefits you and your family as they turn to sugar so quickly (hello sugar crash and cranky kids!).  You may find you are in need of a little inspiration ifyou are trying to reduce the amount of bread you eat as a family.  The following list will give you 10 great Gluten-Free and Processed Free options for school:
1.  Chili in a thermos is a great lunch.  I make a big crock pot of chili on the weekend and in the morning warm it up and transfer to  a thermos.  Easy peasy!
2.  Scrambled eggs in a thermous are also great.  You can also pack some left over chicken and cherry tomoatoes.
3.  Salads that include grill chicken, veggies and salad dressing on the side.  Kids love assembling the salad at lunch time.
4.  Soup is another thermous meal that makes for a great lunch.  My kids love sipping soup through a straw.
5.  Boiled eggs are great as they include all 22 amino acids.  Boil a dozen on the weekend and you can grab and go throughout the week.
6.  Turkey meatballs with your favorite sauce packed with some toothpicks gets kids excited to eat their lunch.  I do have to remind my boys not to use the toothpicks as swords!
7.  Chickpea Salad is a hit for adults and kids.  See receipe below. 
8.  Pasta Salad made with gluten free noodles like penne or elbows are super easy.  Cook and cool.  Add cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, drizzle some extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice to taste.  Add some sea salt and pepper.  Throw in some feta goat cheese if you like!
9.  Stir fry in a thermos or cold with rice, chicken, shrimp, veggies sauteed in coconut oil with a little Tamari sauce is great!
10.  Egg or Tuna salad made with avacado instead of mayo on lettus wraps or gluten free wraps.  Kids love to roll their own wrap.  Just dump salad on the wrap and roll away!

Now that you have your lunch box ideas prepped are you ready to do a little something for yourself?  vibrant health MBA is a four session course that focuses on health eating and getting to the root of any modern day health concern.  check www.joleengruber.com for upcoming classes or email Joleen at joleengruber@icloud.com

Chickpea Salad: 
2 cans or two cups of dried chickpeas soaked
4 celery stalks chopped
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes chopped
3 green onions chopped (optional)
goat feta (optional)
Sea salt to taste.
Drizzle lemon juice and extra virgin olive to taste.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Back to School Breakfast Ideas, Protein Packs a Punch!

It's our family's tradition to go to Toronto's Exhibition, The Ex! at then end of August every year.  The Ex is also a reminder that school is around the corner.  I do love the idea of getting organized and back into the swing of things.  We all know the saying "fail to plan, plan to fail".  Let's set ourselves up to succeed this September!  The challenge for most of us is coming up with ideas for our kids in the morning that are healthy and one's that your child will actually eat.  If you have an allergy to consider or a picky eater on your hands, this can be more challenging.  What about gluten-free challenges?  I am a BIG fan of going gluten- free and not eating gluten-free food because it's all flour in the end which equals process sugar.  Start your childs day with with a calorie dense breakfast (cereal and ceral bars are empty calories that drive insulin and create cranky kids!)  that includes protein.  Protein sustains us longer and I always feel great if my kids ate a good breakfast that includes protein.  Here are my top three breakfast ideas:

1.  Eggs.  Choose organic and when the yolk is runny or soft there are so many nutrients present.  Eggs are a complete protein with all 22 amino acids present.  Poached or soft boiled are best and easy for parents or kids to prepare. 

2.  Shakes are a super easy way to put so many nutritious foods into one easy meal.  Don't forget that we need protein, fat and fiber for optimal nutrition.  Shakes are quick easy to prepare and clean up is a breeze.  My kids love unsweetened almond or coconut milk with berries, 1/2 banana, coconut oil, ground flax seeds, kid friendly protein powders and anything else you feel you want to throw in.  Have any wilting spinach or kale in the fridge?  Toss it in! Probiotics for gut health and super immunity? Toss it in!  Kids don't even know it is in there.  Some times the thought of drinking breakfast makes people feel like they are not consuming enough.  I guarantee that when you include protein, fat and fiber, this breakfast will sustain your child longer than any other breakfast.

3.  Oats (steel cut are best and can be prepared ahead of time).  Have your childs favorite toppers to add in like nuts and seeds, berries, sliced bananas, some protein powder that will increase protein in breakfast and even drizzle in some EFA's (essential fatty acids).  This breakfast can be eaten cold and you can drizzle on a little maple syrup.  I always choose maple syrup over sugar as there are some natural minerals in maple syrup that are beneficial.  With sugar you don't get any of this. 

The key in breakfast is to make it easy for parents and nutritious for kids.  Breakfast is so important for children.  A breakfast that is processed and refined sets children up for a roller coaster ride in blood sugar which  affects mood, behaviour, energy, stamina and enthusiasm.  Start your child off with a good breakfast that will set them up for a successful day! 

Need a grocery store tour before school starts to set your kitchen up to succeed?  Email Joleen at joleengruber@icloud.com and find out when the next one is scheduled!