Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Wednesday whatday?!

So turns out I didn't have to go into work at Anthro today (despite my need for $$$ I was not about to start complaining!) My face is still all throbby, and I feel like the blue-yellowish puffiness makes people uncomfortable...

So I baked. Today was definitely a day that needed cookies.  Lots of cookies.

I threw together a giant batch of SCM cookies!  These vegan "Super-Charge Me" cookies from Eat, Drink and be Vegan are the BEST.  Seriously, thank you Dreena Burton, these super healthy and delicious cookies never fail me!

I changed up the original recipe a little, here's what I came up with today:

1 c. oats
2/3 c. spelt flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 T. unsweetened coconut
1/3 c. chopped dried apricots
1 tsp. baking powder

2 T. ground flaxseeds
2 T. agave syrup
2 T. almond butter
2 tsp. vanilla
2 T. hemp milk

Mix the oats, spelt flour, salt, cinnamon, coconut, apricots and baking powder together in a bowl.

In a separate bowl, mix together the ground flaxseeds, agave syrup, almond butter, vanilla and hemp milk.  Stir until well combined.

Pour the wet mixture into the oat mixture and stir until a delicious dough forms (dough > actual cookie).  You might need to add a little more hemp milk if the mixture is too dry!

Shape the dough into 10-11 big cookies, and place them about 1 inch apart on a baking sheet.  Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for about 10-15 minutes, until just slightly brown on the bottoms (trust me, you want them to stay nice and chewy!)

Remove cookies from cookie sheet.....

and then eat like 5 of them (hey, they're healthy!)....while watching Wimbledon quarterfinals...and icing your swollen face.

A successful day off!  Also including a solid bike ride, and now off to a fundraiser for my sister's Ethiopia trip!

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

For the love of Granola

So here's a little something I created today!

Ever since I discovered LoveCrunch this winter, I havn't been able to eat granola thats not chocolate.  It just doesn't compare.  Anyways, today when I went to make my usual snack of plain greek yogurt, blueberries and LoveCrunch I discovered...we were OUT (the horror).

So I came up with a replacement!  My substitute granola is definitely different.  I used carob instead of actual cocoa (call me crazy but I love the stuff), and I added a load of healthy essential fatty acids!

I decided to make this is my tribute to heart health in delicious granola form!  The last unit I student-nursed on was a cardio-thoracic surgery unit, so I’ve seen the devastation of heart disease first hand.
Disclaimer: this granola will not save you from a severe cardiac episode.

But it is heart healthy!
Omega-3 (Alpha-Linolenic Acid) is an essential fatty acid (EFA) that is vital in many bodily functions.  It cannot be produced in the body, and therefore must be consumed in your diet.  Ingesting adequate amounts of omega-3 has been shown to fight cardiac disease by stabilizing the heart’s electrical system, decreasing systemic inflammation, lowering blood pressure and slowing down the rate of arterial plaque build up.  How much is adequate you ask?  1.6 g/day for adult males and 1.1 g/day for adult females is the recommended adequate intake (AI), and you should aim to consume at least 7-11g/week according to a study out of Tufts University.

Other sweet benefits:
Omega-3s have been shown to boost mood and relieve depression.  Also, they keep the mind sharp and consuming adequate amounts has been shown to lower your risk for Alzheimer’s disease.
More good news?  Omega-3s also improve the health of your skin!  They are a very important part of the lubricating layer of your skin, and will help keep it resilient and supple.  EFAs also aid in the production of hormones that improve skin texture and decrease inflammation that can occur as a result of free radicals – this helps reduce blotchiness and wrinkles.

So now are you excited to try this granola?!

1 c. oats
1 T. ground flaxseed
2 T. pumpkin seeds
2 T. chopped walnuts
1 T. hemp seeds
2 tsp. carob powder
2 T. unsweetened carob chips
1 T. agave syrup (or natural maple syrup)
1 T. molasses           
1 T. flaxseed oil

1) In a mixing bowl combine the oats, ground flaxseed, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, hemp seeds, carob powder and carob chips. 

2)  In a separate bowl mix together the agave syrup, molasses and flaxseed oil.  Add the wet mixture to the oat mixture and stir until combined.  Spread the mixture out on a cookie sheet, and bake in the oven at 350 for about 10 minutes, or until lightly browned.  Let granola cool and enjoy!

Each ¼ cup serving packs 1.1 g of omega-3!  How you ask?  This granola gets pumped up with EFAs from ground flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, hemp seeds and flaxseed oil – all rich sources of omega-3s!

I’m new to calculating nutrition information, but here is the math (I double checked I promise):

Per ¼ cup serving:
110 cal
5.6 g fat (1.1 g omega-3)
2.8 g protein

Yay yogurt parfaits!

This plus 30 minutes of Dave Farmer Vinyasa from yogadownload equals perfection.  

Monday, 27 June 2011


Hey guys!

Hello and welcome to my blog!  My name is Rachel, and I am committed to living as naturally and healthfully as possible.  I truly believe that taking a holistic, natural approach to eating will result in a longer life filled with more energy, health and happiness!  Through this blog I hope to be able to offer inspiration for achieving all of those things!

First, here's a little backstory for you...

I am 21 years old.  I live in Calgary, AB, Canada (I'm a misplaced sun worshiper; staying warm is a daily struggle).  I am attending the University of Calgary and will graduate shortly with my Bachelors of Nursing!  I am also working on becoming a certified Nutritional Consultant with the AFPA (American Fitness Professionals Association) and I hope to have this completed, along with my personal trainer certification by August 2012.  That is my goal right now at least!

I have always been super interested in health and wellness (hence the degree in nursing), however I have come to realize that my real passion lies in fitness and nutrition, and in teaching others how to improve their own health.  I have learned a lot over the past few years as I have dealt with some personal health set backs.  But I'm back now, and excited to share what I have learned!

I am a lover of yoga, running, biking and hiking!  I do these things because I love love love them, staying fit and feeling GOOD are added bonuses!  I've learned however that it is possible to overdo it (especially with a God-gifted high metabolism), and that your body needs lots and lots of good food for fuel!

This blog is going to be my personal journal centered on exercise, food, nutrition and health.  I hope to gather and share recipes, information and tips on healthy living.  I'm not advocating any sort of diet or crediting myself as a nutritionist/trainer.  I wish to inspire wellness, and keep track of myself as I work towards my fitness, health and career related goals!

Also, I love to write and I'm hoping this blog will help improve my style and ability!  

Cheers and enjoy!