We are two 30-something mothers with young children who are passionate about leading healthy, active lives and in helping others reach their health and fitness goals!

March 26, 2014
by Margaret
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overnight oats… ta da, breakfast is done!

I recently purchased the “oh she glows” cookbook after becoming a bit of a stalker of the website. Due to my  dairy and egg restrictions, I’ve come to have a new appreciation for vegan recipes.

I’m a bit of a fan of routine (and ‘bit’ may be an understatement). Every morning for breakfast I have the same… porridge. Okay, so I change things up a little with which oats I use (rolled oats/steel-cut…) and sometimes my fruit additions have variety, but overall, it’s pretty much the same. Then I discovered the ‘Effortless Vegan Overnight Oats’… something you prepare in mere minutes before you go to bed and in the morning, viola! breakfast is waiting for you.

The recipe in the cookbook is designed to serve 3 so I had to adjust the measurements for an individual serving. I was still off and got to share with the kids.

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For 1 serving:
1/3 cup (gluten-free if required) rolled oats
1/2 cup almond milk
1 Tbsp. + 1 TSP chia seeds
1/2 small banana, mashed
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon

In a small bowl, whisk together the oats, almond milk, chia seeds, banana, and cinnamon. Cover and refrigerate overnight to thicken.

In the morning, stir the oat mixture to combine. Serve the oats in a jar or parfait dish, alternating the layers of fresh fruit, granola, hemp seeds, and a drizzle of sweetener, if desired.

I used blueberries, kiwi fruit, and strawberries, plus my almond milk pulp granola (pulp leftover from homemade almond milk).  I also stirred in protein powder when ready to eat.

Play around with it if it isn’t exactly to your liking. If it is too runny then you just need to stir in additional chia seeds and refrigerate about 30 min to thicken up. If it is too thick, just add in a little bit more milk and stir to combine.

 

Thank you Angela @ oh she glows for such easy and yummy recipes.

March 24, 2014
by shauna
2 Comments

Healthy Baked Falafels

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Baking falafels.. I know, genius!  I didn’t come up with this myself, even though I should have.  I remember several falafel-making failures, where things were too mushy, my oil was too hot, and well.. too oily!  Black burnt falafels aren’t so great.  Solution? Bake them up until they’re perfectly cooked.

I love that falafels are full of so much flavour, and pack a lot of nutritional value from the chickpeas, garlic, and healthy oil.  These are great inside a pita, on a salad, or as a snack.

You can use your favourite falafel recipe, or follow this one below.

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Healthy Baked Falafels
Recipe adapted from How Sweet It Is

2 cans Chick Peas (540mL each – low sodium), rinsed and drained
4 garlic cloves, chopped
4 green onions, chopped
1 egg
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 Tablespoon melted extra virgin coconut oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 cup whole wheat flour or spelt flour
1 teaspoon baking powder

I preheated my oven to 400F.

I dumped everything except the flour and baking powder into the food processor, and pulsed until crumbly.  Then I added half the flour and baking powder, and pulsed a bit more to mix. I added the rest of the flour and baking powder, and pulsed a few more times.

I scooped balls onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, and flattened them slightly into patties. 

I baked them for about 25 minutes – until slightly crispy and cooked through, but still soft in the middle.

March 18, 2014
by Margaret
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Trying to master eating right for me!

I finally got my hands on the highly-sought after 21 Day Fix. True, I’m currently working through P90X3 and am fully committed to see it through to the end, but I struggle with staying true to my nutrition. I eat really quite well… maybe not exactly as many veggies as suggested, but the things I eat are rarely highly processed or come from with a lot of packaging. My issue is that I tend to gravitate to high calories foods like nuts and nut butters… not an issue if I stopped at a handful, but no stopping here!

So I’m utilizing the 21 Day Fix portion-control containers, and at the end of day 2, I’m happy with how it is going. Not perfect, but decent. There was an incident with a bag of sweet and salty popcorn tonight but tomorrow is a new day! It wasn’t a jar of nuts so it probably hasn’t set me back too much. Right?

March 10, 2014
by shauna
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Focus T25 and how it worked for me

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I’m thinking it’s time for a fitness related update from me.  I’ve made 2 big changes since I finished up with T25.  I’ve started a new fantastic program called Body Beast for my workouts, and I’m following the nutrition plan for The 21 Day Fix.

First things first though.. I never really did do a T25 update, did I?  Life happened. I spent a good 8-12 weeks doing the Gamma portion in various different ways because it was SO MUCH FUN!  I cannot recommend T25 Gamma enough. It was by far my favourite part of T25! I loved the muscle definition that I got from it, and I really enjoyed lifting weights a bit.  That said, don’t skip Alpha or Beta! They’re so good for preparing your body and building a super strong core. 

Focus T25 fit really well into my life because the workouts were only 25 minutes long, 5-6 days/week.  I figured out a good routine of getting them done first thing in the morning, before work.  This meant that I didn’t have a workout looming over my head all day long.  I’m not too keen on that feeling, and then it feels more like a chore.  Morning workouts make me feel strong and accomplished all day long.

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I lost 6 pounds and 4 inches, but mostly felt so much stronger and leaner, with great muscle definition!  I’ve never had abs like this, nor arms that I didn’t think were flabby. Now I’m actually proud of both.

Think this program’s too tough for you? Anyone can do it! It’s a program for all levels because there’s a beginner modifier to follow too. We can all make time for a 25 minute workout!

Check out the program here, and join my next group to stay motivated and on track.

March 4, 2014
by Margaret
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X3 restart!

I started P90X3 at the beginning of February and was really enjoying it! I hadn’t missed a workout, and other than the first week where I had a few learning curve struggles, I was giving it my all.

Then the end of week 3 happened and I went out of town for the weekend, got snowed in at my parents, and came down with a pretty nasty cold. Let’s just say, it’s a week later I’m still not nearly 100%. During my sick week off working out I decided I would tack on an extra week to finish off Block 1, but over this past weekend I realized I should start over again, get my head in the game nutrition-wise, and do the very best I can.

So here I am, March 3, back to Day 1 of P90X3. Oh, and look at that, I’ve forgotten to take Before pictures AGAIN.

February 23, 2014
by shauna
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Fresh Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette

 

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I find it oh-so satisfying making my own vinaigrettes from scratch. It’s one of those ways in which I feel like I’m taking an extra little step in nourishing my family, and it’s super easy! Often all you need is a jam jar to shake shake shake. 

This recipe requires a blender or food processor, and the result is a tangy strawberry delight that livens up any salad.  I love making it with blueberries (frozen even, if that’s what you have!) too. I had it the other night on a yummy kale salad mix.

Fresh Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette
1/2 cup fresh or frozen strawberries (or blueberries)
1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
1 Tbsp Maple Syrup
3 Tbsp Olive oil
1/2 tsp sea salt

Blend everything together in a blender or food processor until smooth and creamy.

Source: slightly adapted from Karma Chow

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February 7, 2014
by Margaret
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yummy dairy-free granola bars

This recipe was originally from momables.com but I omitted the brown sugar and swapped in coconut oil for the butter. Actually, I posted the momables recipe back in November before I started playing around with the ingredients and avoiding adding sugar. And the crumbling I had originally? Barely happening anymore! The key is to press the heck out of it.

I absolutely love these… in fact, I need to put them in the freezer IMMEDIATELY or else I’ll eat them all within hours.

1 2/3 cup rolled oats
1 cup rice crispies
1/3 cup oat flour (you can use your food processor to grind your oats)
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup ground flax seed
T Tbsp chia seeds
2 cups nuts/fruit/choc. chips (depends on what I have on hand but I usually do: raisins, cranberries, sunflower seeds, chopped walnuts or pecans, chopped almonds, no sugar added choc. chips)
1/3 cup all-natural peanut butter or almond butter (have had success with sunflower seed butter too)
6 Tbsp melted coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup raw honey
1 Tbsp water

Stir all dry ingredients together in large bowl. In separate bowl, combine wet ingredients and whisk.

Add wet to dry and combine. Press firmly down in a 8 X 8 pan (I use parchment paper), Bake 30 – 40 min at 350 degrees.

Press down firmly with spatula once out of oven. Let cool completely before cutting with serrated knife.

February 6, 2014
by Margaret
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21 Day Fix is going to change the home fitness world!

Wow! Today is a proud lover-of-fitness and fitness-promoter moment! The latest home workout program from Beachbody was released on Monday and has already sold out of the base kits! Do you know what that means? People are SERIOUS about getting healthy and fit!
So, what’s the appeal of 21 Day Fix? It’s just 3 weeks… it gives you a SIMPLE meal plan to follow, complete with colour-coded containers!… the daily workouts are ONLY 30 minutes long without requiring a lot of complicated equipment… By following the workouts and nutrition plan, participants in the test group lost 5 to 15 lbs in 21 days. No magic pill… just eating and fitness that makes sense!

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February 1, 2014
by Margaret
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it’s been a blast, Sagi

I was supposed to start blogging more this year (Happy 2014, btw!), but have been having computer problems so just haven’t been all over it like I thought I would be.

As January ends, I find myself with just one more workout from Body Beast. Where did the last 3 months go?! This program rocks. Seriously! I think I loved almost every moment of it but wish I’d actually kept track of my nutrition and calories a lot better. I ate great (as in ‘clean’ 90% of the time) but I failed on watching calories and probably over-ate a little too often, especially in the final phase when my calorie intake was supposed to decrease. I’m not unhappy though. I’m stronger and I’m really hoping when I take those final pictures, there will be more muscles popping than in my before shots. And if not? Don’t worry, Body Beast and I are not done! You can bet I’ll be back for another round once I’m done with P90X3. And yes, you heard that right! P90X3 gets underway on Monday. Eek!

~Margaret

 

 

December 21, 2013
by Margaret
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Getting my Christmas baking on…. “sugar” cookies and Low-Fat Gingerbread cookies

Homemade cookies are my kryptonite so I try to resist baking any cookies… heck, I’ve been known to inhale 12 cookies in an afternoon!

But it’s Christmas and what’s the holiday season without at least Gingerbread cookies and Sugar cookies? Enter the healthier version of these cookies! And guess what? They actually taste good!

Low-Fat Gingerbread Cookies
adapted from Gina over at skinnytaste.com
Ingredients
3 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 egg
1/3 cup dark molasses
3 cups spelt flour (original recipe calls for all-purpose but I’ve used both ancient grain and spelt with success)
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp all spice
1/4 tsp ground cloves

In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter, sugar and applesauce until smooth. Add the egg and molasses, mix well.
In another large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and spices. Add to sugar and molasses mixture, stirring well.

Divide the dough into two flat balls: cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Generously dust the surface of your working area with flour before rolling out the dough. Work with one ball of dough at a time, keep the other refrigerated while you do so.

Roll the dough out to 1/4 or 1/8-inch thickness, sprinkle a little flour on top of the dough if it is sticky (mine always is so the flour is very very necessary)
Cut the gingerbread with a cookie cutter shape of your choice.

Place cookies 1 or 2 inches apart on a silpat-lined or parchment lined baking sheet. Bake 10 – 12 minutes!

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 Whole Wheat “Sugar” Cookies
from thenourishinghome.com
Ingredients
1 1/2 cup spelt (I have also used Ancient Grain with success)
1 cup almond flour
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
5 Tbsp melted butter
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla

In a large bowl combine flours, salt, and baking soda.
In a small bowl using an electric mixer, or using a stand mixer, mix together the melted butter, coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla, until smooth and creamy.
Slowly add the dry ingredients, and continue to mix until thoroughly combined.

Chill dough in refrigerator at least on hour (or up to 24-hours).

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Divide dough in half. Place half on a large sheet of parchment paper and keep the other half of dough in bowl and return to the fridge to stay cold.

Roll out dough to 1/4-inch thick. Use your favourite cookie cutters to cut shapes into the dough. Gently remove cookie cut-outs and place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. (I had to sprinkle flour as the dough gets soft and sticky quickly. If too soft, put back in fridge).
Repeat process with 2nd ball.

We keep our decorating simple by just throwing red and green sprinkles on top but thenourishinghome suggests even using dried fruits, nuts or shredded coconut.

Bake for 7-9 minutes, until cookies begin to slightly brown along edges. Allow to cool on baking sheet for a few minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.