Friday, February 26, 2010

Recipe Friday - Omega Granola

Wow, this week has just flown by! I can't believe it's Friday already and time for another recipe. This is my Mom's recipe (with a few adaptions). I wondered why she hadn't made it in a really long time and she said "it's too addictive, I couldn't stop eating it!" Well, she was absolutely right, it IS ADDICTIVE! Every time I go into the kitchen I grab a handful. Although it is very healthy (packed with omega-3, fiber, protein, potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron, zinc, and vitamin E), it is high in calories so beware if you're on a calorie reduced diet.

1/3 cup flax seeds
1/3 cup sliced almonds
1/3 cup crushed cashews
1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
1/3 cup roasted sunflower seeds
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup raisins
2 cups oats (I use PC organic)
1 cup puffed wheat or rice crispies
1/3 cup organic coconut butter, melted
1/3 cup real maple syrup (or more if you like it sweeter)
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

Mix everything except the raisins and dried cranberries in a bowl. It should all stick together, if it doesn't, add a few more table spoons of maple syrup. Spread evenly on a non-stick cookie sheet and bake for 5-10 minutes in a 250 F oven. Remove from oven and place in a bowl. Add the raisins and dried cranberries and mix. Store in a air tight container. ENJOY!!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

My Favorite Nutrition Book

My husband knows how much I love learning about nutrition and health, so one Christmas he bought me a few health books. Among those books was The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods by Michael Murray N.D. I absolutely love this book and refer to it on a regular basis. It goes through common foods and list the nutrition highlights and health benefits, as well as tip on selecting, storing, and preparing these foods. I find this book useful if you are looking to nutrition to help cure common ailments from acne to high blood pressure to varicose veins.

Get this book and next time your kid asks why they should eat egg plant, you can turn to page 194 and say "it's an excellent source of fibre, a very good source of vitamin B1 and B6, and potasium, and a good source of copper, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, niacin, and folic acid. It contains a potent antioxidant shown to protect cell membranes from damage. It also may help lower cholesterol." Your kids will think you're the smartest parent ever!

Me Ka Aloha


Friday, February 19, 2010

Recipe Friday - Veggie Power Soup

My friend's husband, Scott, is a vegetarian and gave me this delicious soup recipe (I know, another vegetarian one - I eat meat I swear). It's an excellent recipe for anyone suffering with inflammation because it contains turmeric and ginger. This soup is also alkalizing to the body. Many times, inflammation sufferers eat too much acid forming foods. The best part is that the soup is full of veggies, but it's pureed so your kids won't complain.

Veggie Power Soup

1 onion, chopped
1 head broccoli, chopped
1 head cauliflower, chopped
2 cups chopped celery
2 cups chopped carrots
1 small butternut squash, peeled and chopped
1 zucchini, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic chopped
1 tablespoon chopped ginger
2 tablespoons sea salt
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 cups cooked chickpeas
1 teaspoon thyme
1 tablespoon turmeric
1 cup chopped parsley
3 cups plain soy milk

Place vegetables and seasonings into large stock pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and simmer until vegetables are tender (about 40 minutes). Remove from heat. Puree in a blender until smooth. Stir in soy milk. Enjoy!!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Toxins in Common Beauty Products

I have a friend who is really into healthy cosmetics and beauty products (she even makes her own!). She sent me a link to a website that rates the toxic levels in common products, and I was SHOCKED to see how high some stuff rates. For example, Loreal Kids Shampoo is rated one of the most toxic!! I certainly won't be buying that for my kids. Any way, check it out. Let me know what shocked you.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Inspired by the Olympics

Last night I was in awe while watching the opening ceremonies of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic games. The lighting was spectacular, the music was beautiful, and the imagery was captivating. It really reminded me how beautiful Canada really is and how very lucky I am to live in this magnificent country.

Besides all the special effects, one thing a really enjoyed was watching all the athletes enter the stadium. It was fun seeing all the uniforms, especially the Italians, they're so classy! I loved seeing the enthusiasm and pride from the athletes that were from small countries, being the only athlete from their country. Everyone looked so excited and happy to be there. One thing I noticed is how good looking a lot of the athletes are. I kept on catching myself saying "wow that country has a lot of beautiful people." It strange because they weren't all deck out in fancy clothing, with perfect lighting, or airbrushed faces. They were in hats and scarves, winter coats, and boots. They were beautiful because they were in great shape, happy, and beaming with excitement. They all obviously eat healthy and work out constantly and that makes them more beautiful than any amount of make-up or fancy clothing. It truly inspired me to exercise more, eat healthier, and strive to live a happy life. It just proves that being healthy is beautiful, true beauty is natural - not made up, and that the best way to improve your looks is to smile.

I'm so excited to watch the Olympics over the next 2 weeks. GO CANADA!!!

Me ka Aloha
- Elisabeth

P.S. I was so sad to hear of the death of Nodar Kumaritashvili of Georgia. I think the Olympic committee gave a beautiful speech and paid their respects to Nodar and the other Georgian athletes. My prayers are with his family, friends, and fellow athletes.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Recipe Friday - Veg Chili

One thing you'll notice about a lot of my recipes is that they are often vegetarian. I used to be a vegetarian in high school so naturally I learned how to cook meatless dished.

My two-year-old LOVES this chili and I love making it for her. It's pretty much the only meal she'll eat that has so many vegetables (maybe because they're chopped so small she doesn't notice?) I make this recipe at least twice a month and freeze the leftovers in little "Rosie sized" portions for quick and easy lunches.

Veg Chili

1 tablespoon EVOO
1 large onion
3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 green pepper
1 red pepper
4 stalks of celery
1 med zucchini
1 can diced tomatoes, do NOT drain)
1 can white kidney beans, drained
1 can red kidney beans, drained
2 cans brown beans in tomato sauce, do NOT drain
1 can peaches and cream corn, drained
1 package Club House Chili Seasoning
1 1/2 tablespoon cumin
1 1/2 tablespoon Club House Montreal Chicken Spice
dash of cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon each salt and pepper or to taste

Finely chop onions, red and green peppers, celery and zucchini. In a large pot heat EVOO over medium heat. Add garlic, onions, red and green peppers, celery, zucchini, salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes stirring often. Add the remainder of the ingredients and cook for 20-25 over medium heat. Don't forget to stir often to avoid the bottom from burning.

Serve with grated cheese and/or fat free sour cream on top if desired. ENJOY!

Me Ka Aloha (with love)

- Elisabeth

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

More benefits of Olive Oil

Last week I posted some of the health benefits of olive oil. As promised, here are some other uses for olive oil.
1. Use instead of baby oil. Smooth some on your newborn's bum after each diaper change and see how easily the poop comes off the next time. This is especially helpful when they have that sticky newborn meconium.

2. Massage a few tablespoons of olive oil onto your scalp and hair, cover with a shower cap for 30 minutes and then wash as usual. You hair will feel like silk!

3. Get Healthy skin by applying it directly as a moisturizer. You can also add a bit of olive oil to a warm bath for a good healthy soak. Don't forget that olive oil contains at least four different antioxidants, which can help neutralize damaging free radicals that can lead to skin aging and skin cancer.

4. Apply to dry cuticles next time you give yourself a manicure or pedicure.

5. Olive oil can also help improve nail discoloration and nail fungus. Just soak nails for 10 minutes so that the oil has a chance to absorb into the nail and the skin behind and around.

6. Sooth a sunburn by applying a small amount of olive oil to the affected area.

7. Olive oil also helps with cradle cap and dandruff. Massage a few tablespoons of olive oil into the scalp before shampooing. The oil will help loosen up the flakes and moisturize the scalp to prevent more flakes from occurring.

8. Rub on your pregnant belly to prevent stretch marks. Can also be used to lighted existing stretch marks.

9. Mix olive oil with a couple drops of lavender oil. It makes a great massage oil (Valentines Day is coming up)

10. Very carefully, use a cotton swab to apply olive oil to the outside ear canal to help with earaches and excess wax.

What have you used olive oil for? I'd love to hear about it!

Me Ka Aloha
- Elisabeth

Friday, February 5, 2010

Recipe Friday - Pumpkin Muffins

Last Thanksgiving I decided to make a pumpkin pie. I bought all the ingredients and, never made it. I guess I got busy or something (can you imagine that?). So, obviously there's a can of pumpkin puree on my pantry shelf, just staring at me as if it's saying "I thought you were going to bake something yummy with me. Am I going to have to sit here until NEXT Thanksgiving?". Don't worry can of pumpkin puree, you'll be put to good use. I'm going to make PUMPKIN MUFFINS!

2 cups whole wheat flour OR 1 cup of whole wheat flour and 1 cup of oak flour (just stick a cup of oats in you blender for a few seconds)
1 cup Splenda with 1/2 cup skim milk powder OR 1 cup of sugar and no skim milk powder
2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice
1 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup canned pumpkin
2 eggs (I use Omega-3 eggs)
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil

In large bowl, whisk flour, Splenda, skim milk powder (or just use 1 cup of sugar instead of Splenda and skim milk powder) pie spice, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In separate bowl, whisk eggs, blend in pumpkin, milk and oil. Pour over dry ingredients; stir just until moistened. Spoon into large paper-lined muffin cups, filling to top.

Bake in centre of 375ºF (190ºC) oven until tooth pick inserted in centre comes out clean, 20-25 minutes. Let cool on rack. ENJOY!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Benefits of Olive Oil

On Saturday I headed to my favorite grocery store, Fortinos and I saw some olive oil on sale so I put it in my cart. When I turned around there was this adorable little Italian lady who had about 4 bottles of olive oil in her cart, but it wasn't the kind that I had. She said (in a thick Italian accent) "These is the same price (pointing to her bottles of olive oil), these are mucha better." I decided that it would be smart to take her advice, after all, I could just tell that she was a great cook, there was just something about her. Plus she's Italian, and if anyone knows olive oil, it's Italians (and the Greeks). When I got home I decided to do a little research to find out what makes one type of olive oil superior to the next. I also knew that olive oil is beneficial in lowering LDL cholesterol, but I wanted to see what else it can help with. Here's what I discovered.

How to select good quality olive oil
When purchasing olive oil, you should choose Extra Virgin olive oil as it is of the highest quality. Extra Virgin olive oil is derived from the first pressing of the olives, without chemicals, and has the most flavour and anti-oxidant benefits.

Stay away from "pure" or "light" olive oil. Don't be fooled if you see the term "pure" or "light" on the label; it means the oil is a blend of refined and virgin olive oils and possibly cut with other oils.

Since olive oil can become rancid from exposure to light and heat. Look for olive oils that are sold in dark tinted bottles since the packaging will help protect the oil from oxidation caused by exposure to light. In addition, make sure the oil is displayed in a cool area, away from any direct or indirect contact with heat.

Health Benefits of Olive Oil
There are so many benefits of olive oil so forgive me if I forget to mention some.

1. Using olive oil in place of other fats (butter, corn oil, hydrogenated oil) can help prevent heart disease, atherosclerosis, diabetes, colon cancer, and asthma.

2. Olive oil is rich in anti-oxidants and as we all know by now, anti-oxidants keep us youthful. The vitamin E in olive oil is an antioxidant. In addition, monounsaturated fatty acids are less easily damaged by oxygen than other types of fat. They are therefore less likely to produce free radicals, which damage cell membranes and contribute to several diseases.

3. Use when constipated (I don't have a problem with this, but I hear this works) take 1 teaspoon of olive oil mixed with lemon juice on an empty stomach.

4. The monounsaturated fatty acids in olive oil help lower LDL ("bad") cholesterol levels without affecting HDL ("good") cholesterol or triglyceride levels.

Sounds pretty good eh? If you're looking for a recipe that has a lot of olive oil, try pesto.
Next week I'll be posting some other benefits (beauty secrets) of olive oil, or EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil) as Rachel Ray would put it.

Me Ka Aloha (with love)
My Zimbio
Top Stories