turkey taco bowl

Turkey taco bowlSometimes the best things are the ones you didn’t plan at all! Enter, the turkey taco bowl! In all honesty, this recipe was completely unplanned and made on a whim, but it turned out so well that I just needed to share. The recipe includes all the flavours of the ever-popular taco, with some extra veg to kick up the nutritional value!

Ingredients

2 large zucchini

salt & pepper (to taste)

2 large bell peppers (I used red and orange)

garlic seasoning (I used this one here)

Avocado oil

1 lb lean minced/ground turkey

Homemade taco seasoning to taste, depending on how spicy you like your tacos. I honestly can’t remember which one I used when I made my mix, but something similar to this (homemade taco seasoning)

1/2 cup regular hummus

1 Tbsp lemon juice

1 avocado

Cheese of choice
Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400ºF.
  2. Use spiralizer to cut zucchini. Toss spirals with some salt, and let drain in a colander for about 1/2 hour, pressing on it and stirring gently a couple of times.
  3. Meanwhile, cut bell peppers into strips and toss with avocado oil (about 1 Tbsp) and garlic seasoning to taste. Place on baking sheet with parchment paper, and bake until tender, approximately 20-25 minutes, flipping once part way through.
  4. Sauté turkey on medium heat and add taco seasoning to taste. Meat should be cooked to a temperature of 74ºC (165ºF).
  5. Combine hummus and lemon juice for dressing.
  6. Sauté zucchini noodles in avocado oil (about 1 Tbsp) on medium heat, for about 2-3 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Plate individually, adding zucchini noodles, peppers and turkey. Top with avocado, grated cheese of your choice and lemon hummus dressing. Add other toppings if desired, which may include salsa, plain Greek yogurt (a healthier alternative to sour cream), or crumbled corn chips.
  8. Enjoy!

~ love fully and fuel simply, ATS

 

7 tips for baby/toddler nutrition + the easiest baby pancakes

After posting about the ridiculous amount of food my 11 month old baby consumes for breakfast, I had a number of comments and questions about what I feed him and how I get him to eat such nutritious food. Besides the fact that I make delicious food that no one can resist (wink wink, nudge nudge), I do have a few tips I can pass along that may be helpful. And since I’m feeling generous, I’ll also share a super easy pancake recipe that’s packed with nutrients (which came with a little help from my mama friend).

Tip #1: Try Everything

Can you believe that I had never tried a kiwi until I bought one for my baby?! How is that even possible?! It’s likely because my parents never bought them, so they were just never on my radar! For many of us, it’s often difficult to get out of our comfort zone when it comes to food, but it’s important to introduce as many types of foods and flavours as possible. This includes adding different spices to foods, and also including strongly flavoured foods, such as salmon or onions. Nobody likes bland food, even babies, and yes, my 11 month old eats salmon and onions! Keep in mind that children who are raised in families who eat a wide variety of foods are actually more likely to eat a variety of foods themselves!

Tip #2: Keep Your Comments to Yourself

My husband struggles with this one…a lot! Just because our little ALWAYS eats his broccoli last, doesn’t mean he doesn’t like it, or that he won’t eat it, because he ALWAYS eventually does! These little humans listen to everything we say…EVERYTHING, and if what they hear from you is that they don’t like broccoli, they’re probably going to think they don’t like broccoli. See how this works?! Try to steer clear of comments regarding what your child likes and doesn’t like, and allow them to make their own conclusions!

Tip #3: Try and Try Again!

Even though my little guy immediately puked the first two times he tried eggs, I kept at it! And yes, the third time WAS the charm! It is important to keep in mind that it can actually take eight to ten exposures to a new food before it is accepted. Trying the same food different ways, or served with other foods can be helpful, so try and try again!

Tip #4: Make Food FUN

If making broccoli look like trees standing in a pile of hummus will get your child to eat it, what’s a few extra minutes to make the plate of veggies look like a forest?! Kids like things that are fun. Period. So making food fun makes it more likely that your child will get excited about food. Allowing kids to help in the kitchen with age appropriate tasks can also make them more excited to try new foods! Our little guy isn’t even a year old yet, and he loves to sit at the island and watch us cook, and yes, also try to grab everything within arms reach!

Tip #5: Allow Independence

Kids are messy, you knew that getting into this (is what I try to remind myself of), so let them explore. If it means a few extra pieces of food end up on the floor because they weren’t spoon fed their entire meal, then get a dog! 😉 Allowing your child some independence in choosing from options on their plate is important to their development, and bonus, it leaves your hands free to eat your meal while it’s still warm!

Tip #6: Never Force

Children have an innate ability to regulate their intake, meaning they will only eat what their body needs. Unlike adults, children will not eat more than what their body actually requires in terms of energy, but this innate ability can be altered by external factors such as forcing a child to clean their plate, or to eat a meal because it’s time to eat. Allow your child to use his/her own internal cues and decide for him/herself when they are hungry or full.

Tip #7: Hide the Goods

Sometimes, it must be done. Hide those extra nutrients wherever and whenever you can. Sprinkle some hemp hearts on peanut butter toast, blend up some veggies to make a sauce for noodles, or hide spinach in these super easy nutrient-dense pancakes:

Ingredients:

1 banana

1 egg

two large handfuls of spinach

cinnamon (I’m not going to lie, I didn’t measure)

coconut oil (or cooking oil of choice)

peanut butter (optional)

hemp hearts (optional)

Directions:

Mash banana and add egg and cinnamon, mixing together until combined.

Add spinach to a food processor and process until finely chopped. Add to banana/egg mixture.

Heat pan on low and add a small amount of coconut oil. Pour approximately 1/4 cup of the mixture per pancake to the pan. Cook until the pancake has solidified, and flip to cook the opposite side.

Top with peanut butter and hemp hearts, or other topping of choice. Serve with fresh fruit and enjoy!

~ATS

Information adapted from Nutrition Through the Life Cycle 5th Ed., JE Brown

 

 

my many loves

As a lover of, and what you might call a dabbler in many things, I’ve continuously strained to find what I’m most passionate about. I’ve often struggled with hearing others discuss their passions in life, and found myself wondering what is my passion, what do I love THE VERY MOST?! Recently I’ve begun to discover that passion doesn’t necessarily mean that you must love one thing more than all others, and that if you allow it, your passion can be spread over many things, many opportunities, and many adventures in life. The more I’ve become accepting of this, the more I’ve begun to acknowledge the fact that I can be a lover of many things, and that there is room in my life for anything that I feel passionate about. This realization has also allowed me to discover the importance of my time, and the precious moments I am able to spend each day doing something that I truly love, and spending time with those who bring love and positivity into my life.

This journey of self-discovery began a few years ago, as a late 20-something, with no stable career after five years in university, and yet what seemed like no free time to do any of the things I truly enjoyed. To save you from the long and drawn out story, I ultimately made the decision to switch gears and re-focus on something I was excited about. I chose to put my teaching career on the back-burner and focus on building a career in nutrition and health. The decision didn’t happen quickly, or easily, and thankfully I had, and continue to have 100% support from my incredible husband.

So here I am, four years later, only a graduation ceremony away from earning my third degree, which may mean nothing to many of you, but to me it means a whole realm of things. It means I chose to do something scary, to take a risk and to work my ass off doing it. It means I’ve had the opportunity to meet some incredible people who I know will continue to be a part of my life, both as friends and as colleagues. It means that I have continued to learn about, and live a life surrounded by one of my life’s passions, and it means that soon I will have the opportunity to build a career in an area that I love. Although it can become discouraging at times, I must force myself to think back on what I have already been able to accomplish, and that as long as I continue to fuel my passions and spend those precious moments doing something I love, each decision I make and opportunity I embrace will enrich this experience that is my life!

~ATS

strawberry shortcake ONOs

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Strawberries, vanilla, cream, sugar – delicious, but not the best choice for a go-to breakfast. This version of strawberry shortcake however, delicious AND nutritious!

 

 

 

Ingredients

1/3 cup quick oats

1 Tbsp chia seeds

1/2 tsp honey

1/8 tsp vanilla

2/3 cup coconut milk

1/2 cup (or more) strawberries

coconut whipped cream

Directions

Add oats, chia seeds, honey, vanilla and coconut milk to mason jar and stir well until thoroughly mixed. Add strawberries and refrigerate over night. Add a small swirl of coconut whipped cream in the morning and enjoy!

~ATS

pb & j ONOs

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It’s true, I even have the shirt to prove it, peanut butter is my spirit animal! So naturally, I decided to begin ONO week with pb and j overnight oats, a healthier alternative to pb and j on toast. If you’re a pb lover like me, this may become a morning staple!

Ingredients

1/3 cup quick oats

1 1/2  tsp ground flax

1 tsp pure maple syrup

1 Tbsp natural peanut butter

2/3 cup almond milk

1/2 cup fresh raspberries

crushed walnuts

Directions

Add oats, flax, syrup, peanut butter and milk to mason jar and stir well until thoroughly mixed. Add raspberries and refrigerate over night. Add crushed walnuts in the morning before enjoying!

Tips: Stir the oats well in the morning before consuming in order to break up the raspberries. This will ensure you get that pb & j flavour in every bite! Also, as with all of the ONO recipes, by doubling the batch you can make breakfast for two mornings instead of just one!

Let me know how you like this one, and stay tuned tomorrow for ONOs #2!

~ATS

oh yes, it’s ONO week!

IMG_3115If there’s one thing that makes my morning happy, it’s a delicious bowl of oatmeal to get the day started. If you’re anything like me though, having the time each morning to make that delicious bowl of oatmeal is often hard to come by. So how to make a happy morning even happier? Have that bowl of oatmeal already made, ready to be eaten by my busy, hungry self! I have to be honest, I was a little skeptical of the ONOs (overnight oats) craze, until a friend insisted I try them (thanks friend – you know who you are). I wasn’t sure how I truly felt about a cold bowl of oatmeal, but in all honesty, I was over it after the first bite. Convenience and deliciousness aside, the health benefits of this little whole grain can make more than just a happy morning! 🙂

First of all, research shows that those who eat more whole grains (such as oats) tend to have a lower risk of developing heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer and digestive issues! If that isn’t reason enough to try ALL of my recipes, I’ll give you more!

Oats provide a source of soluble fibre, which is important in controlling blood sugar levels and improving blood cholesterol. Oats are also a good source of iron, an important mineral that helps to carry oxygen in your bloodstream. If you need it, there’s still more!

Because oats are a source of soluble fibre, they will keep you fuller for longer by slowing down the digestion of carbohydrates. This will give you a good start to your day, by providing you a steady source of energy for your body and brain!

So because oats are so amazingly extraordinary, I’ve decided to fill your week with five delicious (and yes, nutritious) ONO recipes so that you can experience a week full of happy mornings. Each night (starting tonight), I will post an ONO recipe for you to try. All you need to do is set aside a few minutes that night to put the oats together, and in the morning, enjoy!

Without giving it all away, here’s a sneak peak of the ingredients you will need for the week ahead:

  • Oats (possibly a given, but you never know)
  • Almond milk and Coconut milk (you could choose just one, but this will change the flavours of each recipe)
  • Peanut butter (yes please!)
  • Strawberries, bananas, raspberries, blueberries (I’ve used fresh, but frozen will work as well)
  • Unsweetened, shredded coconut
  • Ground flax
  • Chia seeds
  • Walnuts
  • Vanilla
  • Honey
  • Maple syrup
  • Cocoa powder
  • Dark or unsweetened chocolate (optional, but who are we kidding)
  • Coconut whipped cream (again, optional, but really?!)
  • Mason jar (optional – really, any container will suffice!)

I can’t wait to share these recipes! I’ve had fun coming up with such delicious combos, and my husband has thoroughly enjoyed being a test subject/taster!

Stay tuned for the first recipe to be posted later on this evening. Trust me, this is one you don’t want to miss!

~ATS

References: EatRight OntarioDietitians of Canada

how do i know which nutrition information to trust?

nutrition_month

How awesome that we can devote an entire month of the year to nutrition?! In reality though, nutrition is a much larger part of our lives than just one single months worth. Nutrition is important every single day of our lives, and for those of us who study and work in nutrition, it is our job to ensure that everyone else has access to the right information! This year’s Dietitians of Canada campaign is focused on taking the fight out of food by helping Canadians to sort through misinformation provided through the internet and social media, gather credible, evidence-based facts, and seek support from Registered Dietitians.

Although there are a wide range of “food fights” that can occur both internally and with others, spotting the problem is the first step.

Spot the Problem: With so much information at our fingertips, it’s often difficult to determine what and who to trust. From fad diets to detox cleanses and magic herbal teas, nutrition information can be overwhelmingly confusing! What we need, are the facts!

Get the Facts: When searching for nutrition information, advice needs to be evaluated for its credibility. Use these questions to help determine whether the information you’ve found is reliable and credible:

  1. Who runs the website? Can you trust them?
  2. Is the website trying to sell something? Who pays for the website?
  3. What does the site say – does it sound too good to be true?
  4. Where does the information come from? Is it based on more than one clinical study? Was the study done in humans or animals? Is the information up to date?
  5. Is the information reviewed? Is there an editorial board?

Answering these questions can often be difficult without full understanding of, and/or training in how to critically appraise research. Just because a study finds a particular result or outcome, doesn’t make it fact. It’s the details of the study that matter, and these details are often hard to understand. It is therefore, important to seek support from those who devote their lives to understanding and keeping up-to-date in nutrition research.

Seek Support: If you had a broken bone, you wouldn’t check the internet for the easiest way to fix it yourself, so why when it comes to fixing fights with nutrition, is this often the answer? Making decisions about your health, in all forms, should be done with the help of a regulated health care professional. In Canada, Registered Dietitians are just that, regulated health care professionals! The information and assistance provided by a dietitian will always be evidence-based, up-to-date, and individualized. So, when searching for nutrition information that is credible and reliable, look for the designation “RD”, or search for information from trusted websites, such as Dietitians of CanadaEatRight Ontario, or Healthy Canadians.

What it all comes down to: don’t take everything you read online for face value, try to determine the credibility and reliability of the information you find, and if you’re still not sure, seek the help of a Registered Dietitian!

Adapted from the Dietitians of Canada’s Nutrition Month campaign materials. Find more information about Nutrition Month at http://www.NutritionMonth2017.ca.

Happy Nutrition Month!

~ATS