Monthly Archives: December 2013

TIU Get Well Smoothie

Who doesn’t look a tasty immune-boosting smoothie? I know I’ve put immune boosting stuff on the blog before, but this one looks delicious!


  • 4 Clementines or 2 Oranges
  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 cup kale
  • 1/3 Cup Unsweetended Almond Milk

Peel the fruit, throw everything in your blender and blend until smooth! We love keeping citrus fruits in the fridge so they’re nice and cold when we make this smoothie 🙂 You can add ice to make it chilled as well 😉

Remember that hydration is also important when you’re not feeling your best, so drink up! Water helps flush your system and can help fight the sickies too!


Recipe & Picture from TIU:


Food Friday: Italian Meatball Sliders by Clean Eating

Serves: 12 Hands-on time: 20 minutes Total time: 40 minutes


  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • 1 lb lean ground turkey
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/4 cup minced yellow onion
  • 1/4 cup minced roasted red bell peppers (packed in water and drained)
  • 2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup natural jarred marinara sauce
  • 1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 24 cocktail-size whole-grain pitas or buns, split, toasted lightly if desired


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with foil and mist with cooking spray.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine turkey, garlic, egg white, onion, bell peppers, Italian seasoning, salt and black pepper. Gently mix until combined. Using a spoon or small scooper, from into patties about 1 scant tbsp each, making about 24 sliders; place on sheet. (MAKE AHEAD: Prepare patties up to one day in advance, wrap tray in plastic wrap an refrigerate.)
  3. Transfer to oven and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and flip patties over. Bake for 5 more minutes. Remove patties from oven; spoon marinara over each patty and sprinkle each with cheese, dividing evenly. Switch oven to broiler setting on high, return to oven and broil for 4 to 5 minutes, until cooked through and cheese is bubbling. Using a fork or tongs, transfer each patty into a pita or bun.

Nutrients per serving (2 meatball sliders): Calories: 213, Total Fat: 4 g, Sat. Fat: 1 g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2 g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0 g, Carbs: 29 g, Fiber: 3 g, Sugars: 4 g, Protein: 11 g, Sodium: 554 mg, Cholesterol: 21 mg

Recipe by: Cara Lyons
Picture by: Maya Visnyei

Just as an added note, I highly recommend you check out Tosca Reno’s Clean Eating Cookbooks and subscribe to hear Clean Eating magazine. Everything, and I mean literally everything, I have tried from these books have been delicious.


What your Cravings are Telling You

Did you know if you crave something, you may be lacking specific nutrients?

Here is a list of cravings we commonly have and what they mean, according to Lauren Conrad.

1. Sweets –  chromium, carbon phosphorous, sulfur, and tryptophan. Get these by filling up on, fresh fruit, cheese and sweet potatoes when you have a sweet tooth. This craving may also mean you’re tired, according to Try to boost your energy in other ways such as going for a walk outside or taking a quick exercise break.

2. Carbs –  nitrogen, which is found in high-protein foods like fish, meat, nuts, and beans. Eat a turkey burger, a handful of almonds, or a black bean burrito bowl. It is possible you’re craving them because you’re cutting them out of your diet completely.

3. French fries, soda, pizza – your body needs calcium. Lauren Conrad’s suggestion is:  fix a kale salad with steamed broccoli, chicken, breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese.

4. Caffeine – your body needs salt and iron. These nutrients can be found in things such as lean meats (turkey or chicken, eggs, black cherries, craving caffeine can also mean you’re actually just really thirsty or dehydrated, according to Huffington Post.

5. Salty Foods – your body needs chloride. This nutrient, as Lauren states, is essential  in order for your body to maintain healthy digestion and keep your electrolyte levels in check, according to Nutritional Wellness.

Information from:

Portion Control – Great for the Waistline!

As we approach the holiday season, it is extremely important to learn how to control your portion sizes. Too much protein and too many starches can be converted into fat and contribute to excess pounds added to our stomachs or our backsides. I’m sure you’ve heard this all before, but it makes a difference if you divide your food into the proper portions to make sure you get the most nutrients and not consume excess calories. Here is Lauren Conrad’s Perfectly Portioned Plate. Keep this in mind when selecting your food for your plate during Christmastime and you’ll be ahead of the game for those New Years Resolutions.


Here’s what she writes about the portions:

  • ½ Vegetables. First, load up on enough healthy greens or veggies so that they take up half of your plate. Salads, green beans, Brussels sprouts, and squash are a few of my favorites. But keep in mind that too much dressing or butter can turn these healthy sides unhealthy.
  • ¼ Protein. Devote one quarter of your plate to a protein like turkey or ham. A 3-ounce serving of turkey is about the size of your fist or a deck of cards.
  • ¼ Starches. The remaining fourth of your plate can be made up of starches. This includes stuffing, rolls, and starchy vegetables like yams, mashed potatoes, and corn.

This is definitely a good template to follow during Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, and Christmas, but it also applies year-round. If you’re really watching your waistline, stick to drinking water and a single glass of wine or a low-calorie cocktail during dinner. Soda should be off limits. Also, fill up your plate with a proper amount of food the first time in order to avoid going back for seconds. If you keep these tips in mind, you’ll still have room for that slice of pumpkin pie!

Information from:

Clean Eating Chocolate Chip Cookies

Who doesn’t love chocolate chip cookies? Check out this scrumptious recipe from the Gracious Pantry!



  • 2/3 cup almonds
  • 1/3 cup cooked oatmeal
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 cup grain sweetened chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Mix everything except the chocolate chips in a food processor. You should have a nice wet, sticky dough when you’re done.
  3. Using your spatula, scrape dough into your mixing bowl and mix in chocolate chips.
  4. Spoon onto a parchment lined cookie sheet.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes.

Picture & Recipe from: The Gracious Pantry
Read more: © The Gracious Pantry. All rights reserved.  Follow us: @graciouspantry on Twitter | GraciousPantry on Facebook

Clean Eating Egg Nog

I LOVE egg nog! It’s one of my favourite Christmas Holiday treats. It’s so unbelievably delicious. The ONLY thing wrong with it is the amount of calories that are within this absolutely delicious drink. I stumbled upon this recipe online and must make it ASAP. I’ll let you know what I think of it. This Clean Eating Eggnog comes from The Gracious Pantry.



  • 2 cups soy milk (options: low-fat milk, unsweetened rice milk or hazelnut milk)
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/3 cup honey (options: agave works well here too)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon + extra to sprinkle on top


  1. Let’s take a moment to talk about your options here first. If you don’t want the eggs in your eggnog, simply omit them. But you will have to reduce the milk by about half to get it to thicken properly.
  2. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend for about 2-3 minutes ( I used the pot I was going to cook it in and my hand blender).
  3. Pour the eggnog into a pot and warm over medium-low heat for 15 minutes to cook the egg. You want this to get hot, but you do NOT want to boil it. Towards the end, it will want to simmer. Whisk constantly to avoid it.
  4. Remove from heat and set the pot in the fridge when it’s cooled enough to do so. Chill overnight.
  5. If you made this with the exact listed ingredients (no substitutions), you will see that when it’s cold, it becomes very thick. Blend with a whisk.
  6. If you find that it’s far too thick, simply add a bit more milk until you reach the consistency you enjoy.
  7. Pour into cups and sprinkle with cinnamon.

Recipe & Picture from: The Gracious Pantry!

Read more: © The Gracious Pantry. All rights reserved.

Check these people out on Twitter or Facebook: @graciouspantry on Twitter | GraciousPantry on Facebook

Quesadilla Casserole by Clean Eating

Mmmmm… I’m in the mood lately for Mexican flavoured food. Maybe it’s because I’m hitting the beach soon (Sorry, Carol).

Here is a Quesadilla Casserole recipe that looks DELICIOUS. The other night, my mom made something similar for dinner from Clean Eating and it was to die for. Check this recipe out!


Serves: 6 Hands-on time: 5 minutes Total time: 1 hour, 10 minutesQuesadillaCasserole_Article


  • 2 4-oz boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 small whole-wheat tortillas, cut into 1/2-inch strips
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cups frozen corn, thawed
  • 1 15-oz BPA-free can black beans, drained and rinsed well
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium, all-natural barbecue sauce (no more than 7 to 10 g carbs and 1 g fat per 2-tbsp serving)
  • 1/2 cup shredded low-fat cheddar cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. In a large pot, bring 2 qt water to a boil. Add chicken, reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, until no longer pink. Transfer chicken to a plate to cool.
  3. Meanwhile, place tortilla strips on a large baking sheet. Drizzle with oil, toss and spread in a single layer. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until crispy, tossing halfway through; set aside to cool. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F.
  4. Shred chicken with a fork. In a 10-inch square casserole dish, combine chicken, corn, beans and barbecue sauce. Spread mixture in an even layer. Transfer dish to oven and bake for 25 minutes. Remove from oven, top with tortilla strips and cheese and bake for 5 to 10 more minutes until brown and bubbly and cheese is melted. Serve immediately.

Nutrients per 1-cup serving: Calories: 254, Total Fat: 4 g, Sat. Fat: 1 g, Carbs: 36 g, Fiber: 5 g, Sugars: 6 g, Protein: 18 g, Sodium:178 mg, Cholesterol: 24 mg

Recipe by: By Kate Parham
Picture taken by: Edward Pond

Healthy Holiday Food Guide: 10 Ingredient Substitutions

Holidays can be terrible for your waistline and thighs. We overeat on those goodies and subsequently, end up packing on the pounds. It happens. What if you were to substitute healthy ingredients for the bad ones to make your recipes more guilt-free? Check out these 10 Ingredient Substitutions to improve your holiday eating.

1. Olive Oil for Butter: The benefits: OO has good benefits — has good fats and no cholesterol. Make sure you put in the correct amount when you’re baking… you may have to google it

2. Herbs, Spices & Citrus for Salt: decreased salt = lower risk for heart disease and stroke… put down the salt shaker and pick up garlic, lemon juice and spices!

3. Soda Water for Juice & Tonic: soda water contains much less calories (great especially since you’re consuming much more calories throughout the holidays)

4. Whole Wheat for White Flower: I’m sure by now you’ve all heard that white flour is terrible for you. There are absolutely no benefits. White flour spikes your blood sugar, causing you to crash shortly after. Discovery Fit & Health Recommends: If you’re a baker, try replacing half of the all-purpose flour required in a recipe with whole wheat flour. Switching out just one cup (237 grams) of white or wheat equals a boost of fiber, vitamin B-6, folic acid, magnesium, potassium, and zinc

5. Lean Ground Turkey for Ground Beef: my mom has been doing this for years. I always hear that red meat should be avoided (OH BUT I LOVE MY RED MEAT)! When you choose ground turkey, make sure it’s lean or extra lean.

6. Egg Whites for Eggs: Eggs unfortunately contain cholesterol. Since during the holidays, you’re more likely to consume large amounts of cholesterol in other things, substitute a few eggs for egg whites and help keep your heart healthier.

7. Coconut Milk, Yogurt & Tofu for Cream:

Discovery Fit & Health Recommends: Take a page out of the vegan cookbook and try coconut milk in desserts that call for heavy cream, like chocolate mousse. Swap out light cream for soy creamer. Soft tofu mixed with soy milk can be blended into sauces, as can yogurt. All are less fatty than cream, and tofu has the added benefit of a little extra protein.

8. Brown Rice for White Rice: Anything white typically doesn’t have any nutritional value. By switching to brown rice, you’re subsequently consuming more vitamins and minerals.

9. Greek Yogurt for Sour Cream: Although it’s quite tasty, it has lots of saturated fats in it. Saturated fats are not heart friendly. Greek yogurt (specifically plain yogurt, not something like key lime), tastes pretty much identical to sour cream and is a much healthier substitute. Discovery Fit & Health says that it also:  it has a ton of protein, along with potassium, zinc, calciumand vitamins

10. Vanilla, Nutmeg and Cinammon for Sugar:

Words from Discovery Fit & Health: The American Heart Association’s recommended limit for added sugars is 6 teaspoons (29.6 milliliters) a day for women, 9 (44 milliliters) for men. Sugar is linked to both obesity and diabetes, and those who are already carrying a few extra pounds or a diabetes diagnosis know what too much sweetness can do to the body.
An added bonus for cinnamon? It rev’s up the metabolism! Woot woot!


Check out the website for more information:

MBG’s 9 Ways to Become A Better and More Positive You

Sometimes I get a bit down on myself because I haven’t gotten my Kinesiology job yet. Then  I stop and think to myself that it’s okay. My day will come that I get my dream job. I am more particular about what I’m searching for and it is harder to find. Once I get all my credentials, I’ll go full force into “Operation Get Chantal a Kinesiology Job”. Anyways, I try not to get down in the dumps or discouraged about it (however, sometimes I definitely do). This morning I really felt like reading about how to be more positive and feel better about myself. Funny thing is, when I went onto the Mind Body Green webpage, “9 Ways to Become a Better and More Positive You” was on the front page. Things definitely happen for a reason. Below I’ve summarized the 9 things from the webpage. I’ll post the link below.

1. Say affirmations every day until they sink in and resonate within every cell of your being.
– Saying affirmations eventually fully resonate with you and make you feel better.

2. Use visualizations to get clear on what you want.
– Positive visualizations help bring positive situations to you. I once heard “you only have room for one thought at a time in your head… why not make it a positive one?”

3. Create a vision board and place it where you can see it regularly.
– Make sure you see it on a regular basis. MBG suggests that you write in BIG words: “Thank you, thank you, thank you” telling the world that you are thankful for everything it’s brought you and everything you will be receiving.



4. Practice expressing an attitude of gratitude for all that you have in your life.
– Gratitude creates a positive spin on your life

5. Listen to joyful music.
– Happy music always pumps me up and MBG agrees!

6. Read motivational books.
– MBG suggests that it makes you feel beautiful and empowered and excited about your personal growth journey

7. Put inspiring quotes around everywhere for you to see.
– By doing this, you’ll feel more inspired

8. Surround yourself with people who lift you up.
– This is so true. I always try and be around positive people because their positivity rubs off on me. The same thing goes for surrounding yourself with negative people.

9. Practice meditation.
– I’m going to be honest, I don’t practice mediation. I do pray a lot and find that does the same thing for me. Both make you feel more at peace and at ease in the world.

Setting Goals for the New Year

When setting goals for the New Year or for New Years Resolutions, it’s very crucial to success to set goals in the right way. Often times people set unrealistic goals for the new year and end up being extremely disappointed and discouraged. For example, people say, “I’d like to lose 15 pounds in two weeks”. Doing something like this is extremely difficult and nearly impossible, leaving you feel defeated and burying your face in a tub of ice cream. I DO NOT want this to happen to you. I want you to set easily attainable goals so that you will increase your confidence and self-efficacy. Together, we can do this. If you need any  help with setting goals, feel free to email me or even comment on here.

Make sure your goals follow the S.M.A.R.T. guidelines:

S – Specific — don’t say “to lose weight”… instead say “to lose 5 pounds” and don’t say “to be active”… instead say “I want to go to on a walk every night after dinner with my wife”

M – Measurable — can you measure it… to say my goal is to lose weight, that’s not enough. You need to put some sort of number to it. How do you know you’re losing weight? How do you know how much you have to lose? So say, to lose 5 pounds in two weeks. By having the number “5 pounds”, you can keep track of your goals and see if you’re on track to reach your goal or not.

A – Actionable — based on things a client will do — I will lose 5 pounds by exercising at least 30 minutes per day

R – Relevant — Must be important and meaningful to the client. Getting to success is motivating in itself — make sure you are doing things that are working towards your goal and not doing things like eating at McDonalds… how can you reach your goal if you are busy eating at McDonalds?

T – Timed — Put a date on it! — To just say you’re doing to lose 5 pounds by working on 30 minutes every day isn’t enough… set a date of when you want to reach this goal by. Again, make sure this is realistic. Unless you have liposuction, no one can really lose 30 pounds in one week. It’s quite difficult to do. The ideal amount of weight loss per week is 1-2 lbs/week. Keep this is in mind.

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask away. Remember, this type of goal setting can be applied to any type of goal. I used the weight loss example because it is often on people’s New Years Resolutions. Make this year the best year to be healthy, fit and active. You can do it!