Superfood Spotlight: KALE

We’ve all been hearing about how kale is so good for you and necessary in your diet and theres a good reason for this! Kale truly is the “queen of the greens” for many reasons.

For me the best part of kale is the wide variety of vitamins that I find are deficient in my diet. It is extremely high in beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C and calcium. However, the biggest one is iron. As someone with severely low iron who doesn’t love beef, kale is a saviour.

Not only is it rich with vitamins, but kale holds fibre and powerful cancer protecting antioxidants. This makes it the perfect detox food to clean your body of toxins!

Since simply eating raw kale on it’s own probably isn’t your cup of tea, here’s two recipes I use to get all of these wonderful nutrients:

Kale Chips:
Ingredients:

-1 bunch kale
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Remove the kale leaves from the stem with scissors and tear the leaves into chip size pieces. Wash the kale and dry in a salad spinner. Place kale on a cookie sheet. Drizzle the kale with olive oil and sea salt. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until lighty brown and crispy. Enjoy!

Superfood Smoothie:
Ingredients:

-1 cup coconut water
– 1 banana
– 1/2 cup frozen pineapple
-1/2 cup kale
-1 tsp chia seeds
-1 tsp spirulina
-1 tsp fish oil
-1 tsp all natural peanut or almond butter
Directions:
Add all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Add water if needed. Enjoy!

What’s your favourite way to eat kale? 

 

Healthy Grain-Free Pancakes

Finding the perfect healthy pancake recipe has been a long-time struggle, especially since I’ve cut back on eating grains and dairy. So, over the past week I’ve been experimenting with different recipes and ingredients and have finally made the perfect pancake, YAY!
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I have been using both almond flour and coconut flour in my recipes, and have found that the batter was always extremely watery and the pancakes were thin and hard to flip, no matter how much extra flour I added. I figured it was just because of the almond and coconut flour, until i made these ones. These one’s are very simple to make and turned out fluffy and delicious.

Healthy Grain-Free Pancakes:
Ingredients:
-4 eggs
-1 cup milk: I used organic cows milk because that’s all I had but I assume almond or coconut milk will also work
-2 teaspoons vanilla extract
-1/2 cup coconut flour
-1 teaspoon baking soda
-pinch sea salt
Directions:
Combine all ingredients in a bowl. When the coconut flour is put in, it may be chunky, so just continue stirring until smooth. Pre-heat to medium heat and grease pan with coconut oil. Cook until lightly brown and top with your favourite fruit or some melted dark chocolate! Enjoy!
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Superfood Spotlight: Coconut Oil

Who doesn’t love coconut? I certainly do and was pretty freakin’ excited to find out how healthy it is! While there are many ways to reap the amazing benefits of the coconut, (shredded, coconut water etc.) coconut oil is one of the best.

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It is extracted from the meat of matured coconuts and is one of the healthiest oils out there. With societies crazy “no-fat” craze, coconut oil received a bad rap for being high in saturated fat, when in reality these all natural fatty acids are extremely beneficial to our bodies. They increase circulation and our metabolic rate, which gives us more energy and brain function, decrease the risk of heart disease, and heal viruses.

The healing properties of coconut oil go on and on from cancer prevention to simply helping an earache, but I was most excited to discover they benefit digestion. I suffer from stomach problems and have many friends who also struggle with this, so having a natural method of relief is so great!

If you aren’t familiar with coconut oil, here’s how you can start using it:
-Cook with it! Replace your olive oil or butter in cooking with coconut oil.
-Use it as a sweetener in your coffee or tea. Ditch the processed sugar!
-Use coconut oil instead of butter on bread or anything else!
-Put it in your smoothie.

Not only is it healthy, but it hydrates the hair and is amazing for your skin. I get horrible eczema on my arms and hate using creams that are full of chemicals, so tried coconut oil and have had better results than any cream.

Finally, if possible buy organic and fair-trade! It’s better for your health and for the farmers who work so hard for you to enjoy their wonderful product!

What’s your favourite use for coconut oil?

Clean Eating

Given my strong passion for running, I also am inevitably passionate for healthy eating, as us runner’s know that an important part of training and becoming a stronger athlete is eating right. Therefore I thought I’d make a post about my eating beliefs and healthy food favs!

My first year of university was a huge struggle for eating. I lived in residence and was therefore eating in an unfortunate cafeteria. As a healthy food snob, every meal was a sad walk through the cafeteria past the burgers, macaroni and cheese, pizza and pasta and to the sad attempt at a salad bar. Since eating protein-less salad for every meal wasn’t an option, I let my views slip away for the year and stopped worrying so much about health.

While the freshman experience was amazing, i have to admit I was kind of relieved when it ended and I was able to start changing my ways.

The new lifestyle is simple: eat clean. Eating has become so complicated, with so called “health experts” making obscure conflicting remarks, but living a healthy lifestyle in reality is extremely simple. While it’s only been just over a month since my school year ended, I am not completely there yet and I do let myself cheat still, but I have still established some simple eating rules:

1. Nothing processed. You may think you’re making the right choice with that so-called protein bar or bran cereal, but if you read the ingredients you will see a whole lot of refined sugar, high-fructose corn syrup and many other un-procouncable unnecessary additions. Therefore, simply stick to real food!
2. Eat your veggies! This may seem like a no brainer, but think of every meal you ate today, how many of them had vegetables in them? I personally find veggies super delicious, but if you find it tough to eat your greens, start out putting them in a smoothie. (I’ll post my smoothie recipe)
3. Stay hydrated and don’t drink your calories. You should be drinking half of your weight in ounces of water each day. (i.e. I am 110 pounds, so should drink 55 ounces per day) Along with tea, especially white and green, water should be the only drink you’re having. Oh and maybe some red wine here or there.
4. Eat a colourful diet. I’m no scientist so have no idea which vegetables or fruits are beneficial for what, but I do know that they are all different. So enjoy variety!

I could go on and on, but these are probably the most important. In summary, just eat clean. Even with my cheats every once and awhile, I’m already feeling so much better. These rules aren’t about losing weight, but simply being healthy, which will in turn be beneficial when running and training!