5 tips to stay on track while you snack

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As a nutritionist people often ask me: “ how do you stay on track between your meals?” The answer is simple, you need to eat when you are hungry and snacking is the way to go about it. We often have a bad stigma attached to snacking and that’s because a lot of people will just snack on the first thing that is close by, which is usually not the best or the healthiest. Here are my 5 go to ways to stay on track between meals with healthier and smarter snack choices and tips.

  1. Meal prep your snacks: Meal prepping is a great and useful tool for staying on track with simple, healthy and convenient meals. But, have you ever tried to do the same with snacks? I like to prep my snacks ahead, this allows me to grab one whenever I get a bit hungry as opposed to some random unhealthy thing that is in close reach. I prepare fruits cups, sliced veggies, chia puddings, hard boiled eggs, sliced cheese, homemade salsa and dips to have as staples in my fridge. I also buy bulk items like nuts, dried fruits and nut butters to add more layers to my options for snacks. Having all of these items on hand and ready to go in small containers make packing food for my day super simple.
  2. Rotate your recipes: It is so easy to get caught up in eating the same foods over and over again. This is due to the fact that when we have a routine down it is just so easy to stick to it. However, routines can get boring fast. I recommend looking online for fun snack ideas and trying at least one new thing every week. This allows you to diversify your foods, providing more variety, flavour, and nutritional benefit.
  3. Drink plenty of water throughout the day: I know I am guilty of over indulging in coffee and not drinking enough water throughout the day, and let’s face it most of us are… I have found that I am much more hungry when I am not sufficiently hydrated. This is due to the fact that your brain will stimulate the feeling of hunger when it is lacking in water. So remember to keep drinking water throughout the day, this will allow you to actually snack when you are hungry instead of just blindly eating thought the day.
  4. Try to incorporate a bit of protein with your snacks: I personally find that I get “hangry” if I am not properly balancing my meals and snacks. Things like bananas and apples alone only fill me up for a short amount of time until I get “hangry” again. This is due to the fact that the body will utilize sugars from foods first for energy. Fruits are high in natural sugar that the body loves to utilize for energy, this is why some of us often feel hungry just 30 minutes after eating an apple. The best way to get around this issue? Add a bit of protein and fat to your snack. I like to add a few nuts or nut butter to balance out my serving of fruits, this allows the body to utilize the energy from the food for much longer, allowing you to stay satiated for a while.
  5. Don’t be hard on yourself: The number one way to always keep a balanced, healthy and happy life is not to beat yourself up over the little things and indulge when you feel like it. We all like to indulge here and there, as we are only human after all. Enjoy the indulgence and always remember that being healthy isn’t a diet, but a lifestyle and part of life is imperfection.

Honey and thyme roasted carrots


The last thing I want to do after a long day during a busy week is make an intricate and fancy dinner. Let’s face it, we are often tempted to buy takeout foods just for the convenience of it. However, there is little to no nutritional benefit to many of the convenience take-out restaurants we so often rely on. My trick for a simple and easy week night dinner? Buying a rotisserie chicken and making a big salad and a simple, delicious side dish to go along with it. This recipe for honey and thyme roasted carrots is the perfect thing! It’s packed with flavour and can be thrown together in less then 5 minutes. Just stick it in the oven and it will be ready in no time. This recipe is the perfect accompaniment to just about any meal, but it is especially perfect when you are short on time after a long day!

Ingredients:
▪ 4 large carrots, cut into bite sized pieces
▪ 1 tsp honey
▪ 1 tsp avocado oil (or your favourite cooking oil)
▪ 2 tbsp thyme
▪ sea salt to taste
▪ 1 tsp orange zest

Directions:
▪ preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
▪ on a lined baking sheet place carrots cut into bite sized chunks. You can cut them in small rounds, or in small diamonds using a rolling cut method.
▪ drizzle carrots with oil, honey, 1 tbsp thyme, and a pinch of sea salt. Mix well, making sure each carrot is fully coated.
▪ place the carrots on a lined baking sheet and bake at 400 for about 20-25 minutes, until fork tender.
▪ once out of the oven place carrots in a large serving bowl, top with a pinch of flaked sea salt, orange zest and remaining thyme. Enjoy with your favourite side dish!

Vegan tofu and veggie breakfast scramble

Meatless Mondays is a big thing in my house. It is the one day of the week when the meat eating members of my family indulge in hearty, plant based foods. This tofu and veggie scramble is a favourite, and for good reason. It is quick, simple, packed with fresh vegetables and flavour. You definitely will not miss the eggs in this dish. I love anything that is a one pan meal, and this is definitely as simple as it gets, it is also a great way to use up any vegetables that you have kicking around in your house.

Give this great vegan meal a try on your next plant based day, or whenever you’re in the mood to try something new.

Ingredients:
▪ 1 cup extra firm tofu, crumbled
▪ 1/2 cup mushrooms, sliced
▪ 1 small bell pepper, diced
▪ 1 small onion, diced
▪ 1/2 tsp turmeric
▪ 1/2 tsp nutritional yeast
▪ pinch paprika
▪ salt and pepper to taste
▪ 1 tsp avocado oil (or your favourite cooking oil)

Directions:
▪ Begin by dicing vegetables, I use mushrooms, bell peppers and onions, however, any vegetable works. Set vegetables aside.
▪ Roughly crumble tofu with either a fork or your hands.
▪ In a sauté pan, begin heating avocado oil. Add in vegetables and lightly sauté until soft. Add in tofu, turmeric, paprika, salt and pepper.
▪ Mix thoroughly to ensure turmeric coats all of the crumbled tofu and veggies in the pan.
▪ Once the tofu is completely warmed through, add nutritional yeast and mix it into the scramble before removing from heat.
▪ Serve with toast, avocado or any other desired toppings. I use avocado and cilantro for some added freshness. Enjoy!

Black bean taquitos and roasted jalapeño avocado salsa

I love tacos. Every week I make it a point to celebrate “taco Tuesday” by making a big feast for me and my family. However, this week I thought I would switch things up. Taquitos are so simple to make, in just a few simple steps you can make these delicious oven baked black bean taquitos. I would suggest making extra, these are a crowd pleaser and will be eaten up in the blink of an eye! I pair these taquitos with my roasted jalapeño and avocado salsa. This salsa is the perfect mix of spicy, creamy and tangy and is perfect with these taquitos or just about anything.

Ingredients:

For the salsa:
▪ 1 large avocado
▪ 1 small jalapeño (or less, depending on your desired level of spice)
▪ 1/2 cup cilantro (leaves and stems)
▪ 2 cloves garlic
▪ 3 scallions
▪ 1 tsp cumin
▪ 1 tsp salt
▪ juice and zest of one lime

 
For the taquitos:
▪ 12 corn tortillas
▪ 1 can black beans (1 cup dried)
▪ 4 Roma tomatoes
▪ 1 red bell pepper
▪ 1 medium zucchini
▪ 1 ear of corn
▪ 1 medium onion
▪ 1 clove of garlic
▪ 2 tsp chipotle pepper
▪ 1 tsp cumin
▪ 1 tsp oregano
▪ 1 tsp paprika
▪ 1 tsp black pepper
▪ 1 tsp salt
▪ 1 tbsp avocado oil

Directions:

For the salsa:
▪ on a grill top or on an open flame place jalapeño and scallions and cook until completely charred on the outside, this should take 1 to 3 minutes.
▪ in a food processor place all of the ingredients including jalapeño and scallion.
▪ blend until smooth.

For the taquitos:
▪ On a clean cutting board begin by dicing the onion, tomato, and zucchini. Finely mince garlic and chipotle pepper. Cut the kernels off the ear of corn. Set aside.
▪ In a medium sauce pot begin by sweating onions and garlic with avocado oil, cook until onions become translucent and fragrant. Add all remaining vegetables and quickly sauté them. Add spice mixture and cook with vegetables for about a minute. Add in black beans and let simmer for 10 minutes.
▪ Set black bean mixture aside and let cool completely.
▪ Place a pan on the stove top and let it gently heat up with no oil, place tortillas in pan and allow them to warm up until soft. Place tortilla on a clean cutting board and place one large tablespoon of the black bean mixture on one side of the tortilla. Roll tortilla tightly into a small tube shape.
▪ Place filled tortilla rolls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, seam side down. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes, until tortillas are crisp and golden on the edges. Enjoy!

Simple Coconut Granola

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Let me be honest, I prefer savoury to sweet food, especially breakfast foods. However my family enjoys things that are on the sweeter side for breakfast, and brunch was soon on the horizon for the before Christmas festivities. I wanted to make something sweet, quick and easy and I thought what would be more fun than a make it yourself yogurt bar? I bought the fruits and the yogurt, but I was missing the most important element, the crunchy granola. So using a few things that are staples in my pantry I put together this delicious coconut granola recipe. And although I like savoury breakfast foods more, I truly think this granola has converted me to giving the sweeter things in life another chance.

Ingredients:
▪ 1 cup rolled oats
▪ 1 cup all natural flaked coconut
▪ 1/3 cup hemp seeds
▪ 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
▪ 1 tsp cinnamon
▪ 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
▪ 1/4 cup honey (or agave nectar to make it vegan)

Directions:
▪ Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
▪ In a large mixing bowl place all ingredients. Stir very well to combine and allow honey to coat everything, I stirred this mixture for about 3 minutes to get it well incorporated.
▪ Spread granola mixture in a thin layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.
▪ Once out of the oven pile granola together and let cool completely, this allows the granola to set in nice big “clumps”
▪ Store in an air tight glass container for up to three weeks. Enjoy!