Made from scratch - one of the recipes featured in the e-book. Creamy and delicious.
In the era of low-fat dieting, the avocado got a bad wrap as one of only a handful of fruits and vegetables to contain fat. We know now, however, that the fats in avocado are actually health supportive dietary fat, that are anti-inflammatory in nature. The avocado contains both omega-3 and -6 polyunsaturated fatty acids, as well as mono-unsaturated fatty acids. These are nourishing fats that help to maintain healthy blood cholesterol levels, support cardiovascular health and ward off disease. In addition to this, avocados are very nutritious. They are a source of more than 20 essential vitamins and minerals including: vitamins A, E, K, choline and folate, as well as iron, magnesium, potassium, manganese and selenium. In fact, a 100 gram serving provides more than 25% of the daily requirement for vitamin K and more than 20% of the daily requirement for folate - two nutrients for which the daily values are often not met. So, beyond guacamole, what can you do with an avocado?
Avocado is also used in many vegan frosting or pudding recipes. While I have experience in tasting, I don't have experience in making these. As soon as I try a recipe that pleases my palate I will share here.
- Mash or puree it and enjoy it on whole grain toast. Kids will love the bright green color - see photo below.
- Use instead of mayonnaise on any sandwich. Goes particularly well with tuna salad.
- Slice it and add to salads or veggie plates. The texture is smooth and luscious.
- Puree with about a cup of almond or coconut milk until a pudding like consistency is formed. Pour into serving dishes and top with chopped nuts or homemade granola as a treat.
Mashed avocado on rye toast
If you, or your child are wheat or gluten sensitive, you may wonder about using alternative flours in baking. Even if you're not sensitive, alternative flours can bring some much- needed variety into the diet! In using gluten-free flours, some experimentation is required. Blends of flours are often used to balance flavor with leavening. There are several gluten-free baking blends available premixed in health food or specialty stores.
The following are just three of many gluten free flours and their suggested use.
Amaranth: A grain free flour with a light and nutty taste. A baking flour that is good for breads, and excellent for most other baking, especially when blended. Substitute for 25 to 50 % of total flour in a recipe and use quinoa, buckwheat or another grain flour for the remainder.
Brown rice: Often considered the least allergenic of the flours, brown rice is great for cookies, pie crusts and tortillas. It does not make a good bread, however, and it needs to be combined with another flour if leavening is required.
Arrowroot: Essentially flavorless, this flour is excellent for thickening sauces and gravies. It is also great for baking, producing a golden coating. However seasonings may be necessary to compensate for the lack of flavor; works well in combination with other flours and can be interchanged with tapioca starch flour in most recipes.
Remember, flour is prone to rancidity and you may find that alternative flours expire more quickly than wheat flour. Ensure the product is fresh when you purchase it and keep it tightly sealed in the fridge to help prolong its shelf-life.
As the weather gets cooler, we all tend to spend more time indoors. As we do, it's important to be aware of our environment. Allergies can be triggered from various items inside the house, as well as common culprits such as dust and mold. It's important to remember that environmental toxins can be hazardous. Make yourself aware of your family's short- and long-term exposure. Here are a few things to watch out for!
- Remove carpets when possible. Not only are they a trap for dust mites and other allergens, but they are also a source of chemical exposure. If you can't remove your carpets, vacuum regularly and steam clean periodically.
- Off-gassing furnishings can create sensitivity. Many processed “wood” products contain vinyl and petroleum derivatives, as well as formaldehyde gas.
- Air fresheners contain toxic chemicals linked to allergies, asthma and Cancer.
- Use a HEPA filter to clear air, if possible. And air out your home by opening windows and doors in low pollen times.
- Reduce indoor allergens by dusting with a damp cloth or mop rather than a duster or broom. It helps to prevent allergens from becoming airborne or spreading.
- Look for hidden mold and mildew and eliminate it. Baking soda and vinegar can be as effective as chemical cleaners. Cleaning with steam is another option. Bathrooms, kitchens and basements are major sources, but also keep an eye on the inside of your coffee maker, fridge, and water pitcher.
- Be aware of the chemicals produced by home office equipment, such as photocopiers.
- Radon gas is the second most common cause of lung Cancer in Canada. A study by Health Canada showed 7% of homes have higher than acceptable levels of radon, so getting your home checked is imperative.
Proof they're not as scary-looking as they sound! Recipe from the book. -Grain free, sugar free (sweetened with honey) and absolutely yummy.
Food and airborne allergens are often triggers of asthma attacks. Identifying allergens and minimizing exposure to them can help to reduce symptoms of asthma in your child. While it is often hard to identify food allergens, it is well worth the effort if you are able to make a connection and prevent future attacks. Common food allergens including eggs, shellfish, nuts, corn, wheat, and dairy are a good place to start. Try to be aware of both immediate reactions (true allergy) and delayed onset symptoms (intolerance), as both can contribute to an increase in asthma attacks. Food additives, including artificial colors, flavors and preservatives are also potential triggers to be aware of. You can avoid these additives by reading labels and feeding your child a diet of whole, natural foods.
Helpful foods that provide support for asthmatic children include:
Many other nutrients, including magnesium, vitamins B6, B12 and vitamin D have also been studied in relation to asthma, and have shown to play key roles in asthma control. It is important, therefore, to make sure that your child eats a well-balanced and nutritious diet. One of the best ways to ensure that your child gets all the nutrients he or she needs is to emphasize a good variety of vegetables and fruit in the diet and balance it with nutritious grains and lentils, healthy fats and lean protein sources.
- omega-3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory and children who get adequate amounts have been shown to have reduced instance of allergies and asthma
- flavonoids, including those found in berries, green tea, and grape seed haven been demonstrated to reduce allergenic responses. Quercetin, found in apples, blueberries, onions, and citrus foods, among others, has been shown to be particularly effective.
- Vitamin C is very helpful in lowering blood histamine levels, and thus reducing allergenic responses. Further, low vitamin C intake is an independent risk factor for asthma, and a good intake is crucial in maintaining healthy airways.
For information purposes only. Not intended to diagnose, remedy, or prevent any illness or disease. Not to substitute for the care of a qualified healthcare practitioner.
Most cold cereals are limited in their nutritional value. Even if they're fortified with vitamins and minerals, they often lack protein, fiber and healthy fat. Further, they tend to be high in sugar and empty carbohydrates. Still, sometimes we want the convenience of a quick breakfast for kids. Give this a try:
Start with a sugar-free, whole grain cereal such as Spelt or Kamut® puffs.
Add in 1 Tbsp each hemp hearts (hulled hemp seeds) and chopped walnuts (these are both natural sources of omega-3 fatty acids)
Add raisins, fresh or frozen berries, or other chopped or sliced fruit - such as apples.
Top with cinnamon to taste and serve with almond or coconut milk.
This cereal now provides a good balance of nutrients to start the day: complex carbohydrates, fiber, protein, and healthy fats, as well as vitamins A, E, the B-vitamins, iron, calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, zinc and more - depending on the fruit and milk you choose.
Physical activity is a crucial component of your child's healthy lifestyle. Regular exercise not only helps to reduce the risk for obesity and its related health complications, but also serves to improve mood and self-esteem. It seems, however, that with each passing generation, it becomes more challenging for parents to get kids to be active. Changes in technology, transportation, and perception of safety are all factors that contribute to inactivity. The following are tips to help you encourage your child to stay fit and healthy:
- Encourage play time. Allow young children time to play with friends and by themselves. Let them be creative and move about in developing their own games. If creativity fails, encourage a game of "Duck Duck Goose" to help get them moving.
- As kids get older provide them with active toys. Jump ropes, basket balls and soccer balls can all provide hours of entertainment. Remember too, kids love nostalgia. So, dust off your old pogo-stick, Skip-It, or hula hoop and let your kids give it a shot.
- Encourage your child to participate in structured activity. Sports, dance lessons, gymnastics and kids fitness classes are great ideas. Be aware, however, of the actual amount of time you child spends being active in the class or practice. Time devoted to learning the rules of the game, group discussions and standing in line for a turn with equipment can greatly reduce actual active time in a class or session.
4. Get active as a family. Try a family sport, take up hiking, or go for a bike ride together. Remember too, little things count: collect leaves, make a snowman, or skip rocks along the beach just to get everyone moving. If children enjoy what they are doing, they're bound to stick with it. Try to emphasize fun with fitness. Children tend to model their parents, so be sure to set a good example. And remember too much structure or competitiveness can take the fun out of being active for your child. Focus on the importance of physical fitness in relation to health and make being active the most important part of the activity.
1/4 cup shredded carrots
1/4 cup shredded zucchini or chopped celery
2 cups cooked black beans
1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds
1/3 cup low sugar ketchup
1 - 2 Tbsp flour (amaranth, chickpea, wheat)
2 Tbsp coconut oil
1 clove garlic (optional)
1/4 tsp each paprika, cayenne, turmeric, cumin (or other seasonings to taste)
Heat oil in skillet and saute vegetables lightly, add in garlic, if using
Pre-heat oven to 357F
Mash beans in a mid-sized bowl. Add in seeds and seasonings, mix
Add ketchup and continue mixing
Gradually add in flour to thicken, continue mixing until you reach a good texture for forming patties.
With hands form into four or six patties
Lightly oil the underside and place on baking sheet or pan
Bake 18-20 minutes. Top with tomato and pickle or condiments if you desire. Serve with a vegetable side dish or salad.
If you are the parent of a hyperactive child, chances are you are constantly seeking information on how to improve your child’s quality of life. It is not only important for your child on a behavioral level, but it is also important for your child’s learning and development. One area that is often overlooked, despite mounting research, is diet. Nutritional imbalances and food sensitivity both play major roles in hyperactivity and children tend to respond favorably to simple nutritional adjustments.
Addressing dietary imbalances is the cornerstone of the nutritional protocol. Deficiencies and excesses in diet can both play a role in childhood behaviour. Ensuring optimal intakes vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids is a crucial step. Further, maintaining healthy blood sugar levels by eliminating spikes and valleys is key to addressing hyperactivity.
Identifying food allergies and sensitivities is also very important. Allergies and sensitivities can contribute to a range of symptoms including inattentiveness, mood imbalances and hyperactivity. As many sensitivities may not appear in a standard allergy test, fine-tuning the diet may seem to be a daunting task. However, many foods and food additives, such as artificial colors and flavors, have shown to be common culprits. A supervised elimination diet is generally the best way to identify trigger foods. Further reducing or eliminating refined sugars, processed foods and food additives is also recommended.
Addressing these areas of concern can contribute to your child’s overall health and well-being and improve symptoms of hyperactivity. A well-nourished child is a child who is ready to grow, learn, achieve and excel. ImageFor information purposes only. Not to replace the care of a qualified practitioner. Not intended to diagnose, remedy or cure any illness or disease.