Holiday Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry Season’s here, and that’s great news
for your gut health, your immunity and more

Cranberries are bitter-tasting berries that are full of powerful phytochemicals that protect your body from illness. These berries are traditionally sweetened and cooked or sweetened and dried to reduce some of their tartness. But you can still eat them raw and find ways to incorporate them into your favorite recipes.

Health Benefits of Cranberries
Can help prevent urinary tract infections. They are loaded with an antioxidant called proanthocyanidins (or PAC’s for short). PAC’s reduce the ability for bacteria to stick to the wall of the urinary tract.

Can improve your digestion. Fiber is amazing for overall gut health. It is important for a healthy digestive system and to maintain regular bowel movements (one cup has about 4.6 grams of fiber). Furthermore, fiber keeps you fuller longer!

Can boost your immune system. If you feel the sniffles coming on, reach for cranberries, just one cup contains 22% or your recommended daily value of vitamin C. Load up to help your body fight back!

How to incorporate cranberries into your diet
• In your smoothies (raw)
• In your morning oatmeal (raw or dried)
• In homemade muffins (raw)
• Toss sliced raw cranberries into a spinach and chicken salad (or dried)
• Homemade cranberry sauce (see recipe below)

Cranberry Sauce with a twist – Makes 2 cups
A homemade alternative to store-bought cranberry sauce with delicious hints of cinnamon and apple to complement the flavor.

Ingredients
• 12 oz fresh cranberries, rinsed
• 1 fresh apple cider
• 1 tsp. orange zest
• 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
• 1/8 tsp. ground cloves
• ½ cup peeled and cored apples, mashed
• ¼ cup of agave nectar or honey

Instructions
1 In a saucepan, bring cider, orange zest, cinnamon and cloves to a boil.
2 Once liquid is boiling, add cranberries and turn heat down to medium. Cook uncovered for about 10 minutes.
3 Add mashed apple and agave nectar or honey, turn off the heat and cool.

Mindfulness at HALLOWEEN

While other people are “scared” by the skeletons, spiders, ghosts, and pranks, Nutritionists are more scared by what traditional Halloween sugary foods are doing inside your kid’s body. Remember, it’s ok to indulge in treats once in while; but don’t forget to practice moderation.

Check out the tips below to help you take the scary out of Halloween’s sugar rush:

1. Focus on experiences: Halloween is supposed to be about the spooky, scary and paranormal, not the sugary, salty and high-in-cholesterol. Enjoy a classic Halloween night with the kids: take them to a haunted house, go on a ghost walk around the city, visit a pumpkin patch and choose the perfect pumpkin to carve, or simply watch a scary movie. These activities were once the quintessential Halloween must-dos — let’s bring them back from the undead.

2. Instead of giving candies and chocolate, pass out other fun items such as glow-sticks, mini bags of (organic) popcorn, or even fun spooky accessories … think vampire teeth, plastic spider rings, or spooky stickers.

3. Wait to buy your candies – buy them the day of to avoid being tempted. Buy less than you think you need to avoid leftovers. You can also buy the ones YOU don’t like, that way you will not be tempted to eat them☺

4. Make sure you have a super healthy dinner before you send your kids trick or treating, they will be less incline to eating candies or chocolate while they are trick or treating.

5. Send your kids with a smaller bag or a small Halloween bucket, that way there will be less to manage.

6. Go through the bag and ration the candies and only allow them sweets on special occasions. You can mix small bits of chocolate with air-popped popcorn, that way they will get less sugar in one bite.

Have fun & be safe!
www.fuel4lifenutrition.com
Ref: Canadian Health Food Association (CHFA), Superlife.

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

After you’ve had fun carving your pumpkin, save the seeds and make a healthy snack with the pumpkin seeds.

ROASTED PUMPKIN SEEDS
• 1cup raw pumpkin seeds
• 1/4tsp extra virgin olive oil
• Sprinkle of chili powder (you can also add paprika & cumin)
• Sprinkle of sea salt & garlic powder

1. Wash the seeds, toss them with the olive oil and mix well. Add your spices & mix again. You can also change up the spices to your taste!

2. Lay them out on a baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes at 350degrees or until golden. Just watch them so they don’t get too brown.

Enjoy!

Carole Woodstock, RHN
www.fuel4lifenutrition.com

My Take On Coconut Oil

Today I’m sharing with you what I believe to be one of the world’s most perfect and essential foods: coconut oil. Although referred to as “oil”, coconut oil is actually a white solid at room temperature. You won’t find this in the grocery store aisle with olive and canola oils – look for it in the organic section. It’s sold in tubs (glass is best), not bottles.

This is miraculous stuff! Coconut oil is rich in lauric acid, a known antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal agent. And don’t get confused with the fact that it’s a “saturated” fat. Coconut oil DOES NOT share the same concerns as butter or margarine. Rather, coconut oil can INCREASE the GOOD HDL cholesterol in the blood and will help improve the overall cholesterol ratio. It also has a positive effect on hormones for thyroid and blood sugar control.

So where do you use it? EVERYWHERE! Use it to cook instead of oil or butter: for frying, as a spread on toast, for baking (think Christmas cookies!), or for a treat added to your smoothies.

But you’re not limited to just eating it. Try coconut oil as a moisturizer – it’s loaded with vitamin E. Works as a lip moisturizer, for dry cuticles, on infants after a bath or as a scalp & hair mask. I know summer is coming but on those cold and snowy winter dog walks, try coconut oil as a protective balm for your furry friend’s paws to prevent snow clumping and keep pads from cracking.

Enjoy!

Carole Woodstock, RHN
www.fuel4lifenutrition.com

LIFE WITHOUT DAIRY

LIFE WITHOUT DAIRY

Dietary Reference Intake for Calcium
(Source: Health Canada)

Age Mg / Day
Infants

  • 0-6 months 200
    7-12 months 260

Children

  • 1-3 700
    4-8 1000
    9-18 1300

Females/Males 19-50 1000
Males 51-70 1000
Females 51-70 1200
Females/Males 71+ 1200

Many people come to me worried that they have to give up milk because of an intolerance to cow-dairy. But, where will I get my calcium from? My answer is: Don’t worry! There are many ways to ensure you will get enough calcium both from eating non-dairy sources of calcium and taking care to ensure that you hold on to the calcium your body already has.

Calcium myths:

1. Everyone needs to drink (cow’s) milk
Not true. The most common allergy is to milk and cow-dairy products. You can be intolerant to either the lactose (sugar) or any of the 25 different proteins in milk which is why lactose-free milk is not always the answer. Most of us actually develop lactose intolerance in early adolescence but don’t realize it and keep drinking milk even though we experience gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea and any other number of symptoms. If you are intolerant to cow-dairy, your body is unable to digest the dairy and absorb the calcium. As well, you can lose calcium from your body because the undigested lactase will ferment in your intestines and create lactic acid. Calcium is then leached from your bones to counteract the acidity.

2. Dairy products will help prevent osteoporosis
Pasteurized milk contains 50% less calcium than non-pasteurized milk. Low fat milk makes it more difficult to absorb the calcium that’s left because fat is necessary to transport and absorb calcium. Research shows that countries with the highest dairy consumption often have the highest rates of osteoporosis.

Getting enough is just as important as avoiding losing what you already have:
In addition to getting enough dairy from your diet, here are some ways you can help your body to hold on to the calcium it’s got:

• Reduce intake of coffee, tea, soda, salt, and chocolate (caffeine intake causes calcium loss via urine)
• Reduce or avoid refined sugar (reduces absorption rate of calcium in the intestines)
• Reduce phosphorus intake: Meats, grains and sodas are very high in phosphorus which binds with calcium. If too much phosphorus is in your blood it will pull calcium from your bones. Consuming too much phosphorus is the same as not consuming enough dairy.
• Consume calcium with vitamin D (eggs, liver, mushrooms, the sun!)

Best diet to prevent calcium loss
• Not too much protein
• Includes good fats but not bad fats (trans fats, hydrogenated oils)
• High in complex carbs (fresh vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts/seeds, fruit in moderation)

Cow-Dairy Sources of Calcium:

Food Serving Size Calcium mg/serving
Milk 1 cup 315 mg
Cheese 1 oz 130-200 mg
Cottage cheese 4 oz 100 mg
Plain yogourt ½ cup 200g

Non-Dairy Sources of Calcium

Food Serving Size Calcium mg/serving
Orange juice, calcium fortified 1 cup 300-350 mg
Rice milk, fortified 1 cup 300 mg
Almonds ½ cup 300 mg
Sesame seeds 1/8 cup 275 mg
Sardines, canned with bones 6 medium 275 mg
Tofu 1 cup 258 mg
Salmon, sockeye, canned with bones ½ can 245 mg
Soybeans ½ cup 230 mg
Almond butter 3 oz 225 mg
White beans, cooked 1 cup 170 mg
Baked beans 1 cup 163 mg
Blackstrap molasses 1 tbsp 137 mg
Home-made almond milk (see recipe below) 1 cup 75 mg

Other sources of calcium:
• Vegetables (artichoke, asparagus, avocado, beans, broccoli, cabbage, carrot, collard greens, kale, okra, parsley, peas, spinach, swiss chard, turnip greens, watercress)
• Nut butters (cashew butter, tahini, all-natural peanut butter, sunflower seed butter)
• Beans and Rice (brown rice, chick peas, kidney beans, navy benas, pinto beans, wild rice)
• Seaweed (Agar, Irish moss, kelp, wakame)

Hidden sources of cow dairy on food labels:
Artificial butter flavour, butter, butterfat, buttermilk, casein, caseinates, curds, custards, half and half, hydrolysates, lactalbumin, lactose, nougat, pudding, rennet casein, sour creams, sour milk solids, whey, yogurt.

Make your own almond milk!
Soak ½ cup of raw almonds in water overnight. Rinse and drain. Remove skin (optional). Add to blender with 2 cups of filtered water and blend until smooth. Drain through 3-4 layers of cheese cloth to remove pulp. Store in fridge for 2-3 days; shake or stir if necessary as separation will occur.

References:

• Bateson-Koch, Carolee. Allergies: Disease in Disguise. Books Alive, 1994.
• Case, Shelley. Gluten-Free Diet: A Comprehensive Resource Guide. Case Nutrition Consulting, 2002.
• Shulman, Joey. Winning the Food Fight: Every Parent’s Guide to Raising a Healthy, Happy Child. Wiley, 2003.

Are you drinking enough water?

With up to 70% of our bodies made up of water, it is a vitally important nutrient and one which many of us do not get enough of regularly. Water plays many important roles: It helps to remove toxins from the body; it nourishes our body’s cells and enables many chemical interactions to take place. Water also helps to regulate the body’s temperature. Efficient waste removal is essential for a healthy mind and body and will also help with weight loss. Even if you do nothing except to increase your water intake, you will help your body to remove excess toxins and waste.

On the contrary, if you do not drink sufficient water, you will become dehydrated and may feel more tired, lethargic and unmotivated. Many of us are dehydrated and don’t even realize it. The next time you have a headache and want to reach for the Tylenol, try drinking one to two
glasses of water and waiting 30 minutes to see if your headache goes away. I bet you it will!

How much?
As you’ve probably heard before, you need between 8 and 12 glasses of water daily – even more if you exercise. To be more specific, take your body weight in pounds and divide by two – the result will be the minimum amount of water that your body needs (i.e. 120 Lbs ÷ 2 = 60 oz of water) daily. Of course if you exercise, you will need a bit more. If you drink coffee, add more water (2 cups of water for one cup of coffee).

If you are not drinking near the amount of water you should be having, increase slowly (otherwise you will be in the bathroom every 5 mins)! Remember…baby steps!

Happy hydrating!

Homemade Granola

Making granola at home means you can control how much sugar and fat go in. You can also change up the ingredients to match what you have on hand.

This makes a great breakfast or snack. Serve it just like that, on its own; or with almond, rice, flax or soy milk and fresh blueberries. And because it’s macro-balanced, it’s perfect for post-exercise recovery.