Oven Roasted Chickpeas

Okay people! The secret is out. Those canned chickpeas that have been hanging out in your cupboard are your new favourite snack. Yes, you read correctly. We have talked about the great nutritional qualities of these magical chickpeas before. Packed with protein and fibre, they make a great addition to so many meals. We most recently highlighted them in our cumin-spiced hummus, perfect as a dip or a spread. Okay, back to this new magical snack that lives in your cupboard. Oven Roasted Chickpeas. The best part is this snack is extremely simple to make. They are perfect to snack on, add to salads for a crunch or a special addition to a trail mix. Okay, enough talk, read on to find out how to prepare this uber healthy and tasty snack. You Will Need… 1 540 mL can of chickpeas 2-3 Tbsp. olive oil (garlic infused makes for a flavourful punch) ½ tsp. salt 2-4 tsp. spices of choice (little or a lot based on your palette) Some spice suggestions are cumin, paprika, chilli powder, curry powder and oregano Prepare the Chickpeas Preheat your oven to 400°F. Remove chickpeas from the can and rinse thoroughly under running water. Place chickpeas between clean dishtowels and pat them dry completely. Remove any skins that have come off while drying. It is important thatchickpeas are completely dry before roasting. Once chickpeas are dry place on a baking sheet. Drizzle heavily with olive oil, ensuring all the chickpeas are coated. Place baking sheet in the oven and allow to bake for 20 – 30 minutes. Stir or toss the chickpeas every 10 minutes.... read more

Gluten & Dairy Free Vegan Chocolate Cake

Gluten and Dairy Free Chocolate Cake. Need we say more? Didn’t think so. This cake is so deliciously decedent; you won’t be able to get enough. Try this no fuss recipe that allows you to whip up a chocolate cake for any special occasion. You will need… 1 ½ cups gluten free flour 1 cup organic sugar ½ cup coca 1 tsp. baking soda ½ tsp. salt 1/3 cup coconut oil (melted) 1 tsp. vanilla extract 1 tsp. white vinegar 1 cup cold water Prepare the Batter 1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan, or a 12 set cupcake pan. 2. Sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda and salt into a large bowl. 3. Add in the coconut oil, vanilla, vinegar and water. Combine until smooth. 4. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes. 5. Remove cake from the oven and allow to cool. Prepare the Icing 1. In a large bowl add ½ cup plant based butter spread (ex. Earth Balance Spread), 1 cup organic powdered sugar and 1-2 drops vanilla extract. Combine all the ingredients with an electric mixer until smooth and fluffy. Once the cake is cooled, top with frosting and... read more

Cumin Spiced Hummus

Hummus is a popular Middle Eastern spread made from cooked chickpeas. It is low in fat while high in protein and fibre. It is perfect to dip vegetable sticks and crackers, or to use as a spread for wraps and sandwiches.               You Will Need…  1 540 mL can of chickpeas Juice of 2 lemons 1/2 cup olive oil  1-2 large cloves of garlic – minced 1/4 cup tahini (sesame seed paste)   Salt to taste  1 tsp cumin Prepare the Hummus In a food processor add the tahini and lemon juice, blend until completely smooth. Peel and mince garlic and add to the food processor, blend for 1 minute. Remove chickpeas from the can and rinse well under cold water. Then add half of the chickpeas into the food processor with the olive oil. Pulse to let the beans start to blend. Add in the rest of the black beans and cumin, blend until smooth. Add more olive oil if needed. Add a large pinch of salt and blend for 30 seconds. Taste the hummus and add more salt or lemon juice to your preferred... read more

The Perfect Detox Diet

The holidays are over and we are faced with a brand new year. Often at this time we find ourselves looking for a new nutrition or training program as a reset to better habits. Detoxing continues to be an option many people turn to. Detox diets often come in the form of teas, pills and powders and promise increased energy and weight loss. These detox diets are costly, have limited research behind them and often provide temporary (if any) changes. Lucky for us we can actually get a full body detox totally free! Our bodies have the amazing ability to detox from the inside out with the liver, kidneys and colon playing a big role in this. A well balanced diet and consistent exercise program support a healthy body that allows these organs to function optimally. When it comes to detox diets, they often claim to offer drastic results in a short period of time. This is a big warning sign to stay away. Lasting change comes with a ‘slow and steady’ approach. Yes, dropping 10 pounds in 7 days can be appealing, but the other side of the story is regaining that 10 pounds, and then some, once the detox has ended. So what is the perfect detox diet? My advice is to save the money on the costly detox products, and put that into a customized training program and whole foods to support a healthy body. Click here to get your training program today. Whole foods are the way to go when trying to get your body to work with you and feel better. Think of eating foods as close... read more

The Holiday Survival Guide!

The holiday season is upon us! This time of year has always created a unique barrier for my clients. Whether it is a work party, a best friend’s holiday get together, a family dinner, or a New Year’s party; holiday parties tend to get in the way the routine you have built for healthy eating and active living. This barrier is also not short lived as some holiday parties start as early as mid November and carry on into the New Year, which is at the very least, 6 weeks of holiday merriment! Now there’s nothing wrong with a good holiday party, but often people can feel derailed when presented with treats and “once in a while” foods at every corner. It can feel impossible to stick to your nutrition plan and also challenging to find time to keep up with fitness goals. In this guide you will find helpful tips that you can use to help maintain (key word moving forward!) the progress you have made so far. 1. Nix the idea of a weight loss goal during the holidays! Say what? Yes, you read correct. Instead set a goal to maintain your current weight during the holidays. This first guideline sets the tone for a happy holiday season. Here’s the hard truth. Losing weight during the holidays is really hard! Weight loss can continue once the hustle and bustle of the holidays is done, and when daily structure to your life has returned. Use this time to relax, and enjoy family and friends, and reflect on all the hard work you have already done. 2. Maintain physical activity up to Christmas Day... read more

Tropical Burst Smoothie

Smoothies are a great option for breakfast, a snack or as a way to get in those oh so important veggies and fruits. This one has a bright and delicious flavour, sure to please any palette. Ingredients  1 chopped banana  1 cup mixed berries (fresh or frozen)  1/2 fresh orange 2 basil leaves  1/2 cup Greek or Coconut yogurt  3/4  cup coconut milk (or liquid of choice)  ** A few ice cubes if fruit is all fresh and you prefer your smoothie a little colder** Directions Mix all ingredients in a blender until completely smooth. Pour, sip and... read more

The Benefits of a Training Partner

Finding motivation can sometimes be the biggest barrier to achieving a consistent exercise routine. Most often when we speak about motivation we are talking about motivation that is self-driven, meaning it comes from within. This is called internal motivation. Something that is important to note is internal motivation can come and go and can be stronger or less apparent in different areas of our lives. For example internal motivation to do well in university and study for exams maybe very high but internal motivation to go to the gym three times a week after you have finished your lecture might be very low and a more difficult task to accomplish. Luckily motivation does not always have to come from within to result in lifestyle change. Motivation that comes from outside sources is called external motivation and can motivate us to achieve goals. When it comes to exercise, external motivation in the form of a training partner can be extremely beneficial. Having someone who knows what your goals are, potentially shares similar goals and at the end of the day wants you to be successful and happy can be a huge source of motivation. In this blog post I explore the benefits of having a training partner, and things to consider when picking a training partner to join you for your next session at the gym. A Training Partner Keeps You Accountable Accountability is a large factor in staying on track with a goal. If no one knows you are working towards something, it can become easy to slack off. A training partner can keep you accountable to get your workouts... read more

Maintain Your Fitness & Nutrition Goals All Summer Long!

Hooray! The sun is shining! If you are like me and live in a city where many months are cold and snowy you definitely want to spend every second of summer soaking up the sun. Patios, beach days, long walks, BBQs… the list goes on. This can make staying active and eating well over the summer somewhat of a tricky balance. Personally I found myself stumbling through this a couple years back. For many years I spent my summers in competition prep. This means I was living the brown rice and chicken breast life with little room for fun foods like ice cream (my all time fave!) and patio bevies. During this time, I was hyper focused on my figure competition. The thing about competing is it involves a lot of sacrifice, including food. When I decide to compete I accept this and find the best balance that I can. There may be an occasional treat meal here and there, but overall I was not spending my summers enjoying patio cocktails. Then everything changed. About two years ago I competed in May and decided to take the summer off of prep life. Beyond deciding not to compete I didn’t really think of what this would mean for me nutritionally. It took me a long time to realize why I was experiencing so much stress and anxiety over friends inviting me out for patio drinks when I hadn’t yet trained that day. I felt like I was choosing between getting my workout in and spending time out in the sun. It took a little bit of time but I finally figured out... read more

Healthy Eating and Active Living on Vacation

It can be difficult to find the right balance of fitness and fun when away on vacation. The first thing to remember is – you are on vacation! Your focus should be relaxing, having a good time and enjoying the destination you have traveled to. With a bit of planning and incorporating the tips below, you will not only enjoy your vacation, but you will do so all the while being able to balance good nutrition and exercise! Stay Active Exercise on vacation may look very different than what you regularly do at home. Be open to that; do not feel you are not doing enough because the activity is different from your normal workout. It can be fun to find workouts and activities that easily fit into your vacation, and help you to explore the beautiful country you’ve travelled to. You might decide, for example, to go for a hike or a long bike ride. Or perhaps you will play beach volleyball or do a zip lining adventure. The goal is to maintain the frequency of physical activity you complete at home. If you’ve worked up to exercising 3 days a week, then you should be active a minimum of three days a week on vacation. For me, that usually looks like 1 hike, 1-2 full body weight training sessions at the hotel gym (I only book hotels with fitness centers) and 1 good stretch/yoga session. If you will not have access to a gym or fitness facility while you are on vacation, I suggest packing a skipping rope and resistance band to get a workout wherever you... read more

Thriving Through the Holidays

In the past 4 years that I have been working as a Registered Dietitian and Certified Personal Trainer, the season of holiday parties has always created a unique barrier for my clients. Whether it is a work party, a best friend’s holiday get together, a family dinner, or a New Year’s party, holiday parties tend to get in the way of healthy eating and active living. This barrier is also not short lived as some holiday parties start as early as mid November and carry on into the New Year, which is at the very least, 6 weeks of holiday merriment! When you also factor in that many people belong to various social groups, these holiday parties tend to be never ending and occurring quite frequently. Now there’s nothing wrong with a good holiday party, but often people can feel derailed when presented with treats and “once in a while” foods at every corner. It can feel impossible to stick to your nutrition plan and also challenging to find time to keep up with fitness goals. I have 8 tips that you can use to help maintain (key word moving forward!) the progress you have made so far. 1. IF weight loss is your current goal, set a goal to maintain your current weight during the holidays. Weight loss can continue once the hustle and bustle of the holidays is done, and when daily structure to your life has returned. Use this time to relax, and enjoy family and friends. 2. Maintain physical activity up to Christmas Day (at least). Have your personal trainer ensure your current training program ends... read more