Are you ready to start feeling as healthy as you were meant to feel?  As our children are getting back to regular routines this fall season, why not take this time to start getting back into a healthy routine yourself?

Fall into Feeling Fabulous is a 21-day online program designed to help you get back on track.  You will learn how the body thrives when it is properly nourished through wholesome eating and good quality supplementation.

Along with an online education and support community, recipes and tracking tools you will receive a full months supply of the highest rated quality supplements on the market today (AM & PM multivitamins and minerals of pharmaceutical grade), probiotics (dairy-free pharmaceutical grade, to support digestive health), Optomega oil (essential fatty acids ) and gluten/dairy/soy/fructose free meal replacement shakes that you can fit into your program up to twice daily for those rushed on-the-go meals.

This program focuses on healthy eating habits and you will receive healthy meal and snack options that you may incorporate into your daily routine.  As always, please contact your health care professional before commencing any nutrition or fitness program.  This program is not intended for the use of treatment or diagnosis of health problems or disease.  Please consult your doctor or other health care provider for professional care, treatment and diagnosis.

I love to incorporate the herbs from my garden into as many recipes as I can.  Mint is so nice and refreshing and is so simple to grow.  It will take over if you plant it right in your garden, so try to keep it in a contained area or in a pot.  This herb contains an abundance of vitamins and minerals and alleviates numerous health ailments.

Here I  included mint in a dressing to add to my morning quinoa bowl.  You can use whatever fruit you have on hand to make this dish – mangoes, strawberries, blueberries, etc.  I've used mangoes and apples in the recipe below, combining nicely with the lemon mint dressing to create a delicious healthy breakfast that I have post-workout.

¼ cup freshly squeezed organic lemon juice
¼ c fresh mint
zest of 1/2 organic lemon
1 tbsp raw organic honey
1 cup organic quinoa
2 cups water
1 ripe organic mango chopped
1 organic apple chopped
¼ cup  raw organic sunflower seeds
¼ cup raw organic walnuts chopped
1/3 cup organic raisins

Cook quinoa by rinsing it under warm water for 3 minutes, agitating gently.  Place quinoa and water in a pot and bring to a boil stirring occasionally.  Cover and simmer 7-10 minutes.  Let cool.
Wisk together lemon juice, mint, honey and lemon zest.  Pour over chopped apple and mix.  When quinoa has cooled, mix in apple mixture, mango, sunflower seeds, walnuts and raisins.

Store any leftovers in the fridge to have on hand for a quick snack or post-run/workout meal.


Post-Run Smoothie


I started making this smoothie after I first read Eat and Run by Ultramarathoner Scott Jurek.  As I love kale and other greens so much I started including them, along with my spirulina, in this anti-inflammatory drink.  Its light, sweet taste makes it a treat after a run and because it makes so much I usually have 2-3 servings that I can drink throughout the day as well.  I am always looking for new smoothie ideas to help recover from my run faster and this is definitely one of my favourites.

Post-Run Smoothie Recipe
2 cups water
1 cup kale
1 banana
½ cup strawberries
½ cup mango
½ cup pinapple
½ cup frozen shelled edamame
¼ cup dried coconut flakes
2 tbsp EFA’s (omega 3’s)
1 tbsp protein powder
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp ground tuneric
1 1-inch piece peeled ginger

If you have any healthy smoothie ideas you’d like to share, please send me a message, I’d love to hear from you!

Chickpeas are one of my favourites.  They are easy to throw in soups and salads or even to just eat plain as a quick and easy portable snack.  Try this easy hummus recipe that can either be used as a dip for raw veggies or pita, or as a spread on sandwiches.  It is a great way for vegetarians and vegans to ensure they are consuming something that is high in protein and it is loaded with dietary fibre allowing you to feel fuller longer.  Being low on the glycemic index, energy can be sustained over a longer period of time if they are consumed.  Chickpeas are also a great source of many vital minerals and vitamins, including calcium, folate, and manganese.

If soaking and cooking beans seems to be too much work for the person who is new to dried varieties, try canned, just make sure they are drained and rinsed well before blending them up.

Easy Hummus Recipe
2-540mL cans chickpeas (garbanzo beans) drained and rinsed
1/3 cup olive oil (my favourite EFA blend is Optomega)
2 tablespoons tahini (optional)
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
3 cloves of crushed garlic
¼ cup of water
Pinch of ground cumin
Salt and pepper to taste

In a blender combine half the chickpeas and oil, pulsing to puree.  When slightly creamy add the remaining chickpeas, oil, lemon juice, tahini, garlic and spices.  Pulse and use a spatula from time to time to scrape off the sides of the blender.  Add water as needed to get the desired consistency.  Refrigerate until ready to use.


Most of you know that I sometimes tend to go a little overboard with my kids birthdays and other special occasion parties.  So coming to a party with a life-sized Candy Land board game running both through the inside and around the outside of my home probably would not seem that unusual to some.

My daughter started her big day with her favourites: vegan chocolate chip banana pancakes, watermelon and apple slices, and her Mama’s Gingerbread Smoothie.  But then it all went down hill from there.  After the licorice she got ‘stuck’ eating at Licorice Forest, the lollipop she was ‘forced’ to suck on in the Lillipop Woods, snow cone she put back in record time at Snowflake Lake or the cotton candy that King Kandy waved in front of her nose at Candy Castle, its safe to say that my baby girl probably has had her fill of sugary crap that will last until her Sweet Sixteen (which I should probably start planning for now).  I mean, this party even had a mini Chocolate Swamp (a.k.a. chocolate fountain, running vegan chocolate of course)!  But you only turn 4 once, right?  Can’t blame her for going all out, the child thinks she’s hit the jackpot when she is given a cracker!  So to be faced with all that not so-healthy yummy goodness, she was in her glory.  There was as much fruit and veggies a girl could want, she just chose to only eat the ones dipped in chocolate.  In this house we’re all about making our own choices.  I guess we have our work cut out for us with this girl.  Oh, mother’s guilt will remain for an eternity after this day I’m sure. 

My children’s new favourite breakfast drink is Mama’s Gingerbread Smoothie.  Well, that’s what I call it to make it fun for them and so they think their Mama is a genius armed with a blender.  It’s really just the cinnamon that makes my kids think it’s a special treat.  Take a look at the way I usually make mine, (I say usually because I tend to use whatever I have on hand).  Experiment with different ingredient add-ins that you enjoy.  It’s hard to mess up a smoothie, so change it up if you want to try something a little different.  Don’t forget to add a bit of water if it is too thick for your liking.

Mama’s Gingerbread’ Smoothie

1 ½ cups almond milk (or favourite milk of your choice)
1-2 bananas
1 tbsp organic oil blend (my favourite is Usana’s Optomega)
1 tbsp cinnamon
2 tbsp black ground chia seeds

Oh yeah, and of course if you can, try to sneak in a cup of kale.  They will not even notice, promise.  At least mine don’t!

Blend all ingredients on high for at least 1 minute.  Enjoy!

Wow! It has been exactly one year today since I made the switch to a strict vegan diet and I have never felt healthier (both physically and mentally).  What better way to celebrate than with a healthy treat!  The first thing that usually comes to mind for me when I think “treat” is chocolate (I guess that is where my daughter gets it from).  I decided to make one of my yummy smoothies.  Since I love orange chocolate I decided to blend up the following: 

1 cup fresh orange juice
1 banana
2 heaping tablespoons of raw cacao powder

You can add anything else to liven this sucker up, but I was going for simplicity.

So simple, yet so decadent!


I don’t think its news to anyone when we hear that we should be eating our leafy greens, but why do most of us find it so hard to include them in our daily diet?  Beyond the basic salad we sometimes are stumped with how to include them with our meals.  Besides tossing up a salad, I almost always throw leafy greens into soups, sauces, and other main dishes.  

I’m sure you’ve heard that leafy greens are nutritional powerhouses.  Kale is one of my favourites.  Including it in our morning smoothie is very simple.  It is just one additional opportunity to give my active family the important nutrients needed to stay healthy.

My favourite is to combine kale with fresh oranges (or pineapple) in the blender.  I then blend in my extra’s which almost always includes a banana to give it the creamy texture.  Depending on your preference, in addition to your fruits/veggies you can add in your EFA oil, ground flax, protein powder, etc. to get the desired blend that you are looking for.  Yum, so delish!

If you don’t think a green smoothie sounds very appetizing, trust me and give it a try as you may be pleasantly surprised.  I’ve outlined a few of my favourite simple breakfast smoothie recipes below.  Kale is listed as the leafy green as it’s my personal preference, but others work just as well.  Remember to select organic produce whenever possible (especially the kale)!  Use more water if needed to get your desired consistency.

Apple-Pear Kale Smoothie
2 ripe pears
1 apple
2 cups kale
1-1½ cups water

Orange-Banana Kale Smoothie
2 oranges
1 banana
2 cups kale
1-1½ cups water
Pineapple-Banana Kale Smoothie
1 cup pineapple
1 banana
2 cups kale
1-1½ cups water

Kale Smoothie
1 cup strawberries
2 oranges
1 banana
2 cups kale
1-1½ cups water
About two weeks ago, my youngest son had an adenotonsillectomy which prevented him from eating for several days.  Popsicles and sipping drinks was just about all he could handle for the first week, a week that seemed like an eternity to me.  I tried everything to get this child to eat, puréeing, and overcooking just about anything I could think of.  You name it, I tried it.  I resorted to making a lot of bland, creamy soups as anything spicy, acidic or chunky was out of the question for my little man.  Finally on day 10 he started to come around and began eating, mostly out of hunger I think, as any food that went down his throat still brought him so much pain.

While I tend to make many soups over and over again, I’m lucky if they turn out the same each and every time as I am sometimes limited to what I have on hand.  The following hearty bean soup is one that I make often and my son was able to eat with little discomfort as his recovery progressed.  I usually use the beans that I have on hand which may include: pinto, limas, red and white kidney, black-eyed peas, red and green lentils, yellow and green split peas, navy, black, red, garbanzo beans, etc.  If you are new to working with dried beans and don’t have many varieties on hand you can usually find a 13 bean soup/chilli mix in the natural section of your local grocery store or just use 2 mixed cups of what you have.  This soup freezes well without changing the texture of the beans.  You can substitute a few cups of water for broth if you prefer once you add in your veggies.  Some of you may like to add tomato paste, but I think it tastes nice without.

Hearty 13 Bean Soup
2 cups dried 13 bean mix
10 cups of cold water (preferably spring or filtered tap water)
5-6 cloves of garlic, chopped
8-10 fresh sage leaves, finely chopped (3 tsp dried)
1 tsp sea salt
2 medium carrots chopped
2 celery stalks chopped
1 onion chopped
Juice of ½ a lemon
Sea salt and pepper to taste


Wash and soak the beans overnight if possible or at least for a few hours if you have the time (this will greatly reduce the cooking time of the beans).  Drain and rinse the beans, placing them in a large soup pot.  Cover with the water and add in the garlic and sage.  Bring the water to a boil and then cook for several hours until tender (this time varies depending on how old the beans are and how long they were soaking).

Once the beans are almost tender, add the salt (but not before or it will interfere with the cooking process of the beans).  Add in your carrots, celery and onion and cook for about an hour.

Once the cooking is almost finished add more salt and pepper to taste along with the lemon juice.  Serve with your favourite bread (I personally like rosemary focaccia, a recipe I will post soon!).  Enjoy!

Fall is one of my favourite times of the year.  I love the changing colours that come with the season and the delicious assortment of foods that come out of the autumn harvest.  One of my favourites this time of year is butternut squash.  I especially like to make this recipe after the kids have picked the apples and the squash off the farm themselves.  What I usually do is cube a few large squash and freeze them in equal cup portions so that I have them on hand to make this delicious soup.

Preparation Time: 15 mins.
Cooking Time:  40 mins.
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings:  6

5 cups of butternut squash (peeled and seeded), cut into 2cm cubes
2 cups of carrots, cut into 2cm cubes
1 medium onion, cut into 2cm cubes
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp oil
2 large, firm apples cut into 2cm cubes (peeled and cored)
1 tsp curry powder
4 cups vegetable broth
1 cup apple juice (or cider)
toasted pumpkin seeds

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Combine squash, carrots and onion and drizzle with oil, stirring well to combine. Sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper.  Roast for 15 minutes.  Remove from the oven and add apples, stirring well to combine. Roast for 15 minutes.  Remove and add curry powder, again stirring well to combine. Roast for 5 to 10 minutes more or until vegetables are very soft. Vegetables should be browned a bit.  Puree roasted vegetables in a blender with 2 cups of vegetable broth. Transfer pureed mixture to a stockpot, add remaining broth and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and stir in apple juice. Sprinkle with more pepper and toasted pumpkin seeds.  Enjoy!

(Reposted from 10/13/2011)