Friday, December 20, 2013

Pot of Prosperity {Recipe ReDux}

I'm sure many of you are preparing for your holiday meals, but I'm going to jump ahead a bit and talk about traditions for the new year.  The Recipe ReDux theme this month is Good Luck Foods: What will you be serving to get the New Year started with a little luck? Be it black eyed peas and greens, Chinese noodles or even a special family recipe you serve on New Year’s Eve or Day. 

I don't currently have a New Year's Eve/Day food tradition.  When I was young, my parents, brother, and I would have a fondue to help us stay up for the countdown.  I'm also a huge breakfast food fan, so a great breakfast is likely always on the menu for January 1.  With the challenge this month, I did a little searching for 'lucky' foods.  I'm not really a superstitious person, but I like the idea of a warm dish (for frigid Canadian winters), a variety of vegetables, some spice (to fight those winter colds/flus), legumes (for those who still aren't sure how to add them into their meals), and why not throw in the idea of foods that represent wealth and prosperity.  Sites like epicurious and women's day have similar lists when it comes to cultural foods eaten to celebrate a new year.  These foods include:
- grapes
- greens
- fish
- pork
- cakes
- long noodles
- round fruit
- lentils
- black eyed peas
- corn bread...

Perhaps you have a tradition or foods you eat for luck in the upcoming year (some people even have foods that they avoid for fear of having bad luck!).  Most of the 'lucky' foods represent money - greens represent cash, lentils represent coins, pork represents progress.  I chose to include as many of these as I could, and also chopped my carrots to look like coins and picked up a round sourdough loaf to accompany the soup - should be a great 2014!

1/2 - 1 lb pork sausage (I used hot italian, and the soup is spicy!)
1 Tbsp olive oil
4 carrots, chopped
1 large white onion, diced
3 stalks celery, chopped
5-8 cloves garlic, minced
16 oz (454g) lentils, rinsed
32 oz (946ml) reduced sodium chicken broth
4 cups (1 L) water
1 - 28oz (794g) can diced tomatoes (I found San Marzano ones - yummy!)
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp oregano
salt and pepper to taste
1 bunch collard greens (or kale, spinach...), roughly chopped

1. Place oil in pot and add sausage.  Cook sausage over medium high heat until browned.
2. Add carrots and onion, stir and cook about 3 minutes.
3. Add celery and garlic, continue cooking until onion is translucent.
4. Add lentils, water, broth, tomatoes, and spices.
5. Bring to a boil.
6. Reduce heat and simmer about 1 - 1.5 hours, until lentils are tender.
7. Add greens and cook another 5 minutes (or longer).  Serve and enjoy!

Good luck to you, good fortune, and good food,

Steph Langdon, RD
something nutrishus counselling & coaching

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

hiah chat - Leia Bridge

Born and raised in Saskatoon, Leia feels most at home on the prairies.  A love of learning and travel has sparked many adventures and opportunities, but family and friends keep calling her back home. Leia is a graduate of the University of Saskatchewan, where she studied French, Spanish and Linguistics, but she currently studies the movement of the body, big sweaty smiles and the life-changing effects of the Moksha Yoga series at her studio Moksha Hot Yoga, which she co-owns with friend Ashleigh Ireland, right here in Saskatoon. Leia is passionate about building community and creating a welcoming space for her yoga students; but when she's not in the hot room, Leia can be found jogging through the river valley, taking in the sights and sounds of Downtown and Broadway, or enjoying home life with her fiancĂ© and her little black cat, named Pootie Tat.

Twitter: @mokshayogasask
Facebook: Moksha Yoga Saskatoon

1. What does being healthy mean to you?
Being healthy means waking up in the morning and feeling really good inside my body and ready to tackle the day with a positive attitude.

2. Do you feel that you lead a healthy life? How? (or what would you change?)
I lead a fairly healthy lifestyle.  I do Moksha Yoga, I run, I enjoy Crossfit, and I try my best to eat healthy meals and drink in moderation.  I am a lover of wine, and I enjoy a small glass of wine almost every night with my supper.  A girl has to have some indulgences in life, but if I had to change something, I would try to not eat supper so late some nights!

3. What is a healthy meal that you often eat?
My current favorite quick-fix is a tomato and avocado sandwich on 12 grain bread. Sometimes I add spinach if I'm feeling fancy. The creamy texture of the avocado means no mayo or other condiments are required.  A little salt and pepper, and voila! - quick lunch!

4. How do you stay healthy when life gets hectic?
I tend to gravitate towards a diet of granola bars, fruit and whatever else I can get my hands on quickly when I am busy.  This is not the most balanced diet! I've been making an effort lately to prepare my meals the night before and pack a lunch and/or supper when I am not at home so I will have better choices on hand.  It takes some pre-planning, but leftovers from supper or a quick salad with protein are my most common meals.

5. What is one of your challenges or struggles when it comes to leading a healthy life?
It's definitely having food with me when I am busy.  I often leave the house early in the morning and don't come home till after midnight.  Those pre-packed lunches and dinners are my saving grace. And If I don't have them, that's when I struggle.

6. Are you currently working towards a goal or starting/stopping a habit? What?
I am trying to get more fibre into my diet and also increase my vegetables. I think the increase in vegetables will help with the fibre :)

7. What motivates you to be healthy?
The way I feel in the morning motivates me to be healthy. I dislike waking up feeling groggy, or with a tummy ache and I know from experience that eating healthy keeps me from feeling that way.

8. What is a treat or indulgence that you enjoy?
Red wine, cheese, coffee hahah!!

9. Any inspiring words or comments that you'd like to share with our readers?
Life is your life, your one and only life. chose wisely, but don't let fear of the unknown hold you back. It's the things that you were too scared to try that you will likely regret more than the mistakes that you've made along the way.....

Thanks Leia!

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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

hiah chat - Karlie Jackson

Karlie Jackson was born and raised in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan with her mom (Bev), dad (Richard) and sister (Kayla). Growing up, it wasn't uncommon for Karlie to be participating in a variety of sports; everything from ball to soccer, swimming to basketball and many others. Now, Karlie is not only a player on the Saskatoon Valkyries Women's tackle football team, she also sits on the board of executives as the VP of marketing and promotions. Karlie had the opportunity to be a part of the first ever Team Saskatchewan women’s football team, and went to Montreal in 2012 to participate in a Team Canada National Women's football ID camp and tournament.

Last spring Karlie convocated from the University of Saskatchewan with a BSc in Kinesiology and she hopes to be accepted into the college of nursing for the fall of 2014. Karlie has been a CSEP-Certified Personal Trainer for the last 2.5 years. She trains through the Human Performance Centre out of the University of Saskatchewan. On top of that she also works for the City of Saskatoon as a Recreation Technician at the Leisure facilities. During her free time Karlie enjoys playing many different recreational sports, relaxing and catching up with friends.

Instragram: karjack13
Twitter: @13karjack
Pinterest: 13karjack

1.    What does being healthy mean to you?
Being healthy is more than just an image. It's a lifestyle that incorporates ones' mind, body and soul. It is all about doing things that you enjoy and will prolong your life. Living healthy is a combination of moderation and balance.

2.    Do you feel that you lead a healthy life? How? (or what would you change?)
I do feel like I live a fairly healthy lifestyle. I workout regularly, I eat a healthy and balanced diet. I try to take "me" time as much as I can. I educate myself on ways to continually improve myself. I also allow myself to indulge in life's little pleasures once and a while. I am however human, and can always work on something and for me that would be sleeping more and allowing more time for myself.

3.    What is a healthy meal that you often eat?
A healthy meal that I eat quite often is salmon/chicken breast with a steamed or raw vegetable and rice or sweet potatoes.

4.    How do you stay healthy when life gets hectic?
Between work, school and activities, my life does get pretty hectic. I always try and prepare most of my meals on the weekend for the upcoming week. That allows me to continually eat healthy. I ensure that I make time to exercise regularly, which doesn't just help me look and feel good, it helps me to relieve stress and work through every day problems that I may encounter.

5.    What is one of your challenges or struggles when it comes to leading a healthy life?
My biggest struggle is remembering to put myself first. I love personal training and participating in a variety of sports; sometimes I tend to spread myself a little too thin. My continuous struggle and challenge is to ensure that I maintain a regular sleeping schedule where I reach as close to 8 hours as possible and to allow for "me" time.

6.    Are you currently working towards a goal or starting/stopping a habit? What?
One of my current health challenges is to stretch after every workout and try to practice yoga once a week. I am also trying to try a new recipe at least once a month.

7.    What motivates you to be healthy?
My clients, friends and family motivate me. Many of the people whom I interact with on a daily basis view me as a role model and to me it is important that I lead by example. It is pretty hard to take fitness and health advice from and individual who does not practice what they preach. I am also motivated by my very long bucket list. I have a lot of goals that I would like to accomplish and experience and I don't want failing health to be the thing that stops me.

8.    What is a treat or indulgence that you enjoy?
I love chocolate, baked goods and a good burger, but of course all in moderation.

9.    Any inspiring words or comments that you’d like to share with our readers?
Everyone's vision and image of healthy is going to be different. It is important to find the things that work for you and your lifestyle; it also has to be things that you enjoy. Being healthy doesn't happen overnight, it is a lifestyle, and it is something you work at every single day.
"Success is the small sum of efforts, repeated day in and day out" - Robert Collier

Thanks Karlie!

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Friday, November 22, 2013

Green is the colour...

Whether you've just jumped on the band wagon, have been a fan all year, or just enjoy tuning in for the grey cup - there is sure to be some sitting and snacking this Sunday.  Don't let it be an excuse; turn it into an opportunity.  Think of the example you're setting for young sports fans and the health goal(s) you're working on.  It's a unique situation because we watch these great athletes fight to be the champion, but often as an armchair coach.  With kick off around supper time, be sure to fit in a quality breakfast, lunch, and some exercise before you settle in for the evening.

True to form, I think of holidays or special occasions and what the food theme can be. Rather than chips and dip, pizza, chicken wings, nachos, etc. why not challenge yourself to a green theme? Depending on the spirit in your workplace you might have had a Rider pride day this week already and perhaps you've already been thinking about healthy green foods (good for you!).

Put on that thinking cap and get green:

  • guacamole with veggies or whole wheat pitas (you can crisp them up in the oven)
  • veggies (celery, broccoli, green peppers, snap peas, cucumber) and a greek yogurt dip or cottage cheese
  • fruit (honey dew melon, kiwi, green grapes, granny smith apples) and part skim mozzarella cheese
  • roasted or steamed edamame
  • green smoothies
  • spinach salad
  • feta and spinach frittata
  • kale chips
  • lentil potato spinach soup
What are you serving on grey cup Sunday?

Go Riders!
Steph Langdon, RD
something nutrishus counselling & coaching

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Two for Tea {Recipe ReDux}

November 21st - which means Recipe ReDux reveal...I struggled a lot with this month's theme - it wasn't that I couldn't think of any ideas, but I couldn't decide on just one! So, far I've challenged myself to create new recipes rather than go with my tried and true, so I wanted to do the same this month.  I thought about popcorn kernels and spices, granola, trail mix, chickpeas and spices, and even biscotti (which I've never made), but I landed on mulling spices.

Why was it such a tough decision? I love food and I love giving gifts, so with the theme Adding Merriment to Mixes I was very excited.  The guidance we received was to "share the recipe for how you package up a little shelf-stable love from your kitchen!" With cold temperatures here in Saskatchewan (silly wind chill!) and my love of mindfulness and creating healthy habits, I figured a nice hot cup of holiday cheer was the way to go.  There are so many high calorie, high sugar, and high fat beverages to tempt you this time of year, so here is a way to enjoy festive flavours at home while saving calories for that special appetizer or dessert.  Plus it's a great way to warm up after being active outside.

Merry Mulling Spices

Makes 4 pouches for individual servings

6 cardamom pods
6 peppercorns
1 anise star
4 whole cloves
2-3" cinnamon stick
1 dehydrated orange slice (optional)
4 loose leaf tea bags (I used David's Tea ones)

Combine ingredients in a mortar and smash with the pestel to release the aromas and flavours.  Divide into 4 loose tea leaf bags or use cheese cloth and tie to secure.

Place the mulling spice bag and your favourite black tea in a mug, add boiled water, and steep for 3-5 minutes (or longer for more flavour).  Serve with a splash of milk and/or dash of sugar as desired. 

*You can use a variety of spices to give this a personal touch.  I started to dehydrate the oranges at room temperature and then put them on a baking sheet on parchment paper and into the oven for about 1 hour at 200F to finish the drying process.  You could also use dried orange zest instead.
Depending on how much festive flavour you want to add, you can double up and make tea for two (instead of 4).  This makes a great gift with a box of black tea bags, a holiday mug, and some may even want to gift it with a bottle of wine.  I have not tried these exact spices with wine for a mulled wine, but you would at least double the recipe for 1 bottle and simmer 15-20 minutes to infuse the spices into the beverage.  The mulling spice bag can also be placed in water on the stove to simmer and provide a great fragrance to your home or combined with hot apple cider.

Enjoy hosting or spoiling your host(s)!
Steph Langdon, RD
something nutrishus counselling & coaching

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Sip and Snack Swaps

With holiday season soon upon us, the time for hot beverages, sweet/salty/crunchy snacks and cuddling up with a warm blanket in front of the TV has begun. The cold weather brings holiday drinks such as eggnog, hot chocolate, lattes and mochas and the parties bring sweet, salty and crunchy treats. It is important to be aware of these treats and drinks as they can pack a bunch of calories into a day. Many people are not aware of the amount of liquid calories consumed at the holiday time, but when a 16 oz. eggnog latte from Starbucks has 470 calories, it is something we need to start paying attention to. There is a place for beverages such as these in your diet. However, they should be consumed in smaller serving sizes and only occasionally. As well some of the traditional treats can be consumed but there are great alternatives out there to subdue the cravings for these snacks.

Try some of these alternative drinks this season when planning a party.

1. Fruity tea soda instead of a soft drink or flavored soda 
  • To make this steep two tea bags of your favourite herbal tea in 3 cups of boiling water (we used Tetley's Mint Mojito - pictured above). Chill. Add 1 cup sparkling mineral or soda water. You will have an instant fizzy drink with close to no sugar
2. Citrus water instead of fruit juice 
  • Mix a teaspoon of lemon or lime juice with 8 oz. of water to have a refreshing drink without the sugar and calories from fruit juice. Try using a water bowl instead of a punch bowl at the next party you host. 
3. Herbal tea instead of eggnog, hot chocolate, lattes and mochas.
  • Consider picking up the holiday flavors of teas to have instead of having the sugar sweetened, high fat beverages. If you do go for the other beverages try a skinny version or get the drink with half the sweetness.

Try some of these healthy snacks to curb the salty, crunchy or sweet cravings that come along with the holiday season:
  • Cheesy Kale Chips - Tear kale leaves into large pieces and arrange on a baking sheet. Spritz with olive oil and bake in a 350°F oven until crisp. While still warm, sprinkle with a little grated Parmesan cheese (check out our past post and Today I Ate a Rainbow's video).
  • Five-spice pumpkin seeds - Toss salted pumpkin seeds with sesame oil and Chinese five-spice powder; bake at 350°F until crisp.
  • Buffalo popcorn - Toss air-popped popcorn with olive oil, chili powder, and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese (how to make your own microwave popcorn)
  • Chickpea poppers - Drain and rinse canned chickpeas, then dry them with a paper towel. Spritz with extra-virgin olive oil, season with dried oregano and garlic powder, and roast at 400°F until crisp (read more).
  • Banana cream pie - Spread graham crackers with vanilla fat-free Greek yogurt, then top with a handful of banana slices and a sprinkle of ground flaxseed. (Read the label to make sure you stick to one serving of graham crackers.)
  • Grapefruit Brule - Transform a simple grapefruit into something decadent: Halve it; drizzle each half with a little dark honey (use concentrated sweets sparingly), and broil until bubbly.
...more examples of sweet, salty, crunchy treats
Remember, there will be temptations at every holiday party you go to. If you focus on good choices most of the year, treats at the holiday season can fit in to a balanced diet. Just spend more time choosing the better option and don’t over indulge when you do have some treats. Enjoy the holiday season and stay warm this winter!

Kaitlyn Kwasney, Dietetic Intern
for Stephanie Langdon, RD
something nutrishus counselling & coaching

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Warm & Cozy

Winter and snow seem to be here to stay.  For many people that means looking for a warm meal and for me that means a hearty soup with vegetables and meat alternatives such as beans, lentils, or chickpeas.  You can also add barley, rice, quinoa, and noodles for more grain products.  

Soups, stews, and chilis are also great to prepare ahead on the weekend or leave in the crockpot for a quick supper or lunch leftovers.  My husband often likes pureed textures, which can help you 'hide' some vegetables from your picky eaters if needed.  I also just realized this is a green and white soup, so it can be eaten while watching the Roughriders too!

Lentil Potato Spinach Soup
Source: Pulse Canada
Makes 2.25 L (~ 5 servings)

250 ml (1 cup) dry green lentils
30 ml (2 tbsp) vegetable/canola oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium onions, chopped
1.5 L (6 cups) reduced sodium vegetable or chicken broth
125 ml (1/4 cup) chopped fresh parsley
1 L (4 cups) chopped fresh spinach
2 medium potatoes, cubed 
salt and pepper to taste
50 ml (1/4 cup) fresh lemon juice


  1. Cover lentils with water in a medium saucepan. Bring to boil and reduce to simmer, covered for 20-30 minutes. Set aside. Drain liquids. 
  2. SautĂ© garlic and onions with oil in a large saucepan until browned. Add vegetable (or chicken) broth, lentils and remaining ingredients except lemon juice. 
  3. Cook mixture for about 1 hour until lentils and potatoes are tender.  Add lemon juice just before serving.
* option to puree soup and return to saucepan. 

What do you eat to be warm and cozy?

Steph Langdon, RD
something nutrishus counselling & coaching