Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Souper Bowl Sunday

Important sporting events, like festive holidays, can be a time to consume delicious and sometimes indulgent foods.  I've discussed the snacks that will be offered with a few of my clients, and sometimes we don't know because we get to be the guest at someone's gathering. 

True to form, I suggest planning ahead (perhaps even setting a few goals), and being mindful.  This may be a rare occasion where you enjoy the game and wings, but you also want to make sure to keep your health in focus.   

A few things to keep in mind:
  • eat healthy and wholesome foods for breakfast and lunch since the game is in the evening this year
  • earlier in the day make sure to consume foods that may not be available at kickoff (you know what I mean...get in those veggies!)
  • decide what your 'treat' will be and savour it (take a few wings at a commercial break and really taste the flavours)
  • don't let the game distract you from realizing how much you've eaten
  • move away from the food; if it's tempting you because it's right in front of you, then you're more likely to overdo it
  • enjoy an item that isn't part of your usual routine (or even better, share it so that you get a taste, but have room for other things)
  • pay attention to your liquid calories (alcohol, pop) since they won't fill you up the same and make sure to sip on water too
  • bring a healthy snack if you're a guest, that way you know there's at least one dish that fits within your goals
  • take time to be active, not just an armchair coach
  • don't stress about it, and be sure to get back on track Monday morning
Taking a page out of a friend's book, you could also have a Souper Bowl party and include vegetables, legumes, lean meats, and whole grains in your entree.  I recently had a nostalgic craving for grilled cheese and tomato soup.  I tried Jamie Oliver's recipe and really enjoyed it (see my adaptation below):

Serves 6-8   Approx time: 45   Difficulty: super easy


  • 2 carrots, peeled & chopped
  • 2 sticks celery, sliced
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 7 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 796ml can diced unsalted tomatoes
  • 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 1 small bunch fresh basil
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper


To make your soup:
Put a large pan on medium heat and add olive oil. Add all your chopped and sliced ingredients and mix together with a wooden spoon. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes with the lid askew, until the carrots have softened but are still holding their shape, and the onion is lightly golden.

Heat the broth, then add to the large pan of vegetables with your tomatoes (canned and fresh). Give it a good stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes with the lid on. Meanwhile, pick your basil leaves.

To serve your soup:
Remove the pan from the heat. Season with salt and pepper and add the basil leaves. Using a hand blender pulse the soup until smooth. Season again (as necessary) before dividing between your serving bowls.

I love making soups for weekday lunches and the basil was a great flavour in this one.

What are your Super Bowl plans?

Steph Langdon, RD
something nutrishus counselling & coaching

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Go Go Goals...Small Steps Today For A Healthy Tomorrow

For those who frequently follow my musings, likes, and pins you know that I enjoy a good motivational quote, adore my greyhound, and strive to be the best version of myself. As a perfectionist, that will be a lifelong challenge for me and means that I'm always working on personal development.

I haven't been posting as often as I would like, but I've been enjoying sharing recipes here and there. Today I thought I'd steal a moment and put down a few thoughts. Since it's January 23 (already?!) I thought I'd check in and see how you're doing with your goals (or resolutions) because I am a believer in lifelong change and the creation of healthy habits, not jumping on the band wagon and falling off right away! Eating healthy and being active are skills that need to be practiced so that they become second nature.

I often talk with clients about having a 'Stephanie on their shoulder' to remind them to be mindful and make conscious health choices. If they choose to have a piece of chocolate, then I want them to enjoy it, not feel guilty about it, but find a way for that to fit into the big picture that is their wellness journey.  Too often we're too strict and then we go in the opposite direction, for most of us it's about finding a healthy balance.  It's about getting on the health cycle, where you eat well, have increased energy, look forward to being active, and want to keep it up to keep that feeling.

So, I'm asking you to reflect.  Perhaps the gym has quieted down since January 1, or the cupboards are holding chips and candy again.  What is a small step you can take today towards your healthy tomorrow?

Maybe that's:
- parking further away from the mall and walking (even if it's cold out)
- walking a few flights of stairs during commercial breaks
- putting out a fruit bowl so that it's the first thing you see when you're hungry
- taking the laundry off the treadmill and dusting off your running shoes so they're waiting for you
- creating a new tradition with a friend and meeting for an active date/chat
- including vegetables with lunch and supper
- keeping a glass of water on your desk
- eating before you go grocery shopping
- using positive terms when you look at yourself in the mirror
- eating real food (less packaged, convenience items)
- cooking a big batch of soup/chili on the weekend for your lunches
- turning off the television or computer at supper time

These may seem small, but once they become part of your routine you can add new challenges.  The small changes are the ones that stick, because we eventually don't even notice them.

I have lots of little goals that I'm working on right now, what about you?

To your health!
Steph Langdon, RD
something nutrishus counselling & coaching

Monday, January 20, 2014

Personalized Pizza {Recipe ReDux}

We don't make or order pizza often at our house, but I know it's something that my husband and I agree on - we both love thin crust pies that remind us of our time in Rome (simple, flavourful ingredients).  We've successfully made our own with caputo 00 flour and san marzano tomatoes, but when I have a crowd to feed or need to make a meal in a hurry, I turn to pita pizzas.  I have yet to try using eggplant or pureed cauliflower as a crust, but I've pinned them to try in the future.

Pita pizzas are a great way to use up leftover vegetables, protein, and cheese, or to make extra veggies to be used later in the week with eggs, salads, etc.  Knowing that many of my clients prep food on the weekend, it's always great to think about planned extras and take advantage of the time you have, since we know there will be evenings when you need to get something on the table fast!
This month's Recipe ReDux challenge is Pizza Party! Give the delivery guy a day off; whether it is for Friday Fun Night with the kids, a pizza chef competition among friends, or for Super Bowl Sunday (February 2). Share your healthy pizza recipe that we can all look forward to after a long week…or a long day.

Pizzas are great since everyone can choose their own toppings.  You basically need the pitas, a sauce, lots of vegetables, and protein (cheese, chicken, sausage, my husband has even tried oysters).  You can be creative and use up what you have while creating a new favourite flavour combination.  Lately I’ve been loving roasted vegetables and Mediterranean flavours, which is what inspired me for this month’s challenge.

Personalized Pita Pizzas
Makes 4 pitas

Olive oil
1 pint (~40) cherry tomatoes, halved
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 artichoke, rinsed
1 1/2 – 2 cups of white mushrooms, sliced
1/4 – 1/3 red onion, thinly sliced
1 handful spinach
1/3 cup feta, crumbled
2 Tbsp cream cheese (optional, flavoured)
1 Tbsp milk
4 whole wheat pitas
Salt and pepper

  1. Roast tomatoes: preheat oven to 250F. Place parchment paper on a baking sheet and top with tomatoes, garlic, and 1 Tbsp olive oil.  Place on centre rack and roast for 1 1/2 – 2 hours, stirring/turning once and removing once aromatic and shrivelled to your heart’s content.  This can be done ahead of time and refrigerated for when you want to quickly make pizza.
  2. Cooking the artichoke: I chose to do this as a challenge to myself since I’ve only used the hearts in the past.  There are many videos on youtube if you’re also new to purchasing and cooking with artichoke. Start by removing the coarse leaves close to the stem, trimming the tiny thorns from the outer leaves with kitchen shears, trimming 1/8” off the stem, and using a sharp knife to trim about 1/2” off the top. Bring a pot of water (with a dash of salt) to a boil and add your artichoke; cook for 35-40 minutes (it’s done when an inner leaf comes off easily).  This can also be done ahead of time, and then you can also enjoy eating from the leaves.  Once you get to the heart, chop it and set aside.
  3. Heat 1 Tbsp of olive oil in a sauce pan over medium heat and add mushrooms.  Sauté 3-5 minutes to desired level of doneness (option to add a dash of salt). Remove from heat and set aside. 
  4. Using the same saucepan, sauté red onion until lightly browned. Remove from heat and set aside. 
  5. Use that saucepan one more time and heat up 2 Tbsp of cream cheese (we used herb and garlic) and 1 Tbsp of milk to make a white sauce.
  6. Preheat oven to 425F and start prepping your pizzas.  Lightly spread white sauce on four pitas and top with desired ingredients (tomatoes, onion, artichoke, mushrooms, spinach, and feta). Season with black pepper and place in heated oven for 8-10 minutes until cheese is melted and edge is golden brown.  Let cool 1-2 minutes, slice and enjoy!
How do you enjoy "pizza" and what are your favourite toppings?

Steph Langdon, RD
something nutrishus counselling & coaching


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Weathering the Winter

It's been very cold out there.  I feel bad complaining since I sort of 'escaped' winter for a month, but it's still really cold for a born and raised Saskatchewan girl!  It's always interesting to hear people suffer with seemingly milder temperatures or to chuckle when we're happy that it's only -23C today.  I remember being jealous as a kid when I heard that schools closed in other cities when it snowed, but that's just our reality.  The sun is out, but winter means I want warm dishes and comfort foods.  I love making soups as a great way to include legumes get more vegetables, and stay cozy.

This week I tried a recipe from my Langdon side - a favourite of this couple (thanks for sharing)!  I was very fortunate to receive numerous family and friend recipes at my bridal shower and I love looking through them for inspiration or a new one to try.  I also have a goal to try 10 family recipes on my Day Zero project, so this was an accomplishment in more ways than one :)

Pea Soup with Rosemary and Orange
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced

2 medium potatoes, chopped
1 medium carrot, chopped
3 cups vegetable stock
1 cup orange juice
1 Tbsp rosemary
1 cup green split peas, rinsed
1 Tbsp soy sauce
3 bay leaves
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp black pepper
salt, to taste

1) Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat; add onion and garlic; saute 3-4 minutes.
2) Add remaining ingredients.
3) Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low; simmer until peas are cooked (30-40 minutes).

Stay warm and hopeful, the days are getting longer already!
Steph Langdon, RD
something nutrishus counselling & coaching