Dinosaur kale salad.

Dinosaur kale salad.

A fresh spring/ summer salad that with a quick substitution can change from started to main course.

Prep Time 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 Bowl dinosaur kale with stems removed
  • 1/2 cup sliced radish
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • sliced gouda cheese
  • 2 lrg avocado
  • Dressing
  • 1/4 c raw tahini
  • 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp. raw apple cider vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tbsp. maple syrup
  • sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 c water to thin
  • Topping options
  • 1/2 pkg Smoked salmon
  • 1 Chicken breast per person
  • Sliced steak
  • Grilled tofu

Instructions

  1. Remove stems and wash kale, then tear into smaller pieces.

  2. Slice radish and dice avocado then place in bowl with kale and cranberries.

  3. See Crispy chickpea recipe for cooking instructions then generously add to salad bowl.

  4. Whisk dressing ingredients and pour over salad.

  5. add any optional toppings you want!

Lamb meatballs with mint pesto.

Lamb Meatballs with Mint Pesto

Rich and flavourful, a great alternative to your standard meatball.

Servings 4 people

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground lamb turkey or chicken
  • 1 tsp. each of sea salt pepper, garlic powder, oregano
  • 1 egg whisked
  • 4 medium zucchini
  • 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • Pesto:
  • 2 packed cups of mint leaves
  • 1/3 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 lemon juiced
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon zest
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt

Instructions

  1. Directions:
  2. Preheat oven to 350F. Combine lamb and spices in a mixing bowl. Add in egg & stir in evenly. Form mixture into golf ball-sized pieces. Place on parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 25 mins. Serve with mint pesto.
  3. Pesto: Pulse mint & walnuts in food processor. Add oil, lemon juice, lemon zest & salt. Blend until smooth.

Recipe Notes

You can also replace the Lamb with TVP (textured vegetable protein) 

Bulgar stuffed sweet peppers.

Bulgar Stuffed sweet peppers

These take a little bit of time to make,
but they are sooooo worth it! Hearty and delicious. Serve with a side salad and you are good to go!

Course Dinner
Servings 4 people

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup bulgar
  • 4 sweet red peppers
  • 4 cups Mushrooms
  • 2 cloves Fresh garlic
  • 2 Diced tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp Lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp freshly chopped sage
  • 1/4 cup Freshly chopped parsley
  • 2 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1/2 cup shredded asiago cheese
  • 1/4 cup toasted almond slivers
  • 1 tbsp Salt and pepper or to taste

Instructions

  1. In large bowl, pour
    1 1/3 cups boiling water over bulgur; cover and let stand for 15 minutes.  Drain and press out moisture; return to dry
    bowl.

    Meanwhile, slice
    tops off red peppers leaving 2-inch high sides; core and scrape out seeds.  Dice tops and set aside.

    In food processor
    or by hand, finely chop mushrooms.  In
    large nonstick skillet, heat half of the oil over medium-high heat; fry diced
    peppers, mushrooms, onion, garlic, sage and ½ tsp each of the salt and pepper
    until liquid is evaporated, about 10 minutes. 
    Add to bulgur along with cheese, toasted almonds and parsley; toss to
    combine.

    Spoon bulgur
    mixture into peppers, mounding if necessary. 
    Place peppers, stuffed side up, in a 8-inch square glass baking
    dish.  Drizzle with lemon juice and
    remaining oil; top with tomatoes. 
    Sprinkle with remaining salt and pepper.


    Cover with foil;
    bake in 350◦ oven until peppers are almost tender about 1 hour.  Uncover and bake until tips are crusty, about
    30 minutes.

Grilled Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Balsamic

Grilled Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Balsamic

You should eat your vegetables – especially if they’re grilled, covered in bacon, and drizzled with a balsamic vinegar reduction.
Course Side Dish
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 1.5 lb fresh Brussels sprouts
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup good quality aged balsamic vinegar
  • 4 slices thick-cut bacon cooked and crumbled

Instructions

  1. 1.Preheat oven to 400°F. If using a grill, preheat it to medium-high. Discard the outer leaves of the Brussels sprouts and trim the bottom of the stems. Slice them in half and lay them in a single layer on a non-stick or lined baking sheet. Drizzle a couple tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil over the sprouts, sprinkle with some salt and freshly ground black pepper, and toss to evenly coat.

  2. 2.Place the baking sheet on the top oven rack and roast for 16-20 minutes or until nicely browned. If using a grill, place the Brussels sprouts on a grill rack and grill for 8-10 minutes on each side.

  3. 3.While the Brussels sprouts are roasting, place the balsamic vinegar in a very small saucepan and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered for about 15 minutes or until it is thickened and lightly coats a spoon.

  4. 4.Arrange the Brussels sprouts on a serving platter, drizzle with the balsamic vinegar reduction and sprinkle with the crumbled bacon. Serve immediately.

Healthy Pumpkin Pie Bars

Healthy Pumpkin Pie Bars

These pumpkin pie bars are the perfect healthy dessert for any fall occasion! The crust is made from almond flour, warm fall spices, and maple syrup. These dairy-free pumpkin pie bars are healthy dessert bars are perfect for a healthy Thanksgiving dessert or if you’re just looking for a little something sweet.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword bars, healthy pumpkin pie, Pumpkin pie, sweet treat
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Servings 9

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups almond flour superfine
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil melted
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • FILLING
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 3 large eggs beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • WHIPPED CREAM TOPPING
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF and lay parchment paper in the bottom of an 8×8-inch cake pan. Spray parchment paper with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Prepare the crust by mixing together all crust ingredients, forming a ball. Transfer dough into the greased pan and use your hands and/or a spatula to spread dough to the edges of the pan. The key is to make sure the crust is relatively the same thickness all around, so the spatula comes in handy especially for the edges.
  3. Place crust in the oven at 350ºF and bake for 10 minutes.
  4. While crust is baking, make the filling. Add coconut sugar and pumpkin puree to a large bowl. Mix until combined. Slowly add eggs to the pumpkin mixture. Then add the rest of the filling ingredients and mix well.
  5. Remove crust from the oven and carefully pour pumpkin mixture over the crust. Place pan back into the oven and bake at 350ºF for 24-28 minutes*.
  6. Let pumpkin bars cool for at least an hour. When you are ready to remove bars from the cake pan, simply lift the parchment paper up out of the pan. The bars should easily come out of the pan. Place bars on a cutting board and cut into 9 squares.
  7. For the whipped topping, add whipped cream ingredients to a large bowl. Using an electric mixer, whisk ingredients on high speed until stiff peaks form.
  8. Add a healthy dollop of whipped cream onto each bar when ready to serve.

Recipe Notes

Time varies by oven.
Nutrition information does not include whipped topping
NUTRITION
Serving Size: 1/9 Calories: 144 Sugar: 15 Sodium: 58 Fat: 7 Carbohydrates: 17 Fiber: 1 Protein: 3

My Blue Print Nutrition Tip of the Day- Top 5 Supps for FAT Loss Part 1

 

Tami our lifestyle coach and myself are excited to discuss NUTRITION!  With so much info out there we want to keep things as simple as possible for you all.  With fat loss being such a big topic today we will discuss what we have had success with clients for fats loss

Note – YOU must follow a proper nutritional program as there is no supplement that will outrun a POOR diet

Part one

Here are favourite Supplements To Take For Fat Loss – part one

Omega-3 Fish Oil

If you only take one supplement, it should be omega-3 fish oil. Studies show that supplementing with omega-3 fish oil significantly increases lean mass, while decreasing body fat at the same time. Omega-3 fish oil improves the body’s testosterone-to-cortisol ratio by lowering cortisol and turning on the fat burning genes, while turning off the lipogenic or fat storing genes. Omega-3’s improve leptin signaling in the brain, causing the brain to turn up fat burning and turn down appetite.\

fish oil cartoon

www.myblueprintnutrition.com

sst.training

10 Food Staples To Throw Out NOW!! – Part 3

Welcome back to our pantry overhaul series! If you have missed the first 6 pantry items to trash check out Part 1 & Part 2 of this series.

Quick and easy meals and snacks are great and almost essential for our sanity and schedules. Sometimes, however, seemingly healthy options can be our worst enemies.  Our next two items can be very tricky…

7. CANNED SOUP

Soup can be a great healthy quick option for meals, however, a lot of canned soup should be re-labelled as canned liquid sodium! Some varieties can contain upwards of 800mg of sodium per cup. That is over 1/3 of your daily recommended intake in one cup of soup!!

Many canned soups are also packaged with plastic linings that often contain BPA’s, are flavoured using MSG, and all those veggies in there are left pretty much nutrition-less after the high heat and pressurization from the packaging process.

What to Keep On-hand Instead? – Sodium-free Chicken or Vegetable Stock

Alton Brown's Garden Vegetable Soup as seen on Food Network

Soup is one of the easiest and quickest meals you can make! Keep a few boxes of low-sodium broth in the pantry and throw whatever you have lying around in the fridge into a pot – corn, potatoes, cauliflower, carrots, onion, garlic, celery, green beans. Blend it to make a creamy soup or don’t to have a clear broth soup. Add chicken, meat balls, or shrimp. Add your own salt, hot sauce, or fresh herbs. The possibilities are endless, delicious, and nutritious!

8. GRANOLA BARS

Bars can be a great on-the-go or emergency snack but be cautious! While the word granola may make you think of whole grains, whole nuts, fruit all wrapped up in a convenient bar most granola bars have suffered the same fate as trail mix.  Many are made more like candy bars containing sugar, molasses, high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, marshmallows, chocolate, artificial flavours, any many chemicals that cannot be pronounced. Some Bar can contain upwards of 30+ grams of sugar in a single bar; spiking your blood sugar and actually making you hungrier in the long run (check out this post to see how).

What to Keep On-hand Instead? – Bars made with whole foods, short ingredient lists and high in fibergranola bar

While any type of bar may not be the healthiest option (always try to eat your food as close to its natural state as possible) their convenience cannot be matched and there are some options that are healthier. Make sure to look at the nutrition label, your bar should contain at least 5 grams of fiber. This will help moderate your blood sugar levels and keep you full. Look at the ingredient list, it should be short, all ingredients recognizable – Oats, whole nuts, fruit – and sugar, or any derivative of it, should be as far down the list as possible.

Thanks for tuning in this week! Check back next week when we look at pantry items 9 & 10. One of which is probably the MOST toxic food item almost every household has and needs to throw out now!!

If you have any questions or comments about this post make sure to ask in our comments section or email SST Mississauga’s Lead Strength Coach, Courtney  ( cplewes@sstcanada.com ).

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10 Foods Staples to Throw Out NOW!! – Part 2

nutnHere we are with our second installment of food staples that you need to rid your pantry of ASAP!

And of course what to replace them with!

Click the link in case you happened to miss Part 1

3. WHITE OR “MULTI-GRAIN” BREAD

White bread, and even deceivingly, multi-grain breads contain zero whole grains, are made with enriched white flours, and little to no fiber. Meaning these breads will spike your blood sugar levels and leave you feeling unsatisfied and hungry again soon after eating.

What to Keep On-hand Instead? – 100% Whole Grain Wheat Bread

whole grain bread
Look for breads with ‘whole grain’ as the first ingredient on the ingredient list. The first ingredient on any nutrition label means it is proportionately the most used ingredient in that particular product. Whole grains are not only great for keeping you satiated but can also help protect against many diet-related chronic diseases; such as diabetes.

 

4. GENERIC PEANUT BUTTER

While peanut butter on toast or fruit may seem like a smart snack choice, generic peanut butter is full of sugar, trans fats and little useful nutrients. Generic peanut butters (such as Kraft, Jif or Skippy) are usually highly processed using a technique called hydrogenation. Hydrogenation is the process of adding hydrogen atoms to the molecular structure of fat in a product in order to make it more spreadable, creamier, and shelf-stable. This process actually lowers levels of good cholesterol (HDL) in the body and increases levels of bad cholesterol (LDL). Hydrogenated oils should be avoided as much as possible.nutrition fat loss,

What to Keep On-hand Instead? – Natural Nut Butter
Now a days there are SO many nut butters to choose from! Almond, cashew, walnut, the choices are endless. When choosing a nut butter to keep your pantry stocked, read the ingredient list, there should be 3 or fewer ingredients and the first one should always be nuts.

nut butter

5. TRAIL MIX

Trail Mix is another tricky snack dressed up and disguised as a healthy one. Pre-made trail mixes now contain chunks of chocolate, M&M’s, and dried fruit. Making this, could be healthy, staple more like a bag of candy.

What to Keep On-hand Instead? – Homemade trail mix

The best trial mix is the one you mix yourself! You can customize them to your own preferences and goals. Cut out the unwanted sugar and look to add ingredients such as 90% dark chocolate, almonds, and walnuts. Be sure to store them in air-tight containers to keep your mixture fresh!

 

6. WHITE PASTA

White pasta has the same problems as white rice or white bread, it has been stripped of all its useful nutrients, is highly processed, and is a simple carbohydrate. It will spike your blood sugar levels as well as leave you feeling hungry again soon after your meal.

What to Keep On-hand Instead? – Garbanzo bean, Quinoa, Black Bean or Veggies Based Pastabean pastas

The one upside to the ridiculous gluten-free craze that hit the supermarket shelves was the introduction of vegetable based pastas! These ‘pastas’ contain more fiber, protein, and vitamins and minerals. These options are going to keep your blood sugar levels steadier and keep you feeling full long after your meal. Granted they do not taste as bland or neutral as regular pasta but once you try these options you will not want to go back to tasteless pastas ever again!

Have you tried any of new food staples?!? Let us know how these new staples are fairing in your kitchen down in the comment section.

Check back next week for Part 3!

If you have any questions or comments make sure to ask in our comments section or email SST Mississauga’s Lead Strength Coach, Courtney  ( cplewes@sstcanada.com ).

10 Foods Staples to Throw Out NOW!! – Part 1

With busy schedules of work, school, kids, training, housework – the list can go on and on – pantry staples can be a great time saver in preparing your meals, avoiding the drive-thru and keeping your nutrition on track. However, there are many everyday staples in your pantry that are doing more harm than good and need to be thrown out immediately!

healthy pantryHaving healthy, nutrient dense pantry staples on hand will help keep you full longer, aid in lean muscle growth, increase your energy and help the waist line shrink!

Read on to find out what time saving staple need to be kicked to the curb and what you can replace them with!

1. READY-TO-EAT BREAKFAST CEREAL

These are the first thing that need to hit the trash bin!! This staple is quick, easy, LOADED with sugar and not much else. It is easy to be fooled by labels boasting about ‘added vitamins’, and pictures of whole almonds, oats, grains, mountain scenery… But even those cereals marketed as ‘healthy’ are usually loaded with sugar and refined carbohydrates and they lack sufficient fiber, protein, and healthy fats to help keep you energized and full for the start of your day. Because of this you are more likely to have a crash in blood sugar levels mid-morning causing more sugar cravings and having you reaching for snacks that contain more sugar and doing so earlier in the day then you should be.

What to Keep On-hand Instead? – Oatmealoatmeal

Were not talking to Quacker packets loaded with sugar. Stock your pantry with plain oats (steel cut are even better) that can be made on the stove top. They only take a couple minutes to prepare and you can customize them with all your favourites – almonds, cashew butter, fruits, seeds, flax-seed, organic honey, dark chocolate shavings – the possibilities are endless and delicious!

2. WHITE RICE

White rice is about as void of nutrients as a product can get. The heavy processing the rice goes through strips rice of almost all vitamins, minerals, fibre and antioxidants. Along with that white rice is a refined carbohydrate meaning it is digested and absorbed by the body quickly, causing spikes in blood sugar levels which in turn forces your body to process the sugar quickly and leads to fat conversion and storage.

What to Keep On-hand Instead? – Red, Black or Wild Rice
These whole grain rice options may cost an extra buck or two but they are worth the splurge! Whole grain rices have vitamins, minerals, fiber, and are digested at a much slower rates. Allowing your body to properly prowild ricecess the carbohydrates and using them as fuel instead of converting them for fat storage. These options will also keep your blood sugar levels more stable leading to less cravings and the extra fiber will help keep you feeling full longer.

 

 

 

If you liked this post make sure to check back in a few days for Part 2!

If you have any questions or comments about this post make sure to ask in our comments section or email SST Mississauga’s Lead Strength Coach, Courtney  ( cplewes@sstcanada.com ).

Sports Nutrition on the Road – Part 4: Low & High GI Carbs & Energy Drinks

In case you missed the beginning of this series: PART 1, PART 2 & PART 3

OTRN part 4

In Part 2 of our sports nutrition on the road series we spoke about Low- and High-GI Carbs, but what are there? And why do they matter to you performance?

Carbohydrates are important for athletes because they provide you with your main source of energy for exercise and competition. Without an adequate supply of carbs your performance can be severely limited. The Glycemic Index (GI) is an index of foods with different kinds of carbohydrates; complex, simple, etc. Foods are generally rate as “Low GI” or “High GI” based on the speed at which carbohydrates are absorbed by the body.

Low GI Foods are rich in fiber, and have carbs that absorb slowly and take a longer time to deliver glucose to your blood and glycogen to your working muscles

  • Eat these the night before games and at your pre-game meals
  • Potatoes (preferably sweet potatoes)
  • Pasta (Whole wheat)
  • Beans and nuts (not peanuts)
  • Rice/Grains (wild rice, quinoa, barley)
  • Fruits -apples/pears/cherries/grapefruit/bananas/pineapple
  • Vegetables – carrots/broccoli/mushrooms/peppers/tomatoes

High GI Foods consist of sugars and starches, and have carbs that absorb rapidly and deliver glucose to your blood and glycogen to your muscles quickly

  • Eat these within the first 12 hours after competition to reload the tank quickly
  • Some may also be eaten within the last 30-60 minutes before competition, at halftime, or between innings/periods
  • Baked potatoes
  • Corn chips/rice cakes/pretzels
  • Brown rice/Jasmine long grain white rice
  • Cereals (corn and oat-based)
  • Sweetened fruit drinks/dried fruits/watermelon
  • Sports Bars or Drinks

 

Energy Drinks

Energy drink such as Red Bull, Monster, Rockstar, Amp, etc. contain incredibly high levels of caffeine, other stimulants, and huge amounts of sugar. They DO NOT provide any kind of sustained energy you need for an athletic competition and can actually have the opposite effect. Energy drinks can actually promote poor sleeping habits, caffeine/sugar crashes, and nutrient wasting by stealing your appetite from healthy foods.

Because these drinks are caffeine laden they also have a significant effect on dehydration as well as raise your heart rate and blood pressure. If you are in a sport in which randomized drug testing is common place these drinks can also exceed the legal caffeine limits set by CESP and WADA.

These are all things you definitely want to avoid on game day!

 

If you found this info useful be sure to share it with a friend!

For more info on this topic email Courtney (cplewes@sstcanada.com)