Wellness Waldorf Salad

The colder winter months usually make us crave warming foods like soups and stews so it’s important to remember to include fresh, raw veggies daily. This leaves me looking for new salad inspo all the time!

Enter the famous Waldorf salad.

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My twist on this classic salad is Paleo approved since we’re swapping plain yogurt from the traditional recipe with organic coconut milk and avocado mayonnaise. Honestly I think this dressing makes this salad, its unreal!

I made mine vegetarian but if you’re looking for some extra protein to make this salad more of a meal, poached chicken is an optional ingredient listed as well :)

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Ingredients

Leaf lettuce

Arugula

2 stalks celery, chopped

1 apple, chopped

1 cup grapes, cut in halves

1 cup raw walnuts, lightly roasted

Option: poached chicken breast, chopped

Dressing

2 tablespoons fresh dill, finely chopped

2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped

3 tablespoons Organic coconut milk cream - leave in fridge over night to ensure separation

1 tablespoon avocado mayonnaise - I recommend Primal Kitchen Avocado Mayo

Juice from 1/2 lemon

1 teaspoon onion powder

Himalayan sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Prepare your dressing by mixing all ingredients well, toss into salad mix and enjoy!

~ K

Festive Nut Butter Cups

Here’s my recipe for a healthier version of a Reese cup with some festive toppings because -tis the season! :)

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Ingredients

1 cup or slightly more if you’d like - dark chocolate chips (try for 70% cacao or more)

1/2 cup SunButter sunflower seed butter ( https://www.amazon.ca/Sunbutter-Unsweetened-Organic is bomb)

1/2 cup natural, unsweetened crunchy almond butter

1 tsp chia seeds

pistachios

macadamia nuts

pumpkin seeds

dried cranberries

dried goji berries

coconut flakes

How to

  1. Melt chocolate in a double boiler or gently in a saucepan on low heat to avoid burning the chocolate..

  2. in a medium bowl, mix together the sun butter, almond butter and chia seeds until smooth.

  3. In a separate bowl, mix together nuts, dried fruit and coconut.

  4. Line a cupcake pan with paper cupcake liners. This recipe should make 12.

  5. Once chocolate is fully melted, using a teaspoon pour in a small amount into the bottom of each paper liner.

  6. Place tray in the freezer for about 10 minutes.

  7. Remove tray from the freezer and next scoop in about a teaspoon of nut butter mix into each tray, making the middle layer.

  8. With the remaining chocolate, cover the nut butter.

  9. Sprinkle on the nut and fruit toppings and place back into the freezer for another 10 minutes.

  10. Remove and enjoy!

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The top 4 Supplements you should be taking every day and why

As a nutritionist, I always promote getting your necessary nutrients from whole foods first. Vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds, quality meat and fish are the best sources of everything essential to our bodies. A vitamin and mineral supplement is not meant to replace a healthy diet. Unfortunately, with busy lives and the quality of our food sources diminishing, supplementing can fill in those gaps we may lack from our diet from day go day to ensure optimal health.

The supplement world can be overwhelming. There’s new information coming out constantly. We’re being told that we should take a number of supplements regularly to promote good health - but this can become super costly and not to mention it’s crowding our cabinets. Besides, who wants to take 10 supplements a day?? Here’s my top 4 supplements you should take regularly to ensure optimal health.

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Vitamin D

Otherwise known as the sunshine vitamin. Vitamin D is necessary for bone health as it regulates calcium in the body. Food sources include fatty fish like salmon, eggs, beef liver and cheese.

Vitamin D deficiency can be common for vegans, vegetarians and for those of us living in more northern climates with less sun exposure. Symptoms include frequent colds, fatigue, back and muscle pain, bone loss and hair loss. In the fall and winter seasons, seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a common symptom of deficiency as well - lethargy, sluggishness, depression, appetite and weight fluctuations. Remember that safe sun exposure is important for vitamin D intake, at least 20 minutes a day is recommended.

Probiotic

Probiotics keep our gut friendly bacteria thriving and bad bacteria at bay. These live microorganisms help lower inflammation, boost the immune system and restore gut flora. They are especially good to take after a course of antibiotics where good bacteria is killed off with the bad.

The most common strain, lactobacillus, is found in yogurt and fermented foods such as kimchi and kombucha and aids with digesting lactose and with diarrhea. The bifidobacterium strain is particularly good for irritable bowel syndrome.

Probiotics also aid in skin conditions, urinary and vaginal health (preventing yeast infections) and preventing allergies.

Best taken 30 minutes before or with food for optimal survival.

Multivitamin

Taking a quality multi-vitamin is a great way to get an extra boost of nutrients that we may not have found in the diet that day. I recommend naturally derived over synthetic multis. Here’s why!

Supplements that are naturally derived are extracted from actual fruits, vegetables and grains making them more bioavailable and preferred by the body.
Synthetic vitamins are cheaper to produce and therefore less costly and also have a longer shelf life BUT as similar as they may seem to the food derived sources, they’re not identical and are not recognized and used by the body as effectively.
When choosing a multivitamin and mineral product always check for fillers because the less the better. Also look for quality ingredients and brand transparency i.e a reputable brand/website that is clear with where and how their product is made.

Take your multivitamin with food for optimal absorption.


Omega 3 Fatty Acid

Omega 3 fatty acids are beneficial for heart, brain and skin health. They prevent heart disease, help lower blood pressure, improve cognitive health and improve skin health and elasticity. It is an essential fatty acid which means we cannot produce it and must obtain it from the diet or in supplement form.

Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is found in plant oils such as flaxseed while eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are found in fish and seafood.

Take your Omega 3 supplement with meals.

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With that said always, always, always aim to get your nutrients from a healthy diet first. Our body absorbs nutrients best from actual food sources.

Here’s some of my favourite supplement brands I recommend checking out:

https://www.megafood.com

https://www.genuinehealth.com

https://naturalfactors.com/

Comment any questions below!

~ Kat


Butternut Squash Soup

I admittedly have a love/hate relationship with fall. Love the warming foods, crisp air and fall fashion - hate that summer is officially over and winter is right around the corner. And here in Ottawa, that means quite a few months of cold, colder and beyond cold weather.

Soups are perfect warming foods and rank pretty highly on my favourite thing to cook. They’re relatively easy to make, only require one pot, freezable and are nutrient dense since we consume the all the liquid the soup contents are cooked in! Butternut squash is perfectly in season right now and loaded with vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium and fibre.

So! Here’s my super simple, delicious, butternut squash soup recipe. Enjoy!

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Ingredients

  • 1 medium/large butternut squash

  • 2 stalks celery, chopped

  • 2-3 carrots, peeled and chopped

  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped

  • 1 white potato, peeled and chopped

  • 1 medium onion, diced

  • 2 garlic cloves, grated

  • 4 cups low sodium vegetable broth - I like Pacific Foods Low Sodium Organic Vegetable Broth

  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 tsp ground cumin

  • 1 tsp dried thyme

  • Himalayan sea salt

  • Fresh ground pepper

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Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Cut squash in half lengthwise and remove seeds. drizzle with olive oil, sea salt and pepper. Place face up on a baking tray and let roast in oven for 45 - 55 minutes (until fork tender)

  2. In the meantime, heat two tablespoons olive oil in a large soup pot on medium heat. Add in garlic and onion and cook until translucent. Add in celery, carrots, sweet potato and white potato. Continue cooking on medium heat until squash is ready.

  3. Once the squash is cooled, skin and cut the squash into 2 inch cubes.

  4. Add the squash to the vegetables in the pot.

  5. Add in vegetable broth, thyme, cumin, salt and pepper and bring to a boil.

  6. Once at a boil, reduce to a simmer for 15 minutes.

  7. Using an immersion blender - or transferring to a blender - puree the soup contents.

  8. Return to soup pot and serve.

I love how creamy this soup turns out, there’s no dairy required! This recipe is dairy free and vegan - however, adding freshly grated parmesan on top of this soup is amazing too!

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Avocado Pesto, Zucchini Noodles and BBQ Shrimp

This avocado pesto is to die for! It's creamy and satisfying and full of healthy fats - a perfect summer meal. 

A traditional pesto calls for parmesan and pine nuts but this simple recipe cuts out the dairy and nuts. I added nutritional yeast for a bit of cheesy flavour and paired it with some spirallized zucchini to make the meal low carb and Keto friendly and topped it with a few bbq shrimp.

Find the recipe below!

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Ingredients

  • 2 ripe avocados
  • Handful of fresh basil
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil 
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 3 zucchini
  • Shrimp

Directions

  1. Peel and place avocados in a food processor with the basil, garlic clove, nutritional yeast, chilli flakes, salt and pepper.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and juice of half the lemon.
  3. Blend until a smooth consistency. 
  4. Spiralize the zucchini. 
  5. Pour 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet on medium-low heat.
  6. Add zucchini and let it cook down for about 10 minutes until slightly softened. 
  7. In the meantime, season shrimp with salt, pepper, chilli flakes, or any other favourite spices. 
  8. Place shrimp on a heated grill until cooked through on each side- about 10 minutes. 
  9. Pour the pesto sauce onto the zucchini noodles in the skillet and toss.
  10. Plate in a shallow bowl, place a few cooked shrimp on top and drizzle with lemon juice. 

This recipe serves two, but you can easily double up on the ingredients to make more. 

Enjoy!