Usually when it comes to eating healthy, we tend to avoid fats, thinking that it’s a big contributor to weight gain. But this is not the case! There are a lot of positive benefits to eating healthy fats, especially unsaturated fatty acids. These usually include oils and plant-based fats.
Some examples of healthy fat food sources are:
Looking for recipes to incorporate your healthy fats? Try one of these:
In a blender or food processor, blend 1 avocado, 1 banana, 1 tsp cinnamon, 2 tbsp. raw cacao or cocoa powder, 1 ½ C almond milk, and an optional 1 tbsp. of maple syrup, until smooth. Serve in a bowl and enjoy!
Did you know chia is also high in Omega-3’s? Try adding 1/3 cup to 1 C almond or coconut milk with vanilla extract and honey to taste, mix well, and let set in the fridge for 5 hours. When the chia has soaked up the milk, it turns into a thick pudding texture! Add mixed fruits or purees for flavour.
COCONUT OIL ENERGY BALLS:
Add 1 C oats, ½ C nut butter of your choice, cinnamon to taste, 1 tbsp. honey, ¼ C chocolate chips (or cacao nibs) and 1 tbsp. coconut oil to a food processor and blend until all ingredients are well incorporated. Roll into 2 inch balls and keep in fridge until serving!
Feeling constantly stressed throughout your day to day life? It’s possible that part of the cause can be from the types of foods you are eating. Eating stress-inducing foods can not only alter your mood and make you feel bogged down over a long period of time, but it can also affect your sleep and lead to weight gain.
By making some simple changes to your diet, you will notice changes in your mood, energy, and health overall!
Here are some tips on what you can do to combat stress through your diet:
Looking for a way to incorporate some of these foods into your day? Try this stress-free smoothie recipe:
1 Tsp maca powder
1 Tbsp honey or organic maple syrup
1 handful of spinach
1 Tbsp raw cacao or cocoa powder
1 Tbsp nut butter
1 ½ C nut milk
1 Tsp cinnamon
1 scoop of protein option* (can be whey or vegan blend)
Blend all ingredients together (with ice if desired) and enjoy!
Having issues with bloating after a heavy meal? Do you find that certain foods can cause you to feel uncomfortable after eating them? If this is the case, you may be experiencing issues with your digestion.
This happens to be a very common problem most people deal with, especially with eating out at restaurants and having larger portions than you’re used to.
Thankfully, there are tons of easy eating habits that you can take on that will change how your body digests food, and even lose weight and become healthier in the process:
Try this delicious recipe to help ease your digestion:
SALMON or TEMPEH STIRFRY
Cook ½ C quinoa as per instructions on package. In a pan, fry organic mushrooms, garlic, broccoli, red onions and spinach in 2 tbsp maple syrup, 1 tbsp olive oil and 2 tbsp tamari (gluten-free soy sauce) on medium heat. Separately, glaze salmon in maple syrup, chopped ginger and tamari and pan sear on medium heat on both sides for 4 minutes (sub in tempeh for vegetarian option). Add vegetables and salmon to quinoa, mix and enjoy!
It’s that time of year again! With your kids heading back to school this Fall, getting creative while choosing healthy snack ideas for their lunches can be tough.
Fortunately there are plenty of snack recipes that can be prepared in little time, and are still packed with nutrients that will keep your kids energized and focused throughout the day!
Snacks for school lunches can be made to be healthier and more beneficial for your child so long as they are high in greens and nutrients, contain adequate protein and are low in sugar!
This month, Toronto is hosting its 8th annual Garlic Festival to celebrate all varieties and uses of this amazing vegetable. While garlic is well known for adding flavour to multiple savoury dishes, most people are not aware that it contains a lot of health benefits as well.
There are quite a few ways to enjoy garlic, or use it purely for healing methods. Here are some recipes that you can take home to try with the garlic you get from the festival next weekend:
HOT LEMON TEA:
Chop 1 clove of garlic and let it rest for 5 minutes (this will activate the allicin). Add to a small pot of water with 3 lemon slices and 1 tbsp organic raw honey. Let come to a boil and add to your favourite mug. Have 1 cup in the morning and 1 at night to fight your illness!
HOMEMADE ROASTED GARLIC SPREAD:
Take 2-4 garlic bulbs and chop the top off with the stem so that the cloves are exposed. Drizzle with 1-2 tbsp. of olive oil and wrap in foil. Place on a baking tray and bake at 375 degrees for 40-45 minutes, or until cloves are tender. Once ready and cooled, squeeze garlic from bulbs and spread on your favourite crostini!
HONEY GARLIC SHRIMP
Peel and de-vein 7-10 shrimp. Marinate in 2-3 tbsp. honey and 1-1 ½ tsp. Spice World Minced Garlic. Season with salt and pepper and pan fry or BBQ for 3- minutes on each side. Serve with your favourite vegetables and enjoy! *Use tofu for a vegan alternative.
Add 1 handful of finely chopped basil, ¾ C M&M pine nuts, 2 tbsp olive oil, salt, pepper, 3 garlic cloves and Parmesan cheese to taste (alternatively nutritional yeast) to a food processor. Blend and add to your favourite pasta.
With Mother’s Day around the corner, we thought we’d dedicate our May blog post to new moms and moms-to-be. Becoming a new mom is an exciting and wonderful time, but with your beautiful new bundle of joy comes a whirlwind of emotions. Things like sleep deprivation, difficulty with nursing and having a new person to take care of can leave new moms feeling exhausted, stressed, depressed and anxious. However, you can minimize these common “new mommy” symptoms and still feel awesome!
Post-partum nutrition is just as important as prenatal nutrition is. Follow these guidelines to ensure that you are keeping your energy levels up, reducing your stress and keeping feelings of depression/anxiety at bay.
A healthy diet is not only important for mom but it’s important for baby too. With a nourishing diet and reduced stress, moms will have better milk production and won’t need to worry about becoming deficient in nutrients. A healthy, happy mom will mean a healthy, happy baby.
Here are some easy snack ideas for new moms:
Would you like more energy, improved digestion, clearer skin and increased concentration? Detoxification may just be the answer.
When people think of detoxification, they commonly think of a one-week or 30-day herbal cleanse program that includes a restricted diet and supplementation. Although doing a detox like this is recommended once or twice a year in the spring and/or fall, it’s not the only way to detoxify. Interestingly, detoxification is a natural process regularly occurring in the body. Your liver is your body’s primary detox organ, and with over 500 functions, it’s imperative to keep it working well.
Luckily, you can easily support your liver and other detox organs daily by eating a detox-friendly diet.
Check out our top 10 list of detoxifying foods:
Incorporating more of these detoxifying and liver-friendly foods in your diet is an excellent way to encourage natural detoxification, so that you can achieve optimal health and vitality.
Did you know there’s such a thing as happy foods? It’s true! What you eat can have a positive impact on your mood and emotional well-being. In fact, feel-good hormones built by the body require certain nutrients that can only be obtained in the diet.
B vitamins play a significant role in mood regulation. B5, for example, is known as the anti-stress vitamin, and B6 is especially critical for helping to create serotonin, a feel good, antidepressant-like chemical. Luckily, B vitamins can be found in a wide range of foods including eggs, avocado, bananas, green veggies and nuts and seeds.
Omega-3s are healthy fats that can enhance mood, ease depression and improve sleep. Excellent sources: cold-water fish, such as salmon and herring, raw nuts and seeds (e.g. hemp hearts and chia seeds).
Phytochemicals (i.e. anthocyanin and quercetin) can also make us happy. Anthocyanin helps with the production of feel-good dopamine, and quercetin has been shown to have an anti-anxiety and anti-depression effect. Excellent sources: dark berries, green tea, citrus fruit, onions and green, leafy veggies.
Vitamin D plays an important role in regulating the activity of neurotransmitters, such as dopamine and serotonin. We all need at least 20 minutes of direct sunlight daily to ensure we’re getting plenty of vitamin D. Excellent additional sources: egg yolks, mushrooms and fatty fish, such as sardines.
Protein is critical to mood because it provides amino acids, which are precursors to those important neurotransmitters associated with mood. For example, the amino acid tryptophan helps boost serotonin levels in the brain and the amino acid tyrosine increases the levels of feel-good dopamine and norepinephrine, both of which improve concentration and mental alertness. Excellent sources: chicken, turkey, eggs, walnuts, almonds, avocado, pumpkin seeds, quinoa, beans and lentils.
Bonus Nutrients: Magnesium, zinc, folic acid, vitamin C and flavonoids can also help elevate mood and lower stress levels. Excellent sources: fresh fruits and dark chocolate.
Want to impact your emotional health? Choose from our list of the top good-mood foods:
Drink yourself happy with this delicious green smoothie
½ cup frozen or fresh strawberries
½ cup frozen or fresh blueberries
2 cups fresh spinach
1 tbsp hemp hearts
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 ½ – 2 cups coconut milk, depending on how thick you like it
Blend all ingredients until smooth. Enjoy!
A week into 2016 and dinner ideas are already starting to run dry. If you are dreading the inevitable complaints from your family about how boring dinner is, then this blog post is for you! We’ve made a list of the top 5 Instagram accounts you NEED to follow for healthy food recipes. Any of these recipes would be delicious with certified Organic produce. These accounts are full of beautiful photos, and are packed with nutrient rich ideas. They are all definitely worth a follow!
1. Nosh and Nourish @noshandnourish
We are hooked on the bright colours, and beautiful photos on this account. The most popular recipe in 2015 was for curly sweet potato and carrot fries. How delicious do they look?! You can find a recipe for everything from soups, to salads, and even sangria on this account. We came across @noshandnourish while looking for a green smoothie recipe, but instead, we found a recipe for green smoothie pancakes! Yes, you read that correctly, and they’re DELICIOUS! Full recipes can be found on their website: noshandnourish.com, and Kelly Pfeiffer who runs the account also has a cookbook called Superfoods at Every Meal.
2. My New Roots @mynewroots
This account is full of gorgeous photos and really interesting recipes! We especially love the My New Roots website: www.mynewroots.org. It is incredibly user friendly, and it has a unique search feature. Instead of just searching the recipes for keywords such as “kale” or “quinoa” you can search for words such as “happy” or “cozy” which is really convenient for those more creative days. It’s awesome, and definitely worth taking a look! Sarah Britton runs the account, and is also the author of the “My New Roots” cookbook which is a collection of “plant based recipes for every season”. Up next on our list to try is the “Cauliflower Buns and Bagels”.
3. The First Mess @thefirstmess
We are fairly new followers of the @thefirstmess Instagram page but believe us, it doesn’t take long to realize that this account is a gold mine! We love that allergy information is easily accessible as it is listed on the website right beside the title of the recipe. We have our eye on the grilled/roasted fennel + quinoa crunch salad. Doesn’t it look incredible? Also, along with having an awesome account, Laura Wright is straight from Ontario, Canada.
4. Sprouted Kitchen @sproutedkitchen
The photos on this account blur the line between food and art. Every dish looks like a masterpiece! There are so many delicious recipes, you’ll never have to hear your family complain about being bored with dinner again! Sprouted Kitchen has recipes for everything from appetizers to desserts and even some unique categories such as recipes for feeding babies! We definitely would recommend following sprouted kitchen because of the wide range of recipes offered.
5. This Rawsome Vegan Life @thisrawsomeveganlife
Last but certainly not least, another Canadian account that we’ve been following for a long time! Emily von Euw posts beautiful photos of vegan meals. She is also a best selling author of her cookbook’s “This Rawsome Vegan Cookbook”, “100 Best Juices, Smoothies and Healthy Snacks”, and finally, “Rawsome Vegan Baking”. The cookbooks have stunning photos for nearly every recipe which is awesome! There are also several recipes on her website: www.thisrawsomeveganlife.com. They are easy to follow, and so tasty! Try the “raw yam burgers & daikon fries” for this week’s #meatlessmonday.
We hope you love all of these accounts as much as we do! If you try any of these recipes, be sure to show us by tagging us on Instagram: @mikeandmikesorganics.
Until next time,
The Mike and Mike’s Staff.
a state of anger caused by lack of food; hunger causing negative change in emotional state
“I’m sorry for what I said when I was hangry!”
I’m sure we’ve all been “hangry” at one time or another. That frustration you feel when you haven’t eaten for hours and any little thing can irritate you. It’s definitely no fun for you, and especially no fun for the people around you either!
So why does this happen? It’s called dysglycemia. Dysglycemia (often referred to as hypoglycemia) is a term used to describe an imbalance of blood sugar. People with dysglycemia experience ‘highs’ and ‘lows’ throughout the day. Consuming high amounts of refined carbohydrates, sugar and caffeine regularly can cause blood sugar levels to spike rapidly. When this occurs, your pancreas goes into overdrive and releases excess insulin. This surplus of insulin works to drive your blood sugar levels down. This sudden drop signals the adrenals (your stress glands) to kick in and secrete adrenaline, which causes another rapid rise of blood sugar. Overtime, the adrenals become exhausted by this repetitive stress and lose their ability to mount an appropriate response — leaving you feeling tired, irritable, and craving sugar. This is when you find yourself reaching for coffee, chocolate or candy, which starts the cycle all over again. Whew! What a RoLLeR-CoAsTeR ride! This recurring and irregular alteration of blood sugars can have disrupting effects on the body, both physically and psychologically. Aside from irritability, sugar cravings, headaches, weight gain, fatigue, depression, and trouble concentrating are some other common symptoms of dysglycemia.
This is where healthy snacking comes in. Eating something small between meals is an excellent way to keep blood sugar levels balanced. Keep in mind, however that snacks should be small and nutrient-dense.
Some healthy snacks options include:
It’s always a great idea to bring snacks with you when you’re away from home. That way when hunger strikes, you can avoid the vending machine. Instead you can reach for something nourishing that will keep your blood sugar balanced and prevent you from getting “hangry”.