Saturday, December 20, 2014

Savory & Sweet Party Mix {Recipe ReDux}

It's been a busy month for us as we're getting used to the third member of our family (fourth if you count our dog Albert!). I'm sure it's been busy for many of you as you prepare for the holiday season, attend parties, and get together with family/friends. I still found time to take part in this month's ReDux by cooking while my mother-in-law had time with our little one.

The theme for this month was Grab a Book & Cook! It’s the end of the year and we’re taking a moment to reflect: ReDux has been around for 42 months! (Can you believe some of you have ReDux-ed 42 recipes?) To celebrate, we’re playing a little party game this month: Grab your nearest cookbook and ReDux the recipe on page 42 or 142. We can’t wait to see the books you’re cooking from these days – and how you make that recipe healthier.
I haven't taken part in all 42 months, and this was a unique challenge since I go on-line for many recipes and have a lot of healthy cookbooks, so the recipes didn't need much tweaking. I grabbed a cocktail cookbook since I'm not currently consuming alcohol, so I thought that would be a good way to change a recipe. As it turned out, there wasn't a recipe on page 42, but the one on page 142 was for party mix (not a drink), but I thought that was quite timely (and something I've never made before), so that's the one I chose! The book is Winter Cocktails by Maria Del Mar Sacasa and was a gift from a couple of our friends.
Savory Mix
4 cups Crispix cereal
2.5 cups air popped popcorn
1/4 cup butter
1 cup almonds
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp paprika
1 1/2 tsp mustard powder
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1. Put oven rack to upper-middle position and preheat to 250F.
2. Heat a frying pan over medium heat and toast almonds for about 5 minutes (until starting to brown).
3. In a large bowl combine cereal, popcorn, and almonds.
4. Melt butter in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Stir in garlic, paprika, mustard powder, salt, and pepper. Cook until fragrant (about 1 minute), then stir in Worcestershire sauce.
5. Pour spice mixture over cereal mixture and mix with rubber spatula to distribute. Pour into a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 45-60 minutes (stirring every 15 minutes).
6. Transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely.

Sweet Mix
4 cups Crispix cereal
2.5 cups air popped popcorn
1 cup pecans
1/2 cup cashews
1/4 cup butter
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1/2 Tbsp ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves

1. Put oven rack to upper-middle position and preheat to 250F.
2. Heat a frying pan over medium heat and toast cashews for about 5 minutes (until starting to brown).
3. In a large bowl combine cereal, popcorn, and nuts.
4. Melt butter in a small sauce pan over medium heat and continue cooking until the solids turn brown and sink to the bottom (about 6-8 minutes). Stir in sugar, spices, and salt.
5. Pour spice mixture over cereal mixture and mix with rubber spatula to distribute. Pour into a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 45-60 minutes (stirring every 15 minutes).
6. Transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely.

Happy partying!
See below for other dietitians' page 42 reduxes

Steph Langdon, RD
something nutrishus counselling & coaching


Friday, November 21, 2014

Memorable Meals {Recipe ReDux}

Food plays an important role in our culture and is part of all kinds of celebrations and gatherings. In Canada we've already celebrated Thanksgiving, a holiday which often involves lots of food and food traditions. With that in mind, this month's Recipe ReDux theme is  A Food Memory For Which You Are Thankful: In the US, November marks the Thanksgiving holiday. But many of us are especially thankful for food memories we have shared with friends or relatives throughout our lives. Was it a special meal you ate as a child? Or, maybe it was a food you grew and harvested with your own children. Please share one of your favorite food memories and the healthier “redo” of the recipe.
Considering that I am awaiting the arrival of my first born (while I write this, she arrived before posting it), this was a very timely theme. It made me think back to my childhood, but also inspired me to think about keeping things simple and convenient in the kitchen - things my clients often mention as important in their busy lives. I had many ideas, but settled on a "redo" of hamburger helper - something that can be done in one pot and uses ingredients many people have around already. It's a convenience item that is still available on grocery shelves, but is also simple to make from scratch and thus avoid the excess sodium and other preservatives.

Just like many meals people currently consume, often our childhood favourites are lacking in vegetables. I added a few for flavour, but also served this with raw veggies and dip (as another childhood throwback!).
Homemade Hamburger Helper
Makes approximately 6 servings (depending on side dishes and size of appetite)
1 lb extra lean ground beef (I used sirloin)
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
1 medium (about 1 cup) white onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups milk
2 cups whole grain macaroni
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp chili powder
1 cup shredded marble cheese
salt and pepper
1/3 cup Italian parsley, chopped (optional)
1. Heat skillet. Add beef and brown over medium heat.
2. Wash and chop veggies. Drain any residual fat from the beef, then add bell pepper, onion, garlic and tomato paste - cook for an additional 3-4 minutes, stirring often.
3. Add water, milk, pasta, and spices. Stir, bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to simmer for about 10 minutes (or until pasta cooked to your liking).
4. Stir in cheese, salt and pepper to taste, garnish with parsley, and serve.
Check out other dietitian's recipes below for more inspiration for your kitchen!

Happy cooking,
Steph Langdon, RD
something nutrishus counselling & coaching


Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Out of Control

I often look at the start of a new month as a chance to review, revise, and examine my goals. With October ending on the high note of Halloween and November starting to feel a bit more like Christmas (since we've celebrated Thanksgiving in Canada already) there are lots of things to reflect on.

I continue my exploration into mindfulness, moderation, and minimalism. These areas really interest me as a dietitian, someone who enjoys spending time on self development, a soon to be mother, and as a life long learner. Thinking about Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, I think it's fairly obvious to see that moderation is important. I truly believe in finding balance, since the enjoyment of holidays and food is part of the enjoyment of life...BUT of course, I prefer us to really taste the food, make wise choices, and learn from our mistakes. How do you want to spend your calorie budget? Is the kitkat worth it, or do you have a different 'treat' you'd enjoy more? Why? What do you like about it?

There is so much to be mindful of, but in our food culture we tend to eat first and think later (if at all). Balance is something I have worked on, and in some parts of my life (ie balancing healthy choices with the occasional 'treat') I do quite well. I do however tend to be a busy-body and have a hard time turning work 'off' so I continue to work on balance in other areas of my life.

Over the last 9 months or so, I have been mindful of my food and fitness choices in a new way since they are directly affecting my soon to be child. It has been a whole new way to look at mindfulness. Plus, with all the baby things available to purchase, it has been a great chance to think about minimalist living. I've been trying to clear out some of our stuff to make room for some of the things the baby will need. I also recently started reading Joshua Becker's Clutter Free with Kids to try to stay ahead of the game - I have this big idea that I'm going to have a lot of time to read this next year, but part of me realizes that isn't a realistic goal with a newborn!

As an entrepreneur and self employed dietitian, my life will be changing in many ways with the addition of this new baby. It may mean some changes for my business and will definitely challenge me in new ways. We've been dealing with lots of things that are beyond our control lately and waiting for the arrival of this little one is no exception. I am constantly reminded to let go of the things I cannot change, and there are many of them. I'm a 'doer' so part of my mindfulness practice involves trying to let other people do things for me, trying not to worry or stress about things that don't deserve my energy, and remembering to be grateful each day. Don't let a sense of a 'lack of control' get in the way of your dreams and goals. With mindfulness, moderation, and minimalism, we must take one small step each day (and sometimes a step back), but the long term results and changes will be worth it. Maybe you have an unrealistic expectation of yourself or are judging yourself by someone else's standards - instead focus on the positives and remember how far you've already come and the habits you're creating.
How will you finish out 2014 on a high note?

*I still plan to post and share articles as often as I can, but please understand that I will have a new focus in my life that requires my attention for awhile :)

Let go,
Steph Langdon, RD
something nutrishus counselling & coaching

Monday, October 20, 2014

Spooky Spice {Recipe ReDux}

No, this isn't a post about the spice girls! It's October 21, so that means time for a ReDux challenge. I didn't contribute a recipe last month as we were traveling and it just didn't work out. This month I am also away from home, but this time it's due to renovations, so I still have access to a kitchen (my parent's), but am anxious to get back into my own.

Our challenge:
Spooky Spices: You know they are lurking there: Way in the back of your spice drawer. There lie the herbs, spices, or rubs that are getting dusty because you’re afraid to use them… you simply don’t know what to do with them! Well, pull them out and show us a recipe you created to deliciously conquer that fearful spice. (Or maybe the recipe was a flop – and the spice still give you nightmares?!)

Since I'm not at home, I raided my mom's spices and chose marjoram. I know I have it at home, but it's a spice I often overlook; one I'm not really sure what to do with. Marjoram is from the mint family and related to oregano. It is suggested for use in meat dishes, tomato sauces, with eggs, or in dressings/dips. My first thought was to put it in a play on shakshuka since I've been meaning to make it for awhile and it contains both tomatoes and eggs. Then I thought about the weather and cool temperatures, so I decided to make a cracker for all the homemade soups I plan to make this winter. I think I've only tried to make crackers once before, so they are also sort of a 'scary' thing to me too.

Soup Snaps
3/4 cup whole oats
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup old cheddar cheese, shredded
2 Tbsp fresh dill
3 cloves garlic, smashed
1 tsp marjoram
2 Tbsp olive oil
3-5 Tbsp water (as needed)
1 1/2 tsp whole flax seed

Makes 2 dozen snaps/crackers (1 1/2" x 2")

1. Put oats in food processor and pulse for 1-2 minutes. Add flour and half of cheese, then pulse. Add remainder of cheese, dill, garlic, marjoram, and olive oil. Pulse to combine until crumbly texture.
2. Place processed ingredients into a medium size bowl and gradually add water and flax seed.
3. Refrigerate for 30 minutes and pre-heat oven to 375F
4. Form mixture into a ball and roll out on a lightly floured surface (to about 1/8" thickness). Use a knife or cookie cutters to create desired shape and place on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper.
5. Bake for 10-15 minutes until desired crispness.Remove from oven and cool on wire rack.
What spice have you been avoiding or are unsure how to use?

Happy Halloween!
Steph Langdon, RD
something nutrishus counselling & coaching

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Blog Action Day 2014: Inequality

I've participated in blog action day in the past, with themes such as water, food, and human rights. This year's theme is inequality - which I feel I could easily relate to access to the past topics. When I think of inequality, many topics come to mind. I think of disease and health crises that occur around the world, war torn countries, wealth distribution and poverty. I also think of gender differences, because when I hear inequality, it makes me think fairness, equality, and differences.

We are all different, have grown up in different circumstances, have had different opportunities, but that doesn't mean that some of us have rights and others do not. Inequality is defined as "an unfair situation in which some people have more rights or better opportunities than other people" (by merriam-webster dictionary). I don't have the answers or solutions, but there are definitely things we can do to reduce disparity and the unevenness.

I think a great place to start is how we view males versus females. I grew up as a very athletic female, perhaps not the 'norm', but it instilled confidence and a love of health and wellness in me. I still get caught up in media hype regarding how women 'should' look or act, and it frustrates me, because I see body image issues in so many of the people I work with. I have no idea what it's like to be a man, I only know what it's like to be me, but isn't that the point, can't we treat each other as human?! I know men are often faster and stronger, to which I may have once said "it's not fair", but what is 'fair' anyway. Fair should be avoiding judgment, stereotypes, labels, etc. and letting people be who they are. I've shared an ad campaign video from always below, because I like the message - when did "like a girl" become an insult?

We've just celebrated Thanksgiving in Canada, and it was a time to remind me to be grateful of all that I have - something I continue to work on each year. There will always be people with more money, possessions, and skills, so I will focus on my treatment of other human beings and gratitude for all that I have - because life isn't fair, and if this is my life, then I'm going to live it the best way I can, and hopefully help reduce some inequality along the way.

What does inequality mean to you?

Steph Langdon, RD
something nutrishus counselling & coaching

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Moisture Removal {Recipe ReDux}

It's been a busy week here with presentations, renovations, and travel. Unfortunately, being out of my kitchen for renovationss means that I don't have a new recipe to share for this month's theme. I still wanted to share the links so you can see what my fellow dietitians are up to and figured I would mention some of my favourite ways to use dehydrated or dried foods. I must admit, because I often work with athletes, I think about fluid needs when I hear the word 'dehydration'.

This month's theme is:
Get Your Dehydrator On
Whether it’s extra garden bounty or a sale at the supermarket – dehydrating food is a budget-friendly way to stock up for later. You can use a food dehydrator, a low slow oven, or natural sunshine to preserve natural healthfulness. Show us how you like to dehydrate, or a healthy recipe for how you enjoy using dehydrated fruits, veggies or other bounty.

A food dehydrator is a kitchen appliance that I don't have, but I have used a low slow oven (for my dried ginger and orange slices) for past ReDux posts and often have dried fruit around for use in energy bites, muffins, bars, granola, etc. Food preservation (ie. canning) is something I haven't really ventured into (yet); so perhaps that will be a goal for next year! Summer is also coming to an end here in Saskatchewan, so I will have to get myself organized and try using sunshine to preserve veggies and fruit next July/August. I do like the idea of being able to enjoy summer's bounty all year round though!

I haven't fully explored the world of dehydrated food, or spent a lot of time in nature requiring compact, long lasting food. However, I have purchased sundried tomatoes a few times for use in egg dishes, pasta, etc. and the flavour is great. Last summer, our foodie group had a night themed "Everything Rolled" and one member made veggie roll ups/jerky - it was very tasty and packed with flavour. My husband also likes to occasionally treat himself to some beef jerky and I have athletes that need shelf stable items to leave in their gym bag or locker. Thus, whether it's a taste or texture you're looking for, an alternative to store-bought fruit snacks, or an emergency stash, there are many times when dehydrated foods can help you out. Since the water is removed, the sugar and calories are concentrated, so remember to practice portion control with dehydrated/dried food. You can read more about the nutritional value, storing, and uses for dried fruit on EatRight Ontario.

One kitchen tool I've been waiting for cool weather to use is the tagine I received for my birthday. Many of the recipes call for dried fruit, so this will be a new way for me to try using these sweet ingredients - I'll keep you posted on my tagine experiments!

Have you dehydrated fruit or veggies? What do you like to do with them?

Check out the great ideas below.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Nurture Yourself

We eat to feel good in a variety of ways. Feeling good may mean getting rid of hunger, feeling energized, providing our body with nutrients, or in some cases providing comfort. Food is a part of many situations and we are often surrounded by choices and opportunities to nibble on something. Many emotions are also tied to food, whether it is a happy memory, a celebratory event, or a way to console ourselves. When we seek food for more than nourishment and sustenance, we may never feel satisfied/fulfilled.

With mindfulness, moderation, and minimalism in mind, it's good to create awareness and start to consider why you're eating. I feel it's good to reflect before and after as I know many clients feel "bad" or guilty after eating a large portion or a less healthy item. This can then lead to more problems as we try to deal with these negative emotions after the fact.

I also think it's important to reflect on how we treat ourselves. We're often our own worst critic and would be more compassionate to someone else in the same situation. For mindfulness, think about how you fuel your body, how you treat yourself. For moderation, don't expect perfection - change takes time, but each step or each pause helps us create new habits. Try to minimize your negative self talk and find new ways (non-food ways) to nurture yourself.

There are many ways to eat healthy, but adherence, lifestyle change, and behaviour modification are the ways to long term success, not drastic fad diets (huffington post).  Start doing something today that you're willing to keep doing and to challenge yourself with.
Here's to a healthier tomorrow!

How do you nurture yourself?

Steph Langdon, RD
something nutrishus counselling & coaching

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Using Your Garden Goods

I enjoy situations that cause me to be creative and find new ways to use ingredients. This year that inspiration has come from our CSA PayDirt farms. We have received 4 deliveries of locally grown, organic produce so far this year and I have whipped up a variety of new dishes in the kitchen to enjoy the fresh ingredients. We split a share with my brother-in-law and his fiance since we both only have 2 mouths to feed and want to make sure we're able to use everything up. These situations challenge me, because like most people I have my go to items from the grocery store. I do try to combine them in different ways, but this year I've had more chard and mustard greens than I knew what to do with!

As summer sadly comes to an end and gardens are emptied I also like to enjoy the flavours of the changing seasons. Seeing different items at the market or store can also serve as an inspiration; I know I've been enjoying as many peaches and nectarines as I can before they're gone. Earlier this summer that also included cherries and berries, and now corn on the cob is out in abundance.

I also use social settings to test out new recipes and will cook in big batches to get us through a busy work week. Needless to say, there are lots of outside influences when it comes to what is created in my kitchen. We do have our standard favourites, but I like to think that we get a good amount of variety as well.

A few recipes that I've used lately and wanted to share include breaded green beans and a new take on potato salad.

The green beans were adapted from for the love of cooking as they were baked and most recipes involved frying.  I brought them to a potluck and they disappeared; I will definitely make them again. I posted the picture below on my instagram feed and someone asked for the recipe, so here it is...

Baked Breaded Green Beans
1-2 lbs of green beans, washed and ends trimmed
1 egg
2 Tbsp milk
1 cup bread crumbs
spices (I used a smoked paprika, garlic, chili, and chives blend that I had)
2-3 Tbsp vegetable oil
salt and pepper
4 Tbsp mayo
2 tsp soya sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
1-2 Tbsp sriracha sauce

1. Combine  2 Tbsp mayo with soya sauce and garlic - set aside. Combine remaining 2 Tbsp mayo with sriracha - set aside.
2. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and brush with 1 Tbsp of vegetable oil. Preheat oven to 425F.
3. In a small bowl make a milk bath with your egg and milk. In a separate bowl combine bread crumbs, spices, and salt and pepper.
4. Dip beans in egg bath and crumb mixture; place in a single layer on baking sheet.
5. Drizzle remaining oil over beans and bake for 13-15 minutes.
6. Serve immediately with dipping sauces.


The Creamy Cucumber and Grilled Potato Salad recipe comes from Food & Wine and was the dish I took to my August foodie group evening. Our theme was grilled food and I picked up my ingredients from our local farmer's market. It was a hit and is also a recipe I will make again.

What have you been inspired to try or create this summer?

Enjoy your garden goods while they last!
Steph Langdon, RD
something nutrishus counselling & coaching

Thursday, August 21, 2014

PB & B Balls {Recipe ReDux}

We're already more than half way through August and for some people that means the start of packing lunches again. For others, lunches are packed all year round and you might just need a change or something fun and exciting.

This month's Recipe ReDux theme is:
Bars & Bites for Brown Bags
Whether you pack your lunch in a bento box, a brown bag or a retro cartoon character lunch box, don’t forget the bars and bites. Small squares or round bites can pack nutrition into a sweet or savory taste. Show us your favorite way to jazz up any type of lunch box.
Since I work from home most days, I don't really pack a lunch box. I do however like to keep things around for my husband to pack and for when I need to grab a quick snack. I prefer to make things from scratch so that I know the ingredients and I also love spending time in my kitchen.
You may have noticed or made various 'energy bites' or 'power balls' over the last few years as these bite size treats have gained popularity. They are something I've made in cooking sessions with athletes and at home. I don't tend to make bars as often, but have recently tried two different hemp based bars which were great to add some variety. These little bites can pack a nutritional punch depending on the nuts, seeds, fruit, dried fruit, and other add-ins you choose to try. They can also be calorie dense, but I find the protein, fat, and fibre are great to help fill the gap between meals.

Feeling a bit nostalgic, I wanted to combine two of my favourite childhood favourites: peanut butter and banana. For whatever reason, we used to call pb and banana sandwiches, 'peanut butter and sardine sandwiches' - I don't think I even knew what sardines were at the time, but it was a fun nickname for a quick and basic snack/lunch. Depending on where you're sending these snacks, you may have to swap the peanut butter for a seed butter.

PB & B Balls
1 ripe banana, peeled
1/2 cup dates (about 12)
1/4 cup natural peanut butter (or almond butter or seed butter)
3-4 Tbsp shredded unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup + 1 cup rolled oats
1/8 cup hemp hearts

1. Combine banana, dates, peanut butter, 1 Tbsp coconut, 1/2 cup oats, and hemp hearts in a food processor and pulse until smooth.
2. Place remaining 1 cup of oats in a medium bowl and add the processed ingredients. Gently mix (with a spatula or your hands) to combine and refrigerate for 30-60 minutes.
3. Place 2-3 Tbsp of coconut on a plate. Remove mixture from refrigerator. Form mixture into 16-18 balls and roll in coconut. Return to fridge for storage and enjoy!

What are you packing to keep your lunch box interesting? Check out other ReDuxer ideas below.

Steph Langdon, RD
something nutrishus counselling & coaching

Friday, August 15, 2014

Simply Enjoying the Weekend

Continuing with the theme of mindfulness, minimalism, and moderation, I wanted to share a few things I do to simplify my life. This simplification helps me enjoy each moment more and be able to spend more time doing the things I want to be doing. I am a list maker, and I hope that with a continued focus on these goals I will be able to reduce the size of my 'to do list' and spend more time on my passions. My own challenge is to not spend all my time ticking items off my list, but to get back to living each moment :)

If minimalism is something you're interested in, there are lots of blogs about it. A few that I've been reading (or trying to find time to read; hence why I need to minimize things!) include:
One thing I like about the minimalist movement is that there is no one definition of a minimalist person. We can all be minimal in our own way, just as moderation and mindfulness apply differently to our unique lifestyles. 

We only have so many second, minutes, hours, and days. I want to spend mine doing the things I love and with the people I care about. I want to continue to enjoy moments, experiences, good books, and great food, so I need to make that a priority in my life.

In my last post I talked about comparing ourselves to others, but at times we also try to live up to other people's standards. I want to live my life, not the life someone thinks I should live. So here are a few things I've already done or already do to simplify my life:
  • Donate items (such as clothes, books, etc.) to organizations (such as Community Living, the Opportunity Shop, etc.) - if I'm not using it, someone else should
  • Set things aside to see how often I use them - last winter I cleaned out the kitchen and put a box of items in storage, a few months later when I hadn't needed them I donated them or gave them to friends who had uses for them since I obviously didn't
  • Change gift giving traditions - my husband and I often try to purchase experiences or save up for a trip in lieu of gifts and on one side of our family we either only purchase a Christmas gift for one individual or all chip in and donate to a specific cause/charity rather than buying more stuff
  • Go through my closet every few months to see what I haven't worn in awhile and decide whether to start wearing it, alter it, or donate it
  • Clear papers out of my office and attempt to do more things on my computer
  • Go through drawers and get rid of pens that don't even work anymore
  • Make extra at supper so that we can enjoy leftovers for lunches
  • Plan out my weekly groceries so that I get what I need and will use
  • Prep for a few meals when I do get a chance to be in the kitchen
I'm sure there are more things, but this is also just the start of my journey into being mindful of being minimal. I am an organized person and I like things to have a place, so I think that helps me get started. What do you do to simplify your life?

Since it's Friday, I encourage you to enjoy your weekend and actually be in the moment. I know I have lots to look forward to (even if it's just a few ticks on the to do list) and I'm grateful for that.

Steph Langdon, RD
something nutrishus counselling & coaching

Monday, August 11, 2014

Mmmy Journey Begins (and continues...)

I wanted to take some time today for reflection. As my business has grown, I've had time to think about the areas I am most passionate about and thus, where I want to take things in the future. This is both exciting and overwhelming and one of the many 'joys' of being an entrepreneur! As you will see in future posts, I am trying to declutter or minimize things in my life to reduce stress and create more time to pursue my passions.

I know many people in their 20s or 30s (or 40s, 50s, etc.) who aren't sure what they want to do with their life. I sometimes feel this way, although, I think it's more about the journey, because we might never have a clear answer to that question. I'm told that as I young child I asked my mom "what do you want to be when you grow up?" I always thought that was a strange story, because of course, she was my mom and a 'grown-up'. Although, I know many 'grown-ups' who don't know, so perhaps it was a very legitimate question!
 I have met people who have found their 'passion' and seem to be doing exactly what they should be doing for a career; although this is definitely the exception, not the rule. The more time I spend pondering my own passions and goals, the more I learn about myself and the more learning I do in general. As far as I can remember, I've been a competitive, driven person. As with any personality trait, it has its pros and cons. This drive pushes me to be the best me and live the best life I can. My struggle is when I compare my life to other people's lives, or have an unclear definition of what 'best' means for me.
I see comparison all the time in my practice, whether it is about weight, willpower, the media, money, time, etc. With social media, I feel that we also often see people's highlight reels and make assumptions about the people and their lives, when in fact we really don't know their situation. The idea of focusing on our own struggles really came out when I attended the Landmark forum years ago as a Lululemon employee. Many people were overcoming traumatic pasts, but we realized that we all have our own troubles, and if it's a big deal to you, then it's a big deal (again, we can't compare). My big take away was to focus on contentment. Not that I want to be complaisant, but to be in the moment and appreciate all that I have.

I am inspired by quotes, various books, my husband, my family and friends, my clients, and by setting small goals for myself. I will likely always be a work in progress. I will never be perfect, but I will always be me.

I continue to be passionate about mindfulness, moderation, and recently minimalism (hence the mmms). I'll continue to share thoughts and tips relating to those topics, so feel free to comment and join in! For now, enjoy a few of my current favourite quotes and feel free to reflect back!

Steph Langdon, RD
something nutrishus counselling & coaching

Friday, August 1, 2014

Smart Summer Snacking

As we start August today and celebrate a summer long weekend, I thought I'd put down a few snacking tips. In my experience, people eat differently on weekends compared to during the work week (and that could mean they eat more OR less healthy). The summer can add another challenge as people may head away from home on road trips or to a cabin/cottage or campsite. Each location can have an impact on what and when you're eating and drinking. It's also common for people to have a reduced appetite when the weather gets warmer and of course, even more important that you remember to hydrate yourself.

Yes, summer may mean barbeques and happy hours, but it doesn't have to be all hot dogs, chips, and beer, especially if you're being mindful, enjoying a variety of foods in moderation, and working on new goals/habits. As usual, it starts with a little preparation:

  • pack healthy road trip snacks and water bottles
  • chop fruit and veggies at home to reduce prep time at the cabin/cottage
  • pick up healthy groceries so you have options when you look in the fridge/pantry
  • bring snacks to people's homes/lakes so that you know there will at least be one thing healthy to choose from
Timing of intake can also change when you're away from home. Perhaps you stay up later, sleep in longer, and start the day with a large breakfast or brunch. You may not feel like you need a mid-day meal ('lunch'), but you also don't want to be starving and reaching for cheesies before supper.

Snacks can help us get from meal to meal, but they don't have to keep us full all day (I prefer if we avoid fullness and learn to achieve satisfaction anyway); they're meant to help us get important nutrients, hydrate us, keep our energy up, and fill the gaps when meals are far apart. Homemade bars, energy bites/balls, smoothies, muffins, and of course vegetables and fruit are both tasty and can be made/prepped ahead of time.

Lately I've baked a few snack items and have frozen them so that we have lots of variety available and I don't have to turn on the oven when it's really hot and humid out. I try to enjoy seasonal flavours (peaches, nectarines, berries, etc.) which means that the snacks in our house change all year round.

A few that I've tried recently or have been in our routine include:
  •  peanut butter banana roll ups (an easy staple)
  • strawberry, mango, sorrel smoothie (with sorrel from our CSA: PayDirt Farms)
  • saskatoon berry, red river cereal muffins (adapted from Canadian Family; with berries I picked with a friend at our local Berry Barn)
  • hemp bars (from my new roots; thanks to a sample box I received from Rocky Mountain Grain Products)
  • frozen grapes (great on a hot day)
  • chocolate cranberry balls (from elana's pantry; used in an athlete session; great to curb a sweet craving)
  • carrots and celery with hummus
  • spring rolls with vegetables and chicken or shrimp
 What have you been snacking on this summer?

Enjoy your weekend and make mindful snack choices!

Steph Langdon, RD
something nutrishus counselling & coaching

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Grilled Fruit Chia Pudding {Recipe ReDux}

I hope you're been enjoying a great July so far and all the flavours of the season. This month's ReDux theme is A Spirited ReDux:
From plain Jane vanilla extract to fancy-pants elderflower liqueur, we like to keep a little liquor in the kitchen. Show us how you like to cook, bake or mix-it-up with spirits, extracts and other alcohols. A splash of vodka makes summer sauces shine – and liqueurs brighten desserts: What’s your healthy recipe with spirit?
I was inspired to combine grilled fruit and chia pudding since I enjoy fruit and chia with yogurt on a regular basis. Grilling allows you to spend time outside and brings out the sweetness of fruit.
Last summer we had a delicious grilled pineapple dessert made by a dear friend, and at a foodie night I think it was a cajun/creole theme) we enjoyed bananas foster - these were the flavours I was thinking of for this recipe. I wanted to make something 'summery' and somewhat healthy. You can definitely play around with the spices and spirits used in the chia pudding and try different fruit on your grill.
Grilled Fruit Chia Pudding
Makes: 4-8 servings (depending on portion size)

1 1/2 cups almond milk
1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
1/3 cup chia seeds
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp allspice
1 tsp almond extract

oil for grilling
2 peaches, cut in half, pit removed, and sliced again to create 8 circular pieces
1 pineapple, cut into 1/2" slices (you should get 4-6 slices)
2 bananas, peeled, cut in half length-wise and width-wise for 8 slices

1. Prepare the chia pudding the night before you plan to use it. Combine all pudding ingredients. Mix well. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
2. Wash and slice fruit as above. Heat barbeque to medium heat and brush lightly with oil. Place sliced fruit on grill (as much as you can fit). Turn 45 degrees after appropriate cooking time (below) to get nice grill marks. Then flip once, grill, and turn 45 degrees. Remove from heat.
       Grill times: peaches 2-3 minutes (8-12 total), pinepple 3-4 minutes (12-16 total), banana 1-2 minutes (4-8 total)
3. Place fruit in 4-8 dishes. Remove chia pudding from fridge, stir, and spoon over top. Enjoy!

This is great as a dessert or as leftovers for breakfast. As always, see below for fabulous recipes from other reduxers.

Happy grilling, happy summer!
Steph Langdon, RD
something nutrishus counselling & coaching

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Community and Creativity

This summer we're taking part in our first CSA (community supported agriculture) and receiving organic, heirloom vegetables from PayDirt Farm.

We've had one delivery so far and get our next one tonight, so I figured I better get posting! In our first one we received: spinach (3 varieties: Monstrueux de Viroflay, Nobel Giant & Gigante D'Inverno), radishes (2 varieties: purple plum & long scarlet Cincinnati radish), lettuces (3 varieties: Merlot, Merville de Quatre Saison & Vivian), chard (2 varieties: rainbow & Bright Lights - both colourful chard) and a bunch of onion chives. Just like when we received the CHEP Good Food Box in the past, I find it's always exciting to get items I might not typically purchase and then find recipes to use everything up.

I found lots of great recipes to try and shared some of our lettuces as well. Since we are only 2 adults in our household (which is why we're getting a 1/2 share), I also had to be creative and made a few big batches to freeze so that we can continue to enjoy these vegetables in the future. I made a pot of my New Year's Eve soup with chorizo from Pine View Farms, and a spinach soup from Farmgirl Fare that we now have as lunch leftovers from the freezer. I discovered that I prefer a creamier spinach soup or something more hearty - lesson learned.

I also made a swiss chard with raisins and pine nuts side dish that we enjoyed with grilled parmesan zucchini and shrimp. I 'failed' at feta, red pepper, and spinach quinoa bites in that they became squares as I couldn't get them to hold a bite/ball shape (I added a few bread crumbs, but decided squares would suffice).

I also made a crustless quiche with spinach and mushrooms, I find it's a great supper one night and breakfast the next, and we always have eggs in our fridge, so it's an easy dish for me to throw together and a great way to include more vegetables.

I served a lentil, swiss chard (in place of kale), and barley salad at the lake on the weekend and it was delicious, I will definitely make it again. It was also a great way to use some barley which I often have sitting in the pantry for addition to a soup in the fall/winter.

We enjoyed a variety of salads and sandwich type items with our lettuces and shared the fragrant and flavourful chives with my parents on baked potatoes.

Needless to say, I've been busy in the kitchen (which I love) and I still have lots to share with you. I look forward to posting our upcoming CSA vegetables and how I decide to use them in my kitchen.

Are you gardening, going to a local farmer's market, or participating in a food delivery or CSA program this year? 

Share in the comment section to help others know what's available, what's possible, and what you like to create this time of year.

To your health & happiness!

Steph Langdon, RD
something nutrishus counselling & coaching

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Happy Hours

I apologize for my recent absence from the blog - I have still managed to do the monthly ReDux challenges, but I haven't been posting as often as I'd like. In the meantime, I hope you've been visiting the Nutrishus facebook page and my instagram account to see what I've been up to, what's happening in the world of nutrition, and what I'm making in my kitchen.

I've been taking part in #100happydays since April 28, and have been sharing that on instagram as well. It relates well to my former posts about mindfulness, gratitude, and being in the moment. No matter what the day is like, I look for at least one source of happiness to focus and reflect on - I personally think it's a great exercise (however you choose to find your happiness).

Part of my absence has been a reflection on my life as an entrepreneur. I get so many ideas, and often need time to sort through them in order to decide where to spend my time and energy. I'm hoping to get more clarity around that this summer and set some goals to keep me focused. As you know, goals are very important, they involve action, and help use accomplish things and change habits.

I had a client recently state "I don't know where to start". Taking on our health can seem overwhelming, but I am still a strong believer in variety, moderation, and balance (although you need to consider how you define each term) as well as making small changes now for lifelong results.

Perhaps that means spending 10 minutes tonight washing and chopping vegetables while your supper is cooking. Those veggies can then be eaten the rest of the week raw as a snack, used in salads/stirfries/omelets, or thrown on the grill if you're cooking more outside these days. For many people, healthy eating goals need to focus on increasing vegetables (and fruit); so be brave and purchase a new variety the next time you're grocery shopping or hit up the local farmer's market. If you don't know what to do with the new ingredient, you can often find recipes in stores, talk to a friend or co-worker, or use google or pinterest for inspiration. Don't feel like you have to eat 3 new meals for the next 7 days, just focus on one meal this week, or cook in big batches so that you have leftovers and one less meal to plan during your busy week. I know I like leftovers this time of year because it means I'm using the stove less and keeping my home cool.

In case you're looking for happiness in a song or need something to listen to while you're cooking tonight, here is Pharrell Williams's 24 hour music video - Happy:

Here's to many happy hours in your kitchen and in your healthy future!
Steph Langdon, RD
something nutrishus counselling & coaching

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Lemon Ginger Biscuits {Recipe ReDux}

I'm posting this later in the day than usual, but it's still the 21st! This month's theme was:

Cooking with Tea
Tea cups around the world are bubbling up with bold new flavors: From cardamom chai and sencha green to bubble teas and veggie teas. We wish we could attend the World Tea Expo the end of this month – but in lieu of a plane ticket, we’ll be cooking and baking and stirring up tea-inspired healthy dishes.
I'm really curious to see everyone's creations, as there are many ways to interpret this theme and many flavours to play with.  I started planning on Mother's Day and that inspired me to make a new variety of biscuit (tea biscuit, baking powder/soda biscuit, or whatever you like to call them). We served cranberry orange biscuits as part of our family brunch, but the Twinings in my cupboard was calling me. The light spring flavours that stood out to me were lemon and ginger.

With biscuits in mind I was also inspired to try raspberry chia jam (adapted from a house on the hills) and making my own candied ginger (from healthy green kitchen).  I must say, the jam is delicious and the ginger is very flavourful, mine didn't look quite as beautiful at healthy green kitchen's though!
I have fond memories of biscuits on a Sunday morning and I felt like many people probably even have tea with their biscuits, so it fits the theme doubly.

Lemon Ginger Biscuits
Makes: 30-50 biscuits with 2 to 2 1/2 inch biscuit cutters (depends on desired thickness)

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder

1 Tbsp lemon zest
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking  soda
1/2 cup softened butter or margarine
1/2-1 Tbsp candied ginger
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 cup plain greek yogurt
2 Tbsp milk

1. Preheat oven to 450F. In a bowl stir together flours, sugar, baking powder, lemon zest, salt, and baking soda. Cut in butter/margarine with a knife until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add ginger, toss to mix in. Make a well in the centre and add lemon juice, yogurt, and milk. Using your fork, stir until just moistened.
2. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead by folding and gently pressing for 10-12 strokes or until dough is nearly smooth. Roll until about 1/4 inch thick (or 1/2 inch if you prefer) and cut with a biscuit cutter. Reroll the scraps and continue cutting biscuits out.
3. Place parchment paper on a baking sheet and place biscuits about 1 inch apart. Bake for 7-9 minutes or until golden brown. Remove and cool on a wire rack for at least 5 minutes. Serve warm with butter/margarine, honey, or jam.

Optional: I wanted more lemon ginger flavour so I made a quick glaze with 2 Tbsp butter, 2 Tbsp honey, and 1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger. Melt the butter, add the honey and ginger and stir frequently until honey dissolves. Drizzle on biscuits.

Enjoy a cup or tea flavours today (make it iced if you're getting hot weather),
Steph Langdon, RD