It is back to school time, which is extra exciting for me because I am headed back to school both as a teacher AND a student! This week I’ll be starting my 2nd, and final, year as a student of holistic nutrition (!!!); and I’m also headed back to school as a kindergarten teacher 🙂 I’ve decided to combine my passions for nutrition and helping children through a little series about packing healthy lunches for kids!
Packing a lunch can sometimes feel like a tedious chore, but it’s really important because children need to eat healthy snacks at school to provide them with energy, helping them to concentrate and do their best. Unfortunately, not all foods provide this desirable effect, and can in fact result in hyperactivity, fatigue, or distracting stomach aches.
Spaghetti squash is a staple in my kitchen as you can use it as a pasta replacement in any dish you please! When cooked, it comes out in strands that resemble spaghetti noodles. It is a great source of fiber and vitamin A, and also contains vitamin C and other antioxidants; therefore it has much more nutritional value then regular pasta.
There are many different ways to cook spaghetti squash, but I now have my favourite as it consistently comes out with the perfect texture, not too hard or too mushy!
Cut squash in half lengthwise
Put squash cut side down in a baking dish
Add up to a cup of water to the dish so that it’s base is fully covered
Bake at 375 F for about 40 minutes, or until tender
When ready, use a fork to rake the squash into “pasta”
Once cooked, you can top it with anything that would would put on regular spaghetti noodles!
It is harvested early in the fall season, so you’ll be seeing them in your grocery stores soon!
With the hot summer weather, I find that I don’t crave heavy meals, like pasta as much. However, I can still enjoy my favourite pasta dishes by using a great pasta alternative that is much lighter: zucchini noodles, aka zoodles!
Zoodles are also great way to get more veggies into your diet because after you smother them in all your delicious toppings, you can’t even tell that they aren’t real noodles! So if you have a picky eater in your family, test out some zoodles to sneak some extra nutrients in 🙂
I’ve been using food to help balance my hormones in order to clear up the hormonal acne that I was getting on my chin. One of the things included in my hormone balancing meal plan is getting 2 tsp of turmeric into me every day! Luckily I really like turmeric and consume it often, making turmeric tea and sprinkling it on everything. My new favourite way to enjoy turmeric is Golden Milk – I drink it every evening!
I made this simple diary free soup the other day and thought it would make the perfect Meatless Monday dish to share. You only need a handful of ingredients, but it packs a lot of flavour and makes a comforting dish to serve on a cold day. On top of that, you are getting some great health benefits and a decent serving of veggies in each bowl from the cauliflower, cayenne and garlic. Hope you enjoy!
Hummus is one of my favourite snacks because it is easy to make, tastes delicious, and it’s a great source of protein. I try to eat protein with every meal, including snacks, because it helps to keep my blood sugars balanced. My favourite foods to eat with hummus are carrots, cucumber and celery, so it’s also a great way to get more veggies into my body! I also love that there are so many different ways to make hummus that result in such a variety of tasty flavours. This recipe for Pumpkin Hummus is from my wonderful Holistic Nutritionist, Kathrin Brunner, and it has quickly become a staple in my lunch bag!
I was recently exposed to Maca Powder, a ‘superfood’ that grows at high altitudes. It has been linked to increasing energy levels and balancing hormones just to name a couple of perks to the flavour, which is why I enjoy adding it to my smoothies. To me, maca powder has a rich nutty flavour, but it can be an acquired taste (Erin isn’t a fan, but I love it). It’s my new favourite smoothie add-on :). Read on for the full recipe and the brands of the powders I use. (more…)