Christmas; Celebrate & Indulge

It is true I adore Christmas. So much to be thankful for in this precious season of giving, joy, family events, traditions and the hope that changed everything one Christmas eve long ago. 

But with the overdoing that comes with this this season, it is sad to see people are too stressed, overwhelmed and less willing to give, share and experience all the wonderful moments this season brings.

If you find yourself nodding in agreement with the description above, which is like every busy, determined and dream-focused woman out there; I want to remind you that it is time to shift your activities from doing to being.

Choose one thing that is a tradition in your life that you must take part in or attend. You can do more than one of course but make sure you at least do one. We are our values, traditions and beliefs.

Taking part in a timeless practice that is part of your upbringing pays homage to your heritage.

I chose holiday baking with my mom. It is such a precious tradition as my mom is the most giving person I have ever met. She lives graciously and loves generously. As a child, her cooking and baking was an extended expression of her need to comfort, provide and love. It is such a treat to drive home to the farm and spend the day in the kitchen learning again from my mom. I am having so much fun remaking old recipes into healthier versions that will nourish your body as you indulge.

For the recipe I created called Death by Coconut Oil see the end of this post :) Believe me you will want to make this and trade it for your original holiday squares it is soooo delicious and deceptively good for you!

Next, choose something new to do this Christmas season. Again you can do many new things but focus on something that you have never done before, that challenges you or is on your bucket list. This is the fun part because you get to be creative. Are you having trouble thinking of something. Here are a few ideas :)

Ice skating, wreath making, attend a Christmas play, make a new holiday treat, read a Christmas book, attend advent, volunteer somewhere...really the possibilities are endless.

I made home-made wreaths with a friend. It was so much fun, full of laughs and most importantly, another moment mad in the making :) I had never bought a glue gun before and low and behold I created a burlap wreath...a little starving burlap wreath as I think I could have used double the amount of fabric, but you have to start somewhere! 

This season brings joy but also unfair expectations of doing everything or attending everything that the real joy of the season is lost. Remind yourself to schedule in some you time. Whether it is going to the gym, writing your thoughts in a journal, a quiet walk in the snow or coffee with your best friend; it is so important that you remember to be still and invest in you.

Because in between the to do lists, shopping, planning and entertaining is the quiet truth that you are precious and you are loved dearly.

Taking care of you honors this simple truth.

 

Now here is why you are really here...to get this incredibly healthy, oh so addictive bar recipe that is shockingly nourishing.

Be aware that you must make this for an event or else you will end up eating it all. Trust me it has been done; my precious team and I are collaborating for a new program in 2015 and these bars were gone in two days. Who said experimenting with recipes is a tough job :)

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Death By Coconut oil Bars

25 minute prep time

Base

1 cup of unsweetened shredded Coconut

1/2 cup walnuts

1 tsp vanilla paste

1 tbsp psyllium husk

1 tbps water

4 medjool dates

1 tbsp almond butter

Put all the above ingredients in a food processor and blend until there your desired texture. I like a chunkier base :) Place the base evenly in a 8 x 8 square pan and put it in the freezer.

 

Caramel Layer

1 cup of coconut oil (melted)

1/2 cup of almond butter

1/4 cup of maple syrup

1 medjool date

Place all four ingredients in the food processor and mix until smooth. Pour this on top of the base layer and place it back into the freezer.

 

Chocolate layer

8 pieces of unsweetened dark chocolate

1/4 cup of maple syrup

a pinch of sea salt

Melt the above ingredients in a pot, let it cool and pour this over the caramel layer. Make sure the caramel layer is solid before doing so. 

 

Topping

1 cup of unsweetened shredded coconut

1/2 cup of walnuts

Toast the coconut and walnuts in a pan until lightly browned. Sprinkle this on top of the chocolate.

 

Cut into tiny squares and Store this in the freezer as it melts at room temperature. 

 

xxx Brittany

Winter Soup & Salad Done Right

 

What if I told you that true balance doesn't start with food you buy, eat or indulge in.

What if I told you it begins before the program, before the gym membership and even before your goal setting.

It may be even before your whys.

 

Wellbeing begins with a choice. It all begins with realizing your incredible, undeniable worth in YOU. You have so much more to give; are so much more to be if you only believe it! You are meant more for living from meal to meal, from dress size to a number on the scale. If you do not identify and CLAIM your worth and make the choice to be healthy for LIFE...then you will never truly embrace wellbeing or find balance. No matter how much weight you lose, or how organic you go...it will never be enough because you are still searching for validation that only comes from your acceptance of yourself. You were created by the Maker of heaven and earth...don't you think God got you right just as He got the exact shades in a rainbow right?

 

So I encourage you to enter this Christmas season with the fact that no amount of ambition, clean eating, exercise, recognition, fame, friends or worth will validate your worth. Choose you. That is the best gift you can give yourself and give others around you.

Choose to be healthy for you.

Choose to take the stairs for you.

Choose to invest in an activity you love.

Choose to speak words of encouragement to yourself and others rather than condemnation.

Choose to give rather than take.

Choose to invest time, money and resources to increase your health....let's make your health exceptional.

In my nutrition programs, I give my clients positive affirmations that I had to say to myself over and over again until I believed them. The person I wanted to be was inside all along. I just needed to feed myself truths, not lies about my capabilities. I had to see myself with a new vision and I encourage my clients to do the same. See yourself as beautiful, full of potential, worth and value. Envision the person you are fully capable of becoming even before you begin any program and I guarantee your health will improve, your success rate will significantly increase and your joy will be palpable.

That is what I want for you this Christmas season.

I also want you to stay healthy and not go off path towards diabetes heaven with all the sweets! So please try these two recipes for not a great soup for lunch or supper to keep you warm, grounded and healthy with a super yummy salad that you won't be bored eating! You may have to make this twice in one week it is that good!!

Here are some fun nutrition facts about Pomegranates and Sweet Potato so you know why they should be a staple in your winter season diet!

Pomegranates are a huge source of antioxidants, 3X as much as green tea! It is loaded with Vitamin C and potassium. It can lower risk of heart disease, cancer, lesson symptoms of diarrhea, reduce cholesterol, control your weight and fight cell damage! What a power house!

Pomegranate juice contains phytochemical compounds that stimulate serotonin and estrogen receptors, improving symptoms of depression and increasing bone mass. This is definitely a great choice for women!

Sweet potatoes contain almost twice as much fiber as other types of potatoes. Contributing close to 7 grams of fiber per serving it is a weight loss best friend, in moderation! Vitamin B6 helps keep the walls of these important blood passageways flexible and healthy which allows blood to flow freely.

Sweet potatoes are a great source of manganese, which is a little-discussed trace mineral that has some great health benefits. It is a pivotal component in the metabolism of carbohydrates which helps support healthy blood sugar levels. This can help stabilize the appetite for hours as opposed to the temporary satisfaction that comes with most other carbohydrates.

 

 

Holiday Win Me Over Salad

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Salad Ingredients 

6 cups of organic spinach

3 cups of spring mix

14-16 blackberries

1/2 pomegranate

1/2 grapefruit peeled and sliced

1/4 green apple

1/2 red pepper sliced thinly

1/2 cucumber peeled and diced

2 tbsp toasted pumpkin seeds

2 oz of goat cheese

 

Dressing Ingredients

1 lime

2 tbsp grapeseed oil

3 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

 

1. Mix all the salad ingredients together and chill in fridge until ready to serve

2. Squeeze the juice of the lime into the other ingredients in a small bowl, whisk together and add to the salad immediately before serving.

Serves 4-6 hungry women!

 

Warm me up Veggie & Grain Soup

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients

1 tbsp Coconut oil

2 cups thinly sliced leek (about 2 large)

3 cloves of minced fresh garlic

2 cups of small organic cauliflower florets

1 1/2 cup cubed sweet potato (if possible roast before hand for a great flavour for the soup!)

1 1/2 tsp curry powder

1 tsp ground cumin

4 cups of organic vegetable broth

2 cups of distilled water

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper

1 cup uncooked quinoa

2 cups green organic kale cup into bite size pieces

1 cup evaporated 2% milk

 

1. Heat coconut oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add leeks and garlic. Cook and stir until leeks begin to soften (3-4 minutes).

2. Stir in cauliflower, sweet potato, curry and cumin. Cook and stir for 2 minutes. Add broth, salt and pepper. Bring mixture to boil, reduce and let simmer for 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

3. Transfer half of the soup into a blender and puree (vitamix works wonderful). Mix the pureed soup with the remaining soup. Add the quinoa, kale,  and evaporated milk and let soup simmer for another 10-15 minutes.  Serve into small bowls and enjoy while it's hot!

This recipe is great reheated and freezes well.

Makes 10 medium size servings

 

Sending you warmth and I pray you have time to invest in you this holiday season so you are your best for everyone and everything else!

 

Pumpkin Love

Thanksgiving Three Weeks Later

 

 

Source: oprah.com via Tawana on Pinterest

 

A beautiful tradition grounded in gratitude and a thankful heart. Built on family time, crisp fall weather and the sweet smell of pumpkin pie. I adore this holiday not only because it brings my family together; but it refocuses our perspective towards the simple truth that a grateful heart is what this world needs more of.

I am grateful for my grandpa. Thanksgiving was always with him in the mountains as his birthday was always within a few days of this holiday. He adored pumpkin pie and as I imagine his perfect smile, I relish in the treat of pumpkin pie! That is why it is so fun creating this pumpkin love smoothie that both your taste-buds and waistline will love. He would have loved it to...or at least tried it as he had a soft spot for his granddaughter's kitchen creations. He passed away suddenly this summer and was called home to be with our Maker. Even though he lived a full and happy life, my heart misses him. I am grateful for my grandpa.

 

I am grateful to be a Canadian. This country is epic and stunning. The people are authentic and down to earth. The freedom allows myself to be a woman guided by her dreams with the opportunity to seek and fulfill them. I am grateful to be a Canadian

I am grateful for working shift work so I can take time off. As I continue to work as a nurse as I build my wellness business, the flexibility is incredible from my part-time position. I cannot wait for the day I no longer work nights and have a normal routine. However because of shift work, I was able to drive down with my dad and spend a special couple days with him in Whitefish doing all the fun stuff girls do with their dads. Just me and him. Just us two as we pick out pumpkins to carve, go shopping (yes he tags along and shops with me) and listen to CCR. I am grateful for shift work.

 

I am grateful for the possibility. As much as nursing is a privilege and wonderful to care and serve, I love that I have found my passion through Embrace Wellbeing and am making steps, no matter how big or small, each day to live my dream out. Inspiring other women inspires me and fills me up rather than depletes me. I love that by educating women on nutrition and optimal wellness, I see the transformation and empowerment as they choose to fully live their life in step with wellbeing and being authentic. I just get happy chills every time I hear feedback that women now have the tools to leave unhealthy eating behind.

I am grateful for the wonderful entrepreneurs in Calgary. There are so many passionate, eclectic women that I love meeting and connecting with that a formal meeting quickly turns into laughter, dreaming of teaming up and ending with promises to meet soon with big hugs. I am grateful for the wonderful entrepreneurs in Calgary.

What are you grateful for?

Does the spirit of gratitude only last during your meal or is it something you carry with you and make an active part of your day?

I hope you not only get inspired to make your own gratitude list. How do you do this you may ask? Simple. Take a notepad, paper, journal or even left over card-stock. Write your top 3, 5, 10; how many you desire and just start pouring out your gratitude. You may feel left starring at the white space in front of you but trust me once you start being thankful you will have more points then not. I encourage you to make this part of your wellness practice as it changes your perspective of your situations, will create a positive focus in your daily life that not only allows you to realize all the incredible gifts you have in your life...but your glass will become half full without you even being aware. Your family and friends and kids will see the slight change but the most significant change will be in your heart. For gratitude sows seeds of contentment and a humble heart. Two beautiful characteristics that each woman should embrace to live in the present moment.

Before I leave you and head off to sleep the day away (I'm still doing shift work remember and have a tendency to work many a nights compared to days), I definitely want to share my healthy pumpkin pie smoothie recipe with all you women. This is an awesome sweet treat that is low glycemic, high in fiber and with the pumpkin gives you a huge boost in vital nutrients!

I ADORE pumpkin.

This veggie is not only great for your optimal nutrition, but is amazing for your skin and gives you a boost in your mood.

  • The incredible orange hue is a give away that it is loaded with carotenoids; which prevent premature aging, assists in removal of free radicals, prevents infection and helps with cardiovascular disease.
  • A great source of fiber to help you feel fuller for longer, stabilize blood sugar and decrease LDL cholesterol. It is a natural skin saver with all the Vitamin A, C, E and zinc to hydrate and give anti-wrinkle effects.
  • Pumpkin flesh contains L-tryptophan, a chemical compound that triggers feelings of well-being and happiness. Having pumpkin as a part of your daily diet can prevent depression and this is so important as we see less sun and the risk for Seasonal Depressive disorder increases with the onset of winter.
  • Pumpkins are natural diuretics. These help in flushing out the toxins and unwanted waste material from the body and all you redefined body women know we love a good detox through what we eat!

With all these reasons, you can see why I couldn't help but create a recipe with pure pumpkin! Oh and did I mention is tastes amazing!!!

Pumpkin Love Smoothie

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1 cup of almond milk

1 large spoonful of 0% unflavored greek yogurt

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1/2 cup of 100% pure pumpkin puree

1 tsp of pumpkin pie spice

1/2 frozen banana

1/2 cup of ice

2 scoops of French Vanilla Nutrimeal

 

Blend all the ingredients together and enjoy this pumpkin love in a health smoothie!! The secret to how good this tastes is the frozen banana and the french vanilla Nutrimeal gives it such a creamy taste!  Mmmmm