You know it's the holiday season...when the cartons of clementines arrive!

Yum! My favorite time of the year for citrus fruit...those delicious, juicy and easy to peel clementines are here!

Not only are these little delicious oranges easy to eat...they are easy to pack for lunches, grab on the run...or in other words...are an EASY way to increase your fruit/vegetable intake. Most of adults should be getting upwards of 8-10 fruit/vegetable servings daily. Unfortunately, most Canadians are lucky if they get in 2-3.

Why are they so important? Fruit & Vegetables are jam-packed with nutrition--high in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fibre! Just to mention a few! Not only are they nutritious, but they are also lower calorie options than many other food items! Which means we can eat more of them, without the same calorie damage. (This does exclude deep fried vegetables and cheese sauce over the broccoli...haha).

Sooo, chances are you need to work on the fruit/vegetable intake....grab a few clemetines and you are well on your way! Not to mention a great source of Vitamin C which always helps in this immunity-based craze we are all experiencing now with H1N1!


Snow...yes I said Snow.

Well, it's officially winter season. We had our first snow fall today...not a lot...but enough to make drivers panic and the ground white!

Nothing like a mug of hot chocolate on a cool, chilly day! If you have ever looked at any of the pre-packaged hot chocolate mixes, there are more ingredients that I can't pronounce, than ones I can!

My new favorite winter chocolate fix: Dark Hot Chocolate mix by Just Us! All organic ingredients and no crazy chemicals.

Time for a mug of hot chocolate! Cheers!


The wonderful thing about Halloween treats

Yes...I said wonderful!

In the world of nutrition, I find the biggest issue with consumption is portion size! Almost every food (in my opinion) can fit in a healthy diet--the trick is to find the proper portion and to enjoy these treats in moderation!

Ideally, snacks should be kept between 100-200cals. Now, of course I would rather you choose a nutritious apple & yogurt for about 120cals vs. a 100 calorie chocolate bar; however, we all have to be realistic! The closer you stick to eating what you want to be eating, the more likely you will be able to achieve success with health! The goal then, is to enjoy our "treats" to help keep us sane and on track, but keep them within reason.

Most mini-chocolate bars treats are about 70 calories--have 1 or 2 and you are well within the 100-200 calorie range for a healthy snack. Have 8 a day, and all of a sudden you are past the 500 calorie mark. Do that everyday for a week ---and you're gained 1 pound of fat.

So...the Halloween "Trick or Treat" solution....is to remember "Portion and Moderation!"


Case in point...fat tax

Fat tax...case in point with my earlier rant of today...


Random rant of the day

So, today on my drive home...I pass a convenience store. Outside of it was a group of kids...I guess there is no school today? What makes me sad is this group of kids...let's say 6 of the 8 kids (and by kids...I mean 15 year olds?) were visibly overweight. By no means, do I feel that weight is the only indicator of health; however, at 15 years of age, a visible amount of abdominal fat (I'm talking 20lbs?) is too much. The habits that these children are practicing at 15 years of age...will impact their future health beyond their knowledge.

Anywho..back to these kids...they were standing around munching on lovely snacks from the convenience store and two of them were smoking! I may be a bad judge of age...but even still...if you look 15 you should NOT be smoking (well really, no one should be smoking). Not to mention their choice in high fat, sugar loaded pop/chips and bags of candy.

It was just last year that there was a huge discussion in the media/health community about lowering the age kids could use cholesterol medicine from 9 to 7 years old! Aside from the rare genetic situations, children should not be using cholesterol medicine. However, if we continue letting them have diets full of saturated & trans fat, low in fruit/vegetables/fibre and exercise...what can we expect?

We are allowing our future generations to pump their bodies full of toxic substances, before they are fully able to recognize the impact their actions have on their life expectancy. The current generation of kids is expected to have a LOWER life expectancy than their parents. SCARY.

Remember...you are what you eat. Literally.


Recipe of the Week

Recipe of the Week: Spicy Roasted Chickpeas

This might sound like a weird snack to some of you; however, for those of us that want a crunchy healthy snack...these are a great option! Snack on them by themselves or throw them on top of salad for a high protein, high fibre snack!

- 2 cups chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp maple sugar flakes
- 1.5tsp cumin
- 0.5tsp coriander
- 0.25tsp cinnamon
- 0.25tsp each, salt & pepper
- pinch of cayenne pepper

- Preheat oven to 425F
- Combine all ingredients in a bowl, toss well to coat
- Spread chickpea mixture on foil-lined baking sheet
- Roast in oven for about 20-25min (until golden and toasted), stirring about halfway through
- Cool and store in air-tight container (refrigerate until serving)

Nutrition Analysis: per 2/3 cup serving
140 cal, 5g fat, 4g fibre, 6g protein, 460mg sodium


Favourite Magazine...Clean Eating

One of my favourite magazines is "Clean Eating." It's a great magazine (I believe it's quarterly...) and it is full of great recipes that are based on whole grains, fruit, veggies and lean proteins. They experiment with different types of grains and natural based ingredients. It's great inspiration for a "foodie" or for those looking to make some nutritional improvements..all the recipes include nutritional analysis breakdowns, which is helpful for everyone tracking their daily intake!

Check it out... www.cleaneatingmag.com