Monday, April 4, 2011

Bring on the Greens

In the fall I attended a very informative seminar put on by Brendan Brazier.  He was focussing on the importance of maintaining a healthy ph level in our bodies.    I came away with some interesting information and was inspired to incorporate more greens and alkaline forming foods.   Brendan stressed the importance of keeping our bodies at a healthy pH level of  7.35.  If our pH level is too low, this means our body is  acidic and the likelihood of sickness and disease rises.  In this acidic state,  your level of fatigue is greater and cortisol levels rise which in turn impairs sleep.  Therefore, we must consume more alkaline-forming foods and less acid - forming foods.  One of the best ways to raise the pH level in the body is to consume foods with a high chlorophyll content.  Chlorophyll rich foods are vital to a healthy body... here is a list of what chlorophyll does for the body
- cleanses our blood by removing toxins
-  it is linked to the body's production of red blood cells
-  cell regeneration
-  improves oxygen transport 
-  increases energy levels
After learning and reading more on the topic of alkalizing and acid forming foods, I have become quite the green pusher.  I am focusing on  incorporating salads and dark green vegetables into my family's daily diet.  Citrus fruits, balsamic vinegar and apple cider vinegar are all acidic, but when consumed, become highly alkaline - forming in the body.  When I make my salad dressing and dips, I always use either balsamic or apple cider vinegar .  The kids really love the taste of vinegar, so this is an easy sell right now.  Cassidy ( my 10 year old) has come to enjoy a good salad with me - one full of spinach, peppers, avocado and nuts.  We make our own dressing consisting of a hemp/flax/olive oil blend, balsamic vinegar, a squeeze of dijon mustard and a touch of honey.  I am loving it!  I also make  my own kale chips by simply tearing off the leafy part of the kale and drizzling it with olive oil and popping it in the oven for a few minutes.  I sometimes add a little sea salt and pepper for added flavour.  By continually trying new ways of serving the same green vegetables my kids don't get bored with the same old.  I can't say they LOVE their greens yet, but they are giving them a fair try!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Just Starting Out

School has just started and already I am bombarded by activities, playdates, fundraisers, homework, sign up for this, new shoes needed for that, hockey try-outs, birthday parties, new books for piano lessons.......just thinking about it all makes my head spin. I guess that's life with 3 kids enrolled in all kinds of extra curricular activities.  We've gone from the carefree lazy days of summer to full blown craziness at our house.  I really do enjoy all of their activities and will be on the sidelines cheering them on at every game they play.    Whether it is football, hockey, soccer,  playing the piano, or concentrating on their school work, I really believe that in order to perform at the best of their ability kids need to be fueled properly.  I think of food as fuel for our bodies..... we can choose to put regular fuel into our tanks and perform adequately (or not), or we can fuel ourselves with premium, high quality, nutrient dense foods and feel and perform great.  Over the summer I did a lot of research and attended seminars that discussed this very topic.  Brian (my husband) and I have decided we want to make it a priority to fuel ourselves and our kids with premium fuel.  We began slowly changing our own diets in the spring and are gradually changing our kids diets as well (not an easy task with an 8 year old who loves sweets.)  Will is our middle child who is very active to say the least.  He just made the football team (yes there is football for 8 year olds!) , he'll be playing Novice Hockey , indoor soccer and learning to play guitar.  He is my guinea pig when it comes to trying out my new concoctions in the kitchen.  When I make a batch  of "energy balls" they'll have to get "Will approved" before they make it as a staple in our house.  I like to fuel him up properly because I can tell when he is running out of energy either on the field, on the ice or on the playground.  There have been days that I pick him up at school and he is in tears and doesn't know why he is crying and feeling so awful.  I know it is because his mind and body are in need of nourishment.  He doesn't like to take the time to eat some mornings... and this becomes a bit of a battle.  He is slowly learning that in order to feel good and have that extra energy he needs to eat properly.  Yesterday before football practice he actually asked "Mom where are those  energy things you made?"  Progress!!!  He is learning.   The energy balls consisted of nothing more than a few key ingredients ground together and shaped into little balls, easy for kids to grab and throw in their mouths.  Here is the new "Will approved"  energy bursts (as he calls them).
1 cup of cashews (his favorite nuts)  - Throw them in the food processor and grind
10 dates ( I soaked them for a few minutes in hot water to soften)
1 Tbsp coconut oil at room T

Grind all together and shape into little balls - Roll in a bit of dark cacao powder or coconut.

Will takes a couple and eats for quick energy before a game or practice...Wonderful!