Tag Archives: Wellness
Healthy Guilt Free Banana Loaf that Actually Tastes Great!
Hi everyone! Hope all is well with you all. It’s still quite cold and damp in my neck of the woods. The rain and dampness has made me crave comforting baked goods so I’ve been revamping my banana bread. It’s just a cold, cold Spring!
I’ve enjoyed baking and creating lots of cozy meals lately. It’s all about the comfort meals this time of year. I have so many recipes to share with you all this year and I’m hoping to get them posted soon. I’ve been recipe testing and trying my best to create healthy versions of my favourite meals. Many of them have been a huge success but a few still need to be tweaked a tad.
I’ve recreated my original banana bread and made it as healthy as possible without sacrificing the taste of this epic treat. I’m so very happy with the result! This is the most often made treat at my house. It’s easy to make, includes staple ingredients that pretty much everyone has on hand and it’s guilt free. It’s healthy and delicious! No need to have any guilt about indulging in this banana bread. You’re fueling your body with nutritious ingredients instead of the typical store bought version that’s full of sugar and fat.
I also love using this recipe for mini muffins and mini loafs. Just bake them for a shorter period of time. I love how versatile this recipe is.
I really tried to break this recipe down to minimal ingredients so that everyone can feel like they can make it easily. It doesn’t matter what your skill level is in the kitchen either. This recipe is so easy that anyone can make it, and end up with a perfect snack. I also like to create meals that children can make as well. My son is usually my assistant in the kitchen. I want him to learn the importance of making home cooked meals and desserts. My recipes are easy enough for him to help me with and learn some skills. If you have little ones too, then you can definitely make this recipe with them!
My recipe is less calorie rich than my original version. I decided to eliminate the nuts and oil to save on calories. I realized that they were honestly unnecessary ingredients in the recipe. Any type of oil is still refined and not healthy by any means. It provides no nutritional benefits and makes baked goods very calorie rich. I know the hype right now is eat all the fat you can because it’s said to be healthy for us in our diet. The reality is, it’s not. Yes we need some fat in our diet but it really should be from the whole food source such a yummy avocado.
I will add my video version of this recipe below. I know a lot of you enjoy watching the recipe video on my YouTube channel. Thank you for the continued support on my channel. I really appreciate it. If you haven’t already Subscribed to my channel then please consider doing so if you enjoy health and wellness videos. I make healthy yet satisfying meals on my channel and provide wellness tips as well.
Ok so let’s get to the good part …
Here is probably one of my most favourite recipes that I’ve ever created! I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!
Healthy Guilt Free Banana Bread
2 cups of oat flour
1 cup of oats
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1/4 cup hemp hearts (optional)
2 Tbsp. Ground Flax
Optional : 1/4 – 1/3 cup Vegan Chocolate chips/chocolate chunks or cacao nibs
6 Tbsp. Warm Water
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 of a cup of plant-based milk
3 regular sized spotty bananas, mashed
1/3 of a cup of sugar. I use coconut sugar, brown sugar, or maple sugar.
* Preheat oven to 350 F *
1. In a large bowl place 2 cups of oat flour and 1 cup of oats. Next add in 1 teaspoon of baking powder and 1/3 cup sugar of choice. Combine well. Toss in the 1/4 cup of hemp hearts if you are using them in your banana loaf.
2. Add 2 tablespoons of flax meal to a small bowl with 6 tablespoons of warm water. Mix well and allow to thicken up
3. In another large bowl mash three spotty bananas well. Add in 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract and the 1/2 cup of plant-based milk. Mix well.
4. Add the flax egg into the wet ingredients. I use a fork to mix it well.
5. Next add the wet ingredients into the dry and combine everything very well.
6. Transfer your batter into your baking dishes or loaf pans. Bake at 350° for approximately 40 to 50 minutes.
Let me know if you try my recipe out in the comments below! Have a wonderful week everyone!
Health, Joy & Positive Vibes,
Easy Butternut Squash Soup
We are definitely in the heart of the fall season and cozy recipes are required! It’s the time of year where we feel the need for those comfort meals as the days get darker, quieter and colder. We crave the cozy warm recipes that just make us feel good inside. This is my favourite season to create recipes. I get so inspired by all the foods in season during this time. Everything looks absolutely delicious and I start to think of all the recipes I want to try making. It’s just simply a wonderful time of year!
Many people will say that during this time of year they typically put on weight because they eat more decadent meals. Some say they crave “bad” foods. I feel like anything that’s a favourite cozy fall meal can be made into a healthier version. You can enjoy the wonderful much loved meal and still stay on track with wellness goals. I love to create meals that are guilt free and healthy but still taste fabulous. I know I’ve said this before but you CAN have it all! No more beating yourself up about eating naughty meals! You just have to get in the mindset of adjusting the recipe to meet your health and wellness goals. Also I’d like to add that if you do enjoy indulgent meals here and there, that’s also totally ok. It’s all about balance in life. I say just clean up your act and eat as clean as possible after that meal. It will be just fine.
I created this very simple butternut squash soup recipe using wholesome ingredients and it tastes fantastic. This recipe is a crowd pleaser and it’s perfect for entertaining during the holiday season as well. Now that covid restrictions have lightened up and families can get together we can finally start having guests over! Wow this is exciting! Everyone will enjoy this soup! My feedback after posting this recipe on my YouTube channel was excellent. I feel so good knowing that people are enjoying this hearty yet healthy soup!
Squash is abundant in every grocery store or farmer’s market this time of year. It’s definitely easy to find because they seem to be the star of the show in October and on into the colder months. Squash can be inexpensive as well and it’s quite hearty. You can make this whole recipe using just one butternut squash. A little goes a long way. My recipe will serve 4 people, so if you want to make it for a larger gathering then just make sure you pick up extra squash. I bought mine from Costco and they actually came in a two pack which is great. They worked out to 3.5 lbs each.
What if you don’t have fresh produce available to you? Depending on where you live or your budget you might not be able to get fresh squash. That’s totally ok! You can definitely use canned squash of any variety to make this recipe if needed. They do sell butternut squash in cans so this might be a good solution for you. You can also use frozen squash if that’s all you can find as well. Find whatever works for you because my recipe is very adaptable. Creating these healthier options doesn’t have to be complicated. I find sometimes we get into these rigid rules when cooking and that is just way too stressful. We tend to over complicate things and it doesn’t have to be this way.
Butternut Squash is full of Vitamins, Fiber and Antioxidants. It’s loaded with vitamin C, vitamin A, and B Vitamin’s as well. It’s rich with magnesium and potassium which plays an important role for us in our bone health. It’s so nice to know that something so delicious is actually really beneficial to our health.
I decided to add some apples to this recipe because we had picked a whole bunch from our tree in the backyard. They needed to be used up and they taste so incredibly good! I’m not sure what the variety is but they grow perfect and I love how sweet they are. I don’t put any pesticides on my tree and they still turn out perfect. No bugs either! The only battle I have is the Toronto raccoons eating them on the tree and then throwing half away onto the ground. They basically eat half of the apple and throw away the rest! Ugh! Why can’t they just eat the whole thing?
I hope you enjoy my easy Butternut Squash Soup recipe. Let me know if you make it and if you make an adjustments to the recipe. I will post the video version of this recipe below if you would like to watch me cook this lovely soup. Enjoy this amazing time of year and the gorgeous fall season!
Easy Butternut Squash Soup
⁃ 1 Butternut Squash, peeled & chopped Look for one around 3.5 lbs.
⁃ 1 tbsp. Bouillon
⁃ 4 1/4 cups water
⁃ 1/2 onion, chopped
⁃ 3 medium sized apples, chopped
⁃ 3 cloves of garlic
Herbs & Spices:
⁃ Curry powder
⁃ Onion powder
⁃ Cumin powder
⁃ Dry Oregano
⁃ Black pepper
⁃ Himalayan pink salt
1. Preheat oven to 400F
3. Peel & chop the butternut squash. Add it to a lined baking pan.
4. Peel and chop apples and add them to the baking pan.
5. Chop up onion and peel garlic cloves. Toss into the pan. Add the spices to the mixture as well.
6. Pop the baking pan into the oven at 400F for 30 minutes. I gave it a mix at the half way mark.
7. Add the butternut squash mixture to a large pot. Add the bouillon, and water as well.
8. Use a hand blender to purée the soup or add it in batches to a blender.
9. Add more spices if necessary according to you taste.
10. Add the soup to bowls and enjoy!
Note: garnish with some pumpkin or squash seeds on top if desired.
Health, Joy & Positive Vibes,
Veggie Garden Love
I’m enjoying my veggie garden and it’s abundance this year more than ever. With COVID-19 happening I still only shop when necessary. I love being able to grow my own veggies so I don’t have to buy as much produce at the grocery store. Being able to just walk outside and pick my own veggies is the best feeling ever!
I also love how fresh my home grown produce is. Honestly it even tastes better! Currently I’m obsessed about how my Green peppers taste. I feel so grateful to be able to grow these healthy foods. I feel so energetic and happy during this time of year. It’s probably because of a combination of things I’m sure. I eat even healthier, fresher and more organic food than other times of year for starters. I feel way more active as I’m busy gardening and taking a couple long walks daily. The amount of vitamin D I’m also getting daily makes a huge difference in my wellness.Continue reading
Simple Healthy Habits that Anyone can implement.
I want to share with you some of my simple healthy habits. I often get asked what people should start doing on their wellness journey. This is sometimes a difficult question to answer because we can implement many small yet important steps.
These healthy habits are surprisingly super easy to implement and they sure do make a huge difference in our health. These habits are also super easy for people who are just stepping into the wellness zone. It can all seem so overwhelming but really it’s not that hard at all. Back when I started my health journey I started by eliminating flavoured coffee whitener and implementing more water into my diet. Two pretty simple things but yet I instantly lost 10 lbs by making these changes. Every small change makes a big impact on our overalls health and wellness.
Let’s get into my favourite easy healthy habits. These habits are simple and anyone can truly implement them in their lives.
Wellness is a big picture with many pieces to the puzzle. By implementing these small tasks one at a time it makes sticking to them long term very possible. I feel like adding too many new healthy habits to your routine all at once is just too overwhelming. Most people will get frustrated and stop everything all together with time. I always suggest that people pick one or two healthy habits that they want to work on. Implement changes slowly and they will just become a natural way of life. This will help you stick to this long term and truly benefit from it.
I add simple things to my diet but over all they make a huge impact on my health, energy levels and the way I look at wellness as a whole. All these pieces together make the future brighter.
One of my favorite things that I implement into my diet and lifestyle is Lemon Water. I love the energy lemon water gives me and I always have a water dispenser dedicated to it. This is such a basic health addition to my diet but yet it makes a huge impact. Lemons are known to purify the blood, improve our skin, they have Vitamin C, and they aid in digestion. The list can continue with all the amazing benefits of lemon water. I feel much more energetic when I consistently add this one simple healthy habit to my life.
Another one of my favorite additions to my wellness routine is adding Chia Seeds in my diet. If I had to pick one thing that I couldn’t live without, yep this would probably be it! These tiny amazing seeds are full of protein, iron, omega 3 fatty acids, antioxidants, fiber and calcium. I love making easy treats like chia pudding for the family. We love to make vanilla or chocolate chia pudding. It’s so easy and super healthy! I even add chia seeds to my water and drink them up when I don’t get a chance to incorporate them into my day.
I included simple things like Gratitude Journaling because this will definitely start your day off on positive note. It puts us in a state of joy and we can really feel appreciatation for all that we have. It keeps us focused on all the good things happening in our lives. It has been proven to increase self esteem as well. This is a great way to really reflect on all the things we have accomplished. Also by putting ourselves in a positive state we reduce stress. When you put yourself in a state of gratitude and positivity it completely shifts how you feel and the way you look at things. Negative feelings and thoughts seem to float away. I like to start my day off with writing in my Gratitude Journal because it starts my day off on a great note. It only takes a few minutes and it makes a tremendous difference in how I feel and sets the tone for the day ahead. My journal asks that we reflect on 3 things that we are grateful for and it also includes a positive quote as well. Find a journal that suits you and try implementing this simple habit.
Check out my YouTube video to learn about further simple healthy habits that I implement in my life.
Have a wonderful week & stay healthy!
Health, Joy & Positive Vibes,
Fresh Start & New Goals!
Instead of starting new goals on June 1st I decided to shake it up a little and implement them now. I’m kinda in the feeling high vibrational mode and I thought why not just jump into it? New goals are a way we can say I’m important and I want to implement changes right now.
What I Eat in a Day!
I put up a new video on my YouTube channel! People are always curious about what I eat so I decided to do a video!
Please Like & Subscribe and help support health and wellness!
I appreciate each and every one of you!
Healthy Carrot Pulp Loaf
Have you ever thought to yourself “what a waste” after discarding your juicing pulp? I kept thinking that every time I tossed my pulp in the compost bin after juicing. I juice almost everyday so that’s a fair bit of pulp! I wanted to figure out some ways of using up that pulp. I’ve made a few things that worked fantastic and a few that were total flops. Somethings are a work in progress and that’s fine with me. Eventually I’ll get it right and I feel like I’m learning a lot throughout the process.
I wanted to share my healthy carrot pulp loaf with you all in hopes that you find it useful. I tried making this loaf a few times in different ways just to test out what worked better. We love to top a slice of this yummy loaf with some butter and gobble it up! You can totally make muffins with my recipe too if you prefer. I make muffins often and add some vegan mini chocolate chips to them. I use my ceramic muffin tin and that way I done have to use the paper muffin cups! I’m happy because it’s great for the environment, saves me money and saves my muffins from ending up into a crumbly mess. I bake mine for about 18 minutes but as every oven may vary a bit keep an eye on them. You may need to increase or decrease the time depending on your oven.
Now if only I could find a good ceramic loaf pan! I’m on the hunt for one. Let me know if you’ve bought one and what brand it is below in the comments. Thanks!
My followers across my social media showed interest in my recipe but I was still recipe testing. After trying it a few times and adding new ingredients to my loaf I’m finally happy with the outcome. So as promised, here is the recipe below. Enjoy!
For those of you that don’t juice don’t fret because you can totally make this recipe with grated carrots! Now go rock this recipe! Tag me in pictures of your awesome loaf or muffins. 😀
Things you will need
*Large mixing bowls
* 1 wooden spoon (or use your favourite baking spoon)
* 1 loaf pan (use whatever size you prefer for bigger or smaller slices) I prefer a smaller loaf pan myself
* Set of measuring cups and spoons
Cups flour of choice (I use brown rice flour a lot)
* 3/4 cup coconut sugar
* 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
* 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
* 1/3 cup hemp hearts
* 1/2 cup GF Oats
* 2 tbsp chia seeds
* 1 tbsp cinnamon
* 4 tbsp flax meal in order to make 4 Flax Eggs
* Pinch of salt
*3/4 cup non dairy milk ( I like using almond or coconut milk)
* 1 large banana (mashed)
* 1 1/2 packed cups of carrot pulp from your juicer
* 1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
* 1/4 cup coconut oil
* 12 tbsp of water to add to the flax meal
- Walnuts for topping (Optional)
- To make 1 Flax Egg mix 1 tbsp flax meal with 3 tbsp of water and mix well. Allow to thicken for 3-5 minutes. In order to make this loaf you will need 4 flax eggs.
1. Preheat your oven to 375 F
2. Add your ground flax to a small bowl with water. Mix well and allow to sit for 3-5 minutes. The mixture will thicken up so you can use as an egg replacement.
3. Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
4. Add all the wet ingredients to another large bowl and combine well
5. Add the flax eggs into the wet mixture and mix well using a fork
6. Transfer the wet ingredients into the dry and combine well
7. Line loaf pan with parchment paper
8. Add the mixture into the loaf pan and even it all out. Top with walnuts if your using them
9. Pop them into the oven and bake for 60 minutes
10. Check if your loaf is done by inserting a wooden scuwer into it or a tooth pick
11. Remove from oven and allow to completely cool before trying to slice it.
- Cooking time may vary depending on the oven. Check your loaf at the 50 minute mark and decide if it needs more time like mine does.
- If you feel like the top of your loaf is browning up too much then just cover it with foil and continue to bake it. I try avoiding foil and enjoy nicely toasted walnuts on top of my loaf. I’ve also moved my oven rack to a lower position which is a great alternative if I feel I need to.
- I actually add more cinnamon to my loaf because I absolutely love the way it makes baked goods taste. I also think it helps add great flavour without adding more sugar to recipes.
- I feel that 3/4 cup of coconut sugar is enough to sweeten this loaf but if your preference is sweeter loafs or desserts then I would say add more sugar to the recipe as desired.
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my family and I do!<
Little Changes, Big Leaps
I’ve had a long health and fitness journey and I’ve pretty much hit every obstacle along the way. My journey still continues as I get closer to my goals and these goals have actually changed along the way. As I’ve accomplished one goal, I’ve set another to strive for. I think I’ve been successful because I’ve always set small goals along the way or implemented small changes in my diet or lifestyle. I’ve found that making small changes are easier to stick to. Once you make these changes and stick to them, this is where habits are made. This is a biggie! Those new healthy habits make a huge impact on your overall health and wellbeing. Not eating past 8 pm for example might be a health change you want to implement but soon that becomes a habit and you no longer feel the need to eat late at night. For me it was making sure I was drinking enough water. That was a huge health change for me. Once I got into that habit I gained energy, cleared my mind and I actually lost some weight as well. Making too many changes all at once or implementing too many restrictions at once will overwhelm you and frustration will cause you to abandon these goals. Smaller more attainable goals will almost always lead you to success.
Ok, so where do you begin if your starting your health journey?
In my opinion these are the staples to keep in mind …
I swear to you that this is the recipe for success! Even if you have very little time in your day, these are manageable goals to set and achieve. So lets break this down a bit so you can see how easy this is.
Eating Clean means that everything that you put in your mouth is going to benefit your body in some way. Will it nurture your body? Will it give you energy? Will it keep you feeling full long so you’re not tempted to hit that local fast food joint? Eat whole foods, fresh foods, foods that DO NOT come from a bloody box! Eat loads and loads of veggies and good quality proteins. Consume good fats like avocado, natural peanut butter and use coconut oil for cooking. I also prefer to consume brown, wild rice and quinoa vs white rice. I just want to provide my body with all the extra nutrients that I can. I don’t like empty calories. Every calorie will be provided to me from quality sources.
Staying hydrated is so vital for our over all health and wellbeing. Drink loads of water! I drink 3 L a day and if I drink less I feel like my mind is in a haze and the energy has been sucked out of me. The more active you are, the more water you need. Replenish what you’ve lost. I fill up a huge water bottle that holds almost 2L of water. I refill it when needed and its a reminder for me because its kept in view. I also keep another bottle that’s always filled on the kitchen table to remind my kids to keep drinking water throughout the day. Sometimes if it’s not in your face, your not going to remember to drink it. Another great way to make sure you remember to stay hydrated is set alarms on your cell phone. That’s a great tool, use it! I would say don’t drink less than 1 1/2 – 2 L per day for optimal health.
Here’s a big one that freaks people out. Exercise daily! That doesn’t mean full-blown workouts daily but any physical activity you can accomplish. It would be optimal to get to the point that you can complete a workout a day, even if it’s a short one. Baby steps though. Work up to that point. Even long walks are an awesome way to stay active and connect you to nature. That’s a WIN-WIN in my books! I’ve been known to take two-hour walks with the baby and I feel fantastic after!
If I can implement these small health choices into my life, then you can totally do it too! I’m a mother of 5 and my days are crazy busy. I’m busy with bringing the kids to their Girl Guide & Brownie meetings, swim class, and everything else that comes up in our hectic life. Somehow, in someway you have to try to make the time. Even if it’s an intense 10 minute workout, get it done. Your body will thank you!
Just remember I’m here to cheer you on & support you along your journey! Message me or follow me on my other social media sites. Instagram is the best place to connect with me. My handle is VeganMommyDee. 🙂
Eat Healthy, Be Healthy!
Eat Healthy, Be Healthy!!! Everyday we make choices about our food, so make health conscious ones! Don’t make choices that are going to leave you guilt ridden. Even the most popular comfort foods can be made in healthier ways. I’ve made delicious healthy mac & “cheese” and pot pies which people love! They couldn’t believe they were vegan and healthy because they tasted so good. This is why I keep trying to tell people that healthy CAN taste good! Actually it can taste pretty darn amazing!
I’ve noticed that people can do pretty well making good food choices for meals for the most part but find it very difficult to snack healthy. One of the biggest lessons I leaned on my weight loss journey was to swap unhealthy snacks with healthy ones. If you’re a chip lover try eating homemade sweet potato chips or making yummy kale chips as an alternative. They are so tasty and guilt free! Even my teen has grown to love them and makes them at my house! If your more of a sweet tooth then swap things like sugar loaded ice cream with a healthy homemade version. Process frozen bananas and peaches or mango, freeze in a container for 10-15 minutes to set. How simple is that? Anyone can make it! When your on the run and busy carry nuts and seeds with you or fresh fruit. Everyone who knows me is totally used to me pulling out healthy snacks from my purse when I’m hungry. If you’re not prepared then you will be tempted to pick unhealthy food choices, so be prepared!
I wasn’t always a healthy individual and for most of my life I made poor food choices. I went from being the over weight child to a teen with an eating disorder and I was down to a size 1/2. After having all my children I then ended up very over weight and feeling horrible. I had a very significant amount of weight to lose in order to feel healthy! In 2009 I started to make little small improvements to my diet and becoming a little active. In 2010 I became more active and started walking a lot. Yes walking! So simple right? It was so effective though and the weight started coming off finally and people around me were noticing! By 2013 I lost about 80 lbs and I never dreamed I could accomplish that but I did. Am I done with my health journey? Nope. I have a little more weight to shed but I’m now focused on toning and becoming stronger everyday. So to anyone out there struggling to shed some weight … you can do it! If I can so can you! Keep going! Keep trying! Rome wasn’t built in a day and your weight isn’t gonna come off over night either. Be patient with the process, make healthy food choices and be consistent with your workouts and it will happen!
~ Debbie ~
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