Sweet Potato Salsa

Sweet Potato Salsa

I created this recipe for a recent girls weekend. I wanted a recipe that was new and different, great for dipping and snacking and healthy (of course!) I was initially considering a guacamole type salsa dish but I wanted to incorporate a grain-free carbohydrate. I decided to add sweet potato which is also packed with anti-inflammatory nutrients (helpful on a weekend away!) I tend to indulge in more sweets, alcohol and late nights on these ladies weekends, and although it's worth it for the beautiful laughs and stories shared with my special pals, it’s also important for me to be mindful about how to balance out the healthy and not-so-healthy foods. This sweet potato salsa helps reduce inflammation and stress on the body. It was a great snack once we arrived at the cottage, and next time I’ll double the recipe because we ate it up in no time! 

Sweet potatoes are packed with vitamin C, magnesium, antioxidants. I choose them instead of a regular starch potato because the flavour is superior (in my opinion) and they are far more nutrient dense. 

This recipe can be enjoyed with tortilla chips, vegetable sticks or as an addition to a bed of greens for a scrumptious salad. 

Dig in and enjoy!

Sweet Potato Salsa

Serves: 4

*click on blue text to buy ingredients

ingredients:

  • 1 large sweet potato peeled,  cut into small cubes and cooked
  • 1 small red onion (1/4 cup) chopped into very  small pieces
  • 1 large tomato diced into cubes, remove the seeds
  • 1 ripe avocado diced into small cubes
  • 1/4 cup cilantro chopped fine (optional to use parsley) 
  • 1-2 minced garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice 
  • pinch of  himalayan salt
  • pinch of black pepper

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Toss the chopped sweet potato and 1 tablespoon olive oil on a baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are soft. Toss once between cooking.  
  2. Combine all the remaining ingredients into a large bowl and add the sweet potato once it's cooked and cooled. Toss and let sit for at least 15 minutes before serving. 


My Birthday Goals

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May is my birthday month. Each year I use the month of May to nurture myself and to check-in with my life goals. I remind myself to put energy towards manifesting happiness, listening to my gut and treating myself to little pleasures. I believe these yearly reflections help make me a better human. 

This year, I booked a one on one Pilates class on a reformer for my birthday. One day, I plan to have a personal trainer work with me using a reformer weekly (affording this is another goal I am working toward!) I love how this machine is low impact yet challenging, and it's great for improving flexibility. I also love the idea of having a trainer who knows my body and my goals and works with me to achieve results. Finding a coach in life, business or fitness is a great tactic to stay accountable and focused. In the past, I have used friends and family to coach me or I have used podcasts and books for guidance. We can all find affordable ways to build our team of coaches with little cost if we just look for it and take the opportunity when it arises. 

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 In other news, I have set a new goal for this year. Although I am not very flexible now, when I was younger, I could do the splits. Over the years, I haven't kept up with my hip range of motion, and I am no longer able to get flat into the splits. My friend Taylor was a gymnastic queen and she has challenged me to work at it and to get to a full split. I have given myself a year to stretch and practice this position. This photo is my before shot and I’m excited to see what the comparison photo will look like next year. 

As you can see, I like to work away at goals. I find that when I have something to work towards, I can learn so much through the process and I can celebrate once I’ve accomplished it. Little or big, goals help me build the life I desire, and as I mentioned earlier, help me become a better human. 

Happy birthday to me!

Michelle xo

Grain-Free Chocolate Doughnuts

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These doughnuts are delicious, healthy AND kid approved. I recently took them to a family gathering and had lots of little, sticky fingers coming back for seconds, thirds and (had I allowed) more! This recipe is created with minimal ingredients, it’s grain-free, dairy-free and packed with chocolatey goodness!  

My niece and I enjoyed them for breakfast without any guilt because they’re packed with healthy fats to nourish us and keep us full all morning. I’ve been working on a few different recipes but I especially love the chocolate one because, well,  chocolate is heavenly! 

If you don’t have a doughnut base, I highly recommend getting one. I’m sure this recipe could be made into muffins but there’s something special about eating goodies in the shape of a doughnut. Click here to find the doughnut tray that I use. 

Grain-Free Chocolate Doughnuts

Makes: 6

*click on blue text to buy ingredients

ingredients:

Doughnuts
Topping
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips (dairy free)
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut oil

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Grease the doughnut tray with a thin layer of coconut oil.
  3. Combine all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl and stir well.
  4. With a fork whip all the wet ingredients together till mixed.
  5. Add the wet mixture to the dry and fold together till everything is wet and combined. Don't over mix. 
  6. Place the mixture into the tray evenly and bake in the oven for 15 minutes. 
  7. Remove from the oven once they are cooked and remove them from the tray to cool.
  8. Once they are cool, melt the toppings together and dip the doughnut tops into the chocolatey mixture. 
  9. Again allow them to cool and enjoy! 

NOTES:

These doughnuts can be kept at room temperature. They also freeze well.

Au Natural Home Remedies to Fight the Common Cold

Cold Remedies

I had my first cold of the winter season two weeks ago. I had made it to (almost) the beginning of spring without any bugs invading my system which made me a little proud. I had some conversations with other people who were dealing with a cold. We discussed ways to tackle the bug and eliminate it without the use of pharmaceuticals. I figured this would be a great topic to write a blog post on. Here are a few of my favourite health hacks and remedies to beat the common cold!

  1. Lemon Ginger Shots- In a mason jar add 1/4 cup of water, 1/4 cup of lemon juice, 2 tablespoon grated ginger (if you don’t want the chunks you can squeeze out the juice but I like the chunks for maximum nutrition), 1 teaspoon turmeric, a pinch of pepper. Put the lid on and shake it well. Keep it in the fridge and take a sip of the mixture 3-5 times daily. Repeat and continue until your symptoms are gone. 

    The Benefits

    Lemon- Full of vitamin C which helps fight off the bug and the congestion. 

    Ginger- Helps to kill viruses and relieves a sore throat.

    Turmeric- Reduces inflammation, reduces symptoms of viruses and treats upset stomach.

    Pepper- Helps alleviate chest congestion and viral infections. 

  2. Elderberry Crystals- This healing berry fights inflammation, infections and helps with fevers. It’s known to relieve a cough and sore throats. 

  3. Oil of Oregano- This oil is very high in antioxidants and is known to help fight bacterial, viral and fungal infections. 

  4. Warm Water with Lemon- Hydration is key. It’s important to continue to flush out your system all day long. The lemon also gives you a kick of Vitamin C. I prefer warm water but room temperature or cold water will work as long as you're getting lots of water in you. 

  5. Vitamin C- You can get this in a tablet or through other fruits and vegetables. I like cuma cuma berry powder in smoothies and including extra broccoli and oranges throughout the day which are packed with Vitamin C. 

  6. Fruits and Vegetables- Eat lots of real whole foods full of nutrients to support your immune system and to fight off the bugs. Limit sugar and processed foods which will cause extra stress on your body. 

  7. Sleep- Get lots of sleep so your body can heal! 

Now you know my favourite health hacks to beat that nasty cold. Feel free to stop by here anytime to remind yourself of these simple but effective tips. I will say, I was able to eliminate all my symptoms (even the runny nose) in less than 5 days and I used these hacks each day! 

Michelle xo

Organizing My Life, My Business And My Health

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I will admit that I am not an organized person, although I try hard to be. I keep a clean home and have designated places for every item in my home, and yet my place often looks "well lived in." This also seems to be a theme in my business. Although I am very passionate and motivated to create a successful business, I struggle to keep organized and on top of my goals, which is why becoming more organized is one of my missions for 2019. I understand that having an organized lifestyle and environment helps my mind feel less cluttered and my body feel healthy. I notice that when my home is in shambles, my attention for my business is scattered. If I don’t plan my fitness goals and meals for the week, I make really poor choices. Even though I know better, I will grab whatever is available when I’m tired and hungry after a long day. This is why I’m determined to get organized while keeping my long term goals in mind.

So, where to begin? I’ve recently teamed up with “The Content Planner” which is a boss babes dream planner. I’ve been able to plan my current and future business, meals and life goals. I’m obsessed with the stickers, the well planned themes and the ideas to create goals in advance. If you don’t have a killer planner, you could also use your calendar on your phone or on your fridge.

It's also important to eliminate all of the useless things in my home. This includes the clothes that I haven’t worn in 10 years and the art pieces I "kinda like." It’s time to de-clutter and get organized in all aspects of my life! Who's with me?

Michelle xo



Raw Berry Cashew “Cheesecake”

Strawberry raw cashew cheesecake

Cheesecake, especially an unbaked version, is a family favourite for me! When I started consciously eating less dairy, I knew I had to come up with a satisfying alternative to traditional cheesecake.This raw cashew-based desert is decadent and as delicious as the dairy filled cheesecake from my childhood. This recipe can be created with any of your favourite berries but I’ve chosen strawberries in honour of National Strawberry Day. Although this cheesecake recipe is filled with healthy fat and protein, it is high in natural sugar and is best eaten in moderation. 

I prefer to soak the cashews overnight which helps the nut soften and blend smoothly. If you are short on time, a few hours will help, but it won't be as effective. The topping is a similar recipe that I use for my berry jams, and I’ll often make extra and save it in the fridge for later. 

Cheers to all of you cheesecake lovers! 

Michelle xo

Raw Berry Cashew "Cheesecake"

Serves: 8

*click on blue text to buy ingredients

prep time: cook time: total time:

ingredients:

Crust
Cheesecake
  • 2 heaping cups raw cashews (soaked overnight)
  • 1 cup coconut milk (canned full fat)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla
  • 1 cup strawberries (fresh or frozen)
Berry Topping
  • 1 1/4 cup fresh or frozen strawberries (thawed)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon chia seeds

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Add Pecans to a food processor or blender and mix into very small pieces. Add the remaining crust ingredients and blend till it becomes sticky and stays together. A few small pieces in the mix is ok.   
  2. Place the crust mixture into a 9" springform pan and push down evenly over the bottom. Due to the coconut oil in the ingredients, you don't need to grease the pan. Set aside.
  3. Add all the cheesecake ingredients (expect the strawberries)  into the blender and mix till smooth.
  4. Place 3/4 of the cheesecake mixture over the crust and put it into the freezer.
  5. Add the cup of strawberries to the blender with the rest of the cheesecake mixture and blend again till smooth.
  6. Add this layer on top of the last and spread it evenly. Place in the freezer to harder.
  7. Mix the berry topping together and save in the fridge till it's time to eat. 
  8. Remove the cheesecake from the freezer 1-2 hours before you serve. Spread the berry topping on when you remove from the freezer or when you serve each piece. 
  9. Keeps well in the fridge for up to a week or keep it in the freezer for longer keeping.
Created using The Recipes Generator

Infertility, Food Sensitivity and more valuable information with Dr. Sarah

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Did you know that you can track your cervical mucus and basal body temperature as a form of birth control? I didn’t know anything about this until a few years ago, and I can appreciate how many women may want this information, in order to understand their reproductive body better. I am aware that the word "mucus" isn’t the most attractive word but its purpose and power in reproduction is important to understand. Cervical mucus has actual pathways to carry and protect sperm in order to reach an egg. It is a critical component in order to conceive naturally. If cervical mucus is low, or non existent, the chances of conceiving are slim to none. I talk all about this with Dr. Sarah Oulahen Turner, ND in my latest podcast episode. Dr. Sarah also discusses her personal fertility journey which led to her passion in helping other women learn about their bodies, while helping them understand conception and fertility better. 

In the podcast, Dr. Sarah and I also dive into some of my past struggles with poor digestion, food sensitivities and eczema. My health issues improved tremendously when I took an IgG blood food sensitivity test. This test provided me with a list of foods that I am sensitive to and that put lots of stress on my body and impact my health. Through the knowledge of my food sensitivities, I was able to heal my gut by making informed decisions around which foods I ate. My eczema hasn’t come back in over 4 years and my gut issues only flare up when I consume foods that I am sensitive to everyday, versus rarely. I’ve learned an incredible amount from Dr. Sarah and it excites me to share some of that knowledge. Knowledge is truly power, my friends! 

The IgG test has definitely played a key role in my life to achieving better health. If you're interested in the test you can purchase it through my site at www.muvelife.com or email me at michelle@muvelife.com or you can always take a visit to see Dr. Sarah in North York, Toronto. I highly recommend her and I consider her a very important part of my health team!

You can listen below to our conversation. You can also find it on Stitcher, iTunes, Spotify and Google Play.  

Happy learning!

Sweet Potato "Nachos" (Vegan)

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I planned to create this plate of nachos for super bowl but I was just too excited to test the recipe so we made it a day in advance. It was soo good I’m going to make them again today!

It’s not your traditional nachos recipe, in fact it has no cheese or cheese like product however it’s a big pan of healthy flavourful foods and i’m telling you… it’s delicious!

I used sweet potato as the base and topped it with lots of interesting flavours. I dipped it into my newest creation “ranch” dressing which gave it an extra burst of flavour. I’m not sharing the dressing recipe just yet however you can use salsa, hummus or any other dip of your choice. Give it a try and let me know what creations you come up with.

Sweet Potato "Nachos" (Vegan)

Serves: 2-4

*click on blue text to buy ingredients

prep time: cook time: total time:

ingredients:

  • 2-3 sweet potatoes sliced thin (I prefer small thin potatoes for smaller chips)
  • 1/2 cup sliced mini tomatoes
  • 2 green onions chopped
  • 1 jalapeño sliced
  • 1/2 cup black beans
  • 1 small avocado diced
  • 1/2 cup cilantro

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Place the sliced sweet potatoes onto two baking sheets. You want enough to roughly cover two sheets so cut more if needed. 
  3. Bake the sweet potato chips for 15 minutes then flip. Continue baking for another 15-25 minutes or till they are crispy on the outside and baked all the way through.
  4. Remove from the oven and stack all the chips onto each other onto one pan. 
  5. Add all the toppings evenly over the top. 
  6. You can eat while the toppings are raw or you can put it back into the oven for 10-15 minutes to soften the veggies.
  7. Enjoy with your favourite dips. 
Created using The Recipes Generator


Easy Quick-Pickled Onions

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Onions are a great food source for cleansing your body and providing health benefits. Onions are packed with vitamins and minerals, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents.  They’re great to add to most dishes as they offer flavour and nutritional value. I’ve been loving this new recipe of pickled onions because it gives a fresh kick to the typical taste of onions. The pickled version are the perfect condiment for tacos, burgers, salads, nachos, and they are even enjoyable on their own. I store them in a mason jar in the fridge to help keep them fresh.  

You can prepare and enjoy these beautiful pink toppers in about 20 minutes. I find that using sweetener, such as maple syrup (rather than refined sugar,) provides a more balanced flavour when paired with the tangy vinegar. You can also make them without maple syrup, if that would be your preference. 

Easy Quick-Pickled Onions

*click on blue text to buy ingredients

prep time: cook time: total time:

ingredients:

  • 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4  cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey
  • 1 teaspoon pink himalayan salt

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Put all the onions into a 1 pint mason jar or glass jar. 
  2. In a small saucepan combine all the remaining ingredients and bring the mixture to a simmer. 
  3. Carefully poor all of the liquid over the onions. 
  4. Push the onions down into the jar to emerge all the onions under the liquid mixture then allow it to sit and cool at room temperature. (20-25 minutes)
  5. Enjoy or cover and place in the fridge to enjoy another time. I prefer to eat mine within the week although they should last in the fridge for up to 3 weeks. 
Created using The Recipes Generator
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The Podcast Launch

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For the past 10+ years, I’ve been practicing as a Registered Massage Therapist. I have met incredible people, all who have a unique life story and have endured and overcome difficult life situations. I naturally enjoy connecting with others, and sometimes I find myself coaching and motivating my clients. Inevitably, a massage for a client, can end up feeling like a therapy session, for both of us. From this experience, I realized how passionate I am about the journey of self discovery and healing in order to overcome variations of traumas. I wanted to connect with hundreds or thousands of people, rather than one person at a time. This is how my podcast, "Muve Forward" was created.

Last week was the launch of Muve Forward. The podcast is meant to be a source for gathering inspiration, motivation, health and fitness information, and to help build a community for people to share their story, reflect and inspire hope. It was a bit frightening to put my podcast out to the world. I felt somewhat vulnerable in sharing my story and viewpoint on overcoming tragedy, starting a new career and being an entrepreneur. It’s an unknown world with many positive aspects and negative aspects too (such as the potential for being trolled.) Nevertheless, I am excited for this new adventure and looking forward to meeting powerhouse humans that I can learn from and build a tribe with. In just one week I’ve been connected with several incredible people. What a blessing!

I would be truly honoured and grateful for you to listen and subscribe to Muve Forward as well as share it with whoever you feel it may resonate with. You can find Muve Forward on iTunes, Spotify and SoundCloud. I hope the podcast can be a source of inspiration on how to live your best life. If you know anyone who might be a good fit for the podcast, please feel free to send them my way. Cheers!

Michelle xo










Celery Juice

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100% Celery juice drank first thing in the AM on an empty stomach has so many wonderful health benefits! Let me tell you more. I have been experimenting with this juice for the past week because I over indulged during the holidays and I had noticed my digestion was really terrible again and the bloating was pretty bad all day long. Even after the first day of having a 10-15 oz glass of this pure celery juice, I was peeing way more then average and the bloating went down significantly. I’m telling you, there are SO many health benefits to drinking pure celery juice on an empty stomach.

Here’s a few:

  • Celery is a natural diuretic. It helps flush toxins out of the body and as stated above, helps reduce stomach bloat.

  • Celery’s natural sodium content restores the balance of hydrochloric acid in the stomach (this is essential for healthy digestion.) The first drink in the AM on an empty stomach sets you up for easy digestion all day.

  • Celery is an alkalizing food. It reduces acids and toxins in the body while cleansing the liver and bloodstream.

  • Celery is full of antioxidants and polysaccharides which are known to be a great anti-inflammatory which I’m certain can help decrease majority of diseases in this world.

  • Celery has many other minerals which can promote anti-aging, improve hydration and in turn give you glowing skin,

I personally don’t like celery, but i’m able to drink this celery juice without any gaging. Perhaps it tastes better because I serve it from a wine decanter and drink from wine glasses.

Happy juicing!

Michelle xoxo

Celery Juice

Serves: 1

*click on blue text to buy ingredients

prep time: cook time: total time:

ingredients:

  • 1 bunch organic celery (roughly 1 pound)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Remove the butt of the celery bunch. Wash each celery stalk then juice. I use the Champion juicer.
  2. If you don't have a juicer, you can use a high powered blender then you'll need to strain the pulp with a cheese cloth or mess cloth. 

NOTES:

You can store the juice in a glass jar in your fridge for up to 4 days but I always recommend fresh is best! You can also add carrot or cucumber to the juice to improve the taste but when I'm looking to embrace the full effect of the celery cleanse, I suggest just 100% celery.
Created using The Recipes Generator



My 2019 Bucket List

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As 2018 comes to an end, I’m already looking forward to the new year. Although most of you know I’m pretty positive most of the time, this year has been an extremely challenging one. This year has come with so much unpredictability, sorrow and loss. I’m confident 2019 is going to be better. I’ve heard many times that when we are going through challenging times, it often means we are growing and evolving. I’m confident that 2018 was my year of growth and learning, and 2019 will be my year to use that growth to evolve and shine into the giving goddess I’m destined to be. To help make sure of that, I’m creating a one year bucket list filled with various adventures and goals to keep me on track. I thought I'd share a few of the adventures on my list so perhaps you can also think about building a list to crush throughout the year. I’m already so excited and can’t wait to check off things on this list.

  1. Write and publish my first cookbook

  2. Climb the stairs to the CNTower

  3. Attend the ballet

  4. Purchase my second real-estate property

  5. Start my Podcast (it’s so close and should be out early January)

  6. Try arial yoga

  7. Attend several (all least 3) leadership/learning conferences

  8. Get hired for public speaking (this scares the shit out of me which is why I know I have to do it!)

  9. Start my foundation “Maries Kitchen” which provides healthy food for families dealing with cancer (and other life changing illnesses)

  10. Incorporate meditation and my gratitude journal into my daily routine

Is all this attainable? Absolutely! If my dreams and goals change throughout the year and I have to adapt the list, that’s okay, but for now I’m already excited to get started. As I work through this list, I’m going to add more. What are you excited about this year? Comment below!

Michelle xo

Sweet Potato Hash Browns

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These sweet potato hash browns are my favourite way to enjoy sweet potatoes and I thought i’d share this recipe with you all just in time for the holidays. They make a great side to a holiday brunch and you can add these healthy carbs to the top of salads. This recipe is my spicy version however, I’ll also often make it with cinnamon for more of a dessert option. Either way it’s one of my favourite dishes that I like to make for my weekly meal prep. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

I’ve recently been using this handy dandy cast iron handle gripper that I had to tell you all about. It’s such a hand saver because I find my oven mitts are not as safe as they need to be to grab the cast iron handle. As a massage therapist, I can’t get burns, even a little one or I’m out of work for a few days. This handle has given me a piece of mind that I’m safe. If you also need to protect your precious hands from the intense heat of a cast iron pan, you can find this hand tool here.

Sweet Potato Hash Browns

Serves: 2

*click on blue text to buy ingredients

prep time: cook time: total time:

ingredients:

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 385°F
  2. Clean the potatoes and  grate with a cheese grater or in a food processor. 
  3. Transfer grated potato to a medium sized bowl and add remaining ingredients. Stir well. 
  4. Place the mixture into a cast iron pan and place in the oven to cook. Check often and stir every 5-10 minutes. 
  5. If you don't have a cast iron pan you can use any other oven safe dish. Be cautious to stir the hash browns often to be sure they don't burn.
  6. Bake for 30-40 minutes or till desired crispness. 
  7. Enjoy!! 
Created using The Recipes Generator

Ginger Cookies (Vegan, Grain-Free)

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Ginger cookies always remind me of the holidays so to get into the spirit I had to create a new recipe. This recipe has a great balance of spice with a nice chewy texture. I’ve made it grain-free and vegan. I’ve used real ginger rather then dried and I find it gives it that special ginger punch sure to satisfy. Please let me know if you give them a try!

Michelle xo

Almond Ginger Cookies (vegan)

Makes: 15 cookies

*click on blue text to buy ingredients

prep time: cook time: total time:

ingredients:

Dry Ingredients
Wet Ingredients (mix in the blender)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Heat oven to 350°.
  2. If your dates are hard, soak them in water for 10 minutes, if they are soft, leave as is. 
  3. Blend all your dry ingredients together in a medium sized bowl. 
  4. Blend all your liquids in a blender and blend well. 
  5. Combine all the ingredients together in the bowl and mix. Make the dough into 15 round balls and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet and flatten the balls slightly. Option to roll them and cut into designs. 
  6. Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes. 
  7. Allow them to set for a few minutes then enjoy. 

NOTES:

Optional* to use only almond flour if you don't want to add the cassava flour.  Use 2 full cups of almond flour if your not including the cassava. 
Optional* to top the cookies with monk fruit sweetener. This gives a little extra sweetness without sugar.

calories

135

fat (grams)

8.8

carbs (grams)

12

protein (grams)

2.4

sugar (grams)

6.4
Created using The Recipes Generator


7 Ways to Improve Digestion During the Cold Winter Months.

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This post is for all of those on the slow digestion team.  As many of you know I have very slow digestion and my gut is sensitive to certain foods and stressors.  During the winter months I also find my digestion and gut health need some extra love and attention.  Over the past few years of really paying attention to my triggers and how I can assist my sluggish bowels, I’ve come up with a few tricks that keep me feeling good and helps the food move along smoothly through my body while giving the rest of my body the proper nutrients it needs.

  1. Drink warm/hot water. This is my absolute number one suggestion. Drinking more water in general will aid in proper digestion. Drinking warm water is key especially during the colder months because it too helps with digestion.  Our insides are warmer then room temperature and when we consume anything cold it can shock the bowels and slow down digestion. Think of what happens when a river starts to freeze, it slows right down but when it warms up in the spring it melts and it flows beautifully.  

  2. Eat heated/cooked foods. Again as mentioned with the water, consuming warm things will aid in proper digestion and help those bowels to move things along.  I love a good salad but during the winter I switch to more stir-frys so the food is heated and cooked.  Eating raw vegetables does provide more natural digestive enzymes so often I’ll add a few pieces of raw spinach or kale to the top of the stir fry.  

  3. Avoid over eating.  Give your gut a break and consume less foods during the winter.  Obviously I’m not saying not to eat enough nutrients, however I try to avoid eating too many snacks and I stop eating just before I get full.  It’s a lot of work for our bodies to process food and often in the winter we’re not as active so we don’t need to give our bodies extra stress with too much food.  

  4. Drink Herbal teas. Many herbal teas are known for decreasing bloating and aid in digestion.  You can find teas that have a combination of great digestive spices but some of my favourite include peppermint, ginger, chamomile, hibiscus and I often add a sprinkle of cinnamon too. My girl Taylor just recently launched her loose leaf tea company www.cupofte.com and she has many of these great options and so many more. Stay tuned for a collaboration we might be working on. 

  5. Limit liquids when eating. Our bowels have a powerful digestive acid which breaks down the food we consume. When we dilute it with other liquids, it’s not going to be as affective and it may cause for less food to be broken down. Drink your water and teas 20 minutes before or after your meals rather than when you’re actually consuming the food.  

  6. Take your time. With our busy schedules these days, sitting down and taking your time to eat a meal can be easily pushed aside. It’s important to take the time to chew each bite properly as well as enjoying food in a comfortable low stress environment. Stress of any kind causes less digestion so find a nice cozy spot, sit back, relax and enjoy the nutrients you’re consuming. 

  7. Get active. Get outside or head to the treadmill and get a 20 minute walk or workout post meals. I find movement the best way to help things move along. I’ve been known to dance and jump around (even in a restaurant bathroom stall) to help move along a meal. 

So there you have it, my 7 favourite digestion tips I use during the winter months. Many I also use all year round but I definitely incorporate these more while it’s cold.  I can honestly tell you that it’s been helping me soo much and I feel much less bloating, and no pain or other IBS symptoms compared to previous winters.  Cheers to happy healthy digestion!

Michelle xo 

Christmas Chocolate Bark

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Chocolate bark is super easy to make and it’s fun to dress it up with the appropriate colours for Christmas. I’ve used matcha for the green, almond slivers for the white and goji berries for a punch of red. Feel free to add any of your favourite topping to make it your own creation. Share your festive pieces on your social media and be sure to #muve.

Christmas Chocolate Bark

Makes: 20 pieces

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prep time: cook time: total time:

ingredients:

Chocolate Base
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips (I use 70% cacao) 210g
  • 1/4 teaspoon coconut oil
Matcha Drizzle
  • 1 tablespoon hemp or almond milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon matcha powder
Toppings

DIRECTIONS:

Chocolate Base
  1. Melt the ingredients in a small sauce pan on low heat till melted.
  2. Poor melted chocolate into a parchment paper lined 11"x8" pan.
Matcha Drizzle
  1. Mix the Matcha and milk well then drizzle over the chocolate (I often only use only about half the mixture).
Finish
  1. Top it up with the almonds and goji berries. Leave it in the fridge for 20 minutes then cut or tear apart into desired pieces and enjoy!!  

NOTES:

Optional to add other favourite toppings. Try coconut, pistachios, cranberries or any other nuts and seeds.

calories

16

fat (grams)

1

carbs (grams)

1.5

protein (grams)

.4

sugar (grams)

.5
Created using The Recipes Generator

Michelle xo


Roasted Veggie Bowl

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This hearty plant based bowl is a satisfying, nutrient-filled fall meal. I really enjoy eating root veggies at this time of year because they are in season which means they are at their freshest and most nutrient dense. These veggies are typically at abundance for a great price point during the fall too. I'll often roast a massive batch of root veggies and keep them in the fridge to add to salads, sides for meals and of course to this roasted veg bowl. Give it a try and let me know what you think! Enjoy! 

Roasted Veggie Bowl

Serves: 4

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prep time: cook time: total time:

ingredients:

Roasted Vegetables
  • 1 small butternut squash 
  • 2 sweet potatoes 
  • 2 large carrots (I like rainbow for added colour)
  • 3 tablespoons fresh chopped rosemary 
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon Italian spice mix
  • 1 teaspoon himalayan salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 large leek
  • 4 cups broccoli 
  • 1-2 tablespoons avocado oil
Roasted Red Pepper
  • 2 red peppers 
Sautéed Greens
  • 4-6 cups of your favourite greens, kale, spinach bok choy (you choose)
  • 1/4 cup water
Toppings
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 can black beans
  • hemp hearts, sunflower seeds, sliced almonds, goat cheese  (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

Roasted Veggies
  1. Preheat oven 375°.
  2. Chop the butternut squash, sweet potato, and carrots into desired bite sized chunks and place on a baking sheet. 
  3. Combine all the spices, large garlic chunks and oil and bake in the oven for 25 minutes. 
  4. Remove from the oven and add chopped broccoli and leek and add back into the oven to cook for another 25-30 min or till all the vegetables are soft. 
  5. While the veggies are roasting, add the red peppers (whole) on to a separate baking sheet and bake in the oven. You can rotate the peppers occasionally.  Eventually some of the pepper will become black. Bake till it's very soft and it looks like the skins can be removed. 
  6. Allow the peppers to sit to cool before peeling them as they will be very hot and will likely burn.  Slice the skinless peppers into long strips. 
Sautéed Greens
  1. In a large frying pan on medium heat, sauté the greens till soft.  
Serve
  1. Dish your vegetables and greens then top with the black beans, a drizzle of lemon and any other favourite topping items. 
  2. You could also drizzle my garlic caesar dressing on top for an extra kick of garlic
Created using The Recipes Generator





Delicious "Healthy" Chocolate Bar Recipe (vegan)

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Halloween just passed and I was so proud when I didn’t eat any of the mini chocolate bars and sweets. I made the choice weeks in advance that I couldn’t eat even one because if I eat one, I’ll eat 5 bags (I’m not exaggerating). So, to help satisfy my craving, I created a healthier version. These sweet treats have lots of healthy fats, chocolate and sweetened only with natural sweeteners. I’ve also made you all a video demonstrating how easy they are to create. I hope you take a look and give these sweet treats a try. Be sure to let me know if you do and if you like them.

Healthy Chocolate Bars (Vegan)

Makes: 20

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prep time: cook time: total time:

ingredients:

Nougat
Caramel Filling
Chocolate Goodness

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Combine the nougat ingredients together in a medium size bowl. Due to the natural oils in many nut butters the consistency can vary. You want the nougat to move but stay formed when stirred. Add more coconut flour if needed.
  2. Place this on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Spread out roughly 1/4-1/2 inch thick and 30 cm long. (see more in my YouTube video).
  3. Place this in the freezer while you work on the caramel filling.
  4. Add all the caramel filling ingredients in a blender and whip well till it's blending smooth.
  5. Then spread this mixture evenly over the nougat and place back in the freezer to set over night. 
  6. Cut them into 20 pieces when they are set and ready to be dipped into the chocolate. 
  7. Melt the chocolate and oil in a sauce pan on low. 
  8. Dip each piece into the chocolate and surround it with the chocolate. Leave it to set on the pan and place it back into the freezer to set. 
  9. If you'd like to enjoy them the same day, you can just drizzle the chocolate on top of the entire batch before you cut them. They will be a bit gooey inside but they're also still very yummy! 
  10. I store mine in the freezer although you could also keep them in the fridge.  With the natural oils, its best to keep cool so they stay together. 

calories

150

fat (grams)

8.1

carbs (grams)

17

protein (grams)

3.7

sugar (grams)

13.6
Created using The Recipes Generator

Beating the Winter Blues

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It’s November and if you’re living here in Canada, you’re likely preparing for the cold winter days. To some people that may sound like a cozy dream, but for myself and many others who live in this climate, it can feel like a nightmare. 

With reduced hours of sunshine, freezing cold winds and the stress of driving in white outs, you may find yourself with the winter blues. It’s very common and can cause symptoms of depression if not recognized and treated. For my own emotional health (and yours), I’ve come up with a few tips on how to reduce the risk of developing the winter blues and how to even enjoy the winter season. 

  1. Utilize Day Light

    As much as possible, try to find that sunlight. Open your blinds when you wake up, sit by the window as you drink your morning coffee, take a walk in the daylight on your lunch break and try to find pockets of time where you can be in the sunshine.

  2. Sunlamps/glasses

    Sunlamps are meant to have a positive impact on your melatonin levels which is a hormone that controls your wake and sleep cycles. This impact will improve your sleep patterns thereby giving you more energy and mood regulation. A company called the Luminette have kindly sent me some sun glasses that have the beneficial lighting (similar to the sunlamps.) I find them very convenient to use while I’m getting ready in the morning. 

  3. Exercise

    I’m very passionate about movement and I do believe it improves your mood, especially in the winter. Yoga, cycling, dancing, walking, are ways to move your body and release your endorphins (the happy hormones.) Getting outside with the fresh air is likely better but remember it’s also beneficial to exercise indoors or in the dark (perhaps a bit more fun in the bedroom too 😉) 

  4. Vacation

    If your budget and time allows, plan a vacation in a warm destination. If that’s not an option for you, plan a "stay-cation" or a weekend getaway somewhere close. Get creative and plan ahead. Having something fun to look forward to can be just as exciting as the adventure. 

  5. Get outside

    Head outdoors for a walk, preferably in the sunlight, and consider inviting a friend to walk with you on a routine basis. Having a friend come with you can help keep you accountable while carving out time for important social interaction. 

  6. Goals or projects 

    Purge, paint, clean your closet, start a project, have something fun and positive to work on. This will help keep your mind busy, and hopefully the outcome is extra enjoyable once complete. 

  7. Plan an outdoor adventure 
    Snow shoeing, skiing, skating, building a snowman are just a few of the fun adventures that can only be done during the winter months. Embrace the beauty of the season and when it’s way too snowy and windy to get out, cozy up, get comfortable and enjoy a great movie.  

  8. Pay attention to what you're consuming

    Surround yourself with people who are positive and fun, listen to upbeat music and/or podcasts with a good message (stay tuned for my amazing podcast coming out in a couple of weeks!) My sister and I were shopping recently and she was specifically looking for a book that was funny, positive and uplifting because she knew she needed to read this type of content lately. Take note of how you're feeling daily and pay attention to when you need to consume more positive messaging. 

Unless I decide to pick up my life and move to an island down south, it looks like I’m going to have to deal with the cold for another season. I’m looking forward to including these tips in my day and hopefully enjoy the winter months more then I did last year. I hope you're all able to do the same. 

Cheers to the snowy season. May it be bright; may it be fun; may it be very, very short! 

Michelle xo

Vegetable Lentil Chilli

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We all need a warm hearty meal to keep us cozy during the winter months and chilli is definitely on the top of that list of go to cozy meals. I’ve created a veggie lentil chilli that’s sure to please. Feel free to add more of your favourite veggies like carrots, and mushrooms.

Bon appétit

Vegetable Lentil Chilli

Serves: 8

*click on blue text to buy ingredients

prep time: cook time: total time:

ingredients:

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a large sauce pan on low, sauté chopped peppers, onions, celery, garlic, spices and avocado oil for 10-15 minutes. Stir occasionally and add more oil if needed. 
  2. Add the remaining ingredients (chop the jalapeño into small pieces and only add half for less spice) simmer on low for 30 minutes.  
  3. Serve warm.  

calories

137

fat (grams)

3.9

carbs (grams)

20.4

protein (grams)

6.2

sugar (grams)

4.1
Created using The Recipes Generator