Kale Mango Green Smoothie

Two of the newest fads in the food world is kale and green smoothies. Unlike many other food fads, these are ones I can get behind. I want to share with all of you a recipe I learned earlier this year for a Kale (Or Spinach) Green Smoothie.

Kale is a great dark green vegetable that provides vitamin A and K. The high fibre content in kale gives it a really interesting texture that I liken to collard greens. What I love most about kale salads is that unlike lettuce or other salad mixes, the dressing won’t wilt it down in just a couple of hours. It stays vibrantly crisp even after cooking it down in soups.

kale-by-b2

I had this smoothie while I was doing my Stage at Royal Victoria College – a McGill residence. They make this smoothie in their dining hall. I immediately told my supervisor, family and friends that I had just drank the best smoothie I’d ever had in my life. A couple of months later, I taught a basic nutrition class at two elementary schools and the kids loved it! They said “ew” and “gross” as they watched me pour all the kale into the blender but soon after, they oo-ed and ah-ed and proceeded to ask me for the recipe to give to mom and dad at home to make for them. I was really pleased with the outcome.

I love kale and spinach. However, I realize that not everyone does. BUT I can assure you that this smoothie may likely change you and your children’s minds about these dark and nutritious vegetables.

So follow this recipe and have a taste. It’s the closest I’ve gotten to the smoothie I had at RVC.

Kale Smoothie 2

Kale Mango Soy Smoothie (it’s Vegan!)

Makes 4-5 cups

  • 2 cup vanilla soy milk
  • 1 cup no-added sugar orange juice or apple juice (or even just regular milk or water!)
  • 1 banana
  • 1.5 – 2 cups of kale (or spinach!!) – or more
  • 1 cup of frozen mangos

Directions

Add it all into the blender – I usually go with the exact order I listed (liquids first!). The recipe is approximate, and feel free to have fun with it. Add a lot of kale and spinach! If you like your smoothie thicker – add more frozen mango.

The secret is, the vanilla soy milk. It adds a nutty and sweet flavour to the smoothie that milk or regular soy milk just doesn’t. Try it with other smoothies too! This is great for those who are lactose-intolerant or have dairy allergies.

As the weather in Montreal is getting nicer, try this and let it become a summer staple.

D the Intern

Video

Montreal Dietitian Janna Boloten on Breakfast to go!

http://bit.ly/TAqcTa

Read the story and get the recipes here!

Food tips for students that help your health- and your wallet by guest blogger Emily Bell

 I’ve just started my seventh year of post-secondary education. I’ve been doing this “student” thing for a decent amount of time now, and am looking forward to (finally) entering the workforce within the next year. That being said, I’ve learned quite a bit in the past six years- and not just in school. As a result of becoming independent and assuming life’s responsibilities, I’ve learned some ways to take control of feeding myself healthily, affordably and efficiently.

Life as a student presents many challenges to eating: time to cook becomes an issue when we become buried in our books, the food we want to eat can seem expensive when it’s you doing the groceries instead of mom and dad, and there are always ample opportunities to indulge on unhealthy, unnecessary extra calories (think of that after-bar-poutine or that study group pizza).

FE_DA_CollegeStudentPizza418_082212

 Here are some of my ideas to deal with the above challenges:

  • On a less busy day, make a big pot of homemade soup or chili. Once finished, separate it into plastic containers and put them in the freezer. Come midterm season, let the container thaw in the fridge overnight or in the microwave, and have a ready-to-eat meal in no time! You can also cook the equivalent of a few meals on a Sunday night to store in the fridge for some no-prep dinners in the coming week.
  • Plan meals before grocery shopping and think of several different dishes that could use overlapping ingredients. For example, it’s hard to use an entire head of spinach (I opt for the head rather than bagged because its less expensive). To get your moneys worth and prevent waste, find recipes for a main course spinach salad, serve it as a side dish, and add it to soups, omelets, pasta and sandwiches. Getting creative with ingredients makes it possible to use them up and avoid getting sick of them.
  • Buying meat less often also saves money. Try incorporating other inexpensive sources of protein such as beans, lentils, tofu and canned tuna into your diet. This is also an environmentally friendly decision since growing and transporting livestock consumes more energy than produce.
  • Find out the places on campus to get affordable or even free food and ask your grocery store if they have any student discounts. My campus offers a free vegetarian lunch every Thursday, provided the students bring their own dishes to keep the event environmentally friendly. Friends of mine who have been studying in the cafeteria around closing hours have been offered that day’s leftovers. The grocery store near my house offers students a 10% discount at the beginning of the week as well as free delivery. Finding good food deals may be easier than you think!
  • A good way to avoid that heavy late night snack or a spontaneous trip to the corner store for chips and chocolate is to keep tasty yet healthy options on hand. Low-fat low-sodium microwave popcorn satisfies my salty cravings (and provides a generous amount of fiber). Pop-in-your-mouth fruits like grapes or berries please my sweet palate- they’re sort of like nature’s candies anyways!
  • If you’re absolutely craving that pizza, I suggest making your own. Buy a premade multigrain crust or use a whole-wheat pita, add some tomato sauce or pesto, load it with a ton of fresh veggies, and top with some cheese. This is a yummy way to incorporate one or two servings of vegetables, it can last for a few meals, it is healthier than frozen or fast food pizza, and it still manages to hit the spot. 

These tips are simple and easy, but that’s what I think works about them- they are doable! So start today and try one out!

Black Bean Brownies

Cooking time: 25 minutes Makes 16 squares

image
Ingredients
1 can of black beans drained and rinsed
3 eggs
1/3 cup canola oil
2 TBSP vanilla extract (the real stuff)
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1.5 Tsp baking powder
1/2 cup chocolate chips (if desired)

Cooking Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Put all ingredients in a food processor (except chocolate chips) and mix until smooth
Feed chocolate chips through the top chute with quick on and off pulses
Poor mixture into a well greased 8″ x 8″ pan

Beer Tastes Good

Mmmm beer.  It reminds me of Homer Simpson.  I can’t remember drinking my first beer but I am sure I did not like it.  As an underage teenager I quickly learned the effects that beer could have on one’s self.  It intrigued me and I realized if I wanted to experience those effects I needed to get over my distaste for beer and learn to drink it.

Perhaps my intentions for developing a relationship with beer were dumb but nowadays I really love the taste of beer. In my university days I was big on local micro breweries.  My favorite was Belle Gueule. I am sure there was another one but oddly enough I can’t remember. Then I started drinking the European types and settled on red, Rickard’s Red!  If I ever find myself at a bar these days I opt for Sleeman.I know I have gotten boring.


Nutritionally speaking, there is nothing healthy about beer.  It contains calories derived from sugar alcohols which do not contribute to a healthy diet.  Consider beer a treat and not an everyday thing.  In fact, it’s worth reminding readers that the recommended daily intake for beer for women is a 12 ounce bottle and for men it’s 2 bottles.  Drinking more than recommended is associated with increase risk for many diseases.

A bottle of beer could set you back between 100-200 calories.  Not good if you are trying to watch the waistline.  Everybody has their vices.  Beer and alcoholic beverages are vices just like cheesecake, chips and chocolate.  I’ve said it before and I will say it again, everything in moderation is the way to go.

I truly do love the taste of beer but I don’t need the extra calories or the loopy feeling I get from drinking 1 bottle.  To most people, this will amount to blasphemy but keep in mind I do try to set an example.  I drink non-alcoholic beer. It tastes great and it costs me 50 calories a bottle.  Nothing beats a tasty non-alcoholic beer on a hot summer day hanging out with friends.

 

Weekend Tips from Diane – Travel Edition

It struck me yesterday that my diet habits change very drastically when I’m on “vacation”. The excitement of being somewhere different compels me to explore restaurants and eat out more often especially at places that aren’t available at home. Naturally, I forget about proper vegetable and fruit servings, portion control and eating regularly. It sometimes seems like there’s not much I can do about it. Visiting relatives means eating big meals with them all the time. Visiting friends means going out and eating too much. I am snacking all the time and trying new foods. It seems there is always a good reason to eat more than we can handle……

I thought about some things that have helped me be more careful with my diet when I’m on vacation and here they are!

1. Do groceries!
Find a grocery store where you can buy fresh fruits and vegetables. Fruits are something that a lot of people love, but for those who can live without it, it’s good to get your favorites. For example, I really like grapes and watermelon. Picking favorites will ensure that I will want to eat it and maybe even leave space for it. Find a way to get your favorite healthy foods.

2. First thing in the morning: Heathy Breakfast!
Eating a healthy breakfast starts your day of right. Opt for more fruits and even vegetables if you know that you will not be eating that much of it during the day.  Having oatmeal or whole wheat toast also helps with your day’s fibre intake.

It’s not that after eating a really wholesome breakfast, you can forget about eating well for the rest of the day, but it helps me reach a healthy standard when I know I will be BBQing with family, eating at restaurants (probably more high fat/high sodium) or too busy sightseeing to stop for a decent meal.

3. Set aside one meal where you pay more attention to the nutrition in your meal!
As a student, traveling means spending more money. Doing groceries saves money and helps me stay healthy. I like to save money and watch my total caloric intake very carefully while I am away.  I pick meals or days where I make sure I eat lower calories or just get more nutrients in much the same manner as I watch every dollar I spend.

I hope these tips are helpful! I admit that I don’t always follow them, but having them at the back of my mind helps keeps me in line.

How do you eat when you travel? How do you remind yourself to stay on top of your nutrition? What are some of YOUR tips?

With a satisfied stomach,
– D the Intern

Weekend Tips from Diane

Howdy from Ohio!

1. Dress up your salads

Making salads interesting is a great way to start liking salads. Growing up, I hated eating greens and vegetables; it wasn’t until CEGEP that I fell in love with them. Having a wide variety of ingredients and a tasty dressing really makes a big difference. The downside is that adding cheese, pita chips or a thick dressing also adds calories. Try mixing lettuces and spinach with thin slices of apple, pear or mango, or even blueberries. Always incorporate a crunch from crushed up pita chips, toasted pine nuts, sunflower seeds or almonds. Even though these more tasty, filling and flamboyant salads are more caloric, they also contain a lot of fibre, vitamins and minerals that you wouldn’t get otherwise.

My miso salad dressing will be posted soon, it’s amazing, just ask my roommates who always ask me to make it for them.

 2. Shop with your kids!

For all you parents out there, think about involving your kids when you go grocery shopping and when you cook. Living on campus has made me realize that young people nowadays are lacking general cooking and grocery knowledge; whether it’s how to pick good produce, price or being able to try new things. Encouraging them to be part of the meal-planning and prepareation will help your kids get interested in nutritious and fresh foods in a world where fast food is everywhere, including their schools.

 3. Uninterrupted Sleep

Letting our bodies rest is not only important in maintaining overall health but also crucial to controlling body weight. Our body needs adequate rest in order to metabolize all the energy we get from our food in the form of calories. If you’re looking to lose weight, make sure you get a good night’s sleep! One tip I have for improving one’s quality of sleep is to keep all clocks far away from the bed and out of sight. A lot of us wake up throughout the night and check how much (or how little) time we have left to rest. What’s great about not knowing the time is that we can fall back asleep not worried and anxious and get a sound night of zzzzzzz’s.

With humidity and a smile,

– D the Intern