By Heather Nicholds
I don't know about you, but sometimes I get in a funk where even things I enjoy start feeling like obligations. Just another thing on my 'to-do' list.
I have two strategies to try to get over it. One is to remember why I wanted to do something in the first place.
For instance, I like running in the morning because it gives me energy for the day and helps me clear my head, plus I like the fresh air and seeing the morning sky.
I get a lot of questions about the difference between whole, processed and refined foods, and whether certain foods like dried fruit or nut butters are still considered 'whole'.
Let me say first that there are a lot of different definitions out there as to what the words 'whole,' 'processed' and 'refined' mean specifically when it comes to food.
The important thing to remember here is that no matter what words you use, you want to look for the foods that the most health-promoting, so that's what I focus on in defining what these words mean to me.
I had a question last week after my post about coffee subs and natural energy boosters, about the simple sugars in fruit and whether they're bad for you.
Simple sugars in refined sweeteners cause a blood sugar spike, insulin response to catch up, and an ensuing sugar crash.
The good news is that fruits have tons of fiber and water along with the simple sugars, so they're absorbed slower into your blood stream.
Coffee has some benefits - there are lots of studies showing a link between a cup of coffee a day and prevention of certain cancers.
But the downside of coffee is that it's addictive and it's a stimulant, so for a lot of people it would be a good thing to cut back.
A lot of people ask me about how to wean themselves off coffee, and what they can use as natural energy boosters.
I really started getting into using spices when I first started cooking with plant foods.
I don't know why I didn't use them much before, I think I was afraid I wasn't going to use them properly.
Now, I use them all the time - from cinnamon and nutmeg in porridge to cumin and smoked paprika in bean dips to coriander and cardamom in squash soup.
They bring such wonderfully rich flavors to a dish, and the really great part is that they also bring lots of nutrition to a dish as well.
This weekend is Thanksgiving in Canada, so I thought I'd post some ideas - and for those of you in the US, you can have a practice Thanksgiving meal or just start planning ahead.
In addition to the menu and food you're going to eat, the social aspect of Thanksgiving and holiday meals can bring up questions.
Check out my tips here and let me know if you have any tips of your own.
Today I'm reminding myself (and sharing with you) why I try to eat sea vegetables more often.
They're a fantastic source of minerals, and are a food group that tends to get neglected in North America.
Now, I don't really enjoy the taste of seaweed. I've never liked fish, and I hate the fishy smell in lakes and oceans.
So I find it a bit challenging to find ways to enjoy eating sea vegetables, but I keep trying because I know they offer a different variety of nutrients from land vegetables.
I'm really excited to be a stop on my friend Ricki Heller's virtual book tour for her new cookbook, Naturally Sweet And Gluten Free.
We'll be getting together this evening in a live google hangout, so be sure to join us at 7pm ET right here on this page.
I've had a chance to review her gorgeous book, which has already sold out once on Amazon but is now restocked, and I've had the immense pleasure of sampling some of her work - from cookies to brownies to crumble...
See, Ricki is all about the desserts (this whole cookbook is desserts), but she doesn't bake with any refined sugars, gluten, eggs or dairy. It sounds restrictive, but if you look at the recipes they don't seem to be at all constrained.
Alfalfa sprouts are one of the easiest ways to get fresh greens and tons of nutrition. They're also really inexpensive plus you can grow your own!
I filmed a video about how to grow them yourself a couple of years ago, and I always get lots of comments and questions so I thought I'd talk about sprouts a bit more.
First of all, sprouts are tiny little powerhouses of nutrition. They have tons of antioxidants, lots of vitamins (especially C and K) and minerals (particularly calcium and iron) and are 42% protein by calories.
With all the peanut allergies, a lot of people ask me about whether it's healthy to eat on a regular basis.
Normally, I'd think of peanut butter as just another food and nothing special, but a while back, I read this incredible article by Ginny Messina.
That made me realize how important peanut butter actually is, and that it's worth a closer look.
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