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Posts Tagged ‘cruciferous vegetables’

My son Griffyn just turned a year old last month. He has been a terrific little eater from the time we introduced him to pureed foods six months ago. He appeared to be curious about the idea of eating what my wife and I were eating right from the go. Although he gobbled down the purees he was far more intrigued by what we had on our plates and soon started enjoying just about everything: coconut curry, rice salad with finely shredded kale, salmon, tuna and even refried beans with chilies!

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Getting proper nutrition and a wide variety of foods into his diet continues to be my mission. Although he loves many strong flavours I didn’t think he would go for, getting adequate vegetables into his diet remains our biggest challenge. The good news is that an infant’s nutritional requirements are not a daily value, but weekly. This explains why certain days children eat a lot and the next day they appear disinterested altogether. Their bodies can make up for a loss the very next day or two so it’s not something parents need to stress over.

A good rule of thumb for infants and toddlers is don’t push food on them but rather introduce it and allow them to decide if they like it and how much they want to eat. Always follow their cues. When children are forced to eat everything that’s on their plate they grow up with this mentality which can lead to overeating and bad food associations as adults. Below are a few ideas on how to increase your child’s veggies while still making eating a fun and enjoyable daily adventure!

* everything and anything mashed on toast
My son loves toast. If he won’t eat his steamed carrots, yam or zucchini, I mash them and put them on toast. A bit of coconut oil and steamed veggie really hits the spot.
* pancakes made with shredded vegetables
Another great way to sneak vegetables into their day while making it fun too.
* veggies mashed in yogurt
No matter what mashed vegetable you have if you add a bit of fruit and mix it with yogourt they just might eat it!
* finely mincing vegetables into canned salmon or tuna
I mix celery, apple, green onion, and raisins with a little Dijon mustard and fish.
* smoothies are another terrific option
A few kale or spinach leaves blended with some fruit and milk are a great snack. Pea protein powder is another great addition as it provides up to 35% of their daily iron intake and is easy to digest.
* fresh pressed juice
If you have a juicer or access to one, make fresh juice. My little guy loves carrots, apples, cucumber, ginger and a touch of spirulina (a blue-green algae loaded with nutrients found in health food stores).
* veggies dipped in hummus
Steamed carrots or cucumber slices work great for dipping.

Lastly, make meal time about socializing, enjoying food, giving thanks and never use food as a reward. If you’re able to create an environment that is relaxed and engaging your child will grow up with these ideals and hopefully meal time will not be as much of a battle.

What types of foods do you offer your toddler? What kinds of veggies do they like most?

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Did you know that your liver is the most important organ in your body alongside your heart?!
liver detox
Our liver is the largest internal organ in the body and plays a major role in metabolism, the storage of glycogen, red blood cell decomposition and detoxifying everything that enters the body. It acts like a filter, processing everything we put past our lips including things like pesticides and other chemicals, saturated fats and alcohol. Given the liver’s vital and constant 24/7 job, it’s easy to see how it can become compromised and require support.

Current research indicates that 9 out of 10 people have what is known as a “fatty liver”. There are three major symptoms that indicate you are in need of extra liver support: poor skin (primarily pimples, acne and cellulite), low energy levels (general fatigue for no good reason) and an ever expanding waistline (excess weight around the midsection that will not go away with exercise and diet alone). Alive Magazine – June 2013

If you seem to struggle with losing weight there’s a good chance your liver is the culprit or at least part of the equation. When the liver is burdened with bad fats like those in deep fried foods, baked goods, meats and alcohol it in turn slows your metabolism and inhibits weight loss. The best way to detoxify your liver, increase your metabolism and your body’s ability to function optimally is by way of liver cleansing foods, herbs and/or nutritional supplements.

One of my favourite liver support supplements is:

Sold at Steve Nash Fitness!

Available at Steve Nash Fitness

For those of you who wish to increase the detoxification effects of the liver (in conjunction with a liver support supplement), below is a list of of the best foods:
*dandelion & leafy greens (helps to neutralize metals, chemicals and pesticides)
*cruciferous vegetables (produce enzymes that aid in digestion thus eliminating toxins)
*garlic (activates enzymes that eliminate toxins)
*turmeric (helps with the production of bile)
*beets (high in plant flavonoids that increase liver function)
*grapefruit juice (helps the liver flush out toxins – unsweetened is best)
*green tea (high in antioxidants that support the liver)
*avocados (high in antioxidants and helps the liver filter out harmful materials)
*lemons (aid with digestion & detoxification)
*walnuts (high in omega-3, helping support the liver’s cleansing process)

What are you doing to support your liver?

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It seems that BROCCOLI is one of those vegetables many people have a love/hate relationship with. It’s possible you were forced to eat it as a young child, but have grown to love it as an adult. BROCCOLI is part of the cruciferous family of vegetables and has similar properties to things like cauliflower, cabbage and brussel sprouts. Cruciferous vegetables are very important for many health reasons, including lowering bad cholesterol, reducing inflammation in the body and reducing your risk for certain types of cancer.

Aside from helping to protect us from prostate, colon, breast, bladder and ovarian cancer, BROCCOLI has also been found to reduce our risk of coronary heart disease, help prevent cataracts and aids in the repair of sun-damaged skin. The high level of phytonutrients that BROCCOLI contains support the body by activating, neutralizing and eliminating unwanted contaminants that may enter our system. BROCCOLI is one of the richest sources of folate, soluble fiber, and vitamins C, K, and A.

Now how many of you eat BROCCOLI more than 3 times a week?

If you do, that’s great! If not, you should really consider adding more of this vibrant, green, nutrient dense “super food” into your meal plan. To get the most benefit from BROCCOLI you should aim to eat at least 3-5 servings (1 & 1/2 cups = a serving) every week. It’s hard to believe something so simple can provide us with so many benefits.

Like myself, many people I talk to have a difficult time digesting raw BROCCOLI since it is gas-forming and difficult for the body to breakdown. An alternative is adding BROCCOLI SPROUTS to fresh salads so you gain the health benefits without the pain. If you choose to eat BROCCOLI cooked, the most important thing to remember, as with most vegetables, is to steam it on low heat in a double boiler for five minutes or less. Timing and heat are both very important factors in maintaining BROCCOLI’s abundant vitamin content. There is nothing worse than mushy, bland BROCCOLI. Microwaving veggies is the worst cooking method because it kills many of the vitamins and nutrients as it cooks at such a high temperature. In addition to temperature, food cooked in a microwave is often done in plastic containers which allow Bisphenol-A, aka BPA, to leach into our food. BPA’s are basically cancer causing agents that are harmful to the human body and leech into our food from plastics such as cooking containers and water bottles.

If you have never really found a way to fully enjoy BROCCOLI, here’s your chance. I’ve included a healthy and delicious recipe for this week’s meal plan… bon appetit!

Lemon-Dill Chicken, BROCCOLI and Feta Bake

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Roasting Time: 20 minutes

Makes 4 Servings.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lemon
  • 1 Tbsp (15 mL) chopped fresh dill or 1/2 tsp (2 mL) dried dillweed
  • 4-oz (125-g) block of feta, preferably light
  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • Olive oil
  • 1 bunch broccoli
  • 1/4 cup (50 mL) whole skin-on almonds (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400F (200C). Line a large baking sheet with parchment or lightly oil. Finely grate peel from lemon into a bowl. Stir in dill and pinches of salt. Cut feta into thick wedges. Cut chicken breasts in half horizontally. Place feta and chicken on parchment. Lightly drizzle both with olive oil, then sprinkle with half the seasoning mix.
  2. Roast in center of preheated oven for 10 min. Meanwhile, cut broccoli into large florets. When chicken has roasted for 10 min, add broccoli and almonds. Sprinkle with remaining seasoning and stir. Continue roasting until chicken is cooked through, from 10 to 15 more min. Squeeze juice from lemon over top.

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