This quick and delicious granola recipe not only gives you the satisfying taste and smell of banana bread, it is packed with fibre, protein, and healthy fats! Pair this granola with a source of protein, such as plain Greek yogurt or unsweetened, fortified soy milk, and top with berries or fruit for a balanced breakfast that will keep you fuller for longer!
3 cups rolled oats3/4 cup walnuts1/2 cup almonds, chopped3 tbsp coconut sugar1/2 tsp sea salt1/2 tbsp cinnamon1 tbsp flax seed1 medium ripe banana1/2 cup maple syrup1/4 cup coconut oil1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 F.In a large bowl, mix together oats, walnuts, almonds, coconut sugar, sea salt, cinnamon, and flax seed.In a small bowl, mash banana.In a small saucepan, warm maple syrup, coconut oil, and vanilla extract over low heat until liquid and combined.Whisk the liquid miqture with the mashed banana.Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix well until combined.Lay out granola on to 2 lined baking sheets, making sure not to overcrowd.Bake for 23-25 minutes or until golden brown.Let cool and store in an airtight container.
Tip: Toss the granola halfway if you want it to be more crumbly instead of chunks of granola!
Cranberries and oranges are loaded with one of the most important antioxidants, vitamin C. Vitamin C is required for collagen synthesis, collagen provides structure for our skin and bones and is the most abundant protein in our body! Vitamin C also helps with iron absorption, reducing your risk of developing cancer and other chronic diseases, as well as maintaining a healthy immune system. Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that is not stored by the body, so be sure to incorporate plenty of fruits and vegetables everyday to make sure you're getting enough!
These Cranberry Orange Muffins are sure to give you a quick boost of your daily vitamin C in the form of a delicious and convenient snack - or you can pair them with a protein such as a hard boiled egg, high protein yogurt, a handful of nuts/seeds, or glass of unsweetened, fortified soy milk for a quick, on-the-go breakfast.
This muffin recipe is inspired by the From My Bowl cranberry orange bread recipe which you can find on their blog! Best part is, it’s vegan and can be made gluten-free!
2 tbsp ground flax + 5 tbsp water1 cup full fat coconut milk1 tsp vanilla extract¾ cup coconut sugar or brown sugar¼ cup unsweetened applesauce1 tbsp apple cider vinegarZest of 1 orange2 cups oats, blended into flour1 tsp baking powder½ tsp baking soda½ tsp salt1 ½ cup fresh or frozen cranberries
Preheat the oven to 350FMix the ground flax and water in a small bowl and set aside to thicken upIn a large bowl whisk the oat flour, baking powder, baking soda and saltTo the ground flax + water mixture, add the coconut milk, sugar, applesauce, apple cider vinegar and orange zest and whisk until well-combinedAdd the wet mixture to the dry mixture and mix together, be sure not to over mix!Toss the cranberries in a bit of oat flour and then fold the cranberries into the mixPour batter into a greased or lined muffin tray and bake for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Remove from pan and let cool completely on a baking rack. Enjoy!
These Rainbow Rolls are the perfect way to enjoy loads of fresh veggies and pair great with baked tofu and a peanut lime sauce!
Incorporating fruits and vegetables in a wide range of colours ensures you get a variety of vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals for optimal health and reduced risk of chronic disease. So “Eat the Rainbow” with this delicious recipe! This refreshing recipe is perfect for hot summer nights and will wow your guests, this recipe is also easy to customize to your liking.
Rice paper rolls (6-10)½ bell pepper, julienned2 medium carrots, julienned⅓ cucumber, julienned1 avocado, julienned1 cup chopped red cabbageSmall handful of lettuce of choiceSesame seeds (for garnish)
Peanut Lime Sauce
½ tbsp minced garlic3 tbsp natural peanut butter2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce1 tbsp sesame oil2 tbsp fresh lime juice½ tbsp coconut sugar1-2 tbsp water to thin out as needed
Wrap your block of tofu in a tea towel and place something heavy on it, like a cookbook, for a couple of hours. If you are strained for time then just take a couple paper towels and press out as much of the water as possible or purchase already pressed tofu.Slice your tofu into thin rectangle shapes and add to a mixing bowlTo the bowl, add the soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic and gingerGently mix to combine, then spread evenly over a baking sheet lined with parchment paper There will be sauce left over in the bowl but set this aside to use for later.Bake tofu for 10 mins at 425F. Remove baking sheet from oven, flip each piece over, and drizzle the remaining sauce that was left in the bowl over the tofu and bake for another 12 mins or until crispy to your likingLet the tofu cool and then cut into thin strips
Rice Paper Veggie Rolls
Prepare your vegetables by julienning the bell pepper, carrot, cucumber, avocado, and cabbageTo assemble the wraps, prepare a large bowl with hot water and have a clean cutting board ready to useSoak a single rice paper in the hot water until its completely soft and flexible (this usually takes 30 seconds)Gently shake off the excess water and then lay the rice paper straight onto your cutting boardLay down the lettuce and then the julienned vegetables in the center of the rice paper (use about ⅕ of the vegetables for each wrap or more or less depending on how full you want your rolls)
Finally lay down a few strips of tofu and roll up the rice paper into a roll and cut in half (click here to watch a video on how to roll)
Sprinkle with sesame seeds for a garnish
Peanut Lime Sauce
In a small mixing bowl whisk together all of the ingredientsStore any leftover sauce in the fridge
These baked banana chocolate oatmeal cups are perfect for an easy and delicious breakfast for busy weekdays! It requires only one bowl and takes 30 minutes to whip up. This recipe uses rolled oats, which contain more fibre than instant or quick oats, to keep you feeling fuller for longer. Pair these with a source of protein, such as a boiled egg, Greek yogurt, or glass of unsweetened, fortified soy milk to start the day off right! Better still, this recipe is easily made gluten free or vegan if needed!
4 cups rolled oats (gluten-free if desired)2 large ripe bananas2 & ⅓ cup almond milk¼ cup coconut sugar½ cup maple syrup½ cup almond OR peanut butter2 tsp vanilla extract2 tsp cinnamon1 tsp baking powder½ tsp salt½ cup mini dark chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 375 F/190 C.Mash the bananas in a large mixing bowl.Add all the ingredients, except chocolate chips, and mix until well combined.Fold in the chocolate chips.Grease a muffin tray and evenly pour batter into muffin cups.Bake for 20 mins or until cooked through.Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
Trail mix is an on-the-go snack easily made at home - just pack with a variety of unsalted nuts and seeds for healthy fat, fibre, and protein. Add in some dried fruit for sweetness, some dark chocolate for flavour (as well as antioxidants) - and you've got the perfect snack for the 2 pm slump, camping, and/or hiking! We've taken the classic trail mix and given it a little twist - trail mix cookies!
Pair these cookies with a piece of fruit for an easy to grab weekday breakfast, or simply pack them as a snack in your little one's lunchbox!
1 cup rolled oats, blended into oat flour½ cup almond flour½ cup rolled oats½ cup sliced almonds¼ cup coconut sugar¼ cup shredded coconut⅓ cup mini dark chocolate chips⅓ cup dried cranberries3 tbsp pumpkin seeds2 tbsp chia seeds¾ tbsp cinnamon½ tsp baking powder½ tsp baking soda
1 tbsp ground flax + 2 tbsp water¼ cup creamy all-natural peanut butter¼ cup melted coconut oil¼ cup maple syrup½ tbsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C)Mix together the ground flax + water in a small bowl and set asideIn large mixing bowl, mix together all of the dry ingredientsIn a medium mixing bowl, mix together all of the wet ingredientsAdd the wet mixture to the dry mixture and stir until well combinedScoop out the batter into balls on a lined baking sheet and use your palm to smash the cookies down slightly into small moundsBake cookies for 15 minutes, until lightly golden brown on the bottomThese cookies will be delicate when they first come out of the oven so let cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes and then transfer to cooling rack until completely cool.
Ah avocado toast - the epitome of the millennial generation, no? Or, according to this news article, the reason why millennials cannot get into the real estate market.
All jokes aside, avocado toast is delicious - and it's also a really great way to sneak more veggies into your breakfast (or whatever meal you have it for). Avocados are a fantastic source of healthy fats, fibre, and potassium - making them a very healthy choice for your brain, heart, and gut!
You can make avocado toast fully customized the way you like it with a variety of other vegetables, herbs, and seasonings! Start by choosing a whole grain, high fibre bread (aim for 3-4 grams of fibre per slice) and add some protein such as a boiled egg, scrambled tofu, or hemp seeds to make this a balanced meal.
1 slice multigrain bread1/2 small avocadoOptional seasonings: lemon juice, salt, pepper, red chili flakes
Boiled eggScrambled tofuNuts or seeds, such as hemp seedLeafy greens, such as arugula or spinachMixed vegetables, such as tomatoes, green onion, or radishes
Toast bread, as desired.Mash avocado in a small bowl with optional seasonings, to taste.Top toasted bread with mashed avocado mixture.Top with desired optional toppings, enjoy!
Fatigue and low energy are common symptoms we see in many of our clients. More often than not, clients have self-diagnosed iron-deficiency or anemia, and are taking self-prescribed iron supplements. However, this may not be addressing the underlying cause of their fatigue, and in fact may actually be detrimental to health!
Iron supplements can cause unpleasant symptoms such as abdominal pain, nausea/vomiting, constipation, leg cramps, heartburn, and stained teeth - to name a few. You may also be putting yourself at risk for potentially hazardous iron overload! Taking iron supplements without the supervision of a medical professional may mean that you are not achieving a therapeutic dose of elemental iron, and therefore not improving your iron levels at all. Not to mention, iron supplements are expensive!
Iron supplements should only be taken upon the advice of your healthcare practitioner and only after the relevant blood work has been completed. Iron supplements are not meant to be taken long-term, they are meant to treat iron-deficiencies and bring your iron levels back to normal. The focus needs to be on identifying the root cause of your iron-deficiency, and the best way to incorporate more iron into your diet.
If you or your family have a history of iron-deficiency and/or anemia, please book an appointmentwith Alex or Stephanie today - we can help you improve your intake of iron and maintain your iron levels long term!
Here are some potential causes of fatigue to consider:
Poor sleep quantity and quality
Let’s start with the obvious, but often overlooked, cause of fatigue - poor sleep! Sleep is not only important for energy levels, it is your body’s time to repair and restore vital tissues and organs. Per the Canadian Sleep Society, “Insufficient sleep, even on a single night, has a number of immediate consequences including lower alertness, negative mood, reduced motor and visual acuity, longer response times, and impaired attention and memory. Chronic sleep restriction over days and weeks leads to cumulative deficits in alertness, mood and cognitive performance. As well, insufficient sleep can have long-term consequences for health including weight gain, diabetes, and heart disease.” Everyone is different, and the amount of sleep you require may not be the same as your family or friends. Start with: prioritizing sleep, keeping a regular sleep schedule, and practicing good sleep hygiene - click here to read more from the Canadian Sleep Society.
Feeling stressed or anxious can be exhausting! It can have profound effects on your energy, sleep, mood, appetite, and other aspects related to your health. Sometimes, it’s hard to even recognize that we are stressed while trying to maintain our busy schedules. Click here to read more from the Canadian Mental Health Association about how to prevent, identify, and manage stress in your life.
Not drinking enough fluids in the day can negatively impact your body’s energy levels. There is no golden rule when it comes to how much fluid you should be drinking; the best way to self-evaluate your hydration is to check your urine! Aim for urine that is pale yellow-clear and that you are going often throughout the day. Click here to read our blog post all about staying hydrated!
Not eating enough
Your body needs food to fuel itself - from maintaining muscle mass, to producing hormones, to breathing - your body requires nutrients to do all of these vital functions! Some people may be trying to restrict their food intake, while other people may forget to eat; and it is not surprising that sub-optimal food intake has a big impact on your energy levels. Focus on eating a wide variety of foods throughout the day, and practice intuitive eating to make sure you are eating enough for optimal health and function. Click here to learn how to get started with intuitive eating!
Not eating often enough
Many complain about feeling the “3 pm slump” when they have difficulty with low energy, mood, and mental acuity. Your body may just need a snack! Depending on your activity levels, how much and what kind of food you’ve eaten that day, how much sleep you had the night before, your body may need 2-3 snacks a day to function optimally. Unsure how much or how often you should be eating? Click here to learn how to get started with intuitive eating!
Lack of physical activity
The relationship between exercise and energy can be likened to the chicken or the egg dilemma. Are you not exercising because you have no energy? Or do you have no energy because you’re not exercising? Many people find that incorporating more physical activity into their life improves their sleep, energy, mood, and even stress! If going to an intense workout class or the gym sounds too much right now, start with something small and build from there. Try taking your dog for a longer walk than normal, or taking the stairs at work instead of the elevator. Click here to learn more!
Underlying medical problem
If your fatigue is severe, or if you have tried some of our suggestions in this post with minimal to no effect, there may be an underlying medical reason for your fatigue. We strongly recommend discussing with your medical provider.
Insufficient intake of B-vitamins, especially vitamin B12 and folate, can contribute to fatigue. A deficiency of vitamin B12 and/or folate can also lead to anemia. B-vitamins, such as thiamine and niacin, can be found in whole grains, legumes, dairy products, and meat/poultry. Vitamin B12 is found in meat, fish, poultry, eggs, dairy products, fortified milk alternatives, and Red Star nutritional yeast. Folate is found in leafy greens, beets, corn, legumes, flax, sunflower seeds, and is fortified into grain products in Canada.
Women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant should also be taking a daily multivitamin containing 400 mcg folic acid. Adults over 50 years of age should meet their vitamin B12 needs through fortified food products and/or supplements,
Yes, a common symptom of iron deficiency is fatigue. However, if you are following a varied, balanced diet then you should be able to consume adequate iron. If you are consistently iron deficient or fatigued, work with your medical provider to investigate the root cause of your iron deficiency.
Animal products, such as meat, fish, poultry, and eggs are the best sources of iron as they contain “heme iron” which is the most readily absorbed type of iron. If you are trying to follow a plant-based diet, focus on incorporating tofu, legumes, nuts, seeds, and/or iron-fortified grain products. Pair these plant-based sources of iron with a source of vitamin C to improve their absorption, such as mixing tomatoes into your chilli or consuming some citrus fruit with your hummus. You can also try cooking in a cast iron pan or with the Lucky Iron Fish, to boost your iron intake. Women who are pregnant would benefit from taking a daily multivitamin containing iron, as their iron needs are higher.
The backbone of optimal health is a healthy lifestyle, including a healthy diet. Focus on eating a varied, balanced diet that includes foods from different food groups to ensure you are getting adequate carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamins, and minerals. Not sure what a balanced meal looks like? Click here to learn more!
If you are feeling fatigued, it doesn’t necessarily mean you are anemic and/or iron-deficient. Consider all possible causes of your fatigue and discuss with your medical provider. Your physician will be able to help assess, diagnose, and treat any potential medical reason for your fatigue.
If the reason turns out to be nutritional, then book an appointment with us for a full assessment and evaluation of your nutrition status.
This tofu recipe is the perfect addition to a salad, stir fry, wrap, or even on its own as a snack! Tofu is a soy product, which means it's an excellent source of protein, iron, as well as other vitamins and minerals. If you choose a tofu product set with calcium sulphate (just check the ingredients list), it will be a good source of calcium too!
Are you worried about the safety of consuming soy products? We've written two blog posts addressing the nutrition myths surrounding soy that you can read by clicking here and here.
We added this baked tofu to a bowl which consisted of kale massaged with lemon juice, cooked quinoa, sliced carrots, and sliced avocado topped with black sesame seeds and pink Himalayan salt. You can make this recipe however way appeals to you! If you try this recipe, tag us in your photos on Facebook and Instagram @VancouverDietitians.
Preheat the oven to 425F.Wrap tofu in a dish towel and plate on a cutting boardThen add a heavy object on top. I usually put another cutting board on top and then place a few heavy books on top of thatLeave it alone for at least 30 minutes, or preferably a couple of hours.Then slice tofu into cubes, place in a mixing bowl and add olive oil, soy sauce and srirachaGently mix to combineSpread tofu evenly over a baking sheet lined with parchment paperThere will be sauce left over in the bowl and set this aside to use for laterBake tofu in the oven for 10 minutesRemove tofu, flip over each piece, drizzle remaining sauce over top, and bake for another 12 minutes or until crispy to your liking.
Always running short on time during your weekday mornings? Having trouble finding a healthy breakfast that is also quick and easy? Look no further that overnight oatmeal! Overnight oatmeal is a quick, healthy recipe that you can prepare at the start of your week to make sure your weekdays start off with a filling, nutritious breakfast. Overnight oatmeal can be a great source of fibre, protein, healthy fat, as well as vitamins and minerals. You can also fully customize this recipe to make it just how you like it! As always, if you try this recipe - tag us in your photos @VancouverDietitians on Facebook and Instagram.
1/2 cup rolled oats1/4 cup water1/4 cup milk of choice1 tbsp ground flaxseed1 tbsp maple syrup1 tsp cinnamon1/2 tsp vanilla extractOptional toppings: banana, peanut butter, coconut flakes, chocolate chips
Mix ingredients together in a mason jar (or other container with tight-fitting lid).Leave overnight in refrigerator (can remain in refrigerator for up to 4 days).Take out of fridge, transfer to bowl, and add optional toppings.Enjoy!
Looking for delicious baking recipes that are also vegan? Check out these chocolate chunk banana muffins! If you pair these muffins with a piece of fruit and a source of protein, you've got a quick and easy breakfast to take on those busy work or school mornings. For omnivores, choose a hard boiled egg or some plain Greek yogurt. For vegans, opt for scrambled tofu, a handful of nuts, or soy yogurt! This recipe also calls for apple cider vinegar - have you heard the health claims about ACV? Click here to read our blog post all about it to find out if they're true! As always, if you try this recipe be sure to tag @VancouverDietitians in your photos on Facebook and Instagram!
1/4 cup almond milk (or other milk of choice)1 tsp apple cider vinegar3 large, ripe bananas1/3 cup maple syrup1/4 cup coconut oil, melted1 tsp vanilla extract2 cups all-purpose flour1 tsp baking soda1/2 tsp salt1/2 tsp cinnamon1/2 cup chocolate chunks or chips (ensure they are vegan)
Preheat oven to 350F.Grease or line 12 muffin cups.In a small bowl, mix almond milk and apple cider vinegar. Set aside.In a large mixing bowl, mash bananas until smooth and add maple syrup, coconut oil, vanilla extract, almond milk with apple cider vinegar, and combine until everything is well incorporated.Add in flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
Stir batter until just combined (be sure not to over mix!)
Fold in chocolate chunks.Divine batter into 12 muffin cups, ensuring each cup is only 3/4 full.Bake for 23 minutes in the oven or until a toothpick comes out clean.Enjoy!