Friday, August 20, 2010

Blossom Takes a Baby Break!

As many of you know, my husband and I are expecting our first baby in September!

As much as the creation and birth of my business, Blossom, has brought me joy and excitement this
year, its time to put things on hold for the next big adventure!

In the coming months I will be happily be preoccupied with nourishing our little nest and caring for my new family. This means that blog and facebook posts are likely to be few and far between, and very baby centred! I hope that you will bear with me and support my decision to take this time to focus on our new family.

I will resume seeing clients in January, and will continue to be available via email in the interium, so please feel free to contact me, should you have any questions, or like to bo
ok an appointment for the new year.

I will be sure to post pictures of our little one once he or she arrives. Until then, be nourished.

photos by Kiri Marr Photography www.kirimarr.com

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Finally Achieve Your Fitness Goals - Building Blocks Program



My friends over at Stayfitanywhere have put together a revolutionary package, which compliments my approach to nutrition perfectly. We are working together to cross-promote these services, so check out their site and take a look at this package if you are ready to start seeing results!

Stayfitanywhere's Building Blocks Program aims to teach participants the necessary movements required to achieve your physical fitness goals. Whether you are trying to release fat, gain muscular strength, improve athletic performance or simply stay fit without causing injuries, you will benefit from learning to execute essential movement patterns. The Building Blocks Program consists of a full fitness assessment, 12 specifically designed training sessions(6 one on one personal training and 6 online personal training sessions) and nutritional guidance. The first two sessions will work on mobility, stability and perfecting exercise technique. The next two sessions will continue to focus on mobility, stability and exercise technique with the addition of strength challenges. The focus of the final two sessions will be on learning how to combine your essential movement patterns to give you the most effective exercise routines to accomplish your goals.
Through this program you will learn proper exercise technique, increase joint mobility, gain strength and improve balance.

Sign up now for only $480 and save the HST*
until the end of September. You are guaranteed to achieve results. For any additional information, email them at info@stayfitanywhere.com. And visit www.stayfitanywhere.com

Starting in January, when I am back from maternity leave, the Building Blocks program will additionally include a nutrition component, which is outlined on my site.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Support Your Local Markets! RIPE!

As you may know, the Vancouver Farmers Markets is a non-profit organization where my husband volunteers his own time to support. We also support the markets by doing as much of our weekly shopping there as possible, and we are big believers in the markets. Farmers Markets provide access to quality local food, support the local food economy, and build a sense of accountability into the food system. Visiting the market is one of our favourite weekend activities, as we get to go out, enjoy the sense of community and gather fresh, amazing foods, direct from those who lovingly grew them.

So come out to RIPE and support your local markets!


Vancouver Farmers Markets presents
RIPE: The 2nd Annual Evening
of Local Food & Libations

Sunday, September 26th 5pm-8pm
at Creekside Community Centre, #1 Athletes Way, Vancouver

The purpose of this event is simple: To Grow & Improve the Services of Vancouver’s

Summer & Winter Farmers Markets
By buying a ticket to RIPE you will be directly supporting the organization to not only improve the Farmers Markets that currently exist within Vancouver, but to grow the number of markets, bringing local, seasonal food to more people in more communities.

The casual family-style, all-ages event will include:

• A feast of delicious, local and seasonal food including BBQ’d local meats, corn on the cob and a variety of fresh salads, iced tea and lemonade from a variety of our farmers & vendors and prepared by Tivoli Caterers
Local beer and wine for adults to enjoy
• The fabulous view of the mountains from the brand new Creekside Community Centre at Olympic Village
• A Silent auction and Live dessert auction
• Local, live entertainment Maria In The Shower
• And a kids activity corner!

Tickets prices:
Members - $50 ea / $150 Family 4-Pack (2 adults & 2 children 15 or under)
Non-members - $60 ea / $180 Family 4-Pack (2 adults & 2 children 15 or under)*All non-member tickets include a 1 year membership to the Vancouver Farmers Markets!

To purchase your tickets visit :

http://www.eatlocal.org/ripe/index.html




I hope to see you at this event!!! Please also pass this round to anyone you know that might be interested in attending, and let us know if you have any questions.

Thanks for your support.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

What to do with all that Zucchini!?!

Farmer's Markets are notorious for having copious amounts of zucchini all summer long. The good news is that its one of the cheapest things you can pick up locally, and at the market you will find lots of different varieties that you may not have tried before!

These summer squashes are an excellent source of manganese and vitamin C and a very good source of magnesium, vitamin A (notably through its concentration of carotenoids, including beta-carotene), fiber,potassium, folate, copper, riboflavin, and phosphorus.
In research studies, extracts from squash have also been found to help reduce symptoms of a condition occurring in men calledbenign prostatic hypertrophy, or BPH. In this condition, the prostate gland becomes problematically enlarged, which can cause difficulty with urinary and sexual function. Particularly in combination with other phytonutrient-containing foods, squash may be helpful in reducing BPH symptoms.

So here are some ideas on what to do with all of the zucchini and summer squashes available from one of my favourite recipe blogs - http://www.101cookbooks.com.

Sautéed Zucchini

I hate to say this, but if you want to do a larger amount, double the recipe, but divide and cook the zucchini in two pans. If you crowd the squash too much, it steams rather than browns, and loses too much structure, which isn't what you're after.

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
5 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced
3 medium shallots or new red onions, thinly sliced
fine grain sea salt
2 medium zucchini, sliced into 1/4-inch thick coins
a good handful of dill, chopped
1/4 cup Marcona almonds or toasted almond slices

In your largest skillet heat the oil over medium-high heat. Stir in the garlic and cook until it starts to take on a hint of color. Stir in the shallots and a big pinch of salt, and cook until they start to soften, a couple minutes. Add the zucchini, stir to get it coated with a bit of oil, and arrange the coins in as much of a single layer as your pan permits. Dial the heat up a bit if needed, add another pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally until the zucchini browns - ten minutes or so. Remove from heat and fold in the dill and almonds before serving. Taste, and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

Serves 2 - 4.

http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/sautaed-zucchini-recipe.html



Chocolate Zucchini Cupcake Recipe

1 1/2 cups (360 mL) brown sugar
1/4 cup (60 mL) melted butter
3/4 cup (180 mL) vegetable oil (hs note: I used unrefined, scented, all-natural coconut oil)
3 eggs
1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla
1/2 cup (120 mL) buttermilk
2 cups (480 mL) grated zucchini
1 cup (240 mL) chocolate chips
2 cups (480 mL) unbleached flour
1 cup (240 mL) cocoa, sifted
1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) salt
2 tsp (10 mL) baking soda
1 tsp (5 mL) allspice
1 1/2 tsp (7.5 mL) cinnamon

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease large muffin pans and line with muffin cups.

In a medium bowl mix together the sugar, butter and oil. Beat in eggs, one at a time until well Incorporated. Stir in vanilla, buttermilk, zucchini and chocolate chips.

In a separate bowl mix together all of the dry ingredients. Add the liquid ingredients and mix until well combined. Spoon batter into large muffin pans. Bake in the center of the oven for about 35 minutes. Cool on a wire rack, while preparing the icing (hs note: I made these without the icing, also - don't overcook them or you will lose all the moist goodness - you want them to look almost done in the oven - they will continue to cook for a few minutes after you pull them from the oven from the residual heat).

Yields 9 large cupcakes or 20 standard cupcakes.

from Rebar: Modern Food Cookbook by Audrey Alsterburg & Wanda Urbanowicz (Big Ideas Publishing, 2001)

(ALICIA'S NOTE: USE PUREED DATES INSTEAD OF BROWN SUGAR!)

http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/000281.html


Thursday, August 5, 2010

Fuel Your Workout

Earlier this week my friends at StayFitAnywhere, published their August newsletter. The SFA Press is a great monthly resource for fitness tips, and lately I have been contributing with articles on relevant nutrition topics as well.

This month, I shared with readers some tips on how to Fuel Your Workout.
This is a topic I am very familiar with, as my husband is currently training to compete in the Ironman Canada race later this month! This epic event, and the grueling training it requires is only possible with
proper nutrition.

In the article I mention that dates, or energy balls or bars made with dates are an excellent pre-workout snack, providing easily digested simple carbohydrates which your body can use as energy. Meanwhile smoothies which incorporate carbohydrates, fats and proteins make a great recovery, or post-workout snack. Here are some recipes that
we make at home, which help fuel the Ironman training, and my prenatal fitness regime! These will help you to get you going, ensure that you to get the most out
of your workouts!

Raw Energy Balls
-3 cups cashews and almonds (soak in water for at least 1 hour first, then drain)
- 2 cups pitted dates
-1/2 cup figs or raisins
-1/4 cup hemp seeds
-1/4 cup cocoa or carob powder
-unsweetened shredded coconut

1) Combine all ingredients in food processor and process until smooth. Add a little water if necessary.
2) Roll mixture into balls
3) Coat balls in shredded coconut
4) Keep in sealed container in the fridge, and enjoy throughout the week

These make a great snack for kids too. Let them get involved and get messy making them, this can replace the sugar-filled baking that families normally enjoy together.


Recovery Smoothie
1/2 cup plain, organic, full fat yogurt
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1/4 cup other fruit on hand, or frozen
1-2 tsps ground flax and or hemp seeds
1 tsp unrefined, extra virgin coconut oil (if desired)
1 tsp kelp powder (available in Whole Foods in bulk bin section...cheap!)
small handful of spinach or other greens on hand
1/2 tsp honey if desired
some water

Blend all ingredients together, and enjoy. You can add a Whole Foods based supplement, if desired.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

World Breastfeeding Week


For all of you Mamas or Mamas-to-be out there, its World Breastfeeding Week (who knew there were weeks for these types of things?!)!

Here are some of the most amazing health benefits of breastfeeding for both Mom and Baby:
  • To date, scientists have identified over 200 nutritional components in breastmilk, and each plays a role not only in the baby's nutrition, but also in general development and growth as well as the development of the immune and nervous systems. And there is still a lot we have yet to discover!
  • Research shows that breastmilk contains vital antibodies which protect against infection, including gastroenteritis, respiratory illness, urinary infections, and even ear infections.
  • The composition of breastmilk is perfectly formulated to meet your baby's needs, and actually changes over time as your baby grows to provide the most customized nutrition available.
  • Vitamins and minerals in breastmilk are the most easily absorbed and digested of all nutrients on the planet
  • As babies are not born with mature digestion, some of the components of breastmilk are actually self-digesting, allowing the baby to benefit, without taxing a new and immature system.
  • Breastfeeding mothers have a reduced risk of pre-menopausal breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and fractures from osteoporosis.
  • Breastfeeding women find it easier, and faster to get back to their pre-pregnancy weight
  • Exclusive breastfeeding, under certain conditions, is a very reliable form of birth control. It is 98-99% effective (similar to oral contraceptives), natural, and totally free. This is the Lactation Amenorrhea Method (LAM).
  • The risk of post-partum haemorrhage is less if a woman breastfeeds.
  • A woman suffering from Gestational Diabetes has less risk of developing type-2 Diabetes later on if she breastfeeds after that pregnancy.
  • Breastfeeding saves time and money. Artificial baby milks and supplies are costly : $2000 to $3000 per year, per child in Canada
For some great information on breastfeeding, visit www.mothering.com where you will find articles on how to prepare for breastfeeding, how to navigate potential problems, where to find a lactation consultant, and lots of great stories about the experiences of breastfeeding Mamas. You can also look for your local La Leche League, a group dedicated to offering breastfeeding support and promotion on this site http://www.lllc.ca/.