Beet Of My Heart Latte with Dandelion Root, Cacao & Maca

Beet Of My Heart Latte with Dandelion Root, Cacao & Maca

I have been in a long-term love-hate relationship with coffee since my university days. Part of my recovery from chronic adrenal fatigue and amenorrhea is cutting out high amounts of caffeine, meaning that sadly my number one vice has to go.

It isn't always easy staying away from coffee but I've found a few alternative morning pick-me-ups that have helped suppress the craving. When I want a warm soothing drink and I'm not in the mood for matcha or plain tea, I happily turn to dandelion and chicory root. You can find both of these in many bulk herbal stores; otherwise, I often use Dandy Blend for an easier solution.

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Earl Grey Almond Flour Pancakes pressed with Violas and Marigold

Earl Grey Almond Flour Pancakes pressed with Violas and Marigold

What a curious time of year - yesterday marked the beginning of the spring equinox and today Mercury went into retrograde. Meaning that Mercury, the planet of communication appears to be moving backwards as it passes the Earth in its' orbit; although, in reality, it is not. Part of me doesn't know how I should feel. Uplifted and enlightened that we are that much closer to summer or wanting to regress and lay low until the dust settles. 

Despite these events and the rainy weather we're experiencing in Vancouver; which would normally have me feeling quite reclusive - I'm feeling inspired to bring to fruition some ideas I've been sitting on lately. These Earl Grey Pancakes pressed with edible Violas and Marigolds are my romanticised perspective of the blooming flowers amidst these first rainy spring days.

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Savoury Salmon, Sweet Potato & Thyme Frittata

Savoury Salmon, Sweet Potato & Thyme Frittata

Whether you're following a paleo, whole30, gluten-free or dairy-free diet; this frittata recipe checks all those boxes! Like the idea of the dish but wish it was keto friendly? That's an easy fix, simply leave out the roasted sweet potatoes and substitute for another low-in-starch vegetable such as leeks or asparagus!

This recipe was curated for a Spring Cleanse Ebook created by my Nutritionist friend and fellow IHN graduate Kirstin Olsen from the blog Rural Root One. Launching with the start of the spring equinox, Kirstin's' cleanse is a 12-day program that offers participants guidance and recipes to support their bodies' detoxification processes.

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Coconut Flour Collagen Pancakes ft. Organika's Relax Enhanced Collagen Powder

Coconut Flour Collagen Pancakes ft. Organika's Relax Enhanced Collagen Powder

For some following a grain-free/paleo diet can be a daunting task; when you're always looking for easy but also delicious substitutions to make classic comfort foods. Having a sweet breakfast isn't something I do often but when I indulge, I go all the way. A big stack of warm and fluffy, gluten-free pancakes topped with runny homemade sunflower butter, paleo granola and dairy-free yogurt? No problem, that won't take much convincing.

It's breakfast time, I know you're hungry and would rather I cut to the chase - so here's what you need to know, to make yourself these fantastic Coconut Flour Collagen Pancakes.

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Beet Root Cashew Coconut Bars (Vegan, Paleo, Whole30)

Beet Root Cashew Coconut Bars (Vegan, Paleo, Whole30)

I'm sitting here trying to think of a good excuse as to why it has taken me so long to post the recipe for my Valentines Day themed Cashew Coconut Bars. I mean besides the fact that I honestly struggle sometimes to be punctual with finishing my own projects, I don't think you need a day like Valentines Day to show yourself some mother freaking love.

Packed full of healthy fats, whole food colourings and flavourings, and maca powder for that feel good aphrodisiac effect - you'll be swooning over the flavour and texture of these dreamy bars. So light your favourite candle, turn on some slow jams and get ready to spend some time quality time with the person who matters most - I'm talking about YOU BEAUTIFUL!

Having said that, here is the recipe for my Love Yourself First - Beet Root Cashew Coconut Bars.

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Plant-Based Fall Party Platter (Vegan AND Paleo Approved)

Plant-Based Fall Party Platter (Vegan AND Paleo Approved)

This is my second time taking part in the Vancity Virtual Potluck hosted by Piquant Marketing. Back in the Spring when I last took part in this event, I really enjoyed putting together a dish and connecting with so many other local bloggers. It was a lot of fun to see what people came up with for their submissions and I'd be lying if I didn't admit I was thrilled about the new followers I gained from taking part. 

One thing I noticed however, was that submissions that weren't completely plant-based tended to have lower engagement from other bloggers involved and people in general following on Instagram. 

Vegetarianism and veganism are very popular eating styles today especially in a city like Vancouver - where people tend to be very conscious of sustainability and meat consumption. I am a big fan of all plant-based diets don't get me wrong but I also recognize that for many people being one-hundred percent meat free is not an option.

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Winter Vegetable Ratatouille with a Wild Mushroom Gravy

Winter Vegetable Ratatouille with a Wild Mushroom Gravy

This time of year my body craves one thing in particular...roasted vegetables! Nearly everyday I am roasting up all sorts of seasonal squash, root veggies, wild mushrooms and well-seasoned in local herbs. These foods are grounding and warming; traditional Chinese Medicine would say they build the blood. These foods are in-season this time of year for good reason; they offer immense nutrition that helps to support our immune system and prepare our bodies for the long cold winter months. 

Fall through to late winter has always been a time for me to look inward, reflect on the months past and set intentions for the coming new year. I am my best at self-care during these seasons - cooking is the most effective form of self-care I know. Giving my body was it needs and craves is a pinnacle aspect to my self-care routine. So while being mindful to not over-eat starchy foods throughout the fall-winter seasons, when something is telling me that's what I need - I listen!

We didn't evolve to have the same diet for all twelve months of the year. My ancestors for sure weren't eating many fruits, tomatoes or leafy greens in the fall and winter - unless they managed to preserve them somehow. They truly ate with the seasons; their diets were in-sync with Mother Nature's rhythm.

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Working together to bring meal time back to the dinner table.

Working together to bring meal time back to the dinner table.

One of my favourite things to do as Nutritionist is recipe development, especially when I'm partnering with local companies! Fuud and I have always had a great relationship. We've partnered previously to shoot a couple videos showcasing the abundant local seasonal produce during fall-winter in Vancouver, BC and a video showing how to easily make your own bone broth at home.

If you haven't already heard of Fuud they are a Vancouver based company that specializes in meal kit delivery all throughout British Columbia. They source their ingredients locally from the Fraser Valley as much as possible and are often partnering with local companies to offer their products for order through their website.

Talking to people like Thomas Buchan (co-founder) and Michael Turner (executive chef) of Fuud is like a serious breath of fresh air! These two and the others behind Fuud care so immensely about providing healthy, delicious, sustainable and seasonal meals to peoples tables that remove the stress factor of feeding yourself and/or your family. Their goal is bringing meal time back to the dinner table. 

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Matcha Mint Chocolate Truffles (Paleo, Vegan, Dairy Free, Gluten Free)

Matcha Mint Chocolate Truffles (Paleo, Vegan, Dairy Free, Gluten Free)

If you're someone who makes your own plant based milk, you're likely familiar with having left over pulp that you're not too sure what to do with. I don't make nut milks very often but I do make hemp or coconut milk at least once a week.

Hemp milk is excellent because with a strong enough blender the seeds will turn into a fine fine pulp that isn't worth straining. I quite like the texture of all that left over pulp in hemp milk, it makes for a thicker high fibre milk as well.

Coconut milk can also be nice with the pulp left inside but I find after a day or so it all settles to the bottom of the milk and overall it just doesn't blend down as fine as the hemp seeds do. So I am always left with a cup or so of coconut pulp with every batch.

I tried toasting it to make coconut butter, I've tried using it to make creamy thick sauces, I've even attempted to make coconut milk all over again with it - none were all that successful. The best use I got out of it was adding it to my smoothies but it mostly just began accumulating in the freezer.

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Super Moist Paleo Pumpkin Loaf

Super Moist Paleo Pumpkin Loaf

Over the past 6 months I have completely been off eating eggs. Removing this food entirely that was such a huge staple in my diet for quite some time was initially very difficult for me. I still sometimes think of how much I miss soft poaching a couple of eggs and serving them so simply over a bed of seasonal greens. There is something incredibly satisfying about watching a rich golden yolk run over your plate. 

Not being able to use eggs has made baking quite challenging for me since I also follow a grain free diet. Without one or the other, achieving baked goods that are moist but hold their form is not so easy. Additionally, baking is not something I have a knack for. You'd think maybe that having a mother who used to own a cake making business would have somehow rubbed a little skill off on me. I however, was usually more preoccupied with licking clean bowls of icing and cake batter to pay any attention to the ingredients or method to her baking.

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