Monday, November 30, 2009

5 Tips for Healthier Baking over the Holidays

We all know you love cookies and holiday baking, sometimes too much of a good thing can be bad. My secret is to always make them so healthy that I don’t even want to eat them (most people don’t like this). So for holiday baking that you still want to use to impress guests, use the following tips to make them a little bit healthier and ease the guilt while heading into the New Year.

1- Butter / Oil - Substitute with an equal amount of applesauce
Ratio: 1 to 1
Note: As with eggs, you do not want to substitute the entire amount of fat in the recipe with applesauce. The applesauce will keep the baked good soft and moist, but the fat does add a nice flavour. Substitute anywhere from half to 3/4 of the amount of fat for applesauce.

2- Eggs - Substitute 1 large egg for 2 egg whites
Ratio: 1 to 2

Note: Do not substitute all of the eggs in the recipe for egg whites. If the recipe calls for 4 eggs, substitute only 2 for the whites. You'll be much more satisfied with the results.

3- Sour cream - light/non-fat sour cream or non-fat plain yogurt
Ratio: 1 to 1
Note: If using yogurt, Greek style is best for consistency purposes.

4- White Flour - Whole Wheat Flour (more fibre!)
Ratio: 1 to 1
Note: Substitute up to 3/4 of white flour for whole wheat. The consistency can be much denser if you use all whole wheat flour.

5- Nuts - reduce the amount by half and toast them.

Radio: 2 to 1

Note: By toasting the nuts it helps develop the flavour further resulting in the ability to reduce the amount the recipe indicates

*thanks to ehow for these lovely tips

Warm meals for cold nights

Tis the season of comfort food (and using "'tis the season" far to often in this blog), but, most of the time it's not that friendly on the waistline. The one thing we crave most often is pasta.. but we crave it in quantities that go beyond the daily recommendation for carb intake.
Here's a little treat for you all: spaghetti without the carb count (spaghetti squash)

Greek Spaghetti Squash (yumm)

  • 1 medium spaghetti squash (2 pounds)
  • 1 boneless skinless chicken breast half (6 ounces), cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped sweet red pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Crisco® Pure Olive Oil
  • 1 cup fresh baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup marinated artichoke hearts, drained
  • 1/3 cup chopped pitted Greek olives
  • 2 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese


  • Cut squash in half lengthwise; discard seeds. Place squash cut side down on a microwave-safe plate. Microwave, uncovered, on high for 15-18 minutes or until tender.
  • Meanwhile, in a skillet, saute the chicken, onion, red pepper, garlic, oregano, basil, salt and pepper in oil until chicken is no longer pink. Stir in the spinach, artichokes and olives; cook until spinach is wilted.
  • When squash is cool enough to handle, use a fork to separate strands. Serve chicken mixture over 2 cups of squash; sprinkle with feta cheese. (Save remaining squash for another use.) Yield: 2 servings.

Nutrition Facts: 1 cup chicken mixture with 1 cup squash equals 369 calories, 24 g fat, 19 g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber, 21 g protein.

**Note: you can always make this with your favorite red sauce using turkey or veggie ground in place of beef for a healthy alternative

Saturday, November 28, 2009

You got somethin' to say?

We're collecting feedback on our programs.

Here's your chance to let us know how you're feeling, what you're feeling and what you're not.
Take the 5minutes to fill out our survey and let us know how we can improve.

It's the season of resolutions, and we need your help to make ours.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Cold? Warm up with this:

Curried Turkey Skillet w/ Pomegranate Seeds

1 tsp olive oil

1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into bite size pieces (about 4heaping cups)

½ red onion, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, chopped

1 lb extra lean ground turkey

1 can of light coconut milk

¼ tsp cayenne pepper

½ tsp ground ginger

2 tbsp curry

½ cup frozen peas, defrosted

2 tbsp raisins, chopped up

½ cup pomegranate seeds

Big handful of cilantro


Heat oil in a large non-stick sauté pan over a medium heat. Add onion and sauté for about five minutes or until onions are beginning to look translucent.

Stir in squash and garlic along with a pinch of salt and pepper. Sauté for another five to seven minutes and then push the squash and onions to one side of the pan and add the ground turkey to the other side. Cook for about five minutes, using a wooden spatula to break the turkey apart.

Add coconut milk, curry, ginger and cayenne pepper and stir all the ingredients together. Bring everything up to a simmer and then pop a lid on for about ten minutes or so OR until the turkey is cooked through and the squash is tender.

Finish by stirring in the peas and cilantro. Top each serving with a tablespoon of pomegranate seeds and enjoy

Thanks to DaniSpies for this one!

Calories: 336; Total Fat: 7.3g; Saturated Fat: 4; Cholesterol: 70mg; Sodium: 566mg; Carbohydrate: 37.8; Dietary Fiber: 1.9; Sugars: 13.4; Protein: 31.5g


Things are all business these days around the studio with Michele off working on her tan and alcohol tolerance, but we don't mind.

The hampers are out, and the Christmas decorations are up. If you come in while Trumps is working, chances are there will even be Christmas music playing, and the weather network web page (wishing for snow).

We've got lot's happening down here from Christmas promos to kettlebell hoodies and tshirts, not to mention a couple new classes we'll be offering, find us on facebook for more details on that.

Hope to see you all down here soon, bringing us fat free, sugar free, wheat free gingerbread men with smarties on them.. loves and hugs

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Red and Green Quinoa, shocking, I know..

Fa la la la la laaaaa
I'm sitting in the studio listening to Christmas music, dreaming of snow, and how white my legs are.. but enough about me, here's a delicious Quinoa recipe fresh off the press from Camilla over at Enlightened Cooking.


Quinoa Salad with Red, White and Green ingredients.. like a Candy Cane, Almost.

1 cup uncooked quinoa
3/4 cup pomegranate seeds
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp grated lemon zest
1 tsp agave nectar (or honey)
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 cup toasted pinenuts
about 2 tbsp chopped fresh mint
about 2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro leaves

Prepare the quinoa according the package directions (using salted water in the preparation). Transfer cooked quinoa to a large bowl and cool.

Add the pomegranate seeds to the cooled quinoa. In a small bowl whisk the olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, agave nectar, and mustard until blended. Drizzle over quinoa mixture. Add the remaining ingredients and toss. Season with salt & pepper to taste. makes about 4 servings.

Holiday Hampers 2009

Body Dynamics is continuing to make giving holiday hampers an annual tradition. Each year, we want to come together with our staff and clients to create beautiful hampers for local families who don’t have enough to get through the holidays on their own.

We consider this tradition essential to our own holiday experience. We have all been given many gifts in life, and want to continue to pay those gifts forward, as we know, not all are as lucky.

Many people rely on Hamper programs during the winter as many of our government programs are closed over the holidays. People living with low incomes struggle to have access to the resources they need.

Our hampers, with your help, will provide enough food for people to prepare a nice Christmas dinner, and healthy meals for the week to follow. With the dark days of winter surrounding the holidays, it becomes important for all to be well nourished and feel cared for.

These hampers are not possible to fill without all of your support, let’s come together and spread the holiday cheer.

This year we have 5 hampers to fill. Please help us by bringing in unused/unwrapped toys, clothes and non perishable food items.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Sugar is the devil

But with the holidays on the horizon, many of us are holding him close to our hearts.

So instead of cutting it out completely, here's some tips on how to cut it back:

Sugar is a tricky item to cut back on, because it's hidden in many items -- but the World Health Organization recommends no more than 10 teaspoons of "free" sugar daily for adults (this does not include sugar from fruit or plain dairy items).

To calculate how much sugar a food contains, read the nutrition label's carbohydrates heading to find the grams of sugar. Divide this by four to get the teaspoons of sugar.

Then use these tips to reduce those teaspoons in your diet.

1) Be aware of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), which many items contain, as new studies have reported it contains detectable levels of mercury. Canada does not label it as HFCS on the ingredient list but rather as glucose-fructose or fructose-glucose.

2) Use natural sugar sources in your baking, such as honey, molasses or agave nectar.

3) Make homemade sauces for toast, pancakes, waffles or yogurt -- such as pureed raspberries with a hint of vanilla and water.

4) Put on the oven mitts and make cereal bars from scratch. They take little time, but can save not only your waistline, but your pocket change, too.

5) Focus snacks around fruit and/ or vegetable items: for example, cottage cheese with grapes, dark raisins and chopped pineapple.

6) Be dessert-cautious, as many are loaded with sugar. Instead, choose desserts based on real fruit, such as baked apples or pears.

7) Do not go more than four hours without food. The longer you go without food, the lower your blood sugar falls; when it dips too low, you naturally want something sugar-rich, such as a hot sugary beverage in your local coffee shop.

8) When baking, cut back on the total sugar by one quarter, as this rarely affects the taste. Or, consider using dried fruit to replace some of the sugar: when you chop dried fruit, the flavour distributes more evenly, which gives bursts of sweetness when you eat.

- Karla Heintz, BSc Nutrition, is a Calgary-based speaker, writer and consultant for sports organizations and families. She is the author of 'Picky? Not Me, Mom! -- a guide on children's nutrition and how to make food fun again.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Kale Salad: It's green and red, just like Christmas

A little Kale anyone?

You may not believe it, but not only is this very nutritious, it’s also delicious, make this your next side dish…

Kale Salad:


2 tablespoons olive oil

1 small onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

4 teaspoons white sugar

1 tablespoon cider vinegar

1 1/2 cups chicken broth

4 cups stemmed, torn and rinsed kale

1/4 cup dried cranberries

salt and pepper to taste

1/4 cup sliced almonds

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Stir in the onion and garlic; cook and stir until the onion softens and turns translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the mustard, sugar, vinegar, and chicken stock, and bring to a boil over high heat. Stir in the kale, cover, and cook 5 minutes until wilted.

Stir in the dried cranberries, and continue boiling, uncovered, until the liquid has reduced by about half, and the cranberries have softened, about 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with sliced almonds before serving.

Health Benefits:

· It fights fat

· High in fibre, this helps create the bulk you need to fill you up and to make your bowel movement regular.

· Kale contains seven times the beta-carotene of broccoli, carotenoid keep UV rays from damaging the eyes causing cataracts.

· Kale is a rich source of well-absorbed calcium, a mineral that is important to prevent osteoporosis.

· Kale is a rich source of folate and vitamin B6.

· Kale also contains a powerful phytochemical sulforaphane(which everyone cares a whole bunch about) which helps boost body's detoxification enzymes, thus helping to clear potentially carcinogenic substances more quickly. Sulforaphane is formed when cruciferous vegetables like kale are chopped or chewed.