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healthyfood

Veggie Burgers

I have to say my meal prep game has been strong and consistent for a few years now. I’ve mastered the act of big batch cooking and it typically sets me up for a successful week.  However, while my prep work does allow me to throw together easy meals, I still do wish I was better at making recipes.

The problem with making recipes for me is that it changes my whole grocery shop and cooking routine. Right now I can mindlessly shop a grocery store getting exactly what I need for the week. But if I am shopping for a specific recipe, for some reason I will be in the grocery store for twice as long, looking for ingredients I don’t normally cook with. 

Therefore, any type of home cooking for me always means the same thing: baked chicken, roasted veggies, cooked grains and hard boiled eggs. Throw them altogether in a bowl and that’s as close to a recipe as I’ll get.

Yet now that I work from home, I feel like my beautiful, dust-covered cookbooks are just staring at me, begging me to open them and try a recipe. So the other day I picked up the Oh She Glows cookbook by vegan master chef Angela Liddon and browsed the picture perfect pages for a recipe that didn’t require me buying a whole new pantry.  

I decided to go for her veggie burgers and changed up the recipe to incorporate what I already had at home. This meant substituting breadcrumbs with my all time favourite snack, Mary’s Organic Crackers. A long with a few other tweaks, the recipe turned out delicious and at the end of the day, it wasn’t too much of a hassle to change up my grocery shopping routine. 

Veggie Burgers
Serves 8
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Prep Time
25 min
Prep Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 tablespoons ground flaxseed
  2. 1 cup chickpeas
  3. 1 cup red kidney beans
  4. 1 cup grated carrots
  5. 1/3 cup finely chopped parsley
  6. 2 garlic cloves
  7. 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  8. 3/4 cups gluten free rolled oats processed into flour
  9. 3/4 cups Mary's Organic Crackers (or other crackers of choice) processed into "bread crumbs"
  10. 2 tablespoons tamari
  11. 1 teaspoon chili powder
  12. 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  13. 1 teaspoon cumin
  14. Salt & pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit and line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a small bowl, combine flaxseed with 1/3 cup warm water and set aside until thickened.
  3. In large bowl combine all ingredients with flaxseed mixture and mix until well combined.
  4. Form 8 patties out of the mixture with wet hands to avoid stickiness.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown, flip and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes.
Adapted from Oh She Glows "Our Perfect Veggie Burger"
Kale & Krunches http://kaleandkrunches.com/

 

January Favourites

I’m back with a new installment of my monthly favourites and I’m so excited to share more about the products that I picked for January! 

I always feel compelled to reiterate that I am not paid to write any of this and I would never promote a product that I don’t actually love or use. Every now and then some of the products are gifted but I will point out which ones and I just want to say I am so grateful to be able to try out new things and share them with you. 

This month has been all about lifestyle changes for me, as I transitioned from working corporate, to traveling for a month, to becoming self-employed. I’ve now somewhat settled into a new routine – or at least I have a better idea of what I want that routine to look like – and I’ve come to rely on some of the products below.

Favourite On-The-Go Snack

Genuine Health Fermented Vegan Proteins+ Bar 

    

When I pictured myself working from home, I always got excited about the idea of having more time to whip up delicious meals in my kitchen however that is just not the reality of my new situation. I am always on the go, traveling from the studio, to a client’s home, to a lunch meeting. Often times this means my next meal or snack is usually eaten in the car. I’ve come to rely on Genuine Health‘s fermented protein bars, which I had the opportunity to first try at a fitness class they hosted in November. I find them extremely filling which is my number one criteria for an on-the-go snack plus they are GMO free and the fermented protein supports digestive health. They are also delicious and do not have that dense, chalky protein taste to them. I would highly recommend if you are looking to change up your snack bar game.

Favourite Health Food Beauty Hack

Nutiva Organic Virgin Coconut Oil

I have two jars of coconut oil at home. One in my pantry, one in my bathroom and I definitely use the one in the bathroom way more often. Let’s forget cooking and just focus on the reason this jar takes up prime real estate in the ensuite. First of all, it is the only product that properly takes off my eye makeup. Until I started using coconut oil as makeup remover, I found my eyeliner and mascara would never properly come off and I would still get black streaks after washing my face the second time that day or night. Just dip a Q-tip in the jar –  you don’t need very much to get every last bit of black off your eyes. I also use my coconut oil for my cuticles. Coming back to this freezing winter after 4 weeks in a hot climate didn’t exactly do wonders for my skin or nails so I have been lathering the oil on my cuticles before bed every night. It has been making such a difference and I’m getting less and less of those annoying and painful little cuts around the nail beds.

Favourite Read 

Breaking Vegan by Jordan Younger 

I had been following “The Blonde Vegan” and then subsequently “The Balanced Blonde,” Jordan Younger’s handle,  on Instagram for a while when I saw this book came out. I felt compelled to buy it not because I was ever a vegan or even a vegetarian but because the concept of Orthorexia fascinated me. Orthorexia is defined as “an obsession with eating foods that are healthy.” It is essentially a disordered way of eating when an individual becomes so obsessed with only eating things they consider healthy, that they become afraid to eat most foods. This is what happened to Jordan who realized veganism was not only controlling her  life but causing her to develop a negative relationship to food. Her struggle and successful overcoming of orthorexia was interesting but what really drew me into the book was how she found a balanced approach to eating. Balance is something I struggle with every day and I know will continue to be a challenge for me. Jordan also goes into great detail about how she started her website and pursued blogging full time so this was definitely the perfect book for me.

Favourite Winter Workout Gear

Lululemon Swiftly Tech Long Sleeve Crew

Probably my favourite part of pursuing fitness full time is I get to dress in activewear all day. Seriously, nothing makes me happier! I normally teach my spin classes in a sports bra and tights but when I am personal training, or doing my own workouts, I thankfully don’t get nearly as sweaty and can cover up a bit more.  This Lululemon long sleeve has been perfect for training clients in the winter as it keeps me warm but is still tight enough to show my muscles and proper form in exercises. I have one in grey and one in black and I always feel chic pairing it with long running tights and sneakers. And now that I am doing this full time I think I have an excuse to buy a third colour, right?

Favourite Clean Beauty Product 

Bamboo Makeup Remover Wipes

As I mentioned I have been so lucky to receive new and exciting products from some amazing companies. Prior to my month-long trip, Boo Bamboo, a Toronto-based company that sells all natural, personal care products reached out to me about sending me off with some of their items to try while I was away. Strapped for space and in need of a good travel face cleanser, I opted to take a few packs of their makeup remover wipes with me. To be completely honest I did not wear makeup while I was away so I cannot fully speak to their makeup removing abilities, however I used the wipes daily to cleanse my face. Whether I was on the beach or in an airport, I felt so good knowing I was using an all natural product that contained vitamin E antioxidants. I was super impressed with how the packaging held up –  the reusable container actually kept the wipes moist the entire time. Since I have been home, I continue to use the face wipes after I teach spin classes, to quickly get rid of the sweat. I have also started using their all natural shower gel and am happy with it so far. 

Since I love supporting local brands, especially one’s who promote a clean and healthy lifestyle, I have partnered up with Boo Bamboo for the chance to give one lucky Instagram follower a package of their best products, including: Shampoo, Conditioner, Revitalizing Hair Treatment, Face Wash, Face Lotion, & Makeup Remover Wipes. All you have to do is head on over to my Instagram, follow @kale_and_krunches and @boobambooproducts and tag 3 friends in the comments. All of these products could be yours! Giveaway closes Friday. 

Corporate Health Shaming

Did you make a New Years resolution to lose weight, make better lifestyle choices or simply to just be healthier?

Have you been following through with those resolutions, by packing your lunch, hitting the gym and saying no to those 3:00 pm sugar cravings?

Do you have an office job or work with others in a corporate setting?

If you answered yes to all of those questions, it is likely you may be experiencing what I like to refer to (although did not coin) as Corporate Health Shaming.

I worked in the corporate sphere for approximately seven years, in an industry that is predominated by men. While I spent my first eighteen months of my office job joining my colleagues at fast-food restaurants for lunch and hitting coffee shops for a donut in the afternoon, I quickly learned this was not a sustainable lifestyle for me and made many changes. I started packing my lunch or choosing healthier options like Freshii, I always had nutritious snacks stashed at my desk and I traded in coffee for water.

Now I’m not saying anyone who vowed to be healthier in 2017 should make such dramatic changes themselves. However, if you have been trading in your McDonald’s burgers for homemade salads, you may me experiencing some negativity from co-workers, which is the same thing that happened to me.

At the office, my two battlegrounds were lunch invites and lunch rooms.

If I turned down going out to a restaurant for lunch it was often met with some attempted persuading or even hostility; “just come, you can order a salad”…”one burger isn’t going to kill you”…”I’ll pay this time”…”fine, it’s your loss.”

 If I brought my food back to the lunchroom, I felt better about being able to eat with my colleagues but comments about my choice of food were always made; “the rabbit is eating another salad”…”aren’t you going to be hungry?”…”don’t you get sick of the same thing for lunch?”…”I’ll pay you to take a bite of this pizza.”

You name it, they’ve said it.

Don’t get me wrong, I have been lucky to work with some amazing people and have always loved my colleagues that I worked closely with. The truth is, I think the negativity comes from everyone else’s own insecurities about their lifestyle choices. It’s not uncommon to second guess your food choice when the person next to you orders a salad after you ordered a cheeseburger.

Whatever the cause of this corporate health shaming may be, I have some tips to navigate the negativity and keep you on track with your goals:

  1. Continue to pack your lunch and your snacks. There are so many benefits to sticking with these healthy habits such as controlling what goes in your food and saving money. Don’t be discouraged by one comment and completely give up. Try and stick with it.
  2. Leave the preaching to the preacher. While you may believe in lemon water and celery sticks, it is not your place to project those values onto your co-workers. The same way you don’t like the comments they make on your brown rice sushi, you don’t need to comment on their slice of pizza. Let the lectures come from their partners or health professionals.
  3. Come for the walk. This is a phrase I used on a daily basis at my job. No thanks, I don’t want a donut, but I will come for the walk. And most of the time I would end up ordering a tea. Just because you are not going to indulge in that old fashioned glaze doesn’t mean you can’t be good company and take a mental break from your desk.
  4. Practice saying no. This is probably the hardest lesson and takes practice. Leftover birthday cake from a kid’s party, children’s halloween candy that mom wanted out of the house, chocolates from Christmas baskets. There will always be something in the office tempting you. Be okay with saying no even though everyone else is eating it. The same goes for lunch invitations. You don’t always need to say yes to going out for lunch. Be okay with eating alone sometimes. Catch up on some reading or have a phone call with a friend. I promise the FOMO is not that bad.
  5. Save one day to eat out. I always liked to pick Friday’s to go out with my colleagues for lunch. by the end of the week my packed lunches aren’t as fresh anyways and it is mentally good for you to socialize and go out with friends. It is also good motivation to continue packing your lunch on a daily basis knowing you have Friday to look forward to for your big outing. 
  6. Don’t sacrifice your job for your diet and don’t sacrifice your diet for your job. Sometimes your job requires you to eat out a lot. Maybe you have to entertain clients. Or maybe the CEO asked you out to lunch on a Tuesday. Be smart and respectful and go for lunch, which brings me to my next tip.
  7. Learn how to read a menu. It is so easy to be tempted by unhealthy options on a menu but understanding what to order can be helpful. Skip the appetizers, pastas and pizzas and try a protein. Look for key words such as bakedgrilled or poached. Avoid dishes that are heavily fried or saucy. Nine times out of ten there is a garden salad that you can add chicken to. Get comfortable asking for what you want. Dressing on the side, no cheese, whole wheat – these are all simple requests that don’t sound obnoxious when you are ordering and can save you some significant calories.

At the end of the day, understand that your healthier lifestyle choices should not come between your job, friendships and overall happiness. Is it hard work? Yes. Does it take practice? Yes. Does it just suck some days to not have a slice of pizza? Yes. But if it were easy, you wouldn’t stand out at your workplace for being the healthy one. Remember that overall the pro’s ought-weigh the con’s and when your skin clears up, your clothes start fitting better and you are glowing from the inside out, your co-workers will start asking you how.