I always try to encourage people to engage in a healthier lifestyle. To me, being healthy starts with your diet, and it all begins by becoming aware of what you are putting in your mouth. Eating the right foods, the foods that God intended on us eating, will keep sicknesses away and help make you feel good about yourself. As your efforts towards a good diet increase, your craving for the sugary foods that we were all raised on will go away.

We should all become label readers when shopping for our groceries. If you are not used to checking products for their ingredients, it will shock you as to how much food we are consuming contains sugar, as its main ingredient. One can of pop or a milkshake from a fast food restaurant can contain as much as 16 cubes of sugar. Even the milk sold at schools for our children’s lunches has been flavoured with sugar. Both diabetes and obesity in Canada and the USA are at all-time highs, and both continue to increase at an alarming rate. This is in direct relation to the fact that the average person consumes over 150 pounds of sugar each year.

Periodically I like to share some recipes to show that eating healthy doesn’t have to mean holding your nose and swallowing. Listed below are an assortment of drinks, meals and desserts from all natural ingredients. Feel free to substitute your favourite sweeteners (raw honey, stevia, dates, etc.) for the ones listed.

Nature’s Flu Shot

  • Juice of 6 fresh lemons
  • 3 cups Pineapple juice
  • 1 bulb Garlic
  • 2 teaspoons Ginger powder
  • ¼ teaspoon Cayenne powder
  • 2 tablespoons raw honey or more to your liking

 
Blend all ingredients thoroughly and store in a glass jar. Take 1 cup 4 times a day until the symptoms are resolved.

Almond Milk

  • Blender half full of water
  • About 4 generous handfuls of almonds (first soak in water overnight in the fridge, then drain)
  • 2 or 3 oversized tablespoons of raw honey
  • Get creative with additional ingredients, Raw cocoa, Dates or Cinnamon

 
Blend and enjoy as is (over cereals, etc.), or optionally strain and drink.

Kale and Cabbage Salad with Creamy Honey Mustard Dressing

  • 3 bunches organic kale, de-stemmed and torn into bite sized pieces
  • ½ head read cabbage, chopped
  • ½ cup sliced scallions
  • 1 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1½ cup dried cranberries

 
In large bowl, toss together all ingredients.

Suggested Dressing

  • ½ cup cashews
  • ¾ cup water
  • 2 lemons (juice from)
  • 2 tablespoons raw honey
  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup cold pressed olive oil
  • Himalayan salt and pepper

 
Place all ingredients in high-speed blender and blend until smooth. Pour dressing over salad and mix well. 

2013-03-couplandGrape Avocado Sandwich

  • 2  ripe avocados, peeled, pitted and mashed
  • 2  tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • All natural bread, toasted
  • 1 scallion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup packed fresh baby spinach
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 cup fresh grapes, halved

 
Directions

In a medium bowl, combine avocado, oil, salt, and pepper; mash with a fork. Place toast slices on a flat surface. Divide the avocado mixture onto each slice. Top with scallions, spinach, cilantro and grapes. Finish with the other slice of toast. Slice each sandwich in half and serve.

2013-03-coupland2Banana “Cream” Parfaits with Salted Allspice Caramel Crumble

  • 1 cup pecans
  • 1 tablespoon coconut butter
  • 1 tablespoon raw agave nectar or liquid sweetener of choice
  • ½ teaspoon allspice

 
Place all ingredients in food processor. Pulse until a fine crumb is achieved. Put in bowl and set aside.

Caramel

  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • ½ cup coconut butter, softened (do not use coconut oil for this)
  • ½ teaspoon allspice
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • pinch of Himalayan salt

 
Whisk all ingredients together. If caramel gets too solid before you are done with the rest, simply warm over a bowl of hot water.

A Tasty Filling

  • 1 ½ cups cashews, soaked 8 – 12 hours, rinsed and drained
  • ¼ cup raw agave syrup or liquid sweetener of choice
  • ½ cup coconut butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ cup coconut water
  • 1 cup packed coconut flesh
  • 4 medium bananas, sliced (approximately 3 cups)
  • juice from one lemon

 
Place all ingredients except bananas and lemon juice in high-speed blender. Blend until smooth. Slice bananas and toss with lemon juice, then drain. Mix bananas into cream mixture. 

Assembly

Place a layer of crumble in the bottom of glass. Top with a layer of caramel then a thick layer of banana cream mixture. Repeat, topping with caramel and crumble. 

My Favourite

I don’t have a name for this last dessert, but it is my favourite. I make it a couple of times every week. It includes chia seeds, which can be purchased at most health stores or bulk stores. Chia seeds contain all 8 essential amino acids, are super high in fiber, contain eight times more Omega 3 than salmon, seven times more vitamin C than oranges, three times more iron than spinach… and the list goes on.

  • 1¼ cups homemade almond or coconut milk, or store-bought almond or hemp milk
  • 1 tablespoon raw honey or maple syrup
  • 4 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

 
In a large jar, combine all of the ingredients and blend well. Refrigerate until it thickens into a pudding-like consistency, about 30 minutes.

Enjoy!

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor and I don’t have any medical training. I am just an individual that researches information that other people have studied and proven to be effective, and I just pass that information on to you.

Editor’s Note: I don’t know about you, Reader, but I’m heading for the kitchen to try these out.