Complete Natural Health Care

Baked Oatmeal

These icy winter mornings make it hard to get out of our cozy beds! It’s nice to have an easy, warming breakfast ready to go! Try making a batch of yummy baked oatmeal ahead of time. You can easily reheat it for a quick hot breakfast any day.

Baked oatmeal is made by layering fruit, oats, nuts & spices in a casserole dish, then pouring liquid and a beaten egg over everything. Bake it until it is crisp & golden. It tastes great fresh out of the oven and just as good the next day. 

Use about ¼ cup oats per serving. Add cinnamon, nutmeg and a generous pinch of sea salt. I find 2 cups of oatmeal to be the right amount for an 8×8 dish. Add ½ cup walnuts, pecans or almonds if you like. Chia or flaxseeds also boost the nutritional content.

Measure 2 cups liquid – it can be almond milk, apple juice, kefir, or any liquid you prefer. Add 1 tbsp melted butter or coconut oil for richness. Now whisk in 1 egg.

Next measure out 2 cups of fruit. Frozen blueberries, diced apples, sliced peaches, with some raisins or chopped dried fruit are all good. Spread the fruit on the bottom of your dish. Sprinkle the dry mix over the fruit, and then the egg & liquid over all.

Bake at 350⁰ for 30-40 minutes. This recipe will keep in the fridge for 5 days and makes 8 portions. Enjoy!

Brought to you by Dr. Ruth Anne Baron, ND

Sinfully Delicious Baked Apple Oatmeal

Sinfully Delicious Baked Apple Oatmeal

Apple pie for dessert? YES YOU CAN.

This recipe is taken from Oh She Glows and is one of my children’s favourite oatmeal blends. Try as I might, they aren’t keen on steel cut oats, so this is a great alternative that is full of fruit, fiber and oats to help balance blood sugar throughout the day.

And seriously, it is so good and low in refined sugar that you can indulge for breakfast, snack or even dessert with no guilt. How delicious is that?

You can make this the night before and let sit overnight, baking in the morning if you have an hour to spare on a weekday morning. Otherwise, I recommend you bake it the night before and simply heat it up in the morning with some almond, coconut or rice milk.  Add a dollop of yogurt or chia pudding for the taste sensation of “apple pie and ice cream.”

This oatmeal will refrigerate for up to 3 days.

For a nut-free and school-safe option, use coconut or rice milk. And if you are gluten-sensitive, make sure you use gluten-free oats to avoid cross contamination.

 

Prep: 20 minutes

Cook: 35-35 minutes

Serves: 6-8

Ingredients:

  • 2 ¼ rolled oats
  • 2 Tbsp coconut or brown sugar
  • 3 Tbsp chia seeds (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp ground flax (optional)
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp fine sea salt
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 2 cups almond or coconut milk
  • ½ cup apple sauce
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 apples diced (skins on or off)
  • 1 cup blueberries (or another fruit of your choice – pear, apricot, peach, nectarine)

Preparation:

  • Preheat oven to 375F. Grease a 2 quart casserole dish with coconut oil.
  • Mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl (oats, sugar, chia, flax, dry spices and salt).
  • Mix all the wet ingredients together in a separate bowl (milk, apple sauce, syrup, vanilla).
  • Pour the wet mixture into the dry. Stir well.
  • Fold in the apples, berries or whatever mix of fruit you choose).
  • Pour the mixture to the greased casserole dish and bake uncovered for 35-45 minutes.

 

Brought to you by guest post Vanessa Bond, CNP 

 

Key Lime Chia Pudding

Key Lime Chia Pudding

I first tried a version of this at Summerhill Market where they sell little chia pods for a small fortune. So, I scoured the web looking for an EASY version to make on my own. This is a recipe I have adapted from a parfait I found online. 

It includes spirulina as an option. Spirulina will give the pudding a vibrant green colour. It is also a powerhouse of nutrition and high in protein, B12, iron and antioxidants. 

If you don’t like the flavour of coconut, use almond milk and top with crushed nuts or seeds.  

Ingredients: 

1/4 cup chia seeds

1 cup almond or milk

1 whole avocado

¼ cup fresh lime juice

2 Tbsp maple syrup

1 tso lime zest (optional)

1 tsp vanilla extract

Pinch of sea salt

¼ tsp spirulina (optional)

Shredded coconut, granola and sprig of mint (optional toppings)

Preparation: 

  • Put all ingredients in a food processor and blend until avocado is smooth.
  • Let the mixture set in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
  • Top with unsweetened shredded coconut, a fresh lime wedge and sprig of mint. 

Serving Ideas:

  • You can simply have as a meal or in a small bowl as a treat – top with granola and coconut if you feel like it
  • If serving guests, make a parfait! In a clear, short glass, use a few tablespoons of granola at the bottom, add chia pudding and garnish with shredded coconut. 

 

Brought to you by guest post Vanessa Bond, CNP

What You Eat Impacts How You Feel

More than ever, people are courageously coming forward to talk about their struggles with depression, anxiety, stress and mood thanks to stigmas being erased around mental health.

However, People often don’t realize mental health requires a whole body approach for prevention and treatment, and nutrition plays an important role.

Depression. Anxiety. Stress. Mood. All of these can be linked to the health of your Enteric Nervous System – also known as your gut, your digestive system or your “second brain”.

You see, the human body is so amazing that we actually have two nervous systems. The Central Nervous System is the one we are most familiar with. It includes the brain and spine, and is responsible for the majority of your conscious thinking as well as the automated functions of your organs, reflexes, body metabolism and more.

The Enteric Nervous System (ENS) is found in your gut. Here, over 100 million neurons live within your intestines. Not only do they control the digestion of fats, proteins and carbohydrates, they also produce hormones like serotonin (a precursor to happiness), cortisol (stress), grehlin and leptin (hunger), insulin (blood sugar balance) and more.

When the ENS is out of balance, we can experience imbalances elsewhere in the body – including the brain – because we are not breaking down and absorbing vitamins/minerals/proteins/fats we need to thrive. The body enters a state of inflammation, which undermines our performance, our mood, our relationships and our ability to think clearly.

Symptoms of imbalances include a white coated tongue, bad breath, burping, gas, constipation, diarrhea, undigested food fragments in stool, weakened immunity, lack of energy, poor concentration, irritability, pain and inflammation, weight gain or loss and food or chemical sensitivities. Indicators of good digestion? One to two well-formed, chestnut-brown bowel movements a day (that don’t smell) and NO undigested particles.

The path and protocol to improving and supporting mental health is not straightforward – it differs from person to person, depending on your overall health history. Nutrition alone is not a substitute for professional counselling. Sometimes medication or natural supplements are absolutely necessary to keep us on track. However, good nutrition should be a no brainer for those looking to fuel their emotional well being.

• Opt for a daily tea over coffee. Recent studies show the natural combination of L-theanine and caffeine naturally found in tea improves mood and productivity. L-theanine has a calming effect while the caffeine provides a natural perk. Tea also reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s by up to 86% for those with genetic preconditions (National University of Singapore).

• Avoid processed foods and food marketed as “diet”. They can contain excitotoxins used as flavour enhancers, like MSG, hydrolyzed proteins, aspartame, cysteine, aspartic acid, and up to 65 other known substances. They basically “excite” neurons in our brains to death. Yes, neurons die all because we want the ultimate taste experience from mass marketed food, leaving the rest of our brain to pick up the pieces.

• Omega 3s (healthy fats) feed the brain and nervous systems, skin health, energy, heart and more. Good quality sources include cold water fish, flax oil, nuts/seeds, chia, hemp hearts, avocado, olive oil and leafy greens.

• Lean, quality protein provides the building blocks to essential amino acids – precursors to mood regulating hormones. Turkey, chicken, cold-water fish, Greek yogurt, beef, lamb, lentils, beans, etc. are all good choices.

• A diet high in vegetables, fruit and fibre keeps the “pipes clean” and avoids the build of bacteria and toxins in the gut that can hijack health and mood.

• Probiotics and probiotic-rich foods like sauerkraut and kimchi help keep the enteric system populated with good bacteria to ensure optimum health.

• Be mindful of HOW you eat. Digestion begins in the mouth, so slow down and CHEW your food to the consistent of peanut butter. If you swallow pieces whole, you are not setting yourself up for success – only digestive distress.

Want some specific help with issues of mental health? Please contact Dr. Ruth Anne Baron, ND or Vanessa Bond, RNCP for individualized support.