Manifest Monday // 5 Bites To A Guilt-Free Week With Lemon Meringue Pie

Birthday meals have always varied but there is one thing that’s remained the same these past few years and that’s my absolute favourite dessert of lemon meringue pie! Baked fresh by my mother, sweetened with nothing but love (no refined sugars at all right? 😉 )  and topped with a light and fluffy layer of golden peaked meringue, it is to die for and no lifestyle would have me denying you this basic human right to a homemade lemon meringue. That is simply unethical. But understanding our relationship to food and how to best indulge is the key to holistic success and exactly what we’re taking a sweet little bite into this morning!
First, let me ask you this:
What was the last thing you ate that you felt guilty about?
  • Perhaps it was candy, ice cream, potato chips, cake, pastries or fast food as these were the top guilt inducing foods according to a survey published in Appetite in 2009. Or perhaps it was a late night binge or a craving you succumbed to.  Whatever it was for you, let yourself off the hook!
The  one thing I would never want you do is become afraid of food or to associate food with guilt. Food can greatly enrich our lives and make us feel AMAZING! But nothing in life is so serious that we should be experiencing feelings of guilt, regret or self sabotaging thoughts over it and if you do, redirect your thoughts to being grateful for what you ate instead.
lemon pie
  • The other day I was listening to a Tony Robbins podcast where he spoke about how for years he was meticulous and adamantly strict with his diet until his wife came into the picture. A nutritionist who savoured greens juices and salads until one day they went out and she ordered a hot fudge sundae. The voice of a shocked Tony Robbins was comical to hear but when he asked “what are you doing?!” she replied; “living you bastard!” Brilliant.
  •  Now, a hot fudge sundae is not on my list of indulgences. The sheer thought of dairy to someone who is lactose intolerant is simply, well… intolerable. But at the Canada Day carnival a few weeks ago, though my friend graciously offered to eat the candy off a candy apple for me  or lick off the butter and salt and give me the popcorn kernels, instead we walked up to the local shops and found dairy free sherbet. A rainbow of sugars and food dyes and who knows what else and you know what? Who cares! I almost always travel prepared with food but when in doubt, I pick the best thing I can scavenge and savour every last bite of it.
gelato
Food is wonderful! It is nourishing, empowering and, of course, tasty. But we don’t want it to consume our thoughts. When we obsess over everything we eat, we create stress in our body and this will negatively impact what it is that we are eating. You know how to intuitively listen to your body and give it what it needs, that is all you need. Now you can heave a sigh of relief, relax and enjoy your treat!

5 go-to tips to enjoying every bite!

 1) Think of food as an experience
  • Food is not “good” or “bad,” that’s our labeling of it. Food is an experience. Like all experiences in life, they come with consequences and so if it is a consequence we like, we choose to have that experience again. Likewise if the result was something that we did not like, we choose to avoid it the next time. Don’t like the way you felt after have that ice-cream cone or slice of cake? Remember that and chose to steer clear of it the next time. Instead of being a bad experience, it was a learning experience and one that progressed your health rather than diminished it.
2) Forbid the Forbidden
  •  The mindset of guilt can, in fact, heighten the pleasure of an experience. Think about this for a moment; if drinking was entirely acceptable, would it have been as appealing to you growing up? The same is true for foods. We tend to associate “forbidden” foods with delicious foods and so when we experience guilt, we think that the food must be delicious and we anticipate more pleasure. See the issue?
  • Instead of thinking of “forbidden foods”, recognise that it is simply food and is there for you anytime if you choose. Taking the labeling away from food takes the power back from your plate and puts into your hands.
3) When applicable; Make it as healthy as possible
  •  Choose the healthiest option you can. Neither dairy nor gluten work for me, so even with treats, I avoid these except for the odd thing once or twice a year (or Paris! French baguettes and real, authentic goats cheese beg for a little splurge). For the lemon meringue pie we used a store-bought gluten-free crust mix that, although had some ingredients I normally stay away from, it was a far cry from gluten and something I could feel good in treating myself to!
4) Savour it and be present
  • Really taste your food. Pick out the flavours, notice the textures. This is the difference between mindlessly scorfing down food without experiencing it vs truly being present to savour it. Closing your eyes removes one of our key senses thereby heightening the others, including taste. Take your time and chew at least 35-40 times which will allow for the optimal digestion of our food to reduce stomach pains of indigestion.
  • Bonus: Doing both of these will help us to feel satisfied faster, enabling us to need smaller portion sizes than what we would if we were gulping it down fast.
5) Keep on track the remainder of the day – to treat yourself is not to cheat yourself!
  • Eating a cookie does not mean that the rest of the day has gone to crumbs, quite the opposite! Instead, enjoy the treat and balance it with awesome and healthy meals the rest of the day.
  • If feeling a post treat guilt trip creep in, do something particularly cleansing. Perhaps you will drink lemon water or drink a green smoothie or balance it with a salad. You may even try oil pulling or soak in a bath. Whatever it is to remind yourself that you are taking care of your body and nourishing yourself.

~*~

Wellness Weekly Challenge;
  • Don’t get so hell-bent on your diet that you forget that food is just, well… Food! Let food enrich your life, not restrict your life. I  adore whole, energizing foods that make me feel amazing and have healed me for years and every now and again a night at the carnival, a good dose of Giddy Yoyo dark chocolate (my favourite!), and a slice of homemade lemon meringue pie.  I LOVE food, and it can be used to make our lives, well, come to life! But always remember that it’s not about restricting or guilt, it’s about experiencing it and having fun with it, all of it!
  • This week; be present with your food and treat it as a gift. What you ate in the past is in the past! Let that go, move forward, enjoy your food, experience and implement these strategies to drop any guilt and replace it with self-love and the experience of learning what works for your body.

 

Savouring our own holistic slices of lemon meringue,
Suzanne Eden

 

 

Jack Johnson Inspired {Five Ingredient} Banana Pancakes

Did you celebrate Pancake Tuesday?!
Give me a day where breakfast becomes dinner (or any meal for that matter) and I’m on board! Though it may not be raining outside, it is devilishly cold and with a cue from Jack Johnson it is the perfect day to snuggle in and make warm, fluffy, golden banana pancakes like it’s the weekend.
pancakes
  • With being in the office all morning and out for dinner and a movie last night, this delicious stack found its way to my table for lunch. In no way does being a health food junkie mean that you have to forgo this tradition, quite the opposite! With the right batter, pancakes can be a healthy treat too. But first, see how the conventional pancakes stack up compared to these Banana pancakes with all the reasons to flip the skillet over for this golden stack! And please, my fellow readers, while you “close the curtains and forget the world outside”, always remember my…
 6 Rules To Practise Safe Stacks:
 1) If it’s in a box.. It should stay in a box
  • Don’t be fooled by fancy “organic” or “gluten-free” stamps on these products. If there is a “just add water” it’s generally not something you want to be adding to your diet and with five blended ingredients, these pancakes are nearly as fast.
2) Skim the dairy and use dairy free substitutes
  • Coconut oil for butter (though these pancakes are oil free)
  • Dairy free milk (except for soy or almond milk in this case)
  • Why not almond milk? Heating will cause the unstable fats to go rancid.
3) Skip the sugar!
  • Most pancake recipes call for sugar which is simply put: a recipe for disaster. The rush of glucose will spike your insulin and cause cravings and energy slumps post stack.
  • This recipe uses both bananas and berries as a base and therefore is sweet enough on its own

Jack Johnson

~ Above toppings: banana ice-cream, gogi berries, dusted in cinnamon ~

4) The perfect pair

  • I’ve heard so much hype about the two ingredient pancakes lately involving just : eggs & banana. However, fruit and meat products flip-up major distress in your digestive system. Opposites do not attract in this situation and should not be paired together.
5) Oil wisely
  • Pancakes are cooked and should be done so with the right oils as the wrong ones will go rancid from the heat. The oils to use:
  • coconut, avocado, or grapeseed
 
6) Top it off
  • Skip the heavy helping of syrup which will spike your insulin. I love maple syrup and usually enjoy a drizzle on one of my pancakes.
  • The rest I top with: nutbutters, coconut oil or coconut butter, applesauce, banana ice-cream (which melts over hot pancakes!), warmed berries, gogi berries, cinnamon
  • Banana ice cream recipe here: https://lifeofeden.com/2014/10/16/pumpkin-pie-oats-with-cinnamon-ice-cream/
The Highlights:
  • Dairy-free
  • Gluten-free
  • Sugar-free
  • Egg-free
  • Vegan
  • Properly food combined
  • Oil free

blueberry pancakes

Flippin’ Good Jack Johnson Inspired Pancakes:
There are many variations of these simple pancakes utilizing different flours, milks and berries but this is my favourite one so far.
Ingredients:
  • 1 Banana
  • 1 Cup oat flour (ground oat flakes)
  • 1 Cup quinoa milk (you can use other non-dairy options) (I did half water half milk and they still turned out great)
  • 1/3 cup berries (fresh or frozen) (my personal favourite was blueberries)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Instructions:

  • Blend all ingredients together except for the berries
  • once blended, gently fold in the berries and spoon onto a hot pan
  • Cook using a little oil to grease the pan (either coconut, grapeseed or avocado oil)  until the top loses its shine and a few bubbles will appear
  • They should be golden brown in colour and flip easily to cook for a few minutes more.

The outside will be golden and crispy with a soft banana centre and loaded with berries!

So, had you forgotten about Pancake Tuesday, and only found out via the pancake pictures frying your Instagram page, then you can forgo the main course tonight and dish out a healthy serving of pancakes for dinner!
Flipping up a holistic stack of Pancake Wednesdays,
Suzanne Eden

Sprout Your Way to Wellness with Live Buckwheat Granola!

Liven up your kitchen this month with sprouting! It’s simple, you don’t need anything fancy (though a sprouter will be on my Christmas wish list this year) and it’s a fantastic way to turn your favourite foods into superfoods. This simple and delicious recipe for raw sprouted buckwheat granola is the perfect way to sprout your way into this wholesome habit. Buck up and try it!
Brunch
From Food to Superfood
When you sprout a seed, you activate it to begin growing into a plant. Buckwheat, by the way, is not a grain at all but a seed and though named buckwheat, it is entirely gluten-free. Just think, taking a dormant food that’s been sitting on a shelf and sprouting it to life? That’s bound to be good for you! And you’re right, sprouting:
  • Activates the enzymes

The more enzymes in the food, the easier it is for your body to digest and the less energy spent digesting means all the more energy for you!

Holistic fact: experts say there may be up to 100x more enzymes in sprouts than raw fruits and veggies!
  • Makes the nutrients more bioavailable 
A fancy way of saying your body will obtain more nutrients from sprouted buckwheat than non sprouted. And supplying our body with the most nutrients possible is the key to our health.
  • Power up the protein!

Already a fantastic source of protein (being a complete protein like its cousin quinoa),  sprouting enhances this protein profile! In fact, lysine (one of the proteins most abundant in buckwheat) is significantly increased and this protein boosts the immune system making it a powerhouse as we head into winter. Note: the same happens for the vitamin and fibre content too!

  • Incredibly alkalizing to the body

This will significantly reduce inflammation; the underlying cause of most pain and illnesses.

Want to feel energised and alive? Eat live foods!
buckwheat granola
Where to begin: 3 Steps to Get Going and Get Growing!
Step one: Something to Groat About
The search begins in your local health food store where you’ll find organic buckwheat groats. These will be light in colour as opposed to brown which means they have been toasted, this is Kasha and won’t sprout.
Holistic life hacks: finding them in bulk will save you money and time running to get more when you become addicted to the granola! (I admittingly have to hide it from myself to avoid going through an entire batch in one day)
Step two: From Seeds to Sea Monkeys
Now you’re home and ready to take those  gluten-free seeds and bring them to life!
Simply submerge your seeds in water for an hour, then drain them, rinse them, and set them in a strainer with a plate underneath to catch any water, covering the strainer with a nut cloth so they can breathe. Don’t own a nut cloth? Use a thin dish rag, cover the entire top, but leave a side exposed so that they can breathe without drying out.
Now watch the magic happen!
What to look for? They sprout little tails ( just like growing a plant) and start to resemble something along the lines of sea monkeys. It’s a proud moment.. and then you eat them.
Sea Monkeys
Step 3: TLC
A couple of times a day, rinse your buckwheat as the seeds will get slimy and to keep them from drying out. In about 48 hours you will have beautifully sprouted live buckwheat ready to dehydrate! Don’t own a dehydrator? Neither do I (and though I’d LOVE to have this on my wish list, they are very expensive) so I’ll show you how I use my oven to dehydrate instead.
Why not bake them? 
Cooking kills your live food, destroying the enzymes and nutrient value you just cultivated. Dehydrating keeps all it’s benefits alive!
granola
Live buckwheat granola 
This recipe is low glycemic and a fantastic blood sugar stabilizer. It has the sweet, cinnamon spice taste and wholesome crunch of regular granola while being :
Dairy free
Gluten free
Refined sugar-free
Vegan
and wholesomely energizing
Recipe
Ingredients
3 cups sprouted buckwheat
1/4 c coconut nectar
1 tsp maple syrup
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp alcohol free vanilla extract
Sprinkling of Himalayan salt
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to the lowest setting possible
  2. Mix all ingredients together and adjust flavours as desired.
  3. Spread mixture out evenly on a sheet of parchment paper.
  4. Pop in the oven and prop the door open with a wad of tin foil. Note: setting a fan up in front of the door for circulation will better mimic a dehydrater but isn’t necessary.
  5. Leave to dehydrate for 2-3 hours. This depends on the temperature your oven is set to, how open the door is, etc. Flip them gently with a spatula about every half hour, give or take, to ensure even dehydration.
  6. Remove while golden and crunchy but not entirely brown, you don’t want to keep them in there so long that they cook. Allow 5 minutes to cool (if you can) and enjoy!
The switch up: 
I wanted to give you a super basic recipe with as few ingredients as possible but you can customize this recipe in all sorts of wholesome ways:
  • apples
  • different spices including ginger
  • some carob or raw cacao for chocolate granola
  • soaked nuts and seeds (most only need to be soaked overnight)
  • berries
Enjoy with almond milk, over smoothies, as a salad garnish or in a trail mix (a superfood indeed!)
You name it! So many possibilities to enjoy!
Happy sprouting and wholesome crunching,
Suzanne Eden