No Bake Cookie Dough Energy Balls

chickpea energy balls

School Safe * Peanut-Free * Grain-Free * Gluten-Free * Vegan

With kids now back to school, I’ve been getting a lot of requests for healthy, allergy-friendly school safe snacks. These chickpea energy balls are a delicious little treat that are high in both protein and fiber and uses just a touch of maple syrup for sweetness.  Surprisingly, these really do remind me of raw cookie dough!  This is a much healthier version that requires no baking.

This recipe uses chickpeas as a base and sunbutter to bind them together, which is made from blended sunflower seeds. Of course, you can use any nut or seed butter of your choice, however, sunbutter is peanut and tree nut free and permitted in schools. I’ve also made this recipe using almond butter, which is my personal preference, but sunbutter is just as tasty.

The best part – no baking required! Just roll the dough into balls and place in the refrigerator to set. I literally whipped these up in less than 10 minutes!

1 1/2 cups chickpeas (garbanzo beans), cooked
1/2  cup sunbutter (sunflower seed spread)
1/3  cup maple syrup
1/4  tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Pinch of Himalayan pink salt
1 cup oat flour (I make my own oat flour by grinding oats in a food processor first)
1/3 cup mini chocolate chips (Enjoy Life dairy-free chocolate chips)

1. Place chickpeas, sunbutter and maple syrup in a food processor and blend until the mixture is smooth.
2. Add the cinnamon, vanilla, salt and oat flour.  Pulse until well combined. At this point, it should resemble cookie dough. If it seems a bit too dry, you can add more sunbutter or maple syrup (depending on how sweet you want them to be). If the consistency is too wet, add more flour.
3. Transfer to a bowl and mix in the chocolate chips.
4. Scoop a heaping tablespoon of dough and roll between your palms to form a ball. Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.


3 Ingredient Muffin Tin Smoothie Pops

* Gluten-Free * Dairy-Free * No Added Refined Sugars!


• 2 cups non-dairy yogurt (Yoso Coconut Yogurt is my personal preference)
• 1.5 cups fresh blueberries
• 1 banana

1. Add all ingredients to a blender and process until smooth.
2. Pour mixture into mini muffin tins, or small plastic cups.
3. Place in the freezer until semi-solid (roughly 1 hour).
4. Remove from freezer and place wooden popsicle stick in the middle and continue to freeze for an additional 4-6 hours.
5. When frozen, run tin under warm water to release the
popsicles from the molds and enjoy!

Grain-Free Granola Bars


Gluten-Free • Grain-Free • Dairy-Free • No Refined Sugars

After coming up with a delicious grain-free granola recipe last week, I decided to play around with different ways to use it and came up with a few delicious recipe ideas. The first one I’ll share with you are these grain-free granola bars. Of course, you can use any granola of your choice, but if you’re looking for an anti-inflammatory option (because you know that’s what I’m all about about!), the grain-free granola I posted yesterday is a tasty choice. Because it already has the cinnamon and cloves, you don’t have to add any other spices.

Once you decide on the granola you’re going to use, whether it’s store bought or our homemade one, all you need are a few additional ingredients, a food processor and voila! It’s really that simple.

1 cup *grain free granola
8 pitted Medjool dates
2 tablespoons unsweetened almond butter
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut (optional)
1/4 cup hemp seeds (optional)

1. Add dates to a food processor, and pulse until coarsely chopped.
2. Next, add the almond butter and granola and process until the mixture begins to form a ball.
3. Transfer to a bowl and add the coconut and hemp seeds, mixing well.
4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and press the mixture firmly into the pan with the back of a spoon. Make the bars at least ½ an inch thick. Cut into bars with a sharp knife before placing in the refrigerator to set. (if you cut it after it sets, the edges tend to crumble). You can also make these into balls if you prefer.
5. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes before serving .
* Store in an air-tight container for up to 2 weeks.

Pumpkin Spice Grain-Free Granola


Why would anyone want grain-free granola, you ask?

As a holistic nutritionist, a lot of people who come to see me have either serious health conditions, food intolerances, or looking for recipe ideas that suit a particular type of diet they are following. And since reducing the grains in my own diet a few years ago in order to minimize inflammation in my body, which helps control my autoimmune condition (for those of you who are newcomers here, I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis 15 years ago), one of my favourite pastimes is giving recipes a healthy makeover.

This recipe replaces oats, which is not necessarily an unhealthy food unless you have a sensitivity to grains or carbohydrates, and uses a combination of nuts, seeds and anti-inflammatory spices.

• 1 cup almonds
• 1 cup walnuts
• 1/2 cup Brazil nuts
• 1/2 cup raw pepitas
• 2 tablespoons ground chia seeds
• 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
• 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
• 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
• 1/4 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
• 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
• 3 tablespoons coconut oil
• 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
• 1/4 cup dried cranberries

Extras: golden berries, dried blueberries, goji berries, coconut flakes

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
2. Add the following ingredients to a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped: almonds, walnuts, Brazil nuts
3. In a bowl, combine all remaining dry ingredients: nuts, seeds and spices (except the pepitas and cranberries, or any ingredient you wish to remain whole).
4. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla.
5. When melted, pour the liquid into the bowl with the nut and seed mixture, coating well.
6. Add the pepitas and cranberries, mixing well. This is the stage where you would add any additional ingredients such as dried blueberries, golden berries, or coconut flakes.
7. On a parchment paper lined baking sheet, spread the mixture evenly, and bake for 20 minutes.
8. Remove from oven and allow to cool before breaking up into pieces.
* Store in an air-tight container for up to 2 weeks.

Since making this last week, I already came up with a bunch of ways to enjoy my new grain-free granola! Perhaps if I get a few minutes tomorrow, I’ll post the recipes of the grain-free granola cereal and energy bars I made.


Chocolate Mint Nice Cream Bites


Not only are these delicious treats  fast and easy to make, but you don’t need any special equipment to make them. If you’re looking for a delicious and healthy summer snack that won’t send your blood sugar soaring, I recommend giving these a try! I have been experimenting with using protein powder in recipes lately. This one is definitely a winner!

ŸŸ• Ÿ1 can/400 ml full fat coconut milk
• 1 scoop Vega French Vanilla protein powder
• 1/2 cup shredded coconut (unsweetened)
• 3 tbsp. maple syrup (or honey)
• 2 tbsp. ground chia seeds
• 1/4 tsp. peppermint extract

Top & Bottom Layer:
Ÿ• 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips. I used these ones.
• 1 Tbsp. coconut oil

1. Refrigerate one can of full fat coconut milk overnight.
2. Scoop out solidified coconut cream from the top of the can.
3. Add the coconut cream to a bowl and whip with an electric mixer until smooth.
4. Add remaining filling ingredients, blending well.
5. Let filling sit for 10 minutes and refrigerate until ready to use.
6. Use coconut oil to grease the muffin tins.
7. In a medium saucepan, heat chocolate chips on low heat until fully melted.
8. Add coconut oil to achieve a smooth consistency, if needed.
9. Pour melted chocolate into the greased muffin tin to create the bottom layer.
10. Add approximately 1 tbsp of filling.
11. Pour the melted chocolate on top to create the top layer. Garnish with grated chocolate or coconut flakes. Place in the freezer for at least 2 hours.
12. When ready to serve, remove from freezer and let sit at room temperature for a few minutes before removing from muffin tin.
13. Enjoy!

Workshop Announcement: A Holistic Approach to Managing MS


As both a Holistic Nutritionist and someone who has Multiple Sclerosis, I’m excited to share my experiences and knowledge to help guide you in learning how to manage this illness.

Multiple Sclerosis is a complex, multifaceted disease with many possible outcomes. Nutrition should never be considered an alternative, but rather an integral part of any health protocol. Taking a holistic, nutritional approach to managing MS involves addressing the body as a whole.

Whether you’re recently diagnosed, or your condition has progressed to advanced stages, it’s never too late to start incorporating healthy diet and lifestyle habits. There are many ways in which natural and holistic therapies can help slow the progression of this disease. I’m here to help you understand the key things you need to know about keeping your MS symptoms under control. I can teach you how to create balance in your body, decrease inflammation, and offer natural pain and symptom management.

This will be the first class in a series of MS related workshops.

Thursday, August 25, 2016
7:00 PM to 8:30 PM

Sobeys – Northfield, Community Room
640 Parkside Drive, Waterloo, ON

Cost: Free

* Space is limited. To register, please send an email with your name and number of attendants to:
Subject: MS workshop


What Does Your Bowel Transit Time Say About Your Health?

bowel copy

Hippocrates said it best “All disease begins in the gut”

“Bowel transit time” is the length of time it takes for food to travel through the digestive tract, from mouth to colon. Once food is chewed and swallowed, it moves to the stomach, where it is mixed with stomach acid and digestive enzymes. From there, it travels through the small intestine, where nutrients are absorbed. The food then moves to the large intestine. What hasn’t been fully digested and absorbed in the small intestine, combines with bacteria and other waste products and gets eliminated through the colon.

Your bowel transit time is dependent on a few different factors: The type of food you eat, hydration, the amount of fiber in the diet, and exercise. Certain medications and neurological conditions can also affect your transit time.

Testing Your Bowel Transit Time

The ideal bowel transit time is anywhere from 12 to 24 hours. A transit time longer than 2 days can increase the risk of cancer, diverticulosis and candida (overgrowth of unfriendly bacteria), which weakens the immune system and puts one at higher risk for all types of cancer. A transit time less than 10 hours can mean lack of absorption, which can lead to serious nutritional deficiencies and weakened immunity.

Testing your bowel transit time is fairly easy. Simply consume something that will be easily identified such as: a cup of corn, beets or a few tablespoons sesame seeds, and count the number of hours it takes to appear in your stool.

This is where most people get confused!

A daily bowel movement does not necessarily indicate a healthy colon. Even if you are having a bowel movement every day, you still could be suffering from constipation. Without doing a bowel transit test, you could be unknowingly eliminating something you ate 4 or 5 days ago. The longer a meal remains inside the colon, the longer toxins and putrefaction of digesting food have time to do damage.

Anything less than one bowel movement a day means toxins and waste are recirculating back into the bloodstream and can result in symptoms such as fatigue, headaches, gas, bloating, acne, allergies, muscle and joint pain.

A fast transit time (shorter than 10 hours) means food is passing through your system too quickly, and you might not be absorbing nutrients from your food, which can lead to nutritional deficiencies. A fast transit time combined with loose stools is something to be very concerned about. This can lead not only to severe nutritional deficiencies but also electrolyte imbalances, leg and muscle cramps, anemia and osteoporosis.

Anyone who suffers from chronic diarrhea or loose stools, abdominal cramping, and a bowel transit time of less than 10 hours should seek the advice of a medical professional. It is advised that you be assessed for inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis, Celiac disease, Crohn’s, endocrine disorders and for food allergies and sensitivities. The ideal bowel transit time is anywhere from 12 to 24 hours. A healthy stool is one that is well formed and can be easily eliminated with no pushing or straining.

There are many factors that contribute to a poorly functioning digestive system.
Do you suffer from digestive issues, gas and bloating, constipation, loose stools or food sensitivities?

If you have answered YES to any of these questions, you could benefit

from the information provided in the first module of the Eat Heal Love Holistic Health Series: Fix Your Digestion

* This newly updated 55 page PDF offers advice on how to achieve and maintain optimal digestive health, and addresses issues such as:

• How to Detect and Treat the Root Cause of Loose Stools or Constipation
• Candida 101: Simple 5 Step Candida Protocol
• Factors That Decrease Nutrient Absorption
• How to Heal Leaky Gut Syndrome
• The Importance of Stomach Acid
• Tips To Relieve Heartburn and GERD
• Maintaining a Healthy Bowel Transit Time
• Stool Analysis Chart
• How Much Fiber We Really Need
• Natural Remedies For Common Digestive Complaints
• A Closer Look at Supplements for Optimal Digestive Health
• How to Follow a Hypoallergenic Diet
• A Closer Look at Gluten
• Everyday Healthy Digestion Tips

Download your copy today for only $12.99.

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