We are featuring many of the recipes we serve at Mountain Trek. Prepare delicious spa cuisine in your own kitchen.

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Quick Energy Protein Smoothie -Take a minute for breakfast!

This is the early-morning High Energy Protein smoothie we serve our guests every day. It helps break our fast and kick start our metabolic process. We recommend mixing until really smooth to get the most out of the combined flavors.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup frozen fruit, such as berries, mangos, and/or strawberries
  • 1 tablespoon hemp oil
  • 3 tablespoons hemp protein powder
  • 2 tablespoons hemp seeds
  • 1 frozen banana 1 cup coconut or almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon powdered greens
  • 1 ½ tablespoons chia seeds pinch of cinnamon

METHOD

  • Blend all ingredients together until smooth.
  • Add water to thin as desired.

Serves 4 x 6 ounce cups

 


Interested in having this and many other delicious gourmet, spa-cuisine recipes prepared for you while you spend a week invigorating and restoring your health? Learn more about the Mountain Trek Program or email us with your questions: info@mountaintrek.com

Huevos Rancheros – A Fast & Delicious Recipe

Huevos Rancheros

These delicious Mexican ranch eggs can be accompanied by slices of avocado or a spoonful of guacamole and a dollop of rice for lasting energy. Serves 4.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1/4 cup cheese
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 chipotle Tabasco sauce dash
  • 2 tbsp cilantro leaves – chopped finely
  • 1/4 cup cooked pinto beans
  • 4 corn tortillas
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 dash of salt
  • 4 oz diced canned tomatoes
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 tbsp green chilies
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup onions
  • 2 oz tinned tomato sauce

PREPARATION

  1. Sauté half of the onions with the cooked beans, adding cumin, a dash of salt, and a dash of the chipotle sauce. When cooked through, mash and set aside, keeping warm.
  2. Sauté the remaining half of the onion in a small amount of water with the garlic, tomatoes and tomato sauce, chili powder, green chilies, and chipotle.
  3. Scramble or fry the eggs.
  4. Heat tortillas slightly (steaming or frying in a spritz of water).
  5. Place the tortilla on the plate and layer the bean mixture over the top. Next, layer the egg, and then place the sauce over the top.
  6. Sprinkle with grated cheese.
  7. Garnish with avocado slices and minced cilantro.

To download find more Mountain Trek recipes and to get the shopping list for this recipe, download our Health Guide in Your Pocket App now.

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Smoked Salmon & Halibut Chowder Recipe

Halibut & Salmon Chowder Recipe

Many people may not realize this but salmon is excellent food for your brain. It contains omega-3 fats in a ready-made form (EPA and DHA) that’s easily digestible, which is good because our bodies cannot produce EPA or DHA and so they must be obtained through diet. These fats are important for healthy brain function, the heart, joints and general well-being and can be found in trout, mackerel, herring, sardines, pilchards, kippers and, of course, salmon. It should also be noted that low DHA levels have been linked to a higher risk of developing Alzheimer's disease and memory loss so be sure to eat your oily fish! Here’s one recipe that we love. It serves eight people or you can freeze it and reheat at your leisure.

Smoked Salmon & Halibut Chowder Recipe

Ingredients & Method:

  • 2 cups fennel, diced
  • 2 cups celery, diced
  • 2 cups carrots, diced
  • 2 cups onion, diced
  • 2 cups sweet potato, diced
  • 1 cup peppers, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ cup tamari
  • 1/8 cup Braggs
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 ½ cups fresh dill, chopped fine
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke
  • 2 cubes veg or chicken stock, blended
  • 1 small can or 5 1/2 oz tomato paste
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 1/2 cup of tofutti (dairy free) sour cream
  • 4-5 oz fish (wild Pacific salmon and halibut) per person
  • 8 cups stock

Sauté the vegetables in the olive oil. Move them to a large pot and add the rest of the ingredients. Let simmer until fish is cooked through then enjoy!

Vietnamese Salad with Steak

Vietnamese Salad with Steak Recipe

Barbecue season has arrived and with it comes delicious grilling recipes such as the one below that incorporates Vietnamese salad, a yummy take on a traditional green salad that incorporates a chilli-seasoned dressing. Invite your friends over and serve them the following and they’ll be sure to talk about it for weeks afterwards.

If steak isn’t your preference, you can swap the protein out for free-range organic chicken or the vegetarian selection of your choice, such as tofu or even portobello mushrooms. (Just be sure to include protein-rich vegetables in the salad such as spinach or broccoli.) The following amounts are enough to serve 8 people.

 

Marinade & Dressing Ingredients

  • 1⁄4 c. tamari
  • 1⁄4 c. grapeseed oil
  • 1/2 c. lime juice – freshly squeezed
  • 1⁄4 c. water
  • 4 tbsp sugar – raw
  • 4 tbsp minced garlic
  • 4 tsp chili paste

Whisk together all the above ingredients. Use 1/4 cup for marinade and the rest for salad dressing.

 

Steak preparation:

Get the best-quality organic sirloin steak – we recommend serving about five ounces of steak for each guest. Marinade the steak for a minimum of 30 minutes. If using a plate or glass bowl to marinade, be sure to turn halfway through marinating time.

Use barbecue to cook stead until its medium rare. Let rest 5 minutes and then slice thinly at an angle. Alternatively cut the steak and place on skewers before barbecuing.

Salad Ingredients: 

  • 8 c. mixed greens
  • 1 c. fresh basil leaves – julienned
  • 1 c. fresh cilantro – julienned
  • 2 c. red onion – finely diced
  • 6 c. snap peas
  • 6 c. English cucumbers – with peel – julienned
  • 6 c. carrots – julienned – blanched
  • Cashews dry roasted – unsalted (for topping) – chopped

 

Mix greens, basil and cilantro, onion, cucumber, snap peas, and carrots. Top with sliced steak and drizzle salad dressing over top. Sprinkle with chopped toasted cashews.

Cinnamon Granola Recipe

Recipe for Cinnamon Granola

This delicious, gluten-free Cinnamon Granola recipe is perfect for breakfast because it’s easy to make and can be stored for weeks. The ingredient list below is enough to make eight servings.

Ingredients:

2 ¼ cups rolled oats (certified gluten free)
¼ cup slivered almonds
¼ cup pumpkin seeds
½ cup sunflower seeds
2 tbsp grapeseed oil
2 tbsp maple syrup
¼ tsp almond extract
½ tbsp pure vanilla extract
1 tbsp cinnamon

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 325°F
  • Mix grains, nuts and seeds together on a large baking tray
  • Combine remaining ingredients together in a saucepan and heat briefly
  • Pour over nut/oat mixture and toss well to coat
  • Bake for 45 minutes until lightly toasted. Stir every 15 minutes to brown evenly
  • Cool before storing in airtight container
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A Full Day of Spa Cuisine Recipes

Spa-CuisineThere has been a lot of talk about "spa cuisine" in the past year and some people are questioning just exactly what the phrase means. Some assume it's vegetarian or flavourless or served in tiny qualities. Others wonder if it's new-age "superfood" or supplemental vitamins. In actual fact, spa cuisine can include meat, it's delicious and, at Mountain Trek, it's served in perfect portions at the right times during the day so your body doesn't crave non-essential foods. From a scientific perspective, spa cuisine utilizes the natural elements, nutrients and minerals in food to assist the body so that it can function at an optimal level of vitality. In layman's terms, it looks colourful and tastes delicious! You'll find little-to-no processed or refined ingredients in spa cuisine, and in many instances a lot of what you'll be consuming is locally grown or raised and seasonally appropriate. At Mountain Trek, you'll discover that every single one of our meals is well-balanced and amazingly tasty. In fact, we have an on-site nutritionist who ensures the ideal amount of protein, carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables are consumed throughout the day, and at specific times of day, while our chef is always discovering new and delicious ways to prepare the dishes. To learn more about meal composition and timings read our Healthy Eating Tips blog. But if you're looking for a daily sample of delicious spa cuisine, we've included three recipes below for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Bon Appétit!

Breakfast

Manna Bread Breakfast RecipeManna Bread Breakfast

Manna Bread is made with whole sprouted grain berries and pure water – a far cry from the heavily processed bread you find in most supermarkets. Manna bread can come in rye or multigrain or varieties and is available at your local health food store. Loaves tend to be smaller but that's because Manna Bread is more dense and filling. At Mountain Trek we'll typically serve men three half-inch slice in the morning while women receive two slices. Women's portion – serve with:

  • 2 slices smoked cheese (equaling ½ oz. or 14 grams)
  • 2 slices avocado
  • 3 slices tomato
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • Alfalfa sprouts

Men's portion – serve with:

  • 3 slices smoked cheese (equaling ¾ oz. or 21 grams)
  • 3 slices avocado
  • 3 slices tomato
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • Alfalfa sprouts

Lunch

Kootenay Mushroom Barley Lentil Soup

Kootenay Mushroom Barley Lentil Soup

This recipe tastes best when you use freshly picked mushrooms from the forest floor, like we do at Mountain Trek. Whatever mushrooms you use, though, this recipe (which serves 4) will be sure to delight and fulfill.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ¼ cup yellow onions, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp grapeseed oil
  • 2 cups mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup celery, sliced
  • 1 cup carrots, finely chopped
  • 2 cup spinach
  • 1/3 cup barley
  • 2 ½ tbsp red lentils
  • 2 ½ tbsp sherry
  • ¾ tsp fresh rosemary
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ¾ tsp paprika
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp thyme
  • 3 ½ cups veggie stock
  • 1 whole bay leaf
  • 2 ½ tbsp parsley
  • ½ tbsp Bragg’s or tamari sauce
  • 2 tbsp flax oil
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne

Directions:

  • Heat oil and butter in large soup pan.
  • Add onions, celery, carrots and sauté until translucent.
  • Add mushrooms, garlic and sauté until translucent.
  • Add barley, lentils and spices and sauté for 10 minutes.
  • Add stock and let cook over medium heat for approximately 30 minutes or until the barley is done. 
  • Add Bragg’s, sherry, flax oil and parsley.
  • At Mountain Trek our portions are typically two cups for men and 1.5 cups for women.

Dinner

The Kootenay Bowl

The Kootenay Bowl

This easy-to-make dish is as colourful as it is delicious. It serves four.

Tofu + Marinade:

  • 1 ½ blocks (600 grams) herbed tofu, cubed. (By freezing, thawing and then squeezing the excess water from the tofu its texture changes, allowing it to absorb the marinade.)
  • 2½ tbsp tamari
  • 2½ tbsp grapeseed oil
  • 2½ tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ – ½ tsp. rosemary powder
  • Blend above ingredients and marinate cubed tofu in it for at least 2 hours before cooking. 
  • Reserve some marinade for cooking tofu.

Dressing: 

  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
  • 2½ tbsp water
  • 2½ tbsp tamari sauce
  • 2½ tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp grapeseed oil
  • 1 tbsp tahini Blend above ingredients and serve on the side.

The Bowl:

  • ½ cup quinoa cooked in 1 ¼ cup water
  • 4 cup mixed greens
  • ½ cup beets, grated
  • ½ cup carrots, grated
  • ½ cup red cabbage, shredded very fine
  • 4 large cherry tomatoes, halved 2 tbsp sunflower seeds, toasted 4 pinches alfalfa sprouts
  • Rinse quinoa well and cook until tender (about 12-15 minutes).
  • Sauté tofu in a small amount of the marinade until browned on all sides. 
  • Place greens on the bottom of each bowl, put quinoa on top of that, then add rows of carrots, beets and red cabbage.
  • Sprinkle with sunflower seeds; add tofu, sprouts and tomatoes.
  • At Mountain Trek we serve the following portions: women receive 7 cubes of tofu, 1/4 cup of cooked quinoa and 1 1/2 tbsp of dressing; men receive 9 cubes of tofu, 1/3 cup cooked quinoa and 2 tbsp of dressing.

To find more Mountain Trek recipes and to get the shopping list for these recipes, download our Habits 2 Health App now. 

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14 Ways To Pamper Yourself This Valentine’s Day + How to Balance Work & Play

[wps_social_buttons] Happy Valentine's Day!

14 Ways To Pamper Yourself This Valentine's Day

For some February 14 is an opportunity to prove to your significant other just how much you love them. For others, Valentine's Day is more of a manufactured holiday that's about selling cards and chocolates. For very few, however, the day is about celebrating themselves. This year, we invite you to pamper yourself on February 14th and reinvigorate your love of you. In the past we've talked about Self Soothing to Replace Emotional Eating and Christmas Holidays Gifts for Yourself but we've never really touched on ways to offer loving gestures to yourself on Valentine's Day. So, without further ado, here are fourteen ways to pamper yourself this Valentine's Day.

#1. Take a bubble bath

Take a bubble bath

#2. Buy yourself a colourful plant or flowers

Buy yourself colorful flowers

#3. Better yet, take a walk outside and enjoy some outdoor foliage

Take a walk outside

#4. Set aside time to read that good book or magazine

Read a good book

#5. Write a letter to yourself stipulating the things you love about you

Writer yourself a love letter

#6. Schedule a massage

Schedule a massage

#7. Enrol in a yoga, fitness or any type of class that offers a subject you're interested in

Enroll in a yoga class

#8. Detoxify your body (see here for more details)

Detox

#9. Go to your favourite restaurant by yourself and order anything you want

Take yourself out for dinner

#10. Take a nap

Enjoy a restful nap

#11. Spend time with a puppy, kitten or pet, whether it's yours or someone else's

Play with a puppy or kitten

#12. Give yourself a facial, manicure, pedicure or foot bath

Pamper yourself with a pedicure

#13. Make a delicious meal just for you (we suggest it includes our Vegan Chocolate Mousse)

Spa Cuisine

#14. Book yourself a vacation

GeneratedHDR_Tonemapped


How to Balance Your Work and Play

balance work and play

About 50 years ago many of us moved from work that involved standing and moving to desk jobs that require more sitting. Not only that, but our work hours have increased and, for some of us, we spend two-thirds of our day connected to our job in some capacity. This can make for an incredibly stressful lifestyle, one in which we spend all our time either working or sleeping (poorly) to recover from the work. This can take a toll not only on the mind but also on the body. After all, our system is designed to run after gazelles on the African savannah – it doesn't feel good when we sit in front of a computer or TB screen for 14 hours a day. The good news is there are some easy things that you can do in order to better balance your work and play. In our opinion, the latter doesn't get emphasized enough in our current work-obsessed society but it's just as important (if not more so) for personal health and happiness.

The key to a good balance is not biting off more than you can chew at first. Remember, "Inch by inch is a cinch but yard by yard is hard." The first thing you want to do is make a list of things that you consider fun and make you happy – even if the list is only one activity long. Perhaps you were a cross-country running champion in college but since starting in the workforce you haven't found the time to get outside. The key is to not expect to get out everyday for a few hours right off the bat. But you can get outside, even if it's just walking from your car to your office. For the first few days, park further away than you normally would and as your striding along, take deep breaths and remember what it was like to run freely through nature. Before entering your building, look up at the sky for 30 seconds and just enjoy the view. Then, when you're in the office, follow these five steps:

  • Take 10 minutes out of your work day and relax, sit down and just clear your mind. (Recently we've been playing with the Buddhify app to achieve this and it's very good.)
  • Drink lots of water. Not only will it cleanse your system but it will force you to get up and move when you need bathroom breaks. It will also allow you to step out of your work mode for a few moments to give you time to think of other activities.
  • Occasionally get up from your desk and stretch in a doorway or stare out the window at the sky. While you're doing that, think about what makes you happy.
  • The next time you're perusing Facebook or on some other social media site, stop what you're doing and instead Google classes, courses, groups or apps that are related to the activity you love. Bookmark relevant sites. Even if you don't sign up right then and there, it will be beneficial to have your mind dwell on it.
  • Mention to a friend or co-worker about your desire for better work/play balance and the activity you would like to get involved in. By putting it out there, you'll enlist the help of acquaintances and it will become "real" as opposed to a "wish" that only exists in your mind.

Try and do the above things everyday and eventually you'll find yourself setting aside more and more time for the activity you love.


Endurance Crackers Recipe

Endurance Cracker Recipe These crackers are a great alternative to bread when enjoying such dips as hummus or our famous Afterglow Almond Butter Dressing. The seeds in this recipe are packed full of protein (there's a total of 2 ounces or 56 grams in one batch of these crackers) so they'll provide longer-term energy for whatever activity you're involved in. These amounts make enough for 22 large crackers but it can easily be doubled.

Ingredients:

  • 1⁄2 cup chia seeds
  • 1⁄2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1⁄2 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1⁄2 cup sesame seeds
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 lage garlic clove, grated
  • 1 tsp grated sweet onion
  • 1⁄4 tsp salt
  • Herbamare/kelp or herbs of your choice

Directions:

Combine seeds together in a large bowl. In another bowl mix together water, garlic and onion. Pour water mixture into seeds and stir until thick. Let mixture sit for 15 minutes as the chia seeds will swell and this will help to bind the cracker. Add seasoning. Drop from teaspoon onto prepared baking sheet then spread with the back of a spoon until less than 1⁄4 inch thick. Bake at 325°F for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and flip over carefully. Bake for another 30 minutes.

 

Suffering Some New Year Resolution Setbacks?

Not to Worry! Here's How to Cope and Change

How are you doing with your resolutions?

How are those New Year’s Resolutions of yours going? Still on track or are you mired in self defeat? If it’s the latter then we’re here to help. Setbacks are just part of the process when we make big changes. Perhaps you vowed you’d eat breakfast 30 minutes after you wake up every morning and then fell back into the routine of consuming only three coffees before lunch. Or maybe you said you’d exercise three days a week and have only managed to go twice or once. Fear not! You are not failing! You’re doing everything right by just deciding to make the positive change in the first place.

Here are a six tips to prevent you from becoming discouraged and to help keep you on track with your changes in the coming months. Remember, it can take upwards of three months to create a healthy habit so continue to stick with it, even through the setbacks, and you’ll be increasing your overall vitality in no time!

  1. Firstly, if you’ve suffered a setback the key is don't beat yourself up over it. Just acknowledge it, try to discern why you slipped and then immediately get back on track again.
  2. If you find yourself continually encountering setbacks, maybe the change you’re trying to implement is too big? Is it possible to make a smaller change that will lead to a healthier path. For example, if you wanted to hit the gym three times a week but are struggling to make it there even once, then just change the playing field, so to speak. Resolve to go to the gym once a week at the start and then work your way up from there.
  3. If you keep lapsing into a bad habit (such as snacking on potato chips and drinking soda pop throughout your workday) then simply swap out the context of the bad habit. Instead of potato chips, snack on baked kale chips and enjoy an herbal ice tea instead of pop.
  4. Get outside! There’s no better tonic than a walk through nature in the fresh air. If you find yourself lapsing into self-judgement and despair, just take a step outside and breath deeply. It seems like such a simple solution but you’ll be shocked at how it clears your mind and puts you in a better mood.
  5. Phone a friend! You are not in this alone. Engage a family member or friend and tell them about where you’re having difficulty. You’ll be amazed at how just talking about it to a good listener will help put you back on track.
  6. Travel! Nothing helps you break a bad habit faster than completely changing your environment. It’s so much easier to reinvent yourself when you’re not surrounded by the same-old, same-old. The trip doesn’t have to be an epic cross-country adventure – you could simply book a room at a local hotel, take a good book and relax away from the stresses of your regular life. That said, we believe joining us on our trip to the Amalfi Coast would definitely help reset your batteries and put you on a path to overall wellness!

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10 “Non-Diet” Weight Loss Tips and Simple Holiday Detox Ideas

[wps_social_buttons] Non-diet Approach

The “Non-Diet” Approach to Weight Loss

Mountain Trek does not subscribe to any diet plan and in fact, we don’t believe in the concept of dieting at all, and yet we guarantee those who participate in our program will lose weight. And they always do. Why is that? Well among other things we make sure everyone who attends Mountain Trek, whether it’s at the British Columbia Lodge or our Rancho La Puerta programs workout their bodies for portions of the day but there’s more to it than that. Our guests always compliment us on the quality of the food (for proof look at our TripAdvisor comments) and very few have ever said they’ve gone hungry during the program. So what’s the secret?

Have you ever stopped to wonder why there are so many fad diets out there? The fact is, none of them work, certainly not for any length of time anyway. And don’t even get us started on trendy weight loss pills and claims of slimness in a bottle or with one type of exercise device sold on late-night TV. So many of us binge and then starve our bodies only to repeat the cycle that it’s no wonder we have trouble maintain a healthy consistent weight. Problems such as obesity, diabetes and heart disease are all a result of improper eating practices combined with lack of physical activity for which our bodies were designed for.

At Mountain Trek we’re not interested in short-term efforts for losing weight but rather we want to encourage a long-term lifestyle change for lasting health. A large part of it rests on the nutritional pillar of our program, which isn’t so much based on counting calories as it is about encouraging healthful eating patterns and nutrition. We focus on balancing blood sugars and the hormones Insulin, Glucagon, Leptin and Grehlin, in order to raise and maintain an Anabolic metabolism. Which is just one way of saying, we teach you about healthy eating habits that transform your health. Our guests learn how to “diet” without actually going on a diet and these are just a few of the tips they take home with them after a stay at Mountain Trek along with the support-structure and strategies for turning them into long-term habits.

#1. Eat Breakfast within 30 minutes of getting out of bed

Healthy Breakfast

#2. Eat two-thirds of your food in the first 9 hours of the day

Steaming Bowl of Soup

#3. Eat multiple food groups every 3 hours during the day

Fruit & Nuts

#4. Eat slower and chew more

Eat slower, chew more.

#5. Eat out at restaurants less

Eat out at restaurants less

#6. Lower your intake of alcohol

Drink less alchohol

#7. Eliminate or minimize artificial sweeteners

Try Natural Sweeteners

#8. Detoxify your body regularly (see below)

Detoxify

#9. Eat less processed food and more organic produce

Fresh, local and organic produce.

#10. Drink more water

Drink more water


Detox

Detox Your Body This Month

If you read our tips for relieving holiday stress in last-month’s newsletter and then attended Mountain Trek’s Winter Program, chances are you’re feeling fit, healthy and happy. However, if you’re like most of us, you indulged a bit during the holiday season and are now looking to get back on track. Well, aside from the weight loss pointers mentioned above, there’s one other key thing you can do in order to encourage wellness and lose a few of those extra pounds that might have crept on what with all the holiday chocolates lying around. And the good news is that one thing is relatively easy to do.

Detoxification has been a tradition among most cultures on earth for centuries: from Scandinavian saunas to American sweat lodges mankind has understood the value of purging toxins through the skin. Essentially, the term refers to the process of removing injurious substances from our bodies, which can be biological (such as bacteria and viruses) or harmful chemicals like heavy metals, food processing compounds and cosmetics. (Nowadays processed foods contain more than 3,000 chemicals whereas at the turn of the century, the only preservative found in food was salt.) These toxins are continuously being flushed from our body through breath, sweat, urine, etc but problems arise if we can’t detoxify fast enough. What happens when we don’t purge these toxins quickly, our fat cells will get larger so the body can store the excess toxins and keep them safely away from sensitive tissue.  When the toxins are more concentrated, our fat cells will also increase in size to keep them diluted.

In other words, detoxing is not only good for riding the body of bad biology and chemicals, it’s also a good way to ensure your body doesn’t start harbouring fat cells. Here are just a few easy actions you can take to support your body in detoxifying:

  • Drink enough water throughout the day so that your urine is almost clear. This will help support your kidney’s removal of water-soluble toxins.
  • Utilize exercise, saunas and steams to aid the release of stored toxins.
  • Dry brushing your skin is another good way to encourage blood circulation, cell regeneration and toxin removal.
  • Eat fibre-rich foods to aid your intestines in moving toxins out of the body.  Constipation leads to toxin re-absorption.
  • Eat organic, pesticide-free produce, and less processed food.

Bonus: Detoxification Talk By Kirkland!

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Salmon Fennel Leek Chowder Recipe

Salmon Fennel Chowder Recipe

This recipe will fill the emptiest of bellies and warm the coldest bodies. It’s intended to make a large portion so you can share it with friends or store it in the freezer for enjoying it later but if you’d prefer to make less, just halve the ingredient amounts.

Ingredients:

  • 1⁄4 cup coconut oil
  • 4 cups finely diced onion
  • 4 cups finely diced carrots
  • 4 cups finely diced celery

Sauté above ingredients until they start to brown lightly then add:

  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 16 cups veggie stock
  • 2 cups finely diced parsnips
  • 4 cups sweet potato diced
  • 2 cups diced fennel
  • 2 cups leeks
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp. thyme
  • 3 tsp. salt (to taste)
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer and add:

  • 1 tsp. lemon zest
  • 1 – 2 Tbs. lemon juice
  • Pinch of cayenne
  • 3 salmon filets – deboned, cooked and flaked
  •  2 cans coconut milk
  • Almond/coconut flour to thicken as required

Cold Weather Must-Haves

Winter is fully upon us now and for most of us, we’re experiencing shorter days, colder temperatures and an aversion to going outside. It’s only natural to feel a bit more lethargic this time of year; in fact, our ancestors spent the winter months immersed in cultural activities rather than hunting and gathering. However, with the plethora of processed snacking foods within arm’s reach, it’s important to surround ourselves with “must-haves” that promote health and well-being. Here are just five things that we encourage to have near you at all times in order to weather the colder months and encourage wellness.

Ginger Lemon Tonic

#1. Ginger Lemon Tea

Enjoy a detoxifying and energizing ginger lemon tea every morning. There’s a reason ginger is called “the miracle root” – in fact, it’s one of nature’s best combinations of detoxifier, anti-inflammatory and digestive aid. You can read more about the tea and how to make it here. Plus it’s just nice to start your day with something warm.

Good Duvet

#2. A Good Duvet

Sleep is so important any time of year but in the winter months when the temperature drops at night it’s important we’re comfortable. That doesn’t mean cranking up the thermostat, however, as most of us are not attuned to sleeping well in the heat. Keep the inside temperature of your house cool at night but cozy up under a good duvet or thick blankets and you’ll sleep more soundly.

Warm & Hearty Recipes

#3. Warm, Hearty Recipes

There are many recipes on the Mountain Trek site for healthy and hearty soups and chili. They are made with vitality-nurturing nutritious ingredients and their warming qualities will dispel the day’s chill. A few we recommend are Bison Chipotle Chili and Squash & Turkey Soup.

A Hot Bath

#4. A Hot Bath

Lying in a warm bath filled with epsom salts is not only relaxing, it’s also a good way to detoxify. It’ll help remove any damp chill that has seeped into your bones and it will open up your pores and encourage toxins to exit your body. If you don’t have a bathtub, a hot shower is an OK replacement but a visit to the local gym for a soak in their hot tub is even better.

Layered Clothing

#5. Layered Clothing

A good quality pair of merino wool long underwear and a long-sleeved top is invaluable at warding off any winter chill when you’re out in the elements. Even if you’re just going for a walk to the corner store, remember to layer and dress appropriately as it doesn’t take long for the chill to sink in and when it does, it can take awhile to disperse it again.


Bonus: A Sun-Filled Getaway!

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What better way to beat the winter cold than by escaping entirely and heading to sunny Baja, Mexico for Mountain Trek’s Rancho La Puerta program. Watch the video below and Kirkland will explain the highlights of the program and why it’s an excellent mid-winter vacation option.

7 Crucial Healthy Eating Tips, 5 Easy Nutrition Tips & A Recipe

[wps_social_buttons] Tips for Staying Healthy

Does this sound a bit like your lifestyle:

Wake up groggy ➨ Coffee ➨ Commute to office ➨ Coffee ➨ Quick lunch at desk ➨ Chocolate/Coffee to spike low energy ➨ Commute home ➨ Huge dinner ➨ Watch TV ➨ Sleep ➨ Wake up groggy

Perhaps you’ve tried diets or removing certain food groups from your meals in order to lose weight and be energized throughout your day? Or maybe you’ve swung the other direction and are addicted to certain foods and can’t get through a day without them (like coffee for example)?

Well, let’s take a step back and look at not only the types of food you’re consuming, but how you’re eating them. Our modern-day culture stresses what kinds of food to eat (by the way, there’s a reason there are so many diets fads in the world – it’s because none of them work) but not a lot of sources are concentrating on how and when you eat food and its impact on your overall health. And now that we’re heading into the holiday season, especially Americans who are about to celebrate Thanksgiving, it’s more important than ever to stress some key healthy eating tips.

Meal Timings

Meal Timings

#1. If you take nothing else away from this article, remember one thing: eat breakfast within 30 minutes of waking up. Even if it’s just an Energy Smoothie. With the prevalence put on coffee these days, most of us wake up, have a cup of joe (or several), and, because caffeine is an appetite suppressant, we go the entire morning without eating. The problem with this scenario is your body reacts by thinking it’s being starved and builds up fat cells. Fall into a habit of this and quite quickly it becomes too hard to shed weight because the body is always worried about when the next meal will come. The simple solution to this is to eat some form of food within a half-hour of waking and three things will happen:

  • You’ll kick-start your metabolism for the day
  • You’ll be supporting your circadian rhythm and will have more energy
  • You’ll keep your liver from initiating the “famine” response

We know that a warm cup of coffee is very comforting, especially as the cold weather settles in, but consider trying alternatives like ginger tea, which helps cleanse the liver rather than tax it, or perhaps a barley-based coffee substitute like Bambu or Akava. At the very least, try lessening your coffee intake by just have one a morning after your first meal or smoothie.

#2. Eat two-thirds of your food in the first nine hours of the day. This is an issue that’s most especially prevalent in North America where we tend to consume coffee during the day and then have a huge meal right before we watch TV and fall asleep. The issue with this scenario is the body doesn’t have the ability to work off all those extra calories over the course of your sleeping period and so it tends to store it all as fat. By eating most of your food during the first half of your day you:

  • Allow your body to burn off those calories by walking and being active and
  • You reduce your evening blood sugar levels so insulin doesn’t store excess as fat

This may seem difficult to do at first because large dinners can seem so satisfying but just try it for a little while and we’re positive your energy levels will increase in the morning.

#3. Not only will you benefit from eating within the first nine of hours of your day, you’ll also feel better if you consume multiple food groups every three hours during the day. By snacking regularly you convince the body you’re not starving and it will be less likely to store fat. Let’s preface this, however, by saying that a snack does not include an entire bag of Doritos. All you need is a piece of fruit and a handful of seeds or nuts or any of our top 5 on-the-go-snacks to keep your energy up. And by eating throughout the day you will:

  • Keep your blood sugars steady and avoid spokes and insulin response from eating just a few large meals
  • Avoid the “famine” response and resulting fat storage from skipping meals
  • Avoid energy drops associated with low blood sugar that tends to have us craving coffee, chocolate or another caffeine source

Meal Composition

Meal Composition

As we mentioned above, not only is it important to watch what you eat, it’s also important to watch how much and when you’re eating it. At Mountain Trek we honour people’s choices when it comes to vegetarianism or veganism but we believe it’s crucial to combine multiple food groups at each meal and snack. So whether you get your protein from meat, beans, certain leafy greens kale or our delicious homemade protein bars (avoid store-bought ones as they’re full of calories, among other things) you should be eating it at every meal. Likewise complex carbohydrates (think slow-cooked oatmeal not white bread and most cereals, which contain refined sugar and starches) and vegetables and fruit. We should also stress that we prefer local, fresh, organic and unprocessed foods (stay away from the centre aisles at the grocery store), and as much variety of them as possible. And if you’re eating animal protein, choose organic, wild or free-range that are free of hormones and antibiotics. Here is how we break down our meals at Mountain Trek:

#1. At breakfast we recommend equal volumes of complex carbohydrates, protein, vegetables or fruit as well as a teaspoon of omega oil and small amount of dairy (or substitute if you’re allergic or have an intolerance). By combining these items you benefit by:

  • supporting a “glycemic load,” which contributes to a longer, slower release of blood sugars and avoid insulin spikes
  • getting important minerals, vitamins and phytochemicals, which do the body wonders especially first thing in the morning
  • the high fibre from complex carbohydrates provides chromium to help regulate blood sugars and it creates a sense of fullness, lowering appetite

#2. Lunch should be two-thirds vegetables and a third protein with a small dairy component or substitute.

#3. Dinner should be made up of the following: a half vegetables, a quarter complex carbohydrates and a quarter protein with a small dairy component or substitute. This is because:

  • Higher vegetable portions (salads, soups, steamed or sautéed) provide antioxidants, fibre and phytochemicals to support active, growth-centered metabolism
  • Fewer dinner calories reduces the chance of fat storage
  • It promotes a healthy appetite for breakfast

#4. At Mountain Trek we believe in feeding the body AND feeding the soul. Therefore, we don’t expect you to follow this eating program to the letter. If you can try to eat like the way we detail above five days of the week and allow yourself two days to consume what we call “soul foods” you’ll be happier, and that has a huge impact on your health as well!

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Afterglow Almond Butter Dressing Recipe

Afterglow Almond Butter Dressing Recipe

This is the most sought-after recipe at Mountain Trek and for good reason: it’s delicious and makes you want to eat salads!

Ingredients:

3⁄4 cup organic smooth almond butter
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1 tablespoon Bragg Liquid Aminos – (may use tamari if braggs is not available – start with 1⁄2 Tbs. if using tamari)
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
1 crushed garlic clove (or 1⁄2 teaspoon minced)
1 teaspoon curry powder
3⁄4 c. water
1⁄4 tsp. veggie broth powder
1⁄4 teaspoon salt as needed to taste

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a blender. Purée until smooth. Chill. Use on cooked vegetables or as a salad dressing. Will keep refrigerated for one week.
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Five Easy Nutrition Tips

Aside from the seven suggestions above about when and how to eat, there are five easy-to-implement nutrition tips that will help increase your vitality and support your health. They are:

Drink your food; eat your water

#1. Drink Your Food; Eat Your Water

In other words, eat slower, chew more and swish your water around in your mouth before you swallow. Not only will this help initiate the breakdown of carbohydrates with saliva enzymes and ease digestion, you will allow time for the vagus nerve to communicate when you’re full, thereby avoiding over-eating.

Eat Out Less

#2. Eat Out Less

We all love restaurants but there’s a reason their food tastes so good: lots of butter, oil, sugar and salt. By visiting fewer restaurants you’ll avoid over-sized portions, lots of empty calories and fat. We’re not saying never go to restaurants, but perhaps limit it to once-a-week or special occasions.

Drink Less Alcohol

#3. Drink Less Alcohol

It’s especially important to avoid more alcohol as the cold weather and holidays approach. All alcohol has empty calories (even the ones marketed as being free of carbs) and when combined with excessive eating at Thanksgiving and Christmas, it’s a one-two punch that will guarantee weight gain. We’re not saying don’t drink at all, just limit binge drinking and consider only drinking at meal times to help your liver process.

Minimize Artifical Sweeteners

#4. Minimize Artificial Sweeteners

This means limiting (or better yet, eliminating) sodas, energy drinks, candy and all the toxins associated with them. If you want a treat, consider having chocolate that contains 80% cocoa or better yet sweet fruit like dates. We can’t stress this enough because, ultimately, artificial sweeteners fall into the category of really bad foods given their poisonous qualities.

Explore the Sour Eight

#5. Explore Your Sensitivity to the “Sour Eight”

The Sour Eight are wheat, corn, dairy, soy, sugar, eggs, alcohol and peanuts and the majority of the population has some form of sensitivity to at least one of these. Sensitivities could range from full-blown allergies to mild discomfort but by taking time to remove one of these from your diet for a month, you could avoid constipation, bloating, excess mucus, fatigue, headaches, water retention and most shockingly of all, you could eliminate 5-15 pounds of water retention in your bowels! Try it: start with peanuts and see how you feel in terms of vitality after a month. You may not notice a difference in which case move on to eggs and then work towards the others, which you’ll find are a little more difficult to eliminate as they’re so omnipotent. But ultimately isn’t your health and vitality worth it?

 

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