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Heavenly Orbs Recipe

Heavenly Orbs_16X9

The name says it all. Nut butter anchors the lightness of coconut, orange and apricot in this delicious snack. This Heavenly Orbs recipe is definitely one that belongs in our Hall of Fame. Makes 8 or 9 orbs.

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup almond butter
  • 1/8 cup hemp seed butter
  • 1/8 tsp cardamom
  • 1 cup chopped dried apricots
  • 1/3 cup coconut
  • orange juice to moisten
  • 1/8 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 tsp powdered ginger
  • pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
  • zest of a small orange

Method 

  1. Chop nuts and apricots together finely in a food processor
  2. Add butters and remaining ingredients
  3. Form into balls and refigerate or freeze

To 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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6 Healthy Travel Snacks That Are Prepackaged

Healthy Snacks

Guests at Mountain Trek are pleasantly surprised by the deliciousness of the snacks we supply during the hours they spend hiking on the trails. Many expect mass-produced "energy" bars to help fuel their activities but that style of snack is usually full of corn syrup and highly processed ingredients. We recommend people take a small time out of their week to prepare healthy items they can snack on throughout the course of their days. We even wrote an article detailing the "Top 5 On The Go Snacks" that mentioned some of our proprietary recipes such as bliss balls

However, we've since heard from some guests, especially those who travel a lot, that it can be difficult to find the time to whip up some Loki Dip to go with those carrot sticks. So, we asked our nutrition expert Jennifer Keirstead to supply us with another list of snacks that people can enjoy when they're traveling and don't have access to their kitchen. This is Jenn's reply and suggestions for 6 healthy travel snacks

Eating right on the road, can be tricky. I always take a few things with me so I have a little backup. Here are some of my favorite ideas:

  1. EPIC bars – These are basically dehydrated meat in power bar form. They're made from grass-fed meats, high in protein, and taste like jerky!
  2. SuperFood Energy Bar They're made from plant-based, high-quality ingredients. No fillers!
  3. Justin's Almond Butter in squeeze packs make great traveling companions. Pack a piece of fruit, or two, and spread on some creamy, high-protein almond, for a perfectly balanced snack on the go.
  4. Trail Mix – Try to avoid the prepackaged ones as they contain a lot of sodium. Instead, buy seeds and nuts from the bulk section and make your own. I like to mix unsalted cashews, almonds, pumpkin seeds, dried currants and goji berries.
  5. Prepackaged veggies – Items such as baby carrots or sugar snap peas are easy to find and delicious with a container of hummus.
  6. Starbucks "Protein Box" – If you're at the airport and grab one of these boxes and enjoy a hard boiled egg, fresh fruit, cheese, and multigrain Muesli bread.

Of course, being even just a little prepared with a snack in your purse, or suitcase can go a long way to help keep you on the right track nutritionally.

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Loki Dip Recipe

Loki Dip Recipe

This snack recipe is a guest favourite! Our famous Loki Dip is a perfect snack that is tasty, packed with protein and will curb an afternoon craving. Enjoy with fresh seasonal vegetables.

Ingredients

  • 2/3 c. olive oil
  • 1 c. nutritional yeast flakes
  • 2 c. hemp hearts
  • 1 Tbs. wheat-free tamari
  • 2 Tbs. Braggs liquid aminos
  • ¼ c. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbs. dark balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbs. red wine vinegar
  • 1/3 c. tomato paste
  • 1 large clove garlic minced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • ½ tsp. basil
  • ½ tsp. thyme
  • ½ tsp. marjoram
  • 1 tsp. chilli powder
  • 1½ Tbs. agave nectar or honey

Directions

  • Blend well using a Vitamix blender. 
  • Refrigerate until serving. 
  • Enjoy!

To download more Mountain Trek recipes and to get the shopping list for this recipe, 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

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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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Vegan Chocolate Mousse Recipe

As part of the Mountain Trek program we encourage our guests to explore their sensitivities to the “Sour 8,” which are eight types of foods that people commonly have negative reactions to, whether in the form of digestive discomfort or full allergies. The sour eight include wheat, dairy, corn, soy, sugar, eggs and alcohol and you can learn more about them here.

The good news for chocolate lovers and those who plan to enjoy edible treats this Valentine’s Day is the following Chocolate Mousse recipe does not include any of the Sour 8. The natural sweetness comes from the fruit and the base is coconut cream rather than dairy. The even better news about this recipe is that it’s delicious! Be sure to indulge on Valentine’s Day or any other day when you want to give yourself or someone you love a yummy treat.

Super Vitalizing Quinoa Salad

Coconut Apricot Bliss Balls

Cheese Pesto Balls