Catching More Zzzzzz’s

Check out today’s guest blog that I did for UHN’s Wellness Centre!

Living Well @ UHN

Here’s something we could all probably use more of – sleep!  Admittedly, this is one area of health where I often come up short. I have a lot of difficulty falling asleep and usually cannot function properly in the morning until I’ve had a cup of coffee! Although I eat well, exercise regularly, and avoid caffeine consumption prior to going to bed, I think there are still a few lifestyle changes I could make that would help my sleeping habits.  Here are a few tips to help you sleep better, courtesy of Best Health magazine. I’m going to have to try some of these!

  1. Make a date with your friends. Huh? That was my initial reaction. How could making a date with friends possibly help my sleeping habits? Well, studies conducted at the University of California have shown that women who have healthy friendships tend to sleep better. When we’re stressed, we tend…

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Meatless Monday: Vegetable Pizza on Whole Wheat Crust

What a day. Who would’ve thought that sitting through 8 hours of class could be so exhausting?? I came home feeling like a tightly wound ball of stress. Although I didn’t get home from class until around 6:50 pm, I still found time to squeeze in a quick workout at the gym, prepare a delicious, healthy lunch for tomorrow, hard boil some eggs for the rest of the week, enjoy a glass of wine, AND make a tasty meat-free meal for dinner. I must say, if I can keep up this pace I’m gonna make one hell of a super mom someday. Someday VERY FAR away!!! The only thing I didn’t do was make a homemade crust for my pizza tonight. Oh well, you gotta take short cuts once in a while, right?

Vegetable Pizza on Whole Wheat Crust

Ingredients:

Whole wheat pizza dough (I used a store-bought kind and sliced off a piece about the size of my fist)

Your favourite tomato sauce (if you are using store-bought sauce, watch out for the sodium content!)

Your favourite veggies (I used portobello mushrooms, red bell pepper, steamed spinach, and a bit of red onion)

Your favourite cheese(s) (I used a little bit of havarti)

Directions:

1. Prepare your dough according to the package instructions. Mine said to let the dough rise for about 20 minutes prior to use, so I prepped all my toppings in the meantime.

2. Place the dough on a lightly oiled baking sheet and spread it into a pizza shape. Spread your favourite sauce on top of the dough, add your veggies and cheese and bake for 20 minutes at 425ºF. Easy, right? And a great meal to make if you have kids, because you can get them to make their own personal-sized pizza with their favourite toppings.

Happy Meatless Monday!

A Healthier Version of the Breakfast Sandwich

Yesterday’s ‘healthy egg roll’ recipe inspired me to make a healthy version of the breakfast sandwich this morning. If you look at the breakfast sandwiches traditionally offered by places like McDonalds or Tim Hortons, they usually consist of a fried egg, bacon/sausage/ham, and processed cheese on either a biscuit, bagel, or english muffin. I even did a little research just to enlighten you all on how many calories are in these breakfast bad boys:

McDonalds

 

Calories

Fat

Sodium

Bacon & Egg McMuffin

320

15 g

740 mg

Bacon & Egg McGriddles Sandwich

430

19 g

1260 mg

Bacon & Egg Biscuit Sandwich

460

27 g

960 mg

Bacon & Egg Bagel

510

22 g

1040 mg

Tim Hortons

 

Calories

Fat

Sodium

Bacon, Egg & Cheese on an English Muffin

330

15 g

770 mg

Bacon, Egg & Cheese on a Biscuit

430

24 g

840 mg

Bacon, Egg & Cheese on a Plain Bagel

450

15 g

990 mg

Ham, Egg White & Cheese on a Multigrain English Muffin

240

7 g

830 mg

These  numbers are even higher if you get sausage instead of bacon. Kind of disgusting, right? Luckily for you I have created a delicious, healthy version of the breakfast sandwich. The only downside is it requires a knife and fork to eat!

All I did was throw a portobello mushroom in the oven and bake it at 350ºF for about 7-8 minutes (I removed the stem and scraped out the insides first). While the mushroom was cooking I sliced off one ‘ring’ from a red pepper and placed it in a lightly oiled, pre-heated skillet. I carefully cracked one omega-3-enriched egg (I used the whole egg, but you can omit the yolk as well to make it even healthier) in the centre of the pepper ring and cooked it, flipping after a few minutes.

When the mushroom was done, I topped it with a little sprinkling of goat cheese and some spinach. Simply place your cooked egg/red pepper on top and garnish it with a heaping spoonful of some fresh salsa (I absolutely LOVE Jack’s Special Salsa – it’s made with natural ingredients). Deeeeeelicious!

Baked Vegetable Egg Rolls

My brother came home with Chinese food the other day – fried rice, general tso chicken, and a deep-fried egg roll. I have to admit it looked tempting, even with all the grease and salt. In the end I only snuck a couple of bites of the egg roll when he wasn’t looking ;)

Tonight I decided to make a healthier version of the egg roll that I wouldn’t feel guilty about eating. I have never made homemade egg rolls before, but I have to say these turned out pretty good for my first try! They definitely need some dipping sauce, though (sweet chili would be best). I found this recipe on another blog, For the Love of Cooking, and made a few modifications of my own (I used broccoli and portobello mushrooms instead of the cabbage and water chestnuts).

Baked Vegetable Egg Rolls

Click here to see the full recipe. Below is a slideshow of some photos I took during the process.

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Cranberry Pecan Quinoa Salad

If any of you remember my post from yesterday, I made a tasty veggie and tofu stirfry with quinoa for dinner.  I ended up having some leftover quinoa that I planned to use in a salad, and I had promised I would share the recipe with you all today. So here you are!

Cranberry Pecan Quinoa Salad

Ingredients:

Leftover quinoa (somewhere between 1 and 2 cups)

1/4 cup dried cranberries

1/4 cup chopped pecans

1-2 tsp olive oil

About 1 tsp of orange zest

3-4 tbsp of freshly squeezed orange juice

A pinch of herbs, such as basil or thyme

Simply stir the cranberries and pecans into the quinoa. Whisk together the remaining ingredients and pour the dressing over the salad; mix to combine.

This was a perfect, light lunch to enjoy in the GORGEOUS weather we had today. I couldn’t help but abandon my gigantic pile of school work and head outdoors to get some much needed vitamin D :)

– Be Well xo