Live: Spend Less Time Worrying and More Time Living Your Passions

If you are reading this blog than I'm away from my office right now. That's right, vacation, I'm in my first year being self employed and I'm away right now, catching up on beach time, book reading, playing with the neiphlings and probably sampling some county wine.  So why am I telling you this? Because planning to take vacation, and then actually taking the vacation is, how I want to live. 

Just liking guiding people through stressful life periods is a passion of mine, I'm also passionate about spending time with my family. By getting to know myself and connect with my higher self and what I want from life it lets me create almost like a mission statement. When you are connected with your passion you can live your life with purpose and design your life around living your dreams. 

I'll share another secret with you today. I'm not writing this post from the beach. In fact, I wrote it 2 weeks ago from my office. Why? So I could be in the moment right now when I'm away from work. For my life, work/life harmony means being where I am and practice being present in what I'm doing. This mindfulness practice increases productivity and lets you focus on where you are while breaking the worry cycle of thinking about places you aren't and things you can't deal with in the moment. 

So what's with all the honesty today? Why share so much? Because expressing what's going on for me, acknowledging emotions, brings me piece of mind. Being able to speak your truth, wether literally through tea with a friend or written into a journal, or figuratively by creating or appreciating art or music, sets those emotions free.

Follow your passion. Live in the moment. Speak your Truth. 

Love, Dr. Katie 

Nourish: What Your Body Needs to Feel Calm and Focused

We've all heard the saying "you are what you eat" but it is so true, especially when it comes to mental health and whole body wellness. If your body isn't getting what it needs, it freaks out, leaving you tired stressed and more emotional than is really you.

So what can be done? Here are my top 3 ways you can nourish your body to help you feel calm.

1. Balance Your Blood Sugar. Not just for diabetics, blood sugar regulation is important for everyone! Think of the last time you saw a bunch of kids at a birthday party with cake. They have all this energy and then crash! Meltdowns! Moods all over the map! The same things happen to us as adults! When you eat crap your blood sugar goes on a roller-coaster ride and takes your emotions along for fun! So what can you do? In general, most people feel less anxious eating less carbohydrates and sugars and increasing their fruits, vegetables, fats and proteins. It doesn't mean you can never eat cake (although you might want to check out this recipe). It's about shifting the balance away from things that wire you up towards things that keep you calm.

2. Replenish Nutrients. A standard north american diet can be deficient in many nutrients. Minerals are removed from our foods through the refining process and that leaves many people deficient in minerals. One to watch for is magnesium, which deficiency of manifests as anxiety  in some people. Omega-3 fatty acids is another nutrient in which the modern diet does not have enough in. Try switching from meat to fish or seafood 2 nights a week.  The last "nutrient" is a bit outside the usual definition but we traditionally got it from our foods, probiotics. Due to the wonders of refrigeration we eat way less fermented foods than our traditional diets and with the advent of processed foods we are eating less fibre (food for our good microbes) and more preservatives (things that kill microbes). The relationship between our microflora and our mood is emerging and restoring these beneficial bacteria can be the key to wellness in all kinds of disorders, including anxiety.

3. Movement. We all know exercise is good for us but so many of us don't spend enough time moving. I know when I'm stressed I need to move even more, but that's often when I feel like it least. A friend recently said to me "when I don't feel like going to the gym, that's when I know I have to go."  What they have discovered, along with may other people who use exercise as their medicine of choice for mental health maintenance, is how powerfully uplifting is to be moving in your body. 

When we feel stressed and anxious, when we are tired because we didn't' sleep, it's easy to go with the "treat" mentality. I deserve this chocolate bar. I need this coffee. I'm too tired to go to yoga, I'll watch TV instead. I know I've said each of those things at some point or another. But in those moments when we are tired/stressed/anxious what we need most is to nourish ourselves. So go for a walk, make yourself a salad for dinner and throw a piece of fish on it. Your brain will thank you.

Love, Dr. Katie

Relieve: How Natural Therapies Can Help Manage Stress In the Moment and Over Time

I can't tell you the number of times someone has come into my office with a concern and asked me "is this all in my head" "do you think I'm making this up" or exclaimed "maybe I have a chemical imbalance" or "I think this is my hormones" A lot of the time there seems to be this either/or mentality. Either this is all in my head, or my head is fine it's my body that's got a problem with it.  I tell everyone the same thing. It's not either/or, it's both.

Our thoughts and emotions exist in our bodies as molecules. They create and shape or physiology just as our physiology creates and shapes our thoughts and emotions. 

That's all well and good Dr. Katie but what do I DO about this? 

Naturopathic Support for stress and anxiety looks at both the mind and the body together and supports you both in the moment and over time. Therapies are combinations of things you do (like breathing, exercise, changing how you eat and self care) and things that you take (such as teas, nutritional and botanical supplements and homeopathic remedies.) 

Want to get started now? Check out my tree meditation and feel calmer in 3 minutes.

Love,

Dr. Katie

New Program for Stress, Anxiety and Insomnia

It's here! You may or may not know but behind the scenes I've been working hard to curate the best resources in naturopathic stress and anxiety management. What's it's become is an exciting clinical program that puts you in the drivers seat of your own mental health and wellbeing. Tranquil Minds is about getting to know yourself on a deeper level. It's about finding a sense of purpose in life. It's about taking care of your self mentally and physically. It's about providing you with the information you need to make yourself feel better.

 Designed by Evan Woolfery

Designed by Evan Woolfery

This program is my passion and I LOVE to talk about it. So if you're in the Guelph area and you want to find out if this is the right fit for you call me @ 519 827-0902 or email info@norfolkwellness.com to book a free 15 minute chat about whether Tranquil Minds is a good fit for you.  

Top 5 Natural First Aid Kit Must Haves

Summer is a busy time. Many of us use the warm weather to spend more time outdoors having fun and being active. But sometimes we fall and scrape our knees in the pursuit of fun. Or get a bit of a sunburn because we were having way to much fun to think about reapplying our sunscreen. Or withstand the odd mosquito bite to enjoy a glass of iced tea on the deck/dock/patio. So here is a list of what you can throw together to treat most minor injuries whether your on your deck or visiting a cottage!

  1. Calendula Salve. Summers are filled with skinned knees and BBQ burns. Calendula can help heal any minor skin injury. It's important to only use calendula topically and not on deep cuts or open wounds. 
  2. Homeopathic Arnica. Arnica is your magic bullet for minor bumps, bruises, and falls.  Anything that is going to bruise could use a quick dose (2 pellets) or homeopathic arnica under the tongue. Anyone claiming "I'm OK" or "Don't touch me!" after a fall is a great candidate for homeopathic arnica. 
  3. Electrolyte Replacement. So you spent a little to long in the sun (and maybe had a drink or two while you were out there)? No problem, electrolytes are your friend. Grab a glass of water and mix in some emergen-C/Ester-C/other similar nutrient drink package. Feeling up for a challenge - make an electrolyte replacement drink from scratch! 
  4. Tea Tree Essential Oil. This antimicrobial essential oil is great for skin rashes. It can help relieve bug bites and used in a carrier oil or mixed with water, and witch hazel, can be used as a mild bug spray. Remember Tea Tree oil is strong and can be quite drying on skin. 
  5. Coconut Oil. The myths are mostly true, coconut oil does a lot of things for your body. It's moisturizing capabilities help soothe sunburns and other wounds. It has mild antimicrobial properties that combat rashes and its even mildly sun protective (not enough to go without sunscreen though).

So there you go! 5 things to get your first aid kit ready this summer! Want more natural first aid tips? Come out to my Free Natural First Aid Seminar this Tuesday June 9th @ Norfolk Chiropractic Wellness Centre @ 7pm. Spots are limited so reserve yours today by calling 519-827-0040 or emailing info@norfolkwellness.com

Carrot Cake

Yes, naturopaths eat cake! We are also believe that whether you are celebrating a birthday, graduation, new baby, or anything else, food intolerances shouldn't prevent anyone from eating delicious cake. This recipe is gluten and dairy free without compromising taste or moisture. It is also made with with nuts, which lowers the glycemic index (how fast your blood sugar rises) compared to cakes made with flour. It even has vegetables in it! We hope you invite it to your next celebration!

 Photograph by  John Cartrand

Photograph by John Cartrand

Ingredients

  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1 cup oat flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup nuts
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 lb organic carrots 

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 9” x 13” cake pan. In a blender or food processor, grind the cup of almonds into flour. Watch carefully to avoid making almond butter! Wash, peel and grate your carrots. In a large bowl whisk together the almond flour, oat flour, leaveners, and spices. In a separate bowl whisk the eggs together with maple syrup and coconut oil. Chop the cup of nuts. Mix the wet and dry ingredients together and then mix in the carrots, nuts, and raisins. Pour into prepared pan and bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes.

Hot Tip: Craving some frosting for your cake? Whip 2 parts “Blossom" cream cheese with 1 part honey and 1 part coconut cream and chill until spreadable for a tasty frosting.

Broiled Lemon Trout

Cooking fish in the oven can be fast and easy. This light-tasting trout recipe is a great way to incorporate more fish & healthy fish oils into your diet. Fish is an essential part of the Mediterranean diet, which has been shown to decrease cardiovascular mortality and cancer risk. 

 Photograph by  John Chartrand

Photograph by John Chartrand

Ingredients

Instructions:

Place your trout fillet skin side down onto a baking sheet and season it with a pinch of salt and pepper. Slice your lemon and lay the slices on top of the trout. Place your fish on the upper rack of you oven and broil on high for 10-12 minutes (depending on the size of your fish) until the fish becomes flaky and the dark pink flesh lightens all the way through. Enjoy! Hot Tip: Although this recipe is really great with trout, you can broil whichever fish you are into right now using the same method, just adjust the cooking time for the size of the fish fillet. 

Mushroom Rice

Move over canned soup! This rice recipe cuts calories while amping up flavor compared to a traditional mushroom soup rice casserole. You’ll put in some extra time for the brown rice - but the nutritional bang for your buck is worth it. Brown rice has nine times more magnesium than white rice, a mineral that more than half of us don’t eat enough of! If you think you don’t like brown rice, you seriously need to try it with mushrooms! Try it for your next pot luck - It’s still great at room temperature and you’ll be a hit!

 Photograph by  John Chartrand

Photograph by John Chartrand

Ingredients:

Instructions:

Bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add 1 cup brown rice. Reduce pot to simmer and cover for 40 minutes. While the rice is cooking start on your mushroom mix. Finely chop the onion. Thinly slice the mushrooms. Crush one clove of garlic. Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Saute the onions until translucent and then remove them from pan. Add the additional olive oil to the pan with the mushrooms and garlic. Cook until the mushrooms start to brown. Set mushrooms aside. When rice is cooked drain. Mix in mushrooms and onions. Enjoy!

Spicy Roast Turnips

Turnips are a sometimes forgotten root vegetable. Missing out on the staple status we give carrots and potatoes, causing confusion with rutabagas everywhere, boiled and mashed into tastelessness for family gathering by grandmothers (including my own). So here is a recipe that gives turnips all the love they deserve. Adding a bit of heat increases the blood flow to your digestive system and helps you absorb the nutrients you need. Next time try these instead of roasted potatoes - we promise you won’t miss the potatoes. 

 Photo by  John Chartrand

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch organic turnips
  • 1/2 tsp chili flakes
  • small bunch fresh thyme
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil

Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 350F. Wash and peel your turnips and remove the tops. Place turnips in ovenproof dish. Cover with olive oil, chili flakes, and thyme and mix to coat. Roast for 1hr stirring occasionally. 

Hot Tip: Cooking on a weeknight? Cube the turnips (rather than leaving them whole) and cut your cooking time in half. You're Welcome. 

Recipe Update!

Exciting News! I’ve partnered up with Sourdough Ontario, an organic food home delivery service here in Guelph, on a new recipe project. Each week we are going to have a new healthy and delicious recipe featuring local, sustainable, and seasonal ingredients. I’ll let the photos give the sneak peak as to what’s to come in the weeks ahead!

  Photograph by  John Chartrand

Photograph by John Chartrand

Don’t want to miss a post? Subscribe below to get all the yummy recipes, plus health tips and current events in health, delivered to your inbox. 

Poached Egg on Apple & Dandelion Salad

Breakfast foods are my favourites. Often, when I'm cooking for myself, I make some version of the recipe below. It's breakfasty, but I like eggs any time of day. This particular egg recipe is packed with local super-foods.  Read more about why I choose these ingredients here

Ingredients

  • 1 apple
  • 1 bunch dandelion greens
  • 1 bunch spinach
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Tsp liquid honey 

Instructions
Cut the flesh off the apple off the core in 4-5 slices. Lay the apple pieces cut side down and cut into matchstick sized pieces. Wash and dry your greens. In your salad bowl whisk together the oil, vinegar and honey. Poach or soft boil 2 eggs. While your eggs are cooking, toss the salad greens with the dressing and a pinch salt. Add most your apples to the salad and mix in. Then plate your salad and add the rest of the apple pieces scattered on top of the salad. Place your perfect eggs on top of your salad and sprinkle with some salt and pepper. Enjoy with a 100% cranberry juice spritzer (1 part cranberry juice to 2 parts sparkling water) for a decadent super powered brunch!

Safety, Evidence, and Natural Health Product Regulations

Do you watch CBC marketplace? I don’t. But enough of my social media is wrapped up health and wellness that I saw a lot about last Friday's episode on the natural health product regulations. Although the episode sensationalized their results (It’s television, what were you expecting) as a whole, it raised a single important question; how much evidence do we need for a natural health product to be available on our pharmacy and health food store shelves? 

In Canada, natural health products (NHPs) have their own set of regulations under our Food and Drug Act. If you are a policy nerd like me, you might like to read the full text of the regulations here http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/regulations/SOR-2003-196/page-1.html. The regulations outline what information is needed to receive a license for a natural health care product. It’s a fairly straightforward list with things like the product’s name, ingredients, conditions used for, as well as “information that supports the safety and efficacy of the natural health product when it is used in accordance with the recommended conditions of use.” 

Most people are happy with the fact that there are regulations in place that govern what health products can be sold in Canada. I know I find it reassuring. So what’s all the fuss? CBC marketplace, and others critical of natural health product regulation in Canada, feel that the standards are not high enough. On CBC marketplace, their made-up homeopathic fever remedy is backed only by photocopied pages from a Materia Medica, a type homeopathic textbook that summarizes homeopathic evidence. The episode claims that this is insufficient; they even interview a medical doctor who explains that natural health product regulations fall short of what we expect for prescription medications. 

But is that a surprise? Getting a new pharmaceutical approved is a big production. Is the CBC truly positing that consumers need the same level of evidence for chamomile tea that is required for Dulcolax? Chamomile has been used medicinally since the 1st century AD (http://traditionalroots.org/backyard-medicine-chamomile/). Dolcolax’s active ingredient, Bisacodyl, was synthesized in 1953 (http://gut.bmj.com/content/5/3/271.full.pdf). I point this out not to mock pharmaceutical development, or the rigorous process that puts new, safe and effective pharmaceuticals on our shelves, but from a place of opening up our conversation about evidence. A two thousand year history of safe and effective use is nothing to ignore, whether or not the remedy has been able to scare up some funding for randomized controlled trial. 

Our natural health products, and their regulations, don’t look a lot like our pharmaceutical regulations, and there is a reason for that. As I mentioned above, NHPs are regulated under the Food and Drug Act. They are treated differently than pharmaceuticals because they are different, with a different history. NHPs live in the grey area between food and drugs, and are regulated appropriately. Are these regulations perfect? No, I don’t think any regulations are. But to say that a Materia Medica is not a good source of information on homeopathy is simply not true. To say that natural products require pharmaceutical level evidence to be proven safe and effective ignores the base of our (recently developed) evidence pyramid. 

In the case of natural health products, or any products for that matter, I think we can agree that more evidence is better. In our drive to use the best possible evidence, lets not ignore the information we already have on our traditional medicines. Let’s strive to be open-minded in our conversations about evidence. Let’s look at the body of evidence as a whole and avoid skimming off the top. Ask yourself again; how much evidence do we need for a natural health product to be available on our pharmacy and health food store shelves? 

I Worked with the Lunar Cycle for 2 Months: this is what I learned

I’m always intrigued at anything that claims it will help increase your productivity by working with your body. As an accidental entrepreneur I’d rather spend my time working with patients than working on the business side of my business. So when a friend passed on this info graphic on working with the lunar cycle I was intrigued. I added the lunar calendar to my google cal and did my best to schedule myself with the cycle in mind. Here’s what I learned.

  1. I had the most energy around the full moon. The full moon filled me with the type of energy that made me feel like getting anything done was possible. Going to bed seemed like a nuisance because once there I hardly slept. My head was full of thoughts and I just wanted to do something about them.

  2. I needed the most sleep at the new moon. The lack of sleep didn’t bother me at the full moon but come new moon I switched to full restoration mode. After 8 hours in bed I still wanted to sleep. I also found myself retreating to my room for some rest and quite. 
  3. Clutter and mess became unbearable before the new moon. Things that could exist outside my awareness for weeks, suddenly became irritating sources of distraction and interrupting my peace. I hate housekeeping, but suddenly laundry got put away, floors were being swept twice as often, a stacks of paper got filed out of sight.
  4. My introvert and extrovert tendencies changed. I’ve always suspected I was more in between being an introvert or an extrovert. I love being with friends, I hate eating alone, but I’d also rather do something on my own than hang out with a group at times. What I didn’t realize is that, for me, these tendencies changed in predictable ways. With all my full moon energy, I wanted nothing more than to go out with friends and be social. Come the new moon I craved more alone time and deeper connections.
  5. My patient flow changed during the lunar cycle. Although I wasn’t shocked to find that my behaviour changed with the moon I wasn’t expecting to find a noticeable difference in the behaviours of others. I had more new bookings around the full moon, it was as if people in general were feeling more motivated. During the new moon, my practice was quieter and had more cancellations than at other times of the lunar cycle. 

The most helpful part of this exercise for me was the turning in; I had to look inside myself and identify my feelings, energy, and the projects I could be most productive with. I also wondered about how hormone changes through the menstrual cycle, which for many women is the same length as the lunar cycle, may also contribute to the changes in mood and energy I experienced. Working with the lunar cycle was a positive experience, and something I will probably keep in mind in the future. Overall it was a success, I only wish I had found when the best time to do bookkeeping is! If anybody has figured out that one, let me know!

Roasted Fennel

Roasting is such a nice way to treat your vegetables, it softens them and brings out their natural sugars. Fennel Bulb, for those of you who haven't tried it, has a liquorice or anise-like flavour. It's also a great two in one vegetable as the delicate tops can be used as an herb to add an extra layer of fennel taste to this recipe or another. 

  • 1 Bulb of fennel (tops removed and saved)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Using your sharpest chefs knife cut the fennel bulb in half and then into quarters, lengthwise. At the bottom of the bulb there's a bit of concentrated root, kind of like a core; slice it away and discard or save for stock. Slice each quarter of fennel into wedges about 2 cm thick. Lay the fennel on a sheet pan. Scatter the salt, chilli flakes, and cumin over the fennel. Drizzle the olive oil over top. Toss in the over and leave alone for ~1hr. Enjoy!

This fennel recipe goes really well with a pan fried fish. The fennel tops can be chopped (as you would parsley) and sprinkled on top of the fennel and/or fish. Any leftover roasted fennel makes a delicious addition to a winter salad.

Salmon In A Bag

This easy weeknight dinner will be on your table in 30 minutes with nothing but your knife, cutting board and a sheet pan to wash up :) It's an easy way to get more fish into your diet! Mix and match the fish, veggies and dressing to make your own delicious creation!

  • 4 Parchment Cooking Bags (or parchment paper folded into packets)
  • 4 Salmon Fillets
  • 4 Cups of Seasonal Vegetables (try mixing a winter green sliced like kale or swiss chard with some cubed winter squash)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup wine vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1Tbsp mustard
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed

Preheat your oven to 3500F. Toss your vegetables with the olive oil, vinegar, mustard and garlic. Divide between your paper bags. Season the fish lightly with salt and pepper and place into bags with vegetables. Seal the bags by folding the edges. Transfer the bags to a baking sheet at bake for ~20 minutes (for 6oz fillets). Place one bag per plate and let everyone open their own at the table. Enjoy!

Edamame

Yesterday was one of those days; I got home from work hungry and the meal plan for the evening was more slow food style than a 15 minute meal. I needed a snack. Fortunately there is usually a bag of edamame in our freezer reserved just for these occasions. Usually we keep it simple, steam and salt only. Last night, with some inspiration from Bon Appetit, things got a little spicy and very tasty. So with out further delay, here is a recipe for pumping up your edamame into a snack that's so yummy, you'll hardly believe it's good for you!

Grab 1 bag of frozen edamame and open it into your sink (or a bowl) and cover with hot tap water. Take 2 cloves of garlic and smash them leaving the skins on. Put a heavy cast iron skillet over medium-high heat and add 2 TBSP of olive oil. Put the smashed garlic in the pan with 2 chillies (fresh or dried). Drain your edamame and dry on a kitchen towel and then add it to the hot pan. Cook the edamame stirring occasionally until the outside gets blackened in places and the garlic looks golden and smells delicious. Dump the edamame into a serving bowl and mix in 1/4 tsp chilli flakes and 1 tsp of sea salt (flaked if you've got it). Enjoy! 

Happy National Non-Smoking Week!

This week in honour of National Non-Smoking Week we’re talking about quitting. Tobacco is the leading cause of preventable death and illness in Ontario. If you’ve quit smoking - I’d like to extend my heartfelt congratulations on taking such a big positive change in your health. If you are thinking about quitting - I offer my support and respect for working to make that change for yourself. 

Many Local and National Organizations offer programs and support to help you quit smoking. Smokers Help Line Has tons of resources including online and workbook program, texting support, and a contest to win a new car!   The Lung Association has it’s own free pdf workbook you can find here. CAMH has a great tips list

Sometimes a workbook, or even a car lottery, isn’t enough to keep you on the path to being smoke free. Or maybe, you just don’t want to tackle this on your own. Naturopathic medicine can help. Your naturopathic doctor can use a variety of tools to support you: 

Food

Did you know foods can change the taste/enjoyability of a cigarette? Cutting back your coffee, alcohol, and sugar consumption (or enjoying these things away from cigarettes) decreases the taste of the cigarette. Consuming beverages like milk and water and foods like fruits and vegetables near the cigarette also negatively impact taste.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture consists of regular treatments where very thin needles are inserted into the body to simulate the movement of Qi (energy). This ancient system of medicine calms the nervous system, helps the body through the detoxification process, and can support the quitting process. 

Botanical Medicines

Plants come in a variety of forms: from pills, to liquids, to teas, and can be used to support the lungs, promote detoxification, and calm the nervous system.

Counselling

Naturopathic consultations for any condition include elements of counselling. If you are trying to quit smoking a naturopathic doctor can support your journey and help you reach your goals. They will celebrate with your successes and hold you accountable. Naturopaths ask the tough questions and are there to listen to your answers.

Local to Guelph? Book your appointment today! Let’s get you started on a smoke-free 2015!

Brussels Sprouts

Happy Christmas Eve Eve! My favourite thing about Christmas (and any holiday really) is planning out all the food I want to make and all the recipes I want to try that year. Seriously, I had my recipes picked out 3 weeks ago. I do realize that this makes me a little crazy. And so, assuming that you might be a little flexible about what you are cooking in a few days, or perhaps in need of a bit of inspiration, here’s a simple recipe to help take your veggies off the back burner (literally!) and put them centre stage. These dressed-up Brussels get really crispy and even a little sweet in the oven; the dressing takes them up a notch from "veggies I roasted" to "vegetable dish." They aren’t your Granny’s brussels sprouts!

Ingredients:

  • Brussels Sprouts 1 lb
  • Olive Oil 1 Tbsp
  • Salt 1/4 tsp
  • Chilli Flakes Pinch
  • Apple Cider Vinegar 2 Tbsp
  • Olive Oil 1 Tbsp
  • Pine Nuts 1/8 Cup
  • Grated Parmesan Cheese (optional)

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 400F. Wash your brussels sprouts in cold water. Trim off the ends and remove any bits that look tired. Cut into halves or quarters for larger brussels sprouts. Toss in olive oil with salt and chili flakes. Spread evenly over sheet pan and roast in oven stirring occasionally until the outside is brown and beginning to crisp up (about 20-25 minutes). Meanwhile, prepare the dressing by mixing the olive oil and apple cider vinegar. When the sprouts are done toss them in the dressing while still warm and add your pine nuts and cheese (if using). Serve warm.

Bacon-Ginger Cookies

It’s the season of Christmas cookies and these cookies are a seasonal favourite at my house. This ginger cookie recipe uses bacon drippings instead of butter for a truly decadent non-dairy cookie experience! Swap out the all purpose flour for your favourite gluten-free baking blend and you've got a great tasting cookie that doesn't break a gluten and dairy free diet. I hope you enjoy the treat!

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup bacon drippings
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups (gluten-free) all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup white sugar (to coat)

Directions:

Cream the sugars with the bacon fat. Add in the eggs and molasses. In a separate bowl add all dry ingredients and mix to combine. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ones and mix to form a stiff dough. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 2 days.

Preheat the oven to 350F. Prepare baking sheets with baking mats or parchment paper. Roll 1 Tbsp chunks of dough into balls and roll in sugar to coat. Place 2 inches apart on baking sheet. Bake 10+ minutes, until the cookies have crackled and browned. Let Cool and Enjoy!